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 SPECTACLE Demolition of the Everglades Hotel What goes up must come down. It may take a hundred years, maybe a thousand, but even the new condo towers rising in the first decade of this new millennium will one day crumble, perhaps into a rising sea. As for the sixteen-story Everglades Hotel, it endured almost 80 years before dissolving into a heap in eight short seconds, helped along this past January 23 by high-tech explosives. But even the preservationist community didn't have much to cry about; long ago the building's original Mediterranean Revival exterior had been remodeled out of existence. For example, in 1959 the cupola atop the building (which, like the nearby Freedom Tower, emulated the Giralda Tower in Seville, Spain) met the same fate as Teamsters Union president Jimmy Hoffa -- it disappeared without a trace. The union actually owned the hotel in 1959, the year architects decided the cupola had to be whacked because it couldn't accommodate the rooftop pool and nightclub Hoffa insisted on installing. In Miami money always seems to trump history. CABI Developers, which bought the hotel a couple years ago, also found the edifice a hindrance to its dollar dreams, which involve erecting two 49-story condominium towers, naming them Everglades on the Bay, and then charging ludicrously high prices for them. This time the whole building had to be whacked -- and it was a spectacular hit.

BEST TV NEWS REPORTER Carmel Cafiero WSVN-TV (Channel 7) In the quick-cut and flash-fast world of television news, the thing that sells, aside from hurricanes, is sensationalism. (Sensationalism about hurricanes really sells.) And while it is the same notion that creates a disproportionate distrust of the species known as the media, in TV land the gotcha style of journalism can create images akin to the money shot. There is something grabbing and even compelling about watching some jerk get a comeuppance on the air. No one has mastered this particular niche better than Cafiero. When Carmel is on the case, she jumps in front of her subject and latches on with the tenacity of a ferocious pit bull. The bad guys can't help but to instantly realize the jig is up, though it is sometimes fun to watch them attempt to squirm their way out of the spotlight. Her in-your-face style -- coupled with hard-hitting, often poignant questions -- makes her a TV muckraker of the highest order.

BEST TV STATION WSVN-TV (Channel 7) Anyone with half a brain hates Channel 7. The sensationalized approach, whether in over-the-top news coverage or outlandish reality programming like Trading Spouses or The Simple Life, carries all the intellectual weight of a bran muffin. Is this the sort of stuff you want to enter into conversation at the water cooler? But when alone, carving an ass-groove into a comfy sofa, you know you find a guilty pleasure from the hyperbolic station's hours of mindless entertainment. Exactly what TV is supposed to do. This year the leading purveyor of infotainment reached a class of its own. The Bill Kamal scandal (in which the station's prime weathercaster was busted on child molestation charges) coupled with daily doses of toothy pretty-boy Louis Aguirre heralded a new era of outrageousness. The use of bright, flashy colors in graphics mesmerizes. And thanks to network owner Fox, the station has a strong Sunday-night lineup: animated classics King of the Hill and The Simpsons, Malcolm in the Middle, the too-smart-for-TV Arrested Development, and the Seth MacFarlane comedic masterpieces Family Guy and American Dad. That beats anything on the other networks or cable.

Readers´ Choice: WPLG-TV (Channel 10)

BEST WEEKEND GETAWAY Hollywood No, we don't mean Hollywood, California. And no, this is not a joke. Hollywood, Florida, may be only minutes away by car, but the town's two-and-a-half-mile beachfront Broadwalk is about as close to the South Beach experience as a rodeo is to a velvet-rope nightclub. Here's what to do: On a Saturday or Sunday, you and the companion of your choice head up to the Broadwalk (from Georgia Street at the southern end to Sherman Street at the north). Unload your bicycles and cruise until you come across a motel that looks just funky enough be affordable yet clean enough to be reassuring. Put money down on a room for your future Saturday night retreat. Then quickly return to Miami. Do not explore further. On the appointed Saturday, head back to your cozy motel, unload bikes and gear, and this time walk the entire length of the Broadwalk. Within minutes you'll realize you have slipped through a wormhole and are now in a parallel universe. This is a place still a bit rough around the edges, where the bars and cafés fronting the Broadwalk maintain an authentically tacky charm that lacks pretension and invites you to linger. Leggy models and buff boys? No. Gourmet dining? No. Twelve-dollar cocktails? No. Which is precisely the point.

Readers´ Choice: Key West

BEST LOCAL WEBSITE www.artblog.net It would seem that Miami plays host to two gentlemen by the name of Franklin Einspruch. There's the Einspruch best known to readers of the New Times as a thoughtful, considered, and genteel art critic. Then there's the Einspruch who produces artblog, a freewheeling site where he shoots from the hip about the Miami art scene, waxing poetic on the good, the bad, and the aesthetically ugly. Best of all, once Einspruch has offered his delightfully bitchy piece, much of the local art community -- artists, gallery owners, fellow critics, and the entire intellectual peanut gallery -- weighs in to post comments, responses, and angry back-and-forths concerning everything from new shows to hyperbolic reviews. Call it an ongoing testament to that part of Miami's creative energy which rarely makes it into newsprint.

Readers´ Choice: www.eveinterrupted.com

BEST RENOVATION Hotel Victor 1144 Ocean Drive

Miami Beach

305-428-1234

www.hotelvictorsouthbeach.com His name is Victor. He'd been big on the scene for a number of years but then fell on hard times. The last anybody saw of him, he was no more than a gutter punk, a bum surrounded by lowlifes and scum. For a while he was managing, just barely, to remain standing by loitering near the classy people. Not that they were any better, just rich and connected. Still everyone knew he was no more than a con man -- a big phony. Until a couple of years ago, when lady luck finally smiled on Victor. He got a job with the Hyatt hotel company and now oversees 91 opulent rooms and bungalows across the street from one of the world's most fabulous beaches. And not just any opulent hotel rooms, either. Developer Steve Patterson, CEO of ZOM, gave Victor the go-ahead to splurge on the last great piece of underutilized real estate on Ocean Drive. The Deco/Asian feel of L. Murray Dixon's 1937 design remains intact but is enhanced by a sophisticated modern look created by Parisian decorator Jacques Garcia. There's a new pool, European spa, Turkish bath, and entirely new wing, as well as top-quality food and entertainment. That lucky bum.

BEST ART CINEMA Miami Beach Cinematheque 512 Española Way

Miami Beach

305-673-4567

www.mbcinema.com This intimate venue offers exhibitions, performance art, photography, dance, combinations thereof, and of course film. Loads of quirky, interesting film festivals touch down here: the Next Gen International Film Festival; the Subtropics Film Festival; Resfest 2005; and Microcinema International's series of edgy, avant-garde short shorts, Independent Exposure X. While The Aviator was gathering Oscars, this place was showing actual Howard Hughes productions. A given month at the Cinematheque provides fans of short, classic, and foreign films much to cheer about. And at the end of each month there's Miss Shelley Novak, the fabulous, knowledgeable drag queen who presents an entertaining and frequently bawdy screening as an apt precursor to crobar's sexy Back Door Bamby shindig.

BEST FIFTEEN MINUTES OF FAME Katrina Campins Even though she was fired as a contestant during the first season of Donald Trump's The Apprentice reality TV show, Campins has mastered the art of the fame game. A Google search found Campins in People magazine, on Access Hollywood and E!, and in the gossip pages of the New York Post. Wherever she made an appearance, whether it was dashing off to Santa Monica to participate in a Tommy Hilfiger runway show or strutting around in skimpy underwear for Maxim, Campins embodied the perfect Miami woman: vain, vapid, yet voraciously fine. Even when she suffered a broken nose and some bruises after she and her equally photogenic beau Ben Moss tussled with some tow-truck drivers in North Miami Beach, Katrina managed to look exquisite in front of the cameras. If anything, the 24-year-old real estate agent gives hope to all sorority sisters majoring in international finance and marketing at the University of Miami.

BEST PANTHERS PLAYER Kristian Huselius and Andreas Lilja Even though the NHL season was canceled this year, two homeboys still managed to make international headlines when they were accused of raping a 22-year-old woman in Sweden. Even though the charges were eventually dropped, for Zamboni-deprived fans it was as exciting as a hat trick to see our team living up to the high moral standards we've come to expect from our athletes. After all, aren't headlines about questionable multinational sex-related crimes what Miami and hockey are all about?

Readers´ Choice: Roberto Luongo

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®