There's a school of thought in journalism that says writers have to be as absolutely objective as is humanly possible when approaching their subjects. And then there's this week's edition of the Miami New Times, where our writers become part of the story, expose government ineptitude, and generally tell you what to think about certain dirt bags and why.
Like everything in Miami this week, we start with hoops. King James "decision" to bring his talents to South Beach (wonder if anybody told him yet that the American Airlines Arena is actually in downtown Miami) thousands of his Cleveland Cavalier jerseys are outdated, irrelevant, and, frankly, insulting if worn by anybody in Ohio. But you know what they say: One city's trash is the Miami homeless community's treasure. Staff writer Gus Garcia-Roberts not only wrote "Bum Wrap" about redistributing new old Lebron jerseys but he went all Robin Hood and actually passed out the jerseys himself when our city's homeless advocates balked.
If the Heat are hot, then politics in Miami are searing these days, and staff writer Tim Elfrink is all over it with two exposes, "Recall Carlos Alvarez" and "Ticket to Luxury." In the first story he makes several good arguments why the Miami-Dade mayor should be ousted from office, and in the second he details how Miami Parking Authority head Art Noriega is living it up in cities across the country thanks to the tolls you pay.
After reading about how untrusty our leaders can be you might get the sensation to cuss somebody out. Instead, listen to an old man do it. It's more fun. Brandon Thorp reviews A Behanding in Spokane in "Damaged and Dangerous," and tells us that it's dark, thought provoking but missing something. Want to guess what? We'll give you a hand?
A Behanding plays out entirely in a grubby hotel room in "a small town in America" (set design by Lyle Baskin, who accentuates the seediness by breaking a few slats off the closet door), but even that narrow view enables us to imagine the world beyond the walls. It's a world where killers don't worry about people overhearing gunshots, where even the presence of police lights beneath a fire escape doesn't inspire urgency in a criminal's cleaning up of severed limbs. Everything about the world's inhabitants is vaguely off-kilter -- manic and depressive at the same time, calling forth the farcical from the tragic and fashioning pathos from inanity. Murder is funny, but a bellhop's story about a gibbon in a zoo elicits a tear.
Halloween is here and Elyse Wanshel, New Times's Loon Over Miami, gives us the lowdown on the Original Ghost Tour of Coconut Grove in "Paranormal Inactivity." And yeah, there's a whole lot of nothing going on. In fact the only paranormal thing happening will be how your wallet shrinks for no reason.
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Our first stop, about 7:45 p.m., is the Coconut Grove Playhouse. On the cobblestone sidewalk, Sandy provides historical factoids: The place opened as a movie theater in 1927. And it had a 15-foot-tall basement, which led parts of the building to sink into the ground. A dressing room, known as Apartment #5, is haunted with a "vortex of energy." Then we are told to open our palms next to the glass panels on the closed theater's heavy front door. "Do any of you feel anything?" Uh, no.
If you missed New Times's Iron Fork event last week then you might not know who won "The First Annual Short Order Awards." Lee Klein will clue you in to who were the big winners, including Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill and Michy's, and how it all went down. Still deciding where to spend your nights partying on Halloween weekend? Check out our Halloween lists. But you could do worse than checking out Afrobeta during Hollerween at Electric Pickle on Saturday. In "Do You Zombie," Music Editor S. Pajot unearths the secret to Afrobeta's scary good sound.
Even if you're a zombified corpse with zero rhythm, permanently locked joints, and an insatiable hunger for human brains, there's still a pretty good chance an Afrobeta song might elicit some sizzle from your shriveled, prune-like dance gland.