To a person who hasn't experienced a hurricane, the prestorm hubbub can seem like fun. In coastal regions where named storms have become increasingly frequent, folks get caught up in the supply-buying frenzy and dismiss dire predictions of inclement weather as mere hurricane hype. Just ask anyone who's actually been through one, including the recent horror that was Hurricane Katrina -- you should prepare, not party. Learn from a real expert at an informative, fun evening at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Biscayne Nature Center (6767 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne). As part of the "3rd Fridays" series of events, you can enjoy a light supper, drinks, and a presentation about Atlantic hurricanes from the aptly named Chris Landsea. As the science and operations officer for the National Hurricane Center, Landsea will offer informed advice about preparation and possible prevention of worst-case scenarios. The young'uns will be entertained by interactive presentations including spin art and hurricane spirals. Admission is five dollars for adults, three dollars for children. All proceeds will benefit the Red Cross. The event begins at 6:00 p.m. Call 305-361-6767, or visit www.biscaynenaturecenter.org. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
Sun, Sand, and Sonnets
The Spoken Word Café began as an annual part of the Miami Book Fair. Like the international literary festival itself, the Café has grown into an event worth anticipating, where poets, writers, performance artists, and musicians can share their talents with an engaged, erudite crowd. Owing to demand from South Florida's creative writing community, the Café is becoming a monthly event that's moving from downtown to South Beach, bringing alluring prose and a welcoming ambiance to the sultry locale. The lineup will include green student voices, community writers, and already-published authors. Kick off this celebration of creativity with powerful words from the likes of Teresa de la Caridad Doval, the author of A Girl Like Che Guevara; Sandra Castillo, the poet behind the collection titled My Father Sings to My Embarrassment; and Richard Blanco, who will introduce his newest collection, Directions to the Beach of the Dead. The words begin flowing tonight at 7:30 at ArtCenter/South Florida, 800 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Call 305-237-3940, or visit www.flcenterlitarts.com. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik
A Full House
And a Harley make a great pair
The speed of choice is no longer crystal meth, it's a double mocha latte. Gone are the grease stains, crude tattoos, and sawed-off .12 gauges. Instead of worn denim and cracked leather they don designer suede and jeans from True Religion or 7 for All Mankind.
The majority of bikers today are all grown up, legit citizens who wouldn't know Sonny Barger from Sonny Bono. They roar down the highways on Harleys while raising money for charities. Not your money -- they pay to ride and give away the jackpot. Hog runs to raise funds have become as common as state troopers on the Turnpike, much to the benefit of afflicted people, Samaritans, and other deserving types. The Phil Peterson Annual Key West Poker Run -- a trendsetting example celebrating its 33rd year -- will saddlebag benjamins for the Diabetes Research Institute and the Key West Sunrise Rotary Club.
Beginning today riders will roll from Miami to Key West via U.S. 1, paying ten dollars for a poker hand, one card of which will be handed out to each entrant at five stops along the way. The best hand wins a new Harley or $25,000. Enter by registering at Peterson's Harley Davidson of Miami (19400 NW Second Ave., North Miami-Dade) or Peterson's Harley Davidson South (17631 S. Dixie Hwy., Palmetto Bay). Hang out with the hot-wheeled heroes down on Duval Street -- which will be closed to traffic and feature a carnival atmosphere -- all weekend with live music, food, drink, and, at 11:00 a.m. Saturday, a bike show. Call 954-964-4040. Dress to impress. --Greg Baker
Make It Sparkle
Sure, you can go out and buy some little trinkets for your girl, but it would be a lot cooler if you crafted that bracelet yourself. Don't think you can do it? All the cool kids will be making their own bling at a Jewelry Making Workshop today and Sunday from 1:00 to 3:00 at the Miami Children's Museum, 980 MacArthur Cswy., Miami. The workshop is free with museum admission (ten dollars for children and adults). Call 305-373-5437, or visit www.miamichildrensmuseum.org. -- Lyssa Oberkreser
Buggin' for Bargains
Are you itching to redecorate your pad but lacking funds for stylin' Pottery Barn props? Hop on over to Our Lady of the Holy Rosary Catholic Church (9500 SW 184th St., Miami) today from 8:00 to 2:00 for the Council of Catholic Women Flea Market. You're sure to find plenty of clothes, household items, knickknacks, tchotchkes, and bric-a-brac. Or if you're looking to sell your junk -- er, treasures -- you can rent a booth for $15 or $25. Call 305-234-2558. -- Lyssa Oberkreser