The room is alive with the flickering of computer screens and clicking of keyboards. Gamers of every age, shape, and size battle each other, as well as hundreds of others online around the world, to see who is the best at Counter-Strike, Battlefield 1942, Diablo II, and EverQuest. The three locations of E2 are powered by a dedicated T1 server and stocked with 45 PCs. Patrons can bring their own computers too. And the pricing is pretty reasonable. Rentals cost $3.75 an hour for nonmembers ($2.50 for members), and E2 also offers multihour packages and discounts if you become a member. If destroying mutants, fighting elves, and playing soldier leaves you famished, check out the concessions, where you can buy a bagel with cream cheese for $1.35 or a cheeseburger for $2.40, among other quick bites.
Easy, free, fast, reliable. Even in our wired age, those four words are seldom used to describe what it's like to hook up your laptop to a wi-fi network in South Florida. At the library you don't need to buy a $5 latte, enter a password, or have a credit card number on hand to retrieve your e-mail. And you don't have to suspiciously eye your neighbors, worried that they're sucking all the bandwidth out of a crappy connection, because the library has plenty of bandwidth and plenty of comfy chairs positioned near electrical outlets. You may not be able to download pornography (damn filters), but you can probably find a copy of Lady Chatterley's Lover nearby. Information at its most democratic.
Who among us hasn't looked at the tiny canines parading on Lincoln Road and thought, Damn, that puppy needs a toupee. Well, problem solved. A Bay Harbor Islands woman who was once the wig-master and makeup artist for The Jackie Gleason Show has begun designing hairpieces for dogs. Ruth Regina's creations attach with rubber bands and allow for pointy ears. The result: The four-legged wearer looks like a doggy Joan Crawford. Or Bette Midler. Or Veronica Lake — the sexy "Peek-a-Bow-Wow" model falls down over one of the pup's eyes, giving it a "come-hither look," Regina says. Bangs, braids, and curls are available and start at $29 per wig. Regina's main business, however, involves people. With new styles, she has helped everyone from chemotherapy patients to Judy Garland. During last year's Arf Deco pet parade on the beach, Regina designed a hot pink wig for an abused Pomeranian who was missing a lot of fur. In our book, anyone — or anything — who can bring glamour to needy people and abused dogs is pretty cool.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®