Download our Free Best Of App

People & Places

  • Personal Best

    James Luznar, 79

    James "Jimbo" Luznar opened his joint on Virginia Key, Jimbo's, a half-century ago. And there's no better place on the water to take a toot. What is your greatest triumph? We used to be where the Herald building is, but then they said our boats would have to go. So we looked at Snapper Creek, Martí Park, then we ended up… More >>
  • Personal Best

    Kevin Wynn, 42

    Born in Homestead, Kevin Wynn is the producer and cohost of Downtown Dade, a TV talk show that covers the arts and culture and airs on the county's government access channel. He is also the coprogrammer, with Barron Sherer, of Cinema Vortex, a nonprofit organization devoted to screening unusual, significant, and neglected film and video works. And he's the creator… More >>
  • Best Local Politician

    Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Alvarez

    It is a dark time for Miami-Dade County's executive mayor. The evil lords on the county commission annihilated Carlos Alvarez's bold offensive to strip them of some bribe-making abilities. Then the Galactic Empire displayed the true power of the Dark Side when it crushed Alvarez in the Boundary Wars. Beaten but resolute, the good mayor fled to the outer rim… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Aventura Veterans Park

    There are several safe, clean places where we can let Fido run off-leash in Miami-Dade. Coconut Grove has several dog-friendly parks; the Beach has some nice locations; there's a spot on Virginia Key where dogs can swim and sunbathe; but of all the canine treats in my Miami, the mac daddy of all dog parks is in Aventura. Two years… More >>
  • Best Political Comeback

    Charles Burkett

    When Charles Burkett ran for Surfside mayor in 2004, he was up against a group of candidates endorsed (and some say handpicked) by Paul Novack, the town's outgoing mayor of twelve years and most powerful political force. The Novack-endorsed slate labeled Burkett, a property owner who restores and resells homes (and manages the money in his massive family trust funds),… More >>
  • Best Listener

    Farley the Therapy Dog

    Come one, come all, to the "Read to Farley" sessions at the children's section of the North Miami Beach Library, the second and fourth Tuesdays of every month at 4:00 p.m. This is no ordinary dog. This shaggy mop o' unconditional love once suffered from crippling agoraphobia, owing to early abuse. But his patient handler, Margo Berman, a professor at… More >>
  • Best Political Coup

    The fallout from Art Teele's suicide

    When Arthur Teele, the powerful but beleaguered commissioner of Miami's mostly black District 5, committed suicide in the lobby of the Miami Herald July 27, 2005, Mayor Manny Diaz lost his most daunting opponent. Among other beefs with his honor was Teele's opposition to the mixed-use Crosswinds development in Overtown, a multimillion-dollar project that Diaz's administration endorsed but Teele characterized… More >>
  • Best Place to Throw a Party

    Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

    Renting Vizcaya for a weekend evening may cost $10,000 ($7500 for a weeknight), but a properly bacchanalian affair should at least have traces of ancient Rome, if only in the form of a few well-placed Neo-Italian cherubs. Though one can only imagine the grandeur with which James Deering entertained in the early Twenties, parties at Vizcaya -- corporate sponsors and… More >>
  • Best Political Miscalculation

    The seven-million-dollar fire fee settlement

    Miami Mayor Manny Diaz and City Manager Joe Arriola cut a sweetheart deal with their buddy and prominent local attorney Hank Adorno and his seven clients. They thought Miami taxpayers wouldn't notice. They were so wrong. Manny and Joe found themselves in the middle of the biggest scandal to hit Miami City Hall since Cesar Odio ran Dinner Key. And… More >>
  • Best Activity to Do While Intoxicated

    Eating Pancakes at IHOP

    Any activity is better when you're intoxicated -- bowling, dancing, shooting pool, flicking your lighter at a Bon Jovi concert -- but the ultimate nightcap is pancakes. Serious drinkers know that after a good night of partying, you need to begin warding off the next day's hangover with a stack of alcohol-absorbing pancakes. The original buttermilk, the "healthy" grain-and-nut ones,… More >>
  • Best Disappearing Act

    Former Hialeah Mayor Raul Martinez

    For nearly a quarter-century Raul Martinez personified the City of Hialeah. La Ciudad que Progresa elected this giant-of-a-man mayor in 1981 after a one-term stint on the city council. A charming and combative hombre with bulldog jowls, Martinez proved that even a criminal conviction (eventually overturned by an appeals court) couldn't stop him from being re-elected. Last year, though, Hialeah's… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Euriamis Losada in Romeo and Juliet

    So he has the chops, the looks and most of all the voice and the presence. And, while no single performance ever could exhaust the possibilities of any Shakespearean role, Euriamis Losada's Romeo was a triumph: impulsive, young and sexy, but also in precociously masterful command of the heavenly music that is Shakespeare's language. This Romeo's banter with Nicholas Richberg's… More >>
  • Best Municipal Advancement

    311

    Questions like "Where do I register to vote?" and "What day should I put my trash out?" used to be weighty philosophical dilemmas, mulled over at great length by bureaucrats behind Plexiglas windows. Determining the address of the closest hurricane shelter entailed a Faustian journey into the bowels of voicemail networks. Learning which phone number to call in a police… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Dan LeBatard

    Yeah, he's annoying. Yeah, his Miami Herald columns are often infuriatingly inconsistent, self-contradictory, and smug. But LeBatard, who hosts the 4:00 to 7:00 p.m. slot on WAXY 790 AM, helms the most entertaining talk-radio show in town. Part of the reason is that it's only half a sports talk show. LeBatard and straightman Jon "Stugotz" Weiner (the station's general manager)… More >>
  • Best New Law

    Noise Ordinance, Miami Beach

    It's not perfect, but it turns down the volume without squelching the vital tourist machine. Here's how it works: Once a code officer confirms a noise complaint, the culprit receives a written warning -- and has fifteen minutes to turn down the sound. Businesses receive three written warnings per year. (Vociferous voters got that knocked down from six at a… More >>
  • Best Animal Rescue

    Pelican Harbor Seabird Station

    In 1979 Harry and Darlene Kelton were living temporarily inside a houseboat docked at the county-owned Pelican Harbor Marina on the John F. Kennedy Causeway. One day the Keltons took in an injured pelican that was paddling by their floating home. One thing led to another, and the couple spent the final 23 years of their 48-year marriage tending to… More >>
  • Best Gadfly

    Steve Hagen

    Steve Hagen's advocacy on behalf of an array of causes can be best summed up as an attempt to make sure Miami's development explosion benefits residents as much as developers. The 57-year-old Belle Meade resident embodies the two most important qualities of a gadfly: He is persistent, and he is annoying. Hagen, a Miamian for 22 years, attends more public… More >>
  • Best Art Cinema

    Miami Beach Cinematheque

    Weaving a quirky collage of video, photography, installations, performance art, curated film series, and cinema-inspired live theater, this cozy film house continues drawing the culturati and curious like a magnet. Just last year, as part of its "Great Directors" series, the cinematheque delivered gems by Jean-Luc Godard, Wong Kar-Wai, Rainer Werner Fassbinder, Gus Van Sant, and David Lynch in addition… More >>
  • Best Citizen

    Rev. Garth Thompson, Miami Beach Community Church

    Reverend Thompson has been preaching from the pulpit here since 1974, and in 32 years has put the "community" in the church's name in both word and deed. He began by encouraging blacks, Hispanics, and the homeless to join a congregation of what one current parishioner calls "a very well-gloved ladies-who-lunch crowd." Thompson threw himself, and his congregation, into community… More >>
  • Best Art Museum

    Miami Art Central - CLOSED

    Think of blockbuster exhibits. Think of provocative community-oriented programs that integrate film, literature, music, and performance with the visual arts. Think Miami Art Central. Since opening its doors in 2004, the nonprofit has blazed an impressive swath across our cultural landscape, showcasing heavyweight names and pulling in crowds with stimulating presentations of lectures, screenings, workshops, publications, and roundtable discussions. The… More >>
  • Best Cultural Ambassador

    Charlie Cinnamon

    In a city where there are as many public-relations people as flashy, high-rise condos, one man stands out above the event-promoting pack. His name is Charlie Cinnamon. He's been a well-established fixture for more than 40 years. He's responsible for some of Miami's finest and longest-running cultural events. And through it all, he's remained as spicy-sweet as his name would… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court

    Overtown Youth Center

    The Overtown Youth Center basketball court makes any ordinary hoopster hungry. There's something about this particular hardwood. Maybe it's the context. This freshly painted, recently polished, carefully maintained, full-size indoor gem is located in one of the slummiest, most dilapidated parts of Miami. Or maybe it's because you're not allowed to play here. The court is part of the Overtown… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Sidney Poitier

    Born in Miami during a mainland visit by his Bahamian parents, this great American actor came to the Magic City as a fifteen-year-old in 1942 and remained in the United States after that. At first he had a really rough time, experiencing racism and difficulty in getting a job, which inspired his civil rights activism as an adult. Poitier joined… More >>
  • Best Beach

    Crandon Beach

    Visit Crandon Beach on a gusty day and, for a $5 parking fee, here's what you'll find: kite surfers swooping and twirling in the distance and sandpipers dozing on one leg just offshore. The placid, lagoonlike waters make Crandon a perfect spot for swimming or wading. And its near-empty beaches are a welcome retreat from Miami Beach favorites. Besides, no… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    Finding Mañana: A Memoir of a Cuban Exodus by Mirta Ojito

    In 1980 more than 125,000 Cubans fled the iron fist of Fidel Castro in what would become known as the Mariel Boatlift. Mirta Ojito was born in Cuba and lived in a one-bedroom apartment in Havana for sixteen years until her family joined the exodus to the United States. Ojito's family made it to Florida together, but many others were… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone to Heaven

    Charles "Skipper Chuck" Zink

    This past December, when Chuck Zink quietly entered a nursing home after a major stroke, native South Floridians spread the news that our good friend was dying. To call The Skipper Chuck Show popular would be an understatement. From 1957 to 1979, every youngster in town wanted to appear on it. The production seemed a cheery reprieve from the often… More >>
  • Best Bowling Alley (Closed)

    Don Carter Kendall Lanes

    Let us now have a moment of silence for Don Carter's, the little bowling alley that could, and did, for 30 years. The Kendall branch opened in 1976, when most of the overcrowded suburb was but a gleam in an ambitious developer's eye, and it sadly has gone the way of most Miami businesses that possess any glimmer of authentic… More >>
  • Best Hero

    Steve Rosen

    Development is the enemy of Florida, and Steve Rosen is an enemy of development. He came to public attention when snipers were headed to Miami International Airport to slaughter 300 jackrabbits living there. Instead of carnage, Rosen, who clearly is more intelligent than anyone who has anything to do with running the airport, simply paid to have the bunnies wrangled… More >>
  • Best Bus Ride

    Route 8A

    Route 8A, Miami-Dade Transit's exotic Third-World express through the heart of Little Havana, is an experience unrivaled in our public transportation system and dirt cheap at a buck-fifty. Many joke that for norteamericanos this rickety trip down Calle Ocho is like weathering the Florida Straits on a raft; it'll take you to another country, no passport required. Expect to find… More >>
  • Best Potential Hero

    Python Pete

    Giant scaly creatures from darkest Africa invade Miami! Fierce serpents plunder the Everglades, breeding and eating, eating and breeding, and then ... they slither into the city itself! Creepy crawlers lurk at every turn! Wildlife gone into their gaping maws! Pets perish to the ravenous reptiles! Children -- beware! What this place needs is a new superhero. And here he… More >>
  • Best Canoe Tours

    Miami-Dade County Eco-Adventures

    Let the thrill-seekers roar around in cigarette boats, oblivious to everything but speed and spray. For those who want to see Miami by water but appreciate a glimpse of shy animals and birds as well, the key is to travel slowly and quietly. Miami-Dade County's Eco-Adventure programs offer some fifteen different opportunities to see Miami by canoe. Paddle through shady… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Catherine Keener

    Catherine Keener is associated with her indelible indie film roles as promiscuous, icy, neurotic urbanites settled firmly in New York City (or Los Angeles in the case of her most recent film, Friends with Money). It is shockingly pleasant to realize she not only is a native of Miami but also attended our city's estimable private Catholic school system. Indeed… More >>
  • Best Cemetery

    Miami City Cemetery

    There's just something chillingly alluring about a cemetery located in the heart of the ghetto. Miami City Cemetery is an especially wicked treat. It is the final resting place for famous city pioneers such as Julia Tuttle, William Burdine, and Miami's first mayor, John Reilly. The eleven-acre site was purchased by the city in 1897 from William and Mary Brickell… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Ana Veciana-Suarez

    The Miami Herald columnist is best known for penning holier-than-thou tomes. She recently wrote about the perils lottery winners face when they accumulate sudden wealth. Other days she takes readers on mundane journeys through her life as a doting, caring mother frustrated by the FCAT and the anxieties of sending Junior off to college. Alas, we're still waiting for Ana… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Lauren Feldman in A Bad Friend

    Memory brings its own surprises. Lauren Feldman's performance as the central character of A Bad Friend seemed at first just one fine jewel among many in a solid ensemble generously directed by the formidable Joseph Adler at GableStage. Jules Feiffer's play, not perfect but perfectly timed, goes beyond Old Left nostalgia to warn us all about the dangers of letting… More >>
  • Best King Mango Strutter

    Amanda Force

    Amanda has been a staple of Miami's counterculture fest, the King Mango Strut, for more than two decades. Whether it was as an absentee voter for Raul Martinez, carrying a "Never Too Dead to Vote" sign; a pedophile priest; or a cocaine flamingo, Force has brought much of the spunk that has made this parade so refreshing year after year.… More >>
  • Best Community Class

    Citizens Police Academy

    Do you want to know what it really takes to become a cop? If you live or work on Miami Beach, you can enroll in a twelve-week crash course and find out what the real CSI unit does (graphic crime scene photos included!), learn tactical and pursuit driving maneuvers that could save your life (pulling three 360s on a slick… More >>
  • Best New Trend

    Protesting

    Living in a city fueled by flagrant materialism, conspicuous consumption, and a reputation for social if not outright physical violence has made cowards of us all. If you talk back to the cop who pulls you over for your skin color rather than your flickering taillight, you risk a beatdown. Speak up about the craven capitalism of your corporation, and… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Dorsch Gallery

    It's difficult to believe fifteen years have slipped by since Brook Dorsch hung his shingle over a drug store on the corner of Coral Way and Cuban Memorial Boulevard and rolled the dice on running an art space out of his tiny second-floor crib. One of the first DIY alternative joints at a time when the stodgy Gables scene reigned… More >>
  • Best Magic City Icon

    Hialeah Racetrack

    Standing vigilant in the heart of Hialeah is one of the county's oldest socialites, a lovely lady who has seen better days and grander parties but still endures proudly despite the ravages of time and neglect. The world-famous Hialeah Race Track opened in 1925 and was an immediate and long-lasting hit with polite society, royalty, and politicians. All of them,… More >>
  • Best Convention of the Past Year

    Spa & Resort/Medical Spa Conference & Expo

    Not since Ponce de Leon stumbled upon Saint Augustine have we been so close to discovering the Fountain of Youth. And if one judges a convention by the free stuff collected from vendors in the exhibition hall, this expo cannot be beat. Medical and spa professionals were introduced to the latest lotions, potions, and therapeutic laser and LED light treatments.… More >>
  • Best Local Icon Gone to Heaven

    Burdines Sunshine Fashions

    When the last Burdines sign came down a few months ago, more than just a trademark disappeared from the Miami landscape; a homegrown and nationally admired institution faded into the Magic City sunset. Burdines began as a little outpost selling its wares to railroad workers, soldiers headed to war in Cuba, and a small but ethnically diverse population. Both city… More >>
  • Best Dance Company

    Miami City Ballet

    Miami Beach is known for its beaches, clubs, tycoons, and fashionistas, but it should also be thought of for ballet. The Beach is home to one of the nation's top ballet companies. Magic City balletomanes got lucky in 1986 when dancer Edward Villella became the troupe's founding artistic director. Under Villella's leadership, the little company has grown into a giant:… More >>
  • Best New Building

    Espiritu Santo Plaza

    The 36-story concave space-egg-meets-Saint Louis Arch shape of this building's façade makes it stand out in a downtown of surprisingly unimaginative buildings. Completed in 2004 by the renowned architecture firm Kohn, Pedersen, and Fox, the Espiritu Santo is an elegant building of fascinating geometry. A sculpted walking bridge brings visitors over curbfront pools to the entry, where a restrained marble… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Key Largo

    Fort Lauderdale? West Palm Beach? Close enough, but please. Naples? Nice, but too far. Bimini -- great. But if you don't have a speedy 60-foot power boat, fuhgeddaboutit. Miami, unlike a lot of places on the east or west coasts, does not have loads of quick, nearby escapes to the mountains that can be tackled reasonably in a day. But… More >>
  • Best New Condo

    Blue

    Although we could never afford to live there, Blue is by far the most beautiful condo to sprout on the Biscayne Corridor. It is a striking addition to Miami's changing skyline, standing tall along Biscayne Bay, right at the foot of the Julia Tuttle Causeway. The seductive curve of the north-facing façade is an arching sail of blue-tinted hurricane-proof glass… More >>
  • Best Director

    Ricky J. Martinez

    His work has spanned the centuries this season, from assisting Rafael de Acha in the ambitious Shakespeare Project to taking the reins of new plays like Day of Reckoning and Madagascar. He is as fearless as he is generous, making the most of whatever is on the page and letting his actors find their often-surprising best. Martinez watches their back:… More >>
  • Best Local Landmark

    The Wagner Homestead

    Tucked away in a patch of urban green is a tangible reminder of Miami's humble roots. Built in 1857, it's the oldest house in Miami-Dade -- a rambling cross between Little House on the Prairie and an Alabama shotgun shack. William Wagner was a white pioneer who settled here as the Seminole wars raged. He built the area's first postcolonial… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    Zach Thomas

    At five feet eleven inches and 228 pounds, Zach Thomas was an unheralded player from Texas Tech University when the Fins drafted him in 1996. Football pundits thought he was too small to play middle linebacker, a position that requires banging heads with 300-pound offensive linemen on a weekly basis. But that didn't stop former head coach Jimmy Johnson from… More >>
  • Best Hidden Neighborhood

    Buena Vista

    During the Twenties, farmers and other locals who made fortunes in the land boom built this verdant, vibrant neighborhood, sparing no expense on architecture. The houses remain -- framed by NE Second Avenue, NW Sixth Avenue/I-95, the Design District, and Little Haiti -- with all of their chimneys, porticos, balustrades, alcoves, wrought-iron fences, cement fences, wrought-iron-and-cement fences, and plenty of… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen

    Shelley Novak

    When the book about South Beach in the gay Nineties is finally written (and what a story it will be), there most certainly should be a chapter dedicated to the one and only Shelley Novak. The hirsute, zaftig drag queen has been hosting her Shelley Novak Awards for the past eleven years. Eleven years! "And I've been doing drag for… More >>
  • Best Relocation

    La …poca

    Before the Cuban revolution, La …poca was a major department store on the island. Although it still occupies a physical location in central Havana (as a dollar store of all things), the brand -- along with much of the essence of Cuba -- made the trip across the straits and settled in downtown Miami on NE Second Avenue. For 40… More >>
  • Best Leather

    Alter Ego's Monthly Fetish Parties

    The venues and themes may change, but the dress code stays the same. "We command the following attire at our fetish events," the masters say on the Website. Rubber. Vinyl. Military uniforms. And, yes, leather: fabulous, skintight, slick, and sexy leather. (There are more attire allowances, but you have to check them out for yourself.) The parties have been a… More >>
  • Best Renovation

    Colony Theater

    For a town that prides itself on its architecture, Miami Beach often seems to have lost its way in historic preservation. Demolition-by-neglect appears to be a favorite tactic of property owners, so when the City of Miami Beach promised to renovate the Colony Theater, interested residents and artists emitted a collective sigh of relief. The small 1934 Art Deco structure… More >>
  • Best Driving Range

    Doral Golf Resort and Spa

    Just meandering toward Doral's driving range on a sunny South Florida day will put you in the golfing mood. From the flowers to the fountains, the palms swaying and that endless landscape of beautiful Bermuda, it's the perfect setting to start swinging. And speaking of grass, Doral is actually one of the few Miami courses that allow you to practice… More >>
  • Best Manifesto

    Joe Arriola

    On June 1, when Joe Arriola surrenders the illustrious job of Miami city manager, we recommend he try his hand as a media critic. In the January 2006 edition of Miami Monthly magazine, Arriola showed off his screed-writing ability in a column lambasting the Miami Herald's coverage of Hong Kong-based Shangri-La Hotels and Resorts' plan to open a five-star hotel… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    The Florida Room Documentary Film Festival

    This winter festival concentrates on socially conscious documentaries, the kind of fare that often otherwise goes unseen in the local community. Unlike the better-known Full Frame Festival in Durham, North Carolina, The Florida Room handpicks its films along a theme. This year it was "The State of Our Water." The acclaimed PBS Point of View film Thirst and other films… More >>
  • Best Power Couple

    Nick D'Annunzio and Tara Solomon

    Nine years ago Nick D'Annunzio, young and shy, was sitting at a dark table in Shadow Lounge when a group of pretty young ladies walked in. One of them, Tara Solomon, ended up sitting next to him. "She had the most amazing legs, but I didn't want to, you know, say that, so I said, 'I love your shoes.' Then… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    Prince Markie Dee, The Beat (WMIB, 103.5 FM)

    Mark "Prince Markie Dee" Morales has serious street cred. Aficionados of the old school will recognize him as an original member of the Fat Boys, one of the first groups to inject self-deprecating humor into hip-hop. In the Nineties, Markie Dee took off the goofy glasses and racked up some major music-producing credits. Tracks by Shabba Ranks, Destiny's Child, Mariah… More >>
  • Best Career Move

    Jim DeFede

    Last summer, when the Miami Herald dropped columnist Jim DeFede (thanks to a few inches of magnetic tape), readers and journalists across the nation called for his reinstatement. Fortunately for DeFede, also a former New Times writer, the pleading went unanswered. His fans and colleagues didn't know it at the time, but the big guy's voice would soon begin bellowing… More >>
  • Best Free Exercise Class

    Yoga in the Park

    In a city where the cost of a gym membership can surpass the cost of a monthly car payment, it can be difficult to believe that a free exercise class could actually be better than one of those pricey South Beach celebrity workouts. But Yoga in the Park has them all beat for three exquisite reasons: First of all, location.… More >>
  • Best Charity

    Florida Immigrant Advocacy Center

    An endlessly laudable organization, FIAC was founded in 1996 by ten attorneys and activists concerned about cuts in funding to immigrant advocacy. Their budget was $400,000. Ten years later, they have 40 employees and a $2.4 million budget. Their tireless work on behalf of all immigrants, from Haitian asylum-seekers to migrant farm workers, is desperately needed in South Florida. FIAC… More >>
  • Best Heat Player

    Alonzo Mourning

    In 1992 the first choice in the NBA draft was Shaquille O'Neal. The second was Alonzo Mourning, and a rivalry, sometimes bitter, developed between the two centers. Last year Shaq and Zo became partners in the Miami Heat's ongoing quest for an NBA championship. In between exists enough triumph, adversity, and drama to fill a book (or ten). In any… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Payday hooker scrum

    On most Fridays between 3:00 and 9:00 p.m., Boulevard Liquors cashes checks for hundreds of the lunch-bucket schmos and sundry perhaps-less-than-documented worker ants who are doing the scut work of reshaping Miami's condo-a-skyline. Intrepid streetwalkers have caught on to the potentially captive audience and staked out a bus bench nestled between the store and the nearby Pronto market. Those stuck… More >>
  • Best Hurricane Tracking on the Internet

    Skeetobite Weather

    Clocking in at just under six months, the 2005 hurricane season will long be remembered not only for its ferocity but also for its length. With such a large segment of the year under the threat of canceled vacations and impromptu sandbagging, it pays to have up-to-date information at your fingertips, and there's no better place for immediate gratification than… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    A weekend at The Setai

    Take a vacation without leaving town, but don't leave home without your wallet (or before requesting a higher limit on your credit cards). Experience a weekend of relaxing in hotel paradise and think of it as a meager sampling of the life of a celebrity. Walking into the lobby of The Setai, you are immediately transported to a tranquil plane… More >>
  • Best Hurricanes Football Player

    Kenny Phillips

    He's got that University of Miami swagger, as the New York Times pointed out a few games into the Hurricanes' season last year. Granted, the team lost two games after that story, but Phillips never failed to impress. Only a freshman, the Carol City native in the #1 jersey bears the look of a classic Cane: He's fast, he's there… More >>
  • Best Chutzpah

    Atlantic Broadband LLC

    Imagine you run a business, and the local government suddenly tells you it will begin to offer to the public the same service you already sell -- for free. You'd come up with a plan to stop it, wouldn't you? That's the position Atlantic Broadband found itself in a few months ago when the City of Miami Beach moved in… More >>
  • Best Latin Television Program

    Habla

    HBO Latino honored the most diverse Hispanic community in the United States this year when it devoted two episodes of the program Habla to Miami. The show, a series of vignettes about the idiosyncrasies of being Hispanic in the United States, struck a perfect balance by highlighting the sexy, sensual side of Latin culture without making Hispanics into the bimbos/macho… More >>
  • Best Criminal Conviction of the
    Past Year

    The Two Drunk Pilots

    Those of us with Bacchanalian tendencies have been there: After a night of imbibing, you haul your carcass out of bed and into the shower, expecting hangover pangs to hit as soon as the fog clears. Instead, as the bilious fumes rise from your gut, a different sensation arises and you realize you're still drunk. Wondering if such a thing… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    Norberto "Bert" Rodriguez

    "This is my statement/Sometimes cartoons make me cry/I am an artist." Say what? Some people have a difficult time folding their noggins around Rodriguez's approach to making art. Like his inscrutable haiku, his works can seem like those cookie fortunes that leave you scratching your head and pondering the content for days. The New World Art School grad has been… More >>
  • Best Display of Wealth

    The Biltmore Hotel

    The architectural and sartorial tastes of wealthy Miamians sometimes make you think that maybe this socialism thing wasn't such a bad idea. Armani, BMW, Hummer. What about the Gap, VW, and Ford? But there are instances where rich people do good things. The greatest hit of George Merrick -- the Europhile developer of Coral Gables -- is the 276-room pink… More >>
  • Best Local History Book

    The Swamp: The Everglades, Florida, and the Politics of Paradise by Michael Grunwald

    A recent poll found that more than 70 percent of registered voters in Miami-Dade County oppose expanding the urban development boundary westward for development. While increased traffic, water shortages, and environmental protection were all good reasons to protest suburban expansion, perhaps there's a sense of cultural responsibility as well. Grunwald, a reporter for the Washington Post, shows us that stewardship… More >>
  • Best Display of Immaturity by the Privileged

    Spite wall at the Fontainebleau Hotel

    Ever wonder why Miami Beach's Eden Roc Hotel enjoys such a lovely view of a practically blank wall on its southern flank? Back in 1955, when owner Morris Lansburgh asked noted architect Morris Lapidus to design the Eden Roc, Lapidus answered with a hotel grander than his previous triumph, the Fontainebleau next door. This displeased hotelier Ben Novack, who wanted… More >>
  • Best Local Sports Coach

    Stan Van Gundy

    So he's not actually a local sports coach since stepping down December 12. But since ‹ber-coach and Heat team president Pat Riley took (back) the reins from Van Gundy, the Armani-clad Hall of Famer's unspectacular showing has proven exactly how good his successor/predecessor really was. Riley broke up a team that was within a game of reaching the finals last… More >>
  • Best Week in Miami

    Winter Music Conference

    There's no doubt Miami is a party city. You don't have to look hard to find debauchery and loud music any night of the week. But every year the beginning of spring brings more than flowers and showers. The parties become uncontrollable, the banging beats are ubiquitous, and out-of-towners almost outnumber locals. This week is also known to electronic music… More >>
  • Best Local Website

    NBC6.net

    There's this thing that's been invented. It's called "blogging." All the kids do it. Seriously, though, online journaling is so four years ago, kind of like Oakland Raiders jackets and Nike pool shoes. Stay away. But the Internet -- the Internet is good. Virtually all the world's knowledge is contained online. When it comes to life in Mia-muh, though, you… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    Miami-Dade County Courthouse

    You can find fancier and cleaner, but you won't find a restroom with more character than those on the third floor of the county courthouse. They retain much of their circa-1928 charm, with antique plumbing fixtures, stone stall dividers, and softly worn wooden stall doors. Cool geometric floor tiles and a great view of downtown make for a delightful potty… More >>
  • Best Local Writer

    Adriana Bosch

    She clutches the Emmy and the Peabody, thanks to her enlightening, engaging writings about some of America's most powerful leaders. Take her variegated look at the Gipper in Reagan: An American Story, a documentary that first aired on The American Experience. Or her powerful, moving piece about Ike, also for The American Experience, which preceded the recent crowd of Eisenhower-inspired… More >>
  • Best Public Works Project

    City of Miami Mini-Dump

    "For the first time ever, homeowners will be able to get rid of their bulky items and trash any day of the week!" read the enthusiastic flyer that announced the opening of the City of Miami Mini-Dump last year. In other words: Stop dumping your crap in the vacant lot across the street, yo. Let's clean this bitch up. Now… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Miguel Cabrera

    Cabrera-lovers have constructed an Internet site that carries this disclaimer: "Everyone in this group is considered Miguel's number one fan. Please do not argue over it!" The group could include any pro baseball loon in South Florida -- those who watched Cabrera rotate positions with ease during the Marlins' 2003 World Series run, as well as those who will watch… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Royal Poinciana Fiesta

    Miami is a city of immigrants, including the leafy kind. Early pioneers David and Marian Fairchild planted and grew many exotic plants, but it's a Madagascar native that has given Miami so much local color. The royal poinciana is a large, lovely tree that turns fiery red in early summer. Its blossoms are so intoxicating that for the past 68… More >>
  • Best Movie Shot on Location

    Miami Vice

    In the Eighties, the TV show Miami Vice rocked America like a hurricane. The highly successful cop drama made the Magic City seem, well, magical -- more colorful, cool, exotic, and sexy than any other city in the nation. All the men were wearing T-shirts paired with pastel jackets and artfully cultivated five-o'clock shadows. Fast-forward to 2006. Everything Eighties is… More >>
  • Best Fifteen Minutes of Fame

    Tiffany Richardson from America's Next Top Model

    Tiffany Richardson, a single mother from Opa-locka, was plucked, tattoos and all, from an applicant pool of hundreds of thousands of hopeful girls vying for a spot on the UPN hit series America's Next Top Model. The show's host and creator, supermodel Tyra Banks, took a special interest in Tiffany because she related to the young woman's connections to the… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Regal South Beach Cinema 18

    The passionate moviegoer loves Robocop and La Dolce Vita with equal fervor, and expects the best movie theater in Miami to embrace such extremes as well. From Wong Kar Wai to Werner Herzog to Woody Allen to Wesley Snipes, Regal South Beach shows explosive, CGI-heavy blockbusters and subtitled, intellectual gems. Sure, a few films stick around for only a week.… More >>
  • Best Herald Critic

    Glenn Garvin

    There's a paradox in the fact the smartest critic at Miami's only daily covers television. An accomplished journalist, Garvin has settled into this comfy gig, but he rests neither on his laurels nor his couch. His takes on TV echo elements of phenomenology, economics, news, and social commentary. Sample: "[The writer-director] is apparently trying to establish the ever-shifting nature of… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Wings Over Miami Air Museum

    Miami and air flight are both children of the Twentieth Century. With Chalk's arguably being the world's oldest airline, and Glenn Curtiss (the Henry Ford of aviation) using his wealth to develop Miami Springs, Opa-locka, and Hialeah, one could say their histories are inextricably linked. At Wings Over Miami, which is housed at the Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, you'll enjoy a… More >>
  • Best Herald Writer

    Charles Rabin

    From Hillsboro to Monroe, no story is too small or too big for Rabin. That's because Chuck is one of the sharpest nails in the Miami Herald's toolbox. A veteran reporter with a Jimmy Buffett fashion sense, Rabin can tackle any subject to which he's assigned. Consider his reporting this past February: He hounded North Bay Village officials about the… More >>
  • Best New Drama

    Madagascar

    J.T. Rogers is a major new American talent, and his Madagascar is a ravishing new play. It is witty and literate, serious yet also seriously entertaining, a daring nonlinear tale that crisscrosses time with Proustian ease, a poignant sonata of grief that proved immensely moving in its Florida premiere at the New Theatre, directed by Ricky. J Martinez with dramatic… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Art

    The Martin Z. Margulies Sculpture Park

    Sure it's a schlep for most of us slaving away downtown, but with this park's more than a hundred impressive examples of modern sculpture by some of the world's top artists, mostly from Marty Margulies's collection of large-scale works on long-term loan to Florida International University, we can't think of a better reason to play hooky and head west. Pack… More >>
  • Best Quote

    Joe Arriola

    Whether you like Joe Arriola or loathe him, you have to concede one thing: The guy is a fire-breathing quote machine. He doesn't mince words. Of all the bombastic can-you-believe-he-said-it moments, our favorite is this gem, told to Herald columnist Ana Menendez. Our soon-to-retire city manager was recalling an encounter he had with Miami activist Steve Hagen: "Fuck you is… More >>
  • Best Panthers Player

    Olli Jokinen

    It isn't easy to be a hockey fan in South Florida. This is a football state and most people don't get the appeal of the fast-paced, graceful violence of professional hockey. (And last year's strike didn't help much either.) Besides, the Panthers aren't vying to take Lord Stanley from the 2004 champs -- and cross-state rivals -- the Tampa Bay… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Newspaper

    The (Miami Beach) SunPost

    The SunPost covers four districts, but it began in South Beach and still covers the Miami Beach beat best. The fact that it now distributes 48,000 weekly copies from Coral Gables to Aventura is evidence of its recent growth and the improved quality of its journalism. Under the editorial direction of Erik Bojnansky, the paper has in the past year… More >>
  • Best Periodiquito

    El Clarin

    Not the average freebie broadsheet cluttering the counter at your local cafeteria, El Clarin shines by eschewing printing news or opinion and cutting straight to business. The huckster happy rag features a dense tangle of sales pitches shilling everything from $70 divorces to pain-free abortions (offering a ten percent discount with an attached coupon) to cheap car insurance and a… More >>
  • Best Flack

    Romina Nabhen

    Romina Nabhen exudes the enthusiasm of a marketing newcomer, owing to her lack of cynicism, utter wholesomeness, and genuine friendliness. Not only is the 25-year-old an accomplished and independent public relations achiever, but also she's a Magic City native. Almost. "I'm from Miami even though I was born in Argentina!" she exclaims with believable verve. Nabhen quietly reps for Coral… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Matheson Hammock Park

    Matheson Hammock Park offers many options for couples, families, and friends looking for a picnic destination. Most notable is the two-story coral pavilion standing tall and dignified amid the green foliage like a misplaced artifact from Atlantis. The first floor is equipped with tables and a grill for comfortable midday munching. The roof offers plenty of leg-room, with an exalted… More >>
  • Best Film Buffs

    Barron Sherer and Kevin Wynn

    Barron Sherer and Kevin Wynn can typically be found in a dark room, leaning toward a flickering screen and intently watching moving images of the past. They are cocurators of Cinema Vortex, a nonprofit organization dedicated to collecting and screening Florida's old movies. At The Wolfsonian-FIU they run the Public Domain Playhouse series, which uses old advertisements, news reels, home… More >>
  • Best Place for a First Date

    Delano Hotel

    Gentlemen, please take note: A classy lady wants to be taken to a classy place on the first date; she wants a handsome man who can offer intelligent conversation in an elegant atmosphere; and a perfect cocktail will add just the right lubricant to relax the nerves and loosen the inhibitions. While a dinner may be too formal for a… More >>
  • Best Skyline-Gazing Spot

    Under the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island

    It's one thing to glance at downtown's twinkling lights while you're moving along with a stream of commuter traffic at 60 mph. It's another thing altogether to park down by the bay, cut the engine, and check out the skyline in all of its glory. The best viewing spot is a gravel lot under the MacArthur Causeway on Watson Island.… More >>
  • Best Place for a Second Date

    Kendall Ice Arena

    Escape the heat and embrace your inner Russian triple-axel champ: Chill out at this enormous twin-rink arena. Don't know how to skate? No problem. This is where falling on your ass is not only okay but also desirable. Where else can you make your date laugh uproariously while still eliciting her compassion? Maybe she'll even make a fuss over your… More >>
  • Best Place for a Walk

    Miami Beach Boardwalk

    A long enough stretch for a serious power walk (about four miles) and close enough to the water for a romantic stroll, this stretch is a favorite of locals and tourists alike. Originally built in the Eighties and renovated in 1996, the boardwalk wends behind the fabulous beach hotels, providing views of sparkling pools and oiled sunbathers on one side… More >>
  • Best High School Mascot

    Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School Bison

    While some Miami-area high schools have nonnative mascots like bulls and Vikings, Ronald W. Reagan/Doral Senior High School, set to open this fall, has gone far afield for its: the bison. Hunted nearly to extinction during America's frontier days, the bison has since made a comeback, roaming Western plains and, apparently, a Miami high school. The Ronald Reagan Bison will… More >>
  • Best Place to Road-Bike

    Cutler Bay

    What lures cycling fanatics to make the long, arduous trek to Cutler Bay? We understand diehard road-bikers thrive at the prospect of settling into the saddle for a six-hour century or powering into headwinds so strong they make flat roads seem like the slopes of Alpe d'Huez. But doing so around most parts of Miami also means trying to avoid… More >>
  • Best Historic Designation

    The Number 1 Pallbearers Association of America Building

    Back during the Depression, when nobody had anything and African Americans had even less, members of the local black community formed the International Association of Pallbearers. As members found themselves in need, the group provided funeral and other services that, because of racism and segregation, were difficult to obtain. Chapters existed throughout Florida, but the main lodge and activity were… More >>
  • Best Place to Bird-Watch

    Castellow Hammock Preserve and Nature Center

    Although exotic white ibis and great blue herons seem almost as common as pigeons on some city streets, other birds still prefer that you expend a little energy in order to spy on them. At Castellow Hammock you can spot painted buntings, black-chinned hummingbirds, and other avians that shy away from human neighborhoods. The park also boasts excellent examples of… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    The Raleigh

    The Raleigh was designed in 1940 by Lawrence Murray Dixon, a New York architect who moved to Miami Beach in 1928; he also designed The Victor Hotel (1937), The Marlin (1939), The Tides Hotel (1936), The Senator (1939), and The Ritz Plaza Hotel (1940). The Raleigh began the way most of the Decos did, attracting rich, young celebrities like Esther… More >>
  • Best Place to Break Up

    Noir Bar

    "Um, we need to talk." Oy, you've been putting this off for months, but it has to be done. You are a Sagittarius and he's a Taurus, so you should have known this would have never worked out. But you stuck in there because he's cute and smart and he loves your pets as if they were his own. You… More >>
  • Best Parking in Miami Beach

    Tenth Street between Alton Road and West Avenue

    This spacious garage is usually almost empty, which means you can park your Bentley without risking door dings -- even when other lots are overflowing. It's also cheap (a buck an hour), clean, well lit, and conveniently located. You can catch the S and W bus lines nearby on Alton Road, and the 25-cent South Beach Local on West Avenue.… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Fly a Kite

    Alice Wainwright Park

    Open space and seclusion are two things not often found together in Miami. Power lines, palm trees, buildings, traffic, and other obstructions make it difficult for peace-seekers to find a retreat. Alice Wainwright Park is hidden in an oceanfront lot just north of the Vizcaya mansion. This oasis in the center of Miami's metropolitan madness offers a sweet taste of… More >>
  • Best Pedestrian Experience

    Normandy Isle

    Unfortunately too many drivers use the JFK Causeway to simply speed from the mainland to the Beach, never bothering to slow down and sample the treats of this curiously ungentrified island neighborhood. If they bothered to pull over (plenty of free street parking west of Vichy) they would find a modest grouping of midcentury architecture gathered around the Normandy Fountain… More >>
  • Best Place to Hike

    Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park

    Creak. Crackle. Hissssss. Caw! Buzzzzzz. "Jesus!" you shout as you take off running down the trail, away from the scary flying insect and swooping osprey. High and bright, the noon sun has nowhere to hide in the ceramic blue sky. You are hot and you have to pee. As you turn and see the sandy trail wending through the palmettos… More >>
  • Best Hill

    Rickenbacker Causeway

    If you're the type of person who likes mountains, hills, and the sweet sound of the word topography, then you're bumming in Miami-Dade, where a decent-size speed bump could qualify as a hill. But fret not. Though God, nature, and plate tectonics have failed Miami, civil engineers have not. The first stretch of the Rickenbacker Causeway -- the roughly half-mile… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Brickell Key Walking Path

    Yes, it says walking path, but this tiny key is the perfect place for a relaxing Sunday-morning jog. It's surrounded by water, so the view is consistently spectacular. The path is paved and dotted with lovely art, such as the massive, sensuous, impressive Tequesta sculpture at the mouth of the Miami River. There's also a free-form sculpture garden a few… More >>
  • Best Tollbooth

    Card Sound Bridge

    Paying a $1.50 toll on a highway can be fun. Seriously. Don't believe us? Then take the other route to the Keys. On Card Sound Road, after about ten miles of cruising through the never-never land of mangroves, you will come to what could be the world's cutest toll plaza. Forget the Florida Turnpike toll moment -- ten or twelve… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn How to Windsurf

    Sailboards Miami

    It's called Windsurfer Beach for a reason -- it's one of the easiest, safest places to windsurf in the nation. The Biscayne Bay water is warm, the winds are reliably swift but not scary, and it's shallow -- only a few feet deep. Just a tenth of a mile past the Rickenbacker toll plaza, right before you reach Virginia Key,… More >>
  • Best Road to Avoid

    Okeechobee Road, Hialeah

    Anyone who drives in Miami-Dade for more than a week knows this category is fiercely competitive. There are so many chronically clogged roads. Strong arguments were made for South Dixie Highway; always a bitch, Biscayne Boulevard, north of downtown, is seemingly in a perpetual state of repair. But the worst, the most heinous, the road that seems to be the… More >>
  • Best Place to Mountain-Bike

    Markham Park

    You don't have to be a geography genius to realize that Florida -- with a not-so-majestic peak of 350 feet above sea level -- is incredibly vertically challenged. As states go, ours resembles a slice of Swiss cheese floating in water. So how, you may ask, is there any decent off-road biking in these parts, let alone a spot that… More >>
  • Best Roadside Sign

    M&M Package Store

    A liquor store painted with beer-case-toting flamingos seems an improbable place for politically inspired poetry. All the same, there it is in black plastic letters on the M&M Package Store sign facing Le Jeune Road. Recent gems have included "Borrowed More $$$ Than All Previous Presidents Combined / Fiscal Responsibility Redefined" and "Bush, Cheney, Rumsfeld Real Axis of Evil Fomenting… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Stoned

    South Pointe Park

    The theme song from The Muppet Show bops from your cell phone with polyphonic glee and wakes you from a lazy Sunday afternoon nap. It's your hookup. Excellent. By 4:20 p.m. you are holding the perfect sack: The dewy-sweet, skunky aroma wafts from the snack-size Ziploc bag filled with herbal refreshment. Fluffy with cotton-candylike crystals and little red hairs. Awesome.… More >>
  • Best Shortcut

    NW North River Drive/NW 20th Street

    Commuters destined for downtown or South Beach from the airport area (including Miami Springs, Virginia Gardens, and Hialeah) can travel sixteen blocks in less than two seconds. The intersection of NW 36th Street and Le Jeune Road (with State Road 112 directly overhead) is among the busiest on Earth, and the two standard eastbound routes are a commuting catastrophe. With… More >>
  • Best Place to See Alligators

    Shark Valley Tram Road,
    the Everglades

    With a diversity in wildlife rivaled only by watering holes in the Serengeti, the bicyclist or tram-rider on the fifteen-mile Shark Valley loop is almost guaranteed a stellar showing of Everglades fauna: Roseate spoonbills, wood storks, and great blue herons delicately pick their way through shallow pools and pose serenely in branches. Spotted gar, red-belly turtles, and anhingas swim beneath… More >>
  • Best Rural Bike Ride

    Wildlife to Wine

    This route, which was part of the trail for the Everglades Bicycle Club's Snowbird Century this year, takes you on a tour of some of South Florida's most unique areas. Begin your trek near the Fruit and Spice Park at 24801 SW 187th Ave. and ride north to 232nd Street, where you'll need to make a left. Enjoy the Homestead… More >>
  • Best Mile of Miami

    Fourteenth Street from NW Seventh Avenue to Biscayne Boulevard

    It slices through one of Miami's most long-suffering neighborhoods and is patrolled by police hell-bent on keeping white people away, but NW One-Four is dotted with treasures between Booker T. Washington Senior High School (just west of Seventh Avenue) and the Miami Herald building (at bay's edge). There's the amazing Overtown Youth Center (a.k.a. the Alonzo Mourning rec center), which… More >>
  • Best Urban Bike Ride

    John F. Kennedy Causeway to Broad Causeway

    What makes Miami a great city? It's the water, stupid. So when you're thinking about mounting your two-wheeler, and you don't feel like driving to the Keys, try the causeways north of downtown on a Sunday morning. Do it early when there's no traffic. Begin in Miami Shores at NE 96th Street and Tenth Avenue, and then meander south to… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill

    Greynolds Park Owl Prowl

    It's a dark, still night, and the only sound you hear is that of the leaves being crushed beneath your feet. You stop and look up as a flash of movement attracts your attention to the branches above. Large, round eyes peer down at you, reflecting red in the darkness. Then the silence is broken by a whispered chorus of… More >>
  • Best Poet

    Richard Blanco

    Richard Blanco speaks like a poet should; his voice is a low, soothing rumble that gives his words the weight of authority. He looks like a woman's dream of a poet; on the cover of this year's The Most Intriguing (and Sensual) Male Poets calendar, his shirt is open to reveal a stretch of tan skin, and his eyes are… More >>
  • Best Reptilian Death Match

    Python vs. Alligator

    The hindquarters of a six-foot alligator carcass protruded from the exploded torso of a thirteen-foot Burmese python. But it took at least ten minutes of staring at the photo -- a weird montage of claws and tails floating in a reedy marsh, published this past October -- to figure out who had eaten whom. Was it disconcerting for residents of… More >>
  • Best Public Park

    Fruit and Spice Park

    Our favorite park doesn't have slides, a jungle gym, a golf course, tennis courts, a pool, a beach, a barbecue pit, a cool nature walk. But it does have more than 500 different varieties of vegetables, fruits, herbs, spices, and nuts. The county-owned Fruit and Spice Park is one of the world's most unusual parks. Located in the middle of… More >>
  • Best Party Crasher

    Thomas Barker

    It's not about wearing fine couture or driving up to the valet in a Bentley; "It's all about the attitude," says Thomas Barker, the little guy behind MUSE Entertainment and columnist for Wire magazine. The adorable brown-haired pixie, who always looks fabulous in his simple white Hanes V-neck T-shirts and two-dollar thrift-store threads, can be spotted everywhere: hotel and condo… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts

    North Shore Park

    Perhaps it's simply a coincidence that the courts at this brand-spanking-new recreation center a few blocks away from Francophile Normandy Isle are clay, the surface of choice for the French Open. Whatever the reason, it's rare to find clay, usually a favorite among elite players, on public courts. So common lobbers, rejoice; with twelve courts (ten clay, two hard surface),… More >>
  • Best Party of the Year

    TARA, Ink/T-Mobile Launch

    Planning the perfect party takes a little bit of practical chemistry: Bring together a mix of people from enough different social subsets to make for interesting, convivial conversation. But make sure they are not from worlds so alien that guests have nothing at all to say. Serve enough food to sate the starving without stultifying the gluttonous. Lubricate with enough… More >>
  • Best Public Pool

    Coral Gables Venetian Pool

    There are certain memories commonly associated with public pools -- such as screaming children, eyes bloodshot from excessive chlorine -- that can, at times, be unpleasant. If you're seeking a special public-pool experience renewal, we suggest a few hours in the sybaritic, neoclassical grandeur and chlorine-free natural spring water of Venetian Pool. Believed to be the only public pool in… More >>
  • Best Location for a New Starbucks

    NE 28th Street and Biscayne Boulevard

    Sure, it's across the street from our offices. But hey, we're biased, sleep-deprived journalists who would love the convenience of skipping across the street for a caramel macchiato or a soy chai latte during our midafternoon writing slump. And with all of the new condos sprouting up between Edgewater and downtown, don't we really need a Starbucks in this neighborhood?… More >>
  • Best Set Design

    John Conklin for La Fanciulla del West

    The opera world's original spaghetti Western made for the season's best-realized theatrical spectacle, as the Florida Grand Opera took on Puccini's late masterpiece and unveiled sets by John Conklin that went a long way to explain why opera is called grand. Big, intelligent, and full of surprises even for the most jaded opera fans, the whole affair looked and moved… More >>
  • Best Place to Donate Your Clothes

    Non-Violence Project USA

    The Project, praised by everyone from Jeb Bush to Bob Graham to Bill Clinton, mentors young people and works with their families to encourage safer, healthier directions in life. Volunteers and staff collect donations of clothes, jewelry, computer items, household goods, used bikes and cars -- basically anything. Pickup can be arranged, or you can drop off items between 9:00… More >>
  • Best Snorkeling Spot

    Bear Cut

    With all due respect to Looe Key, Biscayne National Park, and John Pennekamp, snorkeling holes should offer a stronger sense of adventure than the popular spots. A lack of humans is almost as rewarding as an abundance of sea life. As you travel toward Key Biscayne on the Rickenbacker, cross the bridge on the far side of the cut and… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Back in Time

    The Ancient Spanish Monastery, St. Bernard de Clairvaux

    Miami, they say, is constantly reinventing itself. When all that reinvention gets your head spinning, take a contemplative walk around the cloisters of this twelfth-century monastery -- the oldest structure around by a long shot. Like most things in South Florida, it's a transplant. It was originally built in Segovia, Spain, and served as a spiritual home to Cistercian monks… More >>
  • Best Acting Ensemble

    The Shakespeare Project

    There is no tougher test for a company -- and no bigger thrill for an audience -- than the miracle that is Shakespeare. And miracles are just what this annual summer festival makes: The play's the thing, and Rafael de Acha's ensemble works with boundless generosity at the New Theatre, at its best persuading us that American English is the… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men

    Winter Music Conference parties

    Two words: Uh huh. WMC men -- and some who are just boys, really -- are cute and smart. They are adorable, shaggy-haired DJs who wear hipster sunglasses, vintage shirts, and classic sneakers. They are intelligent and talented musicians -- basically hot geeks. Of course, they know their music (a big bonus in our book). And speaking of books ...… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language Radio Personality

    Raquel Regalado

    A tender-voiced woman with snow-white locks, Raquel Regalado looks like she belongs on the cover of a grandmotherly greeting card. But don't let her geriatric appearance fool you. She is the tenacious, sharp radio show host of Lo Que Otros No Dicen, a title that literally means "what others won't say." That's Regalado's way of letting her audience know that… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Women

    Writers on the Bay Reading Series

    In this stimulating series of readings, Florida International University alumni and creative writing students read their work to an audience often underserved in South Florida -- those still interested in language. The readings can be hit-or-miss, with prose that is sometimes blowzy, sometimes brilliant, but they feature luminaries such as The Nation's Victor Navasky, poet Ray Gonzalez, and short-story writer… More >>
  • Best Sportscaster

    Mike Inglis, Miami Heat, WIOD, 610 AM

    Mike Inglis is the opposite of a homer. Unlike his TV counterpart, the unctuous Eric Reid, Inglis calls it like he sees it -- through a half-empty glass, pessimistically. His stoic sidekick, former Heat guard John Crotty, is often left to pick up the pieces after Inglis drops a despairing on-air monologue: "I don't know about you, John, but as… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men

    The Room

    You will probably walk past this tiny bar three times before noticing it, but once you finally slip inside, you'll find cozy seating, a comfy bar, and a totally different vibe than you've ever experienced. This wonderful little hole is filled with the cutest boys we have ever seen in South Beach. If you've been wondering where they've been hiding,… More >>
  • Best Stargazing

    Post-hurricane Miami
    Alternate: Bill Sadowski Park

    Don't even get us started.… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Women

    Novecento - Brickell

    Realistically the way to meet single women in Miami circa 2006 is to go online and start cruising Match.com, JDate, Craigslist, eHarmony, et cetera. Send e-mails. Exchange photos. Then date. Let's say you're different, though -- a traditionalist, who longs for the ways of the shagadelic Seventies. You appreciate the art of the one-liner. You love the quest for a… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor

    Erik Fabregat in Painted Alice

    Few things are as entertaining as watching a talented actor having a ball with a bunch of roles at once. That is what Erik Fabregat did, with relish, in Mad Cat's Painted Alice by William Donnelly. With accent after outrageous accent and a chameleon's way with physical transformations, Fabregat took little bits in this little play and piled them up… More >>
  • Best Spectacle

    Miami Beach Polo Cup

    All you have to do is watch an episode of The Sopranos to see how the nouveau riche have, tragically, trampled upon all that once was the province of old money from the Old World. Tony Soprano and Paulie Walnuts might chomp cigars, swig Jameson, and tote copies of the Robb Report while profanely clomping across Pine Valley Golf Club's… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress

    Kimberly Daniel in Romeo and Juliet

    There really are no small roles in Shakespeare. Were it not for the splendor of the cast surrounding her, Kimberly Daniel would have found it easy to simply steal the show as the Nurse in Rafael de Acha's Romeo and Juliet. As it was, she was just right in a character that can easily slip into vulgarity. Shakespeare's bits of… More >>
  • Best Local Boxer

    Juan Arroyo

    Although his best fighting days are behind him, it's difficult to beat Arroyo for narrative arc. From rough roots in Allapattah, he became one of the best boxers Miami has ever seen. He's gone seven rounds with Hector Camacho, one of the all-time greats. He's been in Roberto Duran's inner circle. He's fought the world champion in his weight class,… More >>
  • Best Tailgate Party

    New York Jets vs. Miami Dolphins home game

    Yo, Vinny! Yeah, you, with the putrid, beer-stained, urine-soiled Wayne Chrebet jersey! You've been living in Miami-Dade County for the past fifteen years and you still talk like you belong in a Brooklyn bagel shop! And didn't your wife tell you that mullets and mutton-chop sideburns went out of style back in 1969, the only year your lousy stinkin' Jets… More >>
  • Best Reason to Stay in Miami for the Summer

    Snorkeling at Biscayne National Park

    It's infernally hot, suicidally humid; the hurricane threat looms; and the festivals are gone. Not even Grandma from North Dakota will visit. But while much of Miami whines, we celebrate. The brutal summer heat is, after all, a good thing: Water temperatures nudge past 80. (Go ahead. Hang up that wetsuit.) The nearly windless summer doldrums, trouble for our sailor… More >>
  • Best Tour

    Stiltsville and Key Biscayne Boat Tour

    So you just came into some bayside property and you want to build a hurricane-proof home. What's the first thing that comes to mind? It wouldn't happen to be elevating your house, would it? If archaeologists are correct about the function of the Miami Circle, the earliest known locals built their village on a series of stilts near the mouth… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    South Beach Local

    We were sad to see the wheezing and whining (when they weren't broken down) Electrowave buses sent out to pasture when Miami-Dade Transit gobbled up the route. But the shiny new buses with two separate loops (one up Washington Avenue, the other on West Avenue) are the best. The buses are clean, the air conditioning works, and the view is… More >>
  • Best Tourist Trap

    The World Erotic Art Museum

    Naomi Wilzig is a Jewish grandmother unlike any other. Over the course of fourteen years, she collected approximately 4000 works of erotic art and penned five books about the genre. "We look at sex as such a forbidden subject. But where would we be without it?" asks Wilzig. But the enormous phallic sculpture in Stanley Kubrick's A Clockwork Orange served… More >>
  • Best Value on Ocean Drive

    Taverna Opa - CLOSED

    You have to go to the southern terminus of Ocean Drive to find a good deal, but it's worth it. Opa, which also has restaurants in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale, is an atmospheric, high-ceiling Greek joint with an open kitchen and a spacious bar area. You can wander off the beach and through Opa's door for a $6 pork souvlaki… More >>
  • Best Trade (Sports Team)

    The Heat's Gutting

    The Miami Heat has demonstrated once again that all a team needs to win in the NBA are two superstars and about six or eight warm, giant bodies. That formula almost took the Heat to the league finals last summer. But then a couple of dippy plays and Dwyane Wade's hurt ribs kept them from knocking off the defending champion… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

    Versailles Restaurant

    Though it's unlikely your guests might walk away from a visit to this popular Little Havana landmark with a Paris Hilton sighting under their belts, they will leave with a quintessential postcard of Miami's sabor Cubano. For more than four decades, the gaudy landmark, decked out in chandeliers, murals, and mirrors, has been the meeting place for exilio honchos, noisy… More >>
  • Best Tree

    Pinecrest Gardens

    You don't have to be an arborist to notice that South Florida boasts some of the most unique tree-life in the world. We have royal palms, cypress, live oaks, banyans. We've got ficus-laden Coral Way and palm-lined Biscayne Boulevard. There is, though, among all of Miami-Dade County's trees, a champion. It's part of the always-impressive ficus family but is not… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Captain Sir! Charters

    Take the weekend to get away from it all -- literally, by chartering a boat out to sea. It's pricey -- $550 for a half-day or $1350 for a full weekend -- but think of it as your own private cruise, without the hovering masses at the midnight buffet. Capt. Russ Boley, a lifelong sailor who's been trekking to the… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Eliott Rodriguez, WFOR (Channel 4)

    He began his career in 1978 as a shoe-leather scribe for the defunct Miami News. Two years later Rodriguez switched to television and began a career highlighted by his 2002 interview of Cuban leader Fidel Castro. The dapper newsman (who was named one of South Florida's sharpest-dressed men by Ocean Drive) has covered major events such as the invasion of… More >>
  • Best Sanctuary from the Fast Track

    The Martin Z. Margulies Sculpture Park

    Motoring through the Dolphin Expressway bottleneck at the airport might encourage you to drive straight into swampy muck in the Everglades. But if you make a quick pit stop at FIU before you head east to the urban wasteland, try recharging your spirit. Nestled among the campus trees is the Margulies Sculpture Park, which comprises more than 70 large-scale sculptures… More >>
  • Best TV News Reporter

    Rad Berky, WPLG (Channel 10)

    Berky is the anti-Twinkie. Always professional, never treacly, he brings depth, doggedly thorough reporting, and elegance to a business full of flash, false sincerity, superfluous bites, irrelevant "news," and ratings stunts. He, Glenna Milberg, and Michael Putney form ABC affiliate WPLG's most solid, probing, and balanced triumvirate, excelling at the meaty pieces. Berky has an irresistible combination of scrupulousness and… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    WJAN (Channel 41)

    Once the bizarre infomercials are over for the day, this station just drips with the flavor of Miami. Between Tres Patines documentaries, local talent shows, and the news in Spanish are hours and hours and hours of hot women parading around in worse than nothing. There's a lot of ass in Miami, and it ain't only the politicians. In case… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Max Mayfield

    Even before heading the National Hurricane Center, Max Mayfield won accolades and awards from his peers in the industry. Now in the top post in his field, Mayfield has earned the thanks of those whose lives he has saved. As director, he leads a team of scientists who interpret weather conditions and issue advisories. However, as the public face of… More >>
  • Best Fishing Hole

    Flamingo

    For those looking to fill the ice chest with some tasty fillets while boning up on lush, natural beauty, Flamingo couldn't be a surer bet. Located at the south end of Everglades National Park, this angler's paradise is about an hour-and-a-half drive from the city. Although this end of the park suffered damage last fall from hurricanes Wilma and Katrina,… More >>
Loading...