Best of Miami®

Best Of 2017

Neighborhoods

  • + Aventura/North Miami Beach
  • + Beaches
  • + Boca Raton
  • + Brickell
  • + Central Dade
  • + Coconut Grove
  • + Cooper City
  • + Coral Gables
  • + Coral Gables/South Miami
  • + Coral Springs/Margate
  • + Cutler Bay/Palmetto Bay
  • + Dania Beach
  • + Davie
  • + Davie/West Hollywood
  • + Doral
  • + Downtown/Overtown
  • + East Kendall/Pinecrest
  • + Florida Keys
  • + Fort Lauderdale
  • + Hallandale Beach
  • + Hialeah
  • + Highland Beach
  • + Hollywood
  • + Homestead/Florida City
  • + Key Biscayne
  • + Lauderhill
  • + Little Haiti/Liberty City
  • + Little Havana
  • + Miami Gardens
  • + Miami Lakes
  • + Mid/North Beach
  • + Midtown/Wynwood/Design District
  • + Miramar
  • + North Dade
  • + North Miami
  • + North Palm Beach
  • + Oakland Park
  • + Out of Town
  • + Outside South Florida
  • + Palm Beach County
  • + Palm Beach Gardens
  • + Pembroke Pines
  • + Plantation
  • + Plantation/Sunrise/Tamarac
  • + Pompano Beach
  • + Pompano Beach/Deerfield Beach/Coconut Creek
  • + Riviera Beach
  • + Sea Ranch Lakes
  • + South Beach
  • + South Dade
  • + Sunrise
  • + Sunrise/Plantation
  • + Surfside/Bal Harbor/Bay Harbor Islands
  • + Sweetwater/Westchester/West Miami
  • + Tamiami
  • + Unknown
  • + Upper Eastside/Miami Shores/Biscayne Park
  • + Wellington
  • + West Dade
  • + West Kendall
  • + West Palm Beach
  • + Weston
  • + Wilton Manors
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Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment

Best Public Art
<i>Miami Mountain</i>
Courtesy of Art Basel

Even if you don't enjoy eating colorful candy marzipan, it's hard to argue with viewing monumental art that looks like it. Built in 2016 by the Swiss artist Ugo Rondinone, the 42-foot-tall Miami Mountain consists of five bright boulders that sit atop one another just feet from A1A in Collins Park. The sculpture is like a huge, delicious treat for all of South Beach. Rondinone recently installed seven of these sculptures in the desert outside Las Vegas, but those are planned to be there for only two years, while Miami's stack of stones is part of the Bass museum's permanent collection and will sit in place for the long haul. Also, technically, the piece is called a "cairn," a dandy way of referring to a pile of rocks. Turning a corner and seeing Miami Mountain is still a startling experience. The work, which is held together by an iron spine, immediately causes the viewer to question whether the rocks are real and then walk up and engage. The question of artificiality is one dear to Miami Beach, but like the city, the closer you get to the statue, the more awe-inspiring it becomes. It is joyous to look all the way to the top of the Beach's mountain, which, of course, is rainbow-hued and right by the sand.

2200 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 33139
MAP
305-673-7730
Best Radio Personality
Brendan Tobin
Courtesy of Brendan Tobin

Brendan Tobin is the hardest-working personality on Miami sports radio — and it's not even a close contest. In addition to his duties as producer of 790 the Ticket's morning show, Zaslow, Romberg, and Amber, he also hosts the station's 1- to-3 p.m. show alongside former NFL running back Leroy Hoard and jack-of-all-trades Brian London. Then, to top it all off, Tobin heads up a weekend MMA-centric gig called Fighter's Fury. Yet he isn't dialing it in. Through those countless hours of airtime, he consistently delivers a fun and knowledgeable vibe. Let's be honest: We need the brief respite of good sports chatter more than ever given the dumpster fire raging in global politics. Who really wants to tune into an angry host spouting off and battling irate callers for three hours? Miami wants a chance to laugh and maybe learn a little something about their favorite franchises. Tobin has this formula perfected. From his video and audio talents to his fake-call bits to his terrible yet somehow addictive Jay Ajayi impression, he'll keep you coming back for more.

Readers' choice: DJ Laz

Best AM Radio Show
<i>Hochman and Crowder</i>
Courtesy of 560 WQAM

Sports radio doesn't need to be so damn serious. Who needs endless hours of x's and o's or unending debates about who will start at left guard for the Dolphins discussed with all the gravity of the latest North Korean missile test? Besides, sports fans in 2017 have probably already spent hours upon hours ingesting enough of that kind of content on Twitter. Sports radio should be fun. It should feel like you're two IPAs deep at a sports bar, kicking it with a buddy, looking up at the TV, and hollering, "Can you believe how well Dion Waiters played this year?" When you tune into 560 WQAM's Hochman, Crowder, and Krantz, that's exactly what you'll get. Every weekday from 2 to 6 p.m., this show gives fans a fresh, fun, and informed take on the day's sports happenings. Veteran sports talker Marc Hochman is joined by sidekick Zach Krantz and former Dolphins linebacker Channing Crowder, and the three get on and argue good-naturedly like, well, buddies knocking back IPAs at the local watering hole. Pop open a local brew and join the conversation.

Best TV Reporter

Full disclosure: Jim DeFede spent roughly a decade crafting brilliant investigative stories and weekly columns for New Times back in the Wild West days of the '90s, when Gianni Versace roamed Ocean Drive and Lincoln Road was still full of bohemians. But while DeFede has long left the ragtag world of alt-weekly malcontents behind, his reporting is sharper than ever. During last year's U.S. Senate race, he outed Democratic challenger Patrick Murphy as a fraud. Murphy, who was running to unseat incumbent Marco Rubio, had claimed to be a certified public accountant and a self-made small-business owner. But DeFede showed that neither of those claims was quite true and that Murphy had exaggerated his resumé to make himself seem like something more than just the son of a rich dude. The report caught national attention and potentially stopped voters from helping to elect a liar. Which ended up giving us six more years of Marco Rubio. Hey, all you can do is dig up the truth and hope for the best! DeFede has been doing just that longer and better than anyone else in town.

Best TV News Anchor
Belkys Nerey
Photo by Giulio Sciorio

Most TV-news anchors are drab automatons, trapped in identical suits and dresses, stuck reading near-identical news about shootings, muggings, and dogs that can water-ski. WSVN's Belkys Nerey is a breath of fresh air. The Cuban-born, Florida International University-educated anchor eschews the teased-up TV hair for a simple pixie cut. She ditches the always-grave, forever-serious anchor voice for a Miami-accent-tinged reading style that — gasp! — actually has real human personality. This was a huge year for news in Miami, from the death of Fidel Castro to the election of Donald Trump, and Nerey was a constant, reassuring presence on the air no matter the subject. In fact, she even hosts a 30-minute cooking show called Bites With Belkys that injects some literal spice into the TV-news landscape.

Readers' choice: Belkys Nerey

Best Meteorologist

Working as a weather forecaster in Miami is much more fun than in most American cities — and truth be told, the job is a more important one here than almost anywhere else. Every summer and fall, South Florida residents dash off a prayer and hope a vengeful God doesn't level the city with an epic tropical cyclone. And CBS 4's Craig Setzer is dedicated to making sure Miamians know every single twist, turn, and tendril that makes up each storm. Setzer is an unabashed weather nerd and an adrenaline-hunting storm-chaser, the sort of person willing to drive right into the middle of a tempest just to see nature's awesome power. But Setzer isn't just some plastic TV talking-head: He's an instructor at the National Hurricane Center, a guest lecturer at the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), and serves on the RSMAS Advisory Board for its Masters of Professional Sciences Program. Before moving to Miami, he spent his time chasing tornadoes. Now, he uses his mastery of weather science to — hopefully — prep the Magic City before the big one shows up again.

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Best Public Art: Miami Mountain

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