If it is nighttime when you read this, go outside and look at the sky. Saturn is the closest it gets to Earth all year -- only 750 million miles away, and hangs enormous and golden over the ocean just after sunset. Also, an unexpected, unexplained celestial phenomenon has caused sunspot number 720 to explode from a tiny dot into a huge solar flare five times larger than this planet.
The 'spot eruption has caused two coronal mass ejections (CMEs) to blast into space -- nothing to cause a Day After Tomorrow-type panic, but the geomagnetic storms could ripple Earth's outer atmosphere for days. Sky watchers should be on the lookout for auroras at night, and for "sun dogs" -- rings of light around the sun caused by ice crystals and space dust -- during the day. The Bitch's astronomical adviser Margaret Griffis says Bill Sadowski Park and Nature Center at 17555 SW 79th Ave. is the primo spot for the pursuit of "disgusting nerd activities" such as stargazing, but that with only the dark Atlantic to the east, any place along the beach affords a good view of the sky.
And Neptunes, Too
This past week The Bitch was fleeing Houston's in Coral Gables rather than waiting to gain entry along with the back-slapping biz wizards who have turned a cozy restaurant into some kind of starched pickup scene for stuffed suits (and The Bitch does not wait in lines, anyway) when an enormous black SUV stopped in the middle of Miracle Mile and expelled a not-so-enormous black man. The diminutive sweatshirt-and-jeans-clad fellow looked like your average twenty-something skater -- except for the huge diamond studs in his ears. Closer inspection revealed that the man, eyes fixed on the sidewalk as he approached Houston's door was, in fact, N.E.R.D./Neptunes hip-hop überproducer Pharrell Williams. Williams was stopped at the threshold by the Houston's hostess who was taking names and telling prospective diners that there would be a minimum 30-minute wait. The Bitch expected the star to be whisked away to a private table. Instead the door chica, who glanced up from her clipboard for just a second, spoke briefly to Williams and turned him away. Williams, stunned, looked around for a few seconds, and got in line with everybody else.
How's This for Miserable?
At some point hired media gun Seth Gordon may have to choose between his remunerative work and his roles in various civic organizations. The line between the two gets increasingly grimy. As president of the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce, Gordon might be expected to support the organization's (and that of just about every resident and business association in the Grove) battle against a proposed Home Depot takeover of the McDonald Avenue and U.S. 1 shopping plaza that currently houses Milam's Market, Walgreens, Payless Shoes, and a shuttered K-mart. Instead Gordon took a gig doing public relations work for Home Depot. During a chamber luncheon at the Mayfair Hotel and Spa this past week some growling began about a perceived conflict of interest in what anti-orange activists have couched as a fight for the soul of the Grove itself. "There are some members who say he ought to think about stepping down," admits Stuart Sorg, a former president of the chamber. "Seth is my friend, but he's got to make some decision here pretty soon about what's best for the chamber." In December the chamber's board of directors voted unanimously (Gordon recused himself) to oppose big-box stores such as Home Depot. Gordon acknowledges he's put himself in the middle of a controversy, but since he disclosed it he doesn't see the big deal. "I spend a lot of my life in weird positions," says Gordon, a longtime Grove resident. "There are some people who could have a hard time wrapping their minds around the concept that life can get complicated."
Gordon says his firm won't be lobbying the Miami City Commission, but it will be waging a hearts-and-minds campaign among Grove residents. "I think people think they're against it based on their fear it's Armageddon," he says. "I don't think anyone's going to come around and fully support it, but I think some of the groups will say, öOh, okay, we don't care.'"
Don Harrison, Home Depot's regional public relations manager, told The Bitch: "Nothing has been officially decided about what we will do with the Coconut Grove property, and I won't address hearsay and rumors."
Well, I'm Dashed!
Back in the day when The Bitch was a clumsy, rambunctious puppy, Tony "Mr. Nightlife" Miros took pity on the socially awkward canine, showing her how not to upset the flower cart and how generally to sit and stay in certain milieus. So how to take the news that this kindly Pygmalion is leaving town? Well, with a pawshake, of course.
This week Mr. Nightlife leaves his job as public relations coordinator for Care Resource, which in addition to putting on the annually fabulous White Party provides health services year-round to PWAs and at-risk populations. "I have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to move to Los Angeles to pursue my lifelong goal of working in the entertainment industry," Miros explains. He'll be writing a book about his life in Miami, which has included being a singing go-go dancer, writing the "Beyond the Velvet Rope" column for Miami Metro Magazine, and being a frequent guest on locally produced television show Deco Drive.
Miros says his family lives in South Florida so he'll be back for frequent visits. "This is not a farewell," he told The Bitch. "It's a öciao for now.'"
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Knocked Out Loaded
A successful Saturday spent showing Mikhail Baryshnikov off (the dancer and actor was in town to collect an Arison Award) seemed to restore the spirits of Charlie Cinnamon. The 1501 Barton G publicist's 2005 began with a thud when Liza Minnelli, who was to perform on New Year's Eve at the restaurant and club, abruptly canceled her show owing to the fact that she injured herself falling out of bed in her Manhattan apartment. Tickets for the Minnelli show ($400 for standing room, $925 for VIP seating) had almost sold out.
So what was happening at Barton G at the stroke of midnight? "Well, nothing. We literally had nothing going on," recalls Cinnamon. Though he refuses to speak ill of the child of Judy Garland who recorded her 1989 album Results with the help of the Pet Shop Boys, Cinnamon comments obliquely on Minnelli's future prospects: "I hear that Sharon Osbourne wants to manage her now."