Think global, act local. Camillus House has been serving Miami's poor and homeless for more than 40 years, and given the way the economy is going, their unfortunate ranks are likely to grow. So start exploring your closets and dressers with this rule in mind: If it hasn't been worn in a year, it's time to go. Don't fret that those trendy togs may one day come back in style. Giving is always in fashion.

Take some advice from Art History 101. Sit on one of the benches in the center of the main gallery and fix your eyes on a far corner of the room. Then take a visual sweep along the walls, making smaller and smaller circles, until you see an intriguing piece of ... art. Sidle into the side gallery behind your whimsically dressed, scruffily coifed subject. Pretend you are engaged in a "happening." If he shares your conceptual bent, invite him to the garden where courtship will commence to the atonal strains of some IDM DJ. If you're really lucky, you can then lead him into some sort of throbbing, dimly lit, vaguely perverted installation in the former crack house next door.

A good body is not enough for you. You're also looking for a good soul and a good mind. And so is she. Only those serious about complete body-mind development study the strenuous practice at Prana. She is not doing this for you. But if you are strong and faithful and prove yourself worthy, that Tantric future you are visualizing really might come true.

Who's not looking for a handyman? But aren't all the tool-toting studs at Home Depot engaged in some kind of home improvement project for the little missus? Maybe, but Home Depot delivers testosterone in such bulk it really doesn't matter if a high percentage are married. And unlike the bar scene, few married men here think to remove their wedding rings before heading down the hardware aisle. The Home Depot in North Miami Beach offers not just volume but variety as well: penthouse dwellers from Aventura, single dads from the Shores, snazzy decorators from Belle Meade, beefy working stiffs from along I-95. Whatever job you would like done, Home Depot has the man to do it for you. For upscale mates, we recommend lingering by the whirlpools. For successful contractors, try the "professionals" aisle. For apprentices, wander by the benches near the hot dog stand out front. That's where the employees rest their orange aprons and check out the chicks in an easy-to-crack code. If the assessment sounds good, double back, order an all-beef dog and squeeze in.

Two words: after workout. A South Beach body cannot live on liposuction alone. After a strenuous ab workout, a girl's gotta eat -- and this brightly lit carbohydrate refueling station is just a brisk walk from Gold's, Crunch, Ironworks, Idol's, and David Barton -- making it a favorite meeting place for the aerobics-enhanced. Remember, for nearly an hour after vigorous exercise she will be flushed with endorphins and look on all around her with love. Good thing Einstein Bros. is always so crowded. Is this seat taken?

Now, any Presidente supermarket is inherently interesting. Something about those crowded shelves and even more crowded aisles brings all the excitement and hot tempers of an urban Latin American street market indoors. But plop a Presidente down in the midst of a huge Haitian community and you have the beginnings of a whole new language. What does the skinny teenage new arrival from Havana say to the prodigious matron from Port-au-Prince blocking the rice aisle? How does the Haitian husband picking up a sensitive item for his wife communicate this to the Argentine stock boy? The linguistic invention is nothing short of poetic. But when it comes to the cash register, there is one thing all the customers seem to agree on. It's best to speak dollars and cents in English.

Is it the cakes in the bakery display cases, which look like a quinceñera's dress on steroids? Is it the crowd outside the to-go window sipping café cubano from thimble-size plastic cups while vigorously debating the topic du jour? Is it the muckety-mucks working the room in the main restaurant while the hoi polloi -- and some tourists -- consume gargantuan portions of Cuban fare surrounded by mirrors and chandeliers? The combination of all the above, plus a certain je ne sais quoi, make this Calle Ocho fixture the place to soak up the city's atmosphere, along with hearty eats.

Here's how it (and she) went down: In October 2002 Democratic state Representative Betancourt became the first elected Cuban American in Miami-Dade County to openly oppose the U.S. trade embargo against Cuba. Her foe, state Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, claimed the embargo was Betancourt's only issue. It didn't matter to Diaz-Balart, a Republican, that Betancourt actually did have other issues: prescription drug benefits for the elderly, a clean environment, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars her opponent was getting from greedy special-interest groups. For a while it seemed that Diaz-Balart's only issue was his claim that Betancourt had only one issue. But like Betancourt, he had others: prescription drug benefits for the elderly, a clean environment, and the hundreds of thousands of dollars he was getting from civic-minded special-interest groups. In the end Diaz-Balart crushed Betancourt 65 percent to 35 percent (74,424 votes to 40,438). Three months after Betancourt's loss, a Schroth opinion poll provided an explanation: A majority of Cubans in Broward and Miami-Dade still support the embargo 60 to 28 percent. But the survey also confirmed Betancourt's assertion that U.S.-Cuba policy is "incoherent." In her campaign she had noted that "some of the same people" who support the embargo also travel regularly to Cuba and each year send hundreds of millions of dollars to friends and relatives there. Indeed the poll found 47 percent in favor of lifting travel restrictions, while 46 were against and 7 undecided. But most important, Betancourt's stand broke the embargo on debating the embargo in a real live Miami-Dade political campaign.

Robaina is a 41-year-old BellSouth service technician who slugged his way up from small-town politics to the state stage in November 2002. Whatever you think of him, he's shown some political savvy along the way. When he ran for mayor of South Miami six years ago he wooed the Police Benevolent Association, whose union muscle and manpower proved essential to victory. Once in office, he made sure not to languish in the parochial shadows. He promptly pushed a law requiring gunlocks on all guns in homes with children. So what if the NRA challenged it and won? Robaina's little city made headlines. In 2002 the National Civic League and Allstate Insurance Co. named South Miami an "All-America City," beating bigger neighbors like Miami Beach. When Carlos Lacasa announced he was vacating his House seat to run for state Senate, Robaina moved in, beating out an opponent in the primary and then taking 86 percent of the vote in the general election. Once in Tallahassee he landed on two important committees, transportation and health care. He's ambitious, young, and likes to mix it up. He'll be around for awhile.

Readers Choice: Alex Penelas

What other clan could blithely carve out a new U.S. Congressional district expressly for an ambitious family member? That ambitious one would be Mario Diaz-Balart, the termed-out state senator and brother of Lincoln Diaz-Balart, self-proclaimed future president of Cuba. The Diaz-Balart boys' addiction to politics stems from a vein that runs deep in the family. Their grandfather and father, both named Rafael Diaz-Balart, were important members of the ruling oligarchy during the fearsome reign of Fulgencio Batista. The younger Rafael was deputy minister for the Cuban amalgam of the FBI and the CIA, as well as Batista's dreaded secret police. Perhaps more significant, the highly cultivated Diaz-Balart hatred of Fidel Castro is thicker than blood. El barbudo's first wife was Mario and Lincoln's aunt, Mirta Diaz-Balart, daughter and sister of the family patriarchs. ¡Esto es de pelicula!

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®