BEST MANIFESTO Seth Green When we last heard from Mr. Seth Green, who was featured in last year's "Best of Miami" (see Best Place to Slow Dance), the Titian-haired star of cinema and television was held aloft by twin streams of bubbly champagne success, doing mainstream comedy in the syndicated series Greg the Bunny while enjoying artistic street cred from his appearance as James St. James in the Sundance Film Festival hit Party Monster. A frequenter of Miami Beach hotel parties -- he visited the Delano recently for a rooftop screening of Monster with costars Wilmer Valderrama and Macaulay Culkin -- Green was riding high. Then came Without a Paddle. The 2004 treasure-hunting comedy was the least funny, most boring buddy flick of all time, and sank without a trace. The cancellation of Greg the Bunny came soon afterward. Suddenly the indie darling and teen heartthrob was faced with a coppery five o'clock shadow and nothing to do but coast on his past fame. Will he bounce back? Will we ever see him again at the Shore Club or Prive? Perhaps his future is predicted in his own words. What follows, carefully culled from Green's work beginning with 1985's The Hotel New Hampshire and concluding, well, with Without a Paddle, are some of his most illuminating lines of dialogue. Sadly, Green shows himself not to be a lucid philosophe but a bit of a bruiser with an obsessive violent streak -- which may explain his affection for Miami. Here, then, is a stunning, stinging sample of the Green Manifesto: "Who could beat a night of cards, chips, dips, and dorks? Something stinks in suburbia. You nuked my brother. You took him from ögeek' status to öking' status to no status. Babe said it was good for my complexion. I swear. One out of ten. You're worse than I am, kiddo. At this rate, we might as well let that damn clown take us one by one. Yeah, and one of them better be good, Bill, because right now, you're in the lead with a pathetic three out of ten. Have you ever killed anyone? That many? Wow! Well my friend Sweet Jay took me to that video arcade in town, right, and they don't speak English there, so Jay got into a fight and he's all, öHey quit hasslin' me cuz' I don't speak French' or whatever! And then the guy said something in Paris talk, and I'm like, öJust back off!' And they're all, öGet out!' And we're like, öMake me!' It was cool. What? Are you feeding him? Why don't you just kill him? I have a gun, in my room, you give me five seconds, I'll get it, I'll come back down here, BOOM, I'll blow their brains out! I was thinking I like animals. Maybe I'd be a vet. No! Maybe like work in a petting zoo. I hate you! I hate you! I wish I was never artificially created in a lab! I haven't seen you my whole life and now you just show up and expect a relationship? I hate you. What? Get away from me, you lazy-eyed psycho! Well, to the casual observer, it would appear that you're trying to make your friend Xander jealous or even the score or something. And that's on the empty side. It's okay. I can wait. That's some deep academia there. Looks dead, smells dead, yet it's moving around. That's interesting. Yo, both of y'all. That is a öFragrance of Love' scented candle, bitch. Damn! It means I gots a 92 percent chance of embarrassing myself. Hey, birthday dude! You want some ice cream? Yeah well we weren't in hell! I mean there was this bright white light at the end of a long tunnel, right, and there was these voices, and that music ... There is something wrong with my friend, I think he smoked some nutmeg or something. I was a little bitter about the getting killed by my best friend thing but I've had time to get over it. I mean, no, I'm glad everybody's all right, but ... that was weak. How could you do this to me? On national television! Him? Look at him, he's crazy. He's like a vicious little Chihuahua thing. He'll kill me the first chance he gets. Siegfried and Roy are here? One of us has to be the victim, one of us has to be the witness. What kind of a witness would you make? I'm your own brother, I don't know what the hell you're saying. Hey, why don't you guys give him a break? Instead of stabbing him in the back, why don't you try showing him a little support in the front? Let's face it, humans have been mistreating puppets for centuries. It's nothing new. We lure them to our country with the tartar sauce, and the lollipops, and the empty promises of sparklers which I believe are yet unfulfilled. Tardy, you got your sparklers? The only chance we have to survive is to huddle together for warmth. I got to act tough or these people will beat up me a lot. And then he's just the media darling. He's on the cover of all the magazines. He didn't even graduate. I'm not addicted to drugs, I'm addicted to glamour. I don't even know you but I hate you too. What do you mean that's it? I'm not giving up! And neither are you! And neither am I!"

BEST MEMOIR The Summer That Changed Miami Beach by Seymour Gelber A day-by-day, often hour-by-hour account of the tumultuous summer of 1972, when Miami Beach played host to both the Democratic and Republican national conventions, and with them a roiling mass of politicos and protesters. Former Beach Mayor Seymour Gelber, then a Dade County assistant state attorney, was dispatched to work as legal adviser to the Miami Beach Police Department. It was a job that put him in close contact with events on both sides of the barricades, and Gelber has managed to recapture it all in gripping detail -- from the demonstrators camped out in Flamingo Park to the tear-gas-clogged marches on the convention center -- complete with plenty of backroom negotiations and drama that had never been aired. Gelber's 284-page book is self-published, but it's a memoir well deserving of better distribution and a larger audience. For now, check the Miami Beach public library.

BEST MIAMI HERALD WRITER Glenn Garvin Love him or hate him, Garvin has become a formidable presence at the Miami Herald, transforming the once staid job of TV critic into a prominent platform for a crusading conservative warrior. Simple sitcom reviews become launching pads for full-blown media criticism; even the slimmest of news pegs grows into a strike on cultural elitism. True, Garvin often still seems to be roaming the Nicaraguan countryside with the contras -- a bullet-dodging foreign correspondent role he played in the Eighties for the Washington Times -- with left-leaning Hollywood starlets and liberal press bias now standing in for the Sandinistas and Soviet expansionism. But that enduring Manichaean fervor is also what makes Garvin's writing so vital. Every piece is brimming with conviction, a sense that ideas matter, and that his words on those ideas demand to be read and pondered, whether he's mocking Dan Rather or shaking his head in disbelief over the mania surrounding Art Basel. In a newspaper that's far too full of stenography masquerading as journalism, with stories that often appear to be doing little more than filling space, Garvin is a welcome relief.

BEST MILE OF MIAMI The Venetian Causeway Yes, we know it's 2.75 miles long. It also crosses eleven islands by means of twelve bridges, two of which open for boats. It's also South Florida's oldest causeway (in continuous operation since 1926) and is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. As for its length, just pick the mile that best suits your needs. For those who seek to be mesmerized by glittering panoramas, there's no better place than the western side. Whether by bike, car, or on foot, this is the best place to take in the visual wonderland that is the Miami skyline. For those who seek to indulge fantasies, the eastern section allows for up-close views of luxurious yachts moored at million-dollar homes -- the perfect place to dream of what could be. In fact it was an indulgence of fantasy that created the Venetian. The islands didn't even exist when the causeway was conceived, a detail that didn't stop Miami dream merchants from selling submerged home sites; and the destination -- Miami Beach -- wasn't much more than a sandbar ringed by mangroves. To traverse the Venetian Causeway, then and now, is to blur the line between reality and imagination.

BEST NEIGHBORHOOD NEWSPAPER Biscayne Boulevard Times www.biscayneboulevard.com Development is rapidly altering the landscape of the Biscayne Boulevard corridor in ways both good and not so good. Residents in this area, roughly from downtown Miami to 79th Street, keep track of the changes not through the Miami Herald but through this small, scrappy monthly newspaper that comprehensively tackles nearly every neighborhood issue, from big-picture to the picayune. Helmed by long-time resident and sometime art gallery owner Skip Van Cel, the BBT's tiny staff (supplemented by articles and columns from activists and business owners) cranks out dozens of pieces each month, intense coverage for a fairly small area. Art exhibits, landlord-tenant disputes, new businesses, city politics, development, crime -- it's all there.

BEST NEW LAW Sidewalk bicycle ban City of Miami Beginning May 12, the elderly Hispanics who clog the sidewalks of Calle Ocho can feel a little safer walking up and down Little Havana's most famous thoroughfare. That day Miami police officers will begin enforcing a new law that bans bicycles, scooters, and skateboards from the sidewalks of SW Eighth Street between Fourth Avenue and the city's western boundary at the Palmetto Expressway. The Miami City Commission adopted the legislation last year in response to growing complaints from area business owners and residents. Unruly cyclists would tear down Calle Ocho with little regard for pedestrians, sometimes causing bone-crunching collisions, sometimes snatching a purse or two. Offending cyclists will be issued a $25 fine

BEST NEW TREND Pugs in public Most people realize they are mere servants to their dogs and follow their every canine command. What many civilians fail to acknowledge is that dogs collectively have a larger mission -- to eventually rule the entire world. Purebreds like schnauzers and Cirnecos dell'Etna harken back to the dictatorial pasts of their home countries of Germany and Italy to create a mongrelized, utopic vision for governments of the future. The plan begins with an infiltration of public places where humans are known to congregate, such as pubs and markets. (This has already been accomplished without resistance in the Netherlands and countries of the northern Renaissance.) The surest sign Miami is experiencing a Europeanizing, as well as Latinizing, influence is the emerging ubiquitousness of canine "companions" everywhere you go. Rugged Norwegian elkhounds stroll the hushed aisles of Anthropologie while beribboned, snowy Maltese peek out of Birkin bags at art galleries. Some dogs even command their own tables at Lincoln Road cafés and coffee shops. At Nordstrom in the Village of Merrick Park, Karin Albert, a saleswoman in the teen clothing department, reports seeing many Chihuahuas emulating Tinkerbell, the teacup pup who uses Paris Hilton as a public escort. "The dogs are usually really good, and the people with them seem patient and happier," observes Albert. "The dogs seem to enjoy going shopping as much as the girls." Apparently capitalism will remain a fixture in the new four-footed regime.

BEST NOT-SO-CHEAP THRILL Weightlessness Zero Gravity Corp.

Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

1-888-NO-GRAVITY (1-888-664-7284)

www.nogravity.com If $3750 seems like a lot of money to spend on roughly one minute of weightlessness, well, that's why this gets the Not-So-Cheap award. Based at the Fort Lauderdale airport, Zero Gravity's modified Boeing 727-200 (the only such commercial aircraft certified by the FAA) takes "teams" of 27 customers on a two-hour flight that includes a couple of parabolic maneuvers that allow wannabe astronauts to experience added G-forces (ascent), mild weightlessness (crest), and complete weightlessness (descent). It's nearly a full-day affair, beginning with training, lunch (please stay down...), flight, and informal celebration once back on terra firma. The company, founded by former NASA executive Pete Diamandis, launched its maiden voyage this past September. Apparently lots of people have strong stomachs to match their disposable incomes. Three flights out of Fort Lauderdale are (tentatively) scheduled between now and the end of the year, in July, September, and November.

BEST PARKING ON SOUTH BEACH Bay Road between Thirteenth and Sixteenth streets After a couple of years of major construction, including the Waverly and Flamingo condominium projects, this stretch of road has emerged from the Dumpsters and bulldozers as blessedly unregulated. No parking meters in sight. No residential permits required. (It can't possibly remain this way forever.) The location is convenient -- only a couple of blocks from the west end of Lincoln Road. If you're clubbing on Washington Avenue, park here and cab it over. The spaces are not unlimited, so check early and frequently.

BEST PARTY OF THE YEAR MTV Video Music Awards Dear Diary: Something's up in the MIA. I don't exactly know what it is, but all week Ferraris and Lamborghinis with out-of-state plates have been zooming past me on the highway. Damn tourists with their boku bucks and flashy cars. Dear Diary: I was at a stop light today and Missy Elliot pulled up next to me. I'd do her! Dear Diary: I can't explain it, but everywhere I go I keep seeing Usher plastered on billboards and in newspapers. He's all over the place. I don't know what the hell people see in that Justin Timberlake guy. Dear Diary: Apparently MTV is having its Video Music Awards in Miami this year. That's what all the hype was about. I gotta find a way to get myself close to the action. Dear Diary: I came up with the perfect plan. I'm renting a limo and buying myself a pimpin' suit. The reason? I'm going to pretend I'm a rock star at the Ocean Drive after-party and I'm going to crash it. Dave Navarro and Carmen Electra are going to be there. Dear Diary: It's D-day. Tonight I'm going to party like it was 1999. The limo will be here shortly, the booze is on ice, and I have more plastic baggies than I can fit in my pocket. It's going to be some night. Dear Diary: Where the hell am I? I must have passed out. The last thing I remember was walking the red carpet with a shitload of celebrities like Dave Chappelle and the Beastie Boys. My celebrity whore girlfriend left me to party with Jay-Z and Beyoncé on some private yacht. I didn't care because my long hair, pimpin' shades, and rock star suit made people think I was the frontman of that shitty band Creed. Even John Surgent, one of the principals of some new club in Hollywood called Gryphon, came up and begged me to play at his grand opening. For a while there, I think I was dancing with Al Sharpton. Dear Diary: I shaved my head today.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®