Visiting film crews and local television commercial producers alike know Prop Central as their one-stop shop for period costumes. Every Halloween, however, Prop Central throws open its doors to the general public, outfitting a steady stream of firemen, marines, pirates, Twenties-styled flappers, dark-suited gangsters, bell bottom-clad hippies, and enough platform shoe-sporting, wide-lapel-wearing pimps to make you seriously question all the talk of South Beach's emerging "maturity." Indeed it's hard to tell who's having more fun dashing in and out of the dressing rooms here -- the straight-laced businessman who suddenly emerges as the imposing leatherman (sorry, make that "motorcycle enthusiast") or the enthused staff, whipping through their racks of clothing and accessories to help the newest member of the Village People realize his previously hidden dream.

Visiting film crews and local television commercial producers alike know Prop Central as their one-stop shop for period costumes. Every Halloween, however, Prop Central throws open its doors to the general public, outfitting a steady stream of firemen, marines, pirates, Twenties-styled flappers, dark-suited gangsters, bell bottom-clad hippies, and enough platform shoe-sporting, wide-lapel-wearing pimps to make you seriously question all the talk of South Beach's emerging "maturity." Indeed it's hard to tell who's having more fun dashing in and out of the dressing rooms here -- the straight-laced businessman who suddenly emerges as the imposing leatherman (sorry, make that "motorcycle enthusiast") or the enthused staff, whipping through their racks of clothing and accessories to help the newest member of the Village People realize his previously hidden dream.

Athens is a fructose-drenched local landmark. For 62 years the same family has been squeezing, chopping, and crushing the succulence out of local produce (for the most part) and serving it in a variety of healthy ways. Vegetable and fruit juices, smoothies, and luxurious fruit salads festooned with everything grown under a South Florida sun. Today Athens is owned by John Chavles, who is helped out by his brother George. They are the nephews of the two men who first opened Athens in 1942, brothers-in-law Peter Antonopoulos and Gus Siatis. John and George grew up working weekends for their uncles, scouring Miami Shores and Miami Beach neighborhoods for coconuts and mangoes they could collect and bring to the same Collins Avenue shop they now toil in. Such dedication has paid off. Six decades of doing business with Homestead and Florida City farms means Athens gets first pick of fruits and vegetables. They try to go with tree-ripened, locally grown produce. One of the big sellers is the coconut milk. While other fruit juice vendors sell coco frio, a coconut with a hole chopped in it, Athens mixes coconut water with its meat, creating a refreshing milky beverage. Athens is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Collins Avenue, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Washington Avenue, Monday through Saturday. Sundays the hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Collins and 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Washington.

Athens is a fructose-drenched local landmark. For 62 years the same family has been squeezing, chopping, and crushing the succulence out of local produce (for the most part) and serving it in a variety of healthy ways. Vegetable and fruit juices, smoothies, and luxurious fruit salads festooned with everything grown under a South Florida sun. Today Athens is owned by John Chavles, who is helped out by his brother George. They are the nephews of the two men who first opened Athens in 1942, brothers-in-law Peter Antonopoulos and Gus Siatis. John and George grew up working weekends for their uncles, scouring Miami Shores and Miami Beach neighborhoods for coconuts and mangoes they could collect and bring to the same Collins Avenue shop they now toil in. Such dedication has paid off. Six decades of doing business with Homestead and Florida City farms means Athens gets first pick of fruits and vegetables. They try to go with tree-ripened, locally grown produce. One of the big sellers is the coconut milk. While other fruit juice vendors sell coco frio, a coconut with a hole chopped in it, Athens mixes coconut water with its meat, creating a refreshing milky beverage. Athens is open from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Collins Avenue, and 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Washington Avenue, Monday through Saturday. Sundays the hours are 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Collins and 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. on Washington.

True story: Vacationing Miami Beach homeowner returns to find house ransacked. Not much missing except one thing -- valuable painting, lifted off the wall and hustled away. Chances of recovery approach zero. Weeks later, somewhere in California, man purchases laptop computer via eBay. Receives computer. Turns it on, discovers many files, some personal. Thinks: Uh-oh ... must be stolen. Snoops around hard drive, uncovers likely owner's name and phone number. Calls. Miami Beach resident answers, confirms it's his computer, stolen weeks earlier. Beach guy calls cops, who contact California buyer, who leads them to eBay, which provides identity of seller. Cops contact seller -- a Miami pawnshop. Pawn broker, following Florida law, has record of kid who pawned stolen computer. Cops nab kid. They have a nice little chat. Kid decides to cooperate. They go for a drive. Kid points out various places he's pawned stolen goods. Cops pay a visit to one of them, I-95 Pawn. Caged in by bulletproof glass and iron bars, pawn broker, a burly biker with Glock semiautomatic strapped to his bountiful waist, displays surprising proficiency on computer. Quickly pulls up items kid has pawned. Cops scan printout, match items to stolen-property list. Start making calls. Burglary detective and owner of ransacked Miami Beach home drop in on I-95 Pawn. Gun barely visible beneath prodigious belly, pawn broker fires up computer, strokes chin whiskers, disappears into office, returns with large framed object, asks: Is this it? Homeowner smiles. Detective smiles. Pawn broker smiles. Yes, that's it. One last thing. Homeowner by law must buy it back for same price pawn broker paid: $55. Homeowner does so happily. Value of (undamaged) painting: $5000.

True story: Vacationing Miami Beach homeowner returns to find house ransacked. Not much missing except one thing -- valuable painting, lifted off the wall and hustled away. Chances of recovery approach zero. Weeks later, somewhere in California, man purchases laptop computer via eBay. Receives computer. Turns it on, discovers many files, some personal. Thinks: Uh-oh ... must be stolen. Snoops around hard drive, uncovers likely owner's name and phone number. Calls. Miami Beach resident answers, confirms it's his computer, stolen weeks earlier. Beach guy calls cops, who contact California buyer, who leads them to eBay, which provides identity of seller. Cops contact seller -- a Miami pawnshop. Pawn broker, following Florida law, has record of kid who pawned stolen computer. Cops nab kid. They have a nice little chat. Kid decides to cooperate. They go for a drive. Kid points out various places he's pawned stolen goods. Cops pay a visit to one of them, I-95 Pawn. Caged in by bulletproof glass and iron bars, pawn broker, a burly biker with Glock semiautomatic strapped to his bountiful waist, displays surprising proficiency on computer. Quickly pulls up items kid has pawned. Cops scan printout, match items to stolen-property list. Start making calls. Burglary detective and owner of ransacked Miami Beach home drop in on I-95 Pawn. Gun barely visible beneath prodigious belly, pawn broker fires up computer, strokes chin whiskers, disappears into office, returns with large framed object, asks: Is this it? Homeowner smiles. Detective smiles. Pawn broker smiles. Yes, that's it. One last thing. Homeowner by law must buy it back for same price pawn broker paid: $55. Homeowner does so happily. Value of (undamaged) painting: $5000.

Cutz Barbershop
A clean crop is very important among the increasingly metrosexualized male population. Even the ghetto-fabulous hip-hop sect is all about looking so fresh and so clean these days. But that doesn't mean you have to leave behind your gansta' flair for a fine fade. Cutz, located on Biscayne Boulevard on the Upper East Side and co-owned by ex-Heatster Alonzo Mourning, has the flavor of an urban hangout, but with the polished appearance of a high-end salon. Wood floors, old-style stools, and portraits of black icons adorn the place as BET and rap tunes entertain those waiting. And wait you will, because these guys take their time, making sure the cut is just right. But it's always worth it -- ask any player on the Miami Heat roster. On any given day you can catch Dwyane Wade, Loren Woods, or Rasual Butler getting a pregame buzz. This place is so popular that not even the gangland execution of a hip-hop label exec, XELA Entertainment's Alexander Bernard Harris, as he sat in a stool at Cutz one fateful night last summer, deterred its faithful clientele; in fact business increased. But the real reasons for Cutz's success is the quality of its barbers/stylists, especially Jason, a Cuban link from Jersey, and Claude, a Haitian Biggie Smalls look-alike with a bellowing laugh. Just make sure you tip them, or your next do might be uneven.

A clean crop is very important among the increasingly metrosexualized male population. Even the ghetto-fabulous hip-hop sect is all about looking so fresh and so clean these days. But that doesn't mean you have to leave behind your gansta' flair for a fine fade. Cutz, located on Biscayne Boulevard on the Upper East Side and co-owned by ex-Heatster Alonzo Mourning, has the flavor of an urban hangout, but with the polished appearance of a high-end salon. Wood floors, old-style stools, and portraits of black icons adorn the place as BET and rap tunes entertain those waiting. And wait you will, because these guys take their time, making sure the cut is just right. But it's always worth it -- ask any player on the Miami Heat roster. On any given day you can catch Dwyane Wade, Loren Woods, or Rasual Butler getting a pregame buzz. This place is so popular that not even the gangland execution of a hip-hop label exec, XELA Entertainment's Alexander Bernard Harris, as he sat in a stool at Cutz one fateful night last summer, deterred its faithful clientele; in fact business increased. But the real reasons for Cutz's success is the quality of its barbers/stylists, especially Jason, a Cuban link from Jersey, and Claude, a Haitian Biggie Smalls look-alike with a bellowing laugh. Just make sure you tip them, or your next do might be uneven.

Some people say the measure of a man is best assessed by the clothes he wears. In Miami, where physical appearance often outweighs substance, that sentiment rings true. But a well-dressed man doesn't have to break the bank to sport dapper duds. And you can forget the sales rack at Burdines. In Miami, National Apparel provides its male customers with a warehouse full of ensembles for the everyday banker to the part-time hip-hop DJ. You will find name-brand dress shirts from Calvin Klein and Geoffrey Beene for no more than $25 a pop. For the players, the warehouse features complete collections from Sean John, Phat Farm, and other hip-hop clothing labels at flea-market prices. And whether you're counting money or mixing records, no man can go wrong with underwear and socks at prices that beat Wal-Mart. The easiest route to National Apparel is to take I-95 to the 103rd Street exit, head west, then make an immediate right onto Seventh Avenue. After traveling one and a half blocks to 105th Street, make another right and head left to the brown warehouse at the end.

Some people say the measure of a man is best assessed by the clothes he wears. In Miami, where physical appearance often outweighs substance, that sentiment rings true. But a well-dressed man doesn't have to break the bank to sport dapper duds. And you can forget the sales rack at Burdines. In Miami, National Apparel provides its male customers with a warehouse full of ensembles for the everyday banker to the part-time hip-hop DJ. You will find name-brand dress shirts from Calvin Klein and Geoffrey Beene for no more than $25 a pop. For the players, the warehouse features complete collections from Sean John, Phat Farm, and other hip-hop clothing labels at flea-market prices. And whether you're counting money or mixing records, no man can go wrong with underwear and socks at prices that beat Wal-Mart. The easiest route to National Apparel is to take I-95 to the 103rd Street exit, head west, then make an immediate right onto Seventh Avenue. After traveling one and a half blocks to 105th Street, make another right and head left to the brown warehouse at the end.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®