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.

Green Monkey
Courtesy of Green Monkey

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.

Titanic Brewery & Restaurant

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:

TITANIC.

X-treme Rock Climbing

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.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden
Courtesy of Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden

Back in the days when courting and wooing were the highest forms of flirting, a stroll through the gardens of an estate allowed you to hold hands with your love. Nowadays, the idea might seem dated, but there's still no nicer way to spend an afternoon with that special person amid trees, flowers, lakes, and loveliness. So buy a pair of tickets for Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden, and keep them in your sock drawer. Adults pay $25, seniors $18, kids $12, and those age 5 and under are admitted free. Hours are 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. most days. With beautiful blown-glass installations by Dale Chihuly peppered throughout the grounds, lots of iguanas scampering about, and 83 acres to enjoy, Fairchild is a perfect "getting to know you, getting to know all-l-l about you" kind of place.

Olympia Theater
Jessica Gibbs

Sure, Miami has the beach, the Heat, and the shops, but if you want to take your visitors somewhere outside the norm for tourists, head over to a show at one of the hidden gems of downtown Miami, the Olympia Theater at the Gusman Center for the Performing Arts. Opened in 1926 as a lavish silent movie palace and added to the National Register of Historic Places in 1984, the Olympia still has all the charm of old Miami on display. As visitors enter, they are transported to a European villa under the night sky. The realism of the surroundings creates a one-of-a-kind experience that your family and friends will be talking about for a long time.

Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 3559

It's hard to go out on the beach without getting mobbed by tourists in YOLO T-shirts and shutter shades. Note that we didn't say impossible. That's because there's a bar built into an otherwise ordinary West End condo building that's the aesthetic opposite of MTV Spring Break 2007. In fact, even though there's a wide-screen TV constantly blaring cable news into the otherwise-dim VFW Hall on South Beach, it seems like no one there has been fazed by a single cultural phenomenon since the Vietnam War ended. While the beach is a constantly replenishing population of transients, you can always count on finding the same scene at the ol' VFW. There's the guy playing the casino videogame in the back room, the back-slapping old-timers, and the no-nonsense barkeep who possesses an almost supernatural ability to know when someone's dangling a cigarette over the pool table. Miami is a place of nearly constant anonymity, and the VFW Hall is our closest equivalent to Cheers — a place where if you go there enough, there's at least a 5 percent chance someone will remember your name. But more important: Where else can you sip a $2.50 beer and take in a panoramic view of South Beach?

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®