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People & Places

  • BEST DISAPPEARING ACT

    Liz Balmaseda

    Ever since the Miami Herald killed Balmaseda's column last June, the paper just hasn't been the same. Frankly, we miss the flood of woeful tales about hapless Cuban immigrants who pine for the homeland. Her weepy prose was like a warm blanket. We also miss the fact that when it was pointed out she wrote endless columns about hapless immigrants… More >>
  • BEST READING SERIES

    Miami Book Fair International

    Wolfson Campus

    Year in and year out, this November fair demonstrates that South Floridians do have an appetite for intellectual stimulation. Over the course of a week, hundreds of bibliophiles trudge downtown to hear writers present their latest tomes, followed by the thousands who fill the streets around MDCC for the final two-day extravaganza. Organizers bring in nationally and internationally renowned heavy… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DONATE YOUR CLOTHES

    Camillus House

    Think global, act local. Camillus House has been serving Miami's poor and homeless for more than 40 years, and given the way the economy is going, their unfortunate ranks are likely to grow. So start exploring your closets and dressers with this rule in mind: If it hasn't been worn in a year, it's time to go. Don't fret that… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ARTIST

    Jos Bedia

    The master. Those familiar black forms and silhouettes that help us travel through Bedia's artistic journeys -- into exile, across seas, to the African motherland, into the spirit world -- returned better and yes, bigger this year, reminding us that the master of Cuban contemporary art lives right here. We saw his recognizable yet singular pieces at Art Basel, the… More >>
  • BEST NEW LAW

    Miami Beachs ordinance restricting campaign contributions by lobbyists

    The revolution may or may not be televised but it certainly will be litigated. The revolt here is aimed at decreasing the power of money over candidates and the civic process generally. Last year Miami Beach commissioners passed an ordinance to require lobbyists working the city to disclose their fees. They and their clients make money from the public so… More >>
  • BEST ART OPENING

    come

    The mass of openings around Art Basel were incredible, but don't forget that there were 51 other weeks this year. On a Saturday night in March one show stood out above the rest. Holograms hung from the ceiling, sat on the floor, were mounted on walls. The images changed as you moved through the darkened warehouse space that is the… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC WORKS PROJECT

    Hadley Park

    Residents experienced shock and awe when Miami administrators used public money to actually build something decent in Model City, one of the poorest neighborhoods in the nation's poorest city. This $3.5 million, one-story facility is so nice that even Commissioner Art Teele is proud to hold public meetings there at the Black Box Theater or the big new carpeted conference… More >>
  • BEST DANCE PERFORMANCE

    Lia Rodrigues Dance Company

    Such Stuff As We Are Made Of

    They flopped, naked, across the art gallery's floor. They looked like fish, struggling to return to water. As they flopped by your feet, you watched as the muscles propelled them around the room. You watched them flip from backside to frontside, and moved to get out of their way. The dancers from Rio de Janeiro put on quite a show,… More >>
  • BEST TOLL BOOTH

    Okeechobee toll plaza

    Florida Turnpike

    These are arguably the least congested toll booths on the turnpike's Homestead extension. Easily readable signs direct motorists to four SunPass lanes, four exact-change lanes, and eight change-provided lanes. The 75-cent toll also buys you a nice glimpse into the overdeveloped western fringes of Miami-Dade County, with cloned single-family houses to the east and explosive rock-mining operations to the west. … More >>
  • BEST SPORTS VENUE

    Orange Bowl - CLOSED

    There's no denying the creaky old stadium in Little Havana is dirty and decayed. If the right nut or bolt were to come loose, the whole thing might come tumbling down. But sporting events like soccer matches and football games -- the two most often played there -- are not meant to be tidy. For a truly raucous sporting experience,… More >>
  • BEST HEROES

    Miami-Dade County voters

    You know who you are. On September 10, 2002, you voted to maintain the county's human-rights ordinance after a bruising campaign spearheaded by religious fanatics who wanted to delete the words "gays and lesbians" from the local anti-discrimination law. For many the repeal effort evoked the days of Anita Bryant's vicious anti-gay campaign, the stain of which still clings. You… More >>
  • BEST POET

    Adrian Castro

    Over the past several years the name Adrian Castro has been a frequent sight in this paper as a contributor, as well as a 1994 Best of Miami winner for Best Poet of the Spoken Word. But this bard's work is worth a fresh look if only for the joy of immersion in bilingual verse. Chanting phrases, stitching lines together… More >>
  • BEST-KEPT SECRET

    World Chess Hall of Fame & Sidney Samole Chess Museum

    Just north of the SW 152nd Street exit from the Florida Turnpike, a pink-and-white checkered building with a 50-foot-tall rook's tower provides an odd counterpoint to the endless suburban sprawl of strip malls and cookie-cutter housing developments. The building houses the corporate headquarters of Excalibur Electronics (makers of electronic novelties) and the World Chess Hall of Fame & Sidney Samole… More >>
  • BEST HEAT PLAYER

    Caron Butler

    His stats aren't as good as those of Eddie Jones or Brian Grant, but this 6'7" forward is still a rookie. And while other rookies -- Houston's Yao Ming and Phoenix's Amare Stoudemire -- have caught the media's eye, Butler has played more minutes than any other rookie, and he consistently ranks among the top rookie scorers. He was picked… More >>
  • BEST CITIZEN

    Daniel Ricker

    Three years ago we said Ricker was our Best Gadfly. Given his dedication and perseverance, this new honor, Best Citizen, is well deserved. Ricker goes to 2500 mind-melting meetings annually, from the Public Health Trust's purchasing subcommittee to the Efficiency and Competition Commission to the Alliance for Human Services' nominating council to the school board's audit committee. Sometimes he's the… More >>
  • BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Jim "Mad Dog" Mandich

    Mandich may have the experience and credentials to be a jock-talk radio host (including three NFL Championship rings, one from his play as tight end on Miami's undefeated 1972 Dolphins squad), but it's his voice that really reaches out and boxes your ears. Where other jock-talk personalities embrace goofy sports-geek overenthusiasm or know-it-all laconicism (like Hank Goldberg, Mandich's colleague at… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT WOMEN

    Prana Yoga Center

    A good body is not enough for you. You're also looking for a good soul and a good mind. And so is she. Only those serious about complete body-mind development study the strenuous practice at Prana. She is not doing this for you. But if you are strong and faithful and prove yourself worthy, that Tantric future you are visualizing… More >>
  • BEST HAIR

    Pat Riley

    Miami Heat

    Even as Riley (a former championship coach, and one of the NBA's top winners) saw his team take a nosedive in the standings and his pocketbook take a $70,000 hit for post-game tantrums about unfair referees, his hair remained unflappable. Riley has been rocking the evil-stockbroker, Armani-suits-and-slicked-back-coiffure look since the Eighties, and it doesn't look like he'll stop until he… More >>
  • BEST BOONDOGGLE

    Miami bus benches

    Or should we say "bus benches" -- because who are we trying to fool? We all know these new contraptions are lucrative mini-billboards disguised by Sarmiento Advertising Group as seating units for the bus-riding masses. And as bus-riders themselves will tell you, the proof is in the scorching heat that radiates from the benches' metal bars after a few hours… More >>
  • BEST THEATRICAL PRODUCTION

    Floyd Collins

    Actors' Playhouse

    Miracle Theatre

    This stunning, dreamlike musical was not only the clear champion of the season, it was the best of the past several years. Featuring the gorgeous, complex chromatic harmonies of composer Adam Guettel and Tina Landau's textured, character-driven book, Floyd Collins tracked a simple, true-life tale of a Kentucky man who got stuck in a cave, a misfortune that became a… More >>
  • BEST POWER FAMILY

    The Diaz-Balart family

    What other clan could blithely carve out a new U.S. Congressional district expressly for an ambitious family member? That ambitious one would be Mario Diaz-Balart, the termed-out state senator and brother of Lincoln Diaz-Balart, self-proclaimed future president of Cuba. The Diaz-Balart boys' addiction to politics stems from a vein that runs deep in the family. Their grandfather and father, both… More >>
  • BEST FILM FESTIVAL

    Miami International Film Festival

    Local movie lovers erupted in thunderous applause on opening night, February 21, when FIU president Mitch Maidique finally publicly acknowledged former festival director Nat Chediak and his eighteen years at the helm. But if this year's resurgence in attendance is any guide, Miamians seem to be moving on from that nasty internal imbroglio and are supporting the festival for the… More >>
  • BEST PROMOTER OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY

    Jose Elias Mateo

    Founder and organizer of the Afro Roots Festival for the past five years, a regular hand at Rhythm Foundation world-music shows, and longstanding member of the traditional Cuban outfit Conjunto Progreso and the jazz group Mantra, Jose Elias just can't get enough of different cultural stuff. As anyone who has heard the ambitious occasional performances by his Afro-Polyphonic Space Orchestra… More >>
  • BEST DIRECTOR

    David Arisco

    After dutifully plugging away at the Actors' Playhouse's usual lineup of tepid material, Arisco finally found the right vehicle for his considerable talents with the challenging, evocative Floyd Collins. Arisco's careful staging of the claustrophobic, emotionally powerful dialogue was balanced by his masterful handling of the carnival-like crowd scenes in a production that blew the roof off the staid Playhouse.… More >>
  • BEST I-95 ADVERTISEMENT

    Mr. Bidet

    Every day he assaults the senses of the unprepared and quickens the mirth of the accustomed. Trapped in crawling traffic beneath his welcoming gaze, thousands of worker bees trying to make downtown-Miami money without actually having to live there contemplate his message. Is it a commandment? A suggestion? A calling? A joke? "For a Healthy Clean Tush," Mr. Bidet advises.… More >>
  • BEST MARLINS PLAYER

    Luis Castillo

    Castillo, a Dominican who's been on the team since 1996, grabbed national attention last year with a 35-game hitting streak and so many stolen bases that state troopers were looking to send him to Starke. He's risen from a kind of low-confidence junior to a second baseman with remarkably few errors and a batting average that climbed from .240 in… More >>
  • BEST POLITICIAN

    Julio Robaina

    Robaina is a 41-year-old BellSouth service technician who slugged his way up from small-town politics to the state stage in November 2002. Whatever you think of him, he's shown some political savvy along the way. When he ran for mayor of South Miami six years ago he wooed the Police Benevolent Association, whose union muscle and manpower proved essential to… More >>
  • BEST LEISURE ACTIVITY OTHER THAN CLUBS OR MOVIES

    The beach

    With winter 2003 one of the coldest and snowiest on record (tee hee!), one should not take for granted the ability to dip one's tootsies in the ocean or bay, with impunity, in the middle of February. Florida natives or long-time residents whose blood has thinned may well shun the sands until midyear, though the height of summer is our… More >>
  • BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR

    Barton G's grand opening

    October 18, 2002

    Indomitable party czar Barton G knows more than anyone the elements needed for a successful social gathering: a fabulous setting, plenty of tasty food, and endlessly flowing drink. Add to that a couple of aloof giraffes, a friendly chimp, half-naked dancing girls, a selection of disco stars, and teeming hordes struggling to get in and you have the ultimate affair,… More >>
  • BEST SAILBOAT RENTAL

    Sailboats of Key Biscayne

    Crandon Marina

    Size really doesn't matter. Nestled along the southern part of the marina, this little rental place gets more fun from less space. Boat sizes range from 22 to 25 feet. There are Catalinas for the faint of heart, Hunters for the more adventurous, and J's for the hard-core speed freaks. If you don't know what you're doing, take a class.… More >>
  • BEST NEW TRAFFIC JAM

    SW 152nd Street, 117th Avenue, and the Florida Turnpike on-ramp

    As the city spills ever outward, formerly rural residential land becomes densely populated suburban sprawl. This particular traffic nightmare -- about a mile east of Metrozoo -- is a maze of too-short turn lanes spilling stopped traffic onto busy SW 152nd Street, traffic lights at seemingly random intervals, horn-honking motorists, and general craziness that makes people wonder whatever happened to… More >>
  • BEST SANCTUARY FROM THE FAST TRACK

    Ancient Spanish Monastery

    We don't know about you, but we've been around these parts long enough to admit to a kind of airsickness and bone-tiredness of all this Starbucks-KFC-Subway-Howard Stern-no money down-fatal accident on the Palmetto-¡tu eres comunista!-we'll pay you to drive this SUV-live on the scene of a drive-by shooting-South Florida ambiance. And sometimes we dream of getting back to a quieter… More >>
  • BEST DISPLAY OF WEALTH

    Joe Arriola

    When a guy can afford to donate his salary to charity, you know he's loaded. Arriola, Miami's blue-eyed angel of death -- er, city manager -- made off with a cool $42 million when he sold Avanti/Case-Hoyt, his family's printing business, two years ago. Since then he's done a magnificent job of flaunting his wealth. First he joined Merrett Stierheim's… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE YOUR VISITING MOTHER

    Afternoon tea at the Biltmore Hotel

    The South Beach flesh market might be a little intimidating for a woman of a certain age. You can only visit so many malls. And sunbathing at the beach does bring up the ugly specter of skin cancer. The perfect answer to entertain and impress a visiting matron, an activity that will in fact make your mother feel like a… More >>
  • BEST BUILDING LOBBY

    Eden Roc Hotel

    At the Eden Roc it's always the Fifties, baby. Just like it oughta be. You walk into the lobby, with its staircase floating down from the mezzanine, fluted rosewood columns, and ornate terrazzo floors. Spin in a circle. So much open space it's breathtaking. You can almost see Sammy Davis, Jr., tapping across the floor toward Harry's bar, where Frank… More >>
  • BEST FRINGE THEATER

    Mad Cat Theatre Company

    Miami Light Project

    Unfortunately, with the closing of Drama 101, competition for this award has dwindled further. But fortunately we still have Mad Cat. This troupe led by Paul Tei dares to be different. It doesn't always work, but that's what experimentation is all about. Mad Cat also has done a great service for Miami in attracting and developing that elusive "younger"… More >>
  • BEST SIMPLE PLEASURE IN THE MIAMI HERALD

    "Last Night", by Nicholas Spangler

    Spangler is a blue-eyed, ruddy-cheeked 26-year-old with an old man's voice and a talent for the well-turned phrase. He spends his afternoons and evenings attending the most obscure functions, from little girls primping at a hair salon to rabbis blessing a restaurant to a drag-queen diva primping for a night on the town -- in short, the thousand little moments… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWS REPORTER

    Jilda Unruh

    WPLG-TV (Channel 10)

    While her specialty remains thrashing the school board, teachers' union, and classroom chaos, this "Pitbull in Pumps" (a nickname from her days in Tulsa television) has branched out recently. She's looked into everything from failing police radios in Miami Beach to prescription drug prices to medical fraud. For her fans, Jilda knows how to cut to the chase. To the… More >>
  • BEST TOURIST TRAP

    Bayside Marketplace

    One can easily debate the wisdom of our city fathers having turned over a waterfront park to a mall developer who populated the place with chain restaurants and stores you can find most anywhere. But such concerns don't appear to trouble the brows of the hordes who routinely descend on Bayside every weekend and who look like they're having a… More >>
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

    Lisa Morgan

    Morgan has long been well-known and well liked on the local theater scene, but her work this season really showed off her range of skills. The British-born actress recently knocked off the crotchety Scottish housekeeper Mrs. Hudson in Sherlock's Last Case for Actors' Playhouse, plus some bizarre comedic cameos as an android actress and a wacky wigged hooker in Comic… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN

    The Home Depot

    Who's not looking for a handyman? But aren't all the tool-toting studs at Home Depot engaged in some kind of home improvement project for the little missus? Maybe, but Home Depot delivers testosterone in such bulk it really doesn't matter if a high percentage are married. And unlike the bar scene, few married men here think to remove their wedding… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL FEMALE BOXER

    Patricia "Patty" Martinez

    The fact that "Patty" is so easy to chant is not the reason 107-pound junior flyweight champion Patricia Martinez wins fans at her bouts. This 32-year-old Chicana, who works as a legal interpreter, is a scrappy, fast, and fearless slugger. She won the U.S. National Amateur Championships in 1997. As a pro she's been unstoppable, amassing a 10-1 record and… More >>
  • BEST 2 REASONS TO LEAVE MOVIEMAKING TO HOLLYWOOD

    Bad Boys II and 2 Fast 2 Furious

    More >>
  • BEST ART CINEMA

    Sunrise Intracoastal Cinema

    For whatever reason, Miami is not a huge art-house film town. (Too many other distractions perhaps?) The Sunrise Intracoastal is one of the very few venues in the county to regularly program foreign and independent fare -- and keep it on the screen for longer than the opening week. Easy, plentiful, and free parking more than compensates for the less-than-new… More >>
  • BEST HOMELESS HANGOUT

    Lummus Park

    The trick is to stash your skank bag (the sizable trash or cloth sacks in which the homeless drag their stuff around) somewhere else before you start holding up a palm tree. That way the cops won't know you're one of them. Then you get a pair of shades, clean up as much as feasible, hide your bottle of Natural… More >>
  • BEST INNER-CITY POET

    Trikky

    Overtown

    In Tap Tap one night, talking about the successful poet Rashida Bartley, we became aware of a series of horrified snufflings and belchings, air expelled in violent ssssss's, denoting high dudgeon and street-level contempt. Looking around we saw a purplish-colored fellow in seamed black rags, but with a Ritmo wristwatch and red leather Tiffany's journal, small and boiling, like a… More >>
  • BEST MANIFESTO

    Miami Educational Review

    Prof. Brian Peterson

    Everything you ever wanted to know about local education (from pre-k to post-doc) and so much more. History professor Peterson, a slight man with glasses, a limp, and a sardonic smile, creates somewhere between seven and ten e-mail newsletters weekly and sends them to a few hundred people. The newsletters are partly a compendium of education-related articles in major newspapers… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Regal Cinemas South Beach 18

    Now the lone moviehouse in all the beaches, the Regal South Beach undoubtedly benefits from having a captive audience at its disposal. Weekend evenings can be disconcertingly chaotic at times, but its location at the corner of Lincoln and Alton roads makes it unbeatable for the perennially favorite combo: dinner and a movie. With summer upon us, beat the heat… More >>
  • BEST MIAMI HERALD WRITER

    Jim DeFede

    The Miami Herald was a favorite DeFede target for the ten and a half years he was employed by this newspaper. Now that he's toiling away in the belly of the beast, his crusade against corruption, incompetence, malfeasance, official mediocrity, and, well, official idiocy appears to continue unencumbered by the powers-that-be -- at least so far. The first page of… More >>
  • BEST PANTHERS PLAYER

    Olli Jokinen

    The best man on a mediocre team, center Jokinen leads the Panthers in points, goals, and assists. He was expected to be a star after Los Angeles selected him third in the 1997 draft, but he ended up being wildly inconsistent his first four seasons. Since then he has greatly improved, which is good news for the Panthers, who've been… More >>
  • BEST NEW BUILDING

    Miami Rescue Mission Community Activity Center

    You know immediately that something is different about this warehouse. It's the same height as the others but the roof forms some nice angles. The tri-color scheme -- terracotta, olive, and clay -- on its tripartite front wall tells you maybe it's not a warehouse at all. "It's about uplifting you," architect Marilyn Avery says of her creation, located in… More >>
  • BEST CHILDRENS THEATER

    Actors Playhouse Musical Theatre for Young Audiences

    280 Miracle Mile

    Coral Gables

    305-444-9293

    www.actorsplayhouse.org

    South Florida is blessed with an abundance of theater for kids, but none tops the Actors' Playhouse, which takes children's theater very, very seriously. For starters the Playhouse, one of the area's major professional companies, has created an entirely separate children's division, led by peripatetic artistic director Earl Maulding. He produces a full season of plays for children, as well… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE HEAVEN

    Doris Wishman

    Her passport put her age at 82, but relatives think she was at least 90 when this nation's grande dame of the sleazy art film departed Miami this past August 10 on a nudist cruise to hell. At least that was the destination Doris Wishman always thought she'd booked, owing to the naughty nature of her movies. Indeed her reputed… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS COACH

    Art Kehoe

    This wasn't a good year for most South Florida head coaches. Pat Riley's championship vision fell out from under him. Dave Wannstedt's game planning was plagued by second-guessing. And four out of five South Floridians can't even name the Marlins' or Panthers' coaches. The only consistent winner has been the University of Miami Hurricanes football team. Insiders know that the… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY MADE HEAVEN

    Kid Gavilan

    Cuban immigrant Gerardo Gonzalez was one of the most popular boxers of the Fifties. As "Kid Gavilan" he won a world title against Johnny Bratton in 1951 at Madison Square Garden. He was inducted into the Boxing Hall of Fame in 1990. Gavilan was notorious for overwhelming his opponents with flurries of punches coming from all angles, and coined a… More >>
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

    David Kwiat

    It's about time Kwiat received recognition as a one-man repertory company. A chameleon of an actor who appears regularly in many local theaters, Kwiat is a director's dream. He can take the tiniest role and turn it into a perfectly realized character. Some of his recent work was memorable -- the brooding Irish drinker in The Weir and the embittered… More >>
  • BEST RESTORATION

    Olympia Theater

    As anyone who has schlepped from parking lot to parking lot on a "historical tour" of the city knows, history in Miami is written by the pavers. The Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts is a stunning exception. A show-stopper since opening as a silent movie palace in 1926, the theater was rescued from an asphalt… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOXER

    Lamar Cochise Murphy

    Even with an injured hand, Lamar Murphy, native son of Overtown, continues to win professional lightweight bouts. At a recent Miami Fight Night, the 30-year-old brawler dominated Colombian rival Isidro Tejedor, landing vicious left jabs and uppercuts. Despite an injured right, his fleet feet and stubborn resolve scored the points he needed. With a 29-6 record, the 135-pound Murphy is… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH

    El Presidente supermarket

    Now, any Presidente supermarket is inherently interesting. Something about those crowded shelves and even more crowded aisles brings all the excitement and hot tempers of an urban Latin American street market indoors. But plop a Presidente down in the midst of a huge Haitian community and you have the beginnings of a whole new language. What does the skinny teenage… More >>
  • BEST ACTRESS

    Claire Tyler

    Comic Potential

    Sometimes a performer finds the perfect role, or the perfect role finds her. Maybe it's karma or the planets' alignment. Maybe it's sheer luck or hard work -- or all of the above. Whatever the reason, Claire Tyler was the right actress in the right role as JC333 (Jaycee Triplethree), the android actress heroine of Alan Ayckbourn's dark fantasy Comic… More >>
  • BEST PRANK PHONE CALL

    "Hello, Fidel!"

    Forget Howard Stern, the Jerky Boys, or Comedy Central's Crank Yankers. For sheer creativity the year's best prank telephone call came courtesy of WXDJ-FM (95.7) and Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero, co-hosts of El Zol's El Vacilón de la Mañana (roughly: The Morning Blast). Piqued at being snubbed by Mexican President Vicente Fox, Fidel Castro had released a private phone… More >>
  • BEST THEATER

    New Theatre

    This year the nod goes to the New Theatre, Coral Gables's Little Theater That Could. It may be tiny in size but its creative vision is large indeed. Recently recognized as one of the top 50 theaters in the nation by the venerable Drama Guild of New York, the New Theatre promotes inclusion as well as excellence. It is one… More >>
  • BEST PANHANDLER

    Dan McKinney

    Dan normally strolls Lincoln Road, but he can also be seen on Collins up around 21st Street. He claims this award because of his attitude and his sad story. He has no problem discussing his life. Mainly the subject is what happened to his left hand. All that's left is a nub resembling a potato. He says he lost it… More >>
  • BEST TV STATION

    Amrica TeVe (WJAN-TV Channel 41)

    Some of América TeVe's shows are the boobiest in boob-tube history. Thanks to Tania, Rocio, Isis, Taymi, and Kathy's. Wrapped in shimmering, colorful, skin-tight outfits, they make even the dumbest variety shows exciting. Well, how else are you supposed to get people's attention? Fights about politics is another way. Let's get to the punch: Maria Elvira Confronta, the show with… More >>
  • BEST SOUP KITCHEN

    Camillus House

    Every day from 3:30 to 5:00 p.m. everybody eats. No sermons. No complicated rules like the Salvation Army and some church soup kitchens hit you with. Donny Esmond is a man you can talk to: "If a guy makes a real effort, we see he's trying, we can help him get back on his feet. But if you're just hungry?… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL WRITER

    Les Standiford

    Standiford made his reputation as the unofficial godfather of the South Florida crime thriller by way of an intrepid building contractor named John Deal. Deal is a world-weary average-guy protagonist with a knack for getting in and out of bad situations. While the credit for this popular character (appearing in six novels) goes to Standiford's tightly woven, literate prose, the… More >>
  • BEST BANK FOR THE BUSY

    Beach Bank

    555 Arthur Godfrey Road

    Miami Beach

    305-695-7400

    Ahh, the impersonal nature of banking. Sure, that ATM perennially spouting cash is convenient, and that check card can be pretty handy too (even though your account's been drained three times by retail-sector thieves). And yes, online banking means you can monitor funds and pay bills right at your desk -- just like your boss does when he isn't watching… More >>
  • BEST SATURDAYS

    Surreal Saturdays

    PS 742

    Deep in the heart of Little Havana, on many a Saturday night, you'll see a strange scene for Miami: people paying to see performance art in this black-box space. Call it a small sign of our growing maturity -- paying for experimental theater, and not just on one Saturday. The surrealness can include lots of things, and in fact it… More >>
  • BEST SECOND ACT

    Nat Chediak

    Anyone who thought Nat Chediak's career was over when he and the Miami International Film Festival parted ways hadn't been following his career closely enough. An historian of Latin jazz and a music producer (and film producer, with associate-producer credits on Fernando Trueba's homage to Latin jazz musicians, Calle 54), Chediak won a Latin Grammy last fall for producing the… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL WEBSITE

    www.thewomb.com

    It's more than a Website. It's an Internet broadcast station with a worldwide audience and a studio three stories above the Miami Beach intersection of Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue. The Womb has nurtured a growing collective of local electronic-music artists and DJs since 1997, when it lit the airwaves as a pirate radio station. Today the site broadcasts live… More >>
  • BEST NEW COMMUNITY INITIATIVE

    Greater Miami Prosperity Campaign

    Miami is poor, poor, poor. Miami is so poor it's not even funny. Almost one-third of city residents live in poverty, according to the 2000 Census. More than eleven percent are unemployed, and per capita income overall is less than the cost of an economy car. Almost half our residents never graduated from high school. Don't even get us started… More >>
  • BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

    Floyd Collins

    Actors' Playhouse

    Much of the success for this year's smash Floyd Collins lies with its solid-gold ensemble that produced one memorable performance after another. Besides Tally Sessions's work in the leading role, the show featured Blythe Gruda as the ethereal, off-kilter sister Nellie, Brian Charles Rooney as their moviestruck brother, Jerry Gulledge as their haunted father, and Lourelene Snedeker as their warm-hearted,… More >>
  • SECOND-BEST REASON TO STAY IN MIAMI FOR THE SUMMER

    Back-yard mangoes

    They're sweet and juicy, big as softballs, and more numerous than flies on a cow. They're versatile, too. You can make them into breads, cakes, salsas, jams, or chutneys. And if you know someone with a tree (and who doesn't at least have a friend of a friend?), mangoes are free all season, from spring to autumn, when mango-tree owners… More >>
  • BEST RADIO STATION

    WCMQ-FM Clásica 92 (92.3)

    You've never heard an oldies station quite like this one. Yes, Roy Orbison's "Only the Lonely" has been played to death by DJs -- but how about Los Locos del Ritmo's note-for-note Spanish-language take on that wistful ballad? Or Roberto Jordán's Spanish cover of Redbone's bouncy Seventies classic "Come and Get Your Love"? Or Vianey Valdez's rousing rendition of the… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE SHOT ON LOCATION

    Bad Boys II

    For closing down the MacArthur Causeway, BBII lived up to its name. But we're willing to bet that once the film opens, all will be forgiven. The original Bad Boys was arguably the first film to portray Miami as a truly urban center, with all its glitz and its grit, and we have similar expectations for the sequel. Besides the… More >>
  • BEST ACTOR

    Tally Sessions

    Floyd Collins

    With a powerful singing voice and boundless energy, Sessions conjured up the memorable title role in the best show of the year, staged by Actors' Playhouse. Sessions's Floyd Collins was a high-spirited Huck Finn whose entrapment in an underground cave led him from optimism to panic to horrible despair. Sessions is that rare musical-theater performer who keeps his work fully… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO STAY IN MIAMI FOR THE SUMMER

    Sultry nights

    Summer in Miami can make you want to hole up like northerners do during deepest, darkest winter. We race between the cool comfort and the deep freeze of office buildings, malls, and restaurants. We shun our barbecues and stoves (who wants to stand over a hot piece of metal?) and our patios (too many mosquitoes). We curse those monsoon downpours… More >>
  • BEST TORTOISE VIEWING

    Robert Is Here

    About seven years ago Robert Moehling, owner of the renowned fruit and vegetable market bearing his name, boarded a collection of turtles and tortoises for his friend Richard Paul, who was leaving town. Moehling was thinking trash removal. The creatures helpfully eat his organic refuse. Now the acre he set aside for the hardbacks has become an intriguing roadside stop.… More >>
  • BEST PARKING IN MIAMI BEACH

    Twelfth Street between Alton and Michigan avenues

    Psssst, this is a good one. Absolutely free parking, with only the thinnest of strings attached. A two-block stretch of Twelfth Street next to Flamingo Park's athletic field is reserved for school buses during high school games, mainly football. It's busy a handful of nights a year. The rest of the time? Absolutely free unlimited parking. No residential permit required,… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO LOSE WEIGHT

    Inside your car

    State Road 836

    August

    The damn car's A/C broke. Hurricane season has begun, with temperatures never dipping below the average on planet Mercury. And you're stuck in that perpetual traffic jam next to the airport. Life couldn't get worse. But hark! There is a very thin silver lining. Bring on the heat! Bring on the sweat! Bring on the tractor trailer that cuts in… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC RESTROOM

    Jimmy'z at the Forge

    Outhouse of mirrors. First drink: It's a fun house. Second drink: It's the ever-receding reflection of your sense of self. Third drink: It's the Versailles (the one in France, not Little Havana)!… More >>
  • BEST TRADE (SPORTS TEAM)

    Miami Dolphins running back Ricky Williams

    During his first season in aqua and orange, the dreadlocked one busted out for 1853 yards on the ground. That broke the Dolphins' single-season rushing record and garnered for Williams the NFL's rushing title. (He also broke Miami Herald sports columnist Dan Le Batard's record for most coverage in a single season.) The Dolphonics gave up two first-round and two… More >>
  • BEST BUS RIDE

    Route B

    Miami-Dade Transit's Route B is a study in contrasts. Originating downtown, your bus soon offers a postcard view of the concrete jungle you left behind and of the Brickell skyline as it crosses the Rickenbacker Causeway on the way to the manicured municipality of Key Biscayne. This trip affords access to several of Miami's prime recreation locales. You can hop… More >>
  • BEST DOLPHINS PLAYER

    Patrick Surtain

    He has long been regarded as the team's best defensive player and the most underrated cornerback in the league, often overshadowed by the team's other Pro Bowl corner, Sam Madison. But this season Surtain wasn't content to let his six interceptions speak for themselves. Having learned that media savvy can do as much for a career as game-day heroics,… More >>
  • BEST LAWYER

    Richard Sharpstein

    Why? Because he's so damn entertaining. Because he's not afraid to lie down in a $1000 suit in front of a jury to approximate a corpse. Because he comes up with cute nicknames for opposing counsel (he mockingly told a jury that if federal prosecutor Allan Kaiser got his way, police would blow kisses to criminals rather than arrest them;… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GO STONED

    Santas Enchanted Forest

    Bird Road at the Palmetto Expressway

    When you're baked, nothing beats a carnival of lights. Santa's Enchanted Forest, which runs from early November through the first week of January, is a great place to bug out and munch out. First you go through the acid-inspired Christmas displays, enhanced by more than three million flickering Christmas lights draped overhead in the forest of Australian pines. Along the… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY GONE BAD

    Antonio Verdugo

    Well, okay, the Lord never said, "Thou shalt not defraud thy neighbor with electoral fraud." But Tony! Neither did He say, "Go forth and bear false witness to petition signatures because homosexuals belongeth to an axis of evil." In the absence of an explicit prohibition, our local Christian Coalition leader apparently figured there'd be no problem. The issue was repeal… More >>
  • BEST MUSICAL

    The Lion King

    No doubt about it, the hands-down winner this year was the touring production of the long-running, groundbreaking Broadway musical hit, featuring director Julie Taymor's stunning visual imagination. Using a blend of lithe, live actors; huge carnival-like puppets; and an array of exotic theatrical traditions, Taymor took the popular Disney animated movie and did it one better, reinventing it as spectacular,… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT MEN

    The Dorsch Gallery

    Take some advice from Art History 101. Sit on one of the benches in the center of the main gallery and fix your eyes on a far corner of the room. Then take a visual sweep along the walls, making smaller and smaller circles, until you see an intriguing piece of ... art. Sidle into the side gallery behind your… More >>
  • BEST SPANISH-LANGUAGE RADIO PERSONALITY

    Edmundo Garcia

    The 37-year-old Garcia was known in Havana as the host of the television program De la Gran Escena (From the Big Scene). "I talked about literature, film, and theater," he says. Anything but politics. His eschewing of that, he says, cost him his job in 1999, after fourteen years on the Cuban national boob tube. "I want to live in… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRL GONE BAD

    Trista Rehn

    She came from St. Louis to Miami, innocent and earnest, to get her degree in physical therapy from UM. She got it and began aiding old folks and kids with accident or disease-based problems. An admirable life of helping others. But then she caught a glimpse of the Miami Heat dancers and succumbed to her inner star complex. It's been… More >>
  • BEST DANCE COMPANY

    Maximum Dance Company

    Since its first performance in 1997, Maximum Dance has offered Miami balletophiles a refreshing alternative to the tediously typical tutued-lady-lead-dancer-lifted-by-boy-prop programs. Though co-directors/choreographers David Palmer and Yanis Pikieris have put in time as principal dancers with respected older groups like the Joffrey and Miami City Ballet, their own electrically energetic ensemble does muscular, modern-way-beyond-Balanchine ballet that is deliciously unpredictable. Their… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL MISCALCULATION

    Annie Betancourts anti-embargo gambit in the race for U.S. House District 25

    Here's how it (and she) went down: In October 2002 Democratic state Representative Betancourt became the first elected Cuban American in Miami-Dade County to openly oppose the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. Her foe, state Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, claimed the embargo was Betancourt's only issue. It didn't matter to Diaz-Balart, a Republican, that Betancourt actually did have other issues: prescription… More >>
  • BEST STORYTELLER

    Nicholas the Storyteller

    Nicholas Cole is an odd, gentle fellow with the manner of a man not quite of this time and place. Silver of beard, typically clothed in flowing, monkish robes, Cole is a practitioner of the ancient art of storytelling. For years he's been a regular at Renaissance festivals, coffeehouses, restaurants, bookstores, and bars around South Florida. His specialty, you might… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD

    Jorge Moreno

    We're not jealous of you Jorge, we're proud! We've seen your handsome face adorning those humorous videos, and we know the rest of the world has been chuckling with them as well. We watched you win Best New Artist at the Latin Grammys, then go on to be nominated for Best Latin Pop Album at the non-Latin Grammys. You were… More >>
  • BEST DRAG QUEEN

    Shelley Novak

    Miss Novak, dazzling in her trademark blond wig, ersatz pearls, and unshaven chest, was present at the New Times fifteenth anniversary party in December 2002. She had this to say: "Ohhhh, you work for New Times? I've got a bone to pick with you. Do you know I've never been chosen Best Drag Queen? This is stupid! You gave it… More >>
  • BEST FESTIVAL

    Art Basel Miami Beach

    Nothing like it has ever happened here -- a spectacular success for both Miami and the world that came to see it. It was also a quince of sorts, our own coming out and maturing party. We were ready to host the planet's biggest international art fair and to impress those who followed it here. The Switzerland-based event dropped into… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWS ANCHOR

    Lynn Martinez

    We've always had a love-hate relationship with Channel 7, whose local news programs best represent the kind of town Miami is -- loud, obnoxious, superficial, sometimes ridiculous, but family, you know? Lynn Martinez, a WSVN reporter and anchor for the past twelve years, is adept at handling the station's split personality. At 5:30 and 6:30 p.m. she's professional newscaster Lynn,… More >>
  • BEST HOTEL

    The Creek

    This hotel has its own creative director! You know the place by its former name, the Banana Bungalow, perched there at the tail end of Indian Creek on Collins Avenue. It still has that fabulous, sweeping-roofed glass-encased lobby. The Fifties rooms have not been remodeled. But the Signature Rooms have been "redecorated" by artists and designers. You can take the… More >>
  • BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR

    Working Stiffs: Occupational Portraits in the Age of Tintypes

    By Michael Carlebach
    Smithsonian Institution Press

    Working Stiffs is an insightful and fascinating account of the popularity of tintype photography at the turn of the century. Carlebach, a University of Miami professor, does a magnificent job of not only explaining but honoring the values of America's working class. "For these sons and daughters of toil, born into a society that still valued making things more than… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC SERVANT

    Oliver Kerr

    Miami-Dade County Department of Planning and Zoning

    For some reason that baffles us, a lot of local public servants don't seem to understand that the public's information is as precious as its purse. But Oliver Kerr, supervisor of the Miami-Dade planning and zoning department's demographic unit, does understand and sets the gold standard for info-currency. He represents Miami-Dade in the Urban Institute's National Neighborhood Indicators Partnership, which… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE

    Biscayne Bay

    You should, of course, advise visiting friends to arrive on a daytime flight, window seat, the better to appreciate the sparkling azure waters as the plane swoops down toward MIA. Their appetites whetted, sign 'em up for Action Helicopter's 30-minute, 45-mile aerial tour. It lifts off from Watson Island and includes the port, the downtown skyline, Vizcaya, and Key Biscayne… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL PHANTASMAGORIA

    Sunny Isles goes up, Fontainebleau mural goes down, DCF kids go missing, Rilya still missing, Stierheim stays, rain stays, Mas Santos seeks a dialogue, Alonso seeks a defense fund, gay rights are challenged, priests are accused, more rain, more DCF kids missing, DeFede goes mainstream, Beach Memorial Day goes on, Stiltsville goes public, Cubans get smuggled, Warshaw gets released, Alex… More >>
  • BEST SPORTSCASTER

    Ducis Rodgers

    WSVN-TV (Channel 7)

    No local sportscaster has a meaner task than Ducis Rodgers. His hosting duties on WSVN's weekly Sports Xtra should earn him combat pay. In addition to sifting through local team tidbits, commenting on star athletes' antics, and providing steep segues for boring golf highlights, he is required to referee the two most indigestible personalities on South Florida television: fellow reporter… More >>
  • BEST SOUP KITCHEN IN COCONUT GROVE

    Govinda's Dining Room

    Since 1989 the Krishnas have been serving up excellent vegetarian grub to anybody who walks into their Coconut Grove garden. The dal and rice are plentiful, and the perfumed curries are sweetened with coconut. No matter how broke you may be or how defeated you may feel, the food and atmosphere at Govinda's will make you feel better -- no… More >>
  • BEST MAGAZINE

    Closer

    Okay, Closer isn't really a 'zine, and it really isn't from Miami (nightclub owner -- Blue, Respectable Street -- Rodney Mayo publishes it out of West Palm Beach), but there's definitely a freewheeling, anything-goes attitude typical of 'zines running through its pages. A recent issue offered the requisite fashion spread, poetry, a story about Miami Beach's Aquabooty club, a reprint… More >>
  • BEST CULTURAL AMBASSADOR

    Craig Robins

    The young developer topped even himself this year. Robins has always been involved in the cultural life of Miami-Dade County, from his days rehabilitating South Beach to his move over to the Design District. It's there that he showed the world what we could be if we tried. During Art Basel, Robins's company, Dacra, opened many Design District buildings to… More >>
  • BEST GADFLY

    Count L.F. Chodkiewicz Chudzikiewicz

    The Count, as he's known at Miami Beach City Hall, is a small man struggling to balance magnificent obsession with an abiding interest in historical minutiae. Both qualities are satisfied by the Count's 27-year quest to claim a share of the European fortune of distant German relatives, lost somewhere between the demise of Prussia and the Holocaust. But since 1994,… More >>
  • BEST OUTDOOR ART

    Art Positions

    Art Basel Miami Beach

    Okay, the art itself wasn't outdoors; it was inside cargo containers clustered on the sand across Collins Avenue from the Bass Museum in Miami Beach. But let's be serious: This was outdoor art at its best. Hundreds of works of contemporary art were displayed in twenty containers, each housing an alternative gallery from around the globe. From Madrid, from Tokyo,… More >>
  • BEST ECONOMIC DISASTER

    Argentina

    The terrible situation that has befallen the country that was once the most solidly middle-class in Latin America has resulted in an exodus. Many Argentineans, especially the younger generation, have relocated to Miami. It is our gain and their homeland's unfortunate loss. Yes, we recognize that a hefty percentage are here illegally, but like other immigrant groups before them, we… More >>
  • BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITIES

    Paul Castronovo and Young Ron Brewer

    Zeta (WZTA-FM 94.9)

    In an age when nonstop, homogenized hip-hop thumps from virtually every FM station in Miami 24/7, Zeta's morning duo gets mad props for pushing the boundaries of bad taste: encouraging alcohol and drug abuse, subjecting women to ridicule and degradation on Wednesday's popular "Love Connection," enthusiastically promoting wholesale sexual deviancy. Paul and Ron began their "hectic revelry" shtick in 1990… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN

    Einstein Bros. Bagels

    Two words: after workout. A South Beach body cannot live on liposuction alone. After a strenuous ab workout, a girl's gotta eat -- and this brightly lit carbohydrate refueling station is just a brisk walk from Gold's, Crunch, Ironworks, Idol's, and David Barton -- making it a favorite meeting place for the aerobics-enhanced. Remember, for nearly an hour after vigorous… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    Museum of Contemporary Art

    Last year MoCA featured a large exhibit of works by Jack Pierson, a midcareer American conceptualist in his early forties. While certainly grateful for the attention, Pierson expressed surprise, even embarrassment, at having a museum retrospective so early in his life. But that is exactly the sort of thing we've come to expect from MoCA. Museum director Bonnie Clearwater has… More >>
  • BEST PHOTO SHOOT

    Coral Rock Village

    Picture an enchanted jungle village with coral walkways leading to cozy stone cottages with arched doorways and Spanish-tile roofs. Picture flowers and birds and some fairy tale only you could write. Gladys Margarita Diaz and Ray Jourdain live here in this secluded estate, built from native rock in the Twenties, and they rent the smaller cottages. But they and all… More >>
  • BEST HURRICANES FOOTBALL PLAYER

    Willis McGahee

    The searing image from this year's Fiesta Bowl was the collision that left Willis McGahee's knee twisted 45 degrees the wrong direction. The mighty Miami Hurricanes never fully recovered from losing their top rusher and scorer, a runner who demolished team records with 1753 yards and 28 touchdowns this season. Worse was McGahee's apparent personal loss. Before the gut-wrenching hit,… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE GOOD

    Cecilia Altonaga

    On May 6, 2003, by a unanimous vote of the U.S. Senate, Altonaga became the nation's first female Cuban-American federal judge. President George W. Bush personally nominated her, sidestepping a list of South Florida candidates forwarded by the state's two senators, Bill Nelson and Bob Graham. The move provoked cries of foul. It's clear Bush wanted a Cuban female in… More >>
  • BEST ART GALLERY

    Locust Projects

    It's that unmarked warehouse in the warehouse district, down the street from the cluster of services for the poor and homeless. The one that had a show with a giant flamingo made of bubblegum prostrate on the floor, the sole artwork in the otherwise barren space. The one with exhibits titled "Pigs and Lint" and "The Night Crazy Legs Went… More >>
  • BEST VALUE ON OCEAN DRIVE

    Front Porch Caf

    Located at the more sedate, northern end of this beachfront strip, the Front Porch dishes up fair-priced, hearty portions from morn' till night. The best seats in the house are, as the name would suggest, on the front porch, where the scenery stretches from Lummus Park to the dunes to the Atlantic. Or lower your gaze slightly to watch the… More >>
  • BEST ACTIVITY TO DO WHILE INTOXICATED

    Sober up at Puerto Sagua

    Your night out is over. You step out of the club's raging din and onto the sidewalk, where the relative silence is as shocking as a slap in the face. Head spinning, you realize you might not be up for the drive home just yet. Stumble over to Puerto Sagua for a no-frills Cuban meal in an atmosphere easygoing enough… More >>
  • BEST HIDDEN NEIGHBORHOOD

    Normandy Isle

    Miami Beach

    Most drivers en route between Miami Beach and Miami via North Bay Village likely pass unawares through this North Beach neighborhood. Overshadowed by nearby Little Buenos Aires (Collins in the Seventies), Normandy Isle is a discrete entity, surrounded by the bay and canals, including one that divides the island in two, offering many residents water access and providing a training… More >>
  • BEST WEATHERCASTER

    Don Noe

    Sun may scorch our skin. Heat and humidity can blanket us. Heavy rains could bombard. Tornadoes might threaten. Hurricanes may barrel our way. No sweat. Don Noe's presence -- calm, cool, reassuring -- and his finely tuned forecasts are all we need. As chief meteorologist at Channel 10 (WPLG-TV), Wisconsin native Noe, a fixture on the South Florida airwaves for… More >>
  • BEST NOT-SO-CHEAP THRILL

    Harley-Davidson rental

    American Road Collection

    Sometimes the safety and efficiency of your Toyota sedan is positively suffocating. With so many SUVs hogging the road and polluting the air, yours screams mindless conformity. There are times when you need to break free and feel a liquid-cooled, 115-horsepower, 1130cc fuel-injected Harley engine vibrating between your legs as the wind blows through your hair. American Road Collection has… More >>
  • BEST NEW PLAY

    Anna in the Tropics

    Although this past season featured several premieres, the best of them was Nilo Cruz's steamy, sophisticated saga with its heady blend of raw emotion and poetic language set against an era of wrenching cultural and political change. The play was commissioned by the New Theatre and its artistic director Rafael de Acha, and funded by the National Endowment for the… More >>
  • BEST CHARITY

    Kiwanis Club of Little Havana

    The Calle Ocho street festival isn't just sweaty Spandex, lip-synching, hip-swinging, and flag-waving. It's also a multimillion-dollar fundraiser that allows the Kiwanis Club of Little Havana to provide desperately needed services to the neediest residents of the poorest city in the United States. With more than 150 volunteer members and a full-time staff of five, Los Kiwanis are busy year-round:… More >>
  • Michelle Bernstein

    Personal Best

    MICHELLE BERNSTEIN AZUL, 500 Brickell Key Drive (Mandarin Oriental Hotel), Miami ,305-913-8358 Michelle Bernstein is that rarest of Miami creatures: a true native. Which is why last year she was honored as Best Local Girl Made Good: "After working for others and then co-owning a short-lived but ambitious venture (The Strand), Bernstein took a major leap: She left South Beach for… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE

    Club Tropigala

    Fontainebleau Hilton

    This place is so over the top that even if you and your date are not a match made in heaven, you'll have to have a good time. Yes, the first-act dancers wear big fruit headdresses, but then the fun really begins. How about Rolando Salazar -- the "funniest comedian of the moment" -- dressed up as Venezuelan strongman Hugo… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF MIAMI

    Versailles Restaurant

    Is it the cakes in the bakery display cases, which look like a quinceñera's dress on steroids? Is it the crowd outside the to-go window sipping café cubano from thimble-size plastic cups while vigorously debating the topic du jour? Is it the muckety-mucks working the room in the main restaurant while the hoi polloi -- and some tourists -- consume… More >>
  • BEST CEMETERY

    Pinewood Cemetery

    Nestled in a classy residential neighborhood just south of Sunset Drive, this designated historical landmark is the last resting place for more than 200 Miami pioneers, many of them unidentified, most buried in the late Nineteenth and early Twentieth centuries. It officially became a cemetery in 1906, but settlers south of the Miami River were buried there as early as… More >>
  • BEST CHEAP THRILL

    Miccosukee Resort and Gaming Center

    The Miccosukee Resort's Café Hammock has the best steak-and-lobster dinner deal in town: $6.95 for surf and turf at the tribe's Eighth Street and Krome Avenue gaming palace on the edge of the Everglades. After the bargain meal you can lose all the money you saved on the food by sitting down at the casino's poker tables, slot machines, or… More >>
  • BEST MILE OF MIAMI

    Biscayne Boulevard from Sixth Street to Nineteenth Street

    This rapidly evolving stretch of Miami's signature thoroughfare embodies the highest of human aspirations and the lowest of human avarice. A few landmarks heading north from Sixth Street: The Freedom Tower and its symbolic representation of mankind's yearning for liberty; a hulking American Airlines Arena as proof that power and money always trump the public's interest; Bicentennial Park, now protected… More >>
  • BEST KIDS THRILL

    Friday nights

    Don Carters Kendall Lanes

    Happiness is a bumper lane. On a Friday night. With dance music blaring and all kinds of crazy shapes glowing purple, yellow, and green in the black-light strobes. Kids roll the ball between their legs with both hands; punch in silly names on Don Carter's fancy score-keeping computers; and if Mom and Dad get to paying too much attention to… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Andrea Curto-Randazzo & Frank Randazzo

    ANDREA CURTO-RANDAZZO & FRANK RANDAZZO TALULA, 210 23rd Street, Miami Beach,305-672-0778 They could be Best Power Couple. Andrea Curto-Randazzo and husband Frank Randazzo individually have made big waves in the culinary world. But now they're teaming up for a new venture, Talula Restaurant & Bar, and their combined talents might well unleash a tsunami. While zooming up the culinary ladder, Andrea and… More >>
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