You want to watch the latest release on DVD, but you know that if you buy it, you'll watch it only once and then the thing will gather dust or serve as a coaster. So what do you do? You head to the nearest rental store and shell out seven or eight bucks for a movie you'll watch once. You'll pay a price equal to that of a movie ticket, and you won't even get the theater experience. But if you head to Porky's Video Club in Hialeah, you'll leave with a few more dollars in your wallet. Porky's is old-school; it still has some VHS releases in the back. Membership is free, and each movie costs $2.50 to rent. There's a large stock — and games too. And new releases come in just as fast as at any chain store. The place has been around since the Eighties, and it feels like it. Every time you step through the doors, you can't help but hear "I Ran" by A Flock of Seagulls playing in the back of your head.
Miami is one of the world's capitals for midcentury furniture, but out of all of our high-quality outlets, the largest and most diverse is Miami Art and Design Expo. Run by brothers Robert and Carl Massello, M.A.D.E. features booths sponsored by a variety of local dealers, all of whom have favorite styles, designers, and periods, so you'll find bureaus rescued from the old Eden Roc Hotel next to Sixties Brown Jordan outdoor furniture next to Eames Eiffel-base plastic chairs. Come prepared to haggle (prices are quoted on-site) and to spend more than you would at a thrift store. The dealers select the best pieces from estate sales, conventions, etc., so they know the value of everything, and you should too. It's also advisable to come often. The Massellos are nice guys who reward repeat customers, and some of the best stuff hits the showroom floor in the morning and is gone that afternoon. But be careful of developing a designer furniture obsession, or M.A.D.E. might become your second home.
Visiona
In Miami there's no shortage of cool, retro shops. Blame it on all those estate sales and wealthy retires. Still, the vintage collection at Visiona stands out for its ever-changing selection and affordable prices. A few years back, local vintage stores charged extravagant prices for their wares. But with the advent of eBay, these joints have learned to compete. And Visiona, which specializes in authentic 20th-century furniture, is the place to fully appreciate and try out the great designs of the past 60 years. There's no old junk to be found here. All the items in the store's crammed showroom have been selected for their vintage authenticity. Genuine Saarinen tulip chairs, which sell new for $1,200, can be found at Visiona for just $350. While knickknacks such as Panasonic's space-age Sixties TV sets can be had for $200. The store also offers plenty of lamps, sofas, and old design books.
Dolphin Mall
Courtesy of Taubman Centers, Inc.
Texting is so pedestrian. E-mail can be cold. Billboards are too pricey. Wanna say, "I love you," "I hate you," "Join Team Firecrotch," or "I used to be a guy"? Everything looks better on a T-shirt. If you bring your own tee to Embroidery and More, prices start at $10 for printing and $15 for embroidery. From there, what you shell out depends on the type, size, and number of letters you choose. The kiosk is open from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. Sunday, and can whip up whatever you want while you wait. Go ahead, plaster the name of a loved one across your chest, buy a large fountain Coke, and revel in being a mall rat.
Evelyn Greer Park
Maybe you like to take a break from scurrying around the web by scurrying around the jogging path. Or perhaps you just like to watch some other sucker sweat while you surf and enjoy a cool breeze in the shade. Either way, bring your laptop and grab a seat at one of eight comfy picnic tables under the park's large gazebo. From there you can check on your little ones as they scamper about the shaded tot lot, or gaze upon an expanse of ball fields that host local softball and soccer leagues. Then there are the batting cages and the 15-station Parcourse Fitcircuit. Originally named Pinecrest Park on January 27, 2001, the place was renamed in November 2004 for the village's first mayor (we're pretty sure her election to the Miami-Dade school board the same month couldn't have hurt). In 2005, the park was highlighted as one of the best playgrounds in South Florida by Parenting Magazine, so you know there's plenty of action. For sedentary types, there's a snack bar with an extensive menu of Cuban pastries and croquetas and hot dogs and all sorts of candy and ice cream; most items cost a buck or less. Best of all: The wi-fi is free.
Wine69
This isn't the largest place to buy wine in the city, nor is it exactly a store. It's kind of like a cozy neighborhood bar with an excellent wine list that happens to serve delicious, Mediterranean-inspired tapas. But you can just stop by to pick up a bottle. Owner Ben Neji — he's French, and it shows in the menu and wine offerings — stocks some 250 vintages; the bottles stand, floor-to-ceiling, right in the dining area. Many of them come from small-production vineyards, and (surprise) many are affordable. That is, they go for under $20. There are also weekly winetastings, during which you can pay $17 and try five or six delicious varieties from around the globe. And if you're not sure what to buy for a dinner party, take a seat. Wine 69 offers 10 "flights" of three wines each (from $11 to $17, generously poured), which allow you to sample everything from delicate California Chardonnays to blood-red Old World offerings. Neji certainly took a chance on opening his place on this stretch of Biscayne Boulevard — not too long ago, it was a catwalk for hookers and homeless — but now that Michy's and Starbucks have arrived, he has proven a unique concept can thrive on the Upper Eastside.
Schnebly Redland's Winery
Those were the days. Sneaking sips of Boone's Farm with your high school friends under the bleachers. It splashed across the palate like a boozy, overripe strawberry. Oh so bad, but oh so good. We get older. It becomes all about the Cabs and Pinots — turning our noses at our fruit-flavored roots. Family-owned Schnebly Redland's Winery will bring you back. But not too far. Their fruit wines are far from the cheap stuff. The rural winery transports you to Northern California, where, for $5, visitors receive a glass to sip five of the local fruit wines. Keep the glass; it's good for a lifetime of free tastings. A standout: the award-winning sweet litchi wine. A bottle of it retails for $18.95 and tastes like an exotic Riesling.

Gas prices are killing you. Every time you think about how much you've spent filling and refilling that friggin' SUV, it makes your back hurt so much you can't move. And not long ago, while checking the oil, you tripped and sprained your ankle. And then the damn thing overheated because you didn't add water to the radiator. Well, the answer to your automotive prayers awaits in Little Haiti. It's full-service gasoline — just like it was back in the Sixties. Sure you'll pay a bit more at the Unico — full-serve regular cost $3.94 on a recent day, while self-serve was a mere $3.27. But every now and then, it's worth it. The efficient attendants will make sure your car is in running order (except the tires ... they're your problem). Your hands won't stink of gasoline. And the gentlemen are friendly too. Just say merci when they finish pumping.

Lucky Tattoo
If you have a tat that you regret, you didn't get it done at Lucky Tattoo. Not at the Collins Avenue location ... nor at the one on Washington or 15th Street. And you couldn't have possibly gone to Kentucky or overseas for it. Nah, you sure didn't. The shop has catered to more than 250,000 customers, but the Lucky artists had nothing to do with that muddy tribal tattoo on your forearm. So try 'em out. You can bring in your own sketch or choose from one of the thousands of premade designs, and get exactly what you want. Costs range from $60 for something small to $10,000 for a full body tat. And if you ask for Dow at the Collins location, she'll hook you up with a design that can be seen only under the black light of your favorite club (or Eighties bedroom).
Inspiration hit in a chilly Dublin bathroom in 2005. Miami native Kino MacGregor decided to break from globetrotting as a guest teacher and return home to launch a studio. The following year, she opened Miami Life Center on a peaceful portion of Sixth Street. But the homey studio in the golden brick building is far from a dank Ireland restroom. The smell of incense and the sound of a trickling fountain fill the warm space where yogis can buy DVDs, props, and pleasantries. A single class costs $18, but the more you buy, the less you pay. Budget-conscious options are the $5 community class each week and a free monthly event covering topics from shamanic healing to life coaching. MacGregor, who is 30 years old, is an emerging standout among the deep-breathing set. The doctoral candidate in holistic health was recently named Yoga Journal's top 21 teachers under 40. She just released her first DVD and is the youngest of only 12 women in the world certified to teach high-energy Ashtanga yoga. And like her, much of the staff holds graduate degrees or has studied with the 93-year-old founder of Ashtanga yoga, Sri K. Pattabhi Jois, in India ... not Ireland.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®