Is it a bird? Is it a plane? No, it's a miracle of another feather. It's the 60-by-60-foot labyrinth on the parking lot blacktop of the Unity on the Bay church. The cheeky diva of Miami's holy houses has spawned a veritable "happening" with this blue-on-black meditative walking tour. The labyrinth, around for religious purposes since about 2000 B.C., serves as a ritual tool. Just ask county fire captain and believer Hal Martin, who had to get his own tool out, with the help of his wife Marcia, in order to paint the concentric circles that form a significant part of the device's design. The resourceful flame-fighter created a custom paint-roller mechanism just for this job. The labyrinth is a smaller replica of one found in France's Chartres Cathedral. The Edgewater facsimile, completed September 25 after an 18-hour sweat-a-thon, was the centerpiece of a 24-hour prayer vigil that weekend. According to Unity sources, it will remain there indefinitely. Simply put, the maze is a kind of kinetic aid for prayer and/or meditation. With your mind focused on the problem or issue of your concern, you enter the maze at one opening and walk to its spiritual core, continuing until you emerge at its end.
The full path of the original French labyrinth measures nearly a mile. The Miami parking lot version runs somewhat less. So there's no excuse for not making the journey of spiritual growth on your knees, baby, like our French penitent brethren across the pond sometimes do.
Interim Unity director of operations Bob Lynch attests to the power of the device. At least one other city denizen appears to be stimulated by the maze's mojo: A woman at the neighboring Biscayne 21 building reported spastic behavior (similar to a Pentecostal evangelist speaking in tongues) from a Siamese cat who freaked out after spotting the labyrinth from an eighth-story window. -- By Victor Cruz
The labyrinth is open anytime at the parking lot of Unity on the Bay, 411 NE 21st St. Call 305-573-9191.
There once was a place where you could roll your ass off until noon. A wonderful haven for those who couldn't get to sleep, whether they were insomniacs or because they ingested copious amounts of Ecstasy, Space 34 (34 NE 11th St.; 305-375-0001) was the place and from the bottom of every designer drug user's palpitating heart, we'll miss you. The mega-club that signaled a new age for downtrodden downtown nightlife, the joint that had Miami city officials boasting about urban revitalization, the venue that left clubgoers awed with its sheer immensity and its 24-hour liquor license (an admirable clubland accomplishment), are no more -- for now. After a party tonight Space 34 will close its doors, blaming, of course, the media. The club carved quite a notorious nightlife niche thanks to the river of pills that flowed through it, the zombies who would emerge from it, and the subsequent DEA raids in response. But we don't want to remember Space 34 in such a dim light. We prefer to cast a ray of appreciation on the club we endearingly deemed "Best Place to Roll on Ecstasy." Adios, Space 34. -- By Humberto Guida
Swelling and selling on the street
Arms open wide, an amiable smile frozen on his face, he bounces left to right, right to left, and does the twist thanks to the fan pumping a constant breeze up his bottom. He is the inflatable advertising guy or tube dude, bearing an uncanny resemblance to a hopped-up Pillsbury Doughboy after he's suffered a few months on the Atkins plan. Seen all too often on major thoroughfares such as Biscayne Boulevard and 163rd Street, he's a pneumatic whore peddling independent commerce, indiscriminately plugging any kind of business -- jewelry, car repair, pet store, pawn shop. More economical than helium balloons and more attention-grabbing than your run-of-the-mill gorilla or dinosaur balloon, he's a Brazilian import, they say, which may explain the fact that he stands uninhibited, naked except for the business name emblazoned on his trunk. A mere $500 or so will buy you his services. He may be a whore but nobody says he's cheap. -- By Nina Korman
Watching him inline skate down Lincoln Road with, say, a frappuccino in one hand and a toy Chihuahua in the other, one would not distinguish Tibetan Dzogchen Master Choegyal Namkhai Norbu as one of the most enlightened beings walking planet Earth. If you didn't recognize the aural rays emanating from his physical being, he'd look like just another South Beach denizen trolling around in a knockoff Prada jumpsuit instead of the burgundy robes worn by most Buddhist monks. But Choegyal is different. He integrates his pre-Buddhist spiritual traditions with postmodern indulgences. Master Choegyal, who at age three was recognized as the incarnation of the Dzogchen Master Adzom Drugpa, is in town to lead a three-day retreat where he will teach his particular method of attaining higher awareness through meditations, yoga, and dance rituals. The retreat starts at 5:00 p.m. at St. John's on the Lake United Methodist Church, 4760 Pine Tree Dr., Miami Beach. Registration costs $50 a day. Call 305-756-0220. -- By Juan Carlos Rodriguez
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