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People & Places

  • BEST LOCAL PHANTASMAGORIA

    Canker creeps, Wagner Creek reeks, traffic snarls, rain storms arrive, Latin Grammys arrive, rapists prowl, kids take bullets, DCF kills, Omar Paisley dies, John Brennan dies, Leonard Pancoast dies, MIA rabbits get to live, Crandon Park cabanas live again, Augustín Roman steps down, David Leahy steps down, Constance Kaplan steps up, real estate goes up, cafeterías get busted, pot growers… More >>
  • BEST NEW CULTURAL TREND

    Warehouse district art gallery parties

    When the night ends, it doesn't matter if the artwork altered anyone's perception because, as they say, it was all good. Rocket Projects, at 3440 N. Miami Ave., was at the vanguard of this lowbrow cultural movement, always providing complimentary booze, DJ sounds, and even, on one chilly night, free barbecued chicken out back. OBJEX artspace's soirees tended to be… More >>
  • BEST HOTEL

    The Raleigh

    Step into the Raleigh and instantly you're transported to another time -- 1940 to be exact, the year prolific architect L. Murray Dixon's monument to Streamline Moderne design threw open its dazzling doors. Slink through the sophisticated lobby like the movie star you are. Slip into the cozy bar, boasting martini glasses festively illustrated in the terrazzo floor, for a… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL POET

    Kronos

    The future of poetry is on the streets. Urban angst and inner-city pressure have inspired the hip-hop generation to take up "spoken word," where emotion and intimation flow from moving lips to open ears. In Miami a young, dreadlocked, dark-skinned man known as Kronos (real name: Yves Verela) performs his poetry at art functions as well as popular poetry nights,… More >>
  • BEST NEW ARCHITECTURAL TREND

    High-rise lofts

    Builders are banking on Miami's magic in a big way. Somehow in the next two to four years -- poof! -- the downtown area, from Brickell through the newly christened Biscayne Boulevard Corridor, will fill with some 40,000 new residents eager to shell out a quarter-million to a million bucks to live in so-called lofts in chic neighborhoods. For now,… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL SPORTS TOURNAMENT

    Nasdaq-100

    This ten-day tennis tourney at Crandon Tennis Center on Key Biscayne has become the fifth biggest in the world, behind only the four competitions that form the Grand Slam. Last year's singles winners were Andre Agassi and, in a thriller against hometown favorite Jennifer Capriati, Serena Williams, who notched her second consecutive Nasdaq win at the 2003 event (followed by… More >>
  • BEST PROMOTER OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY

    Michael Spring

    As any starving artist knows, it is possible to create culture without money. But it's a heck of a lot easier to be creative with money. For the 1000-plus cultural groups in Miami-Dade County and thousands more individual artists, Michael Spring has been a crusader, benefactor, and best friend. The director of the county's Department of Cultural Affairs oversees an… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Sunrise Cinemas at Intracoastal Mall

    In the absence of a full-fledged art cinema, the place to see a movie may as well be chosen for its parking as much as its programming. Narrow ramps, cavernous floors, electronic parking-payment contraptions? No thanks. When you have only five minutes to put butt to seat before the credits roll, pull into the wide-open lots at Sunrise Intracoastal (for… More >>
  • BEST PEDESTRIAN EXPERIENCE

    Flagler Street from Twelfth Avenue to Biscayne Bay

    Power up for your stroll with a pinolio purchased at the Nicaraguan cantina on the corner of Twelfth and Flagler. A cold cocoa drink made with sweet milk, it's just the jolt you'll want to get you on your way. Heading east on Flagler, you'll pass street peddlers and homeless immigrants working hard to collect those nickels and dimes for… More >>
  • BEST ART CINEMA

    Miami Beach Cinematheque

    Since the lights first flickered on less than a year ago, the Cinematheque has established itself as the screen to be seen. In the heart of South Beach, the movie house's art-gallery setting provides a perfect scene for cineastes eager to enjoy true classics (Hiroshima, Mon Amour), rare oddities (Todd Haynes's Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story), or specific programs tied… More >>
  • BEST DISAPPEARING ACT

    Grand Prix of the Americas

    The event's original presenters -- Miami architect Willy Bermello, attorney Peter Yanowitch, and racing celebrity Emerson Fittipaldi -- fled the scene like a torqued-up Porsche when they sold their interest in the three-day extravaganza to Championship Auto Racing Teams (CART) for $1.2 million. Then, after wreaking havoc on the Biscayne Boulevard streetscape by removing architecturally significant pavers and relocating palm… More >>
  • BEST BUS RIDE

    Miami-Dade Metrobus Route 3

    Nobody truly escapes reality via public transportation, not even on a long day's journey from Government Center to Aventura via Biscayne Boulevard (and on to Miami Beach if you want). Go surreal: Put the L'Avventura in your field trip to Aventura and turn this ride into a mind film. Friends afeared you've vanished to the point no one will ever… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE GOOD

    "Jacki-O" Kohn

    Before Jacki-O's first album was even released, her hit single "Pussy (Real Good)" ("Nookie" in the clean version) was catching airplay and attention. The release of the album, Poe Little Rich Girl, by South Beach's Poe Boy Entertainment has been delayed, but the reviews are still hot: VH1 called her "the high priestess of the ghetto"; Rolling Stone said "she… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE SHOT ON LOCATION

    Stuck on You

    When gross-out auteurs the Farrelly brothers were looking to jump-start their decade-old project, the Siamese twins comedy Stuck on You, where did they go? To Miami, of course, a prime shooting location for such "Hollywood" schlock as Bad Boys II and 2 Fast 2 Furious. Granted, this would-be plea for greater understanding of physically conjoined persons starred slumming A-listers Matt… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRL GONE BAD

    Denise Calvo

    She was the wife of wealthy Coconut Grove businessman and philanthropist José Calvo, until his September 2003 murder by a gunman during what appeared to be a straightforward robbery. By all rights Denise Calvo should then have worn the mantle of grieving widow. Instead police and the media began asking questions, and her life didn't do well under the scrutiny.… More >>
  • BEST FILM FESTIVAL

    Rewind/Fast Forward Film & Video Festival

    South Florida does have a history, and it's damn rich, especially considering the city's relative youth. It begins about the same time Edison invented the movie camera. That's good news for the Florida Moving Image Archive, which collects and restores film and video to add to its visual storehouse -- actually a large, crammed-with-stuff bunker beneath the main library --… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRL MADE HEAVEN

    Ellen Moraskie

    She didn't grow up planning on a career in the music industry, but fate found Ellen Moraskie anyway. As senior vice president for Latin music at the Warner/Chappell publishing company in Miami Beach, the caring mother of two nurtured such songwriting talents as Elsten Torres (Fulano), Jorge Villamizar (Bacilos), and Fernando Osorio (author of the last hits of Celia Cruz).… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS

    Kitsch tour of South Dade

    Coral Castle

    After the out-of-towners get tired of the South Beach scene, load them in the car and drag them to South Miami-Dade for a tour of the old tourist attractions, the ones without neon and ex-models all over the place. If they were good enough for you when you were a tot, they're more than good enough for your ironic hipster… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL POLITICIAN

    Miami Mayor Manny Diaz

    The quiet, reserved Manny Diaz came out of nowhere in his 2001 mayoral bid against opponents who were far more prominent. He had been a well-liked but low-profile lawyer who was thrust into the limelight as part of the legal team trying to keep Elian Gonzalez in Little Havana. Initially his principal qualification, aside from having Elian credentials, seemed to… More >>
  • BEST ACTIVITY TO DO WHILE INTOXICATED

    Sloshball

    There was a temptation to write this item about great ways to sober up. But then we realized that getting sober is, quite literally, the last thing anyone wants to do when they're drunk. So we dug out (pun alert) some plans for all to have a sloshing good time. It's not baseball. It's not softball. It's Sloshball! The game… More >>
  • BEST NEWS FOR OVERTOWN

    Criminal investigations

    Once the thriving and prosperous heart of black Miami, Overtown has been in a downward spiral ever since brilliant bureaucrats thought it would be just fine to tear the place apart by running massive interstate highways through it. Today it is the poorest neighborhood in America's poorest city. Over the past decade roughly $70 million has been funneled into Overtown… More >>
  • BEST TOUR

    Miami Duck Tours

    One thing Bayside Marketplace didn't have, until recently, was land-and-sea tours. Literally. Thanks to Miami Duck Tours, passengers ride around the streets on the odd-looking World War II style vehicles (it's a truck! it's a boat!) and see the sights. Then the vehicles slide into Biscayne Bay for a water-based view of other sights. By land and by sea, it's… More >>
  • BEST KIDS' THRILL

    Zoo-Inn at Miami Metrozoo

    Ever wonder what the animals do at night after all the gawkers have left the zoo? Find out for yourself at a Zoo-Inn slumber party. September through June, Miami Metrozoo hosts groups of 15 to 30 nocturnal guests for overnight adventures. While the giraffes and elephants eat their evening grub, you'll nibble on pizza. Then a zookeeper will lead you… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE

    Olympia Theater

    Gusman Center for the Performing Arts

    In our fantasy, the best place for a first date would be an exotic faraway locale like Casablanca or Spain's Costa del Sol. We'd meet in secret under the stars, perhaps pursued by nefarious forces, in the ruin of an old Moorish castle by the sea. You would look stunning in the half-light, gingerly stepping around a peacock as you… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL CONVICTION IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Pat Tornillo

    The former United Teachers of Dade boss was a throwback to the days of smoke-filled rooms that admitted only good ol' boys. In 40 years Tornillo built the UTD into a political machine that propelled to power numerous school-board members, state legislators, even governors. With that kind of clout (and total control of the union), it wasn't so surprising to… More >>
  • BEST HEAT HOMEBOY

    Udonis Haslem

    A few seasons ago Tim James carried the University of Miami Hurricanes basketball team to its greatest heights, making it to the NCAA tournament known as "March Madness." He then qualified for the Miami Heat's twelve-player roster. Nothing came of it, though, and he was soon gone. This year Miami native and former Miami High School star Udonis Haslem not… More >>
  • BEST HIDDEN NEIGHBORHOOD

    Bayside

    Modern condo high-rises may tower over the five-block area just east of Biscayne Boulevard between 68th and 72nd streets, but history still lives there -- in the 208 houses of oolitic limestone, Dade County pine, and keystone that sit on the tree-lined streets of Bayside, designated an historic district by the City of Miami in 1991. Each street was platted… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A SECOND DATE

    Eden Roc

    You know you like each other. Now all you need is the spark that will set your love aflame. The grand circular lobby at the Eden Roc provides the perfect backdrop for larger-than-life romance. Get in the mood with a dry martini at the lobby bar while Patrick tickles the ivories and sings "The Way You Look Tonight." Hollywood-style romance.… More >>
  • BEST ARCHITECTURAL EYESORE

    Performing Arts Center

    Not just a building, it's a work of art. Maybe. Perhaps someday before we all die. In the meantime, the signs along the perimeter of this taxpayer-funded mess might read: "It's not just an ill-conceived albatross rife with multimillion-dollar cost overruns and design blunders, it's also a mangled mass of girders and construction guts spilling out onto Biscayne Boulevard,… More >>
  • BEST FESTIVAL

    TransAtlantic Festival

    While most stateside bands balk at making the drive all the way down to our southern tip of the Florida peninsula, the Rhythm Foundation for more than ten years has been bringing in top international acts from every part of the globe. Last year the foundation's TransAtlantic Festival introduced locals to some of the best and hottest World Music acts… More >>
  • BEST SPECTACLE

    Wake for Celia Cruz

    "Life is a carnival," Celia Cruz sang famously in her 1998 hit "La Vida es un Carnaval." Turns out that for the Salsa Queen, death was a carnival too. On July 19, 2003, three days after the 78-year-old singer's death, more than 70,000 bereft fans showed up to pay their last respects during her nine-hour public wake at the Freedom… More >>
  • BEST OUTDOOR ART

    Greenpeace Human Art Protest

    More than 1200 people showed up on a blustery winter day (January 17) to form a giant replica of Picasso's painting Amnistia on the sand of Miami Beach. The event was organized by the environmental group Greenpeace to protest the federal prosecution of activists who boarded a freighter ship off the coast of South Florida containing an illegal shipment of… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC-WORKS PROJECT

    Flood-control basin #1

    Hurricane Irene in 1999 and the no-name storm of 2000 produced severe flooding in West Miami-Dade, trapping thousands of residents in their homes and causing widespread damage. The inundations underscored the need for a major upgrade of the drainage systems in that part of the county, which is lower in elevation than other areas and which relies on the Tamiami… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOXER

    Glencoffe "The Gentleman" Johnson

    With a 40-9-2 record, Johnson would not, at first blush, be regarded as the favorite when he steps into a ring. But he danced around a spell of hard luck and bad decisions right into a victory over Clinton Woods to garner the International Boxing Federation's light-heavyweight championship. Johnson is regarded by fight fans as a hard worker who, though… More >>
  • BEST GADFLY

    A.C. Weinstein

    The ideal gadfly is an equal-opportunity abuser, which makes A.C. Weinstein, political columnist for the Miami Beach weekly Sun Post, somewhat less than ideal. Example: He is slavishly devoted to Beach Mayor David Dermer and obsessed with undermining Dermer's political enemies. But that aside, his columns are as enjoyable to readers as they are vexing to the targets of his… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL SPORTS COACH

    Jack McKeon

    Keep your sabermetrics, kiddo. The only number Jack McKeon needs to know when it comes to baseball is 72. That's how old McKeon was when Florida Marlins owner Jeffrey Loria tapped the venerable coach to take over as manager of his rudderless young team midseason in May 2003. And that's how many years McKeon's got in his gut telling him… More >>
  • BEST FLACK

    Seth Kaplan

    A slightly built fellow with shockingly red hair and an engaging manner, Kaplan is the guy who gets to answer the same question again and again: What's wrong with Miami voters? As spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Elections Department, Kaplan is courteous, helpful, and prompt. And he doesn't go home early. Which is good, because ever since the elections department… More >>
  • BEST MARLINS PLAYER

    Juan Pierre

    As leadoff hitter, Alabama-born center fielder Juan Pierre set the pace for the 2004 Florida Marlins and helped slay giants (and Cubs and Yankees, oh my). The main artery in a world championship team filled with heart, Pierre gave his all to hitting, base running, and fielding. He almost always put himself in the right part of the outfield at… More >>
  • BEST CAREER MOVE

    Michael Capponi

    Where do nightlife promoters go when the lights are turned on? Capponi, who leveraged South Beach party promotion into a small fortune without ever actually having to own a nightclub (thus avoiding all those pesky liabilities), has segued from making sure the dance floors are packed to partnering up with the starchy Ritz-Carlton South Beach as its "nightlife ambassador." But… More >>
  • BEST DOLPHINS PLAYER

    Ricky Williams

    If the Miami Dolphins can conjure up a quarterback and an offensive line, Ricky Williams will set rushing records for years. Combining speed and agility with Riggins-esque old-school muscle, Williams was the only moving part in the Dolphins' offensive engine last season. Williams's personality also makes him more interesting than your average hunnerdtenpercent-givin' jock: The 230-pound Heisman winner has dealt… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DONATE YOUR CLOTHES

    Good & Funky

    Good & Funky may well live up to its own hype as "Miami's hippest charity." In the thrift store's "premium" department you'll find designer bags, little black dresses, and Fifties modern lamps. But if you're looking to give rather than get, Good & Funky still is a good stop. Proceeds earned from the sale of your donations go to Grubstake,… More >>
  • BEST PANTHERS PLAYER

    Roberto Luongo

    The Florida Panthers are a mediocre team with an outstanding goalie. Despite tepid group play all around him, Luongo has been stellar this season, racking up six shutouts by late February, when he led the National Hockey League in saves and was second in the league with a stingy .934 save percentage. Luongo has gotten better over three seasons with… More >>
  • BEST DEFENSE AGAINST TERRORISM

    Haiti and Cuba

    With 95,000 miles of U.S. coastline to protect, it's nice to know the United States Coast Guard has more than 200 years' experience doing its job, especially considering that the Turkey Point nuclear plant and the sprawling, wide-open Port of Miami offer tempting targets to terrorists. Since 9/11 the Guard has mobilized reserves, mounting its largest defense since World War… More >>
  • BEST HURRICANES FOOTBALL PLAYER

    Kellen Winslow, Jr.

    The tight end finished second in receiving for UM this past season, but first in catching hell for his explosive verbal slants. One somehow morphed into a long bomb. The game in question: a humiliating 10-6 loss to Tennessee. Winslow, son of NFL Hall of Famer turned TV commentator Kellen Winslow, Sr., was peeved by the cheap shots Volunteers took… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL MISCALCULATION

    The Raul Martinez political machine versus the Hialeah Three

    Early last year political novices Vanessa Bravo, Cindy Miel, and Adriana Narvaez announced that they intended to oust three incumbent Hialeah city councilmen. The incumbents were toadies of Mayor for Life Raul Martinez, and so political pundits warned that the ladies would be obliterated by the well-oiled Martinez machine. But after campaigning in every nook and cranny of the county's… More >>
  • BEST TRADE

    Two minor leaguers for Jeff Conine

    It was a slow year for trades involving South Florida's major sports teams, but one that was executed with little fanfare turned out to be instrumental in a championship run. That was the trade for Jeff Conine by the Florida Marlins. One of the franchise's original players, Conine returned to his old club this past July, smack in the middle… More >>
  • BEST CANDIDATE FOR URBAN RENEWAL

    Biscayne Plaza mall

    Could the architectural wasteland at Biscayne Boulevard and 79th Street have seemed like progress when it was built in 1954? These days Biscayne Plaza is about as feo as a strip mall can be. Developer Ed Easton and a partner bought it for three million dollars in 1983 with hopes of attracting shoppers from all around town. Today the yellowish… More >>
  • BEST HEAT PLAYER

    Dwyane Wade

    Who needs a seven-foot center? Not the Miami Heat. They've found competitiveness without some towering freak taller than most trees. A small, fast approach can work when a team rosters a number of versatile weapons, the best of whom is this 6-foot 4-inch rookie guard who can play the point, shoot the nets out, pass with precision, and launch himself… More >>
  • BEST BUMPER STICKER

    "If It's Tourist Season,Why Can't We Go Ahead and Shoot 'Em?" … More >>
  • BEST WEATHERCASTER

    Jackie Johnson

    If weathercasters were ever accurate, this award would probably go to the one who was most often on the money about rain showers and cold fronts. But because forecasts are all the same and as reliable as a Bush administration intelligence report, the winner here must have something beyond the latest bulletin from the weather bureau. No weathercaster is as… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO STAY IN MIAMI FOR THE SUMMER

    No tourists

    Yes, the clouds that billow over the Everglades and march east to erupt violently are breathtaking. So is the warmth of the ocean at midnight. But the best reason to stick around here during the swelter season is more basic: Nearly everyone is gone. Well, at least the people you want to be gone -- the tourists, conventioneers, and migratory… More >>
  • BEST COMMANDO HANGOUT

    Loop Road

    A lovely hot winter's afternoon on this winding way through the Everglades adjacent to Tamiami Trail. Indians in new-model sedans waving as they blow by. Two French women pigmenting canvases with the bold black-and-white images of wood storks set against the verdancy of piny perches. A dozen alligators basking by the shallows. A rubber-booted phycologist holding a magnifying glass above… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC MELTDOWN

    Joe Arriola

    Miami's Civilian Investigative Panel was created to look into complaints of police misconduct. The panel is a refuge for those who are frightened by the power structure of local government and law enforcement. (There are parts of Miami, it should be noted, where complaining about the police is tantamount to asking for an ass-kicking.) So it was ironic, to say… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO STARGAZE

    The Old Trail

    About 25 or 30 miles out on the Tamiami Trail there's a swerving turnoff that leads to a T-shaped strip of asphalt to nowhere. It runs parallel to the trail and about three or four city blocks in length, bordered by trees, marsh, and muck. At night especially, it's rare to encounter anyone other than the occasional snake collector or… More >>
  • BEST ROAD TO AVOID

    Intersection of Coral Reef Drive, SW 117th Avenue, and Florida Turnpike

    There was intense competition for this award, with many perennials in the running. But this year the title goes to a newcomer. Thanks to ever-increasing development along Coral Reef Drive west of Metrozoo, this contender came on strong. Add to the rapidly growing number of vehicles a couple of seemingly unnecessary stoplights and totally inadequate turn lanes that back up… More >>
  • BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY

    The Baka Boyz

    If you're one of the few hundred thousand souls who lives through the daily purgatory of sitting in morning-rush traffic, finding an entertaining distraction is a priority on your FM dial. So forget the monotone chitchat provided by National Public Radio on WLRN-FM. Since their arrival at the Beat last year, Mexican-American brothers Eric and Nick Vidal have been tearing… More >>
  • BEST CEMETERY

    City of Miami Cemetery

    For a city that's relatively young, geographically challenged, and sitting at sea level, Miami should be grateful to have even one dignified place to bury its dead. It does. This is the only cemetery with the age and landscaping and, most important, notable permanent residents to make it worth visiting just to visit. And on those terms, this landmark delivers… More >>
  • BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Jacqueline Hazel

    Every Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoon, after you've finished a full day of terrorizing everyone in your office or shop, you don't have to hate yourself. Sure, you've made your secretary's job a living hell, you've tormented your codependent girlfriend, you've sadistically tortured your wife. Radio host Jacqueline Hazel has a place for you in her heart. In her afternoon… More >>
  • BEST BAD NEW LAW

    City of Miami Protest Ordinance

    This past November the Miami City Commission passed a vaguely worded, overreaching bit of paranoid legislation that was an embarrassment. Worried about protesters arriving for the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit, the commission, at the police department's urging, passed a law that would make it a crime to possess a variety of innocuous items. They tried to be… More >>
  • BEST SPANISH-LANGUAGE RADIO PERSONALITY

    Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero

    Actually, make that personalities. With their El Vacilón de la Maņana show on El Zol, these two get away with stuff Howard Stern types can only dream about. Maybe no one at the FCC speaks Spanish. Despite the recent brouhaha over indecency, anybody who regularly listens to radio knows the real shock jocks are celebrated on the seemingly unregulated Hispanic… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN

    Austin Burke

    Men come in all shapes, sizes, and temperaments, and this venerable clothier has seen them all. The thing about a really good men's suit salesman, what sets him apart from the off-the-rack hacks, is judgment. He has to be able to take the measure of a customer -- and not just literally. Is he a two-button kind of guy, or… More >>
  • BEST DANCE COMPANY

    Miami Contemporary Dance Company

    The body contorts. Masters of forms undefined, Divine and unmatched. … More >>
  • BEST SANCTUARY FROM THE FAST TRACK

    Miami Beach Botanical Garden

    A daily existence in which a simple walk down the street can be life-threatening, where the boom-boom-boom of bass music seems to emanate continuously from cars to bicycles, where all of humanity appears to be simultaneously marching toward you -- an existence like that can push even the most placid creature to the verge of homicide. But before you're condemned… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    The Gold Coast Railroad Museum

    Like any worth-his-salt railroad baron, Henry Flagler had his tracks laid and then proceeded to build a city around them. Several cities, actually, but we care only about Miami. It's not surprising a museum should honor, and document, this tropical "railroad" town's history. The museum began life under the auspices of the University of Miami at the Richmond Air Station,… More >>
  • BEST MIAMI HERALD WRITER

    Curtis Morgan

    A Miami native, Morgan fell into journalism as a reporter/photographer for his Richmond Heights junior-high newspaper. He fell further in when he was paid to write for his college paper. "I needed the money," he recalls. "Journalism also seemed like interesting work you could do without wearing a tie." An endangered combination of newsman and craftsman (with a childhood spent… More >>
  • BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY

    Hutchinson Island

    This barrier island is roughly thirteen miles long. With the Atlantic on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway (known here as the Indian River) on the other, it's no more than a mile wide. But the most important measurement is this: It's about 130 miles from Miami -- far enough to escape the Magic City's gravitational pull. And indeed, upon… More >>
  • BEST JUDGE

    William Hoeveler

    Too many judges race through their calendars, blindly dispensing whatever the better courtroom lawyer defines as justice. Senior U.S. District Judge William Hoeveler prefers to give a damn. A thoughtful, venerable jurist, Hoeveler has dedicated years to salvaging what's left of the Everglades and to making certain your children have clean drinking water when they grow up. Recently the alleged… More >>
  • BEST TERMINATION (SPORTS)

    Pat Riley

    As a coach, he brought "showtime" and championships to the Los Angeles Lakers (with a little help from Magic Johnson and others). He weathered the pressure of the toughest coaching job in the NBA with the Knicks in New York. He almost -- always almost -- took the Miami Heat to the top with talents such as Tim Hardaway and… More >>
  • BEST POWER COUPLE

    Gloria and Emilio Estefan

    They own restaurants, hotels, a media empire, and the hearts and minds of Cuban Miami. Gloria has recorded 23 albums, sold more than 70 million copies worldwide, and garnered three Grammy Awards. Emilio, the former band manager-turned-mogul, heads his own label, a major recording studio, and has bagged twelve Grammys. Basta! … More >>
  • BEST TOURIST TRAP

    The Island Queen

    There are numerous boats (and even a tall ship) offering an array of cruises out of Bayside's marina. The Queen happens to be a favorite: an open-air upper deck ceilings an enclosed (but heavily windowed) lower deck ("The bar is now open," is heard as the flat-hulled, smooth-riding boat edges past Dodge Island). If you're a local, the 90-minute ride… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN

    Wyndham Miami Beach Resort

    According to professional event planners, the Wyndham is the number-one spot in South Florida for high school reunions. Throughout the year, but especially in the late summer months, the place is heavily booked with old school pals getting together and tying one on after ten years (or fifteen or twenty) in the big bad world. Here single women are embarrassingly… More >>
  • BEST ART MUSEUM

    Miami Art Museum - CLOSED

    Art experts know that the museum, as a socio-cultural institution, was pronounced dead by a group of neo-Dada performance artists during a 1987 visit to the Museum of the Medieval Torture Arts in Toledo, Spain. The word has yet to reach most other cosmopolitan cities, but as curators of MAM can proudly attest, the Magic City is ahead of its… More >>
  • BEST LAWYER

    Lida Rodriguez-Taseff

    Smart, scrappy, and resolute, Lida Rodriguez-Taseff turned out to be exactly the kind of president the ACLU's Miami chapter needed to see it through a tumultuous three years. (Her tenure ended this past March.) A partner at the Duane Morris law firm, she was front and center on a wide range of constitutional conflicts, from defending Cuban exiles' right to… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ARTIST

    Roberto Behar and Rosario Marquardt

    Their five-tiered, twelve-foot-tall House of Cards, inhabited by humanoid dummies, was a big hit at Miami Art Museum. This artistic duo also deserves credit for a shack they never built. They had planned to construct Casa del Pirata on a wall of the historic La Cabaņa fortress using boards they had hoped to find in Cuba. "A sort of romantic… More >>
  • BEST PARKING ON SOUTH BEACH

    Flamingo Park

    Truth foretold: One day in the near future there will be no place to park on South Beach that will cost less than cab fare from halfway across Miami-Dade County. But till that day arrives (and it is inevitable) there are still some prime, meter-free parking spots in the lots around Flamingo Park. The park is just a few short… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL WRITER

    Carl Zablotny

    Rumors of South Beach's demise are greatly exaggerated -- at least according to Wire, the Beach weekly published and written mostly by Carl Zablotny, a one-man cheerleading army for the city's enduring charms. Since buying the paper from founder Andrew Delaplaine in 1999, Zablotny has continued its mission of chronicling the city's queer social whirl. Dashing from nightclub event to… More >>
  • BEST FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME

    Celeste Fraser Delgado

    Miami New Times staff writer Celeste Fraser Delgado was arrested and jailed last November as she was reporting on the protests associated with the Free Trade Area of the Americas summit. While other reporters were "embedded" with police, Delgado was in handcuffs, charged with the misdemeanors "failure to obey a lawful command" and "resisting arrest without violence," accusations she vehemently… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL WEBSITE

    www.BangBus.com

    Traditional feminists (but not Camille Paglia's pro-sex sect) will likely be aghast, but our choice features locally based and produced comedic porn "films," weekly episodes showing random women bribed off the street and into a van, then into depravity. This isn't your run-of-the-mill autoerotic stimuli. The site states: "The true story of two guys, a video camera, a big fucking… More >>
  • BEST QUOTE

    Miami Police Chief John Timoney

    It's always threat-level orange when John Timoney opens his mouth. But this inspired utterance, issued while he was on a bike tour of the anti-free-trade protest zone in downtown Miami this past November, rocketed the churlish chief well into the red zone. Perhaps he was drunk from the $8.5 million the Department of Homeland Security allotted the Magic City police… More >>
  • BEST CUBAN-AMERICAN WEBSITE

    icuban.com

    Launched in 1996 by three Miami brothers-in-law who love to fish and eat la comida Cubana, this is a mouthwatering source of opinions about local Cuban cuisine, from restaurants to recipes. The three guys -- Jorge Castillo, Raúl Musibay, and Glenn Lindgren -- have made several appearances on various Food Network shows and in media articles. But more than a… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD

    Shepard Smith

    In November 2000 this former WSVN-TV (Channel 7) correspondent was arrested for aggravated battery. That's the type of reporter he was before becoming a cable-news superstar. The charge resulted from an altercation in which he and another journalist wrangled over a parking space while covering the Bush-Gore election fiasco. Now he sits in the anchor chair on the Fox News… More >>
  • BEST WI-FI LOCATION

    Miracle Mile Business District

    Attention Internet hermits: Being online will no longer be an acceptable excuse for your antisocial behavior -- at least not in Coral Gables. Following the lead of many businesses in many cities, the Coral Gables Business Improvement District along with ADX Technologies and IDS Telecom have installed a free (really!) wireless Internet connection on the Mile. The motive: Visitors tech… More >>
  • BEST MILE OF MIAMI

    North Miami Avenue between 20th and 36th streets

    In this sixteen-block stretch of Miami's Wynwood neighborhood you can see the past and the future simultaneously. Not long ago it was a forlorn and forbidding stretch of warehouses punctuated by abandoned storefronts and the occasional bodega or bar. Today it is the spine of what has come to be known as the Wynwood Art District. First came the artists… More >>
  • BEST THEATRICAL PRODUCTION

    The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?

    In the theater, sometimes everything just falls into place. That was definitely the case with GableStage's masterful presentation of The Goat. Featuring Edward Albee's bitterly funny script, a fine cast, exceptionally effective direction from artistic director Joseph Adler, and an outstanding set design by Rich Simone, this production was a gleeful blend of absurdity, horror, and dry humor that sent… More >>
  • BEST POWER FAMILY

    The Malniks

    Alvin Malnik and son Shareef haven't been the subjects of a Hollywood film or tell-all book. But they should be. Al, an attorney, garnered notoriety for his long association with legendary Mob financier Meyer Lansky. The New Jersey Casino Control Commission, in denying Al a casino license in 1980, labeled him "a person of unsuitable character and unsuitable reputation [because… More >>
  • BEST NEW PLAY

    Blind Date

    Mario Diament's tale of five characters in search of one another proved to be a fascinating exploration of chance, fate, irrational obsession, and love at first sight. Delighting audiences at the New Theatre in Coral Gables, the tale involved a seemingly simple string of impromptu encounters and quiet conversations but was really a complex interweaving of characters and ideas that… More >>
  • BEST BUREAUCRATIC SWAN SONG

    Merrett Stierheim

    Battered, bruised, but far from beaten, Merrett Stierheim in June will relinquish his position as the superintendent of Miami-Dade County Public Schools. When he took the $210,000 job in 2001, Stierheim set out to do what he does best: reform a public agency plagued by low morale, bureaucratic ineptitude, rampant cronyism, and outright corruption. He has succeeded on some fronts;… More >>
  • BEST DIRECTOR

    Joseph Adler

    The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?

    The ebullient, outspoken Adler might seem a complete mismatch with tart, taciturn Edward Albee (author of The Goat or Who Is Sylvia?). Nonetheless Adler's masterful staging of Albee's provocative tragicomedy at GableStage was a perfect meeting of master minds. Adler is well known for his gutsy, go-for-broke style, but his work with The Goat was particularly risky and insightful, put… More >>
  • BEST BUILDING LOBBY

    Stephen P. Clark Government Center

    Sure, the feng-shui foyer of the Mandarin Oriental Hotel is fabulous, and the Bacardi compound is breathtaking, but county hall, anarchy's atrium, puts the public in public space. Here you can catch Metrorail, the Metromover, link to the bus system, buy El Horoscopo at a news shop, view larger-than-life-size flags from all 50 states, attend and be amused by a… More >>
  • BEST HAIR TO WEAR

    Brian Grant's

    He's big, strong, a double-double rock of muscle and hustle in the center of the Miami Heat's tenacious defense. He has a soft touch on his jumper and adds a dimension of assets that can't be measured by stats. The iron man (with the forgivable iron hands) can even fish fairly well, his favorite off-season hobby. But it's those natty… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL LANDMARK

    Flagler Memorial

    Built by crazy dreamers who turned swampland into gold, Miami truly is a magic city. Henry Flagler was one of the greatest of our early alchemists. Merely on the sweet scent of a fabled orange blossom sent to him by Julia Tuttle, old Henry built a railroad to nowhere and fathered a unique American city. So it's fitting that the… More >>
  • BEST ACTRESS

    Julia Clearwood

    Stop Kiss

    Clearwood's performance in Stop Kiss as a restless New Yorker who finds herself falling in love with another woman was a significant creative achievement and a highlight not just of the Sol Theatre Project's offerings but of the entire theater season. Clearwood delivered a grounded, honest performance, and had to do so within a mind-boggling, nonlinear narrative, alternating scenes before… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY GONE BAD

    Ric Sisser

    Here's a lobbyist pushing age 60 who not only works hard and plays hard, but for years was lucky enough to get away with mixing the two. That is, until Miami cops busted Sisser in Coconut Grove this past September and charged him with possession of crack cocaine and a glass pipe. Thanks to our county's nurturing Drug Court, however,… More >>
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

    Margot Moreland

    Annie

    The multitalented Moreland has long been a South Florida favorite, but her performance as the boozy, deliciously nasty Miss Hannigan in the Actors' Playhouse version of Annie was a revelation. Moreland's comedic skills are tops, but she also discovered the character's dark, desperate side with disturbing clarity. Moreland didn't just re-create the role, she redefined it. … More >>
  • BEST MAGIC CITY ICON

    The construction crane

    Every view of Miami Beach or downtown Miami is studded with this symbol of that most recurrent theme in Miami's history -- the land boom. In the early years it was all about selling swampland to speculators and suckers. The only difference today is that the sprawl is vertical instead of horizontal. Folks, don't be left behind! Line up here… More >>
  • BEST ACTOR

    Theodore Bikel

    The Chosen

    The renowned Bikel has been a major figure in American theater for so long, it's easy to take him for granted. But stage acting doesn't get any better than his turn in The Chosen at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. As an anguished rabbi, Bikel was both a deeply emotional character and a short course in understatement: What he didn't say… More >>
  • BEST DISPLAY OF WEALTH

    Benno Engel

    This past New Year's Eve, Engel reserved three of the VIP lounge areas at B.E.D., the restaurant/nightclub on Washington Avenue in South Beach. Engel, a German native, wanted to throw a nice little party for himself and a few friends. But as midnight neared, he apparently couldn't contain his enthusiasm for celebrating. He ordered magnums of Dom Perignon for his… More >>
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

    Geoffrey Wade

    Fortune's Fool

    Fortune's Fool opened a year ago at the Caldwell Theatre up in Boca Raton, a bit too late to honor this actor in last year's issue, but the memory of Wade's performance lingers on and now's the time to pay him his props and give him his award. As a supercilious Russian aristocrat, he was a model of acting style… More >>
  • BEST TOLL BOOTH

    Venetian Causeway

    Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Ka-ching. Every time you cross this classic causeway you can virtually hear the sound of money dancing back into your pocket. As long as the slow-motion construction continues on a new toll booth (modeled on the original), there will be no charge to use the Venetian Causeway. One of the most beautiful thoroughfares in South Florida, it offers… More >>
  • BEST FRINGE THEATER

    The M Ensemble

    This North Miami company devoted to African-American playwrights and culture has managed to survive a looong time, through thick and thin (mostly thin). Past work has been all over the map in terms of quality, but this season it all came together for the Ensemble. Jerry Maple, Jr., and John Pryor's resourceful directing and an increasingly assured team of talents… More >>
  • BEST MARRIAGE PROPOSAL

    George Sanchez Calderon's

    Midnight Midtown Midway during Art Basel

    Miami artist George Sanchez Calderon's contribution to the Art Basel art fair last December was the carnival he installed one night at the Buena Vista rail yard just south of 36th Street in Wynwood. Beneath circus banners and a Ferris wheel, local musicians, poets, and dancers strutted their stuff, along with the future developers of the 56-acre tract, who helped… More >>
  • BEST BLACK BOX SPACE

    PS 742 - CLOSED

    While the powers that be in this town have pinned all their most delirious PR pipe dreams (and taxpayer dollars) on ill-conceived money pits such as the Performing Arts Center and more arenas than we have teams, it's the small art spaces and their starving inhabitants that are building the real-deal cultural infrastructure of temporal Miami. This Little Havana space,… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY MADE HEAVEN

    Luis Botifoll

    When Luis Botifoll passed away last September at the age of 95, he left behind a 44-year legacy of community activism unmatched by any one man -- and that's just the story on this side of the Florida Straits. Twice exiled to the U.S. and a graduate of Tulane University, Botifoll was a lawyer and well-respected newspaper publisher in Havana… More >>
  • BEST PERIODIQUITO

    Libre

    In shops along Calle Ocho and Hialeah's Palm Avenue rest bundles of Libre, a Spanish-language newspaper published by disgraced politician Demetrio Perez, Jr. In 2002 the former school board member was removed from office for defrauding two women out of $18,000. The same year, the Miami Herald also exposed how Perez pocketed more than a million dollars in rent payments… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH

    Stephen P. Clark Government Center courtyard

    It's probably just as well that the government center courtyard isn't extravagantly landscaped and decorated, because it would most certainly be overshadowed by the real-life dramas that unfold there on a daily basis. Its location is a natural magnet. The Metrorail's government center stop is directly above it. Within your field of view is the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, the county… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL 'ZINE

    Urban America

    Urban America is part community newspaper, part local-music rag. A recent issue transitioned from an op-ed piece encouraging pay raises for teachers to profiles of Orlando MC Swamburger and SoFla R&B act atripthroughthemind. The writing: ambitious and workmanlike, sparked by an unabashed belief in the power of hip-hop culture. The enthusiasm has proved infectious. Since 2000 the monthly, run by… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL COUP

    New regime at Miami's Community Redevelopment Agency

    In recent years the CRA, created to revitalize long-suffering Overtown, routinely handed out taxpayer money for a plethora of intangible goods and services, often "with no evidence of board approval," as Miami's auditor general Victor Igwe put it not long ago. Like the $4250 a CRA employee received (on top of his salary) to photograph bus benches in the Bahamas.… More >>
  • BEST NEW FASHION TREND

    Beau Brummell bicyclists

    Suicidal bicyclists are nothing new to downtown, South Beach, the Grove, and other auto-clogged communities, but lately there's been a number of them who have tossed out the delightfully revealing bike shorts and tight shirts for three-piece suits and Italian leather shoes. This development might be nothing more than fallout from the metrosexual trend that somehow made it okay for… More >>
  • BEST CHARITY

    Hands On Miami

    Not just a single charity, Hands on Miami is more like 70 charities in one. Since 1993 this extensive community-service network has been making it easy for busy city dwellers to do the right thing. Want to deliver care packages to AIDS patients? Build a house for a cash-strapped family? Read to kids in need? Hands On Miami will help… More >>
  • BEST ART GALLERY

    Casas Riegner Gallery

    Much competition hangs when it comes to this award. We're happy about that. Upstart gallery Rocket Projects in Wynwood comes to mind, with its community art activism and edgy programming. Then there's Fredric Snitzer Gallery, the darling of Art Basel with the strongest collection in town. And who can forget the Moore Space's stellar exhibitions by artists like Jim Lambie.… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL CITY IN WHICH TO LIVE

    Village of Biscayne Park

    Located west of Biscayne Boulevard immediately north of Miami Shores, this is a big city and a small town rolled into one. Incorporated in 1933, the tiny municipality -- less than a square mile in area -- is close enough to Miami's urban core to allow for easy access to downtown or the beaches. But by remaining steadfastly residential (there… More >>
  • BEST SPORTSCASTER

    Boog Sciambi

    The Tom Hanks megahit movie Big connected with audiences thanks to the actor's uncannily guileless portrayal of youthful joy. Listening to Boog Sciambi broadcast Florida Marlins games on WQAM-AM (560), including the team's unlikely ascent to a World Series championship this past season, brought that same feeling to mind. Sciambi, an old-school announcer with an eager-to-please voice, sounded so damn… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL OVERTOWN LEGEND MADE HEAVEN

    Clyde Killens

    During the Fifties and early Sixties, the nightlife of Overtown made today's South Beach seem tame. Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Sam Cooke, Aretha Franklin, and many more superstars played the Knight Beat, the Harlem Square, and other clubs for appreciative locals and visiting celebrities. The main man on the scene -- running clubs and promoting shows -- was a dapper… More >>
  • BEST NEW WHEELS

    Segway Human Transporter rentals

    It was supposed to change the way people felt about urban transportation. A personal hovercraft destined to spearhead the brave new world of tomorrow? Maybe not. When the Segway Human Transporter was revealed to the public, the collective disappointment put a damper on the lofty dreams of creator Dean Kamen. To which he answered at Segway's first public demo, "So… More >>
  • BEST TYPO

    Miami Today

    In the October 16, 2003, edition of this weekly chronicle of Miami business and governmental action (essential reading for anyone interested in public affairs), an article appeared with this headline: "County close to acquiring Homestead land, official says." The land in question was the former Homestead Air Force Base. The official was assistant county manager Bill Johnson. The issue was… More >>
  • BEST MAILBOX

    9260 SW 70th Street

    Faux sculpture (manatee, porpoise, et cetera) mailboxes have become a trend, but this is not that. The owners of this nice house have created an oceanic panorama of a mailbox, a swirl of fish and covellite, teal, aquamarine background that rises above trendiness and achieves the status of art. The mailbox-mural alone has probably increased property values 25 percent in… More >>
  • BEST BAIT AND SWITCH

    People's Transportation Plan

    The People's Transportation Plan (PTP) was grandly designed to solve Miami's upcoming date with permanent gridlock. The shiny lure that voters went for was the promise that a half-penny sales tax would buy them an expanded and improved mass-transit system. Now they're told the tax was in reality designed to win matching state and federal funds, not to actually build… More >>
  • BEST FLOWERING TREE

    Trumpet tree (Tabebuia caraiba)

    In late winter/early spring, South Florida is blessed with a flowering tree so magnificent that residents and tourists alike stand in awe of its beauty. Then why is it that almost no one knows what it's called? Is it because for most of the year, this quiet tree's most distinguishing features are a deeply furrowed trunk and asymmetrical crown? Or… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC RESTROOM

    Houston's

    Houston's understands that business types out for a three-martini lunch are not going to leave the comforts of the executive washroom at the office for just any old port-a-potty. That's why Houston's has taken steps to ensure that a trip to its throne will leave customers feeling like royalty. A long hallway separates the WC from the hustle and bustle… More >>
  • BEST SPORTS VENUE RENOVATION

    Homestead Miami Speedway

    Naysayers were quick to bitch about putting ten million bucks into fixing up a nearly forgotten raceway in deep South Miami-Dade, but when the new version of the Homestead Miami Speedway opened this past autumn, it had its first sold-out race in nine years. The new variable-degree banking system increased the amount of banking and speed in the turns, and… More >>
  • BEST NEW BUILDING

    Espirito Santo Plaza

    You can't help but notice Miami's newest mixed-use skyscraper rising from the Brickell Avenue concrete jungle. The Espirito Santo Plaza, designed by Kohn Pedersen Fox Associates, boasts 36 stories of office and retail space, restaurants, an 11-story atrium, a hotel, and private residences. Theoretically you could move in and never leave. But then you'd miss the experience of basking in… More >>
  • BEST DAY AT THE RACES

    January 3 at Gulfstream Park

    The Lotto and Indian gaming gobble the gambling pie in South Florida, leaving the pari-mutuels crumbs. Gulfstream, located next to Aventura at the county line, belies this paradigm by continuing to present high-class racing, comfortable seating, diverse concessions, and other diversions within a still-lovely venue. That was most obvious at the beginning of 2004, when 21,000 turned out for this… More >>
  • BEST SIGN OF THE TIMES

    Walgreens at the historic Firestone building

    The City of Miami's hapless Historic and Environmental Preservation Board actually managed to save a building once. It was back in 2001. The structure was the 75-year-old Firestone building at SW First Street and Twelfth Avenue in Little Havana. But as part of the deal, the guardians of the city's architectural flame decided to let Walgreens tamper with Miami's oldest… More >>
  • BEST DRAG QUEEN

    Tiffany Andretta Arieagus

    Take it from Adora, the hardest-working drag queen in Miami, the legendary Tiffany is the original transgender bomb. When looking for a special guest star for the final Adora and Ivana Noche Latina show at the Cactus Bar and Grill, the only choice was Ms. Arieagus. "She's fantastic," Adora says. "She's super nice, a legend, and unbelievably professional." Arieagus, born… More >>
  • BEST HERO

    Russ Rector

    Hell hath no fury like a reformed dolphin trainer. Anyone who has dealt with Russ Rector knows that all too well. From 1968 to 1975 he worked and performed with the creatures at Fort Lauderdale's Ocean World. Today he is president of the Dolphin Freedom Foundation, which he founded in 1992 as a platform from which he could launch relentless… More >>
  • BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR

    Loving Che by Ana Menéndez

    In Miami you don't ponder the now-mythical life of Che Guevara so much as argue about it. The legendary Argentine guerrilla's name is cursed, cried over, or simply shuddered at for the loss it represents to so many Cuban exiles. In fact Menéndez's own father, who fled the island in 1960, was as wary as anyone else while paging through… More >>
  • BEST HOMELESS HANGOUT

    South Beach lifeguard towers

    Original designs by internationally acclaimed artist Antoni Miralda, world-famous architect William Lane, renowned Pop artist Kenny Scharf. Split-level, wrap-around decks. Beachfront water views, good security, quiet at night. Walk to Wet Willy's, Mac's Club Deuce, dumpsters full of fresh restaurant leftovers. Among the most livable, colorful, whimsical shelters on the planet. $0/month. For more information call the City of Miami… More >>
  • BEST LEISURE ACTIVITY OTHER THAN CLUBS OR MOVIES

    Surfing South Beach

    For the first time since the Sixties, and maybe ever, there's a thriving surfing community in South Beach. On most winter mornings, up to 400 rowdy surfers litter the ocean, straddling variations of long and short boards. No, our beaches haven't suddenly developed the kind of overhead breaks enjoyed by surfers on the West Coast, or even north of Palm… More >>
  • BEST BOONDOGGLE

    Miami Circle

    If shelling out 26.7 million taxpayer dollars to buy the tiny spit of land on which the Miami Circle sits doesn't quite qualify as a boondoggle, maybe this does: The ancient site has been reburied. Discovered in 1998 and dubbed Miami's Stonehenge, the mysterious Indian artifact ignited the public imagination and attracted international attention. Six years after its purchase, however,… More >>
  • BEST NEW ADVERTISING TREND

    Hongosan and Hongomex

    Tucked between the disorderly conducts on various afternoon Spanish-language courtroom programs, Telemundo has been airing a remarkable set of antifungal medication advertisements. Yes, remarkable antifungal medication advertisements. The first one, for Hongosan (hongo is Spanish for fungus or mushroom), ran a few months ago. The subtle charms were difficult to discern at first, but slowly one could feel the pain… More >>
  • BEST CITIZEN

    Mario Artecona

    On a recent afternoon, a Miami-Dade County bureaucrat spotted Mario Artecona having lunch and said, "Well, if it isn't the revolutionary." Artecona responded with a chuckle: "That's what people start calling you when you take on the county commission." Not many ordinary citizens would have the opportunity (or the guts) to appear before the thirteen commissioners who lord over county… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GO STONED

    The Neighborhood Fish Farm

    You and your pals just completed your own version of Amsterdam's famous Cannabis Cup reefer contest by filling up bong bowls with White Widow and Northern Lights and maybe some Haze. Packing a couple of green leaf, Dutch Master blunts filled with Afghani. Rolling up some Summer Breeze, Bubblegum, and other hydro hybrids that leave all involved seriously stoned but… More >>
  • BEST CHILDREN'S ADVOCATE

    Jim DeFede

    The caustic Miami Herald columnist (and New Times alumnus) has been relentless in his pursuit of adults responsible for the injustices suffered by South Florida's discarded children. When authorities at all levels were ducking for cover following the pitiful and needless death of juvenile jail inmate Omar Paisley (who slowly, painfully succumbed to a ruptured appendix), DeFede wrote column after… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWS ANCHOR

    Kristi Krueger

    Filling the oxfords of late local broadcast legend Ann Bishop of WPLG-TV was a challenge accepted by Kristi Krueger, who has proved herself up to the job at 5:00, 6:00, and 11:00 p.m. Maybe her eleven-year tenure as a health reporter helped her become sufficiently inured to calmly deal with Miami's demoralizing daily news cycle, which brims with shootings, child-abuse… More >>
  • BEST CHEAP THRILL

    Thursday-night faith healing

    Bible Way Prayer Mission

    When the preacher begins laying his hands on foreheads, the energy in this storefront church surges. Thursday night is divine drama, eons beyond must-see TV. From below the pulpit a drummer keeps a lively beat and an organist accents the preacher's righteous words from an old Casio. The pews are full of women who, with gusto, shout the devil down.… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF MIAMI

    Maximo Gomez Park

    It's no coincidence that the benches at Domino Park (as this landmark is known) face toward Cuba. The old Cuban men from the surrounding neighborhood of Little Havana know the reason, and value it. As each takes a turn sitting on the benches playing dominoes (or fichas), they are reminded that though they sit in the middle of Miami, they… More >>
  • BEST CRIMINAL CONVICTION IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Willie and Sal trial jurors

    Gloria Alba and Maria del Carmen Peņalver were in their midtwenties when they sat on the jury that acquitted Willie Falcon and Sal Magluta in February 1996. Falcon and Magluta had been charged with importing 75 tons of cocaine, worth some two billion dollars. Assistant U.S. Attorney Pat Sullivan, who prosecuted the case with colleague Chris Clarke, knew something wasn't… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWS REPORTER

    Mike Kirsch

    During the overheated, slightly premature media frenzy that accompanied the fall of Saddam, CBS affiliate WFOR journalist and cameraman Mike Kirsch was our man in Iraq. As an embedded reporter with the British Army, he reported on the invasion of Basra, winning a 2003 Suncoast Emmy for his efforts. His past wartime adventures include sojourns in Bosnia (where he was… More >>
  • BEST MIAMI HERALD PHOTOGRAPHER

    Carl Juste

    Miami's Only Daily has piranha-ed its writing and editing staff into a skeleton for the sake of profit margin. Still with the likes of Raul Rubiera, Peter Andrew Bosch, and others out shooting photographs, the pictures remain first rate. But with his stylish black-rim eyeglasses, raspy voice, and bandanna covering his baby dreads, Carl Juste is more than just another… More >>
  • BEST TV STATION

    Miami-Dade County Cable Television Access Project

    You won't find localized renditions of The Sopranos or Law & Order on Cable TAP, but you will be inundated with half-hour vignettes about the people and organizations that make this subtropical, multiethnic frying pan their home. A droning commissioner maybe, a cultural lightweight for sure, maybe even a Wayne's World-level egofest. But other times -- most of the time… More >>
  • BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR

    Official Latin Grammys afterparty

    September 3, 2003

    Forget the show itself. The party afterward was a lot better. Organized by Ocean Drive magazine, it featured an estimated half-million dollars' worth of fake boobs and legions of filthy-rich old men. And of course every Latin pop star imaginable was there, from Miami's patron saints Emilio and Gloria to Grammy winners Juanes, Thalía, David Bisbal, and the sex symbol… More >>
  • BEST RADIO STATION

    WPYM-FM (93.1)

    The feverish world of dance music is populated by numerous and fluid subgenres, from the schaffel of Superpitcher to the dark new beat of the Lords of Acid, and each school has its fanatics and detractors. True, you may not hear Carlos D. spin the Deep Forest remix of "A Forest" unless you un-ass your Lazyboy and head down to… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Seth Kaplan

    Seth Kaplan has a whole lot of elfin magic going on, and we mean that in the sincerest form of Lord of the Rings-loving way. The energetic, garrulous, adorably bus-taking spokesman for the Miami-Dade County Elections Department speaks with the clear ring of truth when it comes to one of Florida's most painful subjects -- voting -- and is ever-available… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Mario Artecona

    Mario Artecona makes an initial impression as the sort of unassuming nice guy who would stop during rush hour to help you change a flat; the type of fellow who would track you down to your house to return a lost wallet, a rememberer of first names and birthdays. But Artecona is also clearly sharp and articulate, so maybe it's… More >>
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