Back in 1987, Ronald Reagan challenged Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev to tear down the Berlin Wall. Michael Jackson released Bad. And a couple of hard-drinkin', troublemakin' Citizen Kane wannabes headed East from Phoenix to buy a year-old newspaper in Miami Beach called The Wave. They changed the name to Miami New Times, and the writers met in a tiny office on South Beach. Mike Lacey, king of the word, and Jim Larkin, maestro of the almighty dollar, immediately began thinking big, attacking city leaders, and diving into the arts like no other paper before.
A quarter-century later, we're still here, telling the story of the most interesting American city. In this extra-special Best of Miami® issue, we not only list 361 of the finest restaurants, bars, people, and places, but also review some of our biggest stories. There was an investigation that disclosed the United States was illegally siphoning arms to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War, a chronicling of Hurricane Andrew's massive 1992 attack on our shores, a story that showed the 9/11 attackers' ringleader had entered the country illegally, a graphic description of arrests at the 2003 Free Trade Area of the Americas protests, and the tale of dozens of sex offenders being forced to live in a colony under a bridge.
History not your thing? You'll learn that the greatest go-karting is in Opa-locka, the best hidden gem of a restaurant is a tiny Asian eatery downtown, the number one happy hour is in the Grove, and the top public art is — where else? — Wynwood. Of course, you'll also find our choices for best athlete, politician, and artist. So read on.
We aren't the only ones celebrating this year. Readers cast far more votes in our Readers' Poll than ever before, almost 12,000 of them. This being Miami, of course, we had to throw out thousands of ballots. See, some voters cheated. But, hey, that's why it's called the Magic City.