Best Of :: People & Places
There's this thing that's been invented. It's called "blogging." All the kids do it. Seriously, though, online journaling is so four years ago, kind of like Oakland Raiders jackets and Nike pool shoes. Stay away. But the Internet -- the Internet is good. Virtually all the world's knowledge is contained online. When it comes to life in Mia-muh, though, you don't need to be Googling your neighbor to see if he's really listed on Latinamericancupid.com. The basis of needing to know, is, well, needing to know. And what you need to know is stuff like: Is the entire interstate system closed because a part of a crane might fall onto a downtown street? Did the Marlins finally break the tie and win in the 27th inning last night? Who has Suge Knight shot at the Red Room now? And, most important, when will the damn electricity/cable/phone be turned back on in the aftermath of this week's hurricane? NBC 6, the television station, did heroic work in 2005 in the aftermaths of hurricanes Katrina and Wilma; the station took over the FM and AM radio frequencies of several stations, including public channel WLRN, to keep people up to date about the havoc wrought by the storms, and bore the dismaying news about utility restoration. Online, the NBC affiliate, which is based in Miramar and is a hub for the network's national news video feeds, truly excels. During regular times, the site give updates with almost supernatural frequency about the critical quotidian details of Miami urban life, including gas prices, thunderstorm movement via the station's excellent multiview Doppler and vector radar systems, traffic tieups, and the occasional kook barricading himself in a Metrorail station. The site also has a scroll of world news courtesy of its partnership with MSNBC, and does a superb job of gathering sports stats from every team imaginable, all the way down through high school intramurals. There's also a pleasant smattering of the nut tales that keep surfers coming back, such as the recent headliner "Viewers React to Paula Abdul's Odd Behavior."
James "Jimbo" Luznar opened his joint on Virginia Key, Jimbo's, a half-century ago. And there's no better place on the water to take a toot.
What is your greatest triumph?
We used to be where the Herald building is, but then they said our boats would have to go. So we looked at Snapper Creek, Mart Park, then we ended up on Virginia Key. It stunk sometimes, and there were mosquitoes, snakes, coons, opossums, and iguanas. It cost us a lot of money to be there, but we stayed. They've been trying to get me out of there for a long time, but now everyone all over the world knows Jimbo.
Born in Homestead, Kevin Wynn is the producer and cohost of Downtown Dade, a TV talk show that covers the arts and culture and airs on the county's government access channel. He is also the coprogrammer, with Barron Sherer, of Cinema Vortex, a nonprofit organization devoted to screening unusual, significant, and neglected film and video works. And he's the creator of Public Domain Playhouse, a continuing series of screenings he curates with Sherer.
What is your greatest triumph?
My greatest triumph? I dont do triumph. Ive never had one. I cant tell you how it feels to triumph, or what it looks, tastes or smells like. I wouldnt know triumph if some guy ran over me with a TR4.
There are several safe, clean places where we can let Fido run off-leash in Miami-Dade. Coconut Grove has several dog-friendly parks; the Beach has some nice locations; there's a spot on Virginia Key where dogs can swim and sunbathe; but of all the canine treats in my Miami, the mac daddy of all dog parks is in Aventura. Two years ago the city, which is burgeoning with young dog-owning families, built the expansive new Veterans Park. The $600,000 two-acre expanse has a wonderful, well-kept, welcoming space. There are pooper-scooper dispensers throughout the space. There are doggy water fountains and doggy showers. And the most endearing detail: red fire hydrants. All of this greatness, of course, comes at a price: You have to live in Aventura, and show proof of residence, to gain access. It's almost reason enough to move there.
It is a dark time for Miami-Dade County's executive mayor. The evil lords on the county commission annihilated Carlos Alvarez's bold offensive to strip them of some bribe-making abilities. Then the Galactic Empire displayed the true power of the Dark Side when it crushed Alvarez in the Boundary Wars. Beaten but resolute, the good mayor fled to the outer rim of the county's suburban wasteland to regroup and complete his training. Upon his return, Alvarez successfully destroyed the Imperials' diabolical device: The Public Silencer. In time, this Obi-wan of the Swamp may finally bring balance to the county.
Come one, come all, to the "Read to Farley" sessions at the children's section of the North Miami Beach Library, the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 4:00 p.m. This is no ordinary dog. This shaggy mop o' unconditional love once suffered from crippling agoraphobia, owing to early abuse. But his patient handler, Margo Berman, a professor at Florida International University, worked tirelessly, training him to overcome his fears and earn his Therapy Dog badge. Now Farley helps shy children who have trouble reading aloud. Once the youngsters sit down with Farley on the colorful rugs, they don't want to stop reading him stories because he is a great listener, mispronunciations be damned!