Best Chutzpah 2014 | David Beckham | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

He is dreamy. He is a (former) professional soccer player, an underwear model, an entrepreneur, a father of four nonsensically named children, and husband to an insanely thin international pop star. And — most recently — he is the owner of a shiny new Major League Soccer franchise. One thing he is not, however, is from Miami. So it seemed a bit odd when Becks began appearing at Heat games alongside Bolivian billionaire Marcelo Clauré, flashing his handsome face and broadcasting not-so-subtle hints that he wanted to make sweet, sweet love to the city until it gave him a baby soccer stadium of his own. Well, we were flattered by this charming foreigner, weren't we? If we're honest, we'll admit to feeling a tingling somewhere below our tummies. But the question of where Beckham was going to put it — his stadium, that is — is trickier. After the Marlins' bait and switch, we are wary of rich men and their promises. Beckham is no Jeffrey Loria, but even the handsome Brit came on a little strong when he said he wouldn't settle for anything less than a spot on the waterfront.

For a decade, Manny Maroño ruled over the quiet suburb of Sweetwater, an enclave of 14,000 people in western Miami-Dade County previously most notable for being founded by a troupe of circus midgets looking for a tropical retirement locale. Maroño tried to force his way into local headlines with a loud crusade against bath salts and synthetic marijuana, despite the fact that there was scant evidence the stuff was anywhere to be found in his municipality. If it was headlines Maroño craved, though, he finally got them last August. That's when an FBI sting nabbed him taking up to $40,000 in kickbacks for getting bogus grant applications through the city bureaucracy. The Sweetwater mayor wasn't alone — in fact, Miami Lakes Mayor Michael Pizzi was caught up and arrested in the same sting. Two other Dade mayors, in Homestead and North Miami, have also been arrested this year. What makes Maroño's case sweeter, though, is that his arrest was followed by a swift conviction and a hefty sentence, penalties all too rare in dirty Dade politics. In January, a federal judge nailed the ex-politico with 40 months in the slammer — longer than even prosecutors had recommended — while calling cases like his a "cancer" on South Florida. Honest residents can only hope that Maroño's sentence is one step toward curing the disease.

In a world where giant man-children are paid millions to play a game, where teams kick the crap out of each other on live television every Sunday, this year's greatest battle won't be on the football field but in the locker room. Starring Richie Incognito as a racist bully and Jonathan Martin as his awkward, antisocial victim, this is the story of how the 2013 Miami Dolphins self-destructed before the season even began.

Martin: Ima egg your house & light a bag of shit on fire then ring your doorbell.

Incognito: I'm going to shoot you and claim self defense.

Also starring: Joe Philbin as the clueless coach, Jeff Ireland as the generally hated general manager, and Mike Pouncey as Incognito's idiot sidekick.

Rated R for locker-room nudity, sexually explicit scenes inside strip clubs, and offensive jokes about Martin's sister.

Available on Blue-ray or in print in Ted Wells' "Report to the National Football League Concerning Issues of Workplace Conduct at the Miami Dolphins."

When New Times broke the story of a security guard nearly trampled to death on Ultra's opening night, public officials lined up to express outrage. After all, it wasn't the first calamity at the 16-year-old electronic music festival. For the second straight year, a young Ultragoer had died of a suspected drug overdose. Dozens more each year are hospitalized. Police-involved beatings and lawsuits are legion. But two politicians in particular tried to turn the trampling into a turning point for relocating the festival. "I think they have overstayed their welcome," said City Commissioner Marc Sarnoff, citing the trampling as well as "serious and well-documented" drug abuse. Mayor Tomás Regalado echoed Sarnoff's anger. "I think we should not have Ultra next year here," he said. "We don't want to be showcased as the city of chaos." The two put together a resolution — based mostly on New Times clips — calling for Ultra to be booted from Bayfront Park. Sarnoff presented his own survey of downtown business owners that showed they were overwhelmingly against Ultra. And during a commission debate on the resolution, he went so far as to present a Twitter photo depicting a scantily clad woman snorting cocaine off another chick's snooch. But the resolution failed miserably, with no other commissioners supporting it. Their argument was simple and insuperable: Ultra makes Miami a shit-ton of money. "It really does put Miami on the map," Commissioner Francis Suarez said, noting that nearly 200,000 people attended and comparing the event to Art Basel. But there was another reason Regalado and Sarnoff's resolution was booed off the stage. They were outmaneuvered by Ultra organizers, who, just days before the vote, hired Miami Beach Police Chief Ray Martinez to oversee security for future festivals. The commission's vote insured that Ultra is here to stay. Meanwhile, the standoff cost the two politicians, Sarnoff in particular. "He lost a lot of clout on that one," says one local business owner. "What was he thinking?"

No one thought too much of the date on that February 2009 night when the University of Miami rechristened its baseball diamond "Alex Rodriguez Park." The Yankees slugger stood behind a lectern and watched as his name was revealed on the scoreboard. Then A-Rod made a seven-minute speech to his hometown crowd. He described sneaking into games without paying, an offense more than made up for by his $3.9 million donation. And he briefly mentioned his "mistakes" — a fleeting reference to the fact that his name had been connected to positive steroid tests seven years before. Like the date, no one on this night seemed to care too much about the tests. A-Rod received a 45-second standing ovation. Five years later, however, that Friday the 13th speech seems prophetic. Rodriguez's steroid nightmare wasn't as far behind him as he wanted everyone to believe. In fact, it was only just beginning. In January 2013, New Times published evidence that A-Rod had never stopped taking steroids. Instead, he had employed a wannabee local doctor named Tony Bosch to pump him full of performance-enhancing drugs. Rodriguez, who spent most of his teenage years in Miami, was suspended for a record 211 games by Major League Baseball because of the Biogenesis scandal. The U may not have removed his name from the scoreboard yet, but A-Rod's hometown rep is all but ruined.

Before she was an internationally reviled "pot princess" — long before she pulled out her cell phone, climbed into her car, and drove the wrong way down a highway exit ramp — Kayla Mendoza was just a typical 20-year-old South Florida girl. But then came the margaritas, the shots, and the infamous tweet: "2 drunk 2 care." In the fiery crash that followed a few hours later, Mendoza plowed head-on into another car and killed two women her own age. Mendoza says she doesn't remember the accident but is sickened by the deaths she drunkenly caused. She also says the tweet was in reference to an argument with her boyfriend, not a dismissal of the dangers of drunk driving. Despite her excuses, however, Mendoza faces a charge of DUI manslaughter. Her sad story is a reminder of the evil we are all capable of, if we let ourselves slip.

Tango lessons. Museum visits. A Junot Díaz lecture. And lots of fine wine. The Downtown Arts+Science Salon is like the montage scene in a Hollywood movie, in which a schlubby male is transformed into a veritable Renaissance man. You arrive swigging screwdrivers and grunting about sports; you leave sipping Chardonnay and discussing Albert Camus. But this isn't a vanity project. Non, mon cher. (Thanks "French Affair" night!) The salon is full of smart young women seeking a man with whom to whisper Oscar Wao and perform paso dobles. Modeled after the New York Public Library's Conversation Series and the wildly popular TED Talks, DASS' events are designed to build a downtown community by putting young, intelligent, and — as often as not — attractive people together. A six-month membership costs $100 and gets you into some events for free, others for half price. And when you do meet your guapa genius, the two of you can get a couple's membership for just $150. After all, these salons may be about the mind, but you can't spell "DASS" without a whole lotta ass.

It's no secret that Miami is awash in beautiful women. Aside from the Miami Heat's halftime show, however, there are fewer greater concentrations of local beauty than a class at Green Monkey yoga studio. Perhaps it's a product of the neighborhood: Sunset Harbour seems to excrete sex like sweat in a Bikram yoga class. Or perhaps it's the quality of classes at Green Monkey that should be credited with carving its students into marvels of human anatomy. One way or another, the place's "Tree House" releases waves of gorgeous women every hour, on the hour. Sign up for a yoga, Pilates, or capoeira class, or simply take a seat at Panther Coffee next door and sip your cafecito as Miami's loveliest women walk past. Who knows? You may be only a downward dog away from a first date.

Large, golden towering letters sit atop the entrance.

It tickles your curiosity. Causes you to enter.

The welcoming atmosphere attracts.

Stay to observe the plethora of beers.

Tap your foot to the pleasant sounds

that fill the air and fascinate.

What brought you here in the first place?

That beer.

The boys discussing manly topics.

That transform with every new entry into:


When you've exhausted the drunk hunks at the bar, when the lying creeps of Tinder have left you feeling hopeless, you need a man who's solid and steady. He's adventurous, he's intelligent, he's fit-as-fuck, and he's hanging out, waiting for you to find him at the rock gym. You know he's gorgeous. He spends four to five days a week clinging ten feet up in the air to nothing but a measly finger hole. You know he's down for anything, because his idea of a vacation is climbing mountains and exploring caves the rest of civilization forgot. He'll keep you motivated and eating right, and he'll introduce you to new people, places, and practices. As long as you're not turned off by the smell of man sweat (because the back of his car probably stinks like his climbing gloves), all you have to do to win his heart is be down for the ride. And if it doesn't work out, hey, you had an adventure, and his full-body muscle tone was really worth it.

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®