People & Places

  • Best Cleavage

    El Nuevo Herald

    The cover photo for the tabloid weekly "Viernes" almost never fails to deliver the goods. Both of them.… More >>
  • Best Neopagan Ritual

    Miami Beach full moon drum circle

    Some know it's there, some hear about it through word of mouth, some are drawn by the sound of the drums and the heady scent of patchouli. For more than a year and a half, with every full moon, masses of people have gathered on the sand of Miami Beach at 22nd Street and Collins Avenue to celebrate the lunar… More >>
  • Best Lobby

    Eden Roc Resort and Spa

    305-531-0000 Oh, that aquamarine! No hotel lobby does justice to the Rat Pack era like the Eden Roc does. It doesn't look seedy and it doesn't feel old. It looks wonderfully fresh, as if you just walked through the doors to 1956. The Eden Roc, a Morris Lapidus jewel built in that year, does not offer an icy chrome entrance like… More >>
  • Best Place To Balance Your Chi

    Chinese Healthcare

    For more than 2000 years Chinese health care practitioners have used a potent combination of herbs, needles, and nutrition to cure ailments ranging from acne to obesity. A pioneer in the field of Chinese medicine in the United States, Daniel Atchison-Nevel, a Miami Beach native, brought that knowledge home nearly twenty years ago, after a Gainesville acupuncturist cured his insomnia.… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Everglades City/Chokoloskee

    If you want to kick back in a nature-intensive, Old Florida kind of way, just take Tamiami Trail to within about 30 miles of Naples, then hang a left at State Road 29. Once you cross the bridge into Everglades City, you're on the threshold of the Ten Thousand Islands, a maze of mangrove islets and brackish water between the… More >>
  • Best Tourist Trap

    Gator Park

    The great magic of the Everglades can be found in the subtleties of life there, though subtle is about the last word that comes to mind as you pull into Jon Weisberg's over-the-top roadside attraction. The anomaly is as it should be: We don't trap our tourists, boy, we trap gators. It is the illusion of an illusionary Florida. For… More >>
  • Second Best New Law

    Local campaign finance reform

    In December 1998 the Miami-Dade County Commission adopted an ordinance that bans corporations from donating money to commission races. Although it won't end the influence-peddling at county hall, it is a step in the right direction. In the past politically connected individuals could funnel thousands of dollars to their favorite commission candidates by writing $500 checks from each of their… More >>
  • Best Movie Shot On Location

    There's Something About Mary

    People either think this movie is brilliant or pathetic. Whatever. Mary brought Cameron Diaz and Matt Dillon to Miami for quite a spell. Shooting scenes in Coral Gables, Brickell, and various South Beach locales must have rubbed Diaz the right way. She became one of Miami's darlings, hanging out well after the movie wrapped. Dillon also made the most of… More >>
  • Best Mile Of Miami

    Biscayne Boulevard

    Periodically various sections of vice-infested Biscayne Boulevard emerge as the latest darlings of developers and entrepreneurs. At last, these urban-renewal boosters boast, Biscayne is on the verge of moral rebirth and commercial boom. Speculators buy up chunks of the street. And then somehow it just doesn't quite come together; somehow Biscayne is as resistant to reform as, well, as its… More >>
  • Best Am Radio Personality

    Hank Goldberg

    His four-hour talk show, weekdays on WQAM from 2:00 to 6:00 p.m., is ostensibly a sports program, but Goldberg's pugnacious punditry stretches far beyond the wide world of sports. One recent Tuesday afternoon, for example, "the Hammer" managed to pound on the following topics: Bagel Cove restaurant ("I was the only one there who didn't have blue hair"); Hialeah racetrack… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Kendall Coffey

    Miami's own comeback counselor, former U.S. Attorney Kendall Coffey, pulled off the legal achievement of the year when he ousted a sitting mayor. Coffey argued in Miami-Dade Circuit Court that Joe Carollo lost the November 1997 Miami mayoral election owing to rampant fraud among absentee balloting. He was convincing. In March 1998 Judge Thomas Wilson, Jr., booted Xavier Suarez, the… More >>
  • Best Supporting Player

    Kim Ostrenko

    Sam Shepard's characters are many things: schemers, losers, maligned heroes. But they're rarely female. When women are present, as in the case of Cecilia, a would-be love interest of the protagonist in Shepard's 1994 play Simpatico (produced this past summer by the Florida Shakespeare Theatre, now called GableStage), they're odd ducks, intruders in a strange male universe. Sometimes they get… More >>
  • Best Short-Lived Miami Showcase

    Sins of the City

    Not since Miami Vice has a television show better harnessed the color and character of Miami. Each Saturday night Sins of the City reveled in the rainbow hues of the I.M. Pei's CenTrust Tower and the quaint mansions of Morningside, along with the obligatory Deco decadence of South Beach. The weekly series debuted this past July to scathing reviews, all… More >>
  • Best Design

    David K. Sherman

    Any stage designer can put his or her imprint on a show that no one's seen before. But what do you do when you've got to dress up the longest-running musical on or off Broadway? That would be The Fantasticks. The Hollywood Playhouse staged the chestnut as the debut performance under its new management, and nobody who's seen the off-Broadway… More >>
  • Best New Law

    Haitian Refugee Immigration Fairness Act

    Congress passed this law in October 1998 after an unprecedented bipartisan, multiethnic lobbying campaign conceived in Miami-Dade County. The measure grants green cards to about 50,000 Haitian immigrants living in the United States before 1996. These immigrants, concentrated in South Florida and New York, would otherwise be awaiting deportation today . Congress approved the measure a year after passing a… More >>
  • Best Sports Coach

    Ivo Wortmann

    There was a time when toy stores were small, friendly places where kids could dream and nag their parents for a couple of dollars' worth of playthings they might or might not receive. Now toy stores are sprawling, electronically engorged money traps where young people vie for coolness and make greedy demands. Sports, as the saying goes, is the toy… More >>
  • Best Political Comeback

    Merrett Stierheim

    Miami-Dade County Manager Merrett Stierheim is living proof that eventually everything comes back in style. During his original tenure as county manager in the early Eighties, Stierheim was seen as something of an anachronism: one of the last of the old Anglo bosses who ruled this county for decades. When Stierheim was originally county manager, commissioners took little more than… More >>
  • Best Coaching Decision

    Dave Wannstedt

    As a head coach, the Dolphins' Jimmy Johnson makes a great general manager. He possesses championship acumen for recruiting, organizing, and training. But when it comes to game day, he falters as a field coach. That, along with a few critical injuries, is why the Dolphins fade in the stretch after teasing their demanding local fans by looking good before… More >>
  • Best Cemetery

    City of Miami Cemetery

    It's the graveyard used as a setting for spooky nightmares. Large, creaky iron gates guard the two entrances. Old, crumbling tombstones dispersed among headstones tall enough for someone to hide behind. Fully grown oak and mahogany trees blocking the light to form imposing shadows. From the rich, white, and powerful in the Burdine crypt to the graves of the poor,… More >>
  • Best Convention

    Magic on the Beach

    Lovers of legerdemain, practitioners of prestidigitation, converts to conjuring, savants of sleight of hand. In short these folks dabble in the arts arcane. Since 1994 the International Brotherhood of Magicians, Ring 45 (a sufficiently hocus-pocus moniker), has presented its annual convention each fall at the Hotel Formerly Known as the Radisson Aventura Beach Resort. Attendance at the two-day event is… More >>
  • Best Interlopers

    Parrots

    Here in Miami we love our immigrants. Each wave of newcomers brings exciting cultural detours, nuances, inventions. Just try getting pupusas and mondongo in Omaha. And what we love most in our new arrivals is colorfulness. No blending into the Zeitgeist, no assimilating by imitating. Stand up and stand out! Make some noise! The definitive example of perfection in invaders… More >>
  • Best Tv Station

    WPLG-TV (Channel 10)

    How do you improve what is already one of the top stations in Miami? What can be better than having Dwight Lauderdale and Kristi Krueger as anchors, than Rad Berky on the Eye-Team and Michael Putney filing solid political reports? How about adding Kelley Mitchell to the Night Team? Nah, there's no way that would happen, what with her being… More >>
  • Best Sanctuary From The Fast Track

    The Florida Room

    A pleasant, almost ethereal cerebral dysrhythmia occurs when you proceed from the hot, mean, dirty streets of downtown Miami to the main library. The lights glow softly, the air feels cool and clean, the people seem sedate and serene. Deep in the northwest corner of the second floor lies the Florida Room, an inner sanctum, a placid place devoted to… More >>
  • Best Local Writer

    Richard Blanco

    He's young, he's Cuban, he's got a new book. And he's well worth hearing as well as reading. At one evening reading Blanco showed slides from his childhood in early-Seventies Miami, and read poems that were at once funny, sentimental, and sad. He represents a new generation of Cubans in Miami, who feel Cuba through the memory of their parents… More >>
  • Best Charity

    Switchboard of Miami

    This is one of the richest resources Miami can call on. In its 30 years of existence, Switchboard has grown from an advice center for hippies on bad acid trips to a versatile organization that almost anyone in a crisis can turn to. It's not just a crisis hotline, though that best-known feature of Switchboard will this year receive some… More >>
  • Best Urban Garden

    Miami Beach Botanical Garden

    "It's the most exciting thing happening on South Beach," Commissioner Nancy Liebman says about the renovation of the once-decrepit Miami Beach Botanical Garden adjacent to the city's convention center. Well, that might be a bit of an overstatement, but this pocket-size garden is certainly going to be a fun thing to watch grow. Over the past year, more than 100… More >>
  • Best Magic City Icon

    Ocean Drive magazine

    It's beautiful, young, sexy, materialistic, glossy, disposable, stupid as hell, and as substantial as a feather. No magazine -- heck, no other institution -- better conveys Miami's glittering façade. Launched in 1992 by publisher Jerry Powers and partner Jason Binn (and quietly backed by German tycoon Thomas Kramer), Ocean Drive can no longer be contained by South Beach alone. The… More >>
  • Best Bum Rap

    Blaming fans for Jimmy Johnson's "retirement"

    "Damn you all!" Channel 6 (WTVJ-TV) anchor Tony Segreto nearly shouted as much when he delivered the news on January 13: Jimmy Johnson was expected to resign as Miami Dolphins head coach. Word would come at a news conference the next day. The bombshell had dropped without any context (why in the world was the successful and popular Johnson quitting?)… More >>
  • Best Disappearing Act

    Art Teele

    Where have you gone, Art Teele? We keep expecting to see the Miami city commissioner's face on milk cartons. Heck, we're not even sure any more where he lives. Ever since his name surfaced in connection with the ongoing investigation into wrongdoing at the Port of Miami, the usually outgoing Teele has kept the lowest of profiles. That's too bad.… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    Fort Lauderdale International Film Festival

    Six major studios, owned by global conglomerates such as Time Warner and Rupert Murdoch's NewsGroup, control Hollywood, determining what films get made, how they're made, and how they're made available to the public. This nation's film industry is driven by one thing and one thing only: market share. If the stock prices drop, so does the other shoe. Which is… More >>
  • Best New Gossip Columnist

    José Lambiet

    Although the Herald's Joan Fleischman remains the gold standard of gossip in these parts, José Lambiet is a welcome new voice. Since landing a column this past September, the Sun-Sentinel's "South Florida Insider" has broken plenty of juicy news nuggets: a paternity lawsuit filed against former Marlins slugger Gary Sheffield; a snit between (WFOR-TV) Channel 4 anchor Angela Rae and… More >>
  • Best Place To Schvitz With Strangers

    Russian and Turkish baths

    "I've never done anything like this before," says Tina Osterling, a Tampa native visiting the Russian and Turkish baths for the first time. "It's so cool, or I guess, hot." She and a half-dozen others sat in bathing suits, sweating amid a swirling mass of steam said to reach temperatures as high as 160 degrees. Every few minutes she and… More >>
  • Best Politician

    Katy Sorenson

    County Commissioner Katy Sorenson is a politician devoid of subterfuge. There are no hidden agendas with her. She is exactly the way she seems: honest, sincere, forthright. Others may not agree with her positions on civic issues, but no one questions her integrity. The past twelve months marked Sorenson's best year on the commission since her arrival in 1994. She… More >>
  • Best Private Art Collection Open To The Public

    The Rubell Family Collection

    Not only do they own some of the hippest hotels in Miami Beach (the Albion, the Greenview, and the soon-to-open Beach House in Bal Harbour), but the Rubells -- Mera, Don, and offspring Jennifer and Jason -- together possess the finest private collection of contemporary art in Florida. "There are few collections of its equal anywhere in the world," insists… More >>
  • Best Promoter Of Cultural Diversity

    Steve Stuempfle

    Resident folklorist at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, Steve Stuempfle is the leading proponent of Miami's unique popular culture. An authority on Trinidadian steel pan music, the 41-year-old Stuemplfe arrived here two years ago from New York and immediately leaped into the pot of disparate cultures that makes Miami great. The Historical Museum, located with the main library and… More >>
  • Best Boxing Figure To Die In The Past Year

    Chris Dundee

    Dundee, elder brother of legendary boxing trainer Angelo Dundee, was himself revered by generations of fans and practitioners of the sweet science, especially here in Miami. From the Fifties until an incapacitating stroke in 1990, Dundee promoted hundreds of shows in South Florida, including the classic Cassius Clay-Sonny Liston bout of 1964. He managed four world champions and dozens of… More >>
  • Best He-Coon (Posthumous)

    Lawton Chiles

    Lawton Chiles… More >>
  • Best Fm Radio Personality

    Al B. Sylk

    Sylk, a recent hip-hop transplant from Philadelphia, took to Miami like an alligator to the Glades: He slid right into our cacophonous subtropical airwaves and made them his own. Shortly after his arrival, people began talking about "The Roll Call," his twice-nightly homage to listeners. "What's up, y'all, so what's it gonna be? Now, who's on the line with your… More >>
  • Best Reason To Buy The Sunday Miami Herald

    David Lawrence's columns

    David Lawrence's columns… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language Radio Personality

    Pedro Sevcec

    Widely known for his television show Sevcec on the Telemundo network, Sevcec's full range of talents are revealed on his radio show Sevcec Live, which airs from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. Monday through Friday on Radio Unica. Sevcec himself says he is in his true element on the radio. Listen to the show and you'll see what he means.… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    The Hotel - CLOSED

    When L. Murray Dixon designed the corner structure on Miami Beach's Eighth Street and Collins Avenue in 1939, it went by the name Tiffany Hotel. It still did until late last year. That's when South Beach urban-renewal pioneer Tony Goldman and hipster designer Todd Oldham transformed the place into an unpretentious treasure. Something must have gone terribly right because almost… More >>
  • Best Literary Journal

    Gulf Stream Magazine

    So you think Miami is all about bubbleheads whose most intense reading comes from their hair-gel tubes, right? And about people who would say Verlaine is a brand of sunglasses and Pynchon a species of fish, right? Think again, dude. This town was practically founded by highly literate people from the northeastern United States, e.g., author Kirk Munroe, one of… More >>
  • Best Place To People-Watch

    Denny's

    I'm new in town. Just rode in from Kansas City. I'm also hungry. Shuffling down Biscayne and eyeing some mighty fine ladies who look sorta hungry, too. Well, there's a Denny's right there on the corner. I walk in and the place is packed at ten o'clock on a Wednesday night. I can see a table of nuns in one… More >>
  • Best Art Cinema

    Absinthe House Cinematheque

    No booming THX sound. No giant curved screen. No reclining overstuffed seats that look like they fell off a spaceship. No handy drink holders. No uniformed minions peddling hot dogs, nachos, and candy. No computerized ticket dispensers. No call ahead and charge. No TV monitors broadcasting what time the movie you came to see will be playing. A smallish big… More >>
  • Best New Traffic Jam

    The Shops at Sunset Place

    The Shops at Sunset Place… More >>
  • Best Cartoonist

    Scott Baldwin

    No doubt about it, Miami is a surreal place, almost cartoonlike at times. Which may be why Scott Baldwin's Carter comics do such a wonderful job capturing the local cultural flavor, as seen through bohemian, but never jaundiced, eyes. The strip's protagonist, Brandon, is a wide-eyed fellow, beat down but still smiling, just trying to make sense of it all.… More >>
  • Best Bureaucrat

    Walter Foeman

    Foeman has never been charged with taking bribes. He's never committed voter fraud. Nor has he used his public position, one of the top three posts at the City of Miami, to slip influence to local developers or to lobby against Fidel Castro, a real possibility in a government historically obsessed with foreign affairs. Foeman survived Operation Greenpalm because he's… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen

    Elaine Lancaster

    "That was a small space, and I'm too big for small spaces," says drag queen Elaine Lancaster of a tiny bar on Lincoln Road where she worked recently. Sounds like Sunset Boulevard's Norma Desmond, who defiantly declared, "I'm still big; it's the pictures that got smaller." Lancaster, however, is referring not to her status but to her stature. She really… More >>
  • Best Hidden Neighborhood

    Allapattah

    Allapattah has always been there, right in the heart of Miami, a diverse and often picturesque twenty or so square blocks. But we don't really know what Allapattah is all about. Yes, it's one of those inner-city neighborhoods that used to be rich and white and is now poor and minority. But such a great mix: about 40,000 Nicaraguans, Cubans,… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Sanford L. Ziff Jewish Museum of Florida

    From the outside the Ziff Museum looks like an ordinary synagogue, but when you step inside and feel the bright sunlight streaming through the 80 stained-glass windows, you sense a vitality that comes from more than this building having once been a house of worship. Before there was a museum, there was a traveling exhibition called "MOSAIC: Jewish Life in… More >>
  • Best First Date

    Florida Marlins baseball

    Remember those heady adolescent days when shy, squeaky-voiced Romeos used baseball lingo to clumsily trade stories? Since then America's favorite pastimes have seemingly been at odds: Ask your heartthrob for a date, or catch a ballgame with the crew. It's a needless dilemma, we say. A simple test will prove the two aren't really opposites at all. To wit: Invite… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Fredric Snitzer Gallery

    Artist-turned-dealer Fred Snitzer is the godfather of Miami's contemporary art scene. He has outlasted art-world fads and real estate trends, persevering when others have grown discouraged with the local audience and art market. "It's frustrating," says the Philadelphia native, who first opened a gallery here two decades ago and for the past two years has been at his ample, cement-floored… More >>
  • Best Erratum

    From the Miami Herald, February 26, 1999: "A graphic that accompanied a Thursday story about the Delano Hotel contained two errors. The Delano is not being accused of illegal liquor sales. And the hotel is located on the Atlantic Ocean, not the Pacific."… More >>
  • Best Place To Practice Man's Oldest Pastime

    Stargazing at Bill Sadowski Park

    Before booty-shaking, before Frappuccino, before IMAX, before 24-hour gyms there was nothing to do after a long day of hunting and gathering but sit around and stare at the sky. If such simplicity makes you sigh, "Born too late," take heart. The Southern Cross Astronomical Society wants to tweak your inner Galileo. Saturdays between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. the club… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Goombay

    It's something of a looking glass: You enter one of Miami's tougher, more impoverished neighborhoods and find yourself in the Bahamas during a wildly fun street party. Dreamed up 22 years ago by musician Billy Rolle and some friends, Goombay commemorates and celebrates the history and culture of the first black settlers in South Florida. Each June the area around… More >>
  • Best Artistic Renovation

    The Buick Building

    If traffic is a little slow on NE Second Avenue, blame it on two giant paintings on the façade of the Buick Building, a former car showroom in Miami's Design District. The enchanting sight of the 24-by-12-foot portraits of Haitian freedom fighter Makandal and Aztec heroine La Malinche is sure to incite rubbernecking. The works are the realization of the… More >>
  • Best Flack

    Pam Brown

    Spokespeople for law enforcement agencies, particularly federal law enforcement agencies, have a mantra: "Can't confirm or deny." And aside from events such as photogenic cocaine busts or captures of fugitive murderers, a lot of public-information officers tend to invoke that mantra for everything. But some do try to help clueless reporters and members of the public; they try to find… More >>
  • Best Sportscaster

    Jim Berry

    Just about everybody has cable. Everyone who has cable and gives a dang about sports watches ESPN's SportsCenter. That program's formula of majorly moussed coanchors in snappy suits has established a new sports paradigm and spawned a slew of imitators (on CNNSI and the Fox Sports Network), as well as a sickeningly synergistic ABC noncomedy called SportsNight. So who's getting… More >>
  • Best Place To Meet Single Men

    Video rental stores

    We all know that single men are experts on every subject. (Gee, could that help explain why they're still single?) So what better place to play up to their egos than a video rental store? Not only can you ask for advice, you can also tell a lot about the guy by the video he chooses. For instance if he's… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    José Bedia

    Since his arrival in Miami in 1992, widely celebrated Cuban painter José Bedia has acted both globally and locally, showing extensively around the world while remaining active at home. Bedia's magic-realist paintings and installations display remarkable technical proficiency and an astute empathy for the human condition. His suggestive works featuring humanlike animal figures are inspired by Afro-Cuban religion and Native… More >>
  • Best Place To Meet Single Women

    Ariana's Cooking School

    Food is a potent aphrodisiac. Ariana Kumpis understands this. Sprinkled in amid her school's more serious fare ("All About Mushrooms," "Phyllo Delicacies") are several whimsical events geared toward the unhitched. A couple of examples coming up in June are "Sushi for Singles" and "Singles Pasta Evening." Guys, this is a good idea. If past classes are any indication, there are… More >>
  • Best Place To Play Pinball

    GameWorks

    Ask anyone in the coin-operated arcade game industry and they'll tell you flat out: Pinball is all but dead. [Editor's note: The reference to The Who song "Pinball Wizard" that had been here has been deleted. You're welcome.] Instead of playing that silver ball [We let that one slide.], kids today are more interested in blasting the unsettlingly real and… More >>
  • Best Place To Take Out-Of-Towners

    Virginia Key and Key Biscayne

    It'll cost you a dollar to catch a glimpse of this postcard setting across the Rickenbacker Causeway, but once over the threshold, you'll see South Florida as most South Floridians only wish it could be. There's so much here to keep you busy that the highlights alone will take a full day. If the kids haven't joined PETA yet, start with… More >>
  • Best Trade

    The Panthers releasing underachieving defenseman Ed Jovanovski to the Vancouver Canucks for rocket-fueled superstar Pavel Bure. The pocket change acquired by Florida in the deal (defenders Bret Hedican and Brad Ference) is worth more than Jovanovski alone. And Bure? Well, let's acknowledge that he's the ...… More >>
  • Best Political Poet

    Robert Gewanter

    "A lot of people claim I'm a rabble-rouser, a curmudgeon," Robert Gewanter says. "But I really don't see myself like that. I see myself like the little boy in the story 'The Emperor's New Clothes.' I'm just here to say the emperor is naked." Gewanter has been saying it every day for the past six years on the message board… More >>
  • Best Panthers Player

    Pavel Bure

    What a dull team the Panthers were, and not only compared to the sheen of their new National Car Rental Center. The anonymous faces circling between the blue lines were less exciting than the vertigo-inducing pitch of the Broward arena's seats. Early in the season, without even name-brand goalie John Vanbiesbrouck between the pipes, the Panthers sank into the league's… More >>
  • Best Melting Pot

    Orange Bowl parade

    Pity the poor Orange Bowl parade. After 62 years the annual nighttime procession up and down Biscayne Boulevard now teeters on the brink of irrelevance. What once was a national spectacle that reached 12 million television viewers has devolved into the nation's largest small-town parade. At the most recent event the mayor and the police chief rode by atop a… More >>
  • Best Heat Player

    Terry Porter

    The Heat didn't make many changes going into this strange, truncated season. Yet the addition of Terry Porter as a guard off the bench is proving to be an inspired move. At age 36 Porter is an old man in the NBA. But his experience and tenacity are bringing solid rewards as valuable as the speed and lift he might… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made President

    Adolfo Henriques

    Named president and CEO of Union Planters Bank of Florida this past year, Adolfo Henriques oversees a financial institution with more than two billion dollars in assets. But it is his involvement in the community that earns him the most respect. As chairman of the Financial Emergency Oversight Board for the City of Miami, he helped see that troubled municipality… More >>
  • Best Miami Fusion Player

    Diego Serna

    In the Fusion's inaugural season, this spunky Colombian was high-scorer. He was MVP. He's got wheels, a nose for the goal, and a rocket shot. Perfect striker material, and as the season progressed, and the coaching staff changed, he found both his position and his confidence. By the end he was scoring in every game, and hat tricks weren't uncommon.… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    José Quiñon

    If it was in the news, José Quiñon was on the case. In fifteen years as one of Miami's top criminal defense attorneys, Quiñon defended a dizzying roster of Miami marauders. From Operation Court Broom to Operation Greenpalm, from Gutman to Gary, from oft-indicted Hialeah potentate Raul Martinez to Cuban American National Foundation president Pepe Hernandez. For a short while… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    Zach Thomas

    For years the Dolphins were an offensive showcase. Of course a weapon such as Hall of Fame quarterback Dan Marino can be hard for a coach to ignore. Jimmy Johnson, though, never lost sight of his primary pledge to improve the team's defense. Mission accomplished. The Dolphins now possess one of the best defenses in the league. No defender better… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Marie Rovira

    Tough couple of years for the 36-year-old Hialeah native. Now that she's awaiting sentencing after pleading guilty in April to federal corruption charges, the great irony is this: She's in a tight spot, facing up to ten years in prison, because some of her pals wanted to help her out of a tight spot. After being elected to the Hialeah… More >>
  • Best Reading Series

    Books & Books

    Miami may not have much of a reputation as a haven for bibliophiles, but you'd never know that from spending time in the backroom of Books & Books's Coral Gables store. John Grisham may rule the Beaches, but the caliber of talent holding court in this intimate spot is strictly topnotch. Week after week store owner Mitchell Kaplan shepherds authors… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Jeb Bush

    There is little doubt that losing in 1994 made Jeb Bush a better candidate for governor in 1998. It also may have made him a better person. Bush worked hard this past year to broaden his appeal to the people of Florida, reaching out to black voters and listening to their concerns. He also tempered his rhetoric, talking less about… More >>
  • Best Hurricanes Football Player

    Edgerrin James

    All he did was rush for more than 1000 yards in two straight seasons. All he did was gain a mind-boggling 299 yards and score three touchdowns against top-ranked UCLA. All he did, basically, was put the Hurricanes back on the map. The importance of the victory over the Bruins, a game in which James was the winning difference, cannot… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Cynthia Curry

    It's been five years since county commissioners, in a politically charged vote, selected Armando Vidal as their county manager over Cynthia Curry. At the time Curry was seen as the big loser. What a difference five years can make. Today the county is racked by scandals and mismanagement. Commissioners have been arrested, department heads indicted, and Vidal, fired by the… More >>
  • Best Jai Alai Player

    Daniel Michelena

    Ho hum. The best jai alai player in Miami? Michelena. Still. As always. Forever. Since he debuted as a rookie in 1983, the Basque native has dominated his curious sport like no other athlete in the city. Marino? Mourning? No, Michelena. At age 37 he's not quite a world champion anymore, but he does have a world cup title on… More >>
  • Best Miami Herald Writer

    Linda Robertson

    She's 36 years old, has been a staff sports writer with Miami's Only Daily since 1983 and a columnist for the past five years. Her columns touch on all sports, at all levels of competition, and are marked by a directness and clarity of thought often lacking not only in the sports pages but throughout the paper's other sections as… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Matt Mantei

    Forget Demolition Man. This 25-year-old reliever (a Florida native) is the unheralded star of our mediocre team. He works hard, pitches at better than 90 miles per hour, and closes games as easily as some people close their garage door. This past year he put up numbers that placed him among the National League's ten best relievers, and this year… More >>
  • Best Beacon

    NationsBank Tower

    The NationsBank Tower (née CenTrust Tower) is a beacon in the Miami-Dade night if ever there was one. It also illuminates a dark episode in U.S. banking history. Each evening just after sundown, the 47-story skyscraper reflects a diaphanous color du noir that ranges from orange, aqua, red, light green, and dark green to purple, pink, and white. But from… More >>
  • Best Marlin

    John Henry

    Henry, who took over the Marlins ball club from evil overlord Wayne Huizenga on January 13, already has two World Series rings. (He was part-owner of the New York Yankees from 1992 to 1998.) And he has owned all or part of the Class AAA Tucson Toros and the West Palm Beach Tropics. The Tropics, an old-timers team, boasted several… More >>
  • Best Party Of The Year

    Halloween on Lincoln Road

    In this town where a party is something that takes place in a nightclub, organized by a professional event planner, the spontaneous spook show on Lincoln Road is wonderfully refreshing. Drawn by little more than the fact that the pedestrian walkway is an ace spot to see and be seen, the crowds gather. Women strut in full Brazilian carnival regalia,… More >>
  • Best New Cinema Innovation

    Automated box offices

    AMC likes to boast that it is changing the way South Florida sees movies. This might just be true if the amount of time spent waiting in line for tickets could be dramatically reduced. Now comes AMC's automated box office machines at Aventura and Sunset Place. Could long box-office lines be a thing of the past? Take your credit card,… More >>
  • Best Ten-Round Fight For Women's Rights

    Roxcy Bolton

    Did you hear the one about the genteel Southern woman who kicked some old-boy-network butt? Roxcy Bolton has been delivering punch lines like this for decades. Her intrepid spirit and quick thinking have brought about momentous changes in the arena of women's rights in Miami. Some women work to break the glass ceiling, the systemic barriers women face in rising… More >>
  • Best Artist To Leave Miami

    Kenny Scharf

    He came, he saw, he didn't exactly conquer. So the pop artist is picking up and making a new start of it in Los Angeles, his hometown. The 40-year-old painter, who gained fame in New York in the Eighties, and his wife Tereza, a yoga teacher, are planning to relocate this summer with their two teenage daughters. Scharf to the… More >>
  • Best Ventriloquist

    Chris Korge

    Lobbyist Chris Korge is a master ventriloquist. Just look at his most recent performance before the Miami-Dade County Commission. One of Korge's clients, BellSouth, wanted to sneak through an extension to their lucrative pay-telephone contract with the county. So Korge tapped one of his favorite dummies, Commissioner Bruno Barreiro, to make the motion. While watching Barreiro "speak" in favor of… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Bryan Norcross

    Well, hello, Bryan. It's so nice to have you back where you truly belong. No more awful anchor duties for you. You're a 100 percent pure, honest-to-goodness, full-time weatherman again. For the life of us, we can't imagine why you would have wanted to be an anchor and read all those dreadful stories about planes crashes and wars and missing… More >>
  • Best Lost Treasure

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas

    On May 14, 1998 the environmental conscience of South Florida passed from the scene. Marjory Stoneman Douglas died five weeks after her 108th birthday. Although she wrote eight books (including an autobiography) during her long life, it was her 1947 classic, The Everglades: River of Grass, that helped elevate her from writer to icon. Douglas is rightly compared with Rachel… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    97.7 FM (unlicensed)

    This is the real adult-contemporary format: DJs play everything from Motown to hip-hop, with no annoying commercials. Ads are rare on 97.7, though every once in a while an MC will plug a gig of his own or one of his buddies. But every business has bills to pay, right? This station is also interactive and community-oriented. Especially amusing are… More >>
  • Best Car Wash

    Supershine

    Wasn't it Nietzsche who posed this existential conundrum: "Why wash it? It'll just get dirty again." If this is your philosophy, chances are you're not too keen on paying someone to polish your clunker. But even a die-hard nihilist could be swayed by the talents of the Supershine crew. For $10.95 they'll perform the automotive equivalent of a baptism. It… More >>
  • Best Ballpark

    Mark Light Stadium

    This ballyard on the campus of the University of Miami is everything good about going to a baseball game, you think as you lean forward on your concrete bench along the first-base side of home. Especially on a late winter day like today, with enough clouds to offer shade yet not threaten rain, and the wind blowing briskly out to… More >>
  • Best Fire

    American Airlines Arena

    This is one combustible town. In the past year we've had brushfires and a tanker-truck explosion close highways. We had a bird's-eye view when a welder sent passengers scrambling aboard the cruise ship Ecstasy. We saw an unhappy Hialeah citizen set Raul Martinez's car ablaze, a beach lover torch the faux wooden village behind the Delano Hotel, and a music… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Ben Mankiewicz

    The Times news broadcast has emerged as the most promising show on WAMI, Barry Diller's year-old effort to create the most glamorous UHF station in the world. Mankiewicz, host of the 10:00 p.m. Times, is already the sharpest anchor on the local airwaves. Admittedly it's a matter of style. Mankiewicz appeals to viewers who don't want their news anchors to… More >>
  • Best Local Landmark

    American Airlines Arena

    Sport utility vehicles, colored contact lenses, designer cell phones -- all trappings of this town's torrid affair with flash. We'll mortgage our souls to almighty plastic for an opportunity to show off. No surprise, then, that the prospect of a shiny new waterfront sports arena lit us up like a nine-year-old at Christmas. Indulgent Miami-Dade Mayor Alex Penelas gladly kicked… More >>
  • Best Boxer

    Robert Daniels

    Cruiserweight Daniels, a graduate of Jackson High, is the only Miami-born fighter to hold a major world title, the World Boxing Association championship from 1989 to 1991. He has been either a contender or a world champ almost all his professional career, which by now spans nearly fifteen years. Yet Daniels has never attracted the recognition his boxing skills merit,… More >>
  • Best Reason To Stay In Miami During The Summer

    Midnight swims

    The Atlantic Ocean in August: bathtub-warm, no crowds, lots of stars overhead.… More >>
  • Best Tv News Reporter

    Mark Londner

    To watch a lot of local television news is to appreciate just how good a reporter is Mark Londner. Viewed side-by-side against his competition, the Channel 7 senior correspondent's story is likely to be the most thorough and the most balanced. Londner simply digs deeper to add the context that television news stories so often lack. Also excelling, in different… More >>
  • Best German Real Estate Mogul

    He's in great shape, he's handsome, and as far as we know he's still single. This stud from a long, well-bred line (a little hip dysplasia a few generations back, but that's all straightened out now) is Gunther IV, the sly dog that bid on Sly's bayfront mansion. Unlike Miami's other resident German magnate (the one who took the honors… More >>
  • Best Theater Series

    Summer Shorts festival

    The summer is long in South Florida, but at this series produced by the City Theatre group, the plays are shorts. Summer Shorts, that is. The nearly four-year-old festival that celebrates five-minute dramas may indeed present several dozen Florida and world premieres of tiny works, but the producers don't skimp on quality. Each playwright (last year there were more than… More >>
  • Best Renovation

    The Deering Estate at Cutler

    In 1992 Hurricane Andrew churned with all its fury over the old estate of industrialist Charles Deering that had been a public park since 1985. The stone mansion Deering built in 1922 stood up remarkably well, suffering mainly bashed doors and windows, waist-deep water on the first floor, and the loss of a few outside columns. But the wooden Richmond… More >>
  • Best Director

    Rafael de Acha

    He may not have presented the most provocative play or even the strongest season this past year, but New Theatre's artistic director Rafael de Acha made his mark on the South Florida theater scene by continuing to invest his productions with a personal vision. In the past year he presented eight new plays and one stunningly original double bill of… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    The Cat

    Living in South Florida allows us to experience certain things people residing elsewhere simply cannot, such as passport checks at the county line, close encounters with automatic weapons, and cruising to Nassau at 50 miles per hour aboard a humongous catamaran. The Cat, 300-feet long and 85-feet wide, is a massive vessel that can carry up to 750 people. If… More >>
  • Best Ensemble Cast

    Don Juan in Hell and A Christmas Carol

    "Acting isn't nice," says theater innovator Anna Deveare Smith, acknowledging the naked edges that cut to the heart when a performance uncovers complex truths. Okay, it's not nice. But sometimes it's quite palatable nonetheless. Especially when those doing it are as talented and cohesive as the troupers comprising the New Theatre's double bill Don Juan in Hell and A… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Flagler Greyhound Track

    Admission to the grandstand is free. Parking is 50 cents. The rest -- how much to bet on the dogs -- is up to you. But along with the free entrance, you get much more. First, there's that ineffable thing called ambiance. The Flagler track and its habitués are about as far from the synthetic world of the shopping-mall entertainment… More >>
  • Best Theater For Drama

    Florida Stage

    Every theater is saddled with the same basic challenge: figuring out what audiences want. At Florida Stage founder and producing director Louis Tyrrell isn't looking over his shoulder to see what others are doing. Nor is he serving up crowd pleasers just to sell tickets. Instead he's leading the way with challenging programming you can't see anywhere else. In the… More >>
  • Best Chutzpah

    Mayor Raul Martinez

    This man has cojones like no one else. Earlier this year he asked the Hialeah City Council to pay him $1.2 million to cover his back pay (with interest) during the three years he was suspended from office while successfully fighting multiple federal corruption charges. He also wanted his legal fees covered. The only thing more amazing than the request… More >>
  • Best Production Of A Play

    Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde

    Take one Victorian homosexual on trial, add a twentieth-century talk show host, a courtroom full of lawyers, some Aubrey Beardsley drawings, and lots of cute boys in their underwear, and you'll have Gross Indecency: The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde. The show, an Outer Critics Circle Award-winner in New York, received a superior Florida production thanks to Caldwell Theatre Company's… More >>
  • Best Hero

    Vincent Michael Powell

    It was a little after 4:00 a.m. this past July 3 when ten-year-old Vincent awakened to the smell of smoke in his Liberty City home. "I woke up because it got so hot," Vincent told the Herald last year. "The smoke detector was going off, and the hall was filled with smoke. At first I didn't even know what was… More >>
  • Best Tattoo Artist

    Troy Lane

    With so many tattoo parlors around Miami (especially in South Beach, where there's one for every pizza joint), choosing someone to ink you is more challenging than ever. Just about every shop has an acclaimed artist, but Troy Lane stands out in a field of master craftsmen. Lane, who has received accolades from many tattoo publications, is a thirteen-year veteran… More >>
  • Best Speed Trap

    Miami Shores

    Some police officers aren't fond of that term. "We don't do speed traps," one says. "We do selective traffic enforcement." Yeah, Smokey, whatever. We know they love to lurk, and the lurkiest of all are Miami Shores's finest. Their quiet little village stands astride four major north-south arteries, giving the coppers there ample high-speed prey. A particularly rich hunting ground… More >>
  • Best Book By A Local Author

    This Way to the Crypt

    This collection of more than 100 black-and-white pictures by University of Miami photography professor Michael Carlebach reveals a quirky sensibility wedded to polished technique. Carlebach's images are drawn from the Sixties through the Nineties, and though the settings include locations throughout the United States, the vast majority were shot in South Florida. The photographer has an eye for both the… More >>
  • Best Local Phantasmagoria

    Fires rage, heat broils, smog chokes, Spiderman goes down, Odio goes free, Surana remains free, Cuban bands play freely, Shops at Sunset clog, I-95 stays clogged, rain falls, too cold, too hot, too wet, too dry, more fires, Ecstasy burns, arena burns, Miami High gets busted, Gutman gets busted, Gutman gets elected, Bush gets elected, Commodore Bay gets paved, more… More >>
  • Best Production Of A Musical

    Das Barbecü

    Thanks to the proliferation of Broadway tours, South Florida audiences are never far from at least a glimmer of the Great White Way. What's harder to sample are the off-Broadway hits, shows whose quirkiness or bold attitudes preclude them from fitting into the mainstream. One such musical was Das Barbecü, the riotous, Hee-Haw-inspired adaptation of Wagner's Ring cycle presented by… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Peter Haig

    It's a strange job, pretending to be someone else. But when Peter Haig takes on a role, he dons an entire new universe along with it. This past season we caught him portraying two appealingly morbid characters: Vincent Vincent, a representative of a do-it-yourself euthanasia group in Eric Chappell's comedy Natural Causes; and the Devil in Ten Short Plays about… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Debra Whitfield

    Plenty of actresses can hold your attention while half-dressed in a bra and slip, but can you think of one who can get you to forget what she's wearing and instead try to figure out what's going on inside her head? Think of Debra Whitfield, who portrayed a self-possessed political lobbyist in Michael T. Folie's The Adjustment at the Florida… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Sunset Place 24

    Admit it, you like fun movies. It's okay, the artsy types can't hear you; they've moved over to their own artsy theater category. Squinting at subtitles is nice, but truth be told, you find a good high-speed chase, fart joke, or sci-fi calamity more cathartic. Sunset Place offers 24 screens of simultaneous purgation, plus all the goodies: stadium seating, cushy… More >>
  • Best Yoga Class

    Michelle Weber

    Seekers along the path of enlightenment will be glad to find Michelle Weber, a diminutive yet powerful yogi who floats around Miami to teach more than a dozen classes per week in Coconut Grove, Fisher Island, South Beach, downtown Miami, and South Miami. In addition to four years of training in Ashtanga, the 29-year-old Weber also has a master's degree… More >>
  • Best Little Haiti Cultural Repository

    Libreri Mapou

    The very survival of Haiti's richly diverse culture is uncertain, threatened by decades of social, political, and economic dislocation and destruction. It's notable, then, that there are widely thought to be more books written in Haitian Creole on Libreri Mapou's shelves than in the entire nation of Haiti. And by now the number of educated Haitians who have fled their… More >>
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