BEST MOVIE SHOT ON LOCATION Code 33 The filmmakers behind this crime documentary prove that footage of reality can be more dramatic than some overblown fictional Hollywood production that requires shutting down major traffic arteries. Code 33 is an ode to Miami's cultural diaspora pegged to one of the biggest local stories of 2003: the Shenandoah rapist. New York-based auteurs David Beilinson, Zachary Werner, Suki Hawley, and Michael Galinsky gathered more than 150 hours of footage from which to edit a raw, gripping film that transports the audience to the world of Cuban-American homicide detectives Fernando Bosch and Elio "Chills" Tamayo as they patrolled the streets of Little Havana, pulling over men who matched Miami-Dade Police Department forensic artist Samantha Steinberg's sketch of the suspect. The movie does a fantastic job of capturing a wide array of viewpoints, from the cannibalistic television coverage to the terror residents felt during the rapist's spree.

BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT WOMEN Synergy Yoga Center 435 Española Way

Miami Beach

305-538-7073

www.synergyyoga.org If engaging conversation is what you desire from a potential mate, perhaps a jolt to the proper chakra will soothe that yearning heart. Bring your mat and position it strategically in the center of the studio room. Get there early and show lots of enthusiasm by learning the difference between hatha funyasa and jivamukti yoga. Pretty soon you'll be surrounded on four sides by fit, limber women who'll look with interest at a man who shares their interest in things metaphysical. The center offers studio classes day and night, or you can opt for lessons right on the sand at the beach nearby. Prices range from $5 to $14. That's a lot cheaper than an audition date would cost. Short of an IQ test, this is the best way to encounter a woman who at least is smart enough to take care of her body, mind, and soul.

BEST DAY TRIP Clyde Butcher's Muck-About Big Cypress Gallery

52388 Tamiami Trail

Ochopee

239-695-2428; 888-999-9113 The Swamp. Is it a place of psychedelic gases and weedy monsters? Do alligators battle pythons for dominion over a few feet of muck? Are creepy crawlies lying in wait for a hapless tourist to wander by? Is it fodder for comic books and horror movies or simply a place of misunderstood beauty? At Everglades photographer Clyde Butcher's studio on the outskirts of the Big Cypress Preserve, the swamp becomes a friendly, inviting place. Every Labor Day even the most citified flatlander can get up-close and personal with the complicated wetlands that give life to the tail end of Florida. There are photographic workshops, displays, music, food, and other festivities, but the real gem is the popular Muck-About. A guided tour wanders through a pristine cypress strand. This is no prance across an elevated walkway. It's a down-and-dirty plod in brown water and decomposing matter sure to destroy some article of clothing. You'll observe nature in its mostly quiet glory. And in case you are wondering, the gators and monsters mostly snooze during the day -- unless disturbed.

BEST POLITICAL CONVICTIONS OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS Jacques Evens Thermilus and Richard Caride It didn't start out as a political case. It began as an inquiry into a simple heist -- albeit a long-running one. For years employees of private companies that work at Miami International Airport were stealing the valuable jet fuel by the truckload. When a multiagency team of investigators cracked the case, though, they uncovered a hive of politically connected companies and individuals fraudulently billing the airport for work that was either never done or vastly overpriced. As a result, several defendants pleaded guilty and agreed to cooperate with the State Attorney's Office. Jacques Evens Thermilus took a plea and led investigators to a similar scheme he was working with Miami City Commissioner Arthur Teele, who was then arrested. Another MIA defendant, Richard Caride, pleaded guilty and told investigators about scheming with businessman Antonio Junior to defraud the airport, and also about Junior's close ties to county Commissioner Barbara Carey-Shuler. Consequently authorities have opened another investigation.

BEST KING MANGO STRUTTER Bill Dobson You must be someone special when the grand dame of Miami journalism, Edna Buchanan, comes out of retirement to write your obituary. When Dobson died October 22, 2004, at the tender age of 49, Miami lost a unique gem. Some knew him as a dedicated county employee blessed with the sense of humor needed to navigate county hall's treachery and skullduggery. He served three county commissioners during his tenure, and even old colleagues who parted ways philosophically with Dobson during his last stint working for Commissioner Katy Sorenson admired his generous heart and sharp wit. "He certainly liked his cigarettes and his rum," says a former commission aide. But more people knew Dobson for his true loves -- friends, family members, and the King Mango Strut, the irreverent annual celebration of current events he co-founded 23 years ago.

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 ARCHITECTURAL EYESORE Miami Herald Building 1 Herald Plaza

Miami Plans for construction were announced in 1958, and before you could say Ugh! the views of Biscayne Bay from Overtown and the MacArthur Causeway were obliterated by this squat, hulking orange monument to stifled imagination. Clearly it was at the vanguard of a style (American Utilitarian?) that would inspire for decades to come the builders of high schools and inner-city housing projects. This is no Tribune Tower in Chicago, an Art Deco ode to that city's daily paper. Nor is it the stately neo-gothic 43rd Street headquarters of The New York Times. It's not even the Freedom Tower just down the road, for many years the distinctive home of the Miami News. This is just a generic orange splat gobbling up our precious waterfront. But there's hope on the horizon. This past March the Terra Group bought the building and the property for $190 million. Terra hasn't announced plans to raze the structure, at least not anytime soon. But one can always hope.

BEST HURRICANE PREDICTIONS Weather Underground www.wunderground.com/tropical This season, when you get tired of phrases such as "this is what the track of the hurricane will look like if it takes a sharp, impossible turn and heads straight into downtown Miami" and you want a reasonable prognostication about where any storm might be heading, the place to go is the Weather Underground. The Website presents some of the same models that the TV forecasters use to make those cone-shaped prediction maps, but without the hours of speculative fodder broadcast alongside them. The site is simple to use and free, providing a bevy of other images, information, and links to similar meteorological sites, all adding to a fuller picture. You might even find out it's sunny outside.

BEST CONVENTION OF THE PAST TWELVE MONTHS OtakuCon Anime Convention Fontainebleau Hilton Resort

4441 Collins Avenue

Miami Beach

305-538-2000 Hordes of imagination-fired freaks and geeks took over a landmark Miami Beach hotel in late December to celebrate the colorful and expanding world of anime. The three-day gathering was overrun by people, young and old, who find an especially animated pleasure in pretending to be cartoon characters with oversize eyes, mouths, and personality disorders. At OtakuCon, which translates to "hyper-fan convention," anime cultists had a chance to live out their fantasies. Leggy women with waist-length hair paraded around in skimpy homemade costumes, bringing to life their favorite anime pin-up girls. Boys of all ages bopped around in ninja and samurai getups. When they were not busy attending seminars about how to pick up dates or how to destroy Majin Buu (a bubble-gum pink warrior from Dragon Ball Z), OtakuConventioneers took part in "cosplaying," which is the art of playing scenes with other anime characters. Unreal? Surreal? Real cool.

BEST PLACE TO TAKE OUT-OF-TOWNERS Hoy Como Ayer 2212 SW Eighth Street

Miami

305-541-2631

www.hoycomoayer.net Your visitors can spend the day basking on Miami's beaches, spending cash in its shops, trekking through the Everglades, catching boat rides from Bayside, or feeding the birds at Parrot Jungle. However, the quintessential Miami experience awaits as you take them through the doors of this magical Little Havana club on a Thursday, Friday, or Saturday night. The nostalgia of old Cuba permeates the air as locals imbibe rum drinks, smoke fine cigars, order platters of Cuban tapas, and dance to live music by some of Cuba's best (exiled) musicians: Albita Rodriguez, Malena Burke, Luis Bofill, Cristina Rebul, Esencia, Sarabanda, Leslie Cartaya, and special guests. Photos of artists from Cuba's cultural past and present decorate the walls, reminding us that today, like yesterday, the island's music is irresistible.

Readers´ Choice: South Beach

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®