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 PLACE FOR A FIRST DATE Miami Improv Streets of Mayfair

3390 Mary Street

Coconut Grove

305-441-8200

www.miamiimprov.com What do you do? Where are you from? Where were you born? Small talk can be downright tedious, no matter how good-looking that stranger sitting across the table may be. Avoid the uncomfortable silences and spend your first date at the Miami Improv comedy club, where local and national stand-up comedians will work hard to keep you laughing as you sip cocktails from a full bar and enjoy appetizers or a complete meal. (Show tickets generally cost under $20, drinks and food extra.) This really is the perfect recipe for first-date success: honest entertainment, drinks, and dinner all under one roof -- and plenty of fodder for conversation when you stumble back out into the night, buzzing from the high of a good laugh.

Readers´ Choice: Just the Funny

BEST PLACE FOR ENGAGEMENT PICTURES Downtown Miami How many times has a hyper bride dragged you to the couch and forced you to page through pictures of her and her groom, dressed in white shirts and khakis, frolicking on the beach? Or standing under an arch at Country Club Prado? How about sitting on a rock at Matheson Hammock? If you want something with character when it's your turn to be the bride, try strutting, photographer in tow, through downtown Miami. The city provides the perfect backdrop for romantic pictures. Stop to kiss in a crowd or sit at a bus stop with a Miami ad on it. Lean on a pole near the water at Bayfront Park rather than against a column at the Biltmore. If you coordinate well, you could even take the pictures during one of the festivals that decorate downtown. Climb into a fair ride or just hold hands while you watch a free concert at Bayside. The photos will be more genuine, and the fun you're having will shine through the lens.

BEST PLACE TO DONATE YOUR CLOTHES SoBe Thrifty 1435 Alton Road

Miami Beach

305-672-7251

www.careresource.org Where can you pick up dominatrix gear, metal walkers, Guillermo Alvarez Guedes LPs, and free condoms in one unassuming little store? Okay, so the donated stock does vary from week to week (except the free condoms), but this thrift store tucked away on the "wrong" side of South Beach certainly has a very intriguing clientele. All the above disappeared rather quickly. Proceeds go to Care Resource, the oldest HIV/AIDS service organization in South Florida and the folks who also throw the White Party. Did we forget to mention the fabulously large selection of gay-interest books?

BEST PLACE TO MEET INTELLIGENT MEN Books & Books 265 Aragon Avenue

Coral Gables

305-442-4408

www.booksandbooks.com Reading is sexy. And men who read books are really sexy. And no, Maxim and Stuff magazines don't count as books. Spend a Thursday evening or a Saturday afternoon strolling through the stacks to see who's interested in the same subjects you are. Maybe that hot guy in the travel section is in need of a backpacking companion, or the handsome gentleman rifling through the cookbooks could be looking to add a little more spice to his bachelor life. The redhead in politics and current affairs is a nice catch if you like the challenge of a good argument, but perhaps the blond holding a copy of The Poetry of Pablo Neruda is just the romantic type you've been looking for. Just steer clear of the self-help section -- you came here to find intelligent men, not needy men.

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 PLACE TO MEET SINGLE MEN Marlins games Dolphins Stadium

2267 Dan Marino Boulevard

Miami

305-623-6100

www.floridamarlins.com If you're looking to meet men, you need to go to them (they're not knocking on your door, right?), even if it means watching sports. Put on a sassy aqua tank top and some sunscreen and say to yourself: "I love baseball!" As long as the game isn't called because of rain, it will be raining men at every home game this season. Whether you're waiting in line for beer and dogs or saying your "excuse me's" to get back to your seat, you'll find plenty of men willing to share their baseball wisdom with you. And if you have a few well-researched facts to toss back, these baseball fans will put you at the top of their batting order. You could even rip a triple to deep center: You meet a great guy, he buys you a cute hat to protect your pretty face, and you might realize you actually like baseball. Don't worry about hitting a home run just yet; you've got the whole season to score. Tickets range from $8 in the fish-tank section to $42 for club-zone seats, but everyone is equal in the concession areas.

BEST PLACE TO MEET SINGLE WOMEN www.eHarmony.com What's the hardest part about meeting women? They're pretty much always on the defensive. Internet match sites may not eliminate feminine defensiveness, but the good ones can reduce it significantly by giving women (and men) power to accept or reject at will. eHarmony.com is among the good ones, mainly because of extensive screening at the front end. More than 400 questions in almost 30 categories helps build a detailed profile that increases the chances you'll hook up with someone compatible. It's not the cheapest match site ($50 for one month; $250 for a year), but eHarmony boasts it has put together more engagements and marriages than any similar operation. (But who's keeping track?) The site is the brainchild of relationship guru Neil Clark Warren, a psychologist who has also written many books on the subject.

BEST PLACE TO PEOPLE-WATCH Chili's 19905 Biscayne Boulevard

Aventura

305-682-9898 When you've had enough of the fake tits and tans on South Beach, head north on a Saturday night to indulge yourself in a cross section of real people to watch. This joint is jumping -- there's always a crowd outside waiting for tables -- but head to the bar area for the first-come, first-served seating and an ideal view of the entrance. From high school kids heading to the prom (yes, their dates really did take them to Chili's), to twentysomething partiers getting loaded up on reasonably priced two-for-one cocktails before heading to the clubs, to European tourists and senior citizens, there is a never-ending supply of characters from central casting to watch, admire, or make up crazy stories about.

Readers´ Choice: Lincoln Road

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®