Letters from the Issue of September 15 , 2005
Even die-hard Dolfans say it's time for a change: I'll admit I was not thrilled to hear that people thought our Miami Dolphins logo needed an upgrade. Yet the beauty and clean lines of the new design by Steve Guaico of North Miami, displayed on last week's cover ("Draft This Dolphin!"), have opened my eyes, though I think it could use a little more orange.
They say die-hard fans identify with the team. I say let's identify with the future. I hope many Dolfans will embrace this bold new design and force team owner Wayne Huizenga to consider it.
Do us all a favor and call yourselves something else: Forget about changing the Dolphins logo. It's fine. If you want to expand your fan base, I suggest stop calling them Dolfans. Who came up with that -- a Jets fan? It sounds like the fans are doll collectors. Is everyone too lazy to say "Dolphins fans"? What's wrong with Fin Fans?
I am not inclined to pull for a team if I am lumped into a group called Dolfans. I'll be a Chiefs fan, Chargers fan, Steelers fan, anything else.
Whose stupid idea was it to hold an awards show while the city sweltered? Regarding the Bitch's "Feeder Bands" about the MTV Video Music Awards (September 1), here's what really gets me about all this: We'd been without power since Thursday late afternoon. There was no sign of an FPL truck around my neighborhood Friday or Saturday. Sunday was the first day I saw a truck come through, but it was unable to get power to us. Friday morning more than 700,000 Miami-Dade residents woke up to another day without power. Where was FPL? Probably working around the clock to get the VMAs ready to go for Sunday. By the time the VMAs aired, we still had half the city without power. Come Monday morning, schools in Miami-Dade were still closed because too many of them didn't have power.
What makes me even angrier are the problems that accompany these kinds of events, even without a hurricane or the shooting of Suge Knight factored into the equation. The priority should have been to restore power to first-responders, then businesses and schools, then private residents. Then, if time allowed, FPL could try to get the VMAs back on schedule, and if not, reschedule the event.
I was one of those people lucky enough to have a friend in the neighborhood with power. Cable was working and so we were watching the awards show. All I could think of was how shallow our city and county leaders were to have this event take place while thousands of hard-working Miamians went without power. And for what? A badly dressed, Diddy-bling fest that brought the hip-hopsters' bad behavior and feuds to Miami. I found it boring and disappointing, and I went to bed early thinking I had to write a letter to the editor just in case I wasn't the only one feeling this way.
I'm from Minnesota and I know antisocial behavior when I see it: I was not surprised to see that a shooting occurred in South Beach over VMA weekend. I don't understand why any hotelier would host an event with these hoodlums. I have made several trips to South Beach over the years, the most recent in July. Frankly my wife and I were disappointed by the changes in the environment on South Beach. During our last visit, there was a rap concert being held in the Miami area and there was also a black film festival. To put it very bluntly, many African-American men and women staying in South Beach while attending these events were creating an overall hostile, disrespectful atmosphere, whether on the beach, along the sidewalks, in the streets, restaurants, and hotel lobbies.
Upon arrival in South Beach, we were met with droves of black men on scooters cutting off drivers and riding on sidewalks. We should have seen it as an omen. The rest of the three days we were subjected to people spitting on the sidewalk; screaming mother #!*@ this, bitch that; behaving rudely in restaurants; and so on. And like it or not, 90 percent people of the people doing this were African American. Sadly I don't think many of these people even realized their actions were antisocial.
I do not see this behavior as exotic, cool, or urban chic. I consider it a social ill and I don't like to have to put up with it on vacation. (I hail from the Bronx originally, so I'm not unaware of this kind of behavior. I also happen to be married to a Latina, a morena.) Some business owners we've become friendly with over the years complained about these problems without our even broaching the subject.
We hope the South Beach community addresses this situation proactively -- and fast. You're going to lose lots of tourism dollars from decent people who realize that spitting on the sidewalk is not only gross but is against the law, from people who know how to wait in a reservation line without making threatening gestures to others around them. You'll lose people who are civilized enough never to allow a dispute to escalate to the use of firearms. Imagine that! What you will be left with is Suge Knight and his ilk prowling, scowling, and shooting up Washington Avenue and Ocean Drive. What do you prefer?
Name Withheld by Request
St. Paul, Minnesota
Anyone who would dis the Backstreet Boys just doesn't get it: Sam Chennault just doesn't get it ("After the Flood," August 4). The beautiful and talented blend of voices the Backstreet Boys possess comes along only once in a lifetime! Who is he to put a damper on something positive the whole family can enjoy?
It really doesn't matter what the BSB sing. They could sing the Barney theme song and it would be tremendous! I say, to each his own. There are enough haters in the world. Why be one of them?
I'd rather take my money and friends to Little Havana: Regarding Julienne Gage's story about the new Café Nostalgia in the old location of Paco's Tavern ("The Ballad of an Old Cabaret," August 4), after a recent dinner and stroll on Miami Beach's piazza, Lincoln Road, I talked my friends into moving the party to Collins Avenue and 34th Street. There at Café Nostalgia we met with a lonely doorman requesting a $20 cover charge. Give me a break! On Saturday night at 11:30, and on the week of Julienne Gage's article no less, hardly a soul was lined up to get in and not much noise was coming out. It just wasn't enticing enough for us to lay down the twenty bucks a head.
We had been to Paco's when it was a fab flamenco dive, drinkin' the night away to great music (no cover). And we had been to Café Nostalgia at its 41st Street digs, which was just okay (you could do better Latin clubbing in Little Havana). Café Nostalgia didn't survive there even next to The Forge.
Now on 34th and Collins it may have a nice paint job and cool photographs on the walls, but have you seen the Versailles Hotel? It's not the Delano! It's not South Beach! Who does Nostalgia think they can fish in there at $20 per person? German tourists?
I'll take the spring rolls and a quart of oil: I just had to write in response to Bill Citara's review of Jumbo Chinese Restaurant ("Grease Pit," August 4). Having grown up in the Miami area, I too have eaten at that "restaurant."
When I read Citara's review, I was literally crying. It was hilarious! Keep up the good work.
I'll take that little fishy right there: I read "The Freshest of Fish" by Pamela Robin Brandt (July 14), in which she lamented the lack of Chinese restaurants with tanks of live fish and seafood. She might try Tropical Chinese on Bird Road in Miami. I believe they have tanks. But I do know that in Broward, both Hong Kong City on State Road 7 and Silver Pond on State Road 7 have tanks and extensive seafood menu items. Both are very good, especially in the context of South Florida, where one would think there would be many good Chinese restaurants but in fact there are not.
Let's see -- they both come from cows, so maybe there is no difference: I think it's about time to hire some professionals to do New Times's restaurant reviews. The current critics don't know the difference between a hamburger and a filet mignon.
If the chefs don't spit, you must acquit: Restaurant critic Bill Citara is the best you've ever had. He should be an attorney arguing before a jury. Or maybe an advertising writer. He has such a great way with words and emotions. Let's see more of him.
Including certain readers of a local free weekly: I recently got a call from a person who was responding to an ad in New Times regarding a fundraising event. I didn't get to explain much to her because she spent most of the time making fun of my English (which is not bad at all) and talking badly about people in Miami-Dade County -- well, Hispanics. Last time I heard, the United States was composed of people from all over the world, and unless you are a Native American, you really have no right to complain. At first I was very angry but then I thought to myself that Miami-Dade is full of not only Hispanics (among other races and nationalities) but also some very ignorant people.
I'm not angry anymore, but I actually feel sorry for the woman. She is just plain old ignorant, because that's what discrimination and racism is: ignorance. If she only knew that by trying to put me down she only made me feel prouder of my heritage and made me want to embrace all the different people, cultures, and languages spoken in our city and country. Instead of wasting her time feeling bitter toward other people, she should try to learn more from other people and lose some of the hatred and ignorance she carries. It's not very healthy.
Thanks for reading this! I didn't know who else to write to, but since she did mention she saw the ad in New Times, I thought you might listen.
From Shiver? No surprise: Thanks for Brett Sokol's honest and surprisingly unbiased article about Miami Mayor Manny Diaz ("The Dullness of Being Manny Diaz," July 14). It was very well done.
Lulling you into a torpid state of mindlessness: To Brett Sokol, regarding Manny Diaz: Brett, honey, if you're bored with Mayor Manny's tenure, it's because you ain't lookin'. He may not be running naked in the streets of Miami (a good thing, I agree), but what have you done to figure out what he's doing for the poorest of the poor? And why is it developers love him so?
Before you get too bored with his wonderfulness, why don't you take a good hard look at whether he is quietly giving away the store?
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