Miami is known as the Magic City, but it could just as easily be called "the playground of psychopaths." After all, it's been home to more deposed Latin American leaders, genocidal generals, and African despots than anywhere outside the Hague. Want to wall yourself up behind a phalanx of bodyguards and busty babes for hire? Bienvenido a Miami, señor. Want to snort and drink away your guilty conscience? You've come to the right place. So it was no surprise, really, that millionaire antivirus inventor turned international fugitive John McAfee showed up on South Beach back in December. Brilliant but bonkers, he had escaped from Belize to Guatemala after his neighbor was found murdered. He claimed his fight against corruption had drawn the ire of bad cops, who whacked his neighbor and were coming for him. Belizean authorities, however, said they suspected McAfee not only of the killing but also of manufacturing meth. So he fled to Guatemala, where he was caught and deported to Miami. New Times spent a day with him as he ate sushi, rambled about love and courage, and hit on anything with a vagina. McAfee spent most of the afternoon talking about how his ex-girlfriend had attempted to kill him. As he tried on sunglasses on Ocean Drive, the most interesting man in America casually turned and said, "Women are always trying to stab me in the eyes with needles."

If Miami restaurants have a star maker, it's Larry Carrino. As a partner in Brustman Carrino Public Relations, he is the person whom nearly every restaurateur in Miami has turned to at some point for advice. This guy also holds the key to the Emerald City (also known as the South Beach Wine & Food Festival) and access to all the celebrity chefs who come to play in the sun. Reporters and bloggers love him. Carrino and his stable of beautiful and intelligent public-relations associates (we aren't sucking up, really) have helped to place Miami's culinary scene squarely on the world map.

Wynwood Walls
Courtesy of Wynwood Walls

First dates can be agonizing. They can also be awesome. We've had our crack team of scientists cooking up a formula for years now, and this is what they've come up with: alcohol and art. The first one loosens you up from your boca to your belt buckle. The second gives you a chance to sound smart by saying something like, "That Shepard Fairey mural is the same color as your lips." So here's your recipe for the perfect first date. Step one: Meet for a drink in Wynwood. If your date is bookish, make it Lester's. If not, try Wood Tavern. Step two: Graffiti-inspired groping. Start at Wynwood Walls, but check out murals along the side streets. Make sure you do this before getting too sloshed. Step three: Keep drinking. By planning your perambulations carefully, you can easily pepper your art walk with alcohol. Duck into Shots Miami, where blowjob shots will break any ice left between you. Finally, end the night somewhere you can dance, like Gramps. Step four: Name your first kid after us. Newt Imes, perhaps?

Florida International University Modesto A. Maidique Campus
Florida International University

Every February, FIU puts on a student production of Eve Ensler's The Vagina Monologues, which chronicles various women's relationships with the vertical smile. In addition to celebrating the female anatomy, the production supports local nonprofits aiming to end violence toward women and girls. Between the student actors, professors, teaching assistants, invited guests, and audience, there is no shortage of well-read women. Any venue where you can have hundreds of people screaming the c-word at once is a place you can find a woman who'll teach you to treat it right. She may also explain the myriad ways the kyriarchy has worked to lock away its true potential. If all else fails, you could always end up with a vagina-shaped chocolate lollipop and still feel good about donating to great local causes.

Most people dress up when they go to court. But the plunging necklines, tight skirts, and stiletto heels on display at the Lawson E. Thomas Courthouse downtown reveal more than a reverence for law and order. Rather, they are the parting shot fired by the lovely ladies of Miami as they finally formalize a divorce, aimed straight at the heart they once cherished. Lucky for you, you aren't the target — at least not yet. Instead, you're a not-so-innocent bystander who reaps the rewards. Show up on any given weekday and search the halls for newly single women. Hell, you can just pretend you're a lawyer and wear your finest suit while doing it. The now-official ex-husbands may be haunted by the female hotness on display, but you won't be. Court(ship) is now in session.

Milam's Market
Courtesy of Milam's Market

Intelligent men, for the most part, want a partner who can bring something to the table as well as the bedroom. And yet, for all the smarts and years of higher education many Miami males boast, they are pathetic in a grocery store. Guys who may be masters of the universe have no clue how to choose an avocado or haggle with a butcher for a good piece of steak. That's where you and Milam's Market come in. See that man in the scrubs? Chances are he performed a heart transplant earlier today, but he can't tell a shiitake from a portobello. And how about that guy with the glasses? He's a UM professor who can't tell strained Greek yogurt from cottage cheese. Now's your chance to shine. You saunter over and suggest that shiitakes have a richer, deeper flavor. Or you inform him that organic yogurt has less sugar and more probiotics. You've just started a conversation and proved your superior intellect with one sentence. If there is one thing sexier than a smart woman, it's a smart woman who knows her way around food.

(Geek alert: Find the secret message encoded below. Hint at the end.)

You want smart, single guys? Look no further than this tabletop gaming nirvana.

A stone's throw from dim sum dandy Tropical Chinese (perfect for date night).

You can engage in healthy tabletop-gaming competition.

Nice guys don't finish last; they roll for initiative.

Everyone you'll meet there is passionate and intellectual.

Ridiculously awesome board and card game selections keep you entertained.

Dungeon play didn't originate with Fifty Shades of Grey.

LARPers make role-playing in the sack that much more fun.

0 hipsters here — they actually need those glasses to see.

Vampires, witches, and orcs will spice up your love life.

Even if you don't find your man, there's always a Magic: The Gathering tournament!

(First letters!)

Debra and Dennis Scholl are the rare South Florida folks who don't seek the spotlight. They gave a no-strings-attached donation worth millions of dollars to the soon-to-open Pérez Art Museum Miami. Administrators had to convince them to allow a lecture series to be named in their honor. The pair met in law school at the University of Miami. They went on to help revitalize South Beach's art deco district and later aided in the transformation of Wynwood from a slum to an art mecca that has attracted worldwide attention and gentrification. Everything the Scholls do is determined by a two-vote system. "If one can't convince the other, then we don't do it," Dennis said in describing how they decide on art acquisitions and business deals. Debra, he said, seems to always get the last word: "She's the governor."

The house at 42 Star Island was built 88 years ago by Miami architect Walter DeGarmo. It's next door to a building that formerly housed the weed-smuggling Rastafarians of the Ethiopian Zion Coptic Church. But the feud unfolding here is even more interesting. The current owners are the Hochsteins: Lenny's a plastic surgeon who goes by the nickname "the Boob God," and Lisa is a Botoxed Barbie doll of a woman who's a cast member of The Real Housewives of Miami. They purchased the property for the land, intending to tear down the original 1925 structure to erect a boxy mansion with towering columns and arched doorways, looking like a Miami version of the Trianon Palace without the gardens. Unsurprisingly, the preservationists of the Miami Design Preservation League were not pleased. The group filed an application to designate the Hochsteins' home as a historic property. The fight should have ended there, but both sides continued to press the issue. MDPL Chairman Charlie Urstadt penned an open letter in Curbed Miami, bemoaning "the sad spectacle of a property owner applying to demolish a beautiful, 8,000 square foot, architecturally-significant, historic home." The Hochsteins shot back in the media, taking a Miami Herald reporter on a tour of the home to prove it was too structurally unsound to renovate, and telling the New York Times that they felt "ambushed" by the preservationists. Then Lisa Hochstein had enough. The quiet and polite (at least by Housewives standards) homeowner channeled her inner mean girl in a series of tweets aimed at the MDPL, calling the preservationists ridiculous, nuts, telling them they "need a hobby." For now, the fate of the home remains in limbo, tied up in appeals and lawsuits. But don't worry. Whatever happens, you'll be able to see it all unfold on Bravo next season.

Miami Airport Convention Center

We live in a time when every summer blockbuster involves either superheroes or warp drives. The future is now: Geek culture has hit the mainstream. And Miami is a glorious geek paradise. The Borg Cube where all properly assimilated Dade County nerds converge to celebrate their cultural takeover is Florida Supercon, now in its eighth year. It's a convention wonderland for every Trekkie, comic-book fan, gamer, and animation aficionado in the 305, and it's now large enough to take up a Lannister lion's share of the Miami Airport Convention Center every summer. Supercon plays host to major celebrity guests, such as the big score for this year's July 4-7 edition — Star Trek's George Takei, who has lately become a Facebook star with his heavily shared pithy takes on modern culture. He'll be joined by dozens of A-list comic writers and artists, TV stars such as Firefly's Adam Baldwin and The Walking Dead's Laurie Holden, bands like Askultura and Astari Nite, film screenings, vendors with epic loot, and an array of cosplay competitions. Whether you're a hard-core fan with encyclopedic knowledge or you're still trying to figure out precisely what the Avengers are avenging, there is something at Florida Supercon for every manner of fangirl and -boy.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®