The fact that "Patty" is so easy to chant is not the reason 107-pound junior flyweight champion Patricia Martinez wins fans at her bouts. This 32-year-old Chicana, who works as a legal interpreter, is a scrappy, fast, and fearless slugger. She won the U.S. National Amateur Championships in 1997. As a pro she's been unstoppable, amassing a 10-1 record and garnering the number-one junior flyweight ranking from the Women's International Boxing Association. Though her record may win her fighting credibility, it's her skill that has earned her ringside respect. This past March 13, for example, she pummeled number-five-ranked contender Wendy Rodriguez in a six-round match. Rodriguez was ineffective against Martinez's reach, and ended up bloodied. Meanwhile the champ emerged unscathed and worked the crowd. Martinez, in January, knocked out challenger Nancy Bonilla with a fierce flurry of punches in the first round. The fight lasted just one minute, twenty seconds before the ref stopped it.

It's more than a Website. It's an Internet broadcast station with a worldwide audience and a studio three stories above the Miami Beach intersection of Lincoln Road and Washington Avenue. The Womb has nurtured a growing collective of local electronic-music artists and DJs since 1997, when it lit the airwaves as a pirate radio station. Today the site broadcasts live streaming sounds 24/7, with segments spotlighting a variety of dance genres. If listening isn't enough, a video feed called WombTV offers a peek inside the studio as DJ antics ensue. Turntable tricks are the usual treat but keep your eyes peeled -- you might get flashed by a daredevil DJ during a wee-hours set. User-friendliness is key for most cyber surfers, and everything here is easy to navigate. Plus the site's format spares the clutter of pop-ups and banners. Everything you'll need to listen and view the Womb can be downloaded from the site, no charge. About the only thing that does cost any dinero are the digital downloads on sale at the site's music store. This is the only place you can find MP3s of original productions by local underground faves like the Spam Allstars, trance master Ariel Baund, or the Womb's founder Duncan Ross. The coolest thing about the Womb, though, has to be the welcoming little mascot on the home page -- a floating fetus.

Readers Choice: www.the305.com

Standiford made his reputation as the unofficial godfather of the South Florida crime thriller by way of an intrepid building contractor named John Deal. Deal is a world-weary average-guy protagonist with a knack for getting in and out of bad situations. While the credit for this popular character (appearing in six novels) goes to Standiford's tightly woven, literate prose, the success of the series itself rests at least in part on the setting -- ever-mysterious and unlikely South Florida. But Standiford's yen to pitch the Everyman against the nearly insurmountable forces of this absurd place was turned around on itself when he attempted an ambitious nonfiction book, published last year, about an ambitious man who proved even less tractable than the strange land he conquered. The man: railroad baron Henry Flagler. The book: Last Train to Paradise: Henry Flagler and the Spectacular Rise and Fall of the Railroad that Crossed an Ocean, in which Flagler extended his railway from the mainland south of Miami to Key West, more than 150 miles away, thereby turning mosquito-infested islands into margarita-sodden tourist traps begging for the next hurricane to wipe their stain from Florida Bay. Standiford pays the bills as an English professor and director of the creative writing program at Florida International University.

Okay, Closer isn't really a 'zine, and it really isn't from Miami (nightclub owner -- Blue, Respectable Street -- Rodney Mayo publishes it out of West Palm Beach), but there's definitely a freewheeling, anything-goes attitude typical of 'zines running through its pages. A recent issue offered the requisite fashion spread, poetry, a story about Miami Beach's Aquabooty club, a reprint of a Salon interview with Camille Paglia, a profile on breakbeat producers Jackyl and Hyde, features on visual artists Jiae Hwang and Alex Barrera, and contributions from long-time New Times scribe Marli Guzzetta. In other words, Closer is all over the place, just like South Florida.

Readers Choice: Ocean Drive

Castillo, a Dominican who's been on the team since 1996, grabbed national attention last year with a 35-game hitting streak and so many stolen bases that state troopers were looking to send him to Starke. He's risen from a kind of low-confidence junior to a second baseman with remarkably few errors and a batting average that climbed from .240 in 1997 to a .304 average over the last three seasons. He can handle outspeed stuff down the zone but tends to struggle a little with fast balls up. Castillo won his second NL stolen-base crown last year, barely holding off Juan Pierre. This year Luis and Juan are expected to make the most exciting base-stealing pair in baseball, and thus help the injury-prone pitching staff once they make it to first.

Readers Choice: Mike Lowell

Now the lone moviehouse in all the beaches, the Regal South Beach undoubtedly benefits from having a captive audience at its disposal. Weekend evenings can be disconcertingly chaotic at times, but its location at the corner of Lincoln and Alton roads makes it unbeatable for the perennially favorite combo: dinner and a movie. With summer upon us, beat the heat and the crowds by slipping in for an afternoon matinee (especially midweek, all the better to feel superior to the 9-to-5 wage slaves). Emerge from the cool darkness into the gentler rays of late afternoon, and amble down to an outdoor table at one of the many local establishments for a libation over which to debate whether the plot of The Matrix: Reloaded makes more sense than that of the original.

Readers Choice: Sunset Place 24

Last year MoCA featured a large exhibit of works by Jack Pierson, a midcareer American conceptualist in his early forties. While certainly grateful for the attention, Pierson expressed surprise, even embarrassment, at having a museum retrospective so early in his life. But that is exactly the sort of thing we've come to expect from MoCA. Museum director Bonnie Clearwater has made a commitment to show and acquire works by emerging artists such as Pierson, and in doing so has become a national trend-setter, not to mention creating the most dynamic art museum in South Florida. MoCA also has made a commitment to our local community of young artists, and has provided them with exposure and experience they couldn't hope to find in most large metropolitan areas. Not every MoCA venture has met with universal praise, but we applaud the willingness to take risks.

No doubt about it, the hands-down winner this year was the touring production of the long-running, groundbreaking Broadway musical hit, featuring director Julie Taymor's stunning visual imagination. Using a blend of lithe, live actors; huge carnival-like puppets; and an array of exotic theatrical traditions, Taymor took the popular Disney animated movie and did it one better, reinventing it as spectacular, unforgettable theater. The Lion King blended traditional American musical elements with classic literature (the story of a dispossessed lion cub is a reworking of Hamlet) together with a joyful celebration of African culture. The show was also a happy merger of art and commerce as the Broward Center for the Performing Arts was packed throughout the show's sold-out run.

Although this past season featured several premieres, the best of them was Nilo Cruz's steamy, sophisticated saga with its heady blend of raw emotion and poetic language set against an era of wrenching cultural and political change. The play was commissioned by the New Theatre and its artistic director Rafael de Acha, and funded by the National Endowment for the Arts. Cruz, who was born in Cuba but came to Miami at age ten, now spends much of his time in New York. His reputation skyrocketed recently when, in the course of one week, he was honored twice -- first with the American Theatre Critics/Steinberg New Play Award and then with the Pulitzer Prize, both for Anna in the Tropics. Despite his now widely recognized talent, Cruz has been largely ignored in his hometown. Fortunately the New Theatre has commissioned yet another play -- and residency -- for next season. As Miami struggles to reinvent itself as a cosmopolitan, world-class community, perhaps it's time for us to recognize that world-class artists like Nilo Cruz are already here.

Okay, the art itself wasn't outdoors; it was inside cargo containers clustered on the sand across Collins Avenue from the Bass Museum in Miami Beach. But let's be serious: This was outdoor art at its best. Hundreds of works of contemporary art were displayed in twenty containers, each housing an alternative gallery from around the globe. From Madrid, from Tokyo, from Los Angeles, from London, from Berlin -- cool stuff you'd never seen before landed right on the beach. Some of it was challenging, some pleasing, some outrageous -- and all of it was an amazing contribution to Miami's cultural scene. See you on the beach next year.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®