BEST VINTAGE STORE Fly Boutique 650 Lincoln Road

Miami Beach

305-604-8508 How do they do it? How do the proprietors of Fly Boutique manage to thrive year after year while all around them on Lincoln Road loom heavyweight national chains and high-end designer wares? The green-and-white-checked Geoffrey Beene suit for one, the kind of electric Saville Row redux that looks especially smart topped with a fine feathered bowler or a raffish tam. For that Seventies look, there's the multicolored poly-print shirt from Sears ("never needs ironing") with lapels as wide as sails. And right next to that, a deep-red silk smoking jacket made in Hong Kong (pipe optional). Feeling nostalgic for a Dennis Weaver suede jacket heavy on the fringe? No problem. And there's a heap of Stetsons to go with. Whether a dandy, a mod, or a dude, name your era and design preference and the Fly Boutique is sure to have what suits you. There are loads of purses, belts, boots, and shoes, bowling shirts and two-tone guayaberas, truck-stop caps, and even a mesh shirt that could've come straight off the back of Epstein from Welcome Back, Kotter. The friendly and knowledgeable salespeople have a keen eye for what's retro cool or ironically hip, and the velvety boudoir interior makes for a more pleasant shopping experience than dingy, mothball-redolent thrift and vintage stores. At ten years and counting, Fly Boutique is one of the last truly original places left to shop on Lincoln Road.

Readers´ Choice: Miami Twice

BEST WINE STORE Wolfe's Wine Shoppe 124 Miracle Mile

Coral Gables

305-445-4567

www.wolfeswines.com Wolfe's does not have the largest selection of wines in town. Most Publix supermarkets carry more labels. Wolfe's doesn't stock every big-name winery on the planet. The closest you'll get to that is Crown Wine and Spirits. You can't even buy beer or liquor or sodas or beef jerky at Wolfe's. But there is a good reason this place takes the honor once again: Sometimes less is more. Jeffrey and Christie Wolfe are specialists. Their tastes are eclectic. This business is something personal for them. They've visited the wineries and met the winemakers whose products they sell. Not huge producers but family-owned operations in Spain, France, Italy, California -- people a lot like the Wolfes themselves, for whom quality always trumps quantity. At a time when mass-produced wines are becoming more and more homogenized by global corporate conglomerates, the Wolfes offer a valuable alternative: wines with character.

PERSONAL BEST M.I.A. Skate Shop Skateboarders, longtime friends, and business partners Chris Williams and Ed Selego aren't the wordiest fellows in town. This is because they're practicing grinding while running M.I.A. Skate Shop (229 Ninth Street, Miami Beach), which opened two summers ago. During M.I.A.'s short existence, it has become the place to visit when skaters come to town. "People come from all over the world to skate and take photos of skaters. The store becomes a central meeting point for the professionals," says Williams. In addition to boards and DVDs, the shop carries clothing from Zoo York and Earth Products and shoes from Vans, Nike SB, and Adio Footwear.

Best cheap thrill: Just wandering around South Beach any day of the week.

Best reason to stay in Miami for the summer: Fewer tourists, more relaxed, and more locals.

Best place to Rollerblade: Ocean Drive (ladies only, please).

Best place to ditch the kids for a few hours: M.I.A. of course. Or the best skate park -- Control Skatepark.

What are your predictions for skateboarding in the year 2055? Skateboards take flight. You are able to skate skyscrapers downtown, grind on treetops in the woods, and drop in on the pyramids in Cairo. Skateboarding becomes the national pastime. Everyone skateboards in the future. All ages, all races, all people. Skateboarding is so hot. You are able to live out all the fantasies that Tony Hawk Pro Skater offers. Then again, it might be banned from the Earth, depending on who our new leader is.

Stone Age Antiques
Photo by Lou Hammond
BEST JUNK Stone Age Antiques 3236 NW South River Drive

Miami

305-633-5114

www.stoneage-antiques.com Tired of looking all over the county for that 20,000-year-old mammoth tusk you simply must have? Follow the cramped pathways inside this ancient little warehouse on the bank of the Miami River and you'll find at least one in stock (for just $4500). Owners Gary and Ryan Stone (father and son) dedicate themselves to keeping the place -- floor, walls, and ceiling -- well beyond cluttered. The preponderance of human artifacts here are actually younger than the Stone Age but definitely of the Pre-Plastic Epoch. The plethora includes wood boxes, wood canes, kerosene lanterns, aluminum Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola coolers, brass bells, old hats, older portholes, a bowsprit maiden or two, a boar head here, an antelope head there. African masks, African drums, African stools. You might resist a $395 three-foot-tall red lobster statue and a small $550 "handmade" replica of Pilar, a boat Ernest Hemingway owned in Cuba in 1938. But maybe not a blue or red glass bowling-ball-size float wrapped in rope netting for $20 to $30, or an old wicker fish creel for $35. Some things are too precious for even junk sellers to part with. On the premises is a Shure model 555 Unidyne Dynamic broadcast microphone from the Forties for rental only, because the Stones can make more money repeatedly renting that piece of junk to prop masters than selling it.

BEST SEX TOYS SHOP Déjà Vu Love Boutique 1011 Fifth Street

Miami Beach

305-534-9669

http://commerce.dejavu.com Saturday night, and you've got an itch that needs scratching. If you need the kind of friend that's waterproof, remote controlled, and battery operated, head over to the Déjà Vu Love Boutique, an upscale joint featuring tastefully sensual items like Kamasutra lotions, candles, edible Peter Butter, feathers, and skimpy lingerie. The really good stuff is stashed behind a velvet rope, where you'll find a long, curved wall of toys from the Phallix collection, blown (no pun intended) glass dildos that look like works of art, porn-star approved gadgets, and lower-priced devices that keep your pocket (and other parts) happy. Boasting a range from the Mini Love Bullet to life-size replicas of Ron Jeremy's infamous ten-incher, this novelty shop has a selection that's bigger, better, faster, and fancier. Shy types need not worry, Déjà Vu also has some of its products available online for surreptitious purchase.

Crown Wine & Spirits Miami Lakes
BEST LIQUOR STORE Crown Wine and Spirits Various locations in Miami-Dade County

786-621-9463

www.crownwineandspirits.com If you've ever dreamed of indulging in a Nicolas-Cage-in-Leaving-Las-Vegas-style liquor shopping spree, there is no place better for it than Crown. Patron Silver Tequila? They've got it. Jagermeister? Uh huh. Whaler's Pineapple Rum? That too. Johnny Walker Blue? Oh my, yes. Plus all the fancy chasers, key lime cookies, imported chocolates, pâté, cheese, and other gourmet treats a discriminating party thrower could want. With their inspiring collection of exotic beers and a wine aisle straight out of a sommelier's dream, Crown is nirvana for the unabashed lush.

Readers´ Choice: ABC Fine Wine & Spirits

BEST GUN SHOP Ace's Indoor Shooting Range and Pro Gun Shop 2105 NW 102nd Place

West Miami-Dade

305-717-3277 Want to try out a Browning 9mm and a Strum-Ruger .357 to see which feels more deadly in your sweaty palm? Feeling belittled but unable to cover the full purchase price on a sweet new Desert Eagle .50-caliber equalizer? Blast away to your heart's content at Ace's indoor range, where you can take the weapon of your choice for a test drive before making that long-term commitment. Ace's selection of new firearms (handguns especially) is better than at most gun shops, with less reliance on used weapons. The sales staff is professional and accustomed to dealing with amateurs. It's also number one with bullets.

BEST MALL North Miami and Aventura strip-mall tour Biscayne Boulevard from 135th Street to 206th Street You've schlepped through many a shopping mall. And let's face it, they're all pretty much the same. Take a break from the mall-rat race to appreciate the booming development along Biscayne Boulevard in North Miami and Aventura. Here's your itinerary:

1. Keystone Plaza at 135th Street for Starbucks, Jamba Juice, Ben & Jerry's, Chicken Kitchen, or Einstein Bros., because you'll need the fuel.

2. On My Own clothing boutique at 180th Street for unique (albeit pricey) finds, like colorful embroidered tunics from India.

3. Pier 1 Imports at 186th Street for decorating inspiration. (It's hip and affordable.)

4. Loehmann's at 187th Street for top-of-the-line designer duds at rock-bottom prices. Barnes & Noble for a snack and for posing as an intellectual.

5. Bed Bath & Beyond at 192nd Street for bathroom accessories (because, admit it, your bath towels are downright ratty!). DSW Shoe Warehouse for inexpensive shoes and Old Navy for casual basics.

6. Circuit City at 206th Street for your partner, who's been so patient. The Birkenstock shop, Michael's craft store, and Marshall's, for yourself. (Prowl the discount racks and explore the improved home furnishings and accessories section in the back.)

7. And finally: the bar at Chili's at 199th Street for an El Niño Margarita, because a stiff drink is the only proper way to end a day of consumer frenzy.

See? Urban sprawl ain't so bad after all.

BEST TOY STORE Animated Toys 479 Biltmore Way

Coral Gables

www.animatedtoystore.com

305-444-9383 This is the toy store for comic-book freaks, a place stocked with collectible action figures (don't call them "dolls") of your favorite heroes and villains, including Superman, the Green Lantern, Shazam!, Spider-man, the Punisher, and Dr. Doom. There's plenty for fans of the Star Wars franchise, and even NBA, WWE, and MLB figures. Others will love the plush items and Care Bears, Bratz, and Hamtaro figures. Jannette Diaz opened the store this past December because her husband's hobby had taken over their garage. Trying to find a present for your favorite collector? Visit Animated to find great gifts for those who have everything ... except that Spawn Classic Comic Book Cover figure.

Yesterday & Today Records
Falyn Freyman
BEST RECORD/CD STORE Yesterday and Today Records 9274 Bird Road

West Miami-Dade

305-554-1020

www.vintagerecords.com All that's left of what once was a cool-music empire is a small store across the street from Bird Bowl. Specializing in sounds of a certain vintage, the latest in a two-decade series of Y&T outlets is still paradise for the psych/garage crowd. There's plenty in original vinyl, heavyweight re-issues, and import-only CDs. For everyone else, there awaits a generous sampling of jazz, blues, country, soundtracks, and a decent selection of Latin stuff. As fans of specific sounds tend to do, one must quibble about trivia. Like, if Johnny Rivers gets his own divider in the bins, shouldn't Johnny Rotten? Bloody 'ell he should. Prices are fair for the collectibles and there are even some golden nuggets priced as low as 99 cents.

Readers´ Choice: Sweat Records

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