Uhma Spa combines a healthy environment and pure, decadent ecstasy for your mind, body, and spirit. The beautifully tranquil place is bedecked to resemble the interior of a tree; rounded wood corners, green accents, stone vases, and mossy walls add to the ambiance. You can have a waterless pedicure or an organic botanical facial. But what you really need is a massage. Uhma is amazing. Professional masseuses employ Thai, hot stone, and shiatsu techniques to exorcise the rock-hard knots in your shoulders, thighs, and lower back. The primal relaxation massage costs $110 for 60 minutes of bliss. It is worth every penny. The masseuse slathers on your choice of the in-house Uhma Nagri massage oil. Once the tension in your back and shoulders disappears, you'll likely drift off to Neverland. Don't feel bad — it's a compliment to their skills. Uhma also offers a variety of Asian and French wet and dry massage techniques. Other options on the menu include the Sabai Herbal Ball massage ($170 for 90 minutes), which involves the use of a warm — you guessed it — herbal ball, and the Tian Di Bamboo ($120 for an hour), which uses warm bamboo sticks to apply deep pressure and heat. The spa is part of the new Wellness on 6th mini shopping district of holistic and organic stores in Miami Beach, which all in all is pretty cool.
Taystee Gourmet Bakery
You might know about yerba mate via its recent desecration as the "maté latté." But before it was served in postconsumer recycled cardboard Starbucks cups, the South American herb was more typically imbibed through a silver straw stuck into a hollowed-out gourd filled with the bitter, naturally caffeinated herb. And it still is — drinking maté is a strong cultural tradition practiced in Argentina, Uruguay, Paraguay, and Brazil. You can cultivate the habit too — this is Miami, after all — but you'll need the right equipment. The Taystee Gourmet Deli and Bakery might not seem like the first choice of an aspiring matero, but don't be fooled: The back wall boasts an impressive collection of Argentine necessities, including matés, the hollow gourds that take the shredded leaves (ranging in price from about $5 to $7), and bombillas, the little metal straws that filter the drink and bring it piping-hot to your boca. Of course, the store sells the yerba maté itself, with a few brands to choose from; a pound of the stuff, plenty to get you started, won't cost more than $3 or $4.
It's amazing, but in a city with a Little Havana, a Little Haiti, a Little Buenos Aires, a Little Colombia, a Little Venezuela, and a Little Nicaragua, there aren't many places to fill that deeply felt American need for all things Mexican. But for you, our piñata-craving, taco-demanding, ranchera-howling friend, there is a spot to get all that you desire: Redland Market Village. Run largely by and for people born in Mexico, this weekend bazaar is a vibrant, bustling place filled with great food, cheerful live music, and a selection of produce, meats, and all manner of powder, spice, chilies, and beans. Best of all, it's located along the newly completed 22-mile bicycle path/Busway — which makes it a perfect lunch stop on a weekend bike ride to Florida City. Try the menudo — a stew made of pork, hominy, and a touch of amor, Mexican-style.
What do Jamie Foxx, Ray Charles, Alicia Keys, Tennessee Williams, Lauren Hill, Itzhak Perlman, Francis Ford Coppola, and Jackie Gleason have in common? They all bought pianos at Victor Pianos, that's what. The owner, Victor Tibaledo, is sitting behind the desk there today — right now, if it's Monday through Saturday from 9 to 5, or Sunday 12:30 to 5 — just as he was 50 years ago, when he started the business in a single building filled with pianos. Now there are five buildings — one for grand pianos, one for uprights, one for organs, one for keyboards, and one for the office, where Victor holds court and occasionally sells sheet music. He has plenty of everything at whatever price (within reason) you feel like paying. ("I just sold a piano to a truck driver," Victor's daughter Lisa told us when we visited.) Pianos range from $4,000 to $50,000, organs go for about $1,300 and up, and keyboards start at $500.
R.F. Orchids, Inc.
Vandas, ascocendas, and mericlones, oh my! R.F. Orchids, founded in 1970 by orchid wizard Robert Fuchs, is worth the journey down the Historic Redland Tropical Trail. There you'll find rows upon rows of orange, purple, yellow, and white floral beauties that dazzle and mystify. These gems have earned more than 800 awards from the American Orchid Society. The nursery is open 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and offers free tours — led by Fuchs himself — on weekends at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Enjoy the idyllic garden, where you can lounge in a hammock or chat near a fountain and pond with a complimentary cup of passion fruit juice. Don't worry — you won't wake up in Kansas.
In these uneasy economic times, it comes as no surprise that pawn shops are making record-breaking numbers of transactions. In Miami, especially, as the real estate bubble bursts, you can make some serious deals. And the definitive place to do business has to be Miami-Pawn, located smack in middle of bubble-bursting downtown. Open since the early Eighties, the place has clearly benefited from the condo boom. Fancy new buildings surround the shop, giving it an air of respectability and style sometimes absent from this sort of establishment. The entrance looks ultraclean, while the outside walls are painted white and blue, a nice contrast to typically dowdy colors. Inside you'll find top-quality flat-screen TV sets (a 32-inch Sony model was going for $500) along with plenty of bicycles, name-brand watches, and jewelry. There's also a varied collection of musical instruments such as Gibson guitars and Fender amps. Even better, the shop's employees are helpful and attentive, making the whole experience as pleasant as it can be.
In the era of laptop jocks and blog house, there's still a place for those addicted to vinyl: in north-central Miami. Super Soul Records, the down-South outpost of the legendary Bronx shop of the same name, quietly deals out the doses. Open since May of last year, it's run by George Johnson, a.k.a. King George, a longtime collector who is respected in New York for supplying big-name DJs and stores with the latest and greatest 12-inches. The local spot is a dusty crate-digger's dream. It carries only used records and specializes in all forms of dance music — meaning anything with funky bass, from reggae to hip-hop to soul to Latin. What's more, it's open seven days a week, and prices are nice. Recent finds have included 12-inch singles by hip-hop legends Mobb Deep and Jungle Brothers for just $3 a pop, and a 45 by vintage reggae hero Byron Lee for $15. It's enough to drive a digital convert into a wax relapse. A tip: Call before you go; the small strip-mall/warehouse location is hard to spot from the road.
Tattoos by Lou
Karli Evans

Local stalwart Tattoos by Lou is sort of like the Starbucks of tattooing and piercing, and we mean that in the most complimentary way. For starters, wherever you live in Miami-Dade County, there's a location more or less convenient for you (Kendall, North Miami, two in South Beach). Second, they're pretty standardized — you'll get the same efficient, polite service regardless of which one you choose. And they're clean — of course, a quality of the utmost importance when you're going to get stabbed with a piece of metal. But where Tattoos by Lou beats the competition is in relative price. They won't charge you an arm and a leg to poke a hole in another appendage; recent advertised specials have boasted piercings for as low as $20, including jewelry. In our book, there's no better place to get stuck.

Pass by the pizza shops and overstocked bodegas lining Washington Avenue and press your thumb to the fingerprint recognition apparatus outside the sexiest shop you've never been to. The black glass door slides open, you're transported into an oasis of modest-yet-actual arousal, and your inner sex kitten purrs with excitement. This women-only, membership-only boutique is the place to go for European lingerie, evening gowns, shoes, perfumes, jewelry, and all the other tools a certified minx uses to cast her spells. Outfitted in black lacquer and Swarovski crystals, dazzling Roberto Cavalli chandeliers, and mirrored hardware, Sex & ...'s décor is as alluring as it's merchandise. Prices range from $25 to several thousand dollars, so it doesn't matter if you're toasting at the champagne bar, perusing the solid gold vibrators, or trying on a teddy in one of the mirrored fitting rooms, the vibe alone will bring your sexy back in no time.
For more than 30 years, this family-owned business has met the discerning gagster's rubber-chicken, joy-buzzer, and squirting-lapel-flower needs. It also boasts thousands of Halloween costumes including Yoda and Princess Leia getups suitable for pets. The shop is stocked with hundreds of jokes, gags, magic tricks, and accessories guaranteed to unleash the inner prankster in you. Oh, and for that turd you want to plop on the boss's desk, it will crimp you a five spot.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®