Best Babble

Letters from the Issue of May 25, 2006

Yeah, well there's that: Regarding "Best Parking in Miami Beach" (May 11): Perhaps the garage at Tenth Street between Alton and West is "usually almost empty, clean, well lit, and conveniently located," but how about being just safe? Over the past few months I've been informed of several car thefts (including my own, at the handicap spot — yes, the handicap spot — with all of my girlfriend's medicines and equipment). I must tell you, better a couple of scratches on my Bentley than a broken rear window. Poor pick.

Gustavo Charria
Miami Beach



And that: The writeup for Best Relocation (May 11) for La Epoca includes the following: "Although it still occupies a physical location in central Havana (as a dollar store of all things)...." I think the writer may have misinterpreted the concept of a Cuban "dollar store."

On the island, dollar stores are not like your local Dollar Tree, but stores that accept payments only in American dollars. Cuba legalized the dollar in 1993 during the "special period" following the loss of Soviet aid. Even though Cubans are paid in the island's pesos, the dollar stores sell items that are often difficult to obtain otherwise. It's a bid primarily for the money being sent to Cubans by relatives in the United States.

Maria Estorino

But hey, at least we do something right: We at Vino Miami extend our gratitude and appreciation for our award, Best Wine Selection in a Restaurant (May 11). We work very hard and are pleased that someone noticed. We also received a great review from one of your writers. The New Times has been very good to us; we have been open for only about five months and look forward to many years of working with your paper.

Vino Miami
Via the Internet

This guy has some imagination: It was thrilling to see Tereso named Best Latin Rock Band in the 2006 Miami New Times "Best Of" edition (May 11). But the event was a tad bittersweet owing to the complete lack of anything remotely interesting or relevant about the band in the brief description that accompanied the accolade. For those already familiar with the group, it is obvious why they got the mention. But for die-hard music lovers who still may be uninitiated in the greatness that is Tereso, let's shed more light on the subject to set the record straight.

Imagine a group of scruffy and handsome guys in ripped jeans and sleeveless shirts on a dark stage somewhere. They are sexy bastards with beat-up guitars and sly but slightly shy smiles on their faces who pound out songs that are faintly familiar though you know you've never heard them before. Two singers in the group trade lead vocal duties or sing together in unison or in harmony. You sense Nirvana or the Clash in the short, punctuated fuck-it-all attitude of the songs as they come and go like beautiful Italian sports cars you wish you had a chance to get a better look at. You keep waiting for them to blow it with some cheese, but they don't.

And in a way, that can happen only because this band happens to hail from the brilliant, vibrant, fertile, but unfortunately largely ignored Miami rock-music scene.

Miami has a music scene like no other in America today because of the various cultural influences that dominate the city. Tereso, whose members are originally from Argentina, create a special style of music — one uniquely Miami — that combines Western-style rock and pop with South American and Afro-Cuban beats.

And God bless them. Their journey hasn't been an easy one, having recently lost their manager to a drug overdose, and the usual plethora of money and familial problems that are inherent in the life of an artist, but they persevere.

Ed Hale
New York, New York

Carlos the Great

They love him over dere: We want to express our enthusiasm for Carlos Suarez De Jesus's writing. Thank you for sharing him with the city. And we thank him for the brilliant review he wrote about James Croak, "The Large and Small of It" (April 27). In a town where Britto Central is named "The Best Art Gallery" by the Miami Herald, we view him as a breath of fresh, intellectual, witty air. James is delighted with the way Mr. Suarez De Jesus wrote about his sculpture, as are we.

The staff and director
Bernice Steinbaum Gallery

Tennis for the People

But not in our neighborhood: In reference to Emily Witt's "Mayor 'Money' Diaz" (April 27): We believe there is a very simple solution to the Bryan Park tennis center proposal that will make any reasonable person happy. The first part is to preserve historic Bryan Park as it is while committing to line its perimeter with native trees and design a small-scale replacement for its aging shelter building.

The second part is to fast-track a search for a proper location for a first-rate youth tennis center. Despite all the emotion and rhetoric, this is a land-use issue. Bryan Park and its neighborhood are too small to accommodate a regional use such as a tennis center.

To accommodate a center, our green play field would be paved over, which would kick into the street thousands of children and families who play hundreds of sports. Such an out-of-scale development would destroy our restored and rebounding 1920s neighborhood with parking, traffic, noise, lighting pollution, and a loss of open space. A proper youth tennis center needs more room than our little neighborhood park can afford to give.

With dozens upon dozens of mixed-use projects rising in the greater Little Havana-Shenandoah area, a progressive City of Miami could create a large tennis center with proper parking and amenities — on a rooftop or as part of the parking pedestal for one of these developments.

In his State of the City Address, Mayor Diaz committed to creating an environmentally friendly, "green" Miami. What could be a better opportunity to "go green" than to save a park while integrating a concrete-dependent tennis center into a development site?

Steve Wright and Heidi Johnson-Wright


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