Sing sing: Before publication of "Best of Miami" (May 11), I took a long, hard look at the past winners of Best Karaoke and noticed the best in 2004 and 2005 both ended up firing the KJ shortly after publication. So I kind of hoped Karaoke Miami would not win this year.
My bet is that your writers don't actually go out and research different karaoke places, but instead rely on memory.
This explains why Studio won two years in a row way back. You simply know it's there. This year you named Our Place Lounge and Liquors in Miami Lakes. I hope the KJs there will not suffer the same fate as the two other guys who won the past two years. And maybe next year New Times will open the poll to the readers.
I won Best Self-Promotion last year, so here it goes: If you want the real best karaoke in Miami, go to www.karaokemiami.com.
A poet who don't know it: Richard Blanco? Best poet? I chuckled both aloud and silently to myself (at the same time, not an easy trick) when I read that in your "Best of Miami" issue. Your explanation for your choice seems to focus quite a bit on Richard's good looks. All one has to do is go to the Now Taste This! Website at www.nowtastethis.com, click on "poets," and you will see my picture directly under Richard's. Now I realize that many of your readers became extremely envious of me because I'm directly under Richard and they're not. And who among us wouldn't want to be under Richard? Anyway, you will see that I am much better-looking than Richard. And let me further say that I saw myself in the shower a few years ago, and I'm a lot sexier than Richard. And what's this about Sidney Poitier being named Best Local Boy Made Good? Did Sidney Poitier have his own really bad cable television show in Los Angeles for four years? I don't think so.
One tin (condo) soldier walks away: Regarding Best Condo: It has come to my attention that in your 2006 "Best of Miami," two of our most important team members for the project are missing from the article. They are Derek Warr and Cesar Querales, and they have been instrumental in the design and construction administration of the project.
No retraction here, bucko: I am truly offended by Forrest Norman's comment in "Key Issue" (May 11) about "grimy downtown Miami." I am someone who has about one million dollars invested in an apartment here with many other people. Absolutely Miami has its serious issues and they need to be attended to, but some of the most advanced and luxurious condos are planned and present here and with real estate market conditions as they are, we don't need your narrow-minded comments. Why don't you speak productively in an article about the new river walks going in and the beautification projects going on? I would like to see New Times retract or correct the statement.
No defensive posture in this story: Just wanted to commend New Times and Josh Schonwald for the reporting on "Grandmasters in Guayaberas" (May 4). It has been fantastic to read his writing and to see someone with a real ability to tell stories (like many members of your staff) and to show, much as he did recently, how a hardscrabble group of students at Miami Dade College could emerge as national chess champions. Thank you for shining light on the amazing things going on in Miami. I am thrilled.
West Palm Beach
Way too much of everything: Mayor Manny Diaz recently gave his State of the City Address. It was sugar-coated. He praised City Manager Joe Arriola, patted himself and his administration on the back, and failed to address the real issues. Let's face some of Miami's realities, which were described in Emily Witt's April 27 story "Mayor öMoney' Diaz." There are too many people, too much traffic, too little drinking water, too much distance between the rich and poor, too much crime, too many variance and zoning changes in height and density of new condominiums and new office buildings, too few parking spaces, too few green spaces and public parks. And too little money is being generated from restaurant leases on public land such as Monty's, the Rusty Pelican, the Chart House, and such.
No money is being generated from Miami Marine Stadium, which was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew and was not even insured. Too many tolls are still being collected on highways that were paid off years ago.
If Miami truly aspires to be a world-class city, then our elected government officials, our appointed and hired administrators, and our community leaders must face the realities that surround us and truly deliver us from our state of denial.
Harry Emilio Gottlieb
Those outsiders rock: Congratulations to Emily Witt and the Miami New Times on the superbly written cover story "Band of Outsiders" (April 13) about the ongoing compassion and courage of the Geraldi family and the Possible Dream Foundation.
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It has been the privilege of the many South Florida professionals who make up the Professional Referral Group to have become a part of the Geraldi extended family. For the past three years we have provided a holiday celebration in December, complete with Santa Claus and gifts for all the children, and a Holiday Egg Hunt Party each April for the Possible Dream Foundation. We encourage all of your readers to contact the Possible Dream Foundation and help.
The Geraldi "Outsiders" have given us much more than we could ever give them. They remind us again and again of the true meaning and value of families.
Anyone desiring to contribute time, household items, or financial assistance to the Geraldi family and the Possible Dream Foundation may call 305-252-2552 or visit www.possibledream.org. People who wish to assist with future holiday celebrations at the Possible Dream can receive information from the Professional Referral Group of South Florida by calling or e-mailing my office at 305-598-1344 or firstname.lastname@example.org.