You never know what you'll find at the back of this thrift store on Washington Avenue in the heart of South Beach. One day it's a well-worn 24-inch Huffy, the next it's a vintage model so solid it looks like it came straight from the set of The Bicycle Thief, complete with leather satchel under the seat. And the store's resident mechanic tweaks each bike to make sure tires, brakes, and gears all run just so. From classic Schwinns to road bikes to balloon tire beach cruisers, the stock is varied but never large (only a few on hand at a time); if you pass on a bike today it won't be there tomorrow.

Mojónes is Spanish slang for "little shits." Who are the mojónes? They are those little underage turds who litter the streets of the Mayfair and crowd the sidewalk by Wet Willie's, trying and failing to get in. They plant themselves on the fountain trying to inhale the Russian spray-paint artist's fumes, their only hope of intoxication, sans fake ID. They are a plague, so pheromone-sick with teenage love they keep that guy with the bowtie selling roses in business. Poor little hornballs, damned to ride the rickshaws with no place to go till they turn 21 (except for Club Life's all-ages Sunday night).

Mojónes is Spanish slang for "little shits." Who are the mojónes? They are those little underage turds who litter the streets of the Mayfair and crowd the sidewalk by Wet Willie's, trying and failing to get in. They plant themselves on the fountain trying to inhale the Russian spray-paint artist's fumes, their only hope of intoxication, sans fake ID. They are a plague, so pheromone-sick with teenage love they keep that guy with the bowtie selling roses in business. Poor little hornballs, damned to ride the rickshaws with no place to go till they turn 21 (except for Club Life's all-ages Sunday night).

Aquaknots Dive Center
The attitude of the owners of Aquaknots toward their dive classes is indicative of why they do so well: They just want everybody to join them and get wet. They run their scuba certification classes at cost; $200 buys you the two-week course (two nights a week), including equipment use and two open water dives. "We don't consider the classes as a source of revenue," says co-owner Mario Ginoris, who has been working for the company since he was twelve years old. "We just look at it as a way of making new customers." Instructors at his shop come highly recommended. Ginoris and staff trained Latin crooner Marc Anthony and wife in Tommy Mottola's Miami Beach mansion pool. In addition to carrying a full range of scuba gear, the shop specializes in custom-made spearfishing equipment. Aquaknots is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

The attitude of the owners of Aquaknots toward their dive classes is indicative of why they do so well: They just want everybody to join them and get wet. They run their scuba certification classes at cost; $200 buys you the two-week course (two nights a week), including equipment use and two open water dives. "We don't consider the classes as a source of revenue," says co-owner Mario Ginoris, who has been working for the company since he was twelve years old. "We just look at it as a way of making new customers." Instructors at his shop come highly recommended. Ginoris and staff trained Latin crooner Marc Anthony and wife in Tommy Mottola's Miami Beach mansion pool. In addition to carrying a full range of scuba gear, the shop specializes in custom-made spearfishing equipment. Aquaknots is open from 9:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Saturday.

This is one of those old washes in Westchester where your car changes hands between rag-wielding immigrants stationed on either side of a tunnel, where the lathering takes place. The quality of the wash is top-notch, as it should be for a business that's been operating continuously for 30 years. The basic scrub plus a thorough vacuum is just $8.95; a full-throttle wash, wax, and interior deodorizing is a steal at $17. But Sun Glo's real value is the entertainment. It's neat to watch your ride pushed along a track through what seems a menacing, dark vortex. But if the mysterious mechanisms of a car wash don't hold your interest, those wacky wash guys also spend the day ragging on each other with hilarious jokes. If you understand Spanish, listen for the ones about Argentines. The last couple of years has seen an unprecedented number of them hired at Sun Glo, to the smirking amusement of the other Latin employees.

This is one of those old washes in Westchester where your car changes hands between rag-wielding immigrants stationed on either side of a tunnel, where the lathering takes place. The quality of the wash is top-notch, as it should be for a business that's been operating continuously for 30 years. The basic scrub plus a thorough vacuum is just $8.95; a full-throttle wash, wax, and interior deodorizing is a steal at $17. But Sun Glo's real value is the entertainment. It's neat to watch your ride pushed along a track through what seems a menacing, dark vortex. But if the mysterious mechanisms of a car wash don't hold your interest, those wacky wash guys also spend the day ragging on each other with hilarious jokes. If you understand Spanish, listen for the ones about Argentines. The last couple of years has seen an unprecedented number of them hired at Sun Glo, to the smirking amusement of the other Latin employees.

Unaffected, in every way, by retro hype, Shoppie Seconds prices its wares, displayed in jumbled, Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse-scene infinity, as if it realizes that some of this stuff is actually not very valuable. You can, nonetheless, snag authentic Atomic Age plastics, mad housewife shifts from the Fifties, and nearly-new mod furniture at u-carry bargain basement prices. A recent expedition yielded four minimalist-yet-chunky dining room chairs for $105, an authentic Joan Jett and the Blackhearts tour T-shirt for $5, and a vintage orange chiffon maxi cocktail dress of indeterminate (Forties? Sixties?) decade origin for $15. And the proprietors -- fun to visit with even if you're not in the buying mood and always generous to the neighborhood's many ne'er-do-wells -- are decent, honest, and willing to make a deal.

Unaffected, in every way, by retro hype, Shoppie Seconds prices its wares, displayed in jumbled, Raiders of the Lost Ark warehouse-scene infinity, as if it realizes that some of this stuff is actually not very valuable. You can, nonetheless, snag authentic Atomic Age plastics, mad housewife shifts from the Fifties, and nearly-new mod furniture at u-carry bargain basement prices. A recent expedition yielded four minimalist-yet-chunky dining room chairs for $105, an authentic Joan Jett and the Blackhearts tour T-shirt for $5, and a vintage orange chiffon maxi cocktail dress of indeterminate (Forties? Sixties?) decade origin for $15. And the proprietors -- fun to visit with even if you're not in the buying mood and always generous to the neighborhood's many ne'er-do-wells -- are decent, honest, and willing to make a deal.

Books & Books
Courtesy of Books & Books
Special bookstores are few and far between. If you merely wanted an infinite selection of books or endless browsing you could just go online or to the library, but then you'd miss out on what continues to make Books & Books the literary draw in South Florida: There's a sense of community -- of belonging to Miami and its own internal neighborhood of book lovers. The seemingly endless parade of special events and readings has produced cherished memories for patrons. Most important, the warm, knowledgeable staff makes the shops feel more like personal libraries chock-full of friends. Here, you get a lot more than just books and books.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®