This barrier island is roughly thirteen miles long. With the Atlantic on one side and the Intracoastal Waterway (known here as the Indian River) on the other, it's no more than a mile wide. But the most important measurement is this: It's about 130 miles from Miami -- far enough to escape the Magic City's gravitational pull. And indeed, upon arrival you'll experience a sort of giddy weightlessness. It is, after all, a parallel but refreshingly alien universe. The island's north end is less developed than the south, which means literally miles of sand and dunes and crashing surf and not much else. Hutchinson's northernmost tip actually lies within the city limits of mainland Fort Pierce, and this little offshore enclave is the place to stay. It boasts an authentic, laid-back, beach-town atmosphere; affordable lodging; and casual dining at places like Theo Thudpukker's Raw Bar, Archie's Seabreeze, and Chris's Hurricane Grill. Summer is the recommended season for Miami exiles -- you can simply arrive, look around, pick out a motel, and hit the beach. If you insist on advance planning, the Web offers more information than you'll ever need.

It seems like only yesterday the idiosyncratic, classically trained, and painfully shy songstress reluctantly sat on the stage of Churchill's Hideaway after a Sunday night featuring five or six earlier acts and nervously blew away the remaining crowd of seven or eight people. Green went on to become one of Miami's most celebrated acts with a bolder, more rocking sound and even more creative and original tunes. Then she seemed to disappear after a personal tragedy. With a new look (hardly "classical"), the quirky songbird is flying high again. At recent rehearsals and live shows she and her band rocked so hard the enamel peeled from the walls. It's like watching paint dry for fans eager to see what tomorrow brings.

It seems like only yesterday the idiosyncratic, classically trained, and painfully shy songstress reluctantly sat on the stage of Churchill's Hideaway after a Sunday night featuring five or six earlier acts and nervously blew away the remaining crowd of seven or eight people. Green went on to become one of Miami's most celebrated acts with a bolder, more rocking sound and even more creative and original tunes. Then she seemed to disappear after a personal tragedy. With a new look (hardly "classical"), the quirky songbird is flying high again. At recent rehearsals and live shows she and her band rocked so hard the enamel peeled from the walls. It's like watching paint dry for fans eager to see what tomorrow brings.

As a coach, he brought "showtime" and championships to the Los Angeles Lakers (with a little help from Magic Johnson and others). He weathered the pressure of the toughest coaching job in the NBA with the Knicks in New York. He almost -- always almost -- took the Miami Heat to the top with talents such as Tim Hardaway and Alonzo Mourning. Defense, defense, defense. Win, win, win. And then the playoffs would come and his former-team-turned-major-nemesis, the Knicks, and another almost. For the 2003-2004 season the wily Riley, president of the Heat organization, fired himself as coach and promoted Stan Van Gundy. With severe personnel changes and a new approach, the team, constantly hindered by injuries and too much unfair officiating, needs just a bit more time and a season sans fractures and sprains to provide fans with showtime once again.

There exists art that stretches the descriptive reach of ink and paper. (Someone even came up with a saying, "Writing about music is like trying to dance to architecture.") John Salton has had the heart, soul, and gift to form incarnations under the Psycho moniker since 1984, releasing a number of killer recordings with various personnel, and serving as guitarist for singer-guitarist Charlie Pickett in other groups. Lately, life has hardly been coming up roses for the legendary guitar genius, a description not offered without deep consideration. The contretemps include severe illness that has the axe master (and, unknown to most, musicologist of extreme intellect) hanging on to survival. Also a rock legend, Pickett, who's jammed off-and-on with Salton for a quarter of a century, says his friend's six-string thaumaturgy can levitate an audience. Band managers, talent scouts, fellow musicians, and others have been witnessed atop bars and tables fighting for space in jam-packed clubs as Salton (accompanied by keyboard whiz Bill Ritchie, bassist Jill Kahn, and whatever drummer is working the beat at the time) scorches heaven and earth with his indelible and unique stylings. He'll shatter your freakin' skull and stick dead flowers in the empty eye sockets while flooding your ears with magisterial blood. You can smell the supremacy by listening to the latest Psycho CD, Snowflakes Falling on the International Dateline, but until you've seen John Salton play guitar live with his smashing sidepeople, you will continue to deny the existence of the supernatural.

There exists art that stretches the descriptive reach of ink and paper. (Someone even came up with a saying, "Writing about music is like trying to dance to architecture.") John Salton has had the heart, soul, and gift to form incarnations under the Psycho moniker since 1984, releasing a number of killer recordings with various personnel, and serving as guitarist for singer-guitarist Charlie Pickett in other groups. Lately, life has hardly been coming up roses for the legendary guitar genius, a description not offered without deep consideration. The contretemps include severe illness that has the axe master (and, unknown to most, musicologist of extreme intellect) hanging on to survival. Also a rock legend, Pickett, who's jammed off-and-on with Salton for a quarter of a century, says his friend's six-string thaumaturgy can levitate an audience. Band managers, talent scouts, fellow musicians, and others have been witnessed atop bars and tables fighting for space in jam-packed clubs as Salton (accompanied by keyboard whiz Bill Ritchie, bassist Jill Kahn, and whatever drummer is working the beat at the time) scorches heaven and earth with his indelible and unique stylings. He'll shatter your freakin' skull and stick dead flowers in the empty eye sockets while flooding your ears with magisterial blood. You can smell the supremacy by listening to the latest Psycho CD, Snowflakes Falling on the International Dateline, but until you've seen John Salton play guitar live with his smashing sidepeople, you will continue to deny the existence of the supernatural.

There are numerous boats (and even a tall ship) offering an array of cruises out of Bayside's marina. The Queen happens to be a favorite: an open-air upper deck ceilings an enclosed (but heavily windowed) lower deck ("The bar is now open," is heard as the flat-hulled, smooth-riding boat edges past Dodge Island). If you're a local, the 90-minute ride provides the perfect break. Coming back to work with a tan and a chilled-out attitude results from the lazy cruise, but the real joy is soaking up the sun and sucking in the salty air as the tourists point to the houses of Millionaires' Row and ogle the abodes of Star Island, a vista which, to locals, proves that extremely rich people can have really bad taste in landscaping and architecture. In any case, the Queen makes several runs per day, and the cost for adults is $15. Much better for the soul than a three-martini lunch.

Art experts know that the museum, as a socio-cultural institution, was pronounced dead by a group of neo-Dada performance artists during a 1987 visit to the Museum of the Medieval Torture Arts in Toledo, Spain. The word has yet to reach most other cosmopolitan cities, but as curators of MAM can proudly attest, the Magic City is ahead of its time. "Miami remains the only major city in the United States without a world-class art museum," declared the eloquent essay that accompanied MAM's self-referential "Museums for a New Millennium: Concepts, Projects, Buildings" exhibition. A show surreally brought 25 of the most astoundingly designed art museums in the world (Frank Gehry's Guggenheim Museum in Spain, Rem Koolhaas's Center for Art and Media Technology in Germany) to MAM, which, of course, didn't make the list of 25 itself. They all fit inside MAM, thanks to the magic of photography and scale models. In the show's aftermath, however, MAM is eschewing its vanguard status and embracing the traditional, envisioning its own world-class waterfront building in Bicentennial Park. Just remember to never call it a "museum."

More an exercise in performance art than a rock concert, Cat Power (the name used by singer Chan Marshall) took to the stage at I/O five days before Christmas and proceeded to test the resolve of even her most fervent fans. Cat Power's past few studio albums have been tour de forces of urban folk, true gifts to music. Live in Miami, Marshall stood alone and offhandedly strummed a guitar chord, intoned the opening words to a song, then came to a screeching halt. There were mumbling pleas to the soundman to turn her amplifier mix dramatically one way, then back again, until it was restored to its starting point. A wasted moment followed by another false start, more bantering with the increasingly dumbfounded soundman, and soon enough audience members began shifting from one foot to the other. They weren't dancing. Marshall plunked herself down at a piano and revealed a glimpse of what had drawn so many to hear her. Then it was back to the fumbling around and tuning problems. Less than an hour of this fulfilled her contractual obligations, and off she went, payment in hand. Equally inept, the audience was accepting, even though they left empty-handed.

More an exercise in performance art than a rock concert, Cat Power (the name used by singer Chan Marshall) took to the stage at I/O five days before Christmas and proceeded to test the resolve of even her most fervent fans. Cat Power's past few studio albums have been tour de forces of urban folk, true gifts to music. Live in Miami, Marshall stood alone and offhandedly strummed a guitar chord, intoned the opening words to a song, then came to a screeching halt. There were mumbling pleas to the soundman to turn her amplifier mix dramatically one way, then back again, until it was restored to its starting point. A wasted moment followed by another false start, more bantering with the increasingly dumbfounded soundman, and soon enough audience members began shifting from one foot to the other. They weren't dancing. Marshall plunked herself down at a piano and revealed a glimpse of what had drawn so many to hear her. Then it was back to the fumbling around and tuning problems. Less than an hour of this fulfilled her contractual obligations, and off she went, payment in hand. Equally inept, the audience was accepting, even though they left empty-handed.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®