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Artist-turned-dealer Fred Snitzer is the godfather of Miami's contemporary art scene. He has outlasted art-world fads and real estate trends, persevering when others have grown discouraged with the local audience and art market. "It's frustrating," says the Philadelphia native, who first opened a gallery here two decades ago and for the past two years has been at his ample, cement-floored space in an unfashionable neighborhood bordering Coral Gables. "Considering the amount of money spent in Miami on fancy cars and big-screen TVs, very little is spent to support or purchase art." Despite financial ups and downs, Snitzer has remained faithful to his vision and criteria, exhibiting daring work of young artists and established names from South Florida and beyond. "Good art-gallery owners take chances and show things they think are taking art further along in its evolution, art that makes a contribution to humanity. I'd say I'm in that category most of the time." And we thank him.

Remember those heady adolescent days when shy, squeaky-voiced Romeos used baseball lingo to clumsily trade stories? Since then America's favorite pastimes have seemingly been at odds: Ask your heartthrob for a date, or catch a ballgame with the crew. It's a needless dilemma, we say. A simple test will prove the two aren't really opposites at all. To wit: Invite your next romantic prospect to watch the Fish. So what if Pro Player is practically in Broward? The drive north will allow you to compare musical tastes, a key early indicator of courtship success. Go Dutch on an unpretentious dinner, say, dogs and soft-serve ice cream. Sit in right field, where hoarse, true-blue fans do their best to heckle the visiting team between jaunty organ riffs and odd bursts of classic rock. The game provides an ideal getting-to-know-you vibe: dramatic enough to watch in silence but tame enough to ignore altogether if the conversation really gets going. And no one will notice if, amid the roar of a big play, you make it to first base.
From the Miami Herald, February 26, 1999: "A graphic that accompanied a Thursday story about the Delano Hotel contained two errors. The Delano is not being accused of illegal liquor sales. And the hotel is located on the Atlantic Ocean, not the Pacific."
Before booty-shaking, before Frappuccino, before IMAX, before 24-hour gyms there was nothing to do after a long day of hunting and gathering but sit around and stare at the sky. If such simplicity makes you sigh, "Born too late," take heart. The Southern Cross Astronomical Society wants to tweak your inner Galileo. Saturdays between 8:00 and 10:00 p.m. the club sets up its high-tech telescopes at Bill Sadowski Park, a site so removed from city glare that even flashlights are banned as pernicious to the night-adjusted eye. Bring lawn chairs or blankets and a picnic dinner (no alcohol, please). Admission, Southern Cross expertise, and the stars are all free. Miami may be far from heaven, but that shouldn't stop us from looking.
If traffic is a little slow on NE Second Avenue, blame it on two giant paintings on the façade of the Buick Building, a former car showroom in Miami's Design District. The enchanting sight of the 24-by-12-foot portraits of Haitian freedom fighter Makandal and Aztec heroine La Malinche is sure to incite rubbernecking. The works are the realization of the artist-architect team of Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar, who developed the idea of creating open-air museums by hanging art outside buildings rather than inside. The two paintings, from Marquardt's series of unsung Latin American historical figures, were enlarged and transferred to vinyl mesh, then tacked into oval-shaped recesses in the façade. Commissioned for the Dacra Realty-owned building by company president Craig Robins, the works are the first "exhibition" of many that Marquardt and Behar plan to hang on the building in order to "suggest the possibility of the fantastic as part of everyday life." Sure beats a fresh coat of paint.
It's something of a looking glass: You enter one of Miami's tougher, more impoverished neighborhoods and find yourself in the Bahamas during a wildly fun street party. Dreamed up 22 years ago by musician Billy Rolle and some friends, Goombay commemorates and celebrates the history and culture of the first black settlers in South Florida. Each June the area around Grand Avenue and Douglas Road fills with celebrants (organizers claim more than a half-million visitors each year); music (three stages plus parades); arts and crafts (straw hats, figurines, shell craft, and plenty more). An undercurrent of energy runs through the affair, enlivened by the parading junkanoos, who are musically abetted by the Royal Bahamas Police Band, R&B singers, hip-hoppers, and others. Some 300 vendors line the streets with kiosks full of sundry souvenirs and every type of island food. Here you can find the finest conch salad and fritters outside Nassau. This festival stands out as a vibrant ode to those brave pioneers from the Caribbean and as a joyful indulgence in island culture. And that conch salad ...
Spokespeople for law enforcement agencies, particularly federal law enforcement agencies, have a mantra: "Can't confirm or deny." And aside from events such as photogenic cocaine busts or captures of fugitive murderers, a lot of public-information officers tend to invoke that mantra for everything. But some do try to help clueless reporters and members of the public; they try to find information they can divulge, or to steer the inquirer to other sources. Pam Brown, a personable Louisiana native who raises Arabian horses in her free time, excels in this realm of flackdom. It's a higher realm in which the spokesperson returns calls, efficiently relays facts and figures, and understands the time and data demands of a journalist's job. And just to prove that good things can't last forever, we now regretfully report that Brown has recently been reassigned to fieldwork.
Just about everybody has cable. Everyone who has cable and gives a dang about sports watches ESPN's SportsCenter. That program's formula of majorly moussed coanchors in snappy suits has established a new sports paradigm and spawned a slew of imitators (on CNNSI and the Fox Sports Network), as well as a sickeningly synergistic ABC noncomedy called SportsNight. So who's getting the short end of this paradigm schtick? The local-news sports guy, that's who. But among the local sports yakkers, would you rather get your Heat highlights from Dan Patrick or Ducis Rodgers? Thought so. The one exception, the lone reason to pick the local affiliate rather than the Boys from Bristol University, remains Jim Berry. He's enthusiastic without being annoying, smooth without being smarmy, and as knowledgeable and accurate as any übernetwork talking head. As long as he keeps his rapping to a minimum, he's the most watchable sports dude around.
Since his arrival in Miami in 1992, widely celebrated Cuban painter José Bedia has acted both globally and locally, showing extensively around the world while remaining active at home. Bedia's magic-realist paintings and installations display remarkable technical proficiency and an astute empathy for the human condition. His suggestive works featuring humanlike animal figures are inspired by Afro-Cuban religion and Native American rituals, as well as universal themes such as emigration, alienation, and exile. Over the past decade, Bedia has been sanctified by international curators as a leading artist of the multicultural age. In Miami his work has been exhibited at just about every local museum, and he has maintained annual shows at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery. He has also participated in public art projects (a Miami Beach shuttle bus; designs for the forthcoming performing arts center) and given frequent talks about his work. Bedia is the most successful of the wave of Cuban artists who came to Miami in the early Nineties. By building his own career, he has boosted Miami's reputation as a cultural city.

We all know that single men are experts on every subject. (Gee, could that help explain why they're still single?) So what better place to play up to their egos than a video rental store? Not only can you ask for advice, you can also tell a lot about the guy by the video he chooses. For instance if he's got a drama in hand, he's probably sensitive and understanding. A foreign flick shows he's educated, open-minded, or worldly and sophisticated. But if he's carrying around an action film, be careful. He could be your average dullard into domestic violence. Comedy? That could mean he's light on his feet and quick-witted, but maybe just a bit fearful of commitment. Something XXX from the adult section? Please, let's not even go there.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®