Part records technician, part social worker, part comedienne, Minnie Bishop is a pleasant surprise when you walk into the Miami Beach Police Department's snazzy building at 1100 Washington Avenue. Even if it's five minutes till closing time, Bishop will deal with your problem without the hostile stare we've come to expect from government service workers. With a hearty laugh and a "Hold on, baby, we'll see what we can do for you," Bishop swings into action, brown eyes sparkling behind wire-frame glasses. She can help a domestic-abuse victim needing a battery report, fax police documents to the U.S. Attorney's Office, and keep up on the office gossip all at the same time. Bishop also has a million stories for every occasion, some sad, some funny, whatever she thinks you need to hear. "I've laughed at my desk and cried at my desk," she says.
According to OpenZine editors Humby and Kiki Valdes, this is an "urban subculture magazine." Did you know Destro is back? Bet you didn't even know Destro had left. (That's the name of a straight-edge rock band.) You'd be up on it had you been reading this zine. Just like you'd be privy to what's going on in the head of Kendall's own DJ EFN. "Yo, sometimes I'm like turn off that rock shit," he admitted in one OpenZine interview. "I can't even listen to salsa. My mind is strictly on hip-hop. As much as I love other types of music, I do have my periods where I only want hip-hop." Sons of Cuban immigrants who settled in New Jersey, the Miami-based Valdes brothers started their zine as a photocopied handout in the early Nineties. Humby, a 26-year-old graphic designer, first devoted it to punk/hardcore. Kiki, a 22-year-old painter, later inspired him to include hip-hop, "but with a punk attitude," the kid bro insists. It now is a glossy publication with some color pages (along with the Web presence). A news section keeps graffitiheads, art freaks, and all homies informed of important developments from MIA to NYC. Did you know, for example, that a New Jersey high-school teacher shut down students painting a mural of dead rappers Eazy-E, Tupac Shakur, B.I.G., and Big Pun? One memorable 64-page edition in 1998 included a spread on graffiti art in Miami and, as the editors promoted it, "a funny story about the Cuban Mafia." Three bucks an issue. Order or subscribe online.

Offense may fill the seats but defense fills the trophy case. UM can thank senior safety Ed Reed for playing a major role in delivering the 'Canes' fifth national championship. He led UM with 9 interceptions this year and a school-record 21 for his career there. With Reed calling and delivering the shots, the 'Canes finished the year first in scoring defense (9.4 points per game), shutouts (3), interceptions (27), and forced turnovers (45). Reed also came through with the defining play of the season when he ripped the ball from defensive tackle Matt Walters and romped 80 yards for the dagger that killed Boston College's hopes for an upset.
More than any other city in our great nation, Miami can use El Paracaidista (The Parachutist: Miami Newcomers' Guide), a year-old monthly newspaper that also appears online. Venezuelan Ira Guevara and Argentine Cynthia Zak, both thirtysomething journalists, say they founded El Paracaidista largely as a response to the Cuban balsero influxes of 1994 and 1998. The sheer numbers of Latin Americans who move to Hispanic-majority Miami every year make it expedient to form enclosed networks and never become integrated into mainstream U.S. society. Thus El Paracaidista does what its name implies: helps soften an immigrant's landing with an introduction to the complexities of American institutions and practices (of which even many natives are ignorant) -- everything from filing an income tax return or securing a home or business mortgage to locating the right magnet school, a doctor who makes house calls, or a good deal on a cell phone.
This award wasn't about to go to Pavel Bure, that's for sure, even if the Panthers hadn't traded the sulking Russian wingman to the Rangers in exchange for -- for, well, absolutely nothing. Bure's simmering discontent affected the whole team and kept the Panthers from seriously improving. Now, with him gone, the squad can build around its strengths, the most promising of which is Luongo. The one and only time the Panthers achieved success, including a trip to the Stanley Cup finals, was when a solid goaltender anchored a team of workmanlike scrappers. The goalie back then was named Vanbiesbrouck. Now, at the start of an era free of plastic rats raining down on the ice, Luongo is positioned to shine.
The Wolfsonian-FIU
A swingin' bachelor pad's bathroom? The lavatory in a villain's hideout? Actually the ultracool restrooms at the museum of things made between 1885 and 1945 look more like the facilities in the Batcave, so don't be surprised if at any moment crime-fighting superheroes Batman and Robin roll up in the Batmobile for a pit stop. Gleaming black-glass walls, stainless-steel sinks and fixtures, tiny halogen pendant lights brightening the way to relief. As gleaming clean as Alfred would keep it. Holy modern conveniences, Batman, this is the perfect place to adjust your tights!
Following a trade from New Orleans, Williams comes to Miami as a bit of a weirdo (he used to keep his helmet on while signing autographs) and a bit of a slacker (so underwhelmed were the Saints with Williams they drafted another running back, in the first round, only one year after drafting Williams). Yet the Dolphins have every reason to expect great things from this youngster. The Heisman Trophy winner from Texas finally gives the Fish the offense they've needed for years, or at least since Jimmy Johnson returned to town: a big-time running back to anchor a pass-dependent offense. If Williams performs even marginally up to expectations, the Dolphins' offense should finally score some points. Even in the playoffs.
The Beach Bar at the Delano opened in 1995 and was recently refurbished to a kind of post-Gatsby sheen. The best time to experience that sheen is about 1:00 a.m. on a weeknight, stretched out at one of the tables down at the end of the hotel's magnificent pool (officially known as the Water Salon). Designed by Philippe Starck, with its Liz Taylor-movie backlighting and drama, the curtains from the ground-level suites wafting like veils, the talk from the pool-shooters way back in the hotel wreathing you with tales of George Clooney and Elle McPherson, you soon forget the day's hustle and competition. And relax. The guys who work the bar -- Roberto, Bruno, Nick, Luis, and Dennis -- will build you a caipirinha, a kind of Brazilian mojito. If you get there a little earlier, you might want to go for the "grille menu," which includes two kinds of steaks, mahi-mahi, salads, and desserts, all for $40, and the Veuve Clicquot, which you can purchase by the glass for $20. If you get there really early, as of this spring, you can enjoy the Beach Party, which begins a half-hour before sunset and will feature DJs playing low-key lounge music. Because the idea is to get ... away ... from ... it ... all.
Anyone who needed proof that Zo is the heart, soul, and muscle of the Miami Heat got it when the most intense center in the NBA was knocked out of most of the 2000 season by a kidney ailment. He returned, half-strength, at the beginning of the 2001 season to a team as shaky as he was. But then the star power came through when a reinvigorated Zo rallied a ragged team in the second half of the season, turning an abysmal losing streak into a real shot at the playoffs. That even made the dour Pat Riley crack a courtside smile.
After working for others and then co-owning a short-lived but ambitious venture (The Strand), Bernstein took a major leap: She left South Beach for Brickell Key and the luxe Mandarin Oriental Hotel. Within a year food critic John Mariani from Esquire named her restaurant, Azul, the best of 2001. The Food TV network hired her to host a series on tropical foods. And the Vita-Prep people picked her to pose with a blender between her legs, an advertisement that numero uno trade mag Food Arts featured prominently. Can any other native make that kind of claim to national fame?

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®