People & Places

  • Best Politician

    Joe Garcia

    In South Florida, the notion that there's such a thing as a first-rate politician is hard to swallow. But Garcia is simply good at what he does. For a while he's been the brain behind Miami-Dade County's Democratic Party, a liberal group if ever there was one. Before that, he oversaw the Cuban American National Foundation, a more conservative bunch.… More >>
  • Best Quote

    Coral Gables Mayor Don Slesnick

    Maybe ole Don didn't know what show he was on. The Coral Gables mayor was tapped to comment on the city's ban on pickup trucks on Comedy Central's The Colbert Report for a February segment called "People Destroying America." No, Slesnick is not the one destroying America; that honor goes to Lowell Kuvin, who has been fighting the town for… More >>
  • Best Public Works Project

    Miami Shores Downtown Renewal

    In today's Miami-Dade County, the Village of Miami Shores is a throwback. Families have lived there for generations. There's a golf club that still has the dowdy but cozy feel of the Sixties. And the Fourth of July celebration makes you feel patriotic just like Americans did back then. But the one thing that has long-marred the village's perfection is… More >>
  • Best Bureaucrat

    Michael Chavez, chief elevator inspector for Miami-Dade County

    It's hard to prove a negative, but the next time you step into an elevator and don't plunge to your death, you might want to thank Michael Chavez. A county employee for more than 20 years, he has held his current position since 2003. In 2006, Patrick Fraser of WSVN-TV (Channel 7) phoned Chavez on behalf of an elderly couple… More >>
  • Best Gadfly

    Alan Rigerman

    Have you ever tried to put yourself to sleep by tuning in to a radio broadcast of a local school board meeting and been jolted from slumber by a whining, irascible voice decrying recent efforts to outlaw exotic animals in the burbs? That's Alan Rigerman. He's a gadfly, perhaps the greatest ever. Definitions of the word are sketchy. In one… More >>
  • Best Hero

    Max Rameau

    Max Rameau is rather soft-spoken for a radical freedom fighter. An organizer, author, and political theorist, he has become the voice of this city's disenfranchised and underserved citizens. As leader and spokesperson for two major projects — CopWatch and Take Back the Land — he makes eloquent arguments for why housing is a human right and justice is necessary for… More >>
  • Best Environmentalist

    Rebecca Carter

    Miami isn't exactly the best place to be green. Folks hurl fast-food bags from car windows, our shorelines are clogged with detritus, and our recycling rate is one of the lowest in the nation. But Rebecca Carter, the kind-hearted woman who writes the Greener Miami blog, tries to encourage us to go easy on planet Earth. Her site is part… More >>
  • Best 15 Minutes of Fame

    Angel Soto

    Thirty-seven-year-old Angel Soto made headlines this past December when he took police on a wild, multicar, high-speed chase that seemed to end after he crashed his Volvo into a U.S. Customs building near Miami International Airport. When he tried to escape, cops tackled and beat him. Unfortunately for the officers, helicopter-mounted news cameras caught them wailing on the goon. Two… More >>
  • Best Road to Avoid

    The Palmetto Expressway (S.R. 826)

    If you enjoy sitting in your car until your butt melds with the seat, or grinding your teeth into a fine powder, then by all means, travel southbound on the Palmetto during rush hour, or at any hour for that matter. Once you pass the NW 25th Street exit, settle in and pull out that book you've been trying to… More >>
  • Best Road Rage

    Dump truck overturned on I-95

    Chaos ensued when a dump truck flipped and spilled gravel, shutting down the town's major freeway on a sweltering summer day. Traffic bottlenecked for 15 miles, and in that angry line of drivers sat a full Greyhound bus. The passengers became incensed after a woman in an SUV cut off the bus, which had no air conditioning. Everyone was smelly,… More >>
  • Best Parking on Miami Beach

    18th Street, west of Alton

    If you're one of those people who gets off work Friday night, drives to Miami Beach, and then starts freaking out because there's no place to leave your car outside your favorite lousy club, you need to face a harsh reality: One way or another, you're gonna have to pay to park. Swallowed that bitter pill? Good! Here's the trick… More >>
  • Best Political Coup

    Matti Herrera Bower

    Last November, Matti Herrera Bower became the first Hispanic and first woman to be elected mayor of Miami Beach. The retired dental assistant's political roots trace not to some sleazy deal or romantic tryst (remember Alex Daoud?) but to the PTA. She knocked out Simón Cruz, a banker who raised loads more money, with 54 percent of the vote. Tagged… More >>
  • Best Mile of Miami

    Collins Avenue at North Beach

    The best mile of Miami, contrary to what you learned as a kid from 2 Live Crew, is not to be found on Ocean Drive. No, North Beach is where it's at. The undervalued neighborhood has all the life and lazy, sandy bliss of South Beach without all the silliness. It's the very best of Miami minus the very worst,… More >>
  • Best Miami Herald Reporter

    Jay Weaver

    Maybe it's because Miami is such an international place; maybe it's because we've just got so much damn crime — but whatever the reason, the Magic City's juiciest stories always seem to wind up playing out in federal court, and that's where the Herald's Jay Weaver comes in. Weaver has covered the tribunales full time for about four years. Over… More >>
  • Best Miami Herald Columnist

    Fred Grimm

    The Miami Herald has certainly employed some great opinion-makers over the years. Carl Hiaasen is tops. Pulitzer-winning Leonard Pitts did well for a while. Joel Achenbach and Gene Weingarten, who moved onto the Washington Post, were clever and mischievous. (Weingarten's Pulitzer this year was a tribute to the idea that spit-ballers can make good.) And Liz Balmaseda, who also won… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Newspaper

    Calle Ocho News

    "Street Named for the King of the Guayabera!" "Angelina and Brad Divorce!" "Ants Don't Need Sleep!" These are but a few of the frenetic and exciting headlines you'll find in Calle Ocho News, the only paper dedicated specially to covering the eponymous street in Little Havana. Founded in 2001, it has grown to a circulation of 40,000 and, in a testament to the… More >>
  • Best Flack

    Larry Carrino of Brustman Carrino

    There's an epidemic of bad public relations in Miami. The field is overrun with hoochie mamas in designer gear who think Facebook is an awesome PR tool, who can't write worth a damn, don't have any idea what publication they're pitching to, and instead dedicate themselves to primping and pouting and being seen ... all without doing the research and… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language TV Personality

    Jaime Bayly

    Ay, Jaime. A voice so calming, a manner so disarming. Each weekday evening, the thoughtful Peruvian journalist pops onto Mega TV at 10 on that beloved screen in your living room. Este muchachito feels like a confidante, one of your smart friends, as he playfully yet wryly dishes about Latin American and U.S. politics. He should be good; his TV… More >>
  • Best Confession

    Adriana Velasquez

    Last November, a crying woman in her late twenties appeared at a media briefing outside Miami Police headquarters. She told reporters a man had assaulted her in Little Havana. He had cornrows, a "LOVE MOM" tattoo, and a dime-size mole. Women across the city were rattled, and police set off to search. Some 100 hours of investigative work later, Adriana… More >>
  • Best Power Couple

    Dr. Sanford and Dolores Ziff

    It's no wonder so many arts organizations have paid obeisance to Sanford and Dolores Ziff. At 83 years young, the Sunglass Hut founder and the former Bond girl rule the Miami art world from their private box in the Ziff Ballet Opera House at the Arsht Center. And these two have given money to promote not only culture but also… More >>
  • Best Display of Wealth

    The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County

    Have you noticed the stunning complex that sits on Biscayne Boulevard, between gleaming towers of empty luxury condos and the historic streets of Overtown? We present to you the Carnival Center for ... uh, wait, we mean the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County. Wow. Try saying that five times fast. As if the Carnival Center… More >>
  • Best Political Comeback

    Raul Martinez

    For nearly 25 years, Raul Martinez ruled the city of Hialeah with a grin and a book's worth of pithy quotes. He was a charming Democrat in a solidly Republican city, a big thinker in a small town. He ushered in affordable housing and improved Hialeah's infrastructure, all while campaigning successfully for eight straight elections. He even pulled off a… More >>
  • Best Local Charity

    Miracles in Action

    As the world seems to be fast tumbling toward apocalypse (global warming, World War III, economic meltdown), we see signs of hope in the most unlikely places. Take for instance local charity Miracles in Action. It was started by a middle-age American Airlines flight attendant, Penny Rambacher, who was on a layover in Quito, Ecuador, in 1999 when she came… More >>
  • Best Place to Donate Your Clothes

    Chapter 2 Clothing

    During segregation, D.A. Dorsey was Miami's first black millionaire and a real estate mogul with property from Fisher Island to Broward County. He contributed a lot to the community. But today, decades after his death, the old man continues to give. His two-story home in Overtown, originally built in 1914, is filled with high-quality used clothing along with new overstock… More >>
  • Best Recycled Squad Car

    Steve Gagnon's Border Cruiser

    The local artist created a mobile video installation from an old patrol car that cruised local streets during Art Basel and earned a trip to Houston's Art/Car Museum this spring. Gagnon's Border Cruiser, about the plight of illegal aliens, featured rear-window video projections in which a Brazilian man related his ordeal of illegally entering the United States. On the eve… More >>
  • Best Place for Swingers

    Miami Velvet

    You can swing at a playground, even swing open a door — but you're not using the word at its fullest strength unless you mean "to engage freely in sex." You know, like when Mr. and Mrs. Jones from next door are hooking up with Mr. and Mrs. Smith from down the street for a night of fun. That's right,… More >>
  • Best Party of the Year

    Common and Erykah Badu at Chakra - CLOSED

    At 12:30 a.m. on a hot, humid August 4, the crowd outside Chakra in South Beach was beyond rowdy. The club refused further entry. It was filled to the brim. Glitterati outside flashed their VIP status to no avail. Hosted by local event guru, Gorillas Lifestyle Marketing, this was the hottest night by far during the dead heat of summer,… More >>
  • Best Place to Nurse a Hangover

    Jimmy's Eastside Diner

    Sweet creeping Jesus! How did you get home? There's no way to know. One thing's for sure: You need pancakes and coffee. And a newspaper. And a place where no one is going to ask you any hard questions. So call in sick, put on a pair of sunglasses, and drive (slowly) to this fine, cheap eatery. Get the banana… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    Miami-Dade Cultural Center

    There's art, books, a view, a card game, and a public toilet — a darn clean one at that. Life doesn't get much better. Perched in the clouds in the Spanish-style plaza atop the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, a set of often-sparkling public restrooms connects the county's main public library and the ever-evolving Miami Art Museum. It doesn't seem to matter… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Women

    Aventura Circle

    Women like air, food, and shelter. Even though they live inside, they must have exercise to survive, in order to prepare for the coming weekend's intake of vermouth. This means a good spot to find them congregating is a jogging route. The three-mile asphalt oval that wraps around the Turnberry Isle golf course is a great spot to locate females.… More >>
  • Best Boondoggle

    Former Miami City Attorney Jorge Fernandez

    The man who was once in charge of making sure the city followed the law accepted a plea deal in February 2008 that included one year of probation. His crime: "making false official statements." In plain English, here's what Fernandez did: He remodeled his office at a cost of $300,000 (those plasma TV sets, in-wall speakers, and DVD players were… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men

    Brikolodge Coworking Community

    How tawdry those corporate water-cooler romances. How tacky the holiday party punch-bowl hookup and subsequent Friday in the exact same pantsuit from Thursday. But a shared-office-space romance? That's hot. You won't find any Brickell law-bots in the new Brikolodge Coworking Community, just Varvatos-sandals-and-Trovata-pants-wearing freelance correspondents recently returned from a revolution in Sri Lanka; Ivy League-grad fiction writers arguing with each… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Women

    World Adult Kickball Association co-ed leagues

    Rule #1: Don't name your team "Balls Deep" or "Schweddy Balls" or "Blue Ballers" or "Huge Knockers" or "Rubber Balls and Lick Her." (Though, just for the record, these names are awesome.) Rule #2: Don't be the über-competitive guy who argues calls, starts fights, and pegs girls as hard as he can to turn that oh-so-crucial second-inning double-play. Rule #3:… More >>
  • Best Place for a First Date

    Upper Eastside Garden

    Way to go, sport — you've made the initial phone call (or text message) and set up that all-important first date. It's a bad idea to set the bar too high with dinner at a chichi restaurant or too low with a stroll on the beach, but a night at the Upper Eastside Garden is just right. The urban oasis… More >>
  • Best Hooters

    Burrowing owls in Miami Gardens

    In 2005, during those dark days following Hurricane Wilma, a bunch (gaggle? den?) of burrowing owls decided to take refuge in a grassy area at 3000 NW 199th St. in Miami Gardens. Problem was, the city planned to build a $15.2-million community center there. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission protected the owls, so that meant the community center… More >>
  • Best New Trend

    Designs razored into haircuts

    This year, the fellas grew tired of simple side and center parts in their hair and decided instead to use their scalps for a canvas. Both professional and kitchen-table barbers were bombarded with requests for intricate designs etched into the sides and backs of heads across the city. To say that the tressy trend turned into a form of self-expression… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    New York Roma Pizza

    Located at the nexus of the Coconut Grove universe, where Main Highway, Grand Avenue, and McFarlane Road intersect, this pizza joint comes with a front-row view of the Grove's sidewalk drama. There are sure to be high heels, high tempers, and high blood-alcohol ratios every day of the week. Pull up a chair outside around 2 a.m. on a Sunday… More >>
  • Best Festival

    International Mango Festival

    There once was a boy named Man-go who lived in Publix. His friends called him "Go" for short, and he was a sweet boy, with the most beautiful reddish-orange skin you've ever seen. One day, Go and his friends spotted a giant of a man roaming the place. At the sight of his dark, tanned skin and billowing white linen… More >>
  • Best Place to Eat Weird Fruit

    Fruit and Spice Park

    Have you ever eaten a piece of fruit that tastes like chocolate pudding? Or one that smells like Juicy Fruit gum? How about root beer? Thanks to South Florida's subtropical climate, the black sapote, the jackfruit, and the sapodilla — which offer these tastes — can all be sampled at a beautiful 35-acre oasis west of Krome Avenue and north… More >>
  • Best Place to Eat in Peace

    Miami City Cemetery

    There are some days when you just want to munch alone, away from computers, co-workers, and crowded eateries. Not to be goth or emo or macabre or anything, but what better place than a peaceful city cemetery, albeit a slightly run-down one? One entrance is across the street from a hardscrabble grocery store, the other on gritty North Miami Avenue.… More >>
  • Best Value on Ocean Drive

    Front Porch Cafe - CLOSED

    There are no maître'drones herding tourists in from the sidewalk. No overcooked lobster sits under plastic wrap at the door. And most important, there's nothing over $20 on the menu. Everyone knows that Front Porch Café offers one of the best brunches on the Beach, but the eatery is often forgotten about at lunch and dinner. Almost all the fresh,… More >>
  • Best Financial Black Hole

    Jungle Island

    It was bad enough for the poor people of Miami when in January last year, Parrot Jungle Island was renamed Jungle Island in a desperate effort to attract more visitors. Parrots, it seems, are not as exciting as jungles alone. Unfortunately, that didn't work. At least not so far. Since moving to Watson Island in 2003, the attraction has failed… More >>
  • Best Deal

    Titanic Bar & Grill Mug Club

    Titanic makes its own delicious beer and simple, hearty food. It's almost like an interdimensional portal into the Midwest — a window, if you will, out of Mojitotown. Some of us just need beer and meat loaf at least once a week — it's kind of an anti-gym membership. If you're jonesing for that kind of thing, Titanic gives you… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Sunday nights at the Lincoln Road Farmers' Market

    It's Sunday evening, you partied too much this weekend, and those doldrums are settling in. Stave off a bummer of a Monday with a whole slew of flowers. Once the sun goes down, stuff a few bills in your pocket and head to the farmers' market on Lincoln Road in South Beach. That's when sellers slash prices to a buck… More >>
  • Best Not So Cheap Thrill

    A Phantom from Exotic Toys Car Rental

    DJ Jazzy Jeff and the Fresh Prince dusted off their dookie chains and came out of retirement just for this occasion. We transcribed. Fresh Prince: A-yo, Jazzy. Can you please tell me why you never see a rapper driving a Cam-ry? I've seen Lambos and Maseratis, even a Ferrari and a Bugatti — but not a Mazda or a Honda on… More >>
  • Best New Building

    The Sands Home

    At first glance, this might seem like just another fine example of affordable housing. But Tangelia Sands's new place is the first one in Miami-Dade that is certifiably green, as in Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED)-certified green. That means builders used renewable materials and designed the home in such a way that the place is considered environmentally friendly… More >>
  • Best Renovation

    The Fillmore Miami Beach at The Jackie Gleason Theater

    Hipsters usually scream in horror — often with good reason — when corporations muscle in on their turf, but this one time, they might be wrong. Live Nation's takeover of operations at the storied Jackie Gleason Theater may just be the best thing to have happened entertainment-wise since the Great One appeared at the Miami Beach Auditorium in 1964. Live… More >>
  • Best Renovation/Preservation

    Little Haiti Caribbean Marketplace

    When New York Times reporter Bruce Weber came to Miami in 1999 to do a story about Little Haiti's art community, he described the nascent effort to renovate the Caribbean Marketplace, not only to save the building itself — only nine years old then, it was well on its way into, as Weber said, "decrepitude" — but also to establish… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Shrine

    Shrine of Saint Philomena Catholic Church

    On any given Sunday, this tiny Little Havana church — a shrine to the patron saint of faith and purity— fills with worshippers clad in suits or mantles and gloves while clutching their Bibles and rosaries. They enter the modest building down steps that oddly descend under sidewalk level. Inside, a sonorous Father Rueda delivers mass at 8 and 11… More >>
  • Best Hotel to Pretend You're a Guest

    Sagamore Hotel

    Don't let the red rope dissuade you. You're smart and good-looking enough, and — gosh darn it — the rich people inside the Sagamore will find some reason to like you. Plan ahead. Leave the flip-flops and ratty cargo shorts at home. Spiff up a bit. Smile when you arrive at the entrance. It's worth the act to take a… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    Jamaica Motel

    If you are visiting the area, and you want a real taste of M.I.-yayo, this is the perfect place to stay. Since Miami never sleeps, neither should you. Located on the infamous Calle Ocho, this motel is decorated with red neon lights and mirrored ceilings. The toilets are equipped with bidets. In fact some folks consider the motel to be… More >>
  • Best Neon Sign with Missing Letters

    International Inn

    It's gone now, but for a few heady days in January, the International Inn adjacent to the 79th Street drawbridge on the Normandy Isle side was no longer the International Inn. It's gigantic green sign, one of the few spectacular neon signs left in Miami, hung over the glittering waters of Biscayne Bay advertising a magical place called "Intern Inn."… More >>
  • Best Chutzpah

    The Megaplan

    The City of Miami's omnibus redevelopment package, a.k.a. The Megaplan, would under any circumstances be called a boondoggle, folly, or even pure insanity. What qualifies it as chutzpah, too, is that this past December, commissioners decided they didn't need to ask voters about redirecting billions of their dollars toward capricious whims instead of curing the poverty much of the money… More >>
  • Best Spot for Polyglots

    Alliance Francaise De Miami

    Think Babel with chocolate croissants and cappuccino. Along with French classes, the Alliance Française on Calle Ocho offers German, Spanish, and English. The center is tucked in the heart of east Little Havana near an auto dealer and storage facility, and its parking lot abuts a Spanish-language Evangelical church. Officially opened in April, the Alliance Française's village houses a travel… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill

    Creative Camps at the Miami Children's Theater/Coral Gables Youth Center Theater

    Some kids would rather portray the Bad News Bears than actually be part of a championship baseball team. If your little cherubs happen to fall into this category, forget Little League this summer and treat your children to Creative Camp instead. Here some of the town's top acting teachers will introduce the wonderful world of theater. Kids get to write… More >>
  • Best Reason to Stay in Miami for the Summer

    Miami Metrozoo Water Fun

    There are many good reasons to leave town in July. The sun is relentless, the humidity high, and afternoons are plagued by sudden thunderstorms of biblical proportion. But those who migrate north miss out on the splashy summer transformations at Miami Metrozoo. Chill out at the chimpanzee-activated sprinklers: When the primates pull a handle, they douse visitors in the S.O.A.C.… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Camping at Big Pine Key Fishing Lodge

    So you want to get the hell outta Dodge, but you can't afford a plane ticket to a faraway kingdom. No worries, mate — pack up your camping equipment and head down to Big Pine. For more than 30 years, the lodge has been a home away from home for those who want to get away from home. Why? Is… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

    Bayside Grill

    They can laugh at our politics, they can laugh at our culture, they can laugh at our driving. But one thing visitors from more-established cities can't laugh about is our weather, especially when they're experiencing it over a tiki-torch-lit alfresco dinner consisting perhaps of cream-centered fresh burrata cheese with truffle vinaigrette-dressed haricots verts ($12), followed by seared local tuna with… More >>
  • Best Ad for Miami Made Elsewhere

    CSI: Miami

    Every Monday night, tens of thousands of people in flyover states tune into one of the most popular crime dramas on television today: CSI: Miami. Although the show is about a group of intrepid and intelligent crime fighters here in the Magic City, the real star is Miami. Shots of sun-dappled beaches, lush and glowing tropical foliage, and skyscrapers that… More >>
  • Best Municipal Advancement

    Miami Gardens' new police force

    The City of Miami Gardens was incorporated in May 2003. Four years later, the community of 100,000 got its own police force — and not a day too soon. The area, which includes much of Carol City, is known for being one of the toughest in Miami-Dade County, with two dozen homicides in 2007 alone. (Rapper Rick Ross has chronicled… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Mimi Davila and Laura DiLorenzo

    These two Krop Senior High girls decided one night in 2007 to videotape themselves singing a parody of Fergie's "Fergalicious." They threw the video up on YouTube for fun (against their mothers' wishes) and almost overnight became superfamous. Maybe it was because the parody skewered a certain kind of Miami girl — a chonga — or maybe it was because… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Eric "Rick" Sisser

    Five years ago, on a cool September evening, Miami Police stopped Sisser while he was driving in Coconut Grove with a known drug dealer in the passenger's seat. The cops found four bags of crack cocaine and a homemade glass pipe used to smoke the drug. Sisser was charged with third-degree felony coke possession and possession of drug paraphernalia, a… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Scott Storch

    For a while, having Scott Storch as a friend was pretty cool. After all, who doesn't want a pal who owns a 10-bedroom, $10-million waterfront palace on Palm Island with a Ferrari 612 Scaglietti and a Bugatti Veyron 16.4 in the driveway? This is a guy who makes beats for Lil Wayne, Fat Joe, and 50 Cent. But it turns… More >>
  • Best Citizen

    Norman Braman

    Sometimes a city needs a man of wealth and power to stop the wealthy and powerful from ramming through a massive boondoggle at the public's expense. In Miami's case, this is Norman Braman. The multimillionaire philanthropist and luxury auto dealer has demonstrated he is unafraid to use his personal financial resources to defeat proposals that will cost taxpayers and benefit… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Michelle Spence-Jones

    After the notorious suicide of former District 5 City Commissioner Art Teele in 2005, Michelle Spence-Jones's election might have seemed like a breath of fresh air. But it wasn't long before all of that oxygen turned stale. In the past year, Spence-Jones has shown Miami she can play rough too. A former aide to Mayor Manny Diaz, she leaned on… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone to Heaven

    Jim Hampton, Miami Herald editor

    Perhaps Jim Hampton was a victim of that old Chinese curse, "May you live in interesting times." Maybe he was just lucky, but Hampton's years as a journalist led him to some of the most talked-about news stories of the past 40 years. He was in Chicago for the 1968 Democratic National Convention and at Kent State only a couple… More >>
  • Best Criminal Conviction of the Past Year

    Victor Caraballo

    It was the most horrific, senseless crime: In April 2002, 18-year-old Ana Maria Angel and her boyfriend, 18-year-old Nelson Portobanco, were kidnapped by five men as they strolled romantically through South Pointe Park in South Beach. Ana Maria was gang-raped, while Nelson was beaten, stabbed, and left to die on the side of I-95. Both were robbed. Ana Maria was… More >>
  • Best Local Landmark

    The Holocaust Memorial

    Traveling east on Dade Boulevard in Miami Beach, you are transfixed by a massive bronze hand that stretches to the sky. As you approach, you see the hand is only part of a compelling and complex sculpture. Surrounding it are humans cast in bronze, their faces twisted in agony and pain, clawing and crawling over each other to reach the… More >>
  • Best Sanctuary from the Fast Track

    Baptist Hospital of Miami

    In front of Baptist Hospital, there are two gigantic man-made lakes and an asphalt jogging track. Surrounding the lakes are benches, and they are usually occupied by people feeding the ducks and their feathered friends. It doesn't matter that the signs say, "Do Not Feed the Birds." This is hallowed ground. As you begin to stroll or jog on the… More >>
  • Best Cause to Rally For/Against

    The Streetcar

    Once upon a time — between 1925 and 1931, to be precise — the residents of Miami, lacking giant Hummers, boarded streetcars to get around the city. Then car companies lobbied for the destruction of the rails, and the on-street transit system was no more. Now Mayor Manny Diaz wants to bring the streetcar back. Maybe you like it, maybe… More >>
  • Best Political Miscalculation

    The P-Card Scandal

    This past Christmas, Coral Gables Police Major Scott Masington did a seemingly nice thing. He gave 30 motorcycle, bicycle, and other cops Casio watches. Problem is, he paid $625 with city plastic called a p-card. By Coral Gables policy, that's not allowed. The whole thing might have ended there, but this being the City Beautiful, it didn't. When officials —… More >>
  • Best Place to Escape Reality

    The Naturist Beach at Haulover Beach Park

    Nothing says, "Get thee to a nunnery, reality!" like removing one's fig leaf in public. After all, what better escape from our escapist society than to turn to one's left and drink in the canvas of a 60-year-old man's withered equipment, marooned on his leg like some hideous snail that has lost its shell. Absent airbrushing and product placement, the… More >>
  • Best Fitness Class

    South Florida Fitness Boot Camp

    Let's face it: You didn't follow up on your new year's resolution to lose the holiday flab. And now a reunion/swimsuit season/wedding/back-fat blast looms, um, large. What to do? Call Rafael Moret, boot camp master. For $249, which covers four weeks with an "iron-clad money-back guarantee," he'll whip your ass into shape in no time using squats, thrusts, pushups, situps,… More >>
  • Best Hike

    Florida Trail between Loop Road and U.S. 41

    Less than an hour from Miami, this nearly seven-mile portion of the Florida Trail is not for the wimpy or those unwilling to get wet. Don't be stupid and wear flip-flops, either. Lace up the hiking boots: You'll be stomping among snakes and sticks in shin- to waist-high water. Coming from Miami, take a left off U.S. 41 at Loop Road… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Pedestrian roads throughout Hammocks Community Park

    A playlist to describe Kendall's perfect place to keep the pace: 1. "Saturday in the Park" by Chicago: Just like the public park utopia painted in this bouncy, horn-heavy song, Hammocks Community Park has a similar vibe. In the parking lot, warm up your legs by taking a brisk stroll past a playground pumped full of tots. As brass instruments intensify,… More >>
  • Best Tennis Courts

    Flamingo Park

    Serve. Located in the heart of South Beach, this court boasts colorful Art Deco apartments as the backdrop for swinging tennis rackets and soaring fuzzy balls. Love – 15. The 17 brightly lit clay courts are far enough from camera-toting tourists yet close enough to the inviting surf and sand. Love – 30. The practice wall is the spot for singles looking for doubles, and… More >>
  • Best Place to Mountain-Bike

    Grove Skate Park

    Miami is flat as a pancake, a place where having a mountain bike is kind of like having snow skis. But the Grove Skate Park is proof that man can make mountains out of wood and steel. For $10 on weekdays and $13 on weekends, you can roll through 10,000 square feet of perfectly constructed transitions, including a 28-foot-wide miniramp,… More >>
  • Best Rural Bike Ride

    Homestead "Fun Ride"

    Rural can be a fuzzy word in South Florida, but this trek — dubbed the "Snowbird 25-Mile Fun Ride" by local bicyclist Tom Burton of the Everglades Bicycle Club — gets you just far enough out there for things to be pretty, with plenty of agricultural sightseeing along the way. The ride is long enough to keep you busy and… More >>
  • Best Urban Bike Ride

    Along the Miami River

    The Miami River is one of the most underrated beauties the city has to offer. Sure, it's a faded, grungy beauty, but beneath Miami's sheen of glitz and glamour, the river remains a secret flowing artery. The best way to see it is by bike: Start at Bicentennial Park, or anywhere else downtown, and take NE Sixth Street west —… More >>
  • Best Driving Range

    Miami Beach Golf Club

    Spalding, get dressed. You're hitting range balls today at the Miami Beach Golf Club, and you're going to like it. For just $12, you get a plastic bucket and a code to punch into a giant stainless-steel dispenser, out of which your generous allotment of pearls comes tumbling. The mats aren't exactly a cross between Kentucky bluegrass and Northern California… More >>
  • Best Place to Shoot

    Club de Cazadores Cubanos

    There's really no better feeling than lifting a 12-gauge cannon toward the heavens and blowing a flying object to smithereens. Hemingway knew it. And when he lived in Cuba, he shot trap and skeet with a little club called the Club Cazadores del Cerro in Rancho Boyeros. The club came to Miami in 1968 and continues to provide good, clean fun for people… More >>
  • Best Skateboard Showcase

    M.I.A. Skate Park

    You won't find any posers inside this 12,520-square-foot warehouse turned skateboarders' paradise. From the youngest riders to the old-school tricksters, M.I.A. Skate Park is the place to witness some of the most electrifying, gravity-defying skaters in the state, if not the entire nation. They perfect their skills and showcase their talent on an obstacle course that includes towering half-pipes, a… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Enea Garden Lounge

    There are those workdays when you just want to take your sandwich and sit peacefully, alone, in silence. Enea Garden Lounge is the perfect place to chill and relax. Designed by Swiss landscape designer Enzo Enea for Art Basel 2005, the little enclosed park is his interpretation of a rain forest. As you enter through the large bronze doors, you… More >>
  • Best Leisure Activity Other than Clubs or Movies

    Miami Skydiving Center

    It's the weekend, or maybe it's just Tuesday, and people are shuffling into the clubs all over Miami and dancing until they produce enough sweat to fill a small pool. To the rest of the world, that is all Miamians are willing to do — and many natives believe this myth. But if you are dreading another night of clubbing,… More >>
  • Best Place to Kayak

    Pelican Island Park to Morningside Park

    As charming as they are, too many "nature" trips are pretentiously involved in removing you from the city and placing you in counterfeit communion with what passes for untouched land. Why bother with phony baloney when Miami has a gorgeous urban and wild landscape you can appreciate fully from the inside of a kayak? Launch yourself from Pelican Harbor Park… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court

    Normandy Isle Park

    Public basketball courts are a mixed bag. Some are so filthy that if you simply dribble around for 10 minutes, your hands turn black with dirt and grime. And don't fall, because that hand you put down to save yourself might land on a used condom, or needle, or maybe some broken glass. That's why when a new court opens,… More >>
  • Best Little-Known Sport

    Slough-slogging

    Let's face it — the Everglades isn't exactly the Appalachian Trail. There's nothing to climb, and vistas are scarce. Hiking paths are few and far between, and where they exist, they tend not to go anywhere special. When you get right down to it, the Glades is just a big old swamp; so if you want to see it the… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Stoned

    Alabama Jack's

    You know Card Sound Road? That cryptic stretch of asphalt on your way to the Keys? Were you ever tempted to turn your steering wheel to the left just to check it out, but because of the dirt road and lack of traffic signs felt, well, a little paranoid? Suck it up (along with a spliff) and take a 20-minute cruise… More >>
  • Best Activity to Do While Intoxicated

    Hashing

    It might seem a little counterintuitive at first: drink, then run — and then drink some more, run a bit, and finish it all off with a few "down-downs," which consist, oh yes, of drinking (teetotalers need not worry — water is okay too). It's called hashing, and, crazy as it sounds, it's a worldwide sport, with chapters everywhere from… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Cameron Maybin

    Trading Miguel Cabrera and Dontrelle Willis for pitcher Andrew Miller and centerfielder Cameron Maybin was vintage Marlins stuff. Unload the guys we love for twerps. Dump the present for the future. Hit us fans in the stomach. Hard. But hold on a minute! The generation of Marlins who will stay here — at least for a bit — might have finally… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    Greg Camarillo

    The few loyal Dolphins fans who continued to attend home games as the losses piled up walked through Dolphin Stadium like zombies December 16. With their team sitting at 0-13 and facing the grim possibility of the first 0-16 season in NFL history, Fins fans had no cause for optimism. When the Baltimore Ravens tied just before the end of… More >>
  • Best Heat Player

    Dwyane Wade

    In the land of the talentless, the one-shouldered man is king. No doubt a healthy Dwyane Wade is still one of the NBA's premier players, but this year, surrounded by animated carcasses like Ricky Davis, Mark Blount, and Luke Jackson, the hobbled Wade just seems like the only Heat player unbitten by the Eddie Curry zombie. Fantasy-crush Shawn Marion has… More >>
  • Best Sports Trade

    Shaquille O'Neal for Shawn Marion and Marcus Banks

    Things were looking bleak for the Miami Heat on February 5. Dwyane Wade was playing through injuries, Shaq wasn't playing at all, and when he did, the Diesel looked more like a jalopy. The Heat had the NBA's worst record, 9-37, and a roster full of guys who were either past their prime (Jason Williams), crazy (Ricky Davis), or just… More >>
  • Best Beach

    Virginia Key Beach Park

    At one time in our city's history, you could visit Virginia Key and discover signs that told you exactly where you were: "Colored Only," they read, and black residents knew this was the only slice of South Florida where they were allowed to sink their toes into the sand or enjoy the sensation of sun-warmed seawater on their skin. Flash-forward… More >>
  • Best Panthers Player

    Tomas Vokoun

    Tomas Vokoun spent the first four years of his career consumed by an overwhelming fear that he would flop. It turned out he had obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD), which for him manifested itself in an irrational and overpowering fear of failure. Once Vokoun was properly diagnosed and treated in 2002, his life returned to normal. But the roadblocks to establishing himself… More >>
  • Best Hurricanes Football Player

    Graig Cooper

    Despite another embarrassing season for the Canes, Graig Cooper has provided UM fans with a light at the end of their dark, dark tunnel. The freshman running back solidified his status as a rising star against Bobby Bowden's dadgum Seminoles in October. G Coop rushed for 682 yards and four touchdowns during his inaugural season, and looks to match that… More >>
  • Best Local Boxer

    Christina Swanson

    Don't tell Christina you liked Million Dollar Baby. She's heard it before, and if that's your only reference for women's boxing, she knows you don't know anything. The number one amateur female boxer in the United States trains at the South Florida Boxing gym, where she sometimes spars with men, including her boyfriend, though she says they can't forget she… More >>
  • Best Local Sports Coach

    Tim "Ice" Harris

    Ten years ago, Booker T. Washington wasn't even a high school, and five years ago, when Tim Harris took over the football program, the Tornadoes were flounders in an ultracompetitive sea of Miami prep football full of great whites. Harris's work to build the program from the ground up culminated this year in the school's first Class 4A state title,… More >>
  • Best Cantor

    Cantor George Mordechai

    Bored with the humdrum, off-key murmurings that pass for song at your local Shabbat service? Secretly disenchanted with the perky pop tune prayers that have replaced many a heart-wrenching Jewish dirge? Look ye no further: Cantor George Mordechai is in da house of worship. An Australian native and the son of Iraqi Jews, Mordechai brings a blend of Middle Eastern,… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Dwight Lauderdale

    Whatever will we do when Dwight Lauderdale unclips his mike and steps away from the anchor desk for the last time? The local news legend — South Florida's first black television anchor, we'll have you know — has announced his official retirement will be May 21. "I'll be at home, sipping a little Pinot Noir and watching you," he informed… More >>
  • Best TV News Reporter

    Jeff Weinsier

    Last October, investigative reporter Jeff Weinsier gave us some sublime television when he stood up to police and demanded his journalistic rights. A camera caught several cops bullying him off a public sidewalk outside Miami Central High School. "You guys are totally wrong on this," he says on an unedited video on the Local 10 website, as cops escort him across… More >>
  • Best Sportscaster

    Steve Shapiro

    Watching Steve Shapiro match wits with superagent Drew Rosenhaus every Sunday night during WSVN's Sports Extra is one of the most comical, entertaining experiences in local television. Throughout the segment, the two exchange barbs while mixing in their thoughts on pending free agent moves, players about to be released from contracts, and other aspects of the business side of sports.… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    DJ Khaled

    With his million-dollar voice and MIA-influenced beats, the Palestinian-American DJ Khaled delivers daily musical therapy to I-95 rush hour victims. Also featuring the charismatic K. Foxx, Khaled's The Takeover radio show proves his worth by giving loyal listeners a balanced blend of local 411 and tastes of the hottest hip-hop albums. Most important, he is establishing himself as a radio… More >>
  • Best Spanish Radio Personality

    Javier Ceriani

    By now, most Miamians are familiar with radio host Javier Ceriani. His glamorous poster — showing him sporting gold designer sunglasses and a diamond-encrusted neckband — seems to be plastered on the side of every public bus in Miami-Dade County. The Buenos Aires-born Ceriani has been hosting Zona Cero since 2005. Known as "El Aguila" (The Eagle), Ceriani lends his… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Your Lady on an Evening Stroll

    The Coral Gables Myst Box

    Calle Ocho closes it off to the north, and Miracle Mile seals it to the south. Ponce de Leon Boulevard makes up its western wall, and Douglas Road binds it to the east. There's food, beer, and ice cream to be had along Giralda Avenue. But make your way north and you'll feel like you've popped into the early-Nineties computer game… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Mike Andrews

    If "soca in me veins, soca in me blood" is blaring through your car windows and you're threatening to pull over and do the soca wine, it can only mean it's Saturday afternoon and time again for Mike Andrews's Caribbean Connection. Andrews has been host of the most energetic show on South Florida airwaves for about the past 20 years.… More >>
  • Best Local Website

    Crappers Quarterly

    Finding a public restroom that isn't nauseous is a challenge. If only there were some sort of restroom guide — a Zagat of shitters, if you will. Enter Crappers Quarterly — an online magazine that reviews public restrooms all over the globe and traces its humble beginnings to some shit-talking University of Miami students. Ten years ago, William Kercher III… More >>
  • Best Blog

    Eye on Miami

    Forget about the people who blog about their favorite movies or their kids or the vegan meals they eat every day. Eye on Miami is smart, witty, and informative — almost like daily newspapers used to be. It's the conscience of the local blogosphere, concentrating on foreclosures, housing woes, corrupt politicians, and the rampant waste of taxpayer money in our… More >>
  • Best Periodiquito

    El Venezolano

    In the world of free weeklies, believe us, it's hard to keep afloat. That's why we so admire El Venezolano for its 16 years in the muckraking business. With Hugo Chávez's daily antics to watch and a burgeoning Venezuelan community in Miami to inform, the newspaper has plenty of copy to fill its weekly editions, which are available throughout Miami-Dade… More >>
  • Best Local Writer

    Campbell McGrath

    Miami's moment as a crime town, a noir town, a Scarface town, has passed. The Magic City has been replaced, in the literary canon, by locales that understand real violence: Fallujah, Afghanistan, the Sudan. Now we have multiple farmers' markets, decorative lamp posts, and pineapple festivals, and it's time for the city's consciousness to return to its rivers, to imagine… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    South Beach: The Novel

    If you lived in South Beach from roughly 1987 to 1997 — during those transitional years when the area was no longer God's Waiting Room but not yet Developers' Heaven; when the low-rent buildings were populated by unemployed artists, barely employed writers, drag queens, drug dealers, Holocaust survivors, fashionistas, club kids, refugees from wherever, wannabe whatevers, plus the glut of… More >>
  • Best Book Club

    First Course at Books & Books

    By now, everyone knows Books & Books is Miami's literary mecca. Famous authors flock here not only to recite their works to admiring crowds, but also to shop, read in the store's quieter nooks, and feast on offerings from the in-shop café. It's that inspired combination of reading material, social succor, and fine dining that makes this place a must-visit.… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Historical Museum of Southern Florida

    It isn't easy being a history museum in a city that thrives on reinvention. Yes, we love our Art Deco district. The tourists do too. But there's a new historic site in town, and the Historical Museum of Southern Florida is working hard to give it the attention it deserves. This year, the HMSF secured the management of the Miami… More >>
  • Best Art Museum

    Miami Art Museum - CLOSED

    From its informative Morning Lecture Series on the monumental figures of 20th-century architecture, to the breathtaking Herzog and de Meuron design for Museum Park, Miami Art Museum (MAM) finds itself swept up in a whirlwind of buzz. MAM also mounted one of its most memorable exhibition seasons in years. "Tamayo: A Modern Icon Reinterpreted" marked the Mexican master's first major… More >>
  • Best Exhibit

    "Goya: The Engravings of the Caixanova Collection"

    Miami Dade College brought Francisco Goya's caustic series of 218 engravings, created between 1799 and 1823, to the Freedom Tower, where they depicted the Spanish master's brush with state-sponsored terror during the Inquisition and Napoleon's brutal invasion of Spain. The skull-staving exhibit included Los Caprichos, which earned Goya a spot in the history books alongside Velásquez and Cervantes as Spain's… More >>
  • Best Hitchhike Spot

    Last Chance Saloon parking lot

    This old biker bar sits on the border separating Miami-Dade and Monroe counties. Hitchhikers are usually sitting across the bar's parking lot, an ideal spot for a few reasons: First, South Dixie Highway ends here and becomes the two-lane Overseas Highway, which goes south to Key West. Two, if you are heading north, this is where South Dixie Highway meets… More >>
  • Best Boneyard

    Miami Science Museum, "The Dinosaurs of China"

    The bronto-size exhibit filled the Miami Science Museum with some of the rarest dinosaur fossils on the planet in a sensational show that made its U.S. debut in our own back yard. It boasted a whopping 14 of the reptilian behemoths' mounted skeletons, as well as an impressive array of pristinely preserved feathered dinosaur and bird fossils hailed as the… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    David Castillo Gallery

    David Castillo's work ethic would have put the Puritans to shame. The young dealer often clocks 14-hour days, out-hustling competitors and regularly organizing gallery and museum shows for his modest stable of emerging and midcareer artists. The Yale grad has been in the business 13 years, successfully trafficking in the secondary modern art market with the museum trade. But it's… More >>
  • Best Micro Art Fair

    "Littlest Sister," Anthony Spinello Gallery

    While many of his competitors seemed to be elbowing each other for the "Size Queen" crown during December's Art Basel cash grab, spunky dealer Anthony Spinello made a convincing argument that small matters. The young veteran of the art fair circuit hired the same company that outfits the growing number of local fairs fertilized by Basel to shoehorn four booths… More >>
  • Best Basel Headline Grab by a Local Artist

    Maite Josune

    When Baselphrenia grips the Big Orange each year, the moonberries creep out of the woodwork, eager to add some homespun flair to the planet's greatest arts confab. Some peddle nickel bags of art and push shopping carts full of ephemeral trash across town, others splooge art swells with the sodden contents of a four-foot-long pneumatic pink-foam pecker. But Maite Josune… More >>
  • Best Local Artist

    Clifton Childree

    The self-taught experimental filmmaker and artist creates throwback black-and-white slapstick horror movies reflecting an upbringing one could call Southern Gothic. As a tyke, Childree spent his summers with his grandparents in Mobile, Alabama, where his budding imagination romped wild. His granny, Doris Wall, had been a Vaudeville performer as a young girl. Grandpap J.F. Walls regaled the impressionable Childree with… More >>
  • Best Movie Shot on Location

    Pencil Fighting: The Life and Times of Team Balderdash

    What do a professor, a surgeon, an apocalypse, and Hollywood have in common? Not much. Oh, except for the fact that united, as one inpenetrable force, they made up Team Balderdash, the greatest (and most supercoolest) group of middle school pencil fighters, like, ever. Pencil Fighting: The Life and Times of Team Balderdash is a clever mockumentary about four pencil-pounding pals,… More >>
  • Best Local Documentary

    Where Neon Goes to Die

    Miami Beach, the city with a history only as long as a coke line at its latest trendy nightclub. Or is it? Some of those club kids vaguely remember Miami Vice was a TV show before it was a movie, but few remember the vibrant Yiddish community that was the centerpiece of the town's cultural identity for six decades. Vaudeville… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    Italian Film Festival

    There's more to Italian cinema than Fellini. Every October, the Italian Film Festival becomes the perfect place to immerse yourself in la dolce vita. Last year's three-day festival, held on South Beach, featured the charmingly funny comedy Manuale d'Amore (Manual of Love) and a dozen other films, plus a few parties and afterparties sponsored by quality Italian brands (Peroni beer,… More >>
  • Best TV Show Shot in Miami

    Dexter

    Dexter isn't just a murderous psychopath; he is a Miami psychopath. In the first episode, he relates his hunger for blood to some people smashing stone crab claws at a fair. He disposes of his victims' bodies in Biscayne Bay and revels in his knowledge that Miami's police department is unlikely to catch him. Michael C. Hall (from HBO's Six Feet… More >>
  • Best Theatrical Production

    Animals & Plants (Adam Rapp)

    Of course it's Animals & Plants. The competition wasn't even close. Anything you could possibly want out of theater — and a lot of it — could be found in this production. The script, which tells the story of two small-time dope dealers holed up in a snowbound motel, was human, funny, and weird. The acting from Eric Fabregat, Joe… More >>
  • Best Dog Park

    East Greynolds Park

    Max can't wait. He wants his tennis ball and he wants it now. He lets out a thunderous woof! "Oh, you want this?" teases his mama, Viviana Bojourno. "Well, here you go!" She hurls the ball. The four-year-old black English Labrador gives chase, snatches the fuzzy sphere, and turns it into a slobbering mess. His gal pal Tabitha, a two-year-old… More >>
  • Best Theater

    Mad Cat Theatre

    Mad Cat's just got something. The Carbonells might not see it, billionaire philanthropists have yet to see it, your great-grandmother might have a hard time figuring it out, but it's there. And in the years since the company began, legions of smart young theater people with more taste than money have found Mad Cat and responded. It's partly the tiny,… More >>
  • Best Musical

    Urinetown

    Huge sets, great singing, fun and intricate dancing — Urinetown had all of that, and we salute it. Generally, though, we also like our shows full of ideas, novelty, craziness, and weirdness — again, all of which Urinetown had in excess. Urinetown is not a happy musical — Mark Holman and Glen Hotis's piece begins with a sad premise and… More >>
  • Best New Drama

    Twenty Six (Marco Ramirez)

    The best new drama to hit Miami this year was written in a single night and was less than 10 minutes long. Twenty Six had its first and probably last performance at The 24 Hour Theatre Project, a fundraiser masterminded by the cats at Naked Stage and gamely sponsored by the great Joe Adler, in which assorted playwrights came up… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Lela Elam for In the Continuum

    Lela Elam is probably the most intense working actor in Florida. Her characters are lived-in, internally consistent, and fiercely themselves; no two are alike, and not one is much like anybody you've ever met. Which is why Elam was also a close contender for Best Actress for her portrayal of a hard-of-hearing, free-spirited lesbian in New Theatre's Fill Our Mouths,… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Erik Fabregat for Animals & Plants

    Loud but not too loud, funny but no scenery-chewer, smart but not showy, and crazily, bodily committed to his roles, Fabregat is an actor's actor. He makes bad plays good, good plays great, and great plays transcendent. Animals & Plants was an example of the last, and Fabregat deserves much of the credit. There was nothing very notable or obvious… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress

    Kei Berlin for Animals & Plants

    The memory of Kei Berlin's performance, like a great number of things about Animals & Plants, left everyone who saw it with the queasy suspicion that nothing that followed was its equal. They're right. Playing Kassandra, a sexy hippie chick who works at a head shop in the Carolinas, she blew into the protagonists' motel room in the middle of… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor

    Sheaun McKinney for Jesus Hopped the "A" Train

    Sheaun McKinney is a cute, cute kid. If there were a "menace scale" for actors, he'd rate somewhere between Andrea McArdle and Haley Joel Osment. At least, that's how it went until you caught him in Jesus Hopped the "A" Train. For ever after, when you saw him on the sidewalk, you made sure to cross the street. In Jesus,… More >>
  • Best Acting Ensemble

    The Cast of Fill Our Mouths

    Maybe the hardest thing an actor will ever have to do onstage is convey a sense of intimacy — not with the audience, but with fellow actors. You, the audience, just walked into the place, you don't know these people, you've never even seen them before, and somehow they must convey chemistry, history, and a gazillion unseen moments in the… More >>
  • Best Director

    Paul Tei for Mr. Beast

    Marco Ramirez's Mr. Beast was a rushed piece of writing with big problems and frequent flashes of brilliance, and Mad Cat's constant director, Paul Tei, capitalized on the latter while squeezing the former almost out of existence. The script was packed with continuity errors, gaps in character development, and enough cheese to make Wisconsin blush, but it mattered not a… More >>
  • Best Costume Design

    Ellis Tillman for Altar Boyz, Martha Mitchell Calling, and Urinetown

    Ellis Tillman's work at Actors' Playhouse this year was subtle and awe-inspiring. The vaguely ill-fitting, vaguely daft duds on the members of the Altar Boyz seemed to reflect the awkwardness of their stock poses. Martha Mitchell's expensively lurid ensemble in Martha Mitchell Calling spoke of old-school classiness trying to get along in a world where everything comes cheaper by the… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    The edge of town

    Sometimes you need a little weirdness to help you get your head together. This is the weirdest afternoon you could possibly want. At Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, you can pop into the bingo room to observe the odd goings-on of a bunch of neglected elderly people. About 1,200 of them. They've been there all night. You'll also find thousands of video… More >>
  • Best Set Design

    Michael Amico for Summer Shorts

    There wasn't a lot of wiggle room for Michael Amico's Summer Shorts sets. On some nights, 15 shows were produced in a single program. Long waits between them was not an option, even though all the set components had to be dragged between the bleacher-style seats in total darkness to the in-the-round performance space. Despite those logistical limitations, and the… More >>
  • Best Opera

    David Carlson's Anna Karenina

    It's crazy but true: Until 2007, nobody had thought to turn Tolstoy's book into an opera. Maybe that's because not a lot of Russians have composed operas, or maybe it's that setting so much familial intrigue to music is too daunting for composers of any nationality. Whatever the reason, it's nice that we were forced to wait for composer David… More >>
  • Best Dance Company

    Miami Contemporary Dance Company

    When someone in Miami says, "I'm a dancer," people respond, "At which club?" But there is a fragile, growing dance scene here, and the Miami Contemporary Dance Company is at the center of it. Twelve full-time hoofers do their physically and emotionally demanding work Monday through Friday at the company's small studio. Dancing is their day job. And that makes… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen

    Elaine Lancaster

    Although the drag scene has To Wong Foo-ed its way into mainstream oblivion, Elaine Lancaster has survived the fleeting South Beach fad. But don't dismiss this six-foot-two imaginary love child of Lana Turner and Burt Lancaster as just another lip-synching, trash-talking, stripper-shoe-loving pest. If anything, think of her as a bee. A queen bee. With excellent taste in Chanel. Strutting onto… More >>
  • Best Local Clothing Designer

    Nektar De Stagni - CLOSED

    With a name equal parts Greek god and New Jersey Mafioso, Nektar De Stagni stands out. You can spot her pretty much anywhere worth being spotted, wearing a pimp fedora that screams, "I grew up in Miami in the Eighties!" and the clothes she designs have a similar homegrown pedigree. The opening shot on her website — of a blond… More >>
  • Best Traveling Show

    Spiegelworld

    From mid-December through mid-February, Miami fell in love with a carnival of freaks that descended on the shores of South Beach. This band of burlesque revivalists pitched its psychedelic tent on the sands of Collins Park, at 21st Street and Collins Avenue. Each performer had his or her own bag of tricks. Nate Cooper, a dashing, muscular fellow, juggled knives… More >>
  • Best Attempt to Convert Nonbelievers

    Bank of Heaven

    You're lying in bed one early Sunday, head under the covers, when a group of chirpy Christians knocks on your door. After spotting them through the peephole, you cross your fingers and pray they shove off. Hell-bent on salvation, they keep banging away, eager to bring the pagan on the wrong side of the threshold into Jesus' fold. Before giving… More >>
  • Best Place to Throw a Party

    Wherehouse 2016

    We hate to break it to you, but your tired old back yard isn't cutting it anymore. It's cramped, it's cluttered, and it's just not bringing the sexy for the kind of balls-to-the-wall bash you aspire to have. You want this to be the best party it can be, right? Then let's rent out the craziest, kookiest, most fun and… More >>
  • Best Place to Learn to Kill Someone with One Punch

    The Kung Fu Connection

    Deep within the dynasty of North Miami, Si Fu Gus Rubio imparts the ancient arts of Shaolin and Cheung Kune Pai Kung Fu. He knows the animal forms — monkey, dragon, crane, etc. — like the back of his iron palm. Laden with stoic statuary, ancient weapons, and students of all ages breaking things with their fists, Rubio's studio looks like… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet MILFs

    Produce section of the Publix in Brickell

    Look, don't try to figure this one out; it's a fucking mystery to us all. This town is just bursting with MILFS. Compounding this mystery is the fact that an inordinate amount of them congregate in this particular produce section. This is evidenced by the slow-moving dolts who shuffle down the aisles at the rate of about three feet per minute.… More >>
  • Best Place to Use Bug Spray

    Flamingo

    Flamingo, Florida, is the end of the road — literally. Located 38 miles southwest of the Everglades National Park entrance, the area offers incredible hiking, canoeing, and bicycling. It's the perfect place to bird watch too. There's also a campground with (cold) showers and the thrilling knowledge you're as far south as you can get in the contiguous United States.… More >>
  • Best Public Park

    Douglas Park

    There's nothing particularly fancy about this park — which is what makes it so great. You can almost always bet that at least one of the three tennis courts is going to be open and that your toddler will have enough jungle gym space to carve out his own little fiefdom. About the most you'll have to worry about on… More >>
  • Best Hidden Neighborhood

    Biscayne Park

    Alma, where are we? How should I know? You're the one with the steering wheel, Max. Well, we were just driving through Miami Shores on our way to North Miami; it seemed simple enough. Then you took that shortcut. That was because of all that traffic on NE Sixth Avenue, especially the buses. Well, which way did you turn, Mr. Adventurer? Right. You notice all these… More >>
  • Best Secret

    The bar at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Sciences

    Technically called Smith Commons, this cafeteria bar might be the cheapest and most sweetly situated watering hole in Miami. Located at the rear of the University of Miami's Rosenstiel School campus and protected by an often-unmanned guard gate, it's a little hard to reach. And it's open only Thursdays and Fridays. When you arrive at the campus, just follow signs… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men

    Wynwood Arts District Walk

    As if free bottles of Yellow Tail and Bacardi weren't enough for those sexy single ladies out to prowl, how about some really nifty contemporary art? On the second Saturday of every month, both Wynwood and the Design District light up as art galleries open their doors with open wine bars and funky DJs mishmashing Flock of Seagulls with Rick… More >>
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