Those of us with Bacchanalian tendencies have been there: After a night of imbibing, you haul your carcass out of bed and into the shower, expecting hangover pangs to hit as soon as the fog clears. Instead, as the bilious fumes rise from your gut, a different sensation arises and you realize you're still drunk. Wondering if such a thing is possible, you begin reviewing the previous evening's events and realize that, sure enough, you stopped drinking only three hours ago. Which is when most of us call in sick. Or start slurping coffee madly. What we don't do -- what no one should ever do -- is immediately get behind the wheel. Of an airplane. But this is exactly what two drunken jackasses who worked for America West attempted to do about five hours after running up a $122 bar tab in Coconut Grove. Luckily airport workers alerted security guards that pilot Thomas Cloyd and first officer Christopher Hughes reeked of liquor as they passed through security checkpoints. The cops stopped the plane and removed the pair from the cockpit, after which they both failed Breathalyzer tests. Defense lawyers argued the two men weren't guilty of operating the plane while drunk because they never made it into the air. They were convicted June 8, 2005. In July a judge sentenced 47-year-old Cloyd, of Peoria, Arizona, to five years in prison. Hughes, age 44, of Leander, Texas, received two-and-a-half years. Everyone who's ever been an airplane passenger should send a thank-you card to Circuit Judge David Young, who handed down the stiff sentences.
"This is my statement/Sometimes cartoons make me cry/I am an artist." Say what? Some people have a difficult time folding their noggins around Rodriguez's approach to making art. Like his inscrutable haiku, his works can seem like those cookie fortunes that leave you scratching your head and pondering the content for days. The New World Art School grad has been stymieing the public since he bolted out of the gate with his first solo show, "A Pre-Career Retrospective," featuring drawings, paintings, and objects from his childhood. Rodriguez also once had himself followed by a private eye and then exhibited the investigator's documentation. For an early solo at the Fredric Snitzer Gallery, which reps him, he packed the space with furniture he crafted and then hired a feng shui master to arrange it. During his solo show at Snitzer's during Art Basel 2004, he filled the gallery with conceptual odes to failed relationships, including a pair of mannequins on the verge of duking it out (now in the permanent collection of the Museum of Contemporary Art), and capped off the evening with a mariachi band he taught to sing punk-rock tunes. A squadron of international collectors and curators swarmed the event like bees to a honeycomb. The Kemper Museum of Art, the Rubell Family Collection, and the Rosa and Carlos de la Cruz Collection are among those that scooped up his stuff. Some of his recent work includes a neon reminder that the grim reaper is always knocking at the door, and a series of photographs in which he appears as a bearded Castro-like revolutionary in one panel, sports a Pancho Villa handlebar mustache in another, and wears Hitler lip lint in the last, milking beaucoup mileage out of his chin fur. Perhaps the pan of chocolate chip cookies he frosted with his name and phone number while fishing for a date with a girl he didn't know, and then subsequently photographed and titled "You're Just a Friend I Haven't Met," best captures his appeal. We can't think of anyone else in town with the chutzpah to pawn cookies off as art. But you know what? Bert did and ended up with the girl.
The architectural and sartorial tastes of wealthy Miamians sometimes make you think that maybe this socialism thing wasn't such a bad idea. Armani, BMW, Hummer. What about the Gap, VW, and Ford? But there are instances where rich people do good things. The greatest hit of George Merrick -- the Europhile developer of Coral Gables -- is the 276-room pink monster, the Biltmore. Built in 1924, the Romanesque hotel is almost shockingly grand -- it's crowned by a 315-foot replica of Seville's Cathedral Giralda Tower. The lobby is lined with Herculean pillars, and then, of course, there's the largest swimming pool you've ever seen at a hotel. In sum, if you have a jones for a moment of decadence and a taste of the late Roman Empire, try this beacon of opulence. Rooms start at $150 during the low season. But even if you can't stay here or pay for a round of golf, you can still have a drink in the Biltmore Bar or hit a bucket of balls at the driving range.
A recent poll found that more than 70 percent of registered voters in Miami-Dade County oppose expanding the urban development boundary westward for development. While increased traffic, water shortages, and environmental protection were all good reasons to protest suburban expansion, perhaps there's a sense of cultural responsibility as well. Grunwald, a reporter for the Washington Post, shows us that stewardship is a relatively new attitude toward the River of Grass. He traces the history of the Everglades' destruction from when Spanish invaders sacked the Calusa Indians to the diminution of its annual floods through canals and levees in the Sixties. He posits that the $7.8 billion Everglades revival bill, signed in 2000, might not live up to its promise of reversing 50 years of harm. Most of all, his account of past blunders testifies to the need for protective vigilance today. (Simon & Schuster, $27)
Ever wonder why Miami Beach's Eden Roc Hotel enjoys such a lovely view of a practically blank wall on its southern flank? Back in 1955, when owner Morris Lansburgh asked noted architect Morris Lapidus to design the Eden Roc, Lapidus answered with a hotel grander than his previous triumph, the Fontainebleau next door. This displeased hotelier Ben Novack, who wanted his Fontainebleau to be the most extravagant and exquisite resort on the Beach, so Novack retaliated by building the Fontainebleau's boxy addition, which ruined not only the Eden Roc's view but also poolside sunbathing. Both the Eden Roc and Fontainebleau are scheduled for extensive renovations, but it was recently announced that one of the world's priciest "walls of spite" would stay.
So he's not actually a local sports coach since stepping down December 12. But since Über-coach and Heat team president Pat Riley took (back) the reins from Van Gundy, the Armani-clad Hall of Famer's unspectacular showing has proven exactly how good his successor/predecessor really was. Riley broke up a team that was within a game of reaching the finals last year, signing and trading for a couple of score-first offensive players and veteran point guard Gary Payton over the off-season. The result has been a Heat team that scores about a point less per game than it did last year. Van Gundy had the singularly one-dimensional Damon Jones (a three-point specialist who is perhaps the worst defender in the league) playing unexpectedly great ball and scoring only a point less last year than his replacement, high-price Jason Williams, scores this year. Eddie Jones, who scored and provided the team's best perimeter defense last year, had almost exactly the same number of points per game last season as scoring machine Antoine Walker (brought in after Jones was traded) scores this year. Not that the team is bad -- they're headed for the playoffs, with the second-best record in the Eastern Conference. But they have shown none of the pass-first team basketball that characterized Van Gundy's two-year tenure, including a stint before he stepped down this season, when he had the Heat, sans Shaq (sidelined with a long-term injury), playing .500 ball.
There's this thing that's been invented. It's called "blogging." All the kids do it. Seriously, though, online journaling is so four years ago, kind of like Oakland Raiders jackets and Nike pool shoes. Stay away. But the Internet -- the Internet is good. Virtually all the world's knowledge is contained online. When it comes to life in Mia-muh, though, you don't need to be Googling your neighbor to see if he's really listed on Latinamericancupid.com. The basis of needing to know, is, well, needing to know. And what you need to know is stuff like: Is the entire interstate system closed because a part of a crane might fall onto a downtown street? Did the Marlins finally break the tie and win in the 27th inning last night? Who has Suge Knight shot at the Red Room now? And, most important, when will the damn electricity/cable/phone be turned back on in the aftermath of this week's hurricane? NBC 6, the television station, did heroic work in 2005 in the aftermaths of hurricanes Katrina and Wilma; the station took over the FM and AM radio frequencies of several stations, including public channel WLRN, to keep people up to date about the havoc wrought by the storms, and bore the dismaying news about utility restoration. Online, the NBC affiliate, which is based in Miramar and is a hub for the network's national news video feeds, truly excels. During regular times, the site give updates with almost supernatural frequency about the critical quotidian details of Miami urban life, including gas prices, thunderstorm movement via the station's excellent multiview Doppler and vector radar systems, traffic tieups, and the occasional kook barricading himself in a Metrorail station. The site also has a scroll of world news courtesy of its partnership with MSNBC, and does a superb job of gathering sports stats from every team imaginable, all the way down through high school intramurals. There's also a pleasant smattering of the nut tales that keep surfers coming back, such as the recent headliner "Viewers React to Paula Abdul's Odd Behavior."
There's no doubt Miami is a party city. You don't have to look hard to find debauchery and loud music any night of the week. But every year the beginning of spring brings more than flowers and showers. The parties become uncontrollable, the banging beats are ubiquitous, and out-of-towners almost outnumber locals. This week is also known to electronic music lovers as Winter Music Conference. Alcohol, music, and people penetrate nearly every crevice from the Beach to downtown, from big commercial clubs to hidden dives and lounges. Even retail stores partake in the festivities. Joe "Budious" Gray (half the Aquabooty team) explains, "Music conference is when Miami as a whole is finally on our tip." That tip is a huge party driven by the love of music. It's so massive that clubs reach their maximum capacity before the night's climax, á la DJ Harvey and Miguel Migs at Pawn Shop. As if the partying going on during the official conference week weren't enough, dozens of pre- and post-WMC shindigs keep heads bobbing for a few extra days. This year's conference was marked by two musical monstrosities: Global Gathering and Ultra. Both concerts featured a bevy of DJs while splitting genre borders with rock performances by the likes of Rob Zombie, Nine Inch Nails, and the Killers. And let's not forget the other music fests such as M3 and Remix Hotel, all taking place during Conference (with a capital C). Nothing else in Miami compares to WMC's eclectic blend of music and top-name artists. Think Sasha and Digweed, Frankie Knuckles, James Holden, Little Louie Vega, Richie Hawtin, and countless others. As a result, these thousands of DJs -- national, international, and local -- energized Miami and its people into a sweet and unforgettable insomnia for more than a week. No worries, though, there are 55 weeks left over to recover.
She clutches the Emmy and the Peabody, thanks to her enlightening, engaging writings about some of America's most powerful leaders. Take her variegated look at the Gipper in Reagan: An American Story, a documentary that first aired on The American Experience. Or her powerful, moving piece about Ike, also for The American Experience, which preceded the recent crowd of Eisenhower-inspired articles and films (such as this year's documentary Why We Fight). The Miami writer/documentary filmmaker also received a nomination this year from the prestigious Writers Guild of America for her documentary Fidel Castro, which aired last summer on PBS. Bosch was born in Cuba, fled with her family when she was fifteen years old, and moved to New Jersey, where she excelled. She skipped her senior year of high school to enter Rutgers University and then received a Ph.D. from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy. While working on her dissertation in Central America, she discovered her passion for writing documentaries. "I fell in love with the discipline of writing for the ear, of getting the information in there without losing the flow," she says. Bosch's work is unflinching, grand in scope, and deep in reporting. It marries innate talent with great passion and focus. Bosch is editing her latest documentary, a look at yellow fever. It will undoubtedly carry its own fever-pitch buzz.
You can find fancier and cleaner, but you won't find a restroom with more character than those on the third floor of the county courthouse. They retain much of their circa-1928 charm, with antique plumbing fixtures, stone stall dividers, and softly worn wooden stall doors. Cool geometric floor tiles and a great view of downtown make for a delightful potty stop.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®