Last year's winner got even better this year. In Motion Dance Center expanded from its base on Bird Road and is now contributing to the Biscayne Boulevard renaissance with a new studio in a quaint converted house. Local dancers finally get the facilities they deserve, with high ceilings, exposed beams, a wide expanse of mirror, and an enormous floor. Offerings range from staples such as ballet, modern, and jazz to West African, hip-hop, contact improvisation, and the posture-enhancing Pilates technique. During off-hours In Motion instructors and local choreographers use the studio as a rehearsal space for upcoming performances, commercials, and music videos.
Every weekend, particularly on holidays, large numbers of people take to the water. The transformation of these landlubbers into weekend mariners is not always smooth. Add alcohol to the mix, and it can be downright disastrous. At no time is this more obvious than at the end of the day, when they try to move their boats from water to trailer. And at Black Point Marina, they have an audience. Most weekends, positioned on a hill overlooking the boat ramps, are picnickers and beer drinkers who have come to watch the amateurs try to make it home. So established has this pastime become that its participants have earned a nickname: dock ghouls. On a good day, the ghouls' gallery will be witness to boats crashing into the quay, cars slipping into the water, and relationships tanking in public. A weak parking brake or balding tires can turn success into tragicomedy. All too familiar is the sight of macho man, who hours earlier had tried to impress his girlfriend with his fancy boat, but who now lashes out at her in frustration over his inability to get the damn thing out of the water. Add to such scenes the presence of cops hopping from vessel to vessel checking licenses, and you'll have to agree: You cannot buy entertainment this good.
Oddly enough, in an area known as one of the winter vegetable baskets of the nation, it's slim pickings for farmers' markets in Miami-Dade County. Basically there seems to be two options: Pinecrest or Coral Gables. Located in the parking lot of Gardner's Market, the Pinecrest operation offers a feast for the taste buds and a greater selection than its Coral Gables equivalent. If you don't believe us, just compare; you can hit both in the same weekend: Pinecrest is held on Sunday, the Gables on Saturday. In addition to plentiful citrus and vegetables, a variety of orchids and plants can be found. Other vendors sell homemade oils, jams, salsas, and baked goods. Unfortunately Pinecrest, like Coral Gables, is seasonal. It only runs from January to mid-April.
Remember WAMI, the overly hyped television-station startup? The one with the glamorous sidewalk studios on Lincoln Road? The one that was going to revolutionize TV by returning it to its extremely local roots? The City Was Their Studio or something like that? As anyone who has spent any time in this town knows, the real Miami is not South Beach glitz but rather a gritty Hialeah warehouse, like the one from which Channel 41 continues to broadcast handcrafted, exceedingly local, often wonderful programming, absent the self-absorbed fanfare. A Oscuras pero Encendidos (In the Dark but Turned On) is a typical success story. A riskier, sloppier, often more fun variant of the Late Show with David Letterman, A Oscuras proves that young affluent Latins will watch Spanish-language television. With puppets and spokesmodels and strippers and an opera-singing, keyboard-playing sidekick, A Oscuras is fun, irreverent, and perfectly Miami. WAMI should take notice -- if WAMI is still on the air.
Lightning strikes, Glades burn, schools flunk, cocaine arrives, Soyka arrives, Elian arrives, Lincoln Road gets malled, Cuban rafters get gassed, code inspectors get bribed, transit tax goes down, Calle Ocho rips up, I-95 rips up, Stiltsville survives, gay-rights law survives, Cuban spies get busted, Columba Bush gets busted, too hot, too wet, too congested, Rickymania strikes, road debris strikes, phony doctors mangle, Venetian Causeway opens, Lyric Theater reopens, Virginia Key Beach reopens, Hurricane Floyd threatens, Phil Hamersmith dies, Ted Arison dies, Los Van Van plays, ramp rats get busted, Chris Paciello gets busted, Gilda Oliveros gets busted, Irene drenches, Lunetta walks, Grigsby walks, Plummer goes out, Winton gets in, New Year's prices soar, gas prices soar, truckers strike, rain falls, crime drops, Y2K threatens, Lee Hills dies, Bill Colson dies, rafters die, Gutman goes to jail, Burke goes to jail, Noriega stays in jail, Elian does Disney World, Diane Sawyer does Elian, Miriam Alonso gets busted, Demetrio Perez gets busted, Rosa Rodriguez gets busted, boaters kill, drag racers kill, Cubans get smuggled, Roxcy Bolton gets honored, Tony Bryant dies, Don Martin dies, Elaine Gordon dies, Miami Circle lives, the Bel-Aire falls, the Royal York falls, Freedom Tower rots, tolls rise, O.J. lurks, Regalado charges it, Warshaw charges it, Fraind shoots his foot, Penelas shoots his foot, Marino leaves, Elian leaves, and the good news is that someone out there is still thinking straight: State transportation workers finally remove the expressway sunburst symbols that were supposed to help but only confused.
He slept with Anna Kournikova. That alone is enough. His incredible talent, his prolific goal-scoring, his All-Star game MVP award? The fact that he's the most dominant athlete in his sport? Just icing on the cake. He slept with Anna Kournikova.
February 11, 1999: Adrian Dominican nun Jeanne O'Laughlin's tireless volunteerism earns her the Sand in My Shoes award from the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce. She is the first woman to win the honor, just as she was the first female member of the Orange Bowl Committee and of the Non-Group, a group of influential business people. March 17, 1999: Barry University, the school she has guided as president since 1981, continues its phenomenal growth by purchasing a law school. June 11, 1999: The Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce honors O'Laughlin again, this time with the Florida Athena award, bestowed in recognition of the opportunities she created for women at Barry. November 3, 1999: O'Laughlin is named chairwoman of Mayor Alex Penelas's blue-ribbon panel to clean up and reinvent Miami International Airport. November 13, 1999: Gov. Jeb Bush selects O'Laughlin for induction into the Florida Women's Hall of Fame. November 25, 1999: Elian Gonzalez is rescued at sea.
Relatively new to the Fusion, he's already making a contribution both as a playmaker and a scorer. Indeed Captain Wynalda could very well be labeled Captain Wonderful by season's end if he continues to fulfill his reputation as the highest goal-scorer in Major League Soccer. One drawback, of course, is that Wynalda is known to be weak in the knees -- literally. His multiple surgeries and lengthy recoveries cause some fans concern. But we're confident his joints will not only survive the season, they'll see us through victory after victory.
Beatty stood up to the craven Miami city commissioners and mayor who couldn't stand up to their own constituents. And he didn't shrink from publicly admonishing them -- with eloquent directness -- for playing politics with the city's dire financial crisis. That was back in mid-1999, when Beatty was chairman of the governor's financial oversight board, the appointed body charged with guiding Miami back from its near-bankruptcy in 1996. Beatty, a corporate lawyer and former partner in the giant Holland and Knight firm, has since resigned from the oversight board and assumed the role of general counsel for the Miami Herald. He has caught some flak for taking the job in spite of his close association with numerous influential community organizations and powers that be. (He was criticized in 1998 when BellSouth, for whom he was general counsel, contributed to the re-election campaign of state Sen. Al Gutman after Gutman's indictment on Medicare fraud, witness tampering, and money laundering charges). Yet nothing can erase Beatty's history of constructive and occasionally heroic civic leadership. He has served on the boards of United Way, the Orange Bowl Committee, Leadership Florida, SunTrust Bank, Miami-Dade Community College Foundation, the Beacon Council, the Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce, and many more. Miami Business magazine, in naming him its 1999 "Business Leader of the Year," called Beatty "the conscience of our town."
Shy and retiring, poet Judith Berke doesn't always come to mind in this era of feted writers receiving gargantuan prizes. Yet her work epitomizes our region, not as a visitor or as a tourist, but as a long-time resident. In "Vizcaya," from her book White Morning, Berke brings us wisdom from another time that is no less valid today: "Under here/are the runaway slaves, and the Indians./On their sides, listening./White now. Almost completely white."

Or in "The Shell": "We hadn't seen a shell on this beach for years./If an Indian had come by/it would have been no less strange -- /and we would give him the shell/and he would give us the beach/and we would think/for a while we owned it."

Even when Berke is not speaking directly about Florida, she evokes it when penning lines like this: "How lovely, to lie under the/rushing out of the leaves/of the mangos, to nibble the grass/even if it's bitter, and look up at the stars/even if there are none...." Berke's Miami is the true, original homestead, just as she is a poet who remains true to herself and the art of poetry.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®