As you might have noticed during the annual mayhem of Art Basel, Miami has become increasingly cultural. The year 2017 continued that trend with the opening of venues for arts and entertainment, creative responses to a scary storm, and the anniversary of one very special tattoo session. These are New Times' most popular arts and culture stories of the past year.
1. The Frost Museum of Science. Like a gigantic magnet, the Phillip & Patricia Frost Museum of Science in downtown Miami attracted 28,208 people its opening week. In just seven days, Frost Science welcomed about 10 percent of the total number of visitors that its nearby sister museum, Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), received in its first year. No wonder, then, that New Times' tips for cheap or free admission to Frost Science tops this list. Read more here.
2. Hurricane Irma — and its memes. After you've stocked up on bottled water and booze, screwed on your hurricane shutters, and spent three hours in line to fill your gas tank, there's only one thing left to do: meme the shit out of your scary situation. Floridians rose to the challenge in the leadup to Hurricane Irma by spinning everything from "Irmahgerd Girl" to Haitian voodoo into internet lolz — at least until the power went out. Read more here.
3. The slow disappearance of Vizcaya's mermaids. The great American sculptor Alexander Stirling Calder journeyed to South Florida 100 years ago to chisel majestic mermaids at an emerging mansion on Biscayne Bay that has since become known as Vizcaya Museum & Gardens. Now, because of ocean erosion and rising sea levels, the mermaids are a shadow of their former selves. But Vizcaya has a plan to restore them — not physically, but through a 3D project that would let visitors explore the sculptures in virtual reality. Read more here.
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4. The Fifth Anniversary of Butthole Tattoo Girl. Five years ago, New Times' interview with a young woman getting inked where the sun don't shine went viral. Liz Tracy, the former New Times editor who spoke with Butthole Tattoo Girl, reminisced about the experience of going viral in what was, somehow, a simpler time. Read more here.
5. The opening of CMX at Brickell City Centre. Brickell City Centre was already a pretty swanky spot, but the addition of a luxury movie theater with dine-in service took the mall to the next level. The theater boasts oversize reclining leather seats and an app to purchase tickets and order food and drinks. CMX reportedly plans to open other South Florida locations, so watch this space in 2018. Read more here.