Banned in Tampa

Gay pride is bookin' south

FRI 8/12

There wasn't much to be proud of in Hillsborough County this past June. That's because County Commissioner Ronda Storms shockingly revealed her homophobia by proposing a ban of Gay and Lesbian Pride Month displays in the area's public libraries. To show solidarity and support for the Tampa area's ostracized homosexuals, Monroe County is throwing them a real gay pride event -- Key Weststyle.

Gay, straight, or just looking for a good time, everyone is welcome to Pride in Exile, a weekend of events to celebrate triumph over prejudice. Activities will include same-sex pool parties, an irreverent "Best Commissioner" contest, and a special church service. The fabulous fun kicks off this evening at 6:00, with a cocktail reception at La Te Da (1125 Duval St., Key West). After sipping on refreshing libations, drink in the scene at the "Dragged from Tampa" drag show at Aqua Nightclub, 711 Duval St., Key West. The show begins at 9:00. Admission is five dollars, but with a special Pride in Exile "library card," available at all participating venues, you can get into any of the weekend's events for free. Call 305-294-4603, and for a complete list of events and venues, visit --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

Falling Stars

Better known as meteors

THUR 8/11

For millennia people wondered if the meteors raining down on their noggins were stars. Okay, it was only Chicken Little who thought the sky was actually falling, but most folks didn't know that meteors are tiny specks left in the wakes of comets. Astronomers realized exactly how loose and messy these flying dust balls are just last month, when NASA's Deep Impact mission slammed into Comet Temple 1. Still, the old naked-eye method is best for enjoying the annual Perseid meteor shower. Crane your neck toward the northeast tonight along with those of the Southern Cross Astronomical Society at Bill Sadowski Park (17555 SW 79th Ave., Miami), from 9:00 to midnight. (Though any child raised on Jack Horkheimer: Star Gazer will tell you the best meteor-gazing happens in the wee hours.) SCAS members will bring their telescopes to spy on the little chickens from other planets. Bring bug repellent, refreshments, and chairs, but leave pets, alcohol, and lights at home. Admission is free. Call 305-661-1375, or visit --Margaret Griffis

Remember, It's Forever

So make sure her name is spelled right

FRI 8/12

Still looking for something to do this weekend? If the idea of watching someone dangle from metal hooks pierced through his back sounds enticing, check out the suspension show at the tenth annual South Florida Tattoo Expo. You can also get inked by some of the best local artists, get pierced, enjoy live music, parade your hot rod, and attend a fetish show if you're over eighteen -- "Slight whipping," say the organizers. Proceeds from the $15 daily admission ($30 for a weekend pass) will benefit the Joe DiMaggio Children's Hospital. Come "hang" out today from noon to midnight at the Coral Springs Marriott Resort, 17775 Heron Bay Blvd., Coral Springs. Call 954-343-5585, or visit --Emily Witt

More than Chiquita

SAT 8/13

Visit the Fruit and Spice Park (4801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead) this morning at 10:00 and you'll find yourself singing that catchy Gwen Stefani song "Hollaback Girl." The workshop today is bananas! B-A-N-A-N-A-S! And plantains too. Learn about the cultivars, cultures, and diseases of these curvy, colorful fruits. And be sure to check out the park's stunning variety -- more than 100 and counting. Admission is $25. Call 305-247-5727, or visit -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

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