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Ever since he hung up his shingle in the late '70s, Fredric Snitzer has been a driving force behind the South Florida contemporary art scene. The graybeard dealer and Wynwood pioneer has long been a mentor to homegrown artists. He also has been a staple at Art Basel since it parachuted into town a decade ago and remains the sole Miami representative on the über-exclusive Swiss fair's selection committee. Ground zero for the sizzling Second Saturday arts crawl, Snitzer's Wynwood gallery boasts top-drawer talent, including big names such as Hernan Bas, Bert Rodriguez, Luis Gispert, and Naomi Fisher. The kingmaker's exhibits have always been edgy and polished and often leave viewers' heads spinning. An artist himself, Snitzer has always given those in his stable the freedom to follow their vision without caving to the bottom line. Not to say Snitzer's reward hasn't been big. He is a shrewd businessman who is both respected and envied by competitors who covet his blue-chip list of collectors and willingness to endure long waiting lists to snag his artists' works. But at an age when others at the top of their game might slow down or spend more time on the golf course than at the office, Snitzer is still punching the clock and nurturing emerging talent, such as Michael Vasquez, and regularly selling out entire shows. Thanks to Snitzer's homegrown hustle and uncanny eye for talent, Miami is now a serious contender on the international stage.
If you haven't been to the Bird Road Art District, you're missing out on the walk that does away with galleries and takes you into the working studios of two dozen professional artists who have turned an industrial strip near train tracks into a hotbed of Latin American art. See the paint-dripped warehouse walls where their work is created, and the sketches, tools, and muses that inspire them. From live, custom glassblowing at Matthew Miller's Nickel Glass studio, to massive sculpting at Esteban Blanco's space, radical art at Luis Fuentes's, provocative installations at Ray Azcuy's, and Latin expressionism at Mano Fine Arts, you'll find a full range of emerging and established artists hard at work. Free parking, a complimentary shuttle service looping through the district, food trucks, and free wine make for a convenient adventure in a creatively thriving district. Check it out every third Saturday of the month.
Shall I compare thee to a summer's day? Better not. For starters, no one appreciates being called stifling and sticky. Besides, Miamians aren't down with such poetic metaphors, right? Wrong. O, Miami, the inaugural monthlong poetry festival, proved otherwise, which is a big deal for a city whose reputation as a party town eclipses any literary scene. Organized by University of Wynwood director P. Scott Cunningham and self-proclaimed "culturologist" Pete Borrebach, O, Miami had a mission to make sure each of Miami's 2.5 million residents encountered a poem during April 2011. And considering the ambitious street-level and highbrow programming, we think the festival came pretty close to its goal. O, Miami brought in U.S. Poet Laureate W.S. Merwin, National Book Award finalist Anne Carson, the Merce Cunningham dancers, Brooklyn Rail publisher Phong Bui, and Broken Social Scene's Andrew Whiteman, among others. The organizers also employed a couple of guerrilla tactics to expose the uninterested to great verse — dropping biodegradable poems from an airplane over Sweatstock, printing poetry on menus, and broadcasting it on DMV monitors. O, Miami poets drove around Miami in a red Ferrari and shouted verse from megahorns. And when über-star James Franco was delayed for an appearance alongside his poetry professor Tony Hoagland, a remarkable thing happened. The audience's visible anxiety over the 127 Hours actor's absence soon changed to rapt attention as Hoagland read his own verse, which eulogized everything from blowjobs to Britney Spears.
Ocean Drive has two very distinct personalities. On one hand, she's a noisy tourist trap, filled with giant mojitos, food that tastes cheap yet costs $100, and too many bodies trying to navigate teeny-tiny sidewalks. But look up and you'll find some of the most intriguing architecture in the world, dating back to a time in the not-so-distant past filled with flappers in fringe and men in top hats and tails. The Art Deco Welcome Center provides daily iPod-led audio tours of these architectural gems. For a mere $15 (the price of one cocktail), you can spend the entire day exploring these pastel wonders (though the tour itself runs about an hour and a half). For added enjoyment, grab a beverage and some friends and imagine what the Miami Beach of the jazz age must have been like.
South Florida Circus Art School
Despite what you've heard, the best place to fly in the 305 is not Miami International Airport, Kendall-Tamiami Executive Airport, Richards Field, Opa-locka Executive Airport, or even Homestead General Aviation Airport. Nope, the best place to soar midair is at the South Florida Circus Art School in North Miami Beach. You still might have to take off your shoes, but rest assured that no clowns will frisk you or confiscate your liquids. Instead, master-level circus performers teach contortion, trapeze, aerial fitness, and flying yoga. Learn how to glide through the air using a single strip of fabric and no safety line. Spiral, drop, or climb higher and lower using only key grips and your killer core strength. Laurie Allen, who owns and runs SFCAS, says she acquired her first crop of instructors at a Cirque du Soleil audition. She also says that because circus performers practice every day, you never know which visiting big-top artists will be strung up next to you. But don't let that intimidate you. The classes are filled with just as many fitness freaks as those collecting Barnum & Bailey paychecks.
Lincoln Road Mall
Photo courtesy of the Greater Miami Convention and Visitors Bureau
There's nothing more entertaining than watching underage kids escaping from late-night raves and wandering near the bus terminal during Ultra Music Festival. Typically standing around and waiting for someone to give them a ride home, these kids are easy to spot even in the darkness: lanky, sweaty teens wearing shit-eating grins, loads of rubber or string bracelets, and such a mix of fluorescents, patterns, and ill-fitting spandex accouterments that make them look like refugees from an American Apparel store in the Harajuku district.
The sold-out event atop the Herzog & de Meuron-designed 1111 Lincoln Road parking garage transformed the exposed concrete structure into a whimsical playground of sweets. But while this candyland featured delicious cakes by Jacques Torres, Ron Ben-Israel, Duff Goldman, Lori Karmel, Colette Peters, and others, there was more to the sugar rush than baked goods. The celebration, which highlighted the South Beach Wine & Food Festival's tenth anniversary, featured an open bar that included Moët & Chandon, 10 Cane Rum, Hennessy, and Grand Marnier. And if partygoers needed a break from the sweets and alcohol, Shake Shack was there with burgers to soak it all up. Did we mention Martha Stewart and Emeril Lagasse hosted? Perhaps it's because we were too busy watching ice sculptors transform blocks of frozen water into the biggest birthday cake we've ever seen.
You might not think women who actively write and read are automatically attractive, but one day you will want your children to be literate. You know who'll teach them to read? Your intelligent woman. But it's not always easy to find smart ladies when you're boozing at Mansion like it's your full-time job. Brainy gals are busy doing other things besides lines of cocaine. Miami Poetry Collective's Miami Squares helps bring quality females out of their hiding places. You'd be hard-pressed to find a group of dummies who came out for a night of playing with words. The evening of poetry isn't your typical reading (snoozefest); rather it involves interactive and evolving formats and playful poetry games. Miami Squares breaks down the usual reading/listening formats that make verse unsexy and creates fun times through outrageous and elaborate ways of dealing with language. The exercises are funny, goofy, and interactive. Nothing has changed since high school — poetry is still the best way to meet smart women.
Sweat, sawdust, Budweiser, and brains. These are the ingredients for a panty-dropping potion. All are in abundance at the Little River Yacht Club. This place isn't a yacht club at all, but an artists' association, studio, workshop, and gallery situated amid the warehouses and barking dogs of the Little River neighborhood. The Little River Yacht Club shows artwork that other galleries might deem unsafe, which is kind of hot, no? During the exhibit "That's Not a Knife," a giant crossbow shot wooden projectiles through a wooden target, and "Can You Feel It?" by Los Angeles artist John Burtle made us feel it. The artists who rent studio space here aren't all men, but they include manly dudes such as Justin H. Long, Richard Haden, Emmett Moore, Robert "Meatball" Lorie, and Orlando Estrada. These guys are engineering masterminds who forge contraptions and artworks out of wood or metal. They also wax philosophic at Salon Theory Night, when matters of the mind and art are explored every other Tuesday. Don't be intimidated, though. Women are welcome — and also welcome to bring their own Bud Light or even a bottle or box of wine.
Any mathematician, gambler, or Google employee will tell you it's a numbers game. A-holes like Mystery and the rest of the pack of Pick-Up Artists/ Game devotees understand the formula: Hit on a lot of girls, and eventually one will be a winner. Yes, numbers are important. So where can you tip the ratio in your favor? Start with the basics: Find a place where a large number of women flock. If you're thinking a Victoria's Secret sale or Zumba class, you're on the right track, but you risk being perceived as a creep. So instead, prove your modern-day savvy and go online. No, not to Match.com; sign up for daily deal site Gilt City. Soon enough you'll find an event filled with women in their 20s and 30s with a penchant for the finer things in life at discounted prices. Cue the polished, well-dressed, money-saving, girly girl who loves manis, pedis, cosmos, and small dogs, designer bag included. You're likely to be one of the few straight men at these events, mingling with the young, pretty, and professional set. Face it: You're outnumbered, and you love it.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®