Lou's Police Supply
A gun shop is just like a hair salon. Customers will always ask for the model they've just seen on their favorite celebrity. At Lou's Police Supply, they'll want the James Bond (a Heckler & Koch .45: $1,539) or the Jason Bourne (a Sig Sauer 9mm pistol: $759), and the armory is likely to have not just a couple lying around, but a dozen, and in different sizes and colors. Ask any heavy worth his damn where he got his piece, and he'll likely say Lou's, a mainstay in South Florida for nearly 60 years owned by former cop Lou Garcia. At 30,000 square feet, this Valhalla of firepower is as close as you can get here to Travis Bickle's fantasy playground. At least 100 customers, many of them police officers, walk through the Hialeah showroom every day, looking for everything from a cardboard shooting target or a bulletproof vest to a 13-inch Hisshou military fighting knife ($229). Now, for the gunslinger who can't afford the James Bond, or even the Gunsmoke, Lou's also carries 13 brands of used weapons starting at $200. And if that's unaffordable, stick to the store's free catalogue. The 72-pager is a regular Playboy for gun owners.
When Ralph Chaviano was a little kid, his father would bring home reams of copy machine paper from the office. Pops would go down to the basement of their Brooklyn brownstone and place the packaged stacks in neat piles on the concrete floor. Whenever Chaviano completed a chore or brought home good grades, his dad would hand him a ream so Ralphie could draw cartoon characters and other whimsical doodles for as long as he wanted. Some three decades later, Chaviano's nickname, "Image," rings throughout the 305. "I get satisfaction from people trusting me with their skin and letting me draw something on them that will last the rest of their lives," he says while etching a koi fish onto a customer's left bicep. The 35-year-old artist got his break seven years ago in New York's Greenwich Village, working for celebrity tattoo artist Jonathan Shaw. Two years ago, Chaviano opened his own shop in the City of Progress to be closer to his family. In that time, he's built a steady stream of local and national celebrity clientele such as rapper Fat Joe's protégé Pistol Pete and mixed martial arts brawler Rene "Level" Martinez. "Hialeah is my home," Chaviano says enthusiastically. "I get a lot of love in this city." A good-sized tattoo will run you $150 to $200.
Hell Bound City Tattoos
Life moves fast in the concrete subtropics, every scar tells a story, and time flies on bat wings. There aren't many things you can buy that will be with you the rest of your life, so when you get tattooed, don't trust just anyone with a sharpened guitar string, cassette motor, and a bottle of India ink. For professional work, see Hell Bound City, a shop that shows true commitment to the art form and the culture behind it. Inside, you'll find a rockabilly head's custom hot rod and a tiki-inspired tribute to living ink. Plus shop owner Esteban Dalpra knows tattoos. He is covered in them — even some by his own hand for practice. Starting with an apprenticeship in his native Buenos Aires in the '90s, Dalpra moved to Miami and spent years sharpening his skills in the high-volume world of South Beach ink slinging at Tattoo Circus. Since 2007, he has owned and operated the first and only tattoo shop in the Wynwood Arts District. So whether you want flash off the wall, a custom piece, or even your own drawing etched into your flesh, Hell Bound City's got your back, front, arms, legs, and whatever else covered.
Tattoo Gallery By Luiz Segatto
So you want to stick it to your parents, society, the boss man, and just good taste in general. And you want to do it by, well, getting stuck. There are two keys to consider when you're thinking of letting a stranger slide a spike through your flesh: cleanliness and price. If that's your checklist, you should look no further than Luiz Segatto's venerable tattoo parlor on "Piercing Row" along a just-grimy-enough stretch of Washington Avenue in South Beach. The Brazilian Segatto is an artist in his own right, with regular studio shows of his trippy neon-colored demons and samurai, and his spic-and-span tattoo parlor is chock full of art — on bodies and on the walls. Segatto offers all the regular piercings — eyebrow, navel, nose — for just $60, including the jewelry. Suck it, Mom! In this recession, society would frown on you for not getting pierced at that price.
Picking a fine chapeau to cover your dome can say a lot about your personality. A porkpie identifies you as the classic man-about-town who knows where to find the secluded watering holes in which jazz, blues, and ska sing from a vintage jukebox. A trilby, with its deeply indented crown and flexible brim, will give you that mysterious yet dashing look of a private eye ready to expose the Machiavellian misdeeds of corrupt politicians. And a fedora will make you look like you just stepped off the set of James Cagney's The Public Enemy. For the past 14 years, Hats & Hats has been helping Miami-Dade's stylish ballers find the right headgear to match their three-piece suits and golf attire. You can check out styles and prices ranging from Kangol ($35) to Puerto Fino ($75 to $145). Hats & Hats also has a wide selection of women's styles for the church ladies.
Mack Cycle and Fitness
If you like to bike in Miami, you know Mack. It's been here for a half-century. You might well know Manny, the mechanic who has done repairs for the past 38 years. Heck, you even might have perused the great clearance deals online for last year's bikes or dreamed about that 15-pound, $12,000 Pinarello the store carries. The best thing about Mack, though, is the people. Many are serious bikers who compete in triathlons. When you buy a bike, these masters of the trade fit you like nowhere else. They not only adjust the seat but also study the derailleur, the crank, and the pedals — everything that could cause a problem down the road. You can also get great cycling clothing here cheap. A jersey goes for as little as $19.95. So hit the Mack, and you'll come back.
SOFLO is a killer skate shop, but it isn't just a killer skate shop. It's a bike repair place, community clubhouse, and barbecue spot too. Pick any random day, grab a few tallboys from Kwik Stop Mart down the street, and then roll up on your fixed-gear cruiser with a Baker board and hibachi strapped to your back. Without fail, the SOFLO mofos will welcome you like a brother. From outside, the only visible branding is a set of neon cardboard cutouts advertising stuff like "Longboards" and "Swank." Inside, though, it's visual overload. The walls are splashed from floor to ceiling with the insane Sharpie scribblings of SOFLO resident graff guy SuperDuper Jr5. He'll draw on almost anything — dirty napkins, losing lottery tickets, sleeping friends. There's even a carefully curated not-for-sale collection of boards designed and signed by skate-scene guys such as the legendary NeckFace. But most important, the swank for sale is plentiful. You got $25 organic cotton and hemp longsleeves from Elwood and others. You got rad kicks — Etnies, Vans, Vox, etc. — for $30 to $65. And you got street decks from most major companies as well as SOFLO's own custom line of $35 Jr5-designed boards. You got wheels and bearings and more. So show up, shop, and say "Hey!" to SOFLO mascot Cognac. He's a brindle bull terrier, and he can usually be found chilling on a bar chair in the corner.
Federal Bike Depot
Watch out for bicycle salesmen who wear ties. Or, really, anything besides a pair of beat-up jeans. Those clean-cut dudes will assume you can afford to peddle something that costs more than open-heart surgery. And they are as much fun to haggle with as a pot of boiled cabbage. To escape that snooty, yuppied-out bike scene, check out Federal Bike Depot, a nondescript white building with a seafoam-green overhang on a quiet North Beach street. These are bikes for the people, with secondhand rides that cost $100 to $250. The shop has a fine selection of mountain bikes and beach cruisers by brands such as Trek, Schwinn, and Diamondback. Every once in a while, you'll find a sweet deal on a vintage Raleigh. Nothing fancy — just decent bikes at fair prices. It's the jeans and T-shirts of the bike world.
There is no better way to traverse South Beach than by scooter. All of the annoying aspects of the neighborhood — the traffic, the parking — melt away, replaced by a little buzzing motor and the whoosh of wind in your face. That said, renting a scooter on South Beach has always been a bit of an annoyance too, if we're being nitpicky. Who wants to go to a scooter rental place? Isn't that a bit... Nebraskan? To address this travesty, a new business model has popped up: locally based Roam delivers scooters — plus beach-cruiser bicycles and skateboards — to any location in Miami Beach. The Vespas cost from $50 to $60 for a half-day rental to $75 to $95 for a full day. They come with a complimentary tank of fuel, and delivery and pick-up are free, meaning you don't have to waste any of your SoBe time trudging to and from a rental location or figuring out where you stick the gas nozzle.
American Luxury Auto Rental
In Miami — a freeway city where flash is all that matters — your car is everything. Drive up to a club in a vehicle that costs more than the average two-family house and you'll be shocked at how deferential everybody becomes, from the valet kid to the bouncer to the vampire at the bar with fake boobs and money-symbol eyeballs. Sure, you work at Denny's and drive a dented 1992 Corolla, but that's what those pre-approved plastic things you get in the mail are for: To spend money you ain't got to be somebody you are not. There are tons of exotic-car-rental spots in Miami, but most of them are unlicensed, fly-by-night operations that should be avoided like a streetside game of three-card monte. That said, there are a few legitimate rental businesses. Our favorite is American, which has its main office by Miami International Airport. You'll probably be berated by the wise-cracking Lamborghini Nazi at the front desk, but the place stocks more than 100 luxury vehicles. The experience will cost you from $899 a day for a Porsche Panamera to $2,200 a day for a Ferrari, and yes, it's shallow as hell — but we're guessing there's a reason you don't live someplace classy like Vancouver or San Francisco.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®