Can you imagine anything cuter than hundreds of youngsters, dressed as elves, marching along Sunset Drive and Red Road? Well, truth be told, we can't either. In what has become a South Miami tradition, Santa's Parade of Elves is a glorious start to the holiday season. Heading into its seventeenth year, the parade keeps getting bigger and bigger. Last year more than 80 groups joined in, among them the University of Miami cheerleaders, numerous high school marching bands, and a host of antique-car enthusiasts. But the center of attention, as always, is the kids. This is their day, after all. Nearly 500 of them turned out last year in full elf regalia. Adorable, just adorable.
In the few short months since Brett O'Bourke debuted as the "I Love Trouble" nightlife columnist in the Miami Herald's weekly tabloid Street, he's revealed so much about himself that unsuspecting readers have been seen dropping the publication from their hands, their bodies convulsing with a severe case of the willies. O'Bourke has bragged in print that he uses his column to "get laid." In another column he told us how he nailed a reluctant, intoxicated chick who "had never done this before." He has relayed the play-by-play of his arrest for drunk driving, as well as vomiting on a friend's porch after a night of binge drinking. In yet another installment, he admitted his affection for In Living Color reruns on the FX channel. In fact he's said that staying at home on the couch watching television is preferable to going out to the clubs he's paid to cover. Week after week he blasts South Beach as being too crowded, too sexy, too expensive, too rude, too ... too ... too much trouble. "There is a cheap, street-corner feel to the whole scene -- a kind of understood exchange of goods for sex or the possibility of sex at least," he's explained. Later he condensed his angst to a command: "Enough with the attitude already!" Brett, we hear your cry. We want to help. But we ... just ... can't ... slow ... down.
Mark Londner is the iron man of the WSVN staff. You can drop him into the middle of any crisis, any breaking-news event, and be guaranteed the sort of smart and incisive reporting that often is lacking in television news. He's proved himself time and time again, from events as varied as the OJ Simpson murder trial in 1994 to the summit between Yasir Arafat and Yitzhak Rabin. While others tend to babble into the microphone, Londner's style is to be clear and direct. During this year's Elian Gonzalez media feast, while others at his station routinely editorialized during their segments, Londner delivered the facts in a straightforward and unbiased manner -- the way he's been doing it for more than two decades in Miami.
When state Sen. Kendrick Meek of Miami and state Rep. Tony Hill of Jacksonville decided to park their fannies outside Gov. Jeb Bush's office and refuse to leave until the governor listened to their concerns about his unilateral decision to dismantle the state's affirmative-action program, it was an extremely risky gambit that easily could have backfired on the two legislators. Instead their twenty-hour siege, which began this past January 18, now largely is regarded as a triumph that sent a powerful message to minorities and women throughout the state regarding the dangers of the governor's actions. Eventually it led to the largest civil-rights gathering in Tallahassee in more than two decades.
Nearly 20,000 basketball fans pouring on to Biscayne Boulevard after the final buzzer gives new meaning to the word jammed. Think that's fun? Just wait till the hoopsters are joined by another 12,000 leaving their concert at Bayfront Park Amphitheater and 8000 more from events at the Performing Arts Center up the road.
Last fall criminal defense attorney Curt Obront argued before a federal jury that his client, who had been arrested for smuggling cocaine into the Port of Miami, was innocent because federal agents didn't actually catch him with the offending kilo of cocaine. Rather the agents found it on the ground near where his client was walking. Obront argued that finding kilos of cocaine on the ground at the Port of Miami wasn't so unusual -- after all, this was Miami. And this being Miami, the jury agreed and found Obront's client not guilty.
The best place is over near the lumber. All that fragrant wood is a kind of aphrodisiac in itself. The tool section, of course, is not bad either. Nor the paint area, especially because it can be a long wait in line to get that color mixed. Stay away from home lighting. Follow these simple rules and the chance of chatting up a man somewhat of your choice is good. For best results check in as often as possible during hurricane season. The thing is, some Home Depot locations are open 24 hours, and lots of people of the single persuasion like that freedom to shop at odd times before they drop, and this being Miami, the drop can occur well after midnight. Hanging out at the Depot night or day certainly beats dining out alone, and it's tons better than the gym. Can't tell the size of the board? Good reason to ask for a little help. The fluorescent lights in this store are deceiving: What is this color? Installing a ceiling fan can be tricky -- got any hints? Yes, these are icebreakers, but they often have the potential to lead up to the ideally interactive kicker that can lead you out of the store: With only two hands, how can you put that thing together? And of course: You're right, this deck chair is great. It's too bad my car is so small.

Best Cuban-League Baseball Player Living In Miami

Camilo Pascual

Pascual threw one of the sweetest curve balls in baseball history while playing for the Minnesota Twins from 1961 to 1966. The Reds, L.A. Dodgers, and Cleveland also made good use of his right arm, though only briefly. But before his stint in the American big leagues, Pascual played the game in Cuba, his native country, from 1953 to 1961. When he wasn't throwing for Los Elefantes de Cienfuegos or Los Tigres de Marianao, he pitched for the late lamented Washington Senators. (Check out the 1958 film version of Damn Yankees to see him throwing for Washington against the Yanks.) These days in Miami, where he's resided since 1960, he scouts Latin-American hopefuls for the Dodgers. At age 66 he's still living the béisbol dream.
It's pretty tough to argue with an outfit that feeds the HIV-positive among us. But throw in a few twists -- say, delivering groceries to those who are not ambulatory, providing foodstuffs to victims' families, and even catering home-cooked meals for those who are too sick to cook -- and you've got one dedicated charity. Indeed Food for Life Network not only nourishes, it nurtures. Through referral programs and its own nutritional services and counseling departments, the organization follows its clients to ensure they're not only fed but are proactive enough to tackle HIV before it balloons into AIDS. The group also sponsors fundraisers, events, and food drives to raise both community awareness and resources. So in the end, the thirteen-year-old Food for Life Network deserves kudos for more than cooking. It gets praise for persistence, perseverance, and very dedicated personnel.
Enter deep into this eight-acre native hardwood hammock and become a witness to the past in all its former glory, a time when banyan, pigeon plums, velvet seed, gumbo limbo, and Gulf licaria trees covered the Brickell area. The park has been undergoing restoration for several months (pesky foreign plants had threatened to wipe out the fragile native flora) and will reopen to the public this month. Here you can escape the concretized, high-stress world we've created and take respite in the world as it should be.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®