This Peruvian native likes intimacy. He uses words (English and Spanish), everyday items, penciled sketches, postcard-size spaces, kinetic video, even entire houses to bring us into the world of the private life. Cordova has described his art as a diary, but his personal life reflects our own colorful, diverse, alienated Miami life, which is one reason his works are so memorable. He's only in his early thirties but already he has left his mark all over our city. His miniature paintings are his trademark so far, but you've encountered Cordova in many other forms. He was part of Miami Art Museum's December video installation (along with an earlier MoCA video show), and his arrangements incorporating stereo bits and car tires were an ingredient in the Kevin Bruk Gallery's "Summer Tossed Salad" exhibit. Cordova has also joined the growing ranks of artists-as-curators. He organized the creatively titled and executed "You were always on my mind" at Ambrosino Gallery, and together with artist Eugenia Vargas took over her home in North Miami and filled it with the intimate and quirky works of seventeen local artists for "Homewreckers: It's Over," one of Miami's first "home shows." For being both at the forefront of creating art and standing behind interesting local artists, Cordova gets our nod this year.
This superbly crafted sidearm is light enough for women and seniors, and it doesn't have the tremendous recoil of the old Colt blue-steel Army and Navy .45 models of yesteryear. Inspired by the great popularity of the Austrian Glock, it's a top seller in South Florida gunshops like Eagle Arms (14123 South Dixie Highway; 305-234-8446). At $763, without a box of ammo, it's not exactly cheap, but according to George Soler at Eagle Arms, the Mark 23 is safe to handle and a joy to use on the target range: "It's now the weapon of choice for the Special Forces and is seeing a lot of service in Afghanistan."

Our weather is no secret -- sun, sun, sun -- and our kids are used to it. Which is why they have a wardrobe consisting of shorts and cotton T-shirts rather than corduroy pants and wool sweaters. But Magic City munchkins can still get a cold-weather chill if they head up to North Miami and the only regulation-size ice-skating rink in town. Chances are it'll be a new experience for them, but with role models like Miami Olympian Jennifer Rodriguez, who made the switch from Rollerblades to ice skates, they may already be gung-ho. The arena staff offers lessons (group and individual) for all levels, from beginners to budding figure-skating stars. Hockey lessons too. And hockey leagues. And rental skates. And infrequent but regular free skating. And some of the coldest air conditioning in the subtropics on a hot and muggy summer afternoon. Call for rates and hours of operation.
At the risk of starting a family feud, we'll venture to say that it isn't the accomplished Robert Thiele who's the true shining art star in town. It's Robert's own daughter Kristen, who's returned home from a spell in Chicago to take a studio at Lincoln Road's ArtCenter South Florida. And the Windy City's loss is definitely our gain. Kristen's whimsical use of anthropomorphic cats and dogs may be initially, intentionally goofy and cartoonish, but it's also moving. Like vintage Fifties Peanuts strips, her work disarms with its misleading simplicity and then turns downright sublime. Her latest series, "The Masters," transposes these furry critters into a slew of hallowed works. You'll never look at Mona Lisa the same way again.

You know his work. Or maybe you don't know that you know. Rodriguez is rather hard to keep an eye on sometimes. Like his piece for what turned out to be the Art-Basel-replacement-event of the year at the Bass Museum, "globe>miami>island." His was the music you heard in the freight elevator, on the outside door of which were written the words "The End," those chords from the ending of movies, from The Godfather, 2001: A Space Odyssey, and the like. Elevator music indeed. You may know that you know Norberto (Bert) Rodriguez, the recent New World School of the Arts grad who also helps take care of the Rubell collection. Easier to see but maybe not so easy to grasp was his first solo show in 2000, "Bert Rodriguez: A Pre-Career Retrospective" -- wrap your brain around that witty title from a 25-year-old -- a Duchampian exhibit with child's drawings, ready-made objects (not a urinal but a signed toilet-cleaner brush), and clever captions. That was Bert you saw at the "Skins" exhibit at the Dorsch Gallery when you gazed at all those prints of a topless LaToya Jackson on the bathroom walls. Bert too at MoCA's "Making Art in Miami: Travels in Hyperreality," one of the inaugural museum shows to showcase young Miami talent. But maybe you still don't know him. That's okay. His "pre-career" just ended. Now you have time to watch him emerge.
Hurling a household object at your wife + cavorting with tawdry Latin bombshells = successful re-election.
The reason we love this all-suite hotel has nothing to do with the fact that it's only a block from the Lor-e-lei, the legendary waterfront restaurant and bar where you can get great fish sandwiches, down piña coladas with a rum floater, and applaud the ever-setting sun. No, it has something to do with Casa Morada's terrazzo floors, resident iguanas, sprawling sea grape and hibiscus groves, and serene, sparkling pool located just off Florida Bay. And it has even more to do with the individually decorated studio apartments. If you like the wrought-iron furniture you can buy it. Every item is actually for sale. Not only does that policy allow you to take some of the restful Islamorada lifestyle home with you, it guarantees that the next time you come down for a visit, you'll be treated to new décor.

The title of this author's fifth book of poetry, The Mastery Impulse, forthcoming from Carnegie-Mellon University Press, pretty much sums it up: Pau-Llosa has got it down. Whether he's writing poetry, short fiction, or art criticism, this Miami Cuban knows how to reach his local as well as international audience. And once grabbed, we're kept. Pau-Llosa's first three poetry collections -- Sorting Metaphors, Bread of the Imagined, and Cuba -- earned him our respect with this same award in 1998. His continued dedication to regional emphasis in 1999's Vereda Tropical, comprising poems such as "View of Miami Across Biscayne Bay from the Rusty Pelican" or "Books and Books," which pays homage to one of our most respected bookstores, ensures him our devotion. As "the fisher of metaphors/that bind the layered water/to bark and fronds," Pau-Llosa becomes not only the literary ombudsman of this strange new world, he succeeds in documenting the mystery of the Magic City.

Valentine's Day, 2001. The scene: More than three dozen Miami notables, from county Mayor Alex Penelas and Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler to Greater Miami Chamber of Commerce chairman Philip Blumberg and United Way chief Harve Mogul, gather before the school board and urge members to grant bumbling back-slapper Roger Cuevas another two years in office as superintendent of schools. Union-boss-for-life Pat Tornillo is also present. As he has on other occasions (such as the time this paper made a stink about the diploma-mill degrees held by Cuevas and several of his top administrators), Tornillo comes to the defense of Cuevas, arguing that, with all the other problems facing the school district, the continuity of leadership Cuevas could provide is needed. The school board decides to extend the superintendent's contract by two years (at $251,690 per annum). Just seven months later the school board is under heavy fire from the media, state politicians, and the public for financial and ethical scandals. Cuevas, until then the board's happy, well-fed puppet, becomes the board's well-compensated scapegoat and is fired. At the same time the district faces a huge shortfall in state funds. When the cash-strapped district suggests that teachers take a couple of days off to ease the strain on the budget, Tornillo agrees. But then the disgusted union rank and file vote down the compromise. His back against the wall, Tornillo suddenly adopts the language of militant union bosses of old, charging that teachers shouldn't have to take a cut just because the school board wasted so much money on things like Cuevas's lucrative golden parachute -- up to $800,000. Now that's chutzpah!
Why Elaine? Here's one reason: At a recent Perry Ellis fashion show, this South Beach diva famous for her killer Cher impression had the unenviable task of working the crowd following the parade of beauties who had just pranced down the runway. The fashion elites, with their low tolerance for tacky, were restless. Rather than resort to the common drag conceit of outrageousness, Elaine appeared in a stylish gold evening gown, dazzling earrings, and a perfect Sixties beehive. She was classy not trashy. As she well knows, drag is more than just shock value. It's about performance and poise. Flawless in her appearance, Elaine knows there's something even more important: being the consummate hostess. That she is.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®