Iranian Agent Bingo
She lies: I don't for a second believe any of Shahrzad Mir Gholikhan's lies as described in Deirdra Funcheon's January 8 story, "The Agent from Iran." She was a translator — she knew exactly what was being said. These terrorists get away with murder all the time. For once, people need to stop buying into their lies and lock them up — for life.
We lie: How is Iran our enemy? They have done nothing to us compared to Israel. We are so on the wrong side of this game.
Developer strikes back: Francisco Alvarado's January 8 story, "Midtown Meltdown," states development at Midtown Miami has come to a "screeching halt." In reality, nothing can be further from the truth.
In spite of the current economic climate, we are moving forward, have momentum, and indeed continue to redefine the neighborhood by offering new residences and shops that have never been seen in this area. It's not a matter of "whether" Midtown has transformed the area — it has, with more than a thousand new residences (and almost no vacancy, contrary to a quote in the article by an apparently clueless real estate agent regarding units "sitting empty"), owners and renters occupying the residential units, new retailers, including Ocean Drive magazine's new state-of-the-art photo studio, Sugarcane Lounge by Sushi Samba, Brasserie d'Azur, The Cheese Course, Primo Pizza, The Daniel Azoulay Gallery, Shuichi Take Fitness Club, Great Florida Bank, and OXXO Care Cleaners.
You can walk the streets, including Midtown Boulevard, at any time of the day or night and see residents walking their dogs, people sitting in the new Art Park, and locals shopping in the stores and eateries at the adjacent Shops at Midtown. And in 2009, Midtown Miami will welcome more than a handful of new restaurants, lounges, and art galleries.
I believe that anyone who visits Midtown would agree it is inaccurate to say we have not delivered what we promised to this community. We have in fact taken the old Buena Vista abandoned rail yard and transformed it into a new, thriving area that offers a unique lifestyle and entertainment options. Midtown Miami is alive and well.
It is unfortunate that none of these facts made it into the story. Without them, the story does a disservice not only to everyone who has worked so hard to develop the project, but also to those living and working at Midtown Miami.
Principal, Midtown Equities
Editor's note: There were several factual errors in "Midtown Meltdown." The name of Lucia Dougherty was misspelled, Developers Diversified Realty Corp. was misidentified, and Pulse Miami was not held at Midtown Miami. In addition, Midtown Equities sold 660,000 square feet to Developers Diversified, which built the Shops at Midtown.
Neisen lies: In response to "Midtown Meltdown," I'd like to see the facts on the 1,500 jobs that land use attorney and former Miami Beach Mayor Neisen Kasdin says the project has created. Come on, Neisen. Are the jobs still there? Did you "create" those jobs, or were they transient? And if they were transient, what does that mean about construction jobs in general? Do they improve the economy? If 8 percent of the workforce lives in Miami, that adds up to 120...but I doubt the 1,500 jobs is a real number. Call me skeptical of every piece of logic that comes from the Latin Builders Association's lobbyist.
Enso Pro and Con
First-class: Lee Klein's January 1 review, "The Audacity of Enso," was right on the mark. It's a great place with awesome food presentation and a friendly staff. It's my new favorite restaurant on South Beach.
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Last-class?: Wow. I was in shock after eating at this place. A fly was jumping around the sushi station. But that is nothing compared to the restrooms. You don't know who the manager is. Servers don't show interest in their jobs. The health department should take a look. It shouldn't let inexperienced people operate in the food business.