Best Of :: People & Places
In the Eighties, the TV show Miami Vice rocked America like a hurricane. The highly successful cop drama made the Magic City seem, well, magical -- more colorful, cool, exotic, and sexy than any other city in the nation. All the men were wearing T-shirts paired with pastel jackets and artfully cultivated five-o'clock shadows. Fast-forward to 2006. Everything Eighties is back with a bang, and Hollywood is convinced that rehashing classic TV shows into star-powered movies is a great idea. Prime time for a Miami Vice remake, baby. Now that Don Johnson's face has taken a decidedly Melanie Griffith turn, and Philip Michael Thomas is busy ... well, not really -- this time around, the role of Tubbs will be played by former In Living Color sketch-comedian-turned-Oscar-winning-Ray-Charles-impersonator Jamie Foxx. And the actor who plays Crockett requires the kind of sex appeal that will make ladies and gay guys squirm in their padded cinema seats ... a pretty boy with a nasty attitude and a cavalier attitude toward onscreen nudity. Oooh yeah, Colin Farrell. Perfect. Michael Mann picked the perfect pair for his cinematic adaptation. F-squared took South Beach by storm, ripping through the nightclub scene like nobody's business. Foxx made himself an onstage fixture at the hottest clubs, and released Unpredictable, a cameo-studded album so unabashedly horny that R. Kelly himself would nod in approval. Farrell wasn't far behind. Miami's vice got him so sprung that the lusty Irishman landed himself in rehab. One needs look no further than his controversial sex tape with former Playboy Bunny Nicole Narain to get an inkling of the kind of fun he must have been up to when the cameras stopped rolling. Miami Vice fever took over the city. The filming of car chase scenes shut down major roadways. Celebrity-sycophant cops were hired as expert extras. Hurricane after hurricane stalled film production, but at the end of it all, we're sure the movie version of the cop show that made our town famous won't disappoint. Even if the onscreen chemistry and clichéd buddy-cop plot flop miserably, we know curious locals will boost the box-office numbers for this soon-to-be-released summer popcorn flick. We just can't wait to see our glitzy, gritty city on the big screen in all of its sweaty, coke-snorting, Ferrari-driving glory, large enough for the world to see.
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!