Best Of :: Arts & Entertainment
Strip club culture in Miami hasn't been the same since Puppy Management CEO James Wright and GM Damion McKenzie took over G5ive Miami in 2014. The North Miami Beach venue has long served the community as a popular billiards and comedy club by day and a popping strip club by night. Within the past three years, G5ive has gained plenty of notoriety for its army of more than 100 talented dancers and servers who entice customers from all over South Florida. There are events and specials every night of the week, such as $2 Tuesdays, WCW Wednesdays, and Trendsetter Thursdays. Turn up for your birthday or celebrate dumping your significant other on Fetty Fridays; then experience a topnotch rapper or a model on Celebrity Saturdays. The booth is helmed by pros including DJ Meat, DJ Lucky C, and the 305's DJ Nasty. G5ive has also become a mecca for comedians and out-of-town artists. Philly rapper PnB Rock, Atlanta trio Migos, Harlem native Jim Jones, Rick Ross, Future, Red Café, Tory Lanez, Cardi B, David Guetta, and plenty of other well-known names have turned up, including R&B artist Mya, who one night sang and performed a few dance moves of her own. And don't forget about the strippers, including Essence Monroe, Chyna, and Miami Tip.
Readers' choice: E11even Miami
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
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.
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.
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
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.