This venerable coral-rock edifice is on the National Register of Historic Places, and deservedly so. Built in 1935, it features numerous stately bas-reliefs on its pockmarked walls, and a fountain alive with sculpted sea creatures. Indoors the club has two large meeting halls, one with terrazzo floors and murals of roseate spoonbills, the other with a lofty ceiling and impressive fireplaces. If you're planning a medium-size wedding, reception, quince, or graduation party, this place beats the hell out of any top-of-the-strip-mall joint, and has more of a rustic, Old Florida touch than your fancy-schmantzy hotel ballrooms.
What's up with this boulevard through nowhere? It's sort of like taking a trip down a rural Southern road, where all you see are tarpaper shacks, junk, and mud. This stretch of pavement remains countrified, but with a touch of strip mall here and there. Maybe someone tried to develop the area and just gave up. Vacant, weed-choked lots run for blocks, broken up by fragments of fences and trailer parks, or the battered and rotted remnants of what might have been nice little settlements 30 years ago. It's pretty obvious this tract has been officially ghettoized when just about the only buildings not boarded up are a Church's Fried Chicken, a Kentucky Fried Chicken, a Popeye's Fried Chicken, and a roadside barbecue joint -- also a few mom-and-pop markets and a few churches. Add the used-car lots, check-cashing windows, and junkyards, and you've got yourself a genuine wasteland.
For millennia men have made an art of impersonating women in the theater. For the past fourteen years at Teatro de Bellas Artes in Little Havana, Mariloly has continued the tradition. This Spanish-speaking diva plies his craft far from the clubs of Miami Beach on a stage patronized by Miami's exile community, as well as Latin-American and European tourists. Did we say "drag queen?" Beg your pardon. Mariloly and entertainers of his ilk prefer to be called transformists or gender illusionists. However you refer to this dramatic form, Mariloly (actor Danilo Dominguez) is a powerhouse of honed talent. At the Teatro's "Midnight Follies," the cross-dressing review that runs Saturdays at midnight and Sundays at 9:15 p.m., he does a lot more than lip-synch his favorite tunes. As emcee he is as quick with a comeback as Don Rickles, yet as stylish in his delivery as Marlene Dietrich. Slightly bowed legs notwithstanding, Mariloly is always the woman Latin girls wish they could be.
For almost a year -- and at nearly every commission meeting -- at least one member of the Miami-Dade County Commission grouses about how the whole world thinks they are a pack of corrupt nincompoops, all of whom are on the verge of being indicted. The king of whiners is Dennis Moss, who trots out his Rodney Dangerfield "I Don't Get No Respect" speech at the slightest provocation. He demands to know why the media don't give commissioners credit when they do something right. Our advice to the good commissioner: Worry less about your public image and more about the public's business, and everything will come out fine in the end.
"We had a daughter in Boston. We used to visit her on the weekends," says Bob Hummel, the man behind the Website called MassTimes.org. "It was a monthly trip, and it went on for four or five years. We were always in the struggle of finding [Catholic] masses, and that's how it all kind of got started." It's a database of every Catholic church in the United States, listing the times of every mass at each church, a map to the church, and a link to the church Website if there is one. Hummel's own site is as simple as a paper bag, yet his mission is increasingly challenging. After six years of operation, the database has grown to include 22,000 churches. Working out of his Key Largo home, Hummel and four volunteers make about 2000 changes to the database every month. "We get about 200,000 inquiries a year, so there is a need," he notes. "And an awful lot of nice kind words are showered down on us for doing it. So it has been worth it."

Best Political Consultant In The Hereafter

Phil Hamersmith

Phil Hamersmith
Sure you could go to the movies, but two hours seems like an eternity if you're eager to make it home and (with any luck) into each other's arms. A trip to the planetarium, where exhibitions tend to run under an hour, is ideal. The shows at the planetarium are even darker than a movie theater, perfect for smooching. And the price is right; admission is just six dollars (three dollars for senior dates). Plus there is something about the celestial emphasis: love under the stars.
The Wolfsonian-FIU
In a city whose international image is often, and sometimes wrongly, drawn by hypesters peddling simplistic images of hot-pink flamingos, drag queens, scheming thugs, and hysterical politicians, it is somehow not surprising to find that the best museum in town is a South Beach warehouse packed full of the fruits of one local rich-guy-collector's aggressive, Deco-tinged whimsy. Indeed at Micky Wolfson's Wolfsonian, the twelve-inch torpedo cigarette lighter sits not far from the obelisk celebrating the signing of the Uruguayan constitution, which is itself only a few steps from a poster circa 1938 celebrating "Modern German Architecture." The place is so charming it will surprise you at first, rattling your sense of humor and making you smile before you realize it is a rich and scholarly collection of grace and strength. It's a serious museum that focuses on international art, design, and propaganda during the period 1885-1945. But it's also a lot of fun, and that's practically un-American. More like South Floridian. More Miamian. (Note to the fellas: Ask the guards on the sixth floor to show you the giraffes and monkeys on display in the ladies' room; they'll escort you in.)
Pat Nesbit is the sort of performer whose work finds its way to the foreground even if she's part of an ensemble, as she was in 1998's The Last Night of Ballyhoo at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. This past season South Florida audiences were lucky to see her at the Caldwell Theatre Company as one of two players in Donald Margulies' Collected Stories, a smaller, more intimate drama that showed off her style as a miniaturist. Her character, Ruth, is a middle-age college professor whose star is fading just as that of her protégé, Lisa, is on the rise. The play is not exactly subtle in the ways it deals with issues of artistic appropriation. Nesbit, on the other hand, is a master of small moments. In this performance, as usual, her brilliance shone through in her line readings, the precision of her inflections, the way her character, becoming increasingly ill, seemed to fade away in front of our eyes. For these reasons discerning theatergoers only want to see more of her.
GameWorks
More than a video-game store, GameWorks is a virtual theme park in which the latest technology is offered exclusively in the service of fulfilling your kid's wildest fantasies. Not only is a youngster's nervous system zapped into a frenzy by the blinking lights, jingling bells, firing laser guns, and the sensation of being on another planet, but the payment system encourages wanton indulgence in this cornucopia of stimulation. Instead of coins game credit cards are issued. Twenty dollars buys you or your child a one-hour pleasure spree. Other payment packages also are available. Games and rides range from the quaint, dot-gobbling Ms. Pac-Man to a virtual roller coaster guaranteed to rattle your grown-up cookies. The store's VIP section, party room, restaurant, and two bars are designed to spoil any adult's inner child.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®