BEST TV NEWS ANCHOR 2002 | Laurie JenningsWSVN-TV (Channel 7) | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times
Was that a wink? Is she flirting with me? Man, she seems happy tonight. Maybe she's tipsy. No, I think she's just flirting with me. Viewers of WSVN's nightly newscasts can be excused for wondering if Laurie Jennings is communicating directly with them via the tube. When she began at Channel 7 in February 1998, she was a mechanically rigid human automaton improbably paired with blowhard Rick Sanchez. After the voluble Sanchez split for MSNBC, Jennings began a subtle but noticeable transformation, from straightlaced news reader to emotive broadcaster with personality. Those saucy little winks. The lead-in comments spiced with attitude. A relaxed posture that hinted at seduction. The change has been a bit unsettling, but ultimately it's just what we want and expect in our love-hate relationship with Seven News, the big show.
No one can adequately explain the day-long, perpetual traffic jam on the westbound Dolphin Expressway (SR 836) just after you pass over Le Jeune Road and Miami International Airport appears on the north side of the road. This is our Bermuda Triangle, the place where time inexplicably vanishes. There never appears to be a good reason for the sudden crush of cars slowing to a crawl -- no accident, no disabled vehicle, no construction. It just is. Could there be some unknown force field that compels Miami drivers to drop to school-zone speed (which, ironically, they rarely observe in actual school zones)? What up, Miami?
If there were a category for best hair on television, Schmidt would win hands down. That pompadour of his rises at least two feet above his head. Even more impressive is his voice: deep, serious, pontifical. Schmidt could make a routine Krome Avenue car crash sound as important as the fall of the Soviet Union. In fact that's exactly what he's done for NBC 6 on numerous occasions. In fact Schmidt comes across as so authoritative he may even startle himself. As he told one of our colleagues: "Can you believe I'm actually reading the news and that people actually believe what I'm saying?" Sure, man. Absolutely. The potent combination of voice and hair is enough for us to predict big things for this swarthy Wesleyan grad. We're talking national news. Stone Phillips, watch your back.


Ego Trip

The table of contents in this four-by-five-and-a-half-inch monthly magazine tells the story. Bartender of the month. DJ of the month. Artist, chef, and model of the month. Concierge of the month. Doorman of the month. Bulwarks of our community. The front line in our noble struggle for the dollars of the rich and often not famous. In their own words. How does Stacey, an Aquarius who works the door at a strip club for women, keep himself entertained? "My job at La Bare pretty much does that," he explains. Each issue the "What's your ego trip?" page, in which local cognoscenti answer that bold question, presents yet another window on our bodies, ourselves, our naked souls. "A full glass of Bacardi 8 with a full breasted Latina," responds an assistant marketing manager for Bacardi. "Fashion consulting," replies a fashion consultant. "Cutting hair," reveals a haircutter. But Ego Trip cuts even deeper with its regular "Fifteen minutes of fame" interview. Look out, Michael Putney. Here comes the prince of South Florida reporting, the journalist still known as Buster, who recently confronted Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer in a historic Q&A. Buster: "During a commission meeting you said chances are there're just as many people doing illegal drugs at the Mix as there are at the Delano." Dermer: "There are some [clubs] that were bad and there were some that were good. I think Pump was actually one that had a pretty good record.... Since the nightlife industry is so important to the city, we want to make sure it's done properly." Ego Trip could be considered an authority on that topic, thanks to experts such as millionaire former club owner Shawn Lewis, who told New Times he bought the magazine in late 2000. Lewis left the South Beach club industry in early 2001 after a nasty legal dispute with former business partners. But such woes are nothing a cheerful disposition and a keen astrological awareness can't cure. "Keep smiling," advises publisher Buzzy Sklar, "because you never know when you might end up in Ego Trip magazine."
Let's face facts: It's no secret that thoroughly married women have by and large given up on the frills along with the sexual thrills. So you can pretty much assume that any female shopping at Victoria's Secret for lacy apparel that couldn't cover a kitten's rear end is on the legitimate prowl. And if she's not now, she's planning to be. So go ahead. Give it your best shot. Try picking her up while she's picking up a teddy.
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.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®