In an ocean of fiery morning-radio clatter, Bernadette Pardo is a cool, unwavering presence. Her direct approach to local news keeps listeners informed, proving there's still a place for serious journalism on the AM dial. Coming from a family of respected journalists, Pardo gets to the bottom of the daily events. From 9 to 11 a.m. Monday through Friday, Pardo (along with cohost Jose A. Almora) brings Miami up-to-date while giving our extreme local events a level-headed analysis.
Founded in 2008 by local boy Andy Blazquez and Icelandic filmmaker Ingi Larusson, Life.is attempts to capture everything that makes Miami cool without selling out or looking to the old and tired Magic City tastemakers. Instead, with the help of local hipsterati member Barbie Bertisch, the duo captures the city's essence through decidedly apt text, video, and photography. "We are trying to boost Miami's local talent, whether it be art, music, fashion, or film through the site," Bertisch explains. Life.is has already profiled the likes of Danny Daze, Pirate Stereo, Alexis Mincolla, and Panic Bomber. Expect even bigger things this year — Bertisch vows the site will continue to showcase the city's talent using an array of media that makes Life.is much more than your average amateur blog.
If you've ever ventured into Doral, you've probably had to brave the nauseating, car-sickening, I-just-want-to-get-out-of-my-car and-stab-someone traffic, especially on Doral Boulevard, AKA 36th Street, AKA 41st Street (maybe the confusing three names have something to do with its madness?). So do three other factors: insane construction on adjacent streets, which draws escaping traffic to the boulevard; the proximity of Doral Academy (elementary, middle, and high school), which jams the street with a sea of parents, guardians, big brothers, sisters, and abuelos dropping off and picking up the kids; and the omnipresence of police officers filling their quota of fines. So avoid Doral Boulevard, because attempting to drive on it will cause you to commit some random act of vehicular violence.
Sometimes the information superhighway needs a roadmap, and the South Florida Daily Blog is just that, pinpointing all the best posts Miami's blogosphere has to offer, while adding its own info into the mix. Run by the semi-anonymous Rick, the frequently updated blog is the biggest cheerleader of other local bloggers, offering twice-daily highlights of their work as well as awards for best posts of the week and month. Of course, SFDB isn't just the cyber equivalent of a den mother handing out gold stars so everyone feels good about themselves. Like all the best bloggers, Rick has a strong point of view and a bit of bite, never shying away from controversy with other bloggers. Just ask Babalu or Carlos Miller. Rick's political posts, usually of the leftist persuasion, might not be for everyone, but his highlight of local weird news and other Internet LOLs certainly are.
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For locals, the thought of downtown Miami conjures visions of our mega arena, contemporary skyscrapers, and the 17-story Spanish-style building that holds more history than all of its steel neighbors combined: the Freedom Tower. The building's ornate details, intricate points, and curves reminiscent of the Giralda Tower of Seville, along with pale peach and yellow tones, provide a stark contrast to the surrounding sea of modernism. Constructed in 1925, the building is Miami's version of Ellis Island. Between 1962 and 1974, the former home of the Miami Daily News became el refugio, a U.S. immigration station for Cuban refugees flooding South Florida. Today the National Historic Landmark is part of the Miami Dade College Wolfson Campus and is used for events and exhibitions. So next time you're downtown and see Dwyane Wade's face shining on the arena's three-story-high LED screen, turn around, stand proud, and soak up Miami's ultimate landmark. To get a closer look, visit the tower Tuesday through Sunday from noon to 7 p.m., or call for a private tour. Most art exhibitions are free.
It seems obvious, but the secret is there are some hidden gems in the Collins Park area that few motorists bother to look for. Like the fact that after the Bass Museum of Art is closed, you can park after midnight for free in the small lot on Park Avenue near the gift shop. Most drivers worry they'll get towed, but rest assured you won't. Also hidden are the two public lots on 23rd Street across from the Plum TV offices and AeroBar. Both are small and easily forgotten if it weren't for the public-parking signs. If all else fails, most of the curbside spaces around the museum, library, and Miami City Ballet are available, and thank the parking gods that the public lot between the W South Beach and the Days Inn has reopened.
Many people familiar with 31-year-old Alfred Spellman probably don't realize the wealth of knowledge and topics that the Rakontur producer (Cocaine Cowboys, The U) frequently tweets. While most Twitter users babble about nonsense on the social networking tool, in 140 characters or fewer, Spellman lets us know about inner happenings at Rakontur (FYI, Dawg Fight, the back-yard fighter documentary based on a 2008 New Times story, comes out this fall) and comments on drug-related news and general Miami fucked-up-ness.Choice tweets include:"wonder where this guy's headed: Former Nazi and convicted child molester dies in Chile at 88 (New York Times)""Electric Pickle, why'd you have to cross the picket line and let Jersey Shore shoot?""keepin it classy, GOP ——> Republican congressman shouts 'baby killer' at Stupak on House floor during vote."
When the county mayor holds up one of your emails at a news conference to rail at your alleged "bias" for exposing him and his inner circle for feeding at the trough when he's cutting services, it's a nice feather in any reporter's cap. Matt Haggman, who holds a law degree, worked his way up in Miami's infinitely small print-newspaper industry. He started out writing about lawyers at the Daily Business Review before moving on to the Miami Herald, where he toiled in the business section. In 2008, he was one of three reporters on the daily's ground-breaking series about rampant mortgage fraud called "Borrowers Betrayed." Buyouts and layoffs finally prompted the Herald's editors to give him a beat where he has really blossomed as a daily reporter. If you want to know what's going on at county hall, read Haggman.
Big Cypress National Preserve
There's a great South Florida wonder between Miami and Naples, and we're not talking about the skunk ape. He's gotta be somewhere in Big Cypress National Preserve, that great, big national park in Miami's back yard. Every year from late November to April, the national park service offers ranger-guided tours through a variety of wilderness activities in the area. And they're all free. Our favorite is the wet and wild swamp walk, a muddy trek through sometimes waist-deep gator water. You'll get mud-soaked and wet just like the early Floridians exploring the amazing diversity of plant and animal life. Also awesome is the guided canoe trip. You'll fly through a mangrove tunnel, propelling your vessel via monkey-bar arm swings through the low branches. All equipment is provided; you just have to make a reservation by phone or in person at the Oasis Visitors Center, 50 miles west of Miami on the Tamiami Trail.
The Miami Herald is not the venerable newspaper she used to be. The digital age, employee buyouts and layoffs, and the real estate meltdown have left her ragged and battered. She's even fallen to fifth place among the largest dailies in the state. (Great Alvah Chapman's ghost, Batman!) Yet more often than people give her credit for, the Herald shows her old feistiness for dogged reporting. Our favorite was the March 28 Sunday front-page sordid crime tale penned by reporters David Smiley and Arthur Jay Harris. The duo retraced the evidence and witness statements that pointed to serial killer Jeffrey Dahmer as the man who kidnapped and subsequently decapitated 6-year-old Adam Walsh in 1981. Before he was murdered in prison in 1994, Dahmer told Hollywood Police detectives that he was in South Florida when Walsh disappeared, but he denied killing the boy. Smiley and Harris interviewed several witnesses who firmly believe Dahmer was the killer. The story eerily describes how Phillip Lohr saw a "man carrying a struggling, freckled child out of Sears' toy department exit" and putting the kid inside an illegally parked blue van that matched the description of a vehicle Dahmer was driving at the time. Smiley and Harris detail how cops did not follow up on a tip from two truck drivers who saw Dahmer fumbling with a bucket next to his blue van, which was parked on the side of the road off Florida's Turnpike. The creepiest anecdote was the revelation by Terry Keaton, who was 10 years old around the time Walsh disappeared. Keaton recalled that one week before Adam vanished, he was almost kidnapped by a man he now claims was Dahmer. Keaton's quote: "In my heart, I truly believe that was the guy who tried to get me that day.''

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®