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People & Places

  • BEST TOLLBOOTH

    Broad Causeway

    Go ahead, take your time, you tollbooth operator in your Jimmy Buffett Hawaiian-print shirt. I'll just be over here in my car, idling away, daydreaming of white sand and warm breezes, surrounded by these swaying palms and this manicured landscape, watching the glassy blue waters of Biscayne Bay as they gently lap upon the shores of the causeway. There's a… More >>
  • BEST ACTIVITY TO DO WHILE INTOXICATED

    Beer Pong

    BEST ACTIVITY TO DO WHILE INTOXICATED Beer Pong Hooligan´s Pub & Oyster Bar 9555 S. Dixie Highway Pinecrest 305-667-9673 www.hooliganspub.com Every Thursday night at 9:00 Hooligan's offers a chance for everyone (yes, the distaff included) to get their balls wet. On one of the Ping-Pong tables brought into the pub for this event, each contestant is required to arrange… More >>
  • BEST NEW TREND

    Pugs in public

    BEST NEW TREND Pugs in public Most people realize they are mere servants to their dogs and follow their every canine command. What many civilians fail to acknowledge is that dogs collectively have a larger mission -- to eventually rule the entire world. Purebreds like schnauzers and Cirnecos dell'Etna harken back to the dictatorial pasts of their home countries of… More >>
  • BEST POETRY SCENE

    Mello Mondays at the District

    BEST POETRY SCENE Mello Mondays at the District 35 NE 40th Street Miami 305-576-7242 This weekly event is a baby among the other spoken-word evenings, but Mello Mondays gets two snaps up for distinguishing itself from the pack by mixing celebrity poets in with locals. Hosted by local poet Ingrid B., the gathering's tribe includes Will Da… More >>
  • BEST SPECTACLE

    Demolition of the Everglades Hotel

    BEST SPECTACLE Demolition of the Everglades Hotel What goes up must come down. It may take a hundred years, maybe a thousand, but even the new condo towers rising in the first decade of this new millennium will one day crumble, perhaps into a rising sea. As for the sixteen-story Everglades Hotel, it endured almost 80 years before dissolving into… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWS REPORTER

    Carmel Cafiero

    BEST TV NEWS REPORTER Carmel Cafiero WSVN-TV (Channel 7) In the quick-cut and flash-fast world of television news, the thing that sells, aside from hurricanes, is sensationalism. (Sensationalism about hurricanes really sells.) And while it is the same notion that creates a disproportionate distrust of the species known as the media, in TV land the gotcha style of journalism can… More >>
  • BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY

    Hollywood

    BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY Hollywood No, we don't mean Hollywood, California. And no, this is not a joke. Hollywood, Florida, may be only minutes away by car, but the town's two-and-a-half-mile beachfront Broadwalk is about as close to the South Beach experience as a rodeo is to a velvet-rope nightclub. Here's what to do: On a Saturday or Sunday, you and… More >>
  • BEST TV STATION

    WSVN-TV (Channel 7)

    BEST TV STATION WSVN-TV (Channel 7) Anyone with half a brain hates Channel 7. The sensationalized approach, whether in over-the-top news coverage or outlandish reality programming like Trading Spouses or The Simple Life, carries all the intellectual weight of a bran muffin. Is this the sort of stuff you want to enter into conversation at the water cooler? But… More >>
  • BEST RENOVATION

    Hotel Victor

    BEST RENOVATION Hotel Victor 1144 Ocean Drive Miami Beach 305-428-1234 www.hotelvictorsouthbeach.com His name is Victor. He'd been big on the scene for a number of years but then fell on hard times. The last anybody saw of him, he was no more than a gutter punk, a bum surrounded by lowlifes and scum. For a while he was managing, just… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL WEBSITE

    BEST LOCAL WEBSITE www.artblog.net It would seem that Miami plays host to two gentlemen by the name of Franklin Einspruch. There's the Einspruch best known to readers of the New Times as a thoughtful, considered, and genteel art critic. Then there's the Einspruch who produces artblog, a freewheeling site where he shoots from the hip about the Miami art scene,… More >>
  • BEST FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME

    Katrina Campins

    BEST FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME Katrina Campins Even though she was fired as a contestant during the first season of Donald Trump's The Apprentice reality TV show, Campins has mastered the art of the fame game. A Google search found Campins in People magazine, on Access Hollywood and E!, and in the gossip pages of the New York Post. Wherever… More >>
  • BEST ART CINEMA

    Miami Beach Cinematheque

    BEST ART CINEMA Miami Beach Cinematheque 512 Española Way Miami Beach 305-673-4567 www.mbcinema.com This intimate venue offers exhibitions, performance art, photography, dance, combinations thereof, and of course film. Loads of quirky, interesting film festivals touch down here: the Next Gen International Film Festival; the Subtropics Film Festival; Resfest 2005; and Microcinema International's series of edgy, avant-garde short shorts, Independent Exposure… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT MEN

    Books & Books

    BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT MEN Books & Books 265 Aragon Avenue Coral Gables 305-442-4408 www.booksandbooks.com Reading is sexy. And men who read books are really sexy. And no, Maxim and Stuff magazines don't count as books. Spend a Thursday evening or a Saturday afternoon strolling through the stacks to see who's interested in the same subjects you are.… More >>
  • BEST PANTHERS PLAYER

    Kristian Huselius and Andreas Lilja

    BEST PANTHERS PLAYER Kristian Huselius and Andreas Lilja Even though the NHL season was canceled this year, two homeboys still managed to make international headlines when they were accused of raping a 22-year-old woman in Sweden. Even though the charges were eventually dropped, for Zamboni-deprived fans it was as exciting as a hat trick to see our team living… More >>
  • BEST SANCTUARY FROM THE FAST TRACK

    Jimbo's

    BEST SANCTUARY FROM THE FAST TRACK Jimbo's Virginia Key 305-361-7026 If you know Jimbo's, you know why. If you don't know Jimbo's, you have a treat in store. Pay the modest entry fee to gain access to Virginia Key, drive beyond the main beach parking lot, around the bend by the sewage treatment plant, then park. Get out and trudge… More >>
  • BEST SPANISH-LANGUAGE RADIO PERSONALITY

    Elba la Fumadora (The Pot Smoker)

    BEST SPANISH-LANGUAGE RADIO PERSONALITY Elba la Fumadora (The Pot Smoker) El Zol (WXDJ-FM 95.7) When she's not busy toking up a storm outside the studio, Elba is doing all she can to steal the thunder from Joe Ferrero and Enrique Santos, the male cohosts of Miami's funniest and most tasteless morning radio show. After Mayor Carlos Alvarez won the election,… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL COMEBACK

    Justice Leslie Rothenberg

    BEST POLITICAL COMEBACK Justice Leslie Rothenberg Third District Court of Appeal Talk about comebacks! Rothenberg keeps popping up in the most influential places, defying all expectations and, some would say, reason. First she quit her job as a circuit court judge to run for state attorney. (Her tenure on the circuit court had its fair share of controversies; she had… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE THEATER

    Bill Cosford Cinema

    BEST MOVIE THEATER Bill Cosford Cinema University of Miami Dooley Memorial Building 1111 Memorial Drive Coral Gables 305-284-4861 www.miami.edu/cosford Built in 1947 as the Louis D. Beaumont Lecture Hall, after a Palm Beach retiree gave $50,000 toward its construction, this theater was renamed to honor the late Miami Herald film critic Bill Cosford, a member of the school's faculty until… More >>
  • BEST MILE OF MIAMI

    The Venetian Causeway

    BEST MILE OF MIAMI The Venetian Causeway Yes, we know it's 2.75 miles long. It also crosses eleven islands by means of twelve bridges, two of which open for boats. It's also South Florida's oldest causeway (in continuous operation since 1926) and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As for its length, just pick the mile that… More >>
  • BEST NATURE CENTER

    Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center

    BEST NATURE CENTER Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center 6767 Crandon Boulevard Key Biscayne 305-361-6767 www.biscaynenaturecenter.org South Florida's splendid weather encourages people to play hooky, and it's a clever Miamian who figures out a way to do it without guilt. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center is a grand schoolhouse integrated with the great outdoors. The wonderful… More >>
  • BEST DISPLAY OF WEALTH

    Leonard M. Miller family

    BEST DISPLAY OF WEALTH Leonard M. Miller family The current building and real-estate boom has been very good to Miami-based Lennar Corporation, the nation's premier home-construction company, which is now pulling in more than six billion dollars in annual revenues. This past December the family of company founder Leonard Miller, who died in 2002, donated a whopping $100 million to… More >>
  • BEST FRINGE THEATER

    Mad Cat Theatre

    BEST FRINGE THEATER Mad Cat Theatre The Light Box Studio 3300 Biscayne Boulevard, #100 Miami 305-576-6377 Between hurricane threats and last-minute schedule changes, this wasn't the Cat's luckiest season. But it remains the most interesting and original theater company in South Florida. The acting ensemble, which works out of the Miami Light Project's Light Box studio, is particularly notable because… More >>
  • BEST CRIMINAL CONVICTION IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Philip Gratz

    BEST CRIMINAL CONVICTION IN THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS Philip Gratz Hey, dummy, stop shaking your head in wonder at how wise guys end up with million-dollar homes, luxury cars, and extravagant vacations. Here's how: They spend other people's money. Feel stupid? At least you weren't among the boneheads across the country, three of whom resided in South Florida, who sent… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL WRITER

    Thomas Harris

    BEST LOCAL WRITER Thomas Harris The creator of one of modern fiction's most deeply etched, enduring, and beloved -- if that's the right adjective to describe a cannibalistic serial killer -- characters lives right here, somewhere in Miami-Dade County. Thomas Harris, the author of four novels, three of them devoted at least in part to the escapades of murderous psychiatrist… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN

    Marlins games

    BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN Marlins games Dolphins Stadium 2267 Dan Marino Boulevard Miami 305-623-6100 www.floridamarlins.com If you're looking to meet men, you need to go to them (they're not knocking on your door, right?), even if it means watching sports. Put on a sassy aqua tank top and some sunscreen and say to yourself: "I love baseball!" As… More >>
  • BEST PLACE DURING A HURRICANE (THAT REALLY DOESN'T SHOW UP)

    Miami Beach around First Street

    BEST PLACE DURING A HURRICANE (THAT REALLY DOESN'T SHOW UP) Miami Beach around First Street You ignore the mandatory evacuation and stay home on the Beach. It's pretty obvious the storm is heading elsewhere, but now you're bored silly and the weather's not too bad. Watching the Weather Channel is no longer interesting, and the news channels won't have any… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC-WORKS PROJECT

    Bicentennial Park seawall

    BEST PUBLIC-WORKS PROJECT Bicentennial Park seawall This ten-million-dollar state-of-the-art bulwark is the first sign of real progress toward a future bayfront walkway for downtown Miami. The construction itself is notable for its quality. The seawall's steel casing is a high-grade, coated variety imported from Europe and known as sheet piling, which the contractor, Shoreline Foundation, Inc., is driving into the… More >>
  • BEST TV NEWS ANCHOR

    Dwight Lauderdale

    BEST TV NEWS ANCHOR Dwight Lauderdale WPLG-TV (Channel 10) With or without the mustache, and even sans Ann Bishop, no local TV journalist is more trusted and respected than the man behind the news desk at Channel 10. Since 1976 Lauderdale has been disseminating the grimy nonfiction of our sinful streets to an adoring public. Why is it that fans… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE

    Miami Improv

    BEST PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE Miami Improv Streets of Mayfair 3390 Mary Street Coconut Grove 305-441-8200 www.miamiimprov.com What do you do? Where are you from? Where were you born? Small talk can be downright tedious, no matter how good-looking that stranger sitting across the table may be. Avoid the uncomfortable silences and spend your first date… More >>
  • BEST ACTOR

    David Kwiat

    BEST ACTOR David Kwiat Kwiat's performance as the dying oddball physicist Richard Feynman in QED (at GableStage) was in production a full year ago. Award competitions such as the Oscars often have short memories in such cases, but all these months later Kwiat's funny, touching portrait of one man's search for peace and meaning still resonates, an exceptional example of… More >>
  • BEST PROMOTER OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY

    Mary Luft

    BEST PROMOTER OF CULTURAL DIVERSITY Mary Luft Tigertail Productions 842 NW Ninth Court Miami 305-324-4337 www.tigertail.org Mary Luft is Tigertail Productions, and this year Tigertail is celebrating 25 years of continuous operation. In this town, that's epochal. As if mere survival weren't enough, Luft has led the way in presenting the contemporary arts to a town that even today barely… More >>
  • BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA

    Coconut Grove Playhouse

    BEST THEATER FOR DRAMA Coconut Grove Playhouse 3500 Main Highway Coconut Grove 305-442-4000 What's going on over at the Playhouse? The venerable theater has had its troubles in years past, but this season just about everything worked in its favor. Arnold Mittleman's slate of shows was challenging, a mix of classics and new scripts serving up drama, high comedy, and… More >>
  • BEST HOMELESS HANGOUT

    Margaret Pace Park

    BEST HOMELESS HANGOUT Margaret Pace Park 1745 N. Bayshore Drive Miami 305-575-5256 With its panoramic view of Biscayne Bay, its relatively new sod and working public restrooms, Margaret Pace Park is a bum's paradise. You can hop on the nearby Metromover for a quick excursion to Camillus House for some grub. You can take a stroll down the scenic Venetian… More >>
  • BEST TRADE (SPORTS TEAM)

    A.J. Feeley from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Miami Dolphins

    BEST TRADE (SPORTS TEAM) A.J. Feeley from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Miami Dolphins Forget Shaq. The Miami Heat's signing of the Big Diesel over the summer was a no-brainer. The deal that really turned things around for a South Florida sports team was the Dolphins' decision to give up a second-round pick in this year's college draft for quarterback… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRLS MADE GOOD

    Kerry Gruson and Karen Mitchell

    BEST LOCAL GIRLS MADE GOOD Kerry Gruson and Karen Mitchell National sailing champions. Two years running. Both disabled. The event was the U.S. Independence Cup/North American Challenge Cup, an official US SAILING championship regatta hosted this past August by the Chicago Yacht Club. Competing in the Freedom Independence 20 class of specially designed boats that include an able-bodied assistant, long-time… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ZINE

    Ego Miami

    BEST LOCAL ZINE Ego Miami www.egomiami.com Since it was revived last year, the magazine formerly known as Ego Trip has grown into a guilty pleasure for readers who pick up the pocket-size monthly at restaurants, bookstores, and other locations. Like every other lifestyle glossy in town, Ego Miami is drenched in decadent fashion layouts, innocuous Q&A interviews with real estate… More >>
  • BEST NOT-SO-CHEAP THRILL

    Weightlessness

    BEST NOT-SO-CHEAP THRILL Weightlessness Zero Gravity Corp. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport 1-888-NO-GRAVITY (1-888-664-7284) www.nogravity.com If $3750 seems like a lot of money to spend on roughly one minute of weightlessness, well, that's why this gets the Not-So-Cheap award. Based at the Fort Lauderdale airport, Zero Gravity's modified Boeing 727-200 (the only such commercial aircraft certified by the FAA) takes "teams"… More >>
  • BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR

    Come with Me, Sheba by Preston L. Allen

    BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR Come with Me, Sheba by Preston L. Allen Another convoluted Magic City tale, written in a style that lurches between Charles Willeford's blunt prose and Carl Hiaasen's hysteria, the story Allen has concocted is unmistakably Miamian. A mystery man, an oddball millionaire, and a violent criminal who goes by the unfortunate nickname "Lethal Coon"… More >>
  • BEST ARCHITECTURAL INCONGRUITY

    Sears Tower vs. Miami Performing Arts Center

    BEST ARCHITECTURAL INCONGRUITY Sears Tower vs. Miami Performing Arts Center Biscayne Boulevard at Thirteenth Street Miami Amid the grandiose high-rise redevelopment of Miami's downtown, the proud old Sears Tower stands nested within the new performing arts center. The 1929 Art Deco masterpiece once anchored a much larger building and served as a kind of beacon that drew Miami's commercial activity… More >>
  • BEST DOLPHINS PLAYER

    Randy McMichael

    BEST DOLPHINS PLAYER Randy McMichael During what was arguably the Dolphins' worst year, tight end Randy McMichael caught 73 passes for 791 yards (passing Keith Jackson for the Dolphins' single-season records for catches and yards), averaging 10.8 yards per reception. At times McMichael seemed like the sole offensive weapon, and though he posted career-best stats, he probably would have had… More >>
  • BEST CITIZEN

    Kimberly Green

    BEST CITIZEN Kimberly Green www.greenff.org Kimberly Green is what Miami desperately needs: a native daughter who has applied all of her intelligence and ambition to make this a better place. She is the thirtysomething daughter of former Samsonite CEO Steven Green, who created the Green Family Foundation with his wife Dorothea in 1991. Kimberly took over the foundation in 1997… More >>
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

    Ian D. Clark

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Ian D. Clark Clark's delightful turn as a cuckolded husband was a classic cameo role and another bright moment in the Coconut Grove Playhouse's quite bright staging of The Constant Wife. Appearing in only one short scene, Clark demonstrated superb comedic timing, a spot-on British Midlands accent, and an inventive physicality that turned what could have been… More >>
  • BEST-KEPT SECRET

    mia Gallery

    BEST-KEPT SECRET mia Gallery Miami International Airport Concourse E, second level 305-876-0749; 305-869-1219; 305-876-7017 "It can hardly be a coincidence that no language on earth has ever produced the expression öAs pretty as an airport.'" British sci-fi/comedy writer Douglas Adams wrote that sentiment in the opener to one of his popular books, Long Dark Tea Time of the Soul.… More >>
  • BEST ACTRESS

    Angelica Torn

    BEST ACTRESS Angelica Torn No doubt about it. This year's nod goes to Angelica Torn, who tore up the stage in her fierce, memorable portrait of poet Sylvia Plath in EDGE at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Torn used a deliberately off-putting, disconnected persona to portray the troubled writer. But her flat, atonal vocal delivery and disheveled demeanor masked a volcanic… More >>
  • BEST VALUE ON OCEAN DRIVE

    Café Mediterraneo Deli

    BEST VALUE ON OCEAN DRIVE Café Mediterraneo Deli 1501 Collins Avenue Miami Beach 305-532-8998 While true cheapskates know to load up on food and drink before they find themselves east of Collins Avenue, there's still hope for a little cheap grub and chaser right on the strip. Tucked deep within the Ocean Steps mini mall at the north end of… More >>
  • BEST ART MUSEUM

    Bass Museum of Art

    BEST ART MUSEUM Bass Museum of Art 2121 Park Avenue Miami Beach 305-673-7530 Two years ago Bass Museum executive director and chief curator Diane Camber was ready to go medieval on the engineers who oversaw the construction of the museum's current home one block west of Collins Avenue. From a leaky roof to broken floor beams to the climate control… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL CITY IN WHICH TO LIVE

    Coral Gables

    BEST LOCAL CITY IN WHICH TO LIVE Coral Gables No doubt you've heard about the crazy regulations that plague residents of Coral Gables. (Does a fancy SUV count as a truck or a car, and can I park it in my driveway overnight?) But for many Gables citizens, it's a small price to pay (well, maybe not so small) for… More >>
  • BEST STARGAZING

    Southern Cross Astronomical Society

    BEST STARGAZING Southern Cross Astronomical Society 1400 SW 107th Avenue Miami 305-661-1375 www.scas.org and Bill Sadowski Park 17555 SW 79th Avenue Palmetto Bay 305-255-4767 www.miamidade.gov/parks/parks/ bill_sadowski.asp When the Southern Cross Astronomical Society was founded in 1922, members would gaze at the skies with a five-inch Clark refractor from the Royal Palm Hotel and Park. Now they meet at Bill… More >>
  • SECOND-BEST ERRATUM

    April 4, 2005

    Miami Herald

    SECOND-BEST ERRATUM April 4, 2005 Miami Herald "The e-mail address on Friday's column for öYou Got A Problem' was incorrect...." … More >>
  • BEST BUS RIDE

    Route 102/Route B

    BEST BUS RIDE Route 102/Route B Riding the entire length of Metrobus Route 102 and its Key Biscayne connector, Route B, you don't see all of Miami-Dade County, and yet you do. This trip is expansive in geography and culture, traveling as it does from one of the wealthiest zip codes in the United States (once home to Charles "Bebe"… More >>
  • BEST SOUP KITCHEN

    Camillus House

    BEST SOUP KITCHEN Camillus House 726 NE First Avenue Miami 305-374-1065 www.camillus.org A man yelps as rabid crack dogs gnaw at his belly from the inside. The old, lost mind of another thinks he hears whispers through the rotting track marks of a filthy needle spiked in his arm. Hunger and pain. Death is welcomed here. A beaten… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF MIAMI

    El Palacio de los Jugos

    BEST PLACE TO SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF MIAMI El Palacio de los Jugos 5721 W. Flagler Street Miami 305-264-4557 and 14300 SW Eighth Street West Miami-Dade 305-221-1616 Stepping into one of these anachronistic juice bars is like taking a stroll through el campo. The aroma of pork and tamales suffuses the air, and mostly Cuban visitors mull about, checking out… More >>
  • BEST ROAD TO AVOID

    SR 836 (Dolphin Expressway)

    BEST ROAD TO AVOID SR 836 (Dolphin Expressway) Rush hour on the 836 is the perfect time to read "Best of Miami" -- the entire edition. There's certainly not going to be any movement for as long as it takes to work your way through the City Life section. Then maybe a slow crawl for a minute or so. On… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO GO STONED

    Deering Estate at Cutler

    BEST PLACE TO GO STONED Deering Estate at Cutler 16701 SW 72nd Avenue South Miami-Dade 305-235-1668 In the future, people will be able to plug their brains directly into virtual reality scenarios for sex, drugs, and probably everything else. No doubt there will be meditative modules for calming down -- like motionless yoga for the nervous system. Walking into the… More >>
  • BEST CHUTZPAH

    Jeffrey Berkowitz

    BEST CHUTZPAH Jeffrey Berkowitz For some unfathomable reason, developer Jeffrey Berkowitz wants to inflict on South Florida more so-called art from Romero Britto, as if Britto's infantile decorations weren't already ubiquitous. Berkowitz and partner Alan Potamkin are about to begin construction of a cramped shopping mall and parking garage at the main entrance to Miami Beach -- Fifth Street and… More >>
  • BEST TOURIST TRAP

    Little Havana

    BEST TOURIST TRAP Little Havana Little Havana is perfect for the tourist who wants to soak up local culture the way Cuban bread soaks up lechon juice. Maximo Gomez (Domino) Park is the main axis point of the neighborhood and a gathering spot for old-timers to play dominoes while arguing the finer points of exile politics. Visitors will be blown… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL POLITICIAN

    State Rep. Dan Gelber

    BEST LOCAL POLITICIAN State Rep. Dan Gelber Miami Beach office: 305-531-7831 Tallahassee office: 850-488-0690 gelber.dan@myfloridahouse.com It's not easy being a Democrat in Tallahassee these days. Not easy, that is, if you want to be effective. Dan Gelber, whose District 106 encompasses the coastal communities from Miami Beach to the Broward County line, is one Democrat who has managed to be… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO SEE MIAMI LIKE A NATIVE -- A NINETEENTH-CENTURY NATIVE

    Twelfth Annual Miami International Map Fair

    BEST PLACE TO SEE MIAMI LIKE A NATIVE -- A NINETEENTH-CENTURY NATIVE Twelfth Annual Miami International Map Fair Hosted by the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, the Map Fair drew a slightly less boisterous crowd of out-of-towners than the Boat Show or the Winter Music Conference, but one no less enthusiastic about a shared passion -- collecting vintage maps. Florida… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT WOMEN

    Synergy Yoga Center

    BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT WOMEN Synergy Yoga Center 435 Española Way Miami Beach 305-538-7073 www.synergyyoga.org If engaging conversation is what you desire from a potential mate, perhaps a jolt to the proper chakra will soothe that yearning heart. Bring your mat and position it strategically in the center of the studio room. Get there early and show lots of… More >>
  • BEST MOVIE SHOT ON LOCATION

    Code 33

    BEST MOVIE SHOT ON LOCATION Code 33 The filmmakers behind this crime documentary prove that footage of reality can be more dramatic than some overblown fictional Hollywood production that requires shutting down major traffic arteries. Code 33 is an ode to Miami's cultural diaspora pegged to one of the biggest local stories of 2003: the Shenandoah rapist. New York-based auteurs… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL CONVICTIONS OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    Jacques Evens Thermilus and Richard Caride

    BEST POLITICAL CONVICTIONS OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS Jacques Evens Thermilus and Richard Caride It didn't start out as a political case. It began as an inquiry into a simple heist -- albeit a long-running one. For years employees of private companies that work at Miami International Airport were stealing the valuable jet fuel by the truckload. When a multiagency… More >>
  • BEST DAY TRIP

    Clyde Butcher's Muck-About

    BEST DAY TRIP Clyde Butcher's Muck-About Big Cypress Gallery 52388 Tamiami Trail Ochopee 239-695-2428; 888-999-9113 The Swamp. Is it a place of psychedelic gases and weedy monsters? Do alligators battle pythons for dominion over a few feet of muck? Are creepy crawlies lying in wait for a hapless tourist to wander by? Is it fodder for comic books and… More >>
  • BEST KING MANGO STRUTTER

    Bill Dobson

    BEST KING MANGO STRUTTER Bill Dobson You must be someone special when the grand dame of Miami journalism, Edna Buchanan, comes out of retirement to write your obituary. When Dobson died October 22, 2004, at the tender age of 49, Miami lost a unique gem. Some knew him as a dedicated county employee blessed with the sense of humor needed… More >>
  • BEST RADIO STATION

    99 Jamz (WEDR-FM 99.1)

    BEST RADIO STATION 99 Jamz (WEDR-FM 99.1) www.wedr.com Many debate which is the best urban station: 99 Jamz or The Beat (WMIB-FM 103.5). It's a tough call, but 99 Jamz has a killer mix-show roster (including DJs Khaled, Irie, and KD), as well as several distinctive on-air voices, particularly the morning team of Big Lip Bandit, Supa Cindy, and Benji… More >>
  • BEST ARCHITECTURAL EYESORE

    Miami Herald Building

    BEST ARCHITECTURAL EYESORE Miami Herald Building 1 Herald Plaza Miami Plans for construction were announced in 1958, and before you could say Ugh! the views of Biscayne Bay from Overtown and the MacArthur Causeway were obliterated by this squat, hulking orange monument to stifled imagination. Clearly it was at the vanguard of a style (American Utilitarian?) that would inspire for… More >>
  • BEST HURRICANE PREDICTIONS

    Weather Underground

    BEST HURRICANE PREDICTIONS Weather Underground www.wunderground.com/tropical This season, when you get tired of phrases such as "this is what the track of the hurricane will look like if it takes a sharp, impossible turn and heads straight into downtown Miami" and you want a reasonable prognostication about where any storm might be heading, the place to go is the Weather… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS

    Hoy Como Ayer

    BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS Hoy Como Ayer 2212 SW Eighth Street Miami 305-541-2631 www.hoycomoayer.net Your visitors can spend the day basking on Miami's beaches, spending cash in its shops, trekking through the Everglades, catching boat rides from Bayside, or feeding the birds at Parrot Jungle. However, the quintessential Miami experience awaits as you take them through the doors of… More >>
  • BEST CONVENTION OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS

    OtakuCon Anime Convention

    BEST CONVENTION OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS OtakuCon Anime Convention Fontainebleau Hilton Resort 4441 Collins Avenue Miami Beach 305-538-2000 Hordes of imagination-fired freaks and geeks took over a landmark Miami Beach hotel in late December to celebrate the colorful and expanding world of anime. The three-day gathering was overrun by people, young and old, who find an especially animated pleasure… More >>
  • BEST POWER FAMILY

    Los Valdes-Fauli

    BEST POWER FAMILY Los Valdes-Fauli When Raul Ernesto Valdes-Fauli died in 2003 at age 84, evidence of success in this life wasn't measured by the prominence and prosperity he had achieved as a former lawyer who represented banking and sugar interests in pre-Castro Cuba. (He was very prominent and prosperous.) No, it was the prominence and prosperity his children had… More >>
  • BEST STORYTELLER

    Jan Mapou

    BEST STORYTELLER Jan Mapou It's no surprise Jan Mapou is one of Miami's most well-versed storytellers, for the man possesses a lifetime of rich material. Born in Haiti, Mapou spent time in jail for speaking in Kreyol on a Port-au-Prince radio show, moved to New York in the early Seventies and then to Miami in the mid-Eighties, where he opened… More >>
  • BEST TERROR ALERT

    October 26, 2004

    Miami International Airport

    BEST TERROR ALERT October 26, 2004 Miami International Airport Mizael Cabral and Daniel Correa, two athletic, young kite surfers from Brazil, are heading back to their homeland after spending a couple of years hanging out in Pompano Beach. They check their boards, sails, assorted other gear, and luggage through the x-ray machine at MIA's international terminal. Among the gear is… More >>
  • BEST WEATHERCASTER

    National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center

    BEST WEATHERCASTER National Weather Service and National Hurricane Center Some people get the weather by sticking their heads out the window. Everybody else gets their weather -- at least partially -- from the National Weather Service and the National Hurricane Center. Even the major news outlets rely on information from the NWS and NHC before putting an entertaining spin on… More >>
  • BEST AUDIO TOUR

    Adam Curry's podcast from South Beach

    BEST AUDIO TOUR Adam Curry's podcast from South Beach http://radio.weblogs.com/0001014/ categories/dailySourceCode/2005/ 01/07.html#a6993 So you've finally set up your blog. That's sooooo 2004. Goodness, you should already be podcasting for your cyber creds. Podcasting is the new blog, but think of it more as radio broadcasting available from the Internet that you save to your personal MP3 and play when you… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOXER

    James Abdullah

    BEST LOCAL BOXER James Abdullah Shortly after dusk inside Allapattah's Teo Cruz Boxing Gym, manager Pedro Valerio is busy assisting black and Hispanic boys and men in their bids to master the sweet science. Skinny lightweight and middleweight contenders from Venezuela, the Dominican Republic, and other Latin American nations methodically pound at punching bags that are patched with duct tape.… More >>
  • BEST DISAPPEARING ACT

    Alex Penelas

    BEST DISAPPEARING ACT Alex Penelas Who would've thought I could've vanished so completely. And so quickly! Believe me, it hasn't been easy, which you'd understand if you had spent your entire adult life seeking the public spotlight. It happened so fast I didn't even have time to take an unhurried victory lap to bask in the glow of my many… More >>
  • BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

    Lorena Diaz

    BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS Lorena Diaz Diaz, a resourceful actress with extensive range, delivered an outrageous, over-the-top performance in Betty's Summer Vacation (a Christopher Durang satire) as Mrs. Siezmagraff, the lunatic landlady from hell. Diaz was as fearless as she was shameless, creating a nightmarish cartoon of a character that ran away with this Mad Cat Theatre show, no minor accomplishment… More >>
  • BEST DEFENSE AGAINST TERRORISM

    P. Diddy

    BEST DEFENSE AGAINST TERRORISM P. Diddy When Sean Combs lived in Manhattan during the Nineties, he was beset with 99 problems. P. Diddy had a tempestuous romance with J.Lo and a highly publicized feud with Death Row Records, was accused of severely beating Interscope Records executive Steve Stoute, was present during a shooting in a nightclub, and eventually faced charges… More >>
  • BEST SET DESIGN

    Adrian W. Jones

    BEST SET DESIGN Adrian W. Jones Anna in the Tropics Jones's inspired design -- a lone windswept palm tree against a huge sky with a massive interior of walls and wooden beams depicting a Tampa cigar factory in the Twenties -- gave Nilo Cruz's production of his own play great emotional texture and beautifully emphasized the story's tensions between emotional… More >>
  • BEST NEW LAW

    Sidewalk bicycle ban

    BEST NEW LAW Sidewalk bicycle ban City of Miami Beginning May 12, the elderly Hispanics who clog the sidewalks of Calle Ocho can feel a little safer walking up and down Little Havana's most famous thoroughfare. That day Miami police officers will begin enforcing a new law that bans bicycles, scooters, and skateboards from the sidewalks of SW Eighth… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR A SECOND DATE

    Café Sambal

    BEST PLACE FOR A SECOND DATE Café Sambal Mandarin Oriental Hotel 500 Brickell Key Drive Miami 305-913-8251 Oh, yes. The first date was smokin': great conversation, definite chemistry, you didn't want the night to end. Even though you said you wouldn't do that on a first date, you did, and now he's nudging you for breakfast. Even if you… More >>
  • BEST REAL-ESTATE APPRECIATION

    Aventura

    BEST REAL-ESTATE APPRECIATION Aventura With all the hype over the forest of condo developments sprouting in downtown Miami, the Design District, and Miami Beach, it's important not to lose sight of reality -- especially if you're one of the many hopefuls mortgaging your future in the name of quick profits. According to a Wall Street Journal study, 2004's greatest real-estate… More >>
  • BEST COMEBACK (ANIMAL KINGDOM)

    Miami Blue Butterfly

    BEST COMEBACK (ANIMAL KINGDOM) Miami Blue Butterfly Once more prevalent than cars on 836, the Miami Blue (Hemiargus thomasi bethunebakeri) wasn't doing so well thanks to humans and, mostly, their always encroaching development. (Habitat loss, natural disasters, and mosquito-reduction spraying are the three biggest destroyers of little flying things in South Florida.) It was even thought to be extinct after… More >>
  • BEST REASON TO STAY IN MIAMI FOR THE SUMMER

    Languid days, sultry nights

    BEST REASON TO STAY IN MIAMI FOR THE SUMMER Languid days, sultry nights Not all of us can afford to zip up to the Hamptons for six weeks of madras-clad croquet amid the cool climes and waterfront estates. Nor can we all shell out for a ticket to Ibiza for round-the-clock partying. But being rich and idle isn't all it's… More >>
  • BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Papa Keith

    BEST FM RADIO PERSONALITY Papa Keith The Beat (WMIB-FM 103.5) www.mega1035.cc/pages/papakeith The Baka Boys might get you wired and ready for work while you're battling morning traffic, but Papa Keith is the man who takes you home smoothly and safely, easing the stress of the day with hip-hop and humor. On his daily drive-time show (6:00 to 10:00 p.m.) he… More >>
  • BEST CHILDREN'S ADVOCATE

    Carol Marbin Miller

    BEST CHILDREN'S ADVOCATE Carol Marbin Miller Miami Herald reporter Miller has been single-minded in her efforts to force the state's Department of Children and Families to change itself from a backward, inefficient, corrupt institution into a somewhat less backward, less inefficient, and less corrupt institution. Since her byline first appeared in the Herald in 2000 (she had previously been at… More >>
  • BEST COSTUME DESIGN

    Ellis Tillman

    BEST COSTUME DESIGN Ellis Tillman The Constant Wife As the resident costume designer for the Coconut Grove Playhouse, Tillman has been turning out first-rate work for years. But he outdid even himself with this stylish, dryly funny design scheme for Somerset Maugham's Jazz Age comedy. With what seemed an endless parade of snazzy outfits, Tillman's designs helped define the… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL MISCALCULATION

    José Cancela

    BEST POLITICAL MISCALCULATION José Cancela Despite a rave endorsement from the Miami Herald touting his candidacy for Miami-Dade County mayor, Cancela tanked in the August 31 first round of voting. But on the way down he pumped a lot of good money into the local political economy. The former head of Radio Unica (a Spanish-language radio network that also tanked)… More >>
  • BEST NIGHT TRIP

    Annual Winter Star Party

    BEST NIGHT TRIP Annual Winter Star Party 386-362-5995 Named after the constellation, the venerable Southern Cross Astronomical Society has brought gazers the Winter Star Party for twenty years, usually at West Summerland Key during the new moon in February or March. Why the Southern Cross moniker? For the hundreds of starry-eyed visitors who trek down for the party, the southern… More >>
  • BEST MEMOIR

    The Summer That Changed Miami Beach by Seymour Gelber

    BEST MEMOIR The Summer That Changed Miami Beach by Seymour Gelber A day-by-day, often hour-by-hour account of the tumultuous summer of 1972, when Miami Beach played host to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and with them a roiling mass of politicos and protesters. Former Beach Mayor Seymour Gelber, then a Dade County assistant state attorney, was dispatched to… More >>
  • BEST GIRLS' DAY OUT

    Rik Rak Salon and Spa

    BEST GIRLS' DAY OUT Rik Rak Salon and Spa 1428 Brickell Avenue Miami 305-371-5577 It's easy to visualize the agent and the TV network exec getting together to negotiate this concept: What happens when a clothing store owner and a hair stylist get together? They open a full salon and spa featuring racks of designer clothes, shoes, and accessories. The… More >>
  • BEST CHEAP THRILL

    Miami Jai-Alai

    BEST CHEAP THRILL Miami Jai-Alai 3500 NW 37th Avenue Miami 305-633-9661 www.miami-jai-alai.com Who needs slots? For the lousy buck gamblers throw away on spinning fruit, spectators can be treated to the real action: four or more hours of the fastest game on earth. Watch as these international athletes hurl a rock-hard ball at speeds up to 180 miles per hour.… More >>
  • BEST DRAG QUEEN

    Adora

    BEST DRAG QUEEN Adora Out of costume Adora is a seriously cute Latin boy by the name of Danilo. In costume she's one of Miami's hardest-working girls, surviving the trends of fickle Miami for the past fourteen years. Her trademarks are platinum tresses, glittering red lips, and ostentatious eyelashes. She's loud, funny, and of course outrageous. Her style is campy… More >>
  • BEST MAGIC CITY ICON

    The moon

    BEST MAGIC CITY ICON The moon That's right, the big orb hanging supernaturally above the ocean on its twilight ascent, full and yellow and ghostly, shining brightly through a layer of hazy clouds. People stop and gawk, step out their doors and point heavenward, gather in primeval bands to bang on drums in celebration of its light. "Moon Over Miami,"… More >>
  • BEST FILM FESTIVAL

    Cinema Vortex

    BEST FILM FESTIVAL Cinema Vortex If the goal of a film festival should be to bring high-quality pictures to town -- worthy movies that would otherwise never hit Miami -- then Cinema Vortex deserves its stellar reputation. The fest's history traces back to the defunct Alliance Cinema in Miami Beach, but during more recent years, co-curators Baron Sherer and Kevin… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN

    www.eHarmony.com

    BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN www.eHarmony.com What's the hardest part about meeting women? They're pretty much always on the defensive. Internet match sites may not eliminate feminine defensiveness, but the good ones can reduce it significantly by giving women (and men) power to accept or reject at will. eHarmony.com is among the good ones, mainly because of extensive screening… More >>
  • BEST OUTDOOR ART

    Dead Mouse by Billie Grace Lynn

    BEST OUTDOOR ART Dead Mouse by Billie Grace Lynn The ladies and gentlemen up north whose view of Miami has been shaped by magazines may wonder how one could possibly make this fair city any more beautiful than the tropical paradise portrayed in glossy ads for luxury condominium towers. Art is not all about beauty, nor is blight always devoid… More >>
  • BEST MIAMI HERALD WRITER

    Glenn Garvin

    BEST MIAMI HERALD WRITER Glenn Garvin Love him or hate him, Garvin has become a formidable presence at the Miami Herald, transforming the once staid job of TV critic into a prominent platform for a crusading conservative warrior. Simple sitcom reviews become launching pads for full-blown media criticism; even the slimmest of news pegs grows into a strike on cultural… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL ARTIST

    Hernan Bas

    BEST LOCAL ARTIST Hernan Bas Finally a Miami artist worthy of the hype. There's a reason everyone from Mera Rubell to Michael Ovitz is singing the praises of New World School of the Arts graduate Hernan Bas. His evocative paintings are striking enough to have earned them a slot in the Whitney Biennial, though you hardly need an art expert… More >>
  • BEST PLACE FOR ENGAGEMENT PICTURES

    Downtown Miami

    BEST PLACE FOR ENGAGEMENT PICTURES Downtown Miami How many times has a hyper bride dragged you to the couch and forced you to page through pictures of her and her groom, dressed in white shirts and khakis, frolicking on the beach? Or standing under an arch at Country Club Prado? How about sitting on a rock at Matheson Hammock? If… More >>
  • BEST HURRICANES FOOTBALL PLAYER

    Eric Winston

    BEST HURRICANES FOOTBALL PLAYER Eric Winston In a year when Hurricanes football was down (no national title contention or Heisman Trophy candidates), why not recognize the usually unrecognized: the unsung heroes of the offensive line. For all the great quarterbacks, receivers, and backs the University of Miami has produced, there's been a legacy of equally outstanding offensive linemen, including NFL… More >>
  • BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR

    MTV Video Music Awards

    BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR MTV Video Music Awards Dear Diary: Something's up in the MIA. I don't exactly know what it is, but all week Ferraris and Lamborghinis with out-of-state plates have been zooming past me on the highway. Damn tourists with their boku bucks and flashy cars. Dear Diary: I was at a stop light today and Missy… More >>
  • BEST THEATRICAL PRODUCTION

    The Loman Family Picnic

    BEST THEATRICAL PRODUCTION The Loman Family Picnic Caldwell Theatre Company 7873 N. Federal Highway Boca Raton 561-241-7432 Donald Margulies's funny, sad play about one unhappy Jewish family in 1965 Brooklyn received a startling, dynamic production from the Caldwell team, a noted departure from that troupe's usual safe fare. Visually striking staging was matched with an engaging cast and outstanding work… More >>
  • BEST HOTEL

    Four Seasons

    BEST HOTEL Four Seasons 1435 Brickell Avenue Miami 305-358-3535 Not because it is housed in the tallest building in Florida, with hotel rooms between floors 20 and 29. Not because its staff is rigorously trained in the fine art of discreet and thoughtful service. Not because the rooms are smartly designed and tastefully appointed. Not because the seventh-floor lobby is… More >>
  • BEST SPORTSCASTER

    Lindsay Czarniak

    BEST SPORTSCASTER Lindsay Czarniak WTVJ-TV (Channel 6) Czarniak is the dedicated anchor/reporter for Fins TV, a half-hour program that comes on at 7:00 p.m. Saturdays 52 weeks per year. She also does live reports and features for NBC 6 Sports Final. Czarniak gave up a career as a CNN associate news producer to become a DolFan, and she has inhabited… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC MELTDOWN

    Miami City Commissioner Jeffery Allen

    BEST PUBLIC MELTDOWN Miami City Commissioner Jeffery Allen Public service is not rocket science. Once in office, you meet with constituents, declaim on their behalf, avoid prostitutes and smoking crack with undercover cops, and chances are you'll do okay. It's also not a bad idea to speak cordially with the press and to avoid brawls. So what does Commissioner Jeffery… More >>
  • BEST NEW DRAMA

    Does Jesus Drum?

    BEST NEW DRAMA Does Jesus Drum? Sometimes great gifts come in small packages. Set during the Civil War, Robert Linfors's brief playlet packed a real punch by examining the anguish and fear of parents whose fired-up young son is ready to enlist in the Confederate army. Linfors's timeless dramatic dilemma clearly resonated in today's wartime environment, and City Theatre's cast,… More >>
  • BEST POLITICAL COUP

    Carlos Alvarez

    BEST POLITICAL COUP Carlos Alvarez In late July 2003, when the director of Miami-Dade's police department entered the race to become the county's second executive mayor, no one gave him a chance against the other political war dogs in the contest. Many saw Alvarez as a fifth-place finisher behind José Cancela, Maurice Ferré, Miguel Diaz de la Portilla, and Jimmy… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL SPORTS COACH

    Stan Van Gundy

    BEST LOCAL SPORTS COACH Stan Van Gundy Miami Heat Much has been written about Stan Van Gundy, almost all of it centered on his humble demeanor and rumpled wardrobe, both in stark contrast to his mentor and the coach he unexpectedly replaced in 2003, NBA legend Pat Riley. Since the leadership change, columnists and sports-radio wiseacres have overused the… More >>
  • BEST ERRATUM

    August 3, 2004

    Miami Herald

    BEST ERRATUM August 3, 2004 Miami Herald "A map in Saturday's Business section mislabeled Biscayne Bay, the body of water to the east of Biscayne Boulevard...." … More >>
  • BEST HEAT PLAYER

    Shaquille O'Neal

    BEST HEAT PLAYER Shaquille O'Neal Sure, the way young Dwyane Wade dunks over opposing centers and dishes out dimes like candy at a parade is a thing of grace and grandeur. The way Damon Jones, who looks more like your neighbor than an NBA guard, swagger-skips down the court after one of his automatic three balls brings smiles. And the… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL GIRL GONE BAD

    Geralyn Graham

    BEST LOCAL GIRL GONE BAD Geralyn Graham Graham has been charged with murdering a four-year-old girl placed in her care by the state. She has yet to stand trial. Still, even if what the 59-year-old Graham says is true -- that state workers came and picked up little Rilya Wilson and never returned her -- it's shocking enough. Who loses… More >>
  • BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY

    Bishop Victor T. Curry

    BEST AM RADIO PERSONALITY Bishop Victor T. Curry WMBM-AM (1490) Imagine your average radio talk show. A couple of hosts prattle on about the news, sports, and entertainment while occasionally taking calls from agitated listeners. Now imagine that wrapped in scripture and gospel music, and you'll have the wonderful Morning Glory show, which airs weekdays from 6:00 a.m. to 10:00… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH

    Chili's

    BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH Chili's 19905 Biscayne Boulevard Aventura 305-682-9898 When you've had enough of the fake tits and tans on South Beach, head north on a Saturday night to indulge yourself in a cross section of real people to watch. This joint is jumping -- there's always a crowd outside waiting for tables -- but head to the bar… More >>
  • BEST PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT

    BEST PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT The Margulies Warehouse 591 NW 27th Street Miami 305-576-1051 Visitors to South Florida continuously marvel at the private art collectors here who have thrown their personal stashes open to the public, and real-estate developer Martin Margulies has more than risen to the occasion. He owns an array of cutting-edge modern photography that rivals any museum, and he… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL LANDMARK

    Archway at Sunshine State International Park

    BEST LOCAL LANDMARK Archway at Sunshine State International Park 1300 NW 167th Street North Miami-Dade 305-624-8585 In 1964, when Miami was still a pretty dinky town and el exilio thought they'd be returning home shortly, the newly erected concrete archway at the Sunshine State International Park seemed too big for its britches. Since then the metropolis has grown up… More >>
  • BEST DANCE COMPANY

    Giovanni Luquini Performance Troupe

    BEST DANCE COMPANY Giovanni Luquini Performance Troupe www.luquinidance.org "Straight out of Miami, and into the world, we bring you groove, myth, and athletic fury," Giovanni Luquini declares on his Website. If it sounds like an intense statement for a dance company, well, it is. And rightly so. There is nothing soft or delicate about this troupe (the members will happily… More >>
  • BEST BOONDOGGLE

    Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust

    BEST BOONDOGGLE Citizens' Independent Transportation Trust The People's Transportation Plan, approved by Miami-Dade voters in 2002, was supposed to deliver on a lot of promises in exchange for a half-penny surtax. Key to the measure's passage was the Citizens Independent Transportation Trust. The original idea was that the trust would have real autonomy and teeth to oversee disbursement of the… More >>
  • BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE

    The Constant Wife

    BEST ACTING ENSEMBLE The Constant Wife Coconut Grove Playhouse The Playhouse's hit revival had so many fine performances, it is only fair to fully credit them all. Alicia Roper was regally serene in the title role, beautifully matched by Greg Wood as her duplicitous husband, Nancy Dussault as her wisecracking mother, and Dan Olmstead as her once and future swain.… More >>
  • BEST HERO

    Judge William Hoeveler

    BEST HERO Judge William Hoeveler In last year's edition of "Best of Miami," we acknowledged Hoeveler as Best Judge. In hindsight that seems a bit restrictive. Still hearing cases as an octogenarian senior federal judge, Hoeveler deserves hero status for one simple reason: He's earned it over a career that should be an inspiration to everyone inside and outside the… More >>
  • BEST DIRECTOR

    Michael Hall

    BEST DIRECTOR Michael Hall The Loman Family Picnic The veteran Hall has long been known for consistent professionalism, but this time out his direction of Donald Margulies's oddball memory play really excelled. Hall's compelling visuals were easy to spot, and to admire, while his subtle, beautifully paced scene-work and careful coaching of two child actors were far more subtle but… More >>
  • BEST CAREER MOVE

    Alberto Ibargüen

    BEST CAREER MOVE Alberto Ibargüen He may have been sincere in telling his colleagues at the Miami Herald Publishing Company -- from reporters to advertising reps to pressroom workers and anonymous midlevel managers -- that he will miss them greatly. But in fact he couldn't be happier. No longer struggling with a whittled-down, anemic version of a once-proud newspaper under… More >>
  • BEST LEISURE ACTIVITY OTHER THAN CLUBS OR MOVIES

    Reading at the beach

    BEST LEISURE ACTIVITY OTHER THAN CLUBS OR MOVIES Reading at the beach Wake up Sunday morning. Grab the paper, glossy magazine, maybe a current book of interest. Slather on SPF 30 sunblock. Don swim trunks, flip-flops, straw hat, dark shades. Pack bottled water, roast beef-Gruyre-tomato dagwood, and fresh grapes and apples in cooler. Put cooler in trunk of car along… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO DONATE YOUR CLOTHES

    SoBe Thrifty

    BEST PLACE TO DONATE YOUR CLOTHES SoBe Thrifty 1435 Alton Road Miami Beach 305-672-7251 www.careresource.org Where can you pick up dominatrix gear, metal walkers, Guillermo Alvarez Guedes LPs, and free condoms in one unassuming little store? Okay, so the donated stock does vary from week to week (except the free condoms), but this thrift store tucked away on the "wrong"… More >>
  • BEST READING SERIES

    Books & Books

    BEST READING SERIES Books & Books Various locations in Miami-Dade County www.booksandbooks.com Mitchell Kaplan is our collective dignity's last line of defense. Do we really want the rest of the world to think of us as only a romper room for Paris Hilton? Our highest cultural aspirations to be the fashion photo shoot? Our most fervid debates to be about… More >>
  • BEST PUBLIC RESTROOM

    Village of Merrick Park

    BEST PUBLIC RESTROOM Village of Merrick Park 358 San Lorenzo Avenue Coral Gables 305-529-0200 If you were to think about it, you'd expect the cleanest, least claustrophobic, most hantavirus-free public restroom to be at the Village of Merrick Park in Coral Gables, along with Nordstrom, Neiman Marcus, and the Donald J. Pliner store. And it is. … More >>
  • BEST ART GALLERY

    Bernice Steinbaum Gallery

    BEST ART GALLERY Bernice Steinbaum Gallery 3550 N. Miami Avenue Miami 305-573-2700 www.bernicesteinbaumgallery.com It is getting difficult to choose from among the growing array of high-quality art galleries gracing our strip-mall-and-condo town. If the mega-event Art Basel is any barometer of gallery hierarchy, then the royal court is composed of Fredric Snitzer, Diana Lowenstein, Genaro Ambrosino, and Bernice Steinbaum, the… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL PHANTASMAGORIA

    BEST LOCAL PHANTASMAGORIA Rain falls, storms threaten, winds kick up, Gulfstream Park gets torn up, tanker trucks smash up, Alex Penelas goes down, DuPont Plaza goes down, bus fares rise, Cuba visits get cut, canker crews cut, Lawrence Plummer dies, Andres Nazario Sargen dies, Caribbean Marketplace survives, Shaqmania arrives, Venezuelans arrive, Argentines arrive, Video Music Awards arrive, One Ninety disappears,… More >>
  • BEST MARLINS PLAYER

    Miguel Cabrera

    BEST MARLINS PLAYER Miguel Cabrera On TV Miguelito seems so sweet, so young, so, well, soft. Then someone throws a ball at him, and suddenly that cherub's face is fronting an aggressive six-foot-two hitter with 210 pounds of power behind his swing. Though youthful, the Venezuela native is poised to become a superstar. Last year, his first full Major League… More >>
  • BEST PARKING ON SOUTH BEACH

    Bay Road between Thirteenth and Sixteenth streets

    BEST PARKING ON SOUTH BEACH Bay Road between Thirteenth and Sixteenth streets After a couple of years of major construction, including the Waverly and Flamingo condominium projects, this stretch of road has emerged from the Dumpsters and bulldozers as blessedly unregulated. No parking meters in sight. No residential permits required. (It can't possibly remain this way forever.) The location is… More >>
  • BEST TOUR

    Redland Riot

    BEST TOUR Redland Riot 305-443-7973 www.redlandriot.com Sunday morning. Rapidly approaching afternoon. Check list. Grind sticky green; twist Chonger for road. Print booklet from Website, crank up music, head down for Redland Riot. Cruise through area's fruity, tropical history in purple haze -- past quaint, funky Cauley Square. Hold joint low when rolling through downtown Homestead. Turn tunes up louder; sing… More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY GONE BAD

    Bill Kamal

    BEST LOCAL BOY GONE BAD Bill Kamal The elegantly dressed and apparently bionic weatherman for WSVN-TV (Channel 7) seemed never to sleep during the 2004 hurricane season, so devoted was he to projecting the speed and movements of Danielle, Frances, Ivan, and Jeanne. But the darkest storm was yet to come. Sunday, October 24, he put on shorts, flip-flops, and… More >>
  • BEST POET

    Will "Da Real One" Bell

    BEST POET Will "Da Real One" Bell www.willdarealone.com Will "Da Real One" Bell represents the new poetry. He spits words like high-caliber machine-gun fire, and his booming voice sets ears ablaze. He snarls ferocious truth about the things he's seen -- heartbreak and pain, crime and punishment, struggle and poverty. Much of his work is inspired by his hardscrabble Liberty… More >>
  • BEST NEIGHBORHOOD NEWSPAPER

    Biscayne Boulevard Times

    BEST NEIGHBORHOOD NEWSPAPER Biscayne Boulevard Times www.biscayneboulevard.com Development is rapidly altering the landscape of the Biscayne Boulevard corridor in ways both good and not so good. Residents in this area, roughly from downtown Miami to 79th Street, keep track of the changes not through the Miami Herald but through this small, scrappy monthly newspaper that comprehensively tackles nearly every neighborhood… More >>
  • BEST PLACE TO THROW A PARTY

    The former building of La Moderna Poesia

    BEST PLACE TO THROW A PARTY The former building of La Moderna Poesia 5246 SW Eighth Street Coral Gables Here's a little real-estate advice for any savvy entrepreneur with some green to spread around. Miami Beach is too expensive, and everyone knows downtown is riddled with cranes and dump trucks working away at creating a metropolis for the millennium. But… More >>
  • BEST FESTIVAL

    Ultra Music Festival

    BEST FESTIVAL Ultra Music Festival Bayfront Park 301 Biscayne Boulevard Miami We're sure Russell Faibisch and Alex Omes, the perpetrators behind all things Ultra, would love to hear that their little bash by Biscayne Bay is awesome because of the music lineup -- which is in fact awesome. We're sure the City of Miami would like to hear that… More >>
  • BEST MUSEUM

    Miami Children's Museum

    BEST MUSEUM Miami Children's Museum 980 MacArthur Causeway Miami 305-373-5437 www.miamichildrensmuseum.org Finally housed in a permanent location, the Miami Children's Museum has been able to turn its attention to developing a world-class educational playground for youngsters. Permanent and temporary exhibits, day camps, and classes are the main draws, but there is also an intriguing film program for budding auteurs that… More >>
  • BEST CAR WASH

    South Beach Finest Hand Car Wash

    BEST CAR WASH South Beach Finest Hand Car Wash 1229 Eighteenth Street Miami Beach 305-604-9282 Do you feel dirty? I mean really dirty? Then you need to have some fine young men and women scrub you down from top to bottom, inside and out, including your tires. With no monstrous machines to smack you around and bend your antenna, you'll… More >>
  • BEST PERIODIQUITO

    The Miami Post

    BEST PERIODIQUITO The Miami Post The periodiquito publishing community is Miami-Dade County's guerrilla propaganda machine. These little community newspapers serve a singular purpose: putting forth the political agendas of their publishers. However, the Miami Post, assembled by one Luis Tornes, an esteemed editor who in the 21st Century can be contacted only via a P.O. box, has an agenda that… More >>
  • BEST FLACK

    Tara Solomon

    BEST FLACK Tara Solomon TARA, Ink. 305-864-3434 www.taraink.com An ageless former journalist gleefully packed it in and went over to the dark side with considerable verve and a very adorable fiancé who got his humble start as a clerk at Sephora. This year Tara Solomon opened an office in Los Angeles (new clients include Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson), notched… More >>
  • PERSONAL BEST

    Lindsay Czarniak

    Personal Best Lindsay Czarniak Even though the games begin in the fall and end by the time the days begin to grow longer, football season is 365 days a year for true DolFans. Lindsay Czarniak knows this, lives this, breathes this, and that's what makes Fins TV, a half-hour show broadcast every week on WTVJ (Channel 6), the local NBC… More >>
  • BEST MANIFESTO

    Seth Green

    BEST MANIFESTO Seth Green When we last heard from Mr. Seth Green, who was featured in last year's "Best of Miami" (see Best Place to Slow Dance), the Titian-haired star of cinema and television was held aloft by twin streams of bubbly champagne success, doing mainstream comedy in the syndicated series Greg the Bunny while enjoying artistic street cred from… More >>
  • BEST BUMPER STICKER

    "To all you virgins out there, thanks for nothing."

    BEST BUMPER STICKER "To all you virgins out there, thanks for nothing." … More >>
  • BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD

    Blake Ross

    BEST LOCAL BOY MADE GOOD Blake Ross Kids today. If they aren't stealing cars and smoking crack, they're, they're -- why, they're building the latest, greatest Internet browser in history! While it may sound inane, make no mistake: This is the biggest browser news since Janet Reno went after Microsoft for offering theirs free with Windows 95. What's so special… More >>
  • BEST KIDS' THRILL

    Pelican Island Nature Preserve

    BEST KIDS' THRILL Pelican Island Nature Preserve Pelican Harbor Marina 1275 NE 79th Street Causeway Miami 305-754-9330 Although it sometimes seems the kids have become irrevocably attached to their computers and game consoles, there's still the lure of nature to snap them back to our world now and then. Pelican Island, part of the Miami-Dade County park system, is… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Nick D'Annunzio and Tara Solomon of TARA, Ink.

    Personal Best Nick D'Annunzio and Tara Solomon of TARA, Ink. Boutique public relations firm TARA, Ink. is the offspring of Miami Herald columnist Tara Solomon, who manages to be both journalist and, um, promoter. Solomon has long presided over Miami Beach nightlife and now, with fiancé Nick D'Annunzio, may be a little less visible in these parts as she jets… More >>
  • BEST BUILDING LOBBY

    Miami-Dade County Courthouse

    BEST BUILDING LOBBY Miami-Dade County Courthouse 73 W. Flagler Street Miami Most folks who stumble through the metal detectors at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse probably have a lot more on their minds than reveling in the gorgeous architecture. But ignoring such beauty is practically criminal. (Not to worry; this is the civil courthouse.) Architects August Geiger and Albert Anthony Ten… More >>
  • BEST LAWYER

    Richard Scruggs

    BEST LAWYER Richard Scruggs In the corridors of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office, some people are calling Scruggs the "Greatest Ass-Kicker of All Time." It may take a bit more time to see if Scruggs, special assistant to State Attorney Katherine Fernandez Rundle for public corruption, is worthy of the exalted title. After all, he's been a state prosecutor since… More >>
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