BEST PHOTOGRAPHY EXHIBIT The Margulies Warehouse

591 NW 27th Street

Miami

305-576-1051 Visitors to South Florida continuously marvel at the private art collectors here who have thrown their personal stashes open to the public, and real-estate developer Martin Margulies has more than risen to the occasion. He owns an array of cutting-edge modern photography that rivals any museum, and he wants to share it. His collection, hung inside a sprawling Wynwood warehouse, covers the field's titans, and whether your tastes skew toward Walker Evans or Cindy Sherman, there's truly something here for everyone. Although Margulies certainly appreciates the field's classics, he has also embraced some of today's hottest shutterbugs, from Dutch portraitist Rineke Dijkstra and her studies of charmingly gawky adolescents to New York's current bad boy Anthony Goicolea, who puts a whole new delicious twist on the notion of the self-obsessed artist. For those who have only seen these photos reproduced as small images in magazines and books, gazing upon the actual full-size shot isn't just a treat -- it's a public service. Did we mention admission is free?

BEST PLACE DURING A HURRICANE (THAT REALLY DOESN'T SHOW UP)

Miami Beach around First Street

BEST PLACE DURING A HURRICANE (THAT REALLY DOESN'T SHOW UP) Miami Beach around First Street You ignore the mandatory evacuation and stay home on the Beach. It's pretty obvious the storm is heading elsewhere, but now you're bored silly and the weather's not too bad. Watching the Weather Channel is no longer interesting, and the news channels won't have any gratuitous "disaster porn" until tomorrow morning at the soonest. It's still too early in the day to drink, so what do you do? Head to First Street to be smack dab in the middle of a wall of surfing fanatics. Great swells are rare south of Sebastian Inlet, so when a hurricane brushes past South Florida on its march up the coast, the surfers head to the beach and try to squeeze themselves into the horde between Government Cut and Third Street. You get to watch the beach patrol guys make every effort to get the surfers out of the water. You see the surfers look at the patrol guys like they're the crazy ones. It is rather unsafe, even if you are just sitting on the shore -- but you were crazy enough to remain on the golden sandbar in the first place. Note: parking still difficult to find.

BEST PLACE FOR A SECOND DATE Café Sambal Mandarin Oriental Hotel

500 Brickell Key Drive

Miami

305-913-8251 Oh, yes. The first date was smokin': great conversation, definite chemistry, you didn't want the night to end. Even though you said you wouldn't do that on a first date, you did, and now he's nudging you for breakfast. Even if you aren't staying at the Mandarin Oriental, you can still pretend to be vacationing in a sleek hotel and let the romance continue with mimosas, eggs, and alfresco flirting. The All American Breakfast menu lists the staples -- French toast, sausage, fresh fruit juices -- but with the shimmering water of Biscayne Bay, a spectacular view of downtown Miami, and sexual tension so thick you can cut it with your apple-butter knife, you might forget breakfast and find yourselves a room.

BEST PLACE TO GO STONED Deering Estate at Cutler 16701 SW 72nd Avenue

South Miami-Dade

305-235-1668 In the future, people will be able to plug their brains directly into virtual reality scenarios for sex, drugs, and probably everything else. No doubt there will be meditative modules for calming down -- like motionless yoga for the nervous system. Walking into the Deering Estate at Cutler, especially on a weekday when you might have the entire expanse of the back lawn to yourself, feels like walking into just such an alternate reality. Schools of fish swimming in concentric circles flash in the turning basin at the end of Deering's canal. Occasionally a fat gray manatee breaks the surface. Royal palms form straight lines along the walkway and canal, enhancing the stately symmetry. Herons and egrets spear minnows in the shallows, and the hypnotic lapping of waves overshadows the endless array of tiny splashes and rustles among the mangrove roots. On the spooky tip, you can walk unaccompanied around the humongous house, checking out the somber paintings and portraits of scions past; be sure to venture into the dungeonlike basement.

BEST PLACE TO SAVOR THE FLAVOR OF MIAMI El Palacio de los Jugos 5721 W. Flagler Street

Miami

305-264-4557

and

14300 SW Eighth Street

West Miami-Dade

305-221-1616 Stepping into one of these anachronistic juice bars is like taking a stroll through el campo. The aroma of pork and tamales suffuses the air, and mostly Cuban visitors mull about, checking out the produce while enjoying guava juice and mango shakes. This is one of those places where the first and second generations from the island nation converge to shoot the breeze and sip on flavors as diverse as the ethnicity of this magnetic city. Hungry? There's no table service here. That would just detract from the communal vibe. Walk right up, stand in line (there are almost always lines), and choose from the tropical delicacies at the cafeteria-style counters. Make sure you have a firm grip when the server hands you a heap of hot, delicious fare. Dine on traditional Latin favorites or try the nontraditional Chinese fried rice the palaces are famous for -- estillo Cubano of course.

BEST PLACE TO SEE MIAMI LIKE A NATIVE -- A NINETEENTH-CENTURY NATIVE

Twelfth Annual Miami International Map Fair

BEST PLACE TO SEE MIAMI LIKE A NATIVE -- A NINETEENTH-CENTURY NATIVE Twelfth Annual Miami International Map Fair Hosted by the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, the Map Fair drew a slightly less boisterous crowd of out-of-towners than the Boat Show or the Winter Music Conference, but one no less enthusiastic about a shared passion -- collecting vintage maps. Florida was a particular fave on display, and though the prices rarely started below $500 (and often climbed to twenty times that), the window-shopping among various dealers' tables was priceless, if a bit depressing. It was bracing to watch Miami's charted boundaries explode -- and those of the Everglades shrink -- from era to era. Of course there's still reason to be hopeful: That Louisiana Purchase outlined on one map looks mighty promising.

BEST PLACE TO THROW A PARTY The former building of La Moderna Poesia 5246 SW Eighth Street

Coral Gables Here's a little real-estate advice for any savvy entrepreneur with some green to spread around. Miami Beach is too expensive, and everyone knows downtown is riddled with cranes and dump trucks working away at creating a metropolis for the millennium. But where is that diamond in the rough? The undeveloped area waiting to explode with profit and booze is on the outskirts of the Gables, not far from Little Havana. The vacant building that once housed La Moderna Poesia is just the right size and only blocks away from DJ Le Spam's weekly gig, which is always packed. The Suenalo Sound System commune is right around the corner, as are many of the group's fans. A creative person just might be able to revitalize the area into the new hot hang. Don't be turned off by the demise of the previous tenants. Much of Miami doesn't like to read, let alone in Spanish. Much of Miami does, however, love to party.

BEST POET Will "Da Real One" Bell www.willdarealone.com Will "Da Real One" Bell represents the new poetry. He spits words like high-caliber machine-gun fire, and his booming voice sets ears ablaze. He snarls ferocious truth about the things he's seen -- heartbreak and pain, crime and punishment, struggle and poverty. Much of his work is inspired by his hardscrabble Liberty City childhood. His parents still live there, but Will has moved away. "I got tired of coming home and all my stuff was missing," he explains. Now he makes his home in Miami Shores, but "I be keepin' it real for where I am," he stresses. Indeed Will Bell has followed an unusual path to poetry stardom. He discovered his talent while he was a county inmate, serving fourteen months for trafficking cocaine. "It wasn't even the money for me -- it was the lifestyle," he says. "Fast money, money all the time, money every day. You can afford to be very spontaneous when you're raking in four, five grand a day. I wasn't like no Colombian drug lord, but that ain't nothing to sneeze at," he says. "I had a chance to look at who I was when I was incarcerated, which made me make different decisions as a human being when I was released." In 2001 he emerged as Will Da Real One and proceeded to blaze a trail to the top of the local spoken-word scene. Bell was invited to perform on Russell Simmons's HBO program Def Poetry Jam. This past February, he filmed his second appearance on the show. "I've been doing some volunteer work with the Department of Corrections, and I'm trying to introduce poetry workshops in the county jail system." He also co-owns a small coffee shop in North Miami called The Literary Café. "I just got a knack for reaching people," Bell says. "I got a message that I'm trying to distribute, a piece of myself I'm trying to share."

BEST POETRY SCENE Mello Mondays at the District 35 NE 40th Street

Miami

305-576-7242 This weekly event is a baby among the other spoken-word evenings, but Mello Mondays gets two snaps up for distinguishing itself from the pack by mixing celebrity poets in with locals. Hosted by local poet Ingrid B., the gathering's tribe includes Will Da Real One, Asia of the Slanted Eye poets, Rebecca "Butterfly" Vaughns, and Shiraz. But many fans come for more famous faces like Stic and M1 of the hip-hop group dead prez. Alonzo Mourning held his welcome-back party here and enjoyed a performance by political comedian/slam poet Shang. National personalities Georgia Me, Big Brooklyn Red, J. Ivy, and Urban Mystic have blessed the mike. Next up are performances by the reggae group Inner Circle, MTV2 hip-hop hostess Amanda Diva, former Def Poets Sekou Tha Misfit and Steve Connell, and Steele, a rapper from the group Smif-N-Wessun who will lay down the weapons and pick up the poems.

BEST RADIO STATION 99 Jamz (WEDR-FM 99.1) www.wedr.com Many debate which is the best urban station: 99 Jamz or The Beat (WMIB-FM 103.5). It's a tough call, but 99 Jamz has a killer mix-show roster (including DJs Khaled, Irie, and KD), as well as several distinctive on-air voices, particularly the morning team of Big Lip Bandit, Supa Cindy, and Benji Brown. Then there's the music itself, which, while sometimes formulaic (this is commercial radio), often includes hot new local artists such as Dirtbag, Jacki-O, and most recently Prettie Rickie and the Maverix.

Readers´ Choice: WLRN-FM (91.3)

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®