People & Places

  • Best Dog Park

    Martell Park

    You can dress her in a parka, crimp her fur, and keep her in your purse, but don't forget: Your dog is still an animal. A pack animal, and it's time to re-acquaint Princess with her long-forgotten species. The Martell dog park is a wedge of suffering grass in the middle of a severe cement landscape, rimmed on the north… More >>
  • Best Local Politician

    Michelle Spence-Jones

    She was elected in 2005 and not a moment has passed without controversy for Miami Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones. Her former political opponent, Richard Dunn, sued her in Miami-Dade Circuit Court the second she took office, claiming she bought votes, and two years later, commission colleague Marc Sarnoff accused her of public corruption. Yet in spite of the troubles dogging her… More >>
  • Best Local Artists

    Friends with You

    Since tag-teaming in 2002 to form their Friends with You collective, Sam Borkson and Arturo Sandoval III have been on a tear to corner the globe with their vision of magic, luck, and friendship. The Miami-based conceptual duo started off creating a line of designer toys featuring a wacky cast of cosmic characters with names such as Buddy Chub, Fluffy… More >>
  • Best Political Coup

    Dennis Moss elected county commission chairman

    For years, the county commission has been controlled by a certain block of rabidly pro-growth commissioners who are quite cozy with special interests. That all changed when Dennis Moss built a more moderate coalition that got him elected as chairman. Moss, whose District 9 is a geographically sprawling chunk of Southern Dade, then set forth assigning committee chairs. Left out… More >>
  • Best Art Gallery

    Gallery Diet

    As far as local dealers go, Nina Johnson has earned her spurs on the local scene as a tireless dynamo and community activist. Her gallery has become a favorite hub for art lovers searching for provocative exhibitions that linger in the mind long after one leaves her lively, shape-shifting space. Since opening its doors in November 2007, Diet has become… More >>
  • Best Quote

    "I won't be punked."

    "I won't be punked," Florida Congresswoman Ileana Ros-Lehtinen proclaimed. After all, former vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin was duped by a radio station into taking a call from a fake French President Nicolas Sarkozy. So when President-elect Barack Obama called to congratulate Ros-Lehtinen on her re-election victory — a move he hoped would build a bridge of nonpartisanship with the Republican… More >>
  • Best Art Exhibit

    "Sympathy for the Devil: Art and Rock and Roll Since 1967"

    This nearly pitch-perfect exhibition, organized by curator Dominic Molon over a five-year span, explored the deep-rooted and primal alliances between rebellious spirits haunting both the sonic and visual realms. It featured more than 100 paintings, drawings, installations, and videos by 56 artists and artist collectives. The show was organized by the Museum of Contemporary Art in Chicago, where it drew… More >>
  • Best Political Comeback

    The Diaz-Balart brothers

    It was right there in black-and-white, on the cover of your Miami New Times: "End of the Diaz-Balart Dynasty." Just weeks before election night, scores of polls showed both Mario and Lincoln — Cuban-American icons and Miami's reps in Washington for years — trailing their Democratic challengers. Obama-mentum was sweeping the nation, ripping Red State seats out from under longtime… More >>
  • Best Website to Discover the Miami Art Scene

    wetheatproject.com

    Wet Heat offers an insightful take on a critical moment for our city and the cultural engine driving it. During the past 18 months, Bill Bilowit and Grela Orihuela, originators of the popular site, have been producing documentary content chronicling Miami's new identity as a global arts destination and the players fueling its rise. They began screening the project during… More >>
  • Best Political Miscalculation

    Raul Martinez versus Lincoln Diaz-Balart

    For the first time in decades, since before John F. Kennedy allegedly betrayed them, Cuban-Americans in Miami were supposedly ready to accept the Democratic Party into their lives again. Focus groups and studies indicated that Cuban-Americans in Miami wanted the freedom to travel to Cuba and visit relatives, not to mention send them money. Polls showed that, like the rest… More >>
  • Best Barely Legal Art Blog

    MSGCartel.com

    Miami has a graffiti style all its own — wild, imaginative, and full of tropical color. MSG Cartel claims it's only an "online exhibition" of graffiti, implying its contributors are simply admirers of that particular street art. But browse the site — named for graffiti crew Miami Style Gods — for a while and it becomes clear it's operated by,… More >>
  • Best Chutzpah

    Jeffrey Loria

    You know that old saying, "He could sell popsicles to an Eskimo"? It's officially been revised, as of March 24, 2009, to read: "He could sell taxpayers a $600 million stadium during the worst economic meltdown in modern history." Jeffrey Loria, owner of the Florida Marlins, put on a clinic in chutzpah this spring when he steamrolled through the city and county… More >>
  • Best Place for Kids to Unleash Their Creativity

    Kenan-Flagler Family Discovery Gallery

    At the Frost's gorgeous new building, local kids finally have a place to channel their inner van Gogh or Warhol in a setting that invites creativity. This state-of-the-art gallery allows visitors to enjoy interactive activities designed to educate, entertain, and enhance the museum experience. The gallery boasts 13 stations, including the computer-based display "Picture Yourself," where a camera snaps an… More >>
  • Best Herald Reporter

    Larry Lebowitz

    As we enter the final, gasping, dying breaths of the newspaper era, it is nice to see there are still a few Miami Herald veterans who continue to put out insightful, probing, hard-hitting journalism. At a time when thousands of unemployed shoe leather scribes are contemplating how they're gonna turn their buyout into the next big new media adventure, guys… More >>
  • Best Art Museum

    Frost Art Museum

    The sparkling debut of Miami's first new museum in a decade was greeted with critical acclaim and thunderclaps of applause from the public when the Frost reopened its doors this past November. Designed by Yann Weymouth, the 46,000-square-foot building is a work of art that rivaled the impressive exhibits organized for the unveiling. The museum boasts a dazzling Chinese granite… More >>
  • Best Spanish-Language TV Personality

    Oscar Haza

    Thanks to the sizzling scenery that needs no translation (i.e., the sexy dancers on seemingly every show), América TeVé has plenty of viewers who don't know a lick of Spanish, but for those who can understand the language, Oscar Haza is an even greater draw. As host of A Mano Limpia, he not only dazzles the audience with his knowledge… More >>
  • Best Museum

    Jewish Museum of Florida

    Did you know Florida's Jews have been kicking it old-school in the Sunshine State since 1763? With the Torah and the menorah and the dancing of the hora under swaying palm trees? No? Well, there's this nice Jewish lady over on the Beach... she or one of her helpful staff members will set you straight on the long, colorful Jewish… More >>
  • Best Street Photographer

    Carlos Ramos (AKA Miami Fever)

    With the advent of the now ubiquitous camera phone and cheap broadband, almost anyone can become a famous photographer overnight. Well, not quite anyone. There's still this little thing called talent that isn't quite universally available yet. But Carlos Ramos definitely has it. Ramos is the shutterbug known to his many fans as Miami Fever. Day after day for the… More >>
  • Best Theater for Drama

    New Theatre

    Once you get past the nightmarish parking, no venue prepares you as perfectly — aesthetically, gastronomically, or literarily — for two hours in the theater as Ricky J. Martinez's New Theatre. The lobby is small but smartly appointed: Good local art hangs on the walls, and as often as not, there is a smiling young playwright manning the combined ticket… More >>
  • Best Gadfly

    BASIC (Bicycle Activists for a Safe, Integrated City)

    While bicycle gatherings like Critical Mass make for great photo-ops, activists have to do more than just clog traffic during rush hour to affect real change. If you want lawmakers to pay attention to the needs of cyclists, you have to play by their rules. That means sitting through endless commission meetings, endless community meetings, and endless planning meetings when… More >>
  • Best Opera

    Leo Delibes's Lakme at Florida Grand Opera

    This is simple arithmetic. Even with a wooden leading man, Lakme gets by on the exoticism of its Indian setting and the decadent (but tuneful!) complexities of Leo Delibes's one great opera — the silly libretto of which makes a lot of opera people dismiss the whole thing. But those people are wrong, as they would have learned if they'd… More >>
  • Best Citizen

    Leonard Abess

    Leonard Abess ain't your typical banker. This past February, after selling his majority stake in City National Bancshares for $927 million to Spanish bank Caja Madrid, he doled out $60 million in bonuses to all his staff and 72 former employees. First, he made an online video explaining the windfall buyout of the company. A few days later, clerks distributed… More >>
  • Best Theatrical Production

    Neil LaBute's Some Girl(s) at the Mad Cat Theatre Company at the Light Box

    It pains the heart that for the second year in a row, our "Best Of" accolades are forced to compensate for the silliness of those other awards — the ones named after the sculptor. Yet again, Mad Cat Theatre did the most disturbing, artfully executed work of the year, and yet again the old taste arbiters turned up their noses.… More >>
  • Best Power Couple

    Phillip and Patricia Frost

    Phillip and Patricia Frost aren't exactly new to the Miami philanthropy game. Phillip, chairman of a Miami-based pharmaceuticals company, and Patricia, a retired elementary school principal, have given millions to local nonprofits and served on the boards of the Florida International University Foundation and the Smithsonian. Hell, they even already have a whole school named after them at the University… More >>
  • Best Actor

    Meshaun Labrone Arnold

    Meshaun Labrone Arnold both wrote and starred in The Hate U Gave, but the piece had little of the self-indulgent flab most writer/actors can't bring themselves to shear from their own work. His acting and writing were wise, while his subject — and character — was just a savant: a man who saw the whole world clearly except for his… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Made Good

    Mickey Rourke

    Mickey Rourke's redemption has been the stuff Hollywood makes movies about. Only an independent filmmaker made it and it starred Rourke himself. Rourke's portrayal of washed-up wrestler Randy "The Ram" Robinson earned him a Golden Globe Award, a British Academy Award, an Academy Award nomination, and has put him back on the A-list map with more roles in future big-budget… More >>
  • Best Actress

    Tie: Brandii Edwards, Carey Hart, and Carolyn Johnson

    Delta was a play with three leads, each of whom would briefly assume the role of Indesha Ida Mae Holland before passing it off to a costar. Those not playing Indesha in a given moment would play secondary characters — Indesha's mother, a gin-addled crank, a minister, the voice of God. Interspersed with the vignettes of Indesha's youth were song… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Made Good

    Debbie Attias

    There was a time when Miami-born Debbie Attias of the now-defunct Brooklyn duo Avenue D wrote and sang techno rap songs that were, um, too explicit even for New Times to quote. Think 2 Live Crew with tits. These days, Attias is doing something a bit more constructive than coming up with catchy jingles about sitting on her boyfriend's face:… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actor

    Paul Tei

    This writer has known Paul Tei, at least on a professional level, for almost three years. This writer has chatted with him in half a dozen theater lobbies, written half a dozen plays about his work, and has watched him star in at least as many shows. But when the tattooed, pierced, spiky-haired, sandpaper-throated Tei appeared as the paunchy, smooth-talking,… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Alex Rodriguez

    "As you know, it's been a really quiet week for me, so it's nice to get out on a Friday night." Thus began Alex Rodriguez's awkward attempt at a joke to make light of the fact that Sports Illustrated had broken the news about his use of performance-enhancing drugs just days earlier. A-Rod made the comment on the night he… More >>
  • Best Supporting Actress

    Lela Elam

    This award could easily have gone to a dozen other actors from Judas Iscariot, whose characters were as big, bright, and sharply drawn as only a three-hour play with an almost perfect cast can allow. But Lela Elam brought it with an intensity rare even for her (which is saying something), as she played both an eternally grieving mother and… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Tania deLuzuriaga

    Tania deLuzuriaga was mixed up with married school board dude Alberto Carvalho while covering school politics for the Miami Herald. Emails that proved the affair were leaked to the media, and our own Frank Alvarado released them to the public. They documented the sexual nature of deLuzuriaga and Carvalho's relationship and the conflict of interest it created in her reporting.… More >>
  • Best Acting Ensemble

    Antonio Amadeo, John Manzelli, Ceci Fernandez, Ricky Waugh, Scott Genn, Bill Schwartz, and Todd Allen Durkin

    Betrayed was a play about the Iraqis who dreamed of American rescue long before the War on Terror, who loved the West and studied Emily Brontë and watched English-language porn, who were neither Baathists nor especially religious. They were (little-l) liberals, (little-d) democrats, and arts lovers. In other words, they were people much like Antonio Amadeo, John Manzelli, and Ceci… More >>
  • Best Criminal Conviction

    Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr.

    He cut off one man's penis and left him for dead in a ditch. He poured molten plastic on another. He tore through Monrovia's trash-strewn dirt roads in a custom-made SUV with his despotic "Demon Forces" security team, beheading, shooting, and maiming anyone he wished. Charles "Chuckie" Taylor Jr. was born in Boston and grew up in suburban Orlando, but in… More >>
  • Best Director

    Joseph Adler

    Joseph Adler is a big personality with a big voice, big hair, and a big heart. So Adding Machine must have been quite a trick for him. The musical, composed in 2008 by Joshua Schmidt and written by Schmidt and Jason Loewith, is a modernist horror story based on Elmer Rice's nearly forgotten 1927 play The Adding Machine. Its story… More >>
  • Best 15 Minutes of Fame

    JD Ordonez

    The same basic story of seven or so strangers picked to live in a house has been told now on MTV's Real World for 21 seasons and counting, but the format is getting a bit old. It's become a "watch hot kids get drunk and hook up show," which is only exciting to impressionable young teens who can't wait to… More >>
  • Best Costume Design

    Ellis Tillman

    Costume quality, more than any other aspect of theater, is determined by money. If you've got a lot of it, you can dress your actors as cats, French aristocracy, Queen Elizabeth, or anything else. If you don't have any, you dress them in corduroy and denim. So let's take a moment to praise a decision that had almost nothing to… More >>
  • Best Know-It-All

    Dr. Paul George, Historical Museum of Southern Florida

    Here's a fun game: Call Dr. Paul George, knowledge shah at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, and mention any prominent local name, current or ancient, to him. Norman Braman. Julia Tuttle. Chief Neamathla. Al Capone. After George has finished explaining the intricacies of their personal stories and their relevance to the region, throw some historical developments at him. The… More >>
  • Best Set Design

    The Naked Stage and friends for Sarah Kane's 4.48 Psychosis and others

    You've had meals that cost more than the average Naked Stage set, yet this little theater somehow crams more mojo, authenticity, and oozy-walled atmosphere into its sets than any ten super-expensive shows at (name of shitty theater on Miracle Mile deleted by editor). Maybe it's because the room is shaped like a very long shoebox, with a stage that stretches… More >>
  • Best Personal Trainer

    Mickey Demos

    You know that obnoxious girl at the gym? The one that answers her cell phone while she's on the treadmill? Well, she would last about two seconds with Mickey Demos. The bad-ass, muscle-bound 44-year-old former boxing coach uses the same tough love, run-till-you-puke philosophy for his average Joe and Jane clients as he did for the late Golden Gloves champ… More >>
  • Best New Play

    George Packer's Betrayed at GableStage at the Biltmore

    OK, so Betrayed wasn't completely new when it opened at Joe Adler's GableStage. But it still had that new-play smell. George Packer is probably the best writer The New Yorker has had in a decade or more, and his 2007 article about the Iraqi translators who teamed up with American forces after the 2003 invasion ("Betrayed: The Iraqis Who Trusted… More >>
  • Best Female Bodybuilder

    Annette Solar

    Annette Solar would make a kick-ass comic book character. The librarian by day, bodybuilder by night makes you wonder if she's sporting a Superwoman costume under her white-collared shirt. Although she's not the largest figure competitor, the formerly obese 32-year-old has overcome many obstacles to get her tight, chiseled body. Born with a thyroid disorder, the five-foot-four-inch Latin bookworm weighed… More >>
  • Best Musical

    Joshua Schmidt and Jason Loewith's Adding Machine at GableStage at the Biltmore

    Art communicates first to the heart and then climbs its way to the brain on a ladder of associations — memories, snippets of things once seen or heard, allusions to the past. No recent musical has used association so evocatively as Adding Machine. In it, the industrial U-turned dystopia of early 20th-century modernism was conjured up through music that nodded… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Men

    JAM @ MAM - CLOSED

    Miami Beach, 2071. Two tourists, Gina and Tina, are standing outside the laser rope at the entrance to Plato, the newest "it" club on Collins. The bouncer looks them up and down. "IDs, please," he says. The girls beam them over. The bouncer hands them back two molecular pens and presses a button that illuminates a hologram in front of… More >>
  • Best Film Festival

    Miami Jewish Film Festival

    Just like the Buffalo Bills, no one circles the wagons like the Jews if, of course, those wagons happen to be filled with reels of film. Tapping into a rich tradition of narrative, political awareness, and commentary, Jewish film is a cut above the other arbitrary category distinctions film festivals always subdivide into, specifically because it pays close attention to… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Intelligent Women

    Bas Fisher Invitational Gallery

    Are you one of those rare sexual creatures who prefer brain shape to butt shape? If so, you might be what the scientific community refers to as a "Brain Admirer" or BA for short. And besides discrimination, there is one major challenge facing all BAs: Where to find big-brained ladies? Sure, you could trawl the obvious spots — Mensa mixers,… More >>
  • Best Movie Shot on Location

    Bart Got a Room

    The world can take only so many "quirky" teenage indie comedies. Personally, we had enough with that cringe-worthy line, "This is one doodle that can't be undid, homeskillet," from Juno. But we'll make an exception for Bart Got a Room, a charming comedy about Danny Stein (played by Steven Kaplan), a boy who grew up in a suburban Miami retirement… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet (Let's Hope) Single Guys

    Cheeseburger Baby

    Every chick worth her salt knows the way to a man's heart is through the gut. Not a stomach-punch, but a damn good meal. Since SoBe femmes can sometimes be utterly clueless like the movie, let us help you out: The boys turn to Cheeseburger Baby. From 11 a.m. to 3 a.m. — guys swarm the markedly un-cozy bar area… More >>
  • Best Book by a Local Author

    Washington Burning, by Les Standiford

    Remember when the British were our primary foreign policy problem? It's amazing to think that Elton John and company once had the sack (pun alert!) to burn down the White House, especially since they've spent the past eight years playing Flavor Flav to George Bush's Public Enemy #1. (Their only rebuttal was the cinematic wishful thinking of Love, Actually, in… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Women

    Shop Miami - CLOSED

    In June, during the city's summer lull, Gen Art hosts the once-a-year event Shop Miami that is perhaps the easiest place to meet Miami's single ladies. Women here usually travel in packs, focusing most of their energy on buying sample sales from local designers. Last thing on their mind is looking for Mr. Right, or at least Mr. Right Now,… More >>
  • Best Local Writer

    Russell Banks

    Most people don't know that Russell Banks, the John Dos Passos Award-winning author of famously cold-weather novels such as Affliction and The Sweet Hereafter, spends half his year in South Beach. But unlike most snowbirds, Banks is very active in Miami's literary life. As a board member of Cities of Refuge, an international program that finds two-year residencies in the… More >>
  • Best Place for a First Date

    Peppy's in the Gables

    Sure, watching a two-dimensional Italian waiter play the accordion under the stars as a mutt and a cocker spaniel slurp up the last noodle of spaghetti is pretty adorable. But we don't live in the Magic Kingdom. We live in the Magic City, where no self-respecting Lady is going to eat a plate of pasta in an alley with a… More >>
  • Best Local Poet

    Denise Duhamel

    If you haven't heard of Denise Duhamel, a professor at Florida International University and author of eight poetry collections, it's probably because you think contemporary poetry sounds only like this: "Evening storm/Snow hammers the glass/Surface of the house where we fell/In and out of love, the bedroom/Like the knife that cleaved/Our hearts into separate hemispheres/Of loneliness" (editor's note: poem by… More >>
  • Best Place for a Second Date

    Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

    Hello, darling, how are you? Well, yes, yes. I had a magnificent time taking you to LIV nightclub at the Fontainebleau for our first date. I am so glad you enjoyed our private time in the skybox VIP, suspended over the club like we were a pair of woodland fairies sprinkling our happy dust all over the party revelers. Well,… More >>
  • Best TV Show Shot in Miami

    Burn Notice

    Surf. Sun. Espionage. It's an apt description for the sexiest show on television. Jeffrey Donovan plays blacklisted ex-spy Michael Westen. Cool, sophisticated, and blessed with the knowledge to make bombs and GPS devices out of household items, Westen is part Sean Connery James Bond, part white-hat-wearing good guy, and part MacGyver. He's also a total badass. In between trying to… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    Cape Florida Lighthouse at Bill Baggs State Park

    Sure, there are the obvious spots — a street-side café or neighborhood dive bar — when you want to observe the variegated human populations of South Florida. But looking down on Earth and its inhabitants from the 95-foot Cape Florida Lighthouse is a way better perspective. Located on Key Biscayne, and built in 1825, it's the oldest structure still standing in… More >>
  • Best TV News Anchor

    Joel Connable

    Just three days after taking over for 23-year veteran Tony Segreto on the 6 p.m. broadcast, Joel Connable stood before a green screen doing what even national squawk boxers failed to: clearly explain the situation involving US Airways Flight 1549ís descent into the Hudson River. Connable had one advantage most didnít ó heís a former private pilot ó but his… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    Bahia Honda State Park

    The next time you spend a weekend in the Keys, make it your mission to find Mile Marker 37 and plan an entire day in the small piece of paradise known as Bahia Honda. With its emerald green waters caressing the powdery white sand, an effervescent coral reef just off the shoreline, and the tattered remains of the old Flagler… More >>
  • Best TV News Reporter

    Qwesi "Q." McCray

    How do I love thee? Let me count the ways. I love thee to the depth and breadth and height My remote can reach, even out of sight For it's likely under the beige-gray couch. I love thee at the level of volume To hear thee giggle at thy flubs sweetly. I love thee free, for thy Murrow Award; I love thee pure, praying thee will earn… More >>
  • Best Reason to Stay in Miami for the Summer

    Championship Cup Series Motorcycle Racing at Homestead-Miami Speedway

    There's nothing more Floridian than cultivating a sunburn amid the stench of burning rubber and gasoline exhaust. So when the lethal days of late June finally hit, fight that self-preservation impulse to stay home alone with the A/C. Detour instead to the Homestead-Miami Speedway for a full weekend of daredevil bikers whipping around the 2.21-mile road course as part of… More >>
  • Best Sportscaster

    Kim Bokamper

    Spectate and study as much as you like, but only a player truly knows the game. And Kim Bokamper — former first-round NFL draft pick, Dolphins linebacker from 1977 to 1985, and Pro Bowler — is a man with a surplus of on-field experience. So it was simple logic that led him, following retirement, to step into a new life… More >>
  • Best Festival

    South Beach Wine & Food Festival

    Two words: Paula Deen. The lovable Georgia peach, butter lover, and Food Network über-personality lost her pants at this year's South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and the whole world watched. Nearly 600,000 curious people took to YouTube to view the footage, shot by New Times videographer Jacob Katel. Sauntering across the stage as her drawstring slacks slid down her… More >>
  • Best FM Radio Personality

    DJ Laz

    Yeah, y'all know him. He's Miami's ole-school pimp. The one with the limp. It's that Cuban-American chico, DJ Laz. The 37-year-old music producer and morning radio-show host has been representing the 305's signature booty bass sound since 1990, when it first busted out on the scene. Like the Miami Dolphins, DJ Laz is a venerable franchise, maintaining a steady level… More >>
  • Best Party of the Year

    Deitch Projects Art Basel Miami Beach 2008 opening-night party

    We don't know about you, but whenever we see porky-pie singer Beth Ditto take the stage, we can't help but get all wet with glee. So when we heard the powerhouse vocalist and her band the Gossip were headlining Deitch Projects Art Basel Miami 2008's opening bash, we made sure to plop ourselves on one of the chaises at the… More >>
  • Best AM Radio Personality

    Bishop Victor T. Curry

    As one of Miami's most influential African-American leaders, Bishop Victor T. Curry has his hands full promoting the interests of his flock and tending to his parochial empire. However, he still sets aside time every day to directly interact with his followers as host of the Morning Glory Show, weekdays 6 to 10 a.m. on WMBM-AM. What you really want… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

    Miccosukee Indian Village and Museum

    Your guests will demand to see South Beach and Little Havana. There is — as yet — no known way to get out of this horrific chore, but day three is always host's choice, so why not take your charges someplace that would have been first on the list had they known about it? The Miccosukee Indian Village is just… More >>
  • Best Local Website

    Talk Nightlife

    With the city's constant influx and departure of nightclubs and promoters, it's difficult to keep up with the fast-paced scene. In comes Talk Nightlife, which broke off from rival CoolJunkie when former site partner Ryan Porter and forum moderator Dan Vidal joined forces. Though Talk Nightlife's guide can tell you where to go any given night, the forums are what… More >>
  • Best Sanctuary from the Fast Track

    Hell's Bay Chickee, Everglades National Park

    Ponzi scheme got you down? Go to Hell. Hell's Bay Chickee wildlife adventure campsite in the Everglades, that is. It's part of the 99-mile "Wilderness Water Trail" between Chokoloskee and Flamingo. The only way to get there is to paddle — no motors allowed. From Flamingo, it's an eight-mile "one way in-and-out" Hell's Bay canoe trail marked by more than… More >>
  • Best Blog

    The South Florida Watershed Journal

    What happens out in the Glades... well, ends up in South Florida's faucets and sewers. Following the ups and downs of the water table that feeds Miami is key to understanding bizarre concepts such as "why you still can't legally water your lawn even though it's been raining for a month straight." While at first glance, this site might seem… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Lobster Zone at Mr. Moe's

    Mere blocks from the dark heart of CocoWalk's most touristy trappings, Mr. Moe's is probably the last place you'd imagine fishing for your dinner. Yet there, wedged alongside the other arcade consoles, such as Galaga and Pac-Man, is a highly unconventional crane game called "The Lobster Zone." Feed the machine two beer-soaked singles and the challenge is on. But rather… More >>
  • Best Local YouTube Performance

    "Sweet Home Hialeah" by Enrique Santos and Joe Ferrero

    We could explain why this video is so funny, but it's better to just let local poet and Hialeah native Yaddyra Peralta guide you through the entire thing: "Okay, when it starts, the guy's wearing a fat gold chain and hanging out with chongas — the gangsta-looking girls with tight clothes and loads of gold. Singer shakes hands with guy… More >>
  • Best Kids' Thrill

    Grapeland Water Park

    Filled with brightly colored play areas designed by local artist Romero Britto, pools with slides, and a large lagoon, Grapeland Water Park — also known as Black Beard's Beach — is 13 acres of fun, refreshing, soak-filled insanity for tikes of all ages. The park opened only a year ago. It features two different play areas — Pirate's Plunge, with… More >>
  • Best Dolphins Player

    Chad Pennington

    It was fate that brought Chad Pennington and the Miami Dolphins together. During the off-season, the New York Jets waived Pennington after four solid seasons with the team, casting him aside like an old tire to make room for newly acquired Brett Favre. Yet when the Dolphins signed Pennington off waivers, the immediate reaction from most Fins fans was exasperation.… More >>
  • Best Place to Cool Off the Sandbox Set

    Pinecrest Splash 'n' Play

    As summer sends the mercury soaring and your little nieces or nephews begin begging you for a day on the town, take the impressionable munchkins over to this lush oasis and you'll become an instant hero in their eyes. Located at Pinecrest Gardens, the former grounds of Parrot Jungle — and open daily from 10 a.m. till one hour before… More >>
  • Best Local Sports Coach

    Tony Sparano

    Miami Dolphins fans haven't had much to cheer about since Don Shula hung up the clipboard. The list of coaches to patrol the sidelines has looked like this, in descending date and professional football coaching ability: Jimmy Johnson, Dave Wannstedt, Jim Bates, Nick Saban, and Cam Cameron. When Bill Parcells was brought in to turn the franchise around, one of… More >>
  • Best Value on Ocean Drive

    Wine Down Mondays at DeVito South Beach - CLOSED

    DeVito South Beach is the type of fine dining Italian steak house on Ocean Drive that'll sell you a $17 meatball, an $18 hamburger, or an $80 Japanese steak featuring the best of ingredients in the best of environs. It's not a cheap place, which is why you'll find its Wine Down Mondays promotion so inviting. Every Monday, every wine… More >>
  • Best Heat Player

    Mario Chalmers

    Obviously, there's only one answer to this category, but if we say, "Dwyane Wade," what else do we write? And no disrespect to Michael Beasley, who, despite not being the instant double-double machine he was promised to be, has at least shown the rare ability to go into an NBA Jam-like "He's heating up!" mode. But Mario Chalmers was the… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    The Fontainebleau

    From your average local perspective, Miami hotels are only good for a handful of things: bringing in those tourism dollars, their clubs and restaurants, and of course a place to carry on an illicit affair. Well, after a lengthy, $1 billion face-lift, the iconic Fontainebleau scores on at least two of those categories. With an opening that included a Victoria's… More >>
  • Best Trade (Sports Team)

    Heat Trade Shawn Marion to the Toronto Raptors for Jermaine O'Neal and Jamario Moon

    This is Miami, son. So it makes sense that the best trade pulled off by any team in the 305 this year was all about the cash money. Don't misunderstand — Jermaine O'Neal is not a bad guy to have banging bodies under the glass, especially on a team that has started everyone but the ghost of Gheorghe Muresan at… More >>
  • Best Parking on Miami Beach

    Lot on Michigan Avenue at 15th Street

    First the good news: There's a 134-space parking lot at the epicenter of the bustling South Beach action — and it's almost never full. Now the bad: You can't use it between 11 p.m. and 6 a.m. (Club kids and night owls can stop reading here.) But for folks who prefer a day in the sun to a romp in… More >>
  • Best Hurricanes Player

    Jack McClinton

    Coming out of Calvert Hall High in Baltimore, Jack McClinton was never seen as a hard-court star, let alone a guy who could put a football school on the basketball map. McClinton applied to every college in the ACC and was roundly rejected by all of them. So when the young man decided he wanted to transfer from Siena College… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Jorge Cantu

    No, Jorge Cantu isnít the most talented guy, and heís not going to put up the best numbers. Heís not showy, and heís damn sure not pretty. Cantu is just clutch. And guts. Last season, he rapped so many big hits in late innings that a lot of Marlins fans began calling him ďCan-do.Ē Most of them probably didnít know… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Jorge Cantu

    No, Jorge Cantu isnít the most talented guy, and heís not going to put up the best numbers. Heís not showy, and heís damn sure not pretty. Cantu is just clutch. And guts. Last season, he rapped so many big hits in late innings that a lot of Marlins fans began calling him ďCan-do.Ē Most of them probably didnít know… More >>
  • Best Marlins Player

    Jorge Cantu

    No, Jorge Cantu isnít the most talented guy, and heís not going to put up the best numbers. Heís not showy, and heís damn sure not pretty. Cantu is just clutch. And guts. Last season, he rapped so many big hits in late innings that a lot of Marlins fans began calling him ďCan-do.Ē Most of them probably didnít know… More >>
  • Best (Essentially) Public Restroom

    Mandarin Oriental Hotel

    Over the years, we've devoted this category to the municipal shithouses of Miami-Dade — bathrooms on beaches and in museums where the toilets seats are not guaranteed to be free of seven strands of hepatitis. But let's face it, unless you're clearly a vagrant — and if you are, you probably already have your favorite porcelain throne picked out —… More >>
  • Best Panthers Player

    Goalie Tomas Vokoun

    It's Saturday night, the league-leading Boston Bruins are skating in Sunrise, and as shot after shot after wicked shot ricochets off the Panthers goalie, the BankAtlantic Center shakes louder and louder each time the distorted chords from Blur's "Song 2" cue up: Blur: When I feel heavy metal! Crowd: Vo-kouuuun! Blur: When I'm on pins and needles! Crowd: Vo-kouuuun! Blur has been making a big… More >>
  • Best Hidden Neighborhood

    Hammock Oaks

    Located along a lush stretch of Old Cutler Road and concealed by banyan and mangrove forests, Hammock Oaks is undeniably idyllic, if exclusive. It's essentially a gated wonderland of big-money Miami mansions, massive free-form swimming pools, and private grass tennis courts. So indulge your inner Gatsby and loiter a little bit while walking, running, or biking through the affluent enclave.… More >>
  • Best Local Boxer

    Glen Johnson

    Boxing is a sport as much about entertainment as it is about fighting, which is the real reason Muhammad Ali is considered the greatest of all time. Some fighters have the charisma and story line that make people queue up to watch them in the ring, and others simply go to work. Glen Johnson is the latter. Even his manager… More >>
  • Best Mile of Miami

    Biscayne Boulevard between 54th and 79th streets

    Summary of the short film, "A Perfect Day in MiMo": Timmy wakes up in Motel Blue, fond memories of his visit to Boulevard. Where is that smell coming from? Oh, right! He brought the stripper back to his room! Quietly, Timmy puts on his clothes, leaves a $20 bill on the nightstand, and sneaks out. The Miami sun is out,… More >>
  • Best Mixed Martial Arts Debut

    Wiber "The Hulk" Marrero

    Wiber Marrero, who is a personal trainer at Intense Warehouse Fitness in Kendall, popped his MMA cherry last December at the American Airlines Arena during the Mixed Fighting Alliance's There Will Be Blood promotion. The former Army Ranger, who boasts black belts in jujitsu and kickboxing, dropped opponent Ronald Peña with a wicked roundhouse kick to the head 23 seconds… More >>
  • Best Landmark

    Miami Marine Stadium

    Picture this: A major American city. A dilapidated but beloved sports facility. A stadium that's fondly remembered for its world-class sporting competitions, thrilling rock concerts, and noteworthy presidential appearances. One that has been praised for its architectural beauty and drawn spectators from the four corners of the earth — but is at this very moment in danger of demolition. It's… More >>
  • Best Basketball Court

    Flamingo Park

    Every basketball court has its own personality. There's the court filled with dudes who call a foul if you so much as breathe on them, the court with the And 1 wannabes, the court with the old men with knee braces who shoot inexplicably well from beyond the three-point line, the court that tears off all the flesh from your… More >>
  • Best Public Works Project

    Coppertone Sign

    Coppertone sunscreen's advertising was probably responsible for more tourism in Miami than the sun itself, so it's only fitting that the company's iconic sign is back in public view. You know the one: the little dog pulling the bathing suit off the girl. Somehow that strange combination of innocence, fun, and naughtiness became emblematic of Miami itself, and seems about… More >>
  • Best Public Tennis Courts

    Surfside Tennis Center

    Like sister pastimes golf, polo, and hedge fund fraud, tennis has always been rank with the stink of exclusivity. But although guys named Nigel who tie their sweaters around their necks usually play tennis, once you take the sport out of the country club, it can be as accessible as a game of hoops. All you need is a $20… More >>
  • Best Trend

    Gold Saturn Tees

    Maybe it's just us, but the fashion trends are starting to turn over at a slower pace. I mean, are people still seriously wearing kaffiyehs? Shouldn't those have been replaced with some other vaguely ethnic-looking garb to be appropriated by hipsters by now? African lip plates or Aboriginal-style loincloths or something? Um, maybe the trend slowdown is actually a good… More >>
  • Best Day Trip

    Fort Lauderdale Swap Shop

    I once knew a girl from Calcutta Whose breath stunk like old dookie butta. Her brother loved booze And getting tattoos And he needed a new pair of shoes. Their neighbor, the chef on a mission Needed shiny new gear for his kitchen. They lived down in Dade, Where they worked every day, Just for rent and electric and clothes. So they needed a place they could go, Seven days out… More >>
  • Best Place to Donate Your Clothes

    Vietnam Veterans of America

    Now that this country has a new generation of war veterans, the danger we face is forgetting about the last one. Vietnam vets had the misfortune to be the first in our history to return to a country that was largely disenchanted with the purpose of the conflict, making the meager support they received from the government that sent them… More >>
  • Best Picnic Spot

    Black Point Marina

    A sea cow pokes its snout above the surface as is traverses the waters along the 1.5-mile jetty that juts from Black Point Marina to Biscayne Bay. Manatees are just one of the wondrous sights to encounter at the county-owned dock and park where couples and families spread blankets on the grassy hill overlooking the boat ramps. From their elevated… More >>
  • Best Volunteer Program (for Cheapskate Art Lovers)

    Arts Connection

    Arts Connection unites volunteers with various organizations that need short-term help for their arts programs. Opportunities change each month but could involve ushering, taking tickets, assisting with exhibitions, leading tours, helping set up displays, and other varied activities related to the arts. While you might not get front row tickets to the next Arsht Center production, volunteers are usually treated… More >>
  • Best Place to Use Bug Spray

    Gator hunt in the Everglades

    It's early September, the height of alligator-hunting season in Florida. A midnight blue Ford F-150 hauling an airboat kicks up dust as it veers off the Tamiami Trail, just west of the Miccosukee casino, and onto an uneven dirt road. The truck's headlights cut through the pitch-black thicket, revealing a small, marshy inlet. Shadowy figures emerge from the pickup and… More >>
  • Best Charity

    Voices for Children

    To the outside world, the glitz of South Beach is Miami, but beneath the plastic veneer, we've got ourselves one of the poorest and neediest metro areas in America. What's worse, out of the 50 biggest cities in the U.S., we volunteer the least. Even people in that other Sin City (Vegas) give more of their time than we do.… More >>
  • Best Place to Hike

    Shark Valley

    OK, smart guy, with your white-boy dreadlocks and stickered-up Nalgene bottle hanging off of your carabiner, let's just get this out of the way: Miami is to hard-core hiking as Aspen is to serious scuba diving. We get it. If you're looking to tackle a totally wicked 5.6-grade slope, hop the next flight back to the Rockies and leave us… More >>
  • Best Gym

    Bodies by Mari

    Ladies, here is your gym: Treadmills in the front, weights in the back, and no sweaty dudes to kick you off the shoulder press. Sorry, boys. Men aren't allowed at this blink-and-you-miss-it, owner-operated Miami Springs facility, which caters to a client base of competitive female bodybuilders. Founded by 45-year-old former fitness model and personal trainer Mari Redondo, the walls are… More >>
  • Best Place to Mountain-Bike or Kayak

    Oleta River State Park

    The Oleta River is close enough to get to yet distant enough that it's pretty much the best place around to do outdoor activities such as mountain biking and kayaking. Sure, mountain biking in Florida is a lot like sunbathing in Antarctica: Nature won't quite permit it. Florida's landscape may be flat as a runway model's chest, but over at… More >>
  • Best Urban Bike Ride

    Venetian Way

    So there you are: rolling past the traffic jams, stores blasting techno music, and moms with strollers. You're biking and you're happy, damn it. And then — inevitably — it happens: Some flashy douchebag in a convertible cuts you off, reminding you why Miami can't shake its reputation as the nation's least bicycle-friendly city. But brave urban bikers, fear not.… More >>
  • Best Rural Bike Ride

    From Hobie Beach to the southern tip of Bill Baggs State Park and back

    OK, so there are few moments on this route when you can't see high-rises, and it includes a street called Sewage Plant Road. In Miami, rural is a fuzzy term, and this beginner-friendly bike ride will allow you to escape the urban bustle, clear your head, take in some beautiful views, and maybe see a raccoon or two. It's lifted… More >>
  • Best Place to Jog

    Biscayne Boulevard from NE 36th Street to the Brickell Avenue Bridge

    Your weathered Nike cross-trainers bounce off the broken concrete along a two-mile stretch of battered sidewalk. Your heart beats rapidly, you take deep breaths, and your legs churn hard as you race along vestiges of Miami's past and future. Old structures such as the Bacardi buildings hark back to a day when the boulevard was a desolate landscape. But farther… More >>
  • Best Leisure Activity Other than Clubs or Movies

    The Flying Trapeze School

    Gravity has been threatening your chances of coasting away into the skies forever, meaning kissing the clouds and tasting the air that only birds breathe have all been relegated to moments in your dreams, or while on psychedelics. But there is a place in Miami where you can fly without tripping out on shrooms — at the Flying Trapeze School… More >>
  • Best Public Park

    Arch Creek Park

    Contrary to popular belief, not every sacred place in Miami-Dade has been paved, flipped, or foreclosed on. Just off Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami is Arch Creek Park. Named for a limestone arch on the site, these eight acres of natural and historic preserve have attracted people for centuries — whether it was Native Americans snacking on conch or early… More >>
  • Best Beach

    Bal Harbour

    A beach is a beach is a beach, but don't tell that to half the people who frequent some of Miami's more popular shoreline. There's the beach meant for showing off your latest gym/elective surgery achievements in the tiniest spandex. There's the beach for families with six kids all in water wings. There's the beach for teenagers in Kendall to… More >>
  • Best Place to Go Stoned

    Coral Castle

    Have you ever spun a nine-ton coral rock gate with one finger? Do it on weed. Super-genius Ed Leedskalnin drilled a perfect eight-foot hole through an 18,000-pound block he moved by himself from Florida City to Homestead; then he centered and balanced it on an iron shaft and truck bearing just so you can spin it in circles. He built… More >>
  • Best Escape from Reality

    The Kundalini Journey at the Mandarin Oriental

    Everything about going to the Mandarin Oriental feels exotic and otherworldly. It begins when you drive over the Brickell Key Bridge. Lapping waves, expensive cars, uniformed valets, and security guards are everywhere you look — it ain't hard to tell you're visiting an oasis of luxury, mere minutes from the teeming center of the city. The majesty of this five-star… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    Couples' Oceanfront Massage at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne

    It's tough to choose 'cause they're so damn... ritzy. But if pressed, we'd have to admit the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne is our favorite of the hotel chain's South Florida locations. That's in no small part because of the spa, which is as plush and visually pleasing as one might imagine the Ritz-Carlton's largest South Florida hotel spa to be. But… More >>
  • Best Activity While Intoxicated

    Insomnia Fridays at 90 Degree - CLOSED

    Once the clock sails past midnight, the downtown crowd couldn't care less about what other party sets (i.e., stodgy SoBe and boring Brickell) would deem PC. And once it's after 4 a.m., everyone is so wasted that Barack Obama could walk into the club and no one would flinch. Well, maybe they'd ask him why he doesn't make cocaine legal… More >>
  • Best Place to Throw a Party

    Charcoal Studio - CLOSED

    Poplife, Gen Art, and even the New Times have hosted parties here. Why? With retro knickknacks, an AstroTurf patio floor, and an indoor swimming pool and hot tub, it feels more like partying at your friend's awesome warehouse-style loft than an actual production studio, which might be because the owner once called the place home. Still, this spot in the… More >>
  • Best Spanish Classes

    University of Miami Intensive Language Institute

    At a Cuban café, you attempt to order a steamed-milk espresso and you get a meat-filled pastry instead. When an irate driver on I-95 suggests you fellate your cousin, you smile bewilderedly and give a thumbs-up. And at work, the Colombian fellow in the next cubicle always seems to pull twice as many clients as you do. Oye, hombre, this… More >>
  • Best Drag Queen

    Joanna Mills

    You might know this feisty, self-deprecating broad from '60s rock cover band Guerilla Balls, featuring Miami Beach's legendary boy-in-dress Shelley Novak. Or — more likely — you don't. But if the finest queen should be judged by the campiest one-liners, funniest/frizziest blond wig, and loudest guitar ballads, Connecticut-bred Joanna Mills should be crowned accordingly. Joanna, AKA Joe Clough, seems to… More >>
  • Best Cafe Cubano

    Cafe Bustelo - CLOSED

    Ordering a café Cubano in a coffee shop owned by and named after Café Bustelo is something akin to panning for gold at Fort Knox: You really can't get much closer to the source. As a matter of fact, Bustelo, America's best-selling Cuban coffee brand, roasts its beans across town from the café, which is nestled off the lobby of… More >>
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