People & Places

  • Best Reason to Stay in Miami for the Summer

    Sacred Sevens Selebration

    Last year's summertime calendar brought us 6/6/6, the apocalyptic number of the beast. Some predicted the Antichrist would appear on that hot as hell June afternoon, but it didn't happen.This summer will bring 7/7/7, which is sacred and mystical, according to various traditions. On that day Miami will host the Sacred Sevens Selebration. (In case you haven't checked, July 7,… More >>
  • Best Escape from Reality

    Elliott Key

    Ever sat in bumper-to-bumper traffic, laying on the horn because the ding-dong in front is not moving, and you're in a hurry because you're late for work, and you still have to drop off the kids and get to the bank to deposit some money so your checks don't bounce, but you're almost out of gas and you're not sure… More >>
  • Best Sanctuary from the Fast Track

    Wat Buddharangsi Temple

    You make the 45-minute trek to work every day. And every day at least two jerks cut you off or give you the finger. At work your micromanaging boss breathes down your neck because he's a sadistic maniac. The kids fight, your visiting in-laws are annoying, and you're behind on your bills again. Does the Mobius bandlike cycle of stress… More >>
  • Best Moon Over Miami

    Bike ride at Shark Valley

    Want the moon to yourselfç Haul your bike out to Shark Valley after sunset and have at it. There's nowhere better to check out that massive cheese wheel in the sky than the River of Grass. Cruise around the fifteen-mile paved loop with wind in your hair, bird songs in your ear, and mysterious water splashes every few feet, as… More >>
  • Best Use of Excrement

    Miami Metrozoo

    Metrozooç Go south until you smell it, turn west until you step in it ... oh, hell yeah. Stinky jokes, offal puns, and a heap of fun arrived at animal land this past October to January when, we shit you not, the clever hypesters at Miami Metrozoo laid waste from an assortment of critters on tables, the floor, and —… More >>
  • Best Beach

    Third Street Beach

    It's not that the sand is whiter or the sea greener. Nor do those few feet of ocean boast more waves or fewer pesky sea critters. It's just that Third Street — not Second Street, not Fourth Street, but either side of the lifeguard stand on Third — is where the cool kids hang. Week in, week out. It's where… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    San Francisco 49ers running back Frank Gore

    During a game in Detroit against the Lions this past season, on his way to a 1695-yard rushing season and his first Pro Bowl appearance, Frank Gore showed us why he is probably the best running back to come out of the University of Miami. Around the 50-yard line, the former Coral Gables Senior High star lowered his helmet and… More >>
  • Best Public Park

    Greynolds Park

    Miami is among the worst cities in the nation when it comes to finding peace. The bayfront is privately owned, the streets are jammed, and if you don't own a boat, it's hard to find a quiet place. Greynolds Park, boys and girls, is the glorious exception. There's something for everyone in this 249-acre beaut, which was donated to Miami-Dade… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Ralph Arza

    Former state Rep. Ralphie Boy, of Hialeah, was once a rising star in the Republican Party. The onetime school teacher was elected to the State House of Representatives in 2000 with 70 percent of the vote and then worked his way up the ranks in Tallahassee, sitting on the education, appropriations, and insurance committees. He also became chairman of the… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    Pine Tree Park

    Best friends forever Petey, a Boston terrier, and Loverboy, a (female) yellow Labrador retriever, meet just about every day for a rumble. Baba, a shih-poo (shih tzu–poodle mix), maintains a wary but curious distance, but Pepe, a miniature poodle, isn't shy: Soon he's attached himself to Loverboy's hindquarters, and Petey is having none of it. It's all in good fun,… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Ulrike "Uli" Herzner

    Who cares if noted fashion designer Michael Kors said her clothes concoctions "belong strictly with flip-flops on Ocean Drive." No one cares what a stuffy old queen has to say anyway. We, on the other hand, love Uli's "Miami-esque" fashion designs. And though she came in second place to dirtbag designer Jeffrey Sebelia and lost out on $100,000, a Macy's… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    A.D. "Doug" Barnes Park

    It's not easy seeing green in this city — so Barnes Park is nothing less than a 65-acre oasis from the mean streets and concrete deserts of Miami, and a great spot to round up the crew for a picnic. There are dozens of grills available for public use, and the picnic sites are spacious and well spread out. The… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Natacha Seijas

    She's the first county commissioner to receive a recall vote since 1972. At taxpayer expense, she hired lawyers in an attempt to stop the vote on the strong-mayor debate. Pushing her personal vendetta even further, in November 2006 she proposed cutting the mayor's salary from $229,083 to $12,000. Carlos Alvarez called the suggestion "childish." She backed moving the Urban Development… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Fly a Kite

    Tropical Park

    A quick survey around New Times headquarters about flying kites unearthed a multitude of childhood memories about Tropical Park. Enter through the Miller Road entrance and there's a hill by the lake. Climb the hill, assemble your kite, take a deep breath, and run down the slope. The string will unwind from the spool and the kite will catch a… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone To Heaven

    Ellis Rubin

    When colorful attorney Ellis Rubin died of cancer in December, most people remembered the 81-year-old for his unconventional — some say theatrical — legal strategies and larger-than-life clients. In fact he is known nationally as the first lawyer who wanted to use the now-common "TV intoxication" defense in the notorious 1977 Ronnie Zamora murder trial. What people didn't know was… More >>
  • Best Place to Birdwatch

    A.D. "Doug" Barnes Park

    What the hell is pine rocklandç It's what used to cover much of the Miami Rock Ridge and other sections of South Florida. Much of this ecosystem is now gone, but there are still outcroppings here and there where you can get a taste of what this region used to look like. A.D. Barnes Park is one of these natural… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone To Heaven

    M. Athalie Range

    Mary Athalie Range started out as a typical Miami transplant, but her decades of civic activism and public service became one of the city's great stories. In the late Forties, conditions at her children's Liberty City school jump-started the activist in Range. Her successful work in the PTA opened doors that eventually led to her becoming the first African-American woman… More >>
  • Best Snorkeling Spot

    Indian Key Historic State Park

    We all know Pennekamp State Park is for the tourists and Biscayne National Park is for the serious snorkelers, but sometimes you just want to swim off the beaten path. A few miles west of Pennekamp is a popular snorkeling and recreation spot called Indian Key Historic State Park. It lies unconnected to the Overseas Highway, which means you can… More >>
  • Best Fifteen Minutes of Fame

    José Varela

    It's the day after Thanksgiving! What should we doç We could eat turkey sandwiches and draw cartoons. Or go to Wal-Mart at 5:30 a.m. and jostle Christmas shoppers.... Hey, I know! Let's put on our FBI polo shirt and fatigues. We can pretend our fake machine gun is real. Then we can barricade ourselves inside the newsroom of El Nuevo… More >>
  • Best Overnight Snorkeling Spot

    Jules' Undersea Lodge

    The future is now! Well, almost. Somewhere along the way, the Jetsonesque future that baby boomers envisioned disappeared. Instead of personal space ships, we got the Segway. Instead of Rosie the Maid, we got the Swiffer Sweeper. Instead of incredibly tall, funky-looking skyscrapers ... oh, we did get those, and we also got living quarters under the sea. Though it's… More >>
  • Best Religious Figure

    Father Albert Cutié

    He was born Alberto R. Cutié in San Juan, Puerto Rico, to Cuban parents. An imposing presence at six feet tall, the 36-year-old sports a thick head of closely cropped black hair and blemish-free, tanned skin. When he smiles, his piercing blue eyes sparkle affectionately and his lips part to reveal a gleaming row of pearly whites. But it's not… More >>
  • Best Stargazing

    Solar viewing at Miami MetroZoo with the Southern Cross Astronomical Society

    Sometimes the best stargazing happens only in the daytime. The closest star to Earth is, of course, the sun. Its blinding light hides a spectacular show that gracious members of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society (SCAS) reveal for free once a week with their specialized equipment. Flares, sunspots, and prominences regularly dance across their viewfinders, but that's not all a… More >>
  • Best Disappearing Act

    Michael Patrick

    People come and go, but Michael Patrick disappeared — and then reappeared, a day later, in handcuffs. The escape artist, who performed escapes at the Key West Sunset Celebration for fourteen years, announced last Halloween night that, in honor of the 80th anniversary of Harry Houdini's death, he'd be departing from the regular program of straitjackets and ropes. He then… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Chokoloskee

    It's not so much that time forgot Chokoloskee. It's more like Chokoloskee forgot time. A magical little community of stilt houses and trailers spanning out from a postage stamp-size downtown, Chokoloskee is just south of Everglades City on the far end of the Tamiami Trail. It sure feels like the far end of something, what with the literary ghosts (Peter… More >>
  • Best Super Bowl Moment

    Prince's Halftime Show

    It seemed likely that the appearance of Prince at Dolphin Stadium during the big game would be worth watching. It was. Not for the tiny titan of tuneage's medley of unlikely covers and "Purple Rain," which must have seemed clever at the time because, in Miami's special "please-don't-ever-bring-the-big-game-here-again" way, Super Sunday was supersoaked by a drizzle that began before dawn.… More >>
  • Best Bus Ride

    Julia Garcia Transit Bus to the Keys

    Fate has chewed you up, spit you out, and left you battered and bruised in the parking lot of the Florida City Wal-Mart Supercenter. You've lost your job, your girl, your car, and your reason to live. You have $3.85 to your name. And then, like an angel out of a Jimmy Buffett song, you see the faint bright silhouette… More >>
  • Best Salty Adventure

    Bimini Breeze Express

    Bimini, a tiny island where Ernest Hemingway once drank, has great snorkeling in gin-clear water, excellent fishing, and friendly Bahamian locals. Hotels are cheap, too. But how to get thereç Although it's only 50 miles from downtown Miami, Bimini is not easily accessible. Flights leave from Fort Lauderdale, but not daily, and prices are $200 and up. That's pretty expensive… More >>
  • Best Chutzpah

    Johnny Winton

    You're a developer and city official in town stuck on Concourse A waiting for your delayed flight to Houston. Do you: (A) sigh, crack open your briefcase, and catch up on some reading, or (B) find a Texan named Karl, sidle up to the airport bar, and drop $130 on seven wines, four beers with whiskey, and amaretto backs. If… More >>
  • Best Adrenaline Rush

    Skydive Miami

    Bored with lifeç Need to inject your miserable existence with a dose of daringç Nothing screams, "Holy shit I'm alive!" like stepping out of a perfectly good airplane 13,000 feet above the ground. It's not for the faint- hearted (or the light-walleted), but if you yearn to embrace the adrenaline junkie within, Skydive Miami is a must. For about $320… More >>
  • Best New Law

    HB 7105: Repeal of the Alcoholic Beverage Surcharge

    Jeb Bush signed this baby into law on June 9, 2006, and it will take effect this July. It could generate $30 million in new economic activity in the state and potentially create 400 new jobs for Florida's considerable hospitality industry, according to a study done by the Distilled Spirits Council. Whatever. This piece of legislation means a few more… More >>
  • Best Activity You Thought You'd Never Do

    Flying Trapeze School

    It's not every day South Floridians are given the opportunity to cavort in the manner of a lithe Russian gymnast. Miami, though lovely, is a city about as alien to aerial acrobatics as it is to snow (and by that we mean the real white powder). That is, until the Irish-born Marcus Gaffney and his Flying Trapeze School came to… More >>
  • Best One-Nighter You Missed

    NRA Fundraiser

    On August 3, amid the hubbub of the Republican gubernatorial primary, the state's gun lovers converged on the Rusty Pelican. They were all present for the delightful gala event, which was held in a cheesy ballroom in the waterfront restaurant — with all proceeds going toward Boys & Girls Clubs shooting programs and "educational things" like Eddie Eagle, the lobby's… More >>
  • Best Tour

    Miami Dade Transit's Black History and Hispanic Heritage Tours

    Normally there's nothing Miamians hate more than taking the Metrobus anywhere — even the more loathsome act of sitting in rush hour traffic day after day seems preferable. (We're not even going to discuss that thing called "walking.") But twice a year some of these same Miamians fight over the privilege of spending their Saturday mornings crammed together riding a… More >>
  • Best Boondoggle

    Train to nowhere

    Okay, so it's bad enough that Miami International Airport is always under construction, and the parking situation is confusing at best and miserable at worst. But Magic City dwellers suffered one more airport-related indignity last year when it was revealed that the long-awaited airport train is $1.5 billion over budget and that its train cars are sitting empty where they… More >>
  • Best Place to Hike

    Fakahatchee Strand Preserve State Park

    Okay, so it's in Collier County, but it's close enough (about an hour-and-a-half drive) and the drive is more than worth it. Called the "Amazon of North America," this area is unparalleled for swamp-tromping. Twenty miles long by five miles wide, it's an explosion of flora and fauna, from the wetter swamps and prairies, to the drier islands of tropical… More >>
  • Best Political Coup

    Alex Villalobos's Senate Win

    Sometime during the 2006 legislative session, one Republican lawmaker dared to challenge Jeb Bush's crazy proposals on class size and vouchers. That man was state Sen. Alex Villalobos, and his refusal to support Bush's master plan for education cost him dearly. Punishment was swift: Villalobos was stripped of the honor of becoming Florida's first Cuban-American Senate president. Bush backed another… More >>
  • Best Tour Guide

    Robert Burr

    Robert Burr was born and raised in the county of Dade. His family came here in 1876, and traces of his ancestors' hard work can be found from Arch Creek Park to Burr's Berry Farm. As you might expect from a seventh generation member of a pioneering family, he knows the nooks and crannies of this city like the back… More >>
  • Best Political Miscalculation

    Frank Bolaños's entire career in 2006

    First he supported the ban of Vamos a Cuba, a 32-page children's book that Cuban exiles said glossed over the harsh realities of modern-day life on the island. The ACLU sued the district over the ban and won. Then Bolaños called for an appeal of a judge's ruling to allow the book on school library shelves, costing the district thousands… More >>
  • Best Way To Get Fit

    Everglades Snowbird Century

    If you have never ridden 100 miles on a bike before, you have no idea (a) how good it feels, nor (b) how difficult it is. Nor do you realize how many billions of calories you'll burn in the process. For those who haven't, the annual Everglades Snowbird Century is a great place to begin. Scaredç Don't be: It's a… More >>
  • Best Political Comeback

    Palm Trees on Biscayne Boulevard

    Some said the trees were ugly. Others said they were a danger to motorists when their fanlike fronds dropped on the busy street. And the Florida Department of Transportation said Biscayne would be better lined with oak trees. Oaks! In tropical Miami! In 2006 the New York Times wrote about the planned uprooting of the palms, and indeed the evil,… More >>
  • Best Gym

    South Florida Boxing

    When heading up the steep, narrow staircase to the second-floor South Florida Boxing Gym on Washington Avenue, a stale odor wafts into your nostrils. It's that unmistakable smell of sweat, which, though rank to some, is actually the first sign of a good gym. It means members are not busy admiring themselves in the mirror, or reading a gossip rag… More >>
  • Best Municipal Advancement

    The Strong-Mayor Petition

    It took him two years and an exhausting legal battle with the county commission and its benefactors, but Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez succeeded in assuming more power over county government. Now Miami-Dade joins major metropolitan areas such as New York, Chicago, and Los Angeles, where one individual is accountable for mismanagement, theft, and separating taxpayers from their well-earned dollars. In… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts

    Crandon Park Tennis Center

    Ensconced in the foliage of Crandon Park, the tennis center is not only the most aesthetically pleasing place to play, but also offers diverse surfaces. The seventeen hard courts, seven of which are equipped with lights for nighttime playing, are the very courts used in tournament play when the Sony Ericsson Open (formerly the NASDAQ-100, and before that the Lipton)… More >>
  • Best Quote

    Tom Tancredo's rant

    We are a polarized bunch here in Miami. The Cubans hate Castro, the Venezuelans hate Chavez, Haitians hate a lot of their leaders, the city people hate the beach people, and the beach people don't even bother with the hot mess that is downtown Miami. But for one brief, shining moment back in November 2006, we all united in our… More >>
  • Best Driving Range

    Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne

    A basket of balls at this public course's driving range doesn't cost any more than one at the other county-run courses, but Crandon Golf at Key Biscayne might as well be another planet. Besides a gorgeous tropical setting teeming with bird life, there is a cafe that serves filet mignon (for special events) and coconut shrimp and a locker room… More >>
  • Best Cop

    Pedro E. Rojas Jr.

    Pete Rojas had given himself this award a long time before we did. But he's a good cop, and perhaps the only officer ever to receive a gangsta rap shout-out, much less a cameo in the corresponding video. (In a 2006 song, "Get Yo Money Brisco," Opa-locka rapper Brisco lamented, "Rojas got me calculatin' every move....") In thirteen tumultuous years… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court

    Eaton Park

    Bobby banks in an eighteen-foot jumper over J-Rod's outstretched hand. "You can't stop me!" Bobby taunts. The nineteen-year-olds have been going at it, one-on-one, for the past 35 minutes on the asphalt court closest to the train tracks. They have come out here every other day, around the same time, 4:30 p.m., playing with the same beat-up basketball with pieces… More >>
  • Best Criminal Conviction in the Past Year

    John Couey

    Sometimes someone commits a crime so horrible that we can't even finish reading about it in the newspaper. That's how the 2005 slaying of precious nine-year-old Jessica Lunsford affected us, even though the crime took place some six hours north of Miami in Citrus County. So when her killer, convicted sex offender John Couey, went on trial here in Miami… More >>
  • Best Place To Jog

    Oleta River State Park

    While the boardwalk in South Beach boasts stunning ocean views, Key Biscayne a mammoth heart-stopping bridge, and the Venetian Causeway calm idyllic roads, Oleta Park offers joggers a little something extra: shade. Runners know that for eight months out of the year in our scorching city, doing any kind of physical activity after 9:00 a.m. without passing out from heat… More >>
  • Best Activist

    "Flash," manager and coordinator of the Wallflower Gallery

    He responds only to "Flash," and like the nickname implies, he is all about speed and light. Speed: to continually schedule a new and interesting slate of events, meetings, and benefit concerts. And light: to shed upon often overlooked issues that affect our city. The man who hides behind the mysterious nickname isn't the most gregarious dude, but his passion… More >>
  • Best Road Race for Runners

    Nike Run Hit Remix

    Nike is not an industry leader for nothing. They know what an athlete needs to get the job done. And let it be said that they were the first to recognize that if Rocky Balboa needed a little "Eye of the Tiger" to get him into the ring, then perhaps you and I might also improve our athleticism with a… More >>
  • Best Gadfly

    Max Rameau

    Before the April fire that burned Umoja Village to the ground, Max could be found grinning and holding his baby boy while sitting on a stained couch in the middle of the homeless shantytown in Liberty City. Part street theater, part protest, the place, which was Max's idea, opened this past October 23 on an abandoned lot on NW 62nd… More >>
  • Best Place To Road Bike

    Homestead

    Road biking is a lot like driving. Same stretch of road, same rules. But unlike motor vehicles, which afford their navigators a steel cocoon behind which to hide in the event of a collision, cyclists have skin. It's preferable, therefore, to ride along quieter roads — where the likelihood of a door being swung open in your face, or a… More >>
  • Best Young Environmentalists

    Aspira

    The Aspira Association is a national nonprofit dedicated to the education and leadership development of Puerto Rican (and other Latin) kids. Since 1961 the group has created programs to teach reading, math, and science; and increase educational resources, health, highway safety, and professional acumen. It's worked in the areas of language, economic development, arts, and culture, and has created a… More >>
  • Best Urban Bike Ride

    Both Sides of the Tracks tour

    This ride will take you, both literally and figuratively, across the tracks for a taste of some of the uniqueness, diversity, and, at the same time, radical inequality that Miami has to offer. Start by the County Courthouse, on Flagler Street between West First and Miami avenues, in the heart of the city's gritty and endlessly fascinating downtown. You can… More >>
  • Best Miami Spokesman

    Don Shula

    When the South Florida Super Bowl XLI Host Committee needed a public face, its members didn't tap Gloria Estefan, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, or rapper Rick Ross. Instead they went with the granite jaw, the legend: former Dolphins head coach Don Shula. The man is an icon in this city. For more than 30 years he manned the sidelines for… More >>
  • Best Rural Bike Ride

    Long Pine Key

    After entering Everglades National Park through the Homestead entrance, Long Pine Key is pretty much the first stop in. It offers a maze of bike paths, ranging from 20-minute joy rides to half-day adventures. Between the Royal Palm Vistor Center and Pine Glades Lake is a mesh of trails that take you through sawgrass prairie, old farmland, and pineland. One… More >>
  • Best Citizen

    Bill Swink

    For more than twenty years, Bill Swink has been known among Coconut Grove's homeless population as the "Soup and Sandwich Man." He serves food every Friday afternoon (around 2:00) at the Dinner Key Marina docks by the shrimp boats (3400 Pan American Dr., Miami). He drives up in his white car, pops open the trunk, and sets up his portable… More >>
  • Best Road Race for Cyclists

    SMART Ride

    Two days, 165 miles, some of the most breathtaking views Florida has to offer. Celebrating its fourth year, the SMART ride — the southernmost HIV/AIDS ride — though not technically a race, attracts hundreds of particpants annually. Approximately 500 cyclists gathered this past March 30 at the starting line in Pinecrest. Each paid a $75 entrance fee and raised at… More >>
  • Best Herald Writer

    David Ovalle

    Working the cops beat in Miami-Dade is an inherently sensational experience with no lack of dramatic narratives, but David Ovalle has found a way of lingering after the rest of the media circus has taken down its tents. His assailants and victims are people Herald readers remember. To cover the story of Maria Pacheco, an illegal immigrant whose baby was… More >>
  • Best Heat Player

    Jason Kapono

    With D-Wade brought low by injury — and only recently returned — this honor must now go to a mere mortal. Jason Kapono is most definitely human, flawed by his slow feet and inability to fly. But the 6'8" swingman possesses a laudable knack for pouncing on loose balls, plus an unselfish impulse for making the extra pass. He's a… More >>
  • Best Magic City Icon

    Miami Herald headquarters

    One Herald Plaza is among the ugliest buildings we have ever seen. This hulking, squat, cube-shape structure reminds us of the Borg's spaceship. Inside you will find journalists stripped of their free will objectively describing what their Borg masters (a.k.a. the McClatchy Co.) tell them to report on. Construction began in 1960 and the Herald officially moved in on March… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Hanley Ramirez

    For any Marlins fan who remembers the 2003 World Series and the insanely good pitching that won it, the name Josh Beckett should be honored. Enshrined. Hell, can we apply for sainthoodç Alas, Beckett was traded away to the Red Sox and left some mighty big cleats to fill. One of the players who came here in return for Beckett,… More >>
  • Best Career Move

    Anders Gyllenhaal

    Anders Gyllenhaal spent twelve years as a reporter and editor at the Miami Herald before leaving to work at papers in North Carolina and Minnesota, where he was editor. In December the Herald's parent company, the McClatchy Co., announced that Gyllenhaal would be returning to Miami to replace longtime editor Tom Fiedler, who was retiring. We think this is an… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    Jason Taylor

    Number 99, Jason Taylor, came oh-so-close to retiring, following the Fins' abysmal season, and treacherous Nick Saban's absconding to Alabama. Thank goodness he didn't. Despite participating in an excruciating 6-10 losing record, the NFL's defensive player of the year recorded thirteen-and-a-half sacks, forced ten fumbles, and snagged two interceptions, both of which he returned for touchdowns, including an acrobatic doozey… More >>
  • Best Commie Agent

    Oscar Corral

    That damn Oscar Corral. First he writes a story informing Miami residents that ten South Florida journalists are on the payrolls of U.S. propaganda vehicles Radio and TV Martí. Then he has the nerve to tell us that none of the $55.5 million in taxpayer money intended to fund Cuban dissidents has reached the island in cash. Instead the bulk… More >>
  • Best Boxer

    Alex Brenes

    Some need lesson after lesson, but Alex Brenes used the hardscrabble streets of Costa Rica to polish his boxing skills. It sounds trite, and it's the same thing most fighters say, but hanging out with the wrong crowd made him take up the sport. Sixteen years ago he took his street-fighting skills from the asphalt into the ring, and he… More >>
  • Best Correction

    The Miami Herald

    "A source interviewed for the story on happy hours in Saturday's Tropical Life section misidentified himself to the reporter. Carl Palomino, a lawyer, was not at the Martini Bar. His brother, Pat Palomino, identified himself as Carl and provided his brother's name and profession instead of his own."… More >>
  • Best Hurricanes Football Player

    Anthony Reddick

    The 'Canes didn't do so well this year, at least in the traditional sense, so we decided to choose our favorite player using nontraditional criteria. After his stellar freshman season, the Hurricanes selected safety Anthony Reddick as one of two defensive rookies of the year. The ACC dubbed him rookie of the week after a University of Houston game in… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Newspaper

    Biscayne Times

    This scrappy little rag has a new lease on life. With former New Times editor Jim Mullin at the helm, BT has shown a renewed vigor, mixing down-home local interest stories (police blotter and gardening tips) with hard-charging reporting (on a fire-fee scandal and controversial urban planning). Recently the paper has seen the bylines of accomplished Miami journos such as… More >>
  • Best Panthers Player

    Nathan Horton

    In a 5-2 victory over the Tampa Bay Lighting, Florida Panthers center Olli Jokinen passed on an opportunity to score an empty netter, sliding the puck to Horton, who notched his 30th goal of the season. In a way it symbolized the franchise's established superstar passing the torch on to its future, if Panthers management does the smart thing and… More >>
  • Best Flack

    Cece Feinberg

    From her Buena Vista house, Cece Feinberg and her small team specialize in highlighting the slightly under-the-radar and very hip side of Miami fashion and culture. This comes with a crowd that's similarly more downtown than South Beach, and nonfashion clients seek her out for a cool-infusion at their events. She's almost singlehandedly responsible for raising the international profile of… More >>
  • Best Street Fighter

    Kimbo Slice

    The last time we heard the name Kimbo Slice, it came out of the mouth of an Italian freelance journalist who'd flown all the way to Florida to write about our illicit champion. Apparently bambini in all parts of the boot were pounding one another in their back yards, tussling for no apparent reason, and the name on all their… More >>
  • Best Manifesto

    The G Manifesto Blog

    We're not sure who actually writes this blog, or where the author is from. But whoever it is — we think it's probably a he, given the macho, misogynistic rants and the fact that he signs each post as Michael Porfirio Mason, a.k.a. "The People's Champ" — visits South Beach often to wine, dine, and scheme while lounging with a… More >>
  • Best Hunter

    Ray Casais

    You may have seen him around town: an imposing, ranchero-outfitted bear of a man with puffy, chubby cheeks and a clean-shorn head that he keeps warm under his trademark cowboy hat (indeed his business cards read "the man in the hat"). His shins are covered in scars. He has been bitten by a snake, a turtle, a snake, a squirrel,… More >>
  • Best TV Show

    The King of Miami

    Smart things about Miami are hard to come by. Sometimes parts of our city blow up in a crappy action movie. Occasionally we get to watch rappers pour champagne on naked ladies here. And it has always been that way: Remember Police Academy 5çNobody has ever wanted to film anything in Miami that's, well, serious ... until now. When Dave… More >>
  • Best Sports Coach

    Roland Smith, Miami Northwestern Senior High School head football coach

    Early during their undefeated run, the Bulls outscored five opponents by a score of 235 to zero. By the eighth game of the season Northwestern had smoked the competition 359-41. Even then school alumnus Roland Smith couldn't rest easy. Anything less than the school's fourth state championship, and the former Miami Dolphins cornerback would likely be out of a job.… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    A walk on the old Rickenbacker Causeway

    Alongside the William Powell Bridge, between the mainland and Virginia Key and the bridging replaced by the new William Powell Bridge in 1985, the scene is almost apocalyptic: On a recent weekend night the pier was teeming with grungy fishermen — many of whom had boomboxes and bicycles rigged especially for carrying fishing gear. ("The bike has two separate chains,"… More >>
  • Best Sports Trend

    Hip-Hop Coaches

    You've likely heard about Snoop Dogg, who, when his son came of athletic age, took to coaching small-fry football. Miami's Luther Campbell has been at it for more than two decades, coaching Pop Warner football and thus creating a paradox: The man who has long sponsored, coached, and generally supported young athletes makes music that is for adults only. Along… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    Civet Coffee

    The Asian palm civet is to beverages as sturgeon is to victuals. The fish produces one of the world's most expensive foods, caviar. The civet produces the planet's priciest coffee, Kopi Luwak. And when we say costly, we mean up to $600 per pound (or around $40 a shot). The stuff is so ¨ber-glamorous that members of the fabulous set… More >>
  • Best Tourist Trap

    Little Havana To Go

    For South Florida visitors seeking retail therapy after being sardined on a tour bus with a bunch of strangers they can't understand, Little Havana to Go offers a welcome respite. Located smack next to Calle Ocho's famous Domino Park, this shop isn't your average carved-coconut and strung-shell souvenir joint. Each week dozens of buses ferrying tourists from the nation's hinterlands,… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill

    The Miami Shores Marshmallow Drop

    Every year on a Saturday morning just before Easter, hundreds of kids gather on the playing fields just south of Miami Shores Country Club. They look into the sky hopefully while clutching shopping bags and baskets. Then they scream. It hurts your ears. A helicopter descends from the sky and a hand reaches from the cockpit with a trash bag.… More >>
  • Best Library

    Hialeah e-libraries

    Give Hialeah's political leaders credit where it's due: They've put together an impressive electronic library system. Anchored by the John F. Kennedy Library at 190 W. 49th St., the e-libraries also have three satellite locations in the northern (7400 W. Tenth Ave.), eastern (501 E. Fourth Ave.), and western (7400 W. 24th Ave.) quadrants of the city. Each e-library is… More >>
  • Best Parking In Miami Beach

    Alton Road between Fourteenth and Fifteenth Streets

    The locals will kill us if we tell you about the last free spot on South Beach, so we'll clue you into the easiest metered parking instead. The stretch of Alton Road at Fourteenth Street is often the fastest place to grab a legal parking spot; in fact it's so fast that residents of the adjacent zoned sections occasionally rely… More >>
  • Best Author

    Malika Oufkir

    Malika Oufkir's life has been a twisted mix of fairy tale and nightmare, brought to life in her haunting memoir, Stolen Lives: Twenty Years in a Desert Jail. First published in 1999 in French as La Prisoni?re, the book (which later became an Oprah's Book Club selection and New York Times nonfiction best seller) traces the brutal twenty-year imprisonment she… More >>
  • Best Carnival Center Parking

    NE First Court between Thirteenth and Fourteenth Streets

    The area around the new Carnival Center for the Performing Arts isn't exactly swanky. For the four-wheeled flocks that descend come showtime, the thought of parking on the street is a piss-in-your-pants proposition. Most would rather pay $10 or $20 to leave their automobile in a lot, or more for a valet. You, however, are a sensible city dweller with… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    St Lucy's Home for Girls Raised by Wolves, by Karen Russell

    "Ava Wrestles the Alligator." "Z.Z.'s Sleep-Away Camp for Disordered Dreamers." "The Star-Gazer's Log of Summer-Time Crime." "Lady Yeti and the Palace of Artificial Snows." If the names of her short stories (including the titular tale) aren't enough to entice you, the prose of Coral Gables native Karen Russell should do the trick. This collection of ten stories, Russell's debut, paints… More >>
  • Best Bumper Sticker

    "Jesus Is the Reason for the Season"

    Gray summer storm clouds hang ominously overhead. Small cyclones flare up on the roadside and lightning crashes down. You are trapped in sweltering gridlock. Your eyes cross from a mixture of frustration and anxiety, and your vision goes blurry. As you inch forward a few feet, the image of two robed silhouettes crouched over a crib comes into view. "JESUS… More >>
  • Best Poet

    Howard Camner

    Howard Camner, 50 years old, is nothing if not prolific. He has published sixteen books of poetry and written 1500 individual poems, and his name is listed on a staggering number of Websites (640 at last count). But here's why we like this shaggy-haired, bearded bard: He's from Miami, and often writes about Florida in terse, stark, real verse that… More >>
  • Best Periodiquito

    Argentina Hoy

    Unlike some local Spanish-language weeklies, edited by ink-slinging politicos trying to hamstring competitors for a city or county commission seat, this rag actually reports local, national, and world news with a critical eye. Recent issues included thoughtful coverage on the Iraq War, citing the mounting body count of allied soldiers and Iraqi citizens "tinting the Tigris red." Not to mention… More >>
  • Best Power Couple

    Alonzo and Tracy Mourning

    Hometown hero Alonzo Mourning and his wife, Tracy, are both professional success stories. Alonzo is a 2006 NBA champion and Tracy runs her own clothing line, Honey Child. Together they're one of South Florida's most well-known and charitable dynamic duos. "I think they're a terrific power couple," says CBS 4 sports director Jim Berry — who then quotes an adaptation… More >>
  • Best Website

    Critical Miami

    Don't mistake the "critical" part of the name for more run-of-the-mill blog snark. Rather, Critical Miami features some of the most concisely written, clear-headed commentary around on the city's life and culture. You're as likely to find updates on major construction as anecdotes about visits to offbeat ethnic eateries. The content is refreshingly free of nightlife or celebrity gossip (there's… More >>
  • Best New Neighbors

    The Hogans

    When pro wrestler Hulk Hogan (born Terry Bollea) left his $25 million dream house in his native Tampa, he informed the Miami Herald his clan was descending upon the Magic City like "the Beverly Hillbillies." But even by nouveau riche redneck standards, the Hogans's $12 million waterfront estate on North Bay Road is a symbol of understated elegance. In fact… More >>
  • Best TV Station

    Mega TV

    Launched on March 1, 2006, Mega TV broadcasts a mix of Spanish-language talk shows, political analysis, comedies, and documentary specials. Spray-tanned dancing girls are at a minimum here: With a stated mission of providing quality programming at a local level, Mega's targeted demographic may be Cuban, but the network holds appeal for every Miamian. Raíces y Recuerdos ("Roots and Remembrances")… More >>
  • Best Interlopers

    Monitor Lizards

    Who needs a zoo when you live in the subtropics? Parrots, pythons, peacock bass, Cuban tree frogs and Cuban lizards, those weird Chinese snakehead fish that walk on terra firma — the area is alive with a biology text's worth of exotic, invasive species. Our favorite invader is the monitor lizard, one of the largest-legged reptiles and a ferocious predator.… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men

    Miami Book Fair International

    When they aren't ironing their ascots, taking nature walks, or perfecting their gourmet cooking, intelligent men like to read. A lot of them write too. Some even do poetry for intelligent women. In mid-November these ¨bermenschen gather, in between triathlons and winetastings, to hear their favorite writers and poets read at Miami Dade College. They ride the Metromover from their… More >>
  • Best TV News Reporter

    Jeff Burnside

    A typical local television rundown of a South Florida newscast may go something like this: car accident, pot bust, fire, and some type of weird news or terrorist connection. But at WTVJ NBC 6 they have a jewel, and his name is Jeff Burnside. He's a veteran newsman who goes the extra mile, covering investigative and long-format news stories —… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Women

    Critical Mass

    Progressive thinkers sometimes feel like aliens in this city of aliens. Critical Mass, a bicycling staple elsewhere, is growing here as the city fills with educated idealists. Activist groups Emerge Miami and the Miami Green Party have teamed up with the Wallflower Gallery and Sweat Records to make trips to Matheson Hammock, the Everglades, Miami Beach, and Calle Ocho. So… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Phil Ferro

    When Phil Ferro moved from Telemundo 51 to WSVN in April 2005, bilingual news addicts wondered whether the suave, Cuba-born meteorologist would successfully make the transition from chubascos to "squalls," or be forced to discuss weather conditions at American Idol tryouts. Thankfully within a couple of awkward weeks, the Emmy-nominated forecaster acclimated to his new conditions, lost his accent, and… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet a Writer

    FIU North Creative Writing Program

    He came into town from a gig in Texas, bringing his books, his notes, and his notebooks. He was a tall man with sandy hair who left behind in the dusty sprawl all the attitude and arrogance associated with the Lone Star State. His charm, his way of encouraging erudition and enlightenment, was borne of years out west working as… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men

    Playwright Irish Pub and Restaurant

    Since the beginning of time men have fought for stuff. Honor. Women. Countries. Kingdoms. Men like fighting. Though they might not support kicking the crap out of someone to make a point, they will watch. They chanted in the school yard when Billy the bully used to beat up nerdy Norman for his lunch money, and they still chant. So,… More >>
  • Best Radio Station

    WVUM-FM 90.5

    With the rise of satellite radio, the local FM band is not only bland, it's doomed. Looking for classic rock comfort foodç You can tune in Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" pretty much any time of day at Big 105.9. Fancy yourself an alt-rocker, ca. 1994ç The Stone Temple Pilots are always a button push away at 93 Rock (93.1). ButWVUM,… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Women

    Score

    A gay clubç Straight, single womenç Yup. Counterintuitive perhaps, but effective. Score is as lively as they come and attracts an interesting, diverse crowd — more than a few of them attractive women. In the comfort of gay male friends, women are more apt to cut loose, party like banshees, and let their inhibitions run wild. Why notç No one's… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Eddy Edwards, host of Caribbean Riddims

    It was difficult enough explaining to out-of-towners in the Eighties that the synthesizer tones of Jan Hammer didn't blare on every Miami street corner. Now it's next to impossible to get anyone to believe that salsa doesn't permeate every waking moment of life in the city. Thankfully Eddy Edwards does his best to remind us that there are other immigrant… More >>
  • Best Place For A First Date

    John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park

    The all-important first date. The all-important first impression. Fail here and chances are you'll end with a polite "I'll call you" instead of a spine-tingling game of tonsil hockey. So here's a foolproof plan: A snorkeling trip from John Pennekamp Park. First you have the hour-long Miami-to-Key Largo journey when you can actually talk to your companion to see if… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    K. Foxx

    It's 6:15 p.m. and you're driving home from work, shoulders tense from hovering over a computer or an incompetent coworker all day. You flick on 99 Jamz (WEDR) — 'cause what's a better stress-buster than some bass-thumping hip-hop? From your speakers pours The Takeover, Miami's most popular hip-hop radio show. You might get yelled at by the animated DJ Khaled… More >>
  • Best Place for a Second Date

    Laundry Bar

    If you've made it to the second date, chances are you've been playing by the rules and haven't put out ... yet. Sure you've gotten all that awkward past-relationship conversation out of the way, and your good boy/girl act was Oscar-worthy, but what nowç The second date is when you really start to get to know each other. And what… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language Radio Personality

    Yamile Machin

    Perhaps you've seen this sultry vixen, her voluptuous cleavage and her boadacious curves wrapped tightly in a mini spandex police uniform, purring at you from a billboard off the Palmetto Expressway. Her gorgeous hazel eyes and flowing black mane beckon your attention away from the traffic snarl of morning rush hour. Born in Havana five days after the new year… More >>
  • Best Landmark

    Dadeland Mall

    Ask a Kendallite. Your average South Beach resident, Fort Lauderdalian, and foreigner have one thing in common: They don't know the sprawling suburbs of Miami. To them it's just a frightening maze of salmon-color townhouses and strip malls. If you live south of Miller Drive, you need a landmark, and it must be a place that's easily visible from South… More >>
  • Best Place to Play Dominoes

    Habana Cuba Cigar Lounge

    Cigar smoke clings to the air inside the Habana Cuba Cigar Lounge like two teenagers on senior prom night. The baseball game on the giant plasma screen TV set is drowned out by the din of men decked out in guayaberas and dress slacks playing bones on the two tournament tables. They munch on pastelitos and drink Cuba libres. Armando… More >>
  • Best Renovation

    Circa 28

    The beast known as Miami's nightlife scene is vicious. Clubs go as easily as they come, regardless of how long they've been around or who promotes them. There's rarely mercy for dying clubs, so it's refreshing when an old favorite is injected with new life. The former Slak Lounge (and before that, Two Last Shoes) was a well-known destination for… More >>
  • Best VideoGame Center

    Scorpico

    Despite being tucked into a nondescript second-floor corner of the godforsaken Shops at Sunset Place, Scorpico Gaming Center has a homey atmosphere for a room stuffed with computers. Owners and gaming buffs Cesar and Dany Feghali founded the company seven years ago with the idea of re-creating the good old days, when they threw all-night LAN parties in friends' garages.… More >>
  • Best City Mural

    Adam and Eve

    Call Miami the Mural City. From the charming collaborative We're in the Same Boat — created in 2001 by senior citizens of Haitian and Cuban descent, with help from Coral Park Senior High students serving as translators, and from artist Xavier Cortada — in Coconut Grove, to the realistic and powerful Martin Luther King Jr. in Liberty City, to many… More >>
  • Best Artist

    Wendy Wischer

    Weaving an Ariadne's thread between nature and technology, Wendy Wischer's luminous and thought-provoking sculptures and installations explore how a single set of principles governs the universe. In Night Air, her poetically evocative solo show at the David Castillo Gallery last November, she transformed the space into a magical, twinkling, twilight garden, as if spinning a dreamscape from a tale out… More >>
  • Best Room With A View

    Plaza Venetia Condo Building

    We can all appreciate a balcony that looks out over Miami's stunningly colorful skyline and the aqua-blue waters that surround our great city. But residents of the Venetia condo building located at the western end of the Venetian Causeway have us all beat. Those who reside in upper-level units with a balcony that faces north toward the swanky Biscayne Bay… More >>
  • Best Art Museum

    Museum of Contemporary Art

    Jazz grooves on the lawn; flashing neon lights; donkeys fashioned from recycled shredded cloth; a puppetmaster's beguiling vision of an underwater kingdom; and a historic exhibit showcasing Merce Cunningham's collaborations with contemporary visual artists, celebrating the dance legend's first visit to South Florida. These are among the many reasons people were enticed to join MoCA's rollicking year-long tenth anniversary bash.… More >>
  • Best New Building

    Wilkie D. Ferguson Jr. United States Courthouse

    One of the great things about being from Miami is that we relish our quirky uniqueness. Whatever happens in Vegas may stay in Vegas, but whatever happens in Miami is proudly announced to the world in English and en español. Even the new federal courthouse triumphantly declares where it's located. From a distance the 578,000-square-foot building's playful geometry is obvious,… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Kevin Bruk Gallery

    Located on a strip arguably housing some of the city's most stellar art spaces, this gallery stands out for the consistent quality of its exhibitions this past year. Kevin Bruk, who may have Tommy Lasorda's eye for spotting major-league talent, has been hitting back-to-back homers during a season in which one almost needed a scorecard to keep track of his… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    Tarpon Bend

    Drive by Tarpon Bend on a Friday or Saturday night and the place is like a block party. Valet parkers have long thrown up their hands, and the entire sidewalk is covered with booze-happy weekenders trying to flag down a harried bartender. Well, you can only guzzle so many $8 Jack and Cokes ($10 on Fridays) before you gotta go.… More >>
  • Best Outdoor Art

    Skywalkers Parade

    During Art Basel Miami Beach, the competition among local artists to catch the eye of the cognoscenti can seem like the machinations of those early PR hucksters like Jim Moran, who took the publicity stunt to an extreme. Moran's finest hour came when he tried to send three midgets attached to kites, plastered with advertising, airborne over New York's Central… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    Government Center Metrorail Station , 5:00 p.m.

    Metrorail is one of Miami's only mass transit systems, and despite its limitations, every day it transports thousands of people from all walks of life to their homes and jobs. Whether they're lawyers, sandwich-makers, college students, homeless vagabonds, or Brickell Avenue CEOs, they all share the burden of commuting in Miami. At 5:00 p.m., blue-collar, white-collar, and no-collar bodies leave… More >>
  • Best Movie Theater

    Regal Kendall Village Stadium 16

    The scent of popcorn that embraces you as you enter this cinema might take you back to the old days of moviegoing, but there's nothing old-fashioned about the Regal Kendall Village Stadium 16. Opened in 2004, the theater has every amenity the modern movie watcher craves, from digital surround-sound to stadium-style reclining seats. Tickets can be purchased from the friendly… More >>
  • Best Hidden Neighborhood

    Biscayne Gardens

    It's only nine miles from downtown Miami, but the leafy and low-key Biscayne Gardens might as well be a continent away. This unincorporated community (read: low taxes) of big lawns (many houses are platted for one-acre lots) and modest Forties-era ranch houses is one of those truly rare creatures in South Florida: a well-kept real estate secret. "It's a hidden… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    Women's International Film Festival

    The Women's International Film Festival is an infant compared to the big boy FLIFF, but if this year's lineup was any indication, the new girl in town will be around for years to come. The scope and ambition of this festival is to be admired. This year's four-day extravaganza featured more than 40 films from twelve countries, and included feature-length… More >>
  • Best Display of Wealth

    CiFo

    Until last year, the 1936 building that houses CiFo art space was just another in a long line of bleak industrial fa?ades in the desiccated cityscape of downtown Miami's warehouse district. Ella Fontanals Cisneros, CiFo's founder, commissioned architect René González to create a more appealing welcome mat for her gallery. González delivered: CiFo visitors are greeted by a capacious plaza,… More >>
  • Best Night at the Movies

    Movies by the Bay

    Jostle your way through the box office and concession lines, and find a seat — if you arrive early enough — somewhere where you won't get whiplash. Try to ignore the crying baby, the ringing cellphone, the oblivious conversationalists behind you, the pounding noise from the action movie in the adjacent theater. Wait a minute — this is supposed to… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    The Hotel - CLOSED

    For people, affiliation with a reality TV show can mean a real-world boost on the fame-o-meter. But what about buildings? Ask The Hotel, a South Beach wonder that has an interior designed entirely by current Bravo Top Design host and fashion/interior designer Todd Oldham. The historic Collins Avenue building known as "The Tiffany" was born in 1939 and gained fame… More >>
  • Best Cuba Documentary

    Casa de los Arabes

    In the past year filmmakers have produced several notable documentaries about Cuba. Nat Chediak's Habana Abierta: Boomerang chronicled a Cuban rock band in exile, while Jauretsi Saizarbitoria and Emilia Menocal's East of Havana looked at inner-island democratization through hip-hop. But local filmmaker and cameraman John Maass's film Casa de los Arabes ("House of Arabs") stands out for its originality. Maass… More >>
  • Best Place to Donate Your Clothes

    Rag Trade Happy Clothing Co. - CLOSED

    Thrifting is a labor of love. Sometimes you spend hours sifting through forgotten garments to find that one item that's meant for you. Usually, though, thrifters go home either empty-handed or with a few threadbare fixer-uppers. But at Rag Trade, quality second-hand clothing is in abundance and therefore easy to find. It works like this: You can bring in old… More >>
  • Best Movie Shot on Location

    Cocaine Cowboys

    Say hello to my leetle friend — a modest, homegrown documentary that tells the grisly tale of Miami's cocaine wars of the late Seventies and early Eighties with gusto. Scarface and Miami Vice ain't got nothin' on Cocaine Cowboys, which vividly — even gleefully —captures Miami in all the nutty, coke-fueled, gory glory of its drug-addled heyday. At times the… More >>
  • Best Fashion Designer

    Ema Koja

    Paris Hilton's brain might be void of any factual information, but the bimbette knows a thing or two about fashion. And it's not by accident that she's often snapped by the paparazzi sporting the wearable works of art spawned by the creative genius of one of the planet's hottest designers, Miami resident Ema Koja. Albanian-born Koja first burst into the… More >>
  • Best New Drama

    Defining Code Red, by Justin Koren

    Defining Code Red was the gutsiest play performed in South Florida this year, a drama that didn't so much penetrate the fourth wall as exist outside of it from the beginning, intersecting with its audience in dangerous and unpredictable ways. On the morning of February 3, 2004, seventh-grader Jaime Rodrigo Gough was stabbed to death in a bathroom at Southwood… More >>
  • Best New Fashion Trend

    305 Hats

    Some of us Miami natives think that there should be a holiday on March 5 (3/05) every year, where we could put on our 305 hats and parade down Biscayne Boulevard chanting: "THREE-OH-FIVE!" That's right. 305 stayin' alive. This past year brought the NBA Championship for the Heat, and we became Super Bowl City once again. In music, Rick Ross… More >>
  • Best Live Theater

    The Ziff Ballet and Opera House

    Architect Cesar Pelli's most famous creation may be the Petronas World Trade Center in Kuala Lumpur, for a time the world's two tallest buildings, but the Ziff Ballet and Opera House— one of two major performance venues at the Carnival Center for the Performing Arts — may be just as impressive. Thanks to Pelli, and to Russell Johnson of Artec… More >>
  • Best Cultural Institution

    New World School of the Arts

    We imagine the hallways of the New World School of the Arts (NWSA) as being pretty much like a scene from the Eighties cult classic film and TV series Fame: an explosion of students burning with talent, skipping down the hallway en route to musical theater class, and bursting into perfectly unified and choreographed dance routines at will. In reality… More >>
  • Best Director

    Joseph Adler for Pillowman

    Imagine this: You were viciously abused as a child, and now you're a writer. You are totally unsuccessful. Your major subject matter is the torture and murder of children. You're really into it. The children in your stories eat cookies filled with razorblades or are dispatched with power drills used in extremely unconventional ways. At this very moment, you're being… More >>
  • Best Charity

    Inner City Outings

    A branch of the Sierra Club, Inner City Outings is a unique little outfit that takes city kids to a world they rarely see: nature. Teenagers who associate wildlife with gang-bangers get the chance to cycle the Everglades, paddle the Little River, and camp overnight in a state park, among other adventures. Staffed by a small group of energetic outdoors… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Odell Rivas in Three Angels Dancing On a Needle, Square Peg Productions - CLOSED

    In Three Angels Rivas's part consisted primarily of a monologue called "God's Greatest Invention," in which his character confessed to being madly in lust — not love, just lust — with a man. The whole performance was one long scream of trembling, jittering need, with lots of big, declamatory statements and huge, sloppy emotions. But out of that tempest came… More >>
  • Best Festival

    Asian Culture Festival at the Fruit & Spice Park

    Miami is a rich and meaty cultural stew, but a typical sampling of the sancocho is definitely heavy on mojo criollo and Jamaican jerk. We love it when the less-represented residents of the city come together and share their spice. For that reason we look forward to the Asian Culture Festival all year. The annual affair at the Fruit &… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Miriam Kulick in Three Angels Dancing On a Needle, Square Peg Productions - CLOSED

    The third actor to accost the audience in Assurbanipal Babilla's Three Angels Dancing on a Needle, Miriam appeared as the wife of a man who'd killed himself by jumping off a bridge. She hated him a lot, and his death had done little to soften her rage. For an interminable time — truly interminable; she could have held the stage… More >>
  • Best Promenade

    Miami River Promenade at One Miami

    Undiscovered territory while the city waits for the promenade to be connected to the one that runs along Bayfront Park, this is a sliver of unique urban beauty. It's right at the mouth of the Miami River, prime viewing spot for boats headed up and down river, the bay beyond, and the gleaming high-rises all around. The walk is a… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor

    Matthew Glass in Romance

    In a play full of plus-size performances, little Matt Glass dwarfed everybody. David Mamet's filthy courtroom farce was one of the year's funniest shows, and Matt was not only its funniest character but also the most sympathetic. The love-starved boyfriend of the prosecutor, he pranced into the courtroom leaving a trail of handcuffs and dildos in his wake, sat himself… More >>
  • Best Road to Avoid

    Biscayne Boulevard between 70th and 79th Streets

    There are few other roads in Miami-Dade County with the breadth and scope of the traffic nightmare that is Biscayne Boulevard. Construction has seemingly gone on for years, with no end in sight (one employee at a Dunkin' Donuts said it could last till May; we're not sure if he meant 2007 or 3007). Driving on the boulevard is a… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress

    Marcus Davis in La Cage aux Folles

    Marcus Davis is not, in fact, an "actress," nor is he even a woman. It doesn't matter. From the moment he stepped to the footlights at the Actor's Playhouse in its production of La Cage aux Folles as "Jacob," a maid/butler done up in lurid soubrette-cum-Mozart drag, he established himself as the most blazingly, supernaturally charismatic female force anybody had… More >>
  • Best Mile of Miami

    Flagler Street between the Miami River and NW 22nd Avenue

    If Calle Ocho is the undisputed heart of Cuban America, then Flagler Street is the lesser-known capital of just about every other Spanish-speaking group in Miami, especially Central Americans. The mile-long length of Flagler west of the river is jam-packed with niche groceries, discount shoe stores, and food — ah, the food! In that short mile are dozens upon dozens… More >>
  • Best Acting Ensemble

    Three Angels Dancing On a Needle, Square Peg Productions - CLOSED

    Assurbinipal Babilla called his play Three Angels Dancing on a Needle, but Merri Jo Pitassi, Odell Rivas, and Miriam Kulick did a lot more than dance on that needle — they got skewered on it. If you were lucky enough to be hanging out in the Deluxe Arts complex this past January, you'd have seen one of the most jaw-dropping… More >>
  • Best Urban Picnic Spot

    Rainforest Garden Lounge

    You could go to the beach, or maybe some crappy old park. But if you're an urban romantic, try the Rainforest Lounge. Laid out by renowned landscape architect Enzo Enea as a Design District showpiece for Art Basel Miami Beach two years ago, this little oasis is unmatched. Like a giant jewel box, it has funky, copper-color perforated metal walls… More >>
  • Best Theatrical Production

    Three Angels Dancing On a Needle, directed by Michael Yawney for Square Peg Productions - CLOSED

    There was a handful of productions this year that will stick in audience's memories for a long time, but Three Angels is probably the only one that will have those audiences doubting their memories. Scant days after the fact, it already felt like a dream: the kinky Catholic-voodoo-gothic rituals that sandwiched the scenes; the brutal speed of the monologues; the… More >>
  • Best Class Disparity

    Biscayne Boulevard between 69th and 70th streets

    Miami has been criticized of late for being a city of the very poor and the very rich, where the middle-class has been squeezed out into the suburbs, or even to faraway North Carolina. There's something to this. A drive up Biscayne Boulevard reveals a Miami of the wealthy (wine shops, designer clothing stores, a car wash named Karma) and… More >>
  • Best Choir

    Unity on the Bay Choir

    Unity on the Bay's music ministry says its mission is to "heal, enlighten, and minister through music in order to inspire and transform our world." A very pious aim to be sure, but don't expect Gregorian chants with a hymn or two thrown in on holidays. Unity's choir members tithe ten hours a week to make Sunday church-going a joyous… More >>
  • Best Spectacle

    Metromover

    Miami's weirdness is difficult to wrap your head around. There's the part born out of poverty and hardship and there's also the share that comes with way too much money. The town has both, for sure, but it's mapped in such a way that you rarely get to sink your teeth into both at the same time (unless you're on… More >>
  • Best Set Design

    Lyle Baskin for Fat Pig

    The set of Neil LaBute's tale of aborted love between a sweet fat chick and a not-so-sweet skinny guy was lovingly, elegantly, exactingly, and simply rendered by Lyle Baskin, a designer who regularly sends GableStage's brilliant shows rocketing to the next level of awesomeness. Fat Pig was a brutal, heartless story — one of the play's four characters had the… More >>
  • Best Party Promoter

    Susanne Bartsch

    New York's Susanne Bartsch is not your run-of-the-mill party promoter. Who else would conceive, let alone execute, a plan in which America's most infamous transsexual, Amanda Lepore, perches naked in a bubble bath in the middle of a crowded dance floor (at the swanky Setai, nonetheless, notorious for charging more than $40 for a plate of pad Thai). Bartsch's name… More >>
  • Best Opera

    Florida Grand Opera's La Sonnambula

    Two giants of twentieth-century opera launching a new star for the 21st: That is just part of what happened in this new production that celebrated — and made — Miami music history. The first collaboration between the great Renata Scotto and Richard Bonynge, this local staging of Bellini's La Sonnambula was a demanding and gorgeous romantic opera. Starring Miami's favorite… More >>
  • Best King Mango Strutter

    Justin Steak-N-Shake and the Chubbettes

    For most of the participants in the annual King Mango Strut, the costume and/or performance is a decision made in a beer-induced flight of fancy. We suspect that beer had quite a bit to do with the performance by Justin Steak-N-Shake and the Chubbettes. The bellies don't lie. This group of gleeful fat dudes was conceived for last year's Strut… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen

    Geraldine

    Every once in a while since this past Independence Day, an Amazonian goddess runs from the beach to the steps of the Palace Bar & Grill at 1200 Ocean Dr., a sparkly gold tiara holding up her flowing black mane. She dials in her invisible plane from a pay phone on the street, whips around her golden lasso to rope… More >>
  • Best Rolero

    Leonardo Peraza

    Once upon a time, Miami had a thriving cigar industry. Factories all over the city employed Cuban roleros (cigar rollers) to carry on their native country's well-known tradition for making the world's finest stogies. The industry, like others, has largely moved overseas; most hand-rolled cigars sold in the United States come from the Dominican Republic and Honduras. But a few… More >>
  • Best Professor to Jam With

    Armando Tranquilino

    FIU's rock and roll professor, Armando Tranquilino, teaches all the usual music theory and history courses, but what really caught our attention was a class called "The History of the Beatles." Tranquilino brought a sample lecture to an audience of eager baby boomers — and some of his college students — at a Culture in the City talk in Coconut… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

    Viernes Culturales

    If your guests' visit coincides with the last Friday of the month and some down-home flava is what they crave, then form a conga line and steer it to Little Havana's juiced-up block party on Southwest Eighth Street and Fifteenth Avenue for a deep-fried slice of Miami's historic Latin barrio. Kick off the evening with a walking tour of the… More >>
  • Best Wandering Troubadours

    Mariachis Miami

    An eight-song serenade is $200, but abuelita will cry when she hears "Cu-curru-cucu Paloma" or "Aquellos Ojos Verdes" played by four musicians with sombreros, ascots, trumpets, and gold-filigree suits. If her birthday happens to fall Monday through Thursday, the same set played by three musicians will only set you back $150, and the full song repertoire is available online. If… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Islamorada

    Between Homestead and Key West, the eighteen-mile-long village of islands called Islamorada is probably the most happening of the northern Florida Keys. That's saying a lot: The pace of life is still steady as she goes, and sun-drenched relaxation is the order of the day. But there are adorable souvenir shops, tropical art galleries, and — most importantly — lots… More >>
  • Best Convention of the Past Year

    Exxxotica Miami Beach

    All of the town's cheesiest couples flock to the Convention Center to roam the carpeted aisles, eyeing naughty doo-dads with a mix of shock and boredom. (Then there are the guys who show up with brusquely amorous messages on their T-shirts: "I FUCK ON THE FIRST DATE," et cetera. Who do they wear them forç) This is the place where… More >>
  • Best Place to Throw a Party

    Area 61

    Sure you could have a house party, but then there's the cleanup. Clubs are exciting, but snobby doormen and expensive drinks can put a damper on your night. Area 61 is a hidden gem. Located at the end of a winding road, it looks like any one of many surrounding warehouses. But inside the converted studio is surprisingly cozy and… More >>
  • Best Activity to Do While Intoxicated

    Calling a Cab

    Reville Veillard, employee of Flamingo Taxi, has driven many a drunk partier in his day, and it hasn't always been pretty. "Sometimes they throw up in the car," he says. But despite the cleanup, Veillard doesn't mind chauffeuring the extremely inebriated. Even after twenty years of crappy tips and wasted patrons, Veillard still claims, "They're good people." Yes, better to… More >>
  • Best Place To Go Stoned

    The Barnacle

    The Barnacle Historic State Park is the perfect environment to enjoy a relaxing high. After you smoke that Philly, step into Old Florida. Walk through the gated entrance, drop some change in the donation box ($1 is suggested), and get a glimpse of what Miami looked like when it was first settled back in the mid-1800s. As you enter the… More >>
  • Best Place to Get Offered a Dildo and Some Blow

    Miami Beach Marina

    We're pulling out of the Miami Beach Marina's parking lot on a recent Friday evening. We've pounded a few libations at Monty's Raw Bar, so we're not quite sure what to make of the portly man in the denim overalls and T-shirt. His right hand is clutching something inside a plastic bag. Is it a gunç A knifeç Does he… More >>
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