Perrine Wayside Dog Park
Here at New Times, we think every pooch — from the mangiest of mutts (we're looking at you, Pabst, winner of 2009's Ugliest Dog Contest) to the purest of breeds — has the right to choose its very own spot to frolic, fart, and fetch. So, with that in mind, we wrote this description of the grrrrreatest dog park in Miami-Dade in language that only canines (and, quite possibly, Cesar Milan) can understand. While you're barking this out for your favorite four-legged fleabag, have fun trying to debunk our top-secret code: Bark, bark, yelp, woof? Perrine Wayside Dog Park! It's bow-wow-wow! Ruff, ruff, large central POND (!!!), splash, pant, you can SWIM in! Woof, ruff, bark, sniff others' butts without a leash! Bad leash. Good boy! Cat! Where, cat, where?! Sniff, sniff! Aw, no cat, just small dog in a roped-off area for little dogs so that big dogs don't mistake Chihuahua for cheeseburger. Cheeseburger, good. Cheeseburger want! See Frisbee overhead. Now want Frisbee! Chase Frisbee in spacious area, lush with plants to sniff and pee and sniff and pee on again and again, ruff, woof, scratch, chase tail, and sanitary bags available for when puppy makes pebbles! Lick, lick, go on WALK (!!!) around POND on a TRAIL. Do not get dirty! Hose on hand, so you may get B-A-T-H if you get muddy. Grrooowl... Whimper. No like bath. Wet. Mad. Do I want cheeseburger? Yes! Tail wag! Lick, lick, lick your face, try to lick your mouth, no mouth, lick cheek. Lick, lick! I love you! I love cheesebur — oh, cat!
Fontainebleau Miami Beach
Courtesy of the Fontainebleau Miami Beach
The hottest pop singer in the world performing at the most over-the-top hotel in Miami had scenesters in a tizzy as they fought to score tickets to this unprecedented New Year's Eve soiree. The Fontainebleau hosted the most in-demand NYE party on the international circuit with more than $1 million in presales. (Rumor has it that Lady Gaga herself picked up a cool $300,000 for 20 minutes of warbling.) Gaga's poolside concert didn't disappoint either. Beginning her show at midnight, the pop icon made four costume changes, stripped to her skivvies and fishnets, sang five songs (including "Bad Romance"), and electrified the 3,000-plus crowd. Celebs in attendance included young Hollywood types such as Chace Crawford, JC Chasez, Stacy Keibler, Kevin Connolly, Hayden Panettiere, and Frankie Delgado. While the afterparty continued at LIV, Lady Gaga decided to jump into the pool with her BFF, former Miamian Perez Hilton, instead of clubbing it. For that, we fell in love with her even more.
If beachside routes are as popular and predictable as Top 40 radio, this tour is like NPR: You'll learn something if you pay attention. Witness the confused chicken clucking around NE Second Avenue. This is her home, and she is not afraid of you. Head west and wonder, What's that noise? It sounds like a party, but it's actually a church. Peek inside: They are dancing. Down the street, a hair weave has been tossed to the sidewalk, ominously. Wonder how it got there. Loop back south and spot that new Obama mural. Mr. President is smiling again. Breathe in the smoky barbecue smell; see the ghostly foreclosed buildings; marvel at the gang graffiti. Roll by Churchill's and end with a beer. Then make a toast: To Haiti. To one hard year.
Like the quiet kid in class, burlesque dancers are intriguing because of what they don't show you. Unlike strippers (who show too much) or ballerinas (who show too little), the sexy ladies of Shameless Burlesque understand the art of the tease. These pierced and tattooed vixens — who look like a gang of SuicideGirls — use music, film, and dance to create a mood that is both sexy and artsy. They seem made for a Quentin Tarantino flick: There's Holly Peño the classic Latina fetish dancer, Miss Kiara Deville the sword-swallowing makeup artist, Audrey Rose Lautrec the fire-dancing pin-up girl, and Morgan La Rue the latex-loving fetish queen. Expect an eclectic mix of soul, oldies, and upbeat indie rock. Check them out at the Vagabond, Purdy Lounge, and Oceans 234.
At first glance, Morningside Park looks like the VIP room of open space. But don't let the arm gate and security guards fool you: It's available to everyone. Tucked away in what feels like a secret nook, a few happy joggers sweat next to a bay dotted with sailboats. The sun rises over the water while they heave — hearts fluttering — on a paved path shaded by trees. Women stretch on yoga mats as old Cuban guys fish next to rocks in the distance. Nearby, shirtless men do chinups on an obstacle course complete with monkey bars and balance beams. Three times around a winding, partially shaded, teardrop-shaped path is suitable for an easy Sunday morning jog. To push yourself, venture to the outside neighborhood, where cars are scarce and houses are colorful. Open from 7:30 a.m. until 9 p.m. weekends and 8 p.m. weekdays. Free parking.
Many single females in this town tend to think they're better, smarter, and more worthy than any single male. So gawking from the opposite side of a bar or spitting out slick lines poolside might not get the average prowling male very far. Not to mention that ladies often travel in packs, so guys must first penetrate the often jaded BFF posse before getting to their lady of interest. So why not approach a woman when she is alone, calm, and in tune with her inner-single self? At Coconut Grove's new yoga locale, Dharma Studio, start with the Gentle Stretchy Yoga class if you're a beginner, or the Vinyasa Yoga class if you're feeling brave and limber. Bring your own mat, or rent one there, and unroll it right next to the gal who catches your eye or can hold the lotus position longest. Owners Natalie Morales and Loree Shrager opened the Zen spot in January, and members say it is quickly becoming the Grove's go-to studio for South Miami, female yogis of all ages and types. Classes are small, usually no more than 20 people and sometimes under five, optimal for practicing your yoga breathing — or your game. The quaint one-room studio exudes peace, from walls accented with paintings of Buddha to soothing, lingering aromas of incense. A single drop-in class costs about $15, the price of a drink on the Beach, and the yoga studio is on the same street as some of the Grove's most popular eateries and bars — just in case class goes well. Oh, and the female-to-male ratio is 75 to 25, so go forth and namaste.
Want a daylong kayak adventure? Hit the emerald waters off Key Biscayne, cut through bridges and canals, and explore historical sites while spotting stingrays, tropical fish, sea turtles, and the occasional pod of dolphins or manatees, under the open canopy of stark blue and sunshine, with the downtown Miami skyline as your backdrop. Paddle the coastal edges and examine the parrotfish, crabs, and shrimp that skim the sea-grass beds swaying in the shallower parts of the water. Explore the dunes and sandbars that wedge themselves out of the azure Atlantic a few yards off the various beaches. Then hit the open waters, gliding over the crests borne from the light, brisk trade winds, and explore places such as Vizcaya and Mashta House, and gawk at the multimillion-dollar houses that line the interior parts of the bay. End the day by traversing into the deeper waters one mile south of the southern end of Key Biscayne and explore Stiltsville, the historic wooden stilt homes built in the middle of Biscayne Bay in the 1930s. You can launch off any beach on Key Biscayne, while places like Crandon Park and Sailboards Miami offer hourly rentals and even group tours.
Aqua Foundation for Women
If a charity can be simultaneously sexy and socially aware — like Al Gore in a corset — these girls can pull it off. The Aqua Foundation for Women raises money for breast cancer and promotes equality for lesbian, bisexual, and transgender ladies. But don't get them wrong: These chicks know how to throw a bash. Take, for example, a certain sex-crazed, booze-soaked annual lesbian pool party. Volunteer at their annual weeklong event, Aqua Girl, and count on making friends. You'll help with comedy shows, live music, and a jazz brunch, to name just a few events, with smart and witty gals. You'll talk about culture, global affairs, sex, more sex, politics, and — naturally — women. They'll make you want to do some good, damn it.
The only way to get into a pick-up game at any number of basketball courts around this city is to either be really patient while waiting to get into a game or to anticipate someone's knee ligament exploding and then hoping his teammates choose you to play. That will never happen, because the pick-up basketball gods hate you. The best solution to this, however, is to find an out-of-the-way court, where the wait is short and the odds of you actually playing in a game are greater than the odds of you sitting on your basketball, sipping Powerade, and watching a bunch of strangers play ball. Located in the backstreets of North Miami Beach, Victory Park is where you'll find sanctuary from the three-hour wait-a-thons. It offers two courts, which are smooth, clean, and well maintained. Nestled between a playground and a few unassuming apartment complexes, the courts are well lit in the evening and have nets that are actually clean, threaded perfectly, and fully intact. Victory Park courts are open to the public from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily.
Vizcaya Museum & Gardens
Courtesy of Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
No, you can't tell what his face really looks like. And, yes, perhaps he is hiding a ring under that Freddy Krueger glove, which, by the way, he happens to be wearing on the wrong hand. But just for tonight, you can be sure that your masqueraded mate is the pick of the litter. Why? This annual event seems to attract the guys with money, honey. Tickets cost about the same as a bottle of Dom ($125 for general admission, which is more than some club thug is willing to spend on a few shots of Patrón, for sure). And just the idea that Mr. Mystery turned down a few Pimp 'n Ho party invitations to schlep all the way out to Vizcaya for a four-hour-long fundraiser is a sign that the guy's got class. As for why the gents flock to this event, well that's elementary: they know they have the best chance to meet hot chicks already willing to play dress up.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®