Those of us who love the printed word are under attack. Tech companies come out with new and improved e-readers and tablets every month, while the magazine rack seems to shrink at the market, and even big-box bookstores are beginning to disappear. Getting our hands on those sweet, glossy pages has become more difficult than ever. Luckily, a few old-fashioned newsstands still dot the landscape. The grimy, bodega-like aesthetics of Mindy's News & Gift Shop certainly don't match the pretty looks of an iPad, but the selection here is unmatched. Where else in town can you pick up multiple magazines about niche topics such as pro biking and collector's toys while flipping through relevant editions of nearly every regional Vogue? Not only does Mindy's carry a wide selection of new mags, but also employees usually leave leftover copies of previous editions on the shelves, which is good news for those of us who forgot to pick up a copy of The New Yorker last week. We don't know how long it will be before digital issues made for tablet computers totally replace printed publications, but we'll treasure old-school newsstands such as Mindy's as long as they're around.
WD 555
More than 400 bottles of wine line the aisles and back walls of Philippe Buchbinder and Jean-Luc Oizan Chapon's Miami Beach wine warehouse. The industrial-like space has a pleasant ambiance and houses not only a wine store but also a wine bar and bistro, making it a cool spot to either pick up a bottle to go or enjoy it right there at the U-shaped bar or outdoor bistro. The corkage fee is a modest $7.50, and the bottles — which cover the globe, from France to the States to Chile — mostly range in price from $10 to $30. A knowledgeable staff does a fine job helping you sort through the selection, even when you dash in not knowing exactly what you want. For special occasions, a glass-enclosed cellar houses pricier wine and champagne bottles starting at $35, with a $15 corkage.
Who wants to walk or drive all the way to some beer store to get an enormous quantity of beer? Ugh, barf. Clearly, the way a true luminary — we're thinking William "Refrigerator" Perry — would get beer for his beer party is by calling up the beer guy on his (beer?) phone and ordering it like some General Tso's chicken. Also, we might lose a sponsor for saying this, but Miller Lite tastes like DJ Pauly D's urine, bro. We are utterly sick and tired of Miami's dearth of premium beer. Yo Beer Guys delivers kegs (starting at $100), half-kegs (many less than $100), and tasting crates of really good export and micobrewery beers (most between $1 to $2 a bottle) — with names such as Bison Brewing, Baltika Zhiguli, Bedele, Bierbrouwerij De Koningshoeven Trappist (yes, we're looking at the B section of their website) — to your door without you or your friends having to put on pants and/or take the plastic cheese hats off your heads. There are also beer gift baskets with premium beers and cheese and crackers and stuff, which you will buy for your great-uncle Rodney's 82nd birthday, but then you'll forget to go to the post office to send it, and he'll die, and you'll mournfully be forced to eat and drink his gift. Mmm, tragedy beer. Agony cheese. Barf.
Jorge's Pharmacy
For Cubans, actually most Latinos, Jorge's Pharmacy is a place where you can buy those otherwise hard-to-find items: Maja-brand soaps and face powder, Fitina tablets (think Hispanic Focus Factor), a Mirta de Perales hair brush, and El Bebé champú. For non-Latinos, Jorge's is a throwback to B.C. (before CVS) — a time when you knew the name of the person bagging your Luden's throat drops and you felt comfortable enough with your pharmacist to discuss just about anything. What? Never stepped inside a drugstore smaller than a Walmart? Well, it's high time you did. Entering the time warp that is Jorge's also means you don't have to wait in line and the cashiers remind you of your grandmother. You might pay a bit more for items at this mom-and-pop than you would at a big-box drugstore, but the service and ambiance are priceless.
The pawnshop is the most maligned of all shopping institutions. It's the place where dreams (in the form of wedding bands) go to die and where lifelong cherished relics are traded for sweaty balls of cash that fund everything from next month's rent to this week's bail. But every so often, a shop like Don Z comes along that feels less like a money-hungry, grubby con artist and more like a smooth, slick-talking friend who dabbles in the art of brokering deals on interesting finds. Yeah, you might give him the side-eye and get a second opinion on the sly, but you trust that, at the very least, he won't mark up your sexy vintage camera something obscene after handing you the cash. And if you're a devotee of thrift-hunting, you might take a moment to sift through electronics, collectibles, and instruments, many sold outright to the store rather than as the result of default. The Don has been around for decades, and it shows — some patrons are so comfortable in the shop that they've made it a regular place to hang out and shoot the breeze. How many other pawnshops can claim the same?

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®