Best Miami Herald Reporter 2013 | Marc Caputo | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

Don't let his nerdy looks fool you. Marc Caputo coming at you with a notebook, tape recorder, or camera means you get on a plane out of Miami. If he's writing about you, chances are you're toast. He owned the political beat in Florida last year with timely scoops and exclusives on the state's biggest political players, specifically U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio and his embattled pal, ex-U.S. congressman David Rivera. Conservatives and liberals bash his work with equal venom — solid affirmation that Caputo doesn't kowtow to either team. The reporter, who was raised in Key West, worked with El Nuevo Herald editor Manny Garcia to expose the nefarious campaign of Democratic congressional candidate Justin Lamar Sternad, the former hotel employee accused of being a ringer recruited by Rivera to run against the man who eventually unseated him, Joe Garcia. As a result of Caputo and Garcia's exclusive, the FBI opened a criminal probe that resulted in the recent arrest of Sternad and the temporary disappearance of his campaign manager, Ana Sol Alliegro, a close friend of Rivera's. A laid-back, existential Conch Republican, Caputo landed in journalism by necessity. He graduated from the University of Miami with a general studies degree, with a speciality in early-20th-century author James Joyce. Though penning a thesis on the mysticism in Chapter 10 of Finnegans Wake is certainly an ambitious writing endeavor, it doesn't pay the bills. So he took up news reporting, bouncing around his hometown to Naples, Arizona, and West Palm Beach before joining the Miami Herald in 2003. If you're holding elected office and planning any shenanigans in 2014, watch out for this watchdog.

Rosh Lowe must annoy the hell out of the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office and have a really friendly relationship with the lawyers at his local coffee shop. The dude can summon the developing-news banner a week in advance of the release of an official affidavit with something as vague as "some cops are in hot water in the City of Miami." No TV reporter can cobble together more dramatic footage for a news package. He can motivate a victim to lie on the ground in front of the camera to reenact a mugging for the sake of the most thorough report. And no TV news journalist working the street beat seems as deeply in touch with mortality as Lowe. He knows the right words to not only get a distraught person on camera but also have that guy break down while considering his loss, adding the right context to remind 7News viewers that they better be grateful to still have their sorry lives.

What if local sportscasters were Game of Thrones characters? (Come on, hear us out. As if you wouldn't pay to see Dan Sileo and Mike Inglis in a medieval broadsword duel to the death.) Dan Le Batard would be Tywin Lannister: cocky, smart, insufferable. Sid Rosenberg? He's Robert Baratheon: a king felled by his own unhealthy appetites. But Joe Zagacki might just be the heroic Robb Stark: quiet, unshowy, but damned competent. Zagacki has been the "Voice of the Canes" for 11 years (and with Hurricanes Radio for nearly a quarter-century), and his style — lightening-quick with stats and relevant info, short on theatrical outbursts — is a perfect sorbet for a market oversaturated with yellers. Listening to him narrate the University of Miami men's basketball team's run to new heights this past season was a sublime pleasure worthy of George R.R. Martin's prose.

In most towns, a blog about transportation would be a snore, but this is Miami. Our shared frustration over the simple task of getting from point A to point B makes our blood boil and unites us all in common ire, for our inane transport system might be the single biggest hurdle preventing the Magic City from becoming a truly world-class town. Surprisingly, it's an issue that often finds itself on the back burner among Miami's media. Thankfully there's Transit Miami, which has been churning out posts on everything from crosswalks to major Department of Transportation projects since 2006. It's transportation-activist talk made accessible to the average man, and its multiple contributors take into account the perspectives of everyone from drivers to pedestrians. In a world where blogging is now dominated by the need for traffic (the profitable web variety), it's nice to know there's a blog out there more interested in vehicular traffic.

Miami is America's dance music capital, so it only makes sense the Magic City should be home to one of dance music's biggest voices — even if he hit the scene less than a year ago. EDMSnob may be a newcomer, but for more than 25,000 followers, he's already one of the most respected sources for music, news, and commentary in the game. Even better, he's funny, from snapping on scene kids — "I swear there's like a bro checklist for music festivals. Dumbass tank top? Check. Flat-bill hat? Check." — to making fun of his ex-girlfriend for stealing his Spotify password to embarrass him with lots of trap. The Snob, AKA Albert Berdellans, was once a mysterious figure, but he recently outed himself to accept the crown as king of the uhntz-ing masses. He's also behind the official @ultramusic Twitter feed, so you know he's got his connects up. The Snob keeps Twitter flooded with hot tunes, new and old, and he's great at interacting with fans. Give him a shout, tell him what you like and what you don't, and stay tuned for the cutting edge of what's what in EDM.

Just when you were ready to knock out the next group of fools filming a "Harlem Shake" video, along came your world champion Miami Heat with its own epic version of the viral dance craze. And it was glorious. The 56-second clip begins with tattooed rebounding freak of nature Chris "Birdman" Andersen hopping and flapping his arms through the Heat's locker room as his teammates stretch out for what appears to be a home game. And then the bass drops and the camera cuts to an awesome sight: four-time league MVP LeBron James — shirtless, a velvet royal cape on his back, and a crown on his head — twerking it like an extra on the set of Magic Mike. Behind him, his partner-in-clowning Dwyane Wade sports a form-fitting red two-piece suit, no shirt, and a massive bear head, channeling his inner furry. Chris Bosh stomps around in a cowboy hat and a gold boombox, while Shane Battier pops and locks in a Horstranaut costume. Team captain Udonis Haslem does a Texas two-step with a black fireman's hat on his head and a wrestling championship belt around his waist. The video showed the world that the Heat, at the time looking to capture a second straight NBA title, knows how to cut loose and have fun playing a boy's game. Whether you hate or love the Miami Heat, you couldn't help but watch the clip, which has generated 44 million views and counting on YouTube.

Filmmaker magazine called it "brilliantly inventive and mischievous." The Huffington Post called it "a delightfully frenetic, sly romp through multiple planes of space and time." Deadspin called it "better than all of the drugs." Sounds like Miami filmmaking at its finest. When Bleeding Palm and Borscht Corp. unleashed Adventures of Christopher Bosh in the Multiverse onto unsuspecting Magic City audiences in December, it made headlines. National news organizations took notice when lawyers for Bosh and the NBA sent cease-and-desist letters trying to block the film from being shown. But after the Borscht Film Festival (and its sister event, the Bosh Film Festival) came and went, the film's buzz went with them. That's mostly because audiences just didn't have the right vocabulary to describe it to their friends, short of "Space Prince," "internet," and "holy mind-blowing shitballs, what did I just watch?" Thanks be to the internet gods that Borscht and Bleeding Palm released the film on Vimeo for free several months later, telling the mystic legend of Chris Bosh's 2011 NBA finals performance and Mike Miller's stunning three-point shots, and even explaining the motivations of the Miami Zombie — and exposing the world to Miami movie madness in the process. You can't describe this film to anyone. You can't casually lay out what it's about. This is a movie that refuses to be summarized. But listen: It has Chris Bosh and Mike Miller. It has artist Jillian Mayer as an evil queen. It has Bleeding Palm's freaky neon aesthetic. It's well worth the 11 minutes you'll spend watching it. Hell, it's worth the full days you'll spend afterward deconstructing it in your mind. It's the most potent hallucinogenic substance to ever come out of Miami, and it's 100 percent legal. So take a trip, and remember: All life is real.

Carolina Garcia-Aguilera is not only an author but also a private investigator. And for more than 25 years, she's tracked and busted the wiliest of evildoers throughout the tri-county area. In 1986, when she took the job fresh out of college, she already knew it would form the basis for a mystery series featuring a Miami-based female PI. Seven books later, her Lupe Solano books are a hit in hardcover, paperback, and e-book formats in 12 languages. Her seventh novel, One Hot Summer, was adapted as a Lifetime movie, plus she has two other books to her credit. The latest by Garcia, who resides in Miami Beach, is titled Magnolia and is published by Books & Books. It's a lust-filled romp through the life of a high-priced "sports geisha" (translation: hooker for athletes), and her adventures at the intersection of G-strings and jock straps.

When it comes to spoken word, beat poetry, and all-around coolness, Marcus Blake is the man. He does it with the grace and flair of Billy Dee Williams, Bob Marley, and Miles Davis. As the face of the Tuesday-night open mike, impromptu beatnik get-together Stone Groove at the Vagabond, Blake busts out the sharpest duds. "When it comes to fashion, I have always been in my own lane for as long as I can remember," Blake rhapsodizes. "Finding your own sense of style comes easy when you be yourself and not follow trends." His outfits dazzle, but with subtlety. He'll accessorize a casual short-sleeve button-down shirt and a pair of comfortable khakis with black latex gloves and shiny brass bangles. Watch him pay homage to Miami Vice by donning white trousers, a white shirt, and white loafers paired with a pastel-colored floral print sports coat and a thick gold rope chain. "I like to wear colorful clothing and all, but I don't need a designer telling me what's in style for the season and what color I should dress with," Blake says confidently. "I find it more practical to follow my own seasonal fashion radar."

The David Rivera campaign scandal was not only a mind-boggling blunder of mammoth proportions but also sheer madness. As it unfolded, Rivera's tale read like a piece of heavy-handed political fiction, something from an episode of House of Cards. Rivera's insane or inane corruption ranged from creating a dummy Democratic campaign to running a Cutler Bay hotel night worker, Justin Lamar Sternad, as a straw-man candidate. The plot became ever stranger. He even funded Sternad with more than 81 grand in illegal, under-the-table contributions, all in order to take votes away from Rivera's actual Democratic rival, Joe Garcia, who won anyway. David, did it not compute that this was possibly one of the most moronic pieces of political espionage since Watergate? Perhaps you simply felt you should represent the proud constituency of Miami. In any case, your masterful piece of inept skulduggery and half-crazed ambition was our number one! Congrats, caballero!

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®