Progressive thinkers sometimes feel like aliens in this city of aliens. Critical Mass, a bicycling staple elsewhere, is growing here as the city fills with educated idealists. Activist groups Emerge Miami and the Miami Green Party have teamed up with the Wallflower Gallery and Sweat Records to make trips to Matheson Hammock, the Everglades, Miami Beach, and Calle Ocho. So get on your bike and start a conversation about civic responsibility with the girl in the ripped shorts and wire-rim glasses. Just don't forget to ask for her number when the ride ends.
When Phil Ferro moved from Telemundo 51 to WSVN in April 2005, bilingual news addicts wondered whether the suave, Cuba-born meteorologist would successfully make the transition from chubascos to "squalls," or be forced to discuss weather conditions at American Idol tryouts. Thankfully within a couple of awkward weeks, the Emmy-nominated forecaster acclimated to his new conditions, lost his accent, and has been presenting serious and informative weather journalism ever since. Now if we can only get Channel 7 to hand over some of that American Idol airtime to his predictions. Here's to sunny weather.
He came into town from a gig in Texas, bringing his books, his notes, and his notebooks. He was a tall man with sandy hair who left behind in the dusty sprawl all the attitude and arrogance associated with the Lone Star State. His charm, his way of encouraging erudition and enlightenment, was borne of years out west working as a park ranger. Easygoing and endlessly affable, he stood proudly before a roomful of young adults as a real-life lone star, a writer, a fine writer, hell-bent on teaching others his craft. And so Les Standiford did teach, imbuing budding scribes at Florida International University with a mix of passion and precision, relaying tricks and skills wrapped in a love of words. During the late Eighties and into the many dusks and dawns of his academic career, Standiford wrote — publishing novels and nonfiction, penning screenplays, editing the anthology Miami Noir.... And he taught. Finally he accomplished something even bigger, building a creative writing program at FIU the way an old Cuban roller patiently wraps heirloom tobaccos into cigars better than the ones Fidel himself once smoked: one after another, each as good and special as the previous, each worth having and holding, pondering in that ephemeral, internal, eternal way of smoke, each as flavorful and rewarding as the city from which it emanates, a city promising a future of literacy, fun, and enlightenment. A city that's not out west, nor in Texas. But a city that Les Standiford is in.
The Playwright Irish Pub
Since the beginning of time men have fought for stuff. Honor. Women. Countries. Kingdoms. Men like fighting. Though they might not support kicking the crap out of someone to make a point, they will watch. They chanted in the school yard when Billy the bully used to beat up nerdy Norman for his lunch money, and they still chant. So, want to meet a manç Head to the Playwright anytime they broadcast a pay-per-view boxing match — schedule available online. You might have to fork over a $20 entrance fee, but do it! It grants you access to a room that heaves with testosterone. Grab a bar stool, ladies, or nestle into one of the locale's oversize booths and feast your eyes not on the big-screen TVs, but on the opposite sex. The hombres chow, chug, chant, and cheer as grown men beat each other to a pulp. Yum yum.
With the rise of satellite radio, the local FM band is not only bland, it's doomed. Looking for classic rock comfort foodç You can tune in Pink Floyd's "Comfortably Numb" pretty much any time of day at Big 105.9. Fancy yourself an alt-rocker, ca. 1994ç The Stone Temple Pilots are always a button push away at 93 Rock (93.1). ButWVUM, "The Voice of the University of Miami," dares to be utterly unpredictable. And sure, sometimes "unpredictable" can mean "uneven." Or "dead air." But where else but a student-run radio station are you going to hear everything from Brahms to Wilcoç Even XM and Sirius alt-rock stations are unlikely to give you, as The Wave did one recent afternoon, a two-fer of Mono Puff's "Extra Krispy" (It's like once you get down in New York City/You'll never go home again/It's like once you've had Extra Krispy/You'll never go back again) and "Night Security" (I want to know the day custodian/I want to hear his harsh refrain/But most of all, I hear the calling/Of the watchman after hours). Sure the patter can be a little amateurish, and there are those occasionally unintended silences. But we'll take those surprises any day over another soul-deadening rendition of "Iron Man" or — gag — "Light My Fire."
It was difficult enough explaining to out-of-towners in the Eighties that the synthesizer tones of Jan Hammer didn't blare on every Miami street corner. Now it's next to impossible to get anyone to believe that salsa doesn't permeate every waking moment of life in the city. Thankfully Eddy Edwards does his best to remind us that there are other immigrant subcultures taking root in Miami. For more than twenty years, Edwards has hosted Caribbean Riddims (now on the revamped WTPS), where he has introduced Miamians to some of the other sounds from the islands. Reggae, calypso, soca, and zouk are the styles you'll hear on his Saturday afternoon show. Scattered throughout the music and entertaining banter are regular features covering news, politics, and public interest issues. The show not only shares the musical culture of the smaller Caribbean islands, but also focuses on the needs of immigrants now living in South Florida. Thanks to Edwards, who is also an events promoter and a longtime advocate for immigrants' rights.
Score Nightclub
Chris Carter
A gay clubç Straight, single womenç Yup. Counterintuitive perhaps, but effective. Score is as lively as they come and attracts an interesting, diverse crowd — more than a few of them attractive women. In the comfort of gay male friends, women are more apt to cut loose, party like banshees, and let their inhibitions run wild. Why notç No one's going to hit on them in a gay club, rightç That's where you come in. Be careful, though. A single woman's night out with her gay male friends is sacred. Don't be a lech, and don't be deceitful — pretending to be gay will get you nowhere.
It's 6:15 p.m. and you're driving home from work, shoulders tense from hovering over a computer or an incompetent coworker all day. You flick on 99 Jamz (WEDR) — 'cause what's a better stress-buster than some bass-thumping hip-hop? From your speakers pours The Takeover, Miami's most popular hip-hop radio show. You might get yelled at by the animated DJ Khaled or you might get an earful of K. Foxx, the lady of the show, a.k.a. "Miami's Sweetest Chocolate Kiss." The 25-year-old Foxx has the perfect on-air mix between laid-back and hyped. Her energy radiates over the airwaves and can slowly bring your cubicle-induced low back to normal. Whether she's politely pounding a celeb for the latest gossip, introducing the next song, or even telling you, "Don't touch that dial," when K. Foxx talks, you listen. A native of Manhattan's Hell's Kitchen, K. isn't that brash New Yawk chick. With her signature "Mmuah!" and a down-to-earth sweetness, she's like your big-city cousin that keeps you in the loop on what's hot and never laughs at your southern twang. K. has been on the air at WEDR for four-and-a-half years, ever since being discovered by the station's head honchos, Ced Hollywood, Derrick Baker, and Jerry Rushin. Now she's one of Miami's most recognized voices, and she is everywhere — appearing on Rick Ross's debut CD, posing as Octopussy in The Source magazine, hosting parties and events all over Miami. Fat Joe even dedicated a respectfully raunchy lyric to her. But K. Foxx's recent turn as a calendar pinup is proving to the world that she truly embodies her motto, "I Am Every Woman." Appearing in full regalia as Billie Holiday, Josephine Baker, and Tina Turner, Foxx singlehandedly kills the notion of DJs having "a face made for radio."
John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park
The all-important first date. The all-important first impression. Fail here and chances are you'll end with a polite "I'll call you" instead of a spine-tingling game of tonsil hockey. So here's a foolproof plan: A snorkeling trip from John Pennekamp Park. First you have the hour-long Miami-to-Key Largo journey when you can actually talk to your companion to see if they possess any qualities you find vaguely appealing. The park opens at 8:00 a.m., so you also get to see their face as it really is, not through a drunken haze or the overly forgiving nonexistent lighting of a club. Boats depart for Grecian Rocks, a coral reef some five miles offshore, at 9:00 a.m., noon, and 3:00 p.m. daily, and cost $28.95 round trip for adults. Snorkel equipment is offered for $6, making good use of the money test — will she even offer to payç Will he absolutely insist on payingç Once onboard the motor boat comes the shedding of outer clothing layers so you can examine the complete package. Splash around in the crystal-clear waters for an hour and a half and bask in South Florida's glorious weather before heading back to land. All that fun in the sun will no doubt make you hungry, leaving the evening open for a cozy dinner and a cool beer at one of the surrounding casual eateries. A perfect end to a perfect day.
If you've made it to the second date, chances are you've been playing by the rules and haven't put out ... yet. Sure you've gotten all that awkward past-relationship conversation out of the way, and your good boy/girl act was Oscar-worthy, but what nowç The second date is when you really start to get to know each other. And what better place to find out about your potential mate's dirty laundry than at Laundry Bar, where you can drown your inhibitions in a cocktail and peek at your date's undies without actually having to undressç After all, you can tell a lot about someone by their drawers. Is she a G-string goddess or a granny-panty prudeç Is he a boring boxer Bob or a free-balling stallionç And most importantly, do those undies look like they've been run over by a chocolate tireç Well, even if they do, Laundry Bar is fully equipped with washers, dryers, detergents, and plenty of booze to help you forget that frightful sight. And even if you settle for just having a drink, the novelty of a laundromat/bar hybrid will provide you with something to talk about to help ease your jitters.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®