Once a year the clothing-optionals, the true embodiment of our own neurotic fears, celebrate their lifestyle during Nude Recreation Week (NRW). They do activities such as frolic in the surf at nude beaches, play volleyball naked, compare their wealth of unusual moles, or wag their naked boom-booms to techno beats. This year NRW will take place from Monday, July 5, through Sunday, July 11.
In marketing NRW, the Naturist Society, a nudist organization based in Oshkosh, Wisconsin, posits naturism as a way to do battle with a society fixated on serially nipping and tucking its corporeal imperfections into airbrushed glamour. But most of the NRW activities are restricted to nude zones, such as our own quarter-mile stretch of Haulover Park Beach (10800 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), where the South Florida Free Beaches association will offer the annual National Nude Weekend celebration on Saturday and Sunday, July 10 and 11. You may wonder how -- if at all -- the event will change the attitudes of folks like Paris and Nicole? And mole measuring: Wheres the revolution in that?
In order to challenge perfection-obsession, this fight has to go to the streets. It has to threaten the status quo. Instead of slapping a volleyball around, Miami-Dade nudists should borrow inspiration from Seattles Body Freedom Collaborative. We need acts of guerrilla pranksterism. We need civil nudification.
Just imagine: Youre hustling down Flagler Street on your way to pay off your traffic tickets. Inside a cafe, you swig a slug of Cuban coffee and down a couple of hot dogs. Suddenly, before your eyes five naked people carrying briefcases appear, walking purposefully down the sidewalk, and disappear. That would change your day -- if not your life.
Or say youre sitting ramrod straight and sipping a mojito at an outdoor table on Lincoln Road when the diners sitting next to you stand up, take their clothes off, place their napkins on their seats, sit back down, and resume eating. Sitting casually naked on a bus bench on Biscayne Boulevard, having grill marks burned into your buns. Being naked while walking the dog. Nudify, Miami, nudify!
Beautiful Biscayne Bay. Day or night, this green jewel is center ring to a lively circus called Miami, but it's easy to find even long-time residents who rarely get back to nature within the confines of this remarkable ecosystem (except speeding along the causeways by car or boat). In hopes of changing the unfortunate effects of sea walls, condos, and memories of more polluted times, naturalists at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center (6767 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne) will conduct an old-fashioned field trip that introduces beachcombers to the plants and critters along what's left of the shoreline. Each trip is unique but you might encounter urchins, crabs, fish, and the occasional sea hare mating chain! Biscayne Bay Unplugged runs from 3:00 to 5:00 p.m. and could cover extensive ground, depending on what surprises lurk among the turtle grasses. Wear comfortable shoes that will get wet. Sunblock is highly suggested. Cost is $10 per person. Call 305-361-6767, ext. 119, or see www.biscaynenaturecenter.org. -- Margaret Griffis
Wining & Winin
Haitian art, cuvees meet
A warm summer breeze is laced with a bouquet of gardenias, fruity perfumes, and a forest. On the back of your tongue slips a faint essence of, what is it: cherries, grass, licorice? You swirl the wine in your mouth before you guzzle it down and an amazing kaleidoscope of images strikes your senses: a bright morning, a lovers earlobe, the deep blue sea. As any wine lover will tell you, a sampling of vintners bottled charms can be an adventure. The fun may start with discerning flavors, but after a while (and a few swallows) your head is swimming in a creative mental dance. At Jakmel Art Gallery (2301 Biscayne Blvd.), you will have your tasty journey in a lush tropical garden surrounded by the colorful works of Haitian and Caribbean artists. The monthly fete begins at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $7. Call 305-604-0029. - Juan Carlos Rodriguez
Built to Last
While watching the opening credits of Miami Vice twenty years ago (twenty!), you thought the tall downtown apartment building with the hole in the middle and the very Miami hot tub and palm tree placed conspicuously inside was the coolest thing going. But did you know that paragon of postmodernism named The Atlantis was built in 1982 by local firm Arquitectonica, which has gone on to international fame for designing funky structures all around the world? That's one of the many fun facts you can wow your artsy friends with if you avail yourself of the course known as Miami Architecture 2004. Over the next four Wednesdays at the Seymour (945 Pennsylvania Ave., Miami Beach), local professors, architects, and writers will explain the eye-catching evolution of our built environment. Highlights include Randall Robinson, co-author of the soon-to-be-released book MiMo: Miami Modern Revealed, and Laura Cerwinske, writer of several tomes on Miami buildings and design. Architect Les Beilinson and UM professor Aristides J. Millas hold forth on wood-frame vernacular and Mediterranean Revival structures, respectively, tonight at 6:30. Admission is $15 per session or $60 for the whole course. Call 305-538-0090, ext. 16. -- Nina Korman
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