BEST TRADE (SPORTS TEAM) A.J. Feeley from the Philadelphia Eagles to the Miami Dolphins Forget Shaq. The Miami Heat's signing of the Big Diesel over the summer was a no-brainer. The deal that really turned things around for a South Florida sports team was the Dolphins' decision to give up a second-round pick in this year's college draft for quarterback A.J. Feeley, who could never really distance or distinguish himself from the Fins' other QB, Jay Fiedler. Where the heck is the positive in this? Feeley led the NFL in interceptions that were returned for touchdowns by opposing teams. And when Feeley wasn't throwing interceptions, he was getting knocked out of the game. Feeley's performance on the field obviously underscored the multitude of problems that wrecked the gridiron franchise last season. Here's the positive: The Feeley acquisition was one of many factors that played into team owner Wayne Huizenga's decision to replace head coach Dave Wannstedt with Nick Saban, the most coveted football guru available. Saban is a disciple of New England Patriots head coach Bill Belichick, whose team has won three of the past four Super Bowls. Saban was so hot he was turning down offers from NFL teams until Huizenga took him for a ride on his helicopter. With Saban around, Feeley may still have a shot at becoming a winning QB.

BEST LOCAL GIRLS MADE GOOD Kerry Gruson and Karen Mitchell National sailing champions. Two years running. Both disabled. The event was the U.S. Independence Cup/North American Challenge Cup, an official US SAILING championship regatta hosted this past August by the Chicago Yacht Club. Competing in the Freedom Independence 20 class of specially designed boats that include an able-bodied assistant, long-time crewmates Gruson (from Miami) and Mitchell (now living in Deerfield Beach) overcame unfavorable weather and equipment malfunctions to capture the title. Along the way they've shown the world that hard work and determination can overcome any obstacle. Mitchell, an occupational therapist, suffered a broken neck as a teen. Today, following two successful battles against cancer, she is confined to a wheelchair but has some use of her upper body. Gruson is a veteran writer for the New York Times's Miami bureau. Three decades ago she was assaulted by an interview subject, a disturbed Vietnam War veteran who, in a psychotic rage, choked her so severely she nearly died. The attack left her virtually immobile. Such extreme adversity might overwhelm most mortals, but it has done nothing to dampen the competitive spirit of these women, both of whom are deeply involved with the Shake-a-Leg sailing program in Coconut Grove (www.shakealeg.org) and both of whom are universal champions in our book.

Readers´ Choice: Gloria Estefan

BEST LOCAL ZINE Ego Miami www.egomiami.com Since it was revived last year, the magazine formerly known as Ego Trip has grown into a guilty pleasure for readers who pick up the pocket-size monthly at restaurants, bookstores, and other locations. Like every other lifestyle glossy in town, Ego Miami is drenched in decadent fashion layouts, innocuous Q&A interviews with real estate moguls and socialites, the occasional profile piece about pop celebrities such as Gwen Stefani and the boys in Green Day, and a phalanx of picture pages capturing the prettiest and most stylish creatures of nightlife. But Ego Miami is craftily assembled with more panache than the others, owing to a clever graphic design and talented writers such as Anna Maria Diaz-Balart and Marcus Washington.

Readers´ Choice: Ocean Drive

BEST BOOK BY A LOCAL AUTHOR Come with Me, Sheba by Preston L. Allen Another convoluted Magic City tale, written in a style that lurches between Charles Willeford's blunt prose and Carl Hiaasen's hysteria, the story Allen has concocted is unmistakably Miamian. A mystery man, an oddball millionaire, and a violent criminal who goes by the unfortunate nickname "Lethal Coon" revolve around the title protagonist in this adrenalized revel by the author of Hoochie Mama and Churchboys and Other Sinners.

Readers´ Choice: Anything by Dave Barry

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 ARCHITECTURAL INCONGRUITY Sears Tower vs. Miami Performing Arts Center Biscayne Boulevard at Thirteenth Street

Miami Amid the grandiose high-rise redevelopment of Miami's downtown, the proud old Sears Tower stands nested within the new performing arts center. The 1929 Art Deco masterpiece once anchored a much larger building and served as a kind of beacon that drew Miami's commercial activity northward from the city center. In a way, it is encoring that role today, as it softens and adds warmth to Cesar Pelli's hard-edged design for a huge (and hugely expensive) facility that, it is hoped, will attract new life to a long-neglected part of the city. Today the tower is overshadowed by the cool glass façade of the incipient new opera house. One is half-demolished, one is half-finished. Awkward neighbors, they both await uncertain futures.

BEST DOLPHINS PLAYER Randy McMichael During what was arguably the Dolphins' worst year, tight end Randy McMichael caught 73 passes for 791 yards (passing Keith Jackson for the Dolphins' single-season records for catches and yards), averaging 10.8 yards per reception. At times McMichael seemed like the sole offensive weapon, and though he posted career-best stats, he probably would have had an even better season if he'd been playing with passers more capable than those in the Dolphins' rotation.

Readers´ Choice: Jason Taylor

BEST CITIZEN Kimberly Green www.greenff.org Kimberly Green is what Miami desperately needs: a native daughter who has applied all of her intelligence and ambition to make this a better place. She is the thirtysomething daughter of former Samsonite CEO Steven Green, who created the Green Family Foundation with his wife Dorothea in 1991. Kimberly took over the foundation in 1997 with a sense of purpose that threatens to swamp anyone who comes in contact with her. No posh South Beach fundraisers for her, no hobnobbing with the rich and powerful. Green took her money to the ghetto, helping fund HIV clinics in Liberty City, computer-literacy labs in Little Haiti, and early-childhood-development programs for underprivileged families throughout the city. She became seriously involved in funding Project Medishare's clinic in Haiti and even spent three years producing a documentary about the lack of healthcare in that country's rural provinces. In a city where narcissism and triviality too often guide the privileged, Green's devotion to improving the lot of others is inspiring. As she likes to say, quoting Seneca: "He who gives when he is asked has waited too long."

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR Ian D. Clark Clark's delightful turn as a cuckolded husband was a classic cameo role and another bright moment in the Coconut Grove Playhouse's quite bright staging of The Constant Wife. Appearing in only one short scene, Clark demonstrated superb comedic timing, a spot-on British Midlands accent, and an inventive physicality that turned what could have been a throwaway part into a little gem of a performance.

BEST ACTRESS Angelica Torn No doubt about it. This year's nod goes to Angelica Torn, who tore up the stage in her fierce, memorable portrait of poet Sylvia Plath in EDGE at the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Torn used a deliberately off-putting, disconnected persona to portray the troubled writer. But her flat, atonal vocal delivery and disheveled demeanor masked a volcanic emotional life that erupted in brief spasms of sudden anguish. The result was indelible: frightening, sarcastic, pitiable, courageous.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®