Best Photographer 2015 | Gideon Barnett | Best Restaurants, Bars, Clubs, Music and Stores in Miami | Miami New Times

Gideon Barnett isn't your average Miami photographer. You won't find perfectly sunlit photographs of the waterfront skyline hanging in his shows, and the city's beautiful people aren't usually posing for his camera. Miami, however, is omnipresent in Barnett's work. If you quickly glance at his series of photographs titled Modern Pictures, you'll simply see a perfectly composed photograph of the Magic City, but look closer and the city starts to unravel: In Dolorous Interlude, children play in idyllic weather in a verdant park, but in the corner of the photograph lies a passed-out homeless man; in Landscape With Fallen Child, expensive boats dock at Bayshore and the scene's splendor makes it easy to miss the small child drowning in the photo's middle ground. Modern Pictures captures Miami's dichotomy: on one hand glittering and gorgeous, on the other dysfunctional and dangerous.

Local rockers Aura the Band's dream tour would be with Joe Satriani. Hardcore group Trench's members "all hate cops." South Florida up-and-comers Pocket of Lollipops began writing songs after being inspired by the documentary La Bamba. These are just a few of the myriad and fascinating revelations that have been gifted to Miami music lovers by Tropicult, a wonderfully diverse site devoted to Miami's food, fashion, film, art, music, and events. The recurring Behind the Music series, which features interviews with local bands like those cited above, is consistently fascinating. Tropicult even turns Miami's narcissistic fashion culture on its head via stories and suggestions on trends by local shop owner Dopedoll Vintage.

Phillip Pessar is already a local superstar on Flickr, where he points his camera lens at landmarks all around the Magic City. However, if you're expecting photos of Miami's soaring skyscrapers and hoity-toity hotels on his Instagram feed, you'll be sorely disappointed. There's some of that, but the bulk of the 58-year-old photographer's work documents the Miami we remember as children and which is quickly disappearing to make room for residents with little sentimental attachment to the city. Yes, Pessar's oeuvre includes that old-school Dairy Queen your dad used to take you to, and it includes the seedy Okeechobee Road motels you walked by on your way to school. And though Pessar isn't as active on Instagram as Flickr, his feed is a good primer for his work and will probably lead you to his extensive Flickr collection, where you can easily spend half a day looking through all the photos. "I'm trying to keep the memory of the few things that are left in South Florida that have been here for 40 years but are disappearing little by little," he recently told New Times. Get ready for the tsunami of nostalgia you're about to feel.

From 2 to 6 p.m., Power 96 is home to the Queen. Afrika Perry — of DJ Laz cohost fame and current afternoon-drive dominance — rocks South Florida airwaves weekdays with a perfect mixture of old-school booty music and new-school hits. Afrika is well known in the South Florida music industry for her in-depth interviews, which are aired live and later archived for posterity on Power 96's website. Afrika's energetic and outgoing personality is always a welcome sound when getting into your car after a hard day at work, and her conversation between jams makes for an easy listen when stuck in Miami traffic. Learning from a South Florida legend like DJ Laz has obviously rubbed off on Afrika: Her posts asking listeners to donate to causes like #BootCancer and her "Girl Talk" segments show that she is an all-around personality, not just a disc jockey. Keeping it fun and light for Miami listeners has been Power 96's specialty for decades, and Afrika continues that noble tradition.

Readers' choice: Elvis Duran

He's best known for producing renowned documentaries such as Cocaine Cowboys and The U, but homegrown filmmaker and provocateur Billy Corben is also a serious newshound with a startlingly effective Twitter presence. Corben has more than 35,000 followers, and his feed serves as its own Miami-centric internet force — funny or strange aggregations of shark attacks, bikini-clad grandmas getting arrested and other Florida insanity, hard-hitting engagement with Miami-Dade politicians over police misconduct or local corruption, plus sharp commentary on everything from University of Miami sports to civil rights. In other words, if it's important to Miami, Corben is probably tweeting about it. (In fact, he even made some judicial South Florida history by inspiring a defense attorney to request a mistrial after Corben had tweeted during jury duty; the verdict stood, and Twitter rejoiced.) His feed is so prolific it's a wonder Corben has time to do anything else.

Readers' choice: Pepe Billete,

Trying to pin down Edwidge Danticat as a writer is like trying to encapsulate her maddening, tragic, and beautiful homeland in just a few words. The Haitian-American is the rare writer who can move effortlessly between fiction and nonfiction, gritty realism and magic-tinged short stories and even young-adult fiction. In her novels and nonfiction, she fearlessly explores themes of national identity and the Haitian diaspora, intertwining the two difficult subjects with issues of gender and family relationships. Take, for example, Danticat's second book, Krik? Krack!, a collection of short stories that tells the fictional tales of nine Haitians, exquisitely detailing the pain and brutality of living under a dictatorial government while celebrating the resilience of Haitians. The book garnered a National Book Award nomination, which was followed in 2009 by a MacArthur Fellowship. For her next book, Danticat has taken inspiration from the Magic City. Untwine — due for release this fall — tells the story of identical twin sisters and is partially set in Miami.

Hialeah conjures many things for Miami-Dade residents: legit Cuban food, crooked city government, unnavigable urban sprawl. But how about a hotbed of literary fiction? Believe it, thanks to native daughter Jennine Capó Crucet, who is positioned to become the definitive voice of the city. Her first book of short stories, How to Leave Hialeah, gave voice to the tales of Hialeah's Cuban abuelos and parents as they explored the identity of first-generation Cuban-Americans. And though Capó Crucet never shies away from the seediness of her hometown or the often-difficult lives of its residents, she writes her subjects with the humor and empathy of a native. How to Leave Hialeah garnered Capó Crucet an Iowa Short Fiction Award, and New Times named it one of its books of the year. Capó Crucet continues her exploration of Cuban identity in her first novel, Make Your Home Among Strangers. Slated for an August release, it's a must-buy so you can say you read Capó Crucet before she was really famous.

We're going to come clean. This paper should have hired Carol Marbin Miller. Many years ago, New Times spoke with her. She was moving to South Florida and wanted a job. But we tarried. And that was it. She caught on with the Miami Herald instead and went on to cover the State of Florida's child welfare morass like no one ever thought possible. Now Marbin Miller and co-author Audra D.S. Burch have picked up just about every major prize in America for their series Innocents Lost, which documents how nearly 500 children died of abuse or neglect over six years in families that had a history with the Florida Department of Children & Families, the state agency tasked with protecting children. Both Burch and Marbin Miller are amazing reporters. We salute them. And hey, Carol, if you ever want a job...

Parents often scare their kids into believing that not everything they see on television is real. But what about the news, Mom and Dad? Huh? Sure, it's a risk putting your trust in certain news organizations and reporters, but when it comes to Andrew Perez on WPLG Local 10, it's a risk worth taking. The Miami native is not only informative but also devilishly handsome. Perez has been a part of the Local 10 team for a little more than a year since uprooting from his three-year stint at WALA-TV in Alabama, where he won an ABBY Award for his series about a missing mother. The field reporter films his segments live, from the scene of a recent neighborhood shooting, outside courthouses, in the middle of Calle Ocho festivals — you name it, Perez has been there. And like any true modern-day journalist, Perez constantly uses Twitter to update viewers. Plenty of behind-the-scenes shots and breaking-news tweets fill his feed, so if you can't catch him on your TV set, you can still get your local news fix via social media.

Reporting the news is hard enough, but it takes a true professional to handle a statewide-televised debacle with class and humor. And debacles don't get much higher-profile than 2014's "Fangate," when a Florida gubernatorial debate between Rick Scott and Charlie Crist almost didn't happen as the two bickered over whether Crist could bring an electric fan onstage. Luckily for viewers, Eliott Rodriguez was the moderator. Without his calm and collected response, the night could have ended in catastrophe instead of a well-deserved drubbing of the two childish candidates. That natural ability to handle on-air spontaneity like a boss is part of what has given the CBS 4 News noon and 6 p.m. anchor his journalistic success. A University of Miami alumnus, the Cuban-American has made his career in the 305. Aside from a short stint with the ABC affiliate in Philadelphia, Rodriguez has worked for almost every major newspaper and TV news station in the Magic City, including the now-defunct evening paper the Miami News, the Miami Herald, NBC 6, and ABC 10. But his longest-running tenure has been with CBS 4. Throughout his 16 years there, Rodriguez has covered almost every major breaking news story, including Marco Rubio's 2016 presidential campaign announcement at the Freedom Tower in downtown. The news junkie has also won two Emmy Awards and four Edward R. Murrow Awards for his work, among other honors. With decades of experience covering every single area of Miami, Rodriguez is like the godfather of local TV news.

Readers' choice: Belkys Nerey

Best Of Miami®

Best Of Miami®