Tuesday February 28, 2006
- Listening to WVUM this morning was dope: first a taped show for a couple of minutes (the one with My Pal Foot Foot, same one I hear every morning I turn the station on). Then a DJ comes on, and proceeds aproximately thusly: “Uh, I just stopped by the station to see what was going on, but nobody’s here, so I’m just going to take over. You know we’re doing our fundraising drive, so call me with your pledges. For $5 I’ll play any one song you want. For $25 you get six songs plus a T-shirt. For $50 you get a whole hour. Until I get a call, I’ll play something annoying.” And he proceeds to play Barbie Girl, a pretty amazing song, actually. After a few minutes, he realizes his blunder, comes back on with an “apparently that wasn’t annoying enough,” and starts fading between a few different songs. Arount then I was leaving the station’s range, so I clicked over to something else.
- Hey look, we have a new blog: GreenerMiami, dedicated to improving the enviroment.
- Harlan has photographs of “a creepy carnival” celebrating North Miami’s 80th birthday.
- State lawmakers consider outlawing gay adoption. Stuff like this continues to fascinate me. You’d think by now we would have realized that equal rights for everyone is a good idea.
- MAeX goes to Subtropics.
- Pecan pie is great, but give me a break. Crap like this makes me thing maybe it’s time to move the state capitol to Miami.
- Robert on tolls. I partially agree, though I don’t like systems that have the government tracking our movement as a necessary precondition.
- I agree with Jose about Taqueria. Also, his blog is growing on me.
- Bobby has photographs of a British car show in Lake Worth.
- Hurricanes haven’t hampered tourism.
- I read Franklin’s Damien Hirst bites the big ass review. But I’m forcing myself to stay away from the comments. I don’t have the heart for 15 (and counting) “I know, right?!”s.
- Four months after Kyle berated Miamist about their sidebar, they have yet to link to a single actual Miami blogger. Messed up.
- An artist is being sued becuase a face in his painting looks like someone?! (p.s.: dear New Times, why do your photo galleries look like shit?)
- Three cheers for Miamista, now in downright legible black on white!
- Oh, right, that wine shipping thing went through.
Monday February 27, 2006
My cheap shot at boingboing fame paid off.
Looking for something else worth reading while you’re here? Good luck. You might try the Sex assult/name revelation/censorship fiasco, or Illegal Art, or or the Performing Arts Center fiasco, or the Neiman Marcus/Neiman Barkus fiasco. Or just see here for some of the better stuff from last year. Then get lost!
Contributed by Steve Klotz
Two measures before the Florida Leg (SB 1172 and HB 333) would allow dogs access to outdoor dining venues. Insofar as this measure strikes me as insane—I’m on my second dog, now, and keeping the drooling brute out of my face is a daily challenge, especially at meal time—I call my contact Ralph at the League for Canine Rights And Protection (“L-CRAP”) for something positive to write about it.
“People love their dogs,” says Ralph, simply. “They enjoy walking them, treating them like family, and taking them places. Outdoor dining is fun and sociable, just the sort of thing dog owners like doing with their dogs.”
Dogs smell like ass. They lick their crotches (so would I, if I could, but not out on the sidewalk). They put their noses in piles of shit. They drool. They carry fleas. They hump and foam on the closest object. Who wouldn’t want them close up and personal while they’re eating?
“Look, that’s what it means to be a dog. But they don’t do that all the time, and they don’t do that while they’re seated quietly by the table.”
They growl at people. They get underfoot. They bark. They whine. They get goofy when they see other dogs. Food drops, they lunge at it, barf it up, then re-eat it. Great floor show, bound to enhance one’s dining experience.
Ralph goes, “If I’m your dog I shit in your bed daily,” and hangs up.
Okay. I lose. People are gonna get their damn dogs at the restaurant, fine. But we need rules. First, they need to be leashed and kept on the floor at all times—the dogs AND the owners. No feeding the dogs: it’s disgusting to see and hear. The only thing worse is little kids, something else I’m rabidly against: in fact, I’d rather have the dogs. At least you can have them euthanized without a whole lot of paperwork.
Sunday February 26, 2006
Everyone has been doing these over on BoingBoning. No way to resist getting in on the fun…
Friday February 24, 2006
Contributed by Steve Klotz
Crow told investigators that he and Matthews were arguing about the lack of toilet paper in Matthews’ bathroom. That led to Matthews grabbing a rifle and Crow arming himself with the handle of a sledgehammer, according to the Sheriff’s Office.
Crow knocked the gun out of Matthews’ hands and hit him eight times in the head with the sledgehammer’s handle, the Sheriff’s Office said.
Detectives said Crow then found a claw hammer and hit Matthews two more times in the head. He tossed the sledgehammer handle behind Matthews’ home and threw the other hammer into the woods, the Sheriff’s Office said.— South Florida Sun-Sentinel
The 2-man synod took place in the thriving cultural crossroads of Ocklawaha, Florida—right up there nearby Altoona, Weirsdale, and Fort McCoy—and the learned participants were gentlemen in their middle 50’s.
“Y’all cain’t imagine how upset people can git over toilet paper in these-here parts,” commented one neighbor, who gave only the name “Mr. Whipple.” “Lotsa ole-timers jest resent even thinkin’ about it. They been usin’ corncobs like their daddies and grandaddies afore ‘em, and to hell with anybody else!”
Bail has been denied for Crow, currently held in an abandoned outhouse behind the Sheriff’s office.
Thursday February 23, 2006
Subtropics opened tonight. Ordinarily, you’d have recieved advanced warning, so appologies on that front . This yearly music festival represents the true cutting edge of avant-garde music, and it’s amazing that Miami has been able to support it all these years. (‘Nuff respect to Gustavo Matamoros for keeping this thing going long before the MPAC money started coming in.) Sufice it to say that for anyone interested in sound art, Subtropics should be the highlight of the year. Opening night was a blast:
Hypersonic Test: Florida is Gustavo’s first collaboration with video artist Charles Recher since Cars and Fish. 9 performers equiped with backpack power generators, armband video ipods, and chest-mounted unidirectional sound modules walked around the room, selectively delivering snippets of south florida flavor.
Sometimes, the performers confronted each other. Yowzer! (Note the ipod video.)
David Dunn walked the whole thing home with an audiovisual presentation that pulled together chaos theory, strange attractors, bats, bugs, and small invertebrate creatures that live in standing water. Unlike in past performances of his I’ve seen, David was miked up at his computer, and set up each piece with an explanation of what the sounds were.
His art deals as much with faithfully capturing the acoustic experience of natural phenomena as with creating an artistic “work,” so his presenation had a Discovery Channel edge to it. David does not shy away from intervention when it is necessary to the piece, though – a 40 second recording of bats had to be slowed down (to reduce the pitch) to be audible, alienating it from its original time-reference, but not violating its relationship to reality.
Also got a chance to pop over to the MoCA Annex for the opening of
. . . —- not AGAIN?! Sorry, the MoCA has no mention of the opening tonight at their annex anywhere on their website. They sent out a card, which I have somewhere, and I’ll post the information here as soon as I get it. Meanwhile, [Kathleen to the rescue] Luminosity, an exhibit by Natalia Benedetti. It’s a groovy skydiving video installation. There’s also an exhibition of the usual suspects from the MoCA’s permanent collection, which apparently they were upset about only being able to show for a few months every other Summer (their piece by Nam June Paik is included, of course).
But so anyway, here is the schedule for the rest of Subtropics. If you like your music weird, go.
 Nobody tells me nothing. I found out because of the Dorsch marketing machine, which cranked out a press release on the morning of the event.
Wednesday February 22, 2006
Sometimes, North Miami doesn’t know how good it’s got it. Exhibit A: Laurenzo’s Supermarket. Packing a prodigous selection into a space half the size of a Publix, it’s food heaven, and not just for Italian food fans.
You get a full-on bakery that has breads, rolls, pastries, and cakes, all in dozens of varieties, each looking more delicious (in a homemade kind of way) then the next. There’s a butcher with everything from sausage to squid, a full deli counter, a whole asile of food prepared on the premesis for your reheating and consumption pleasure, and yep, a restaurant of sorts.
Barilla sauce in a jar? Sure, they have it. But witness the 10 or so types of homemade sauce. Yum.
They don’t have everything, but what they have is usually in staggering variety. Pictured: aproximately 20 different types of olives. Also: boxes of pasta as big as a case of beer.
Also: Ailes of wine. Also: spices and sauces, crackers, cookies, and (duh) gigantic mounds of cheese. Also: friendly staff (it’s family run), which reminds me—the sign on the door (IN ALL CAPS):
Setting the Record Straight: Laurenzo’s has not sold and probably will never sell. We have enjoyed the past fifty-four years of business with our loyal customers and employees. We hope the Laurenzo family and staff will celebrate our 100th anniversary. We thank Everyone for their valued patronage and support. – Ben, David, CArol, Diana, and Robert Laurenzo.
Oh, and across the street? A farmer’s market! Does it ever end? Did I mention all this was next to a Spanish Monestary?
Tuesday February 21, 2006
- Hillary Clinton’s in town.
- McCain, the other decent bet for next US president, tries out an anti-wetfoot/dryfoot policy.
- Miami Art Guide ought to get a clue.
- Getting into the Daily Business Review site requires paying them a bunch of cash, but scanning their homepage can be quite enlightening, and takes up much less time. Last week, I caught this jem: “Condos / Another casualty: 323-unit project in Miami is scrubbed / By: Oscar Pedro Musibay / Developer of 1390 Brickell Bay blames construction costs, permit delays.”
- Jose does a good one.
- Immigration protest on Saturday.
- Metroblogging has a new skin. But it’s down to two guys, and posting since Franklin and Kathleen left has been down to about once every five days.
- Bobby on the U/M president, Donna Shalala, and her stand against medical insurance for janitors.
- Jesus fucking Christ, this is a nightmare. Bob has some analysis of the reporting on this story (actually, the video-release-battle aspect), but honestly, how can you be analytical about this disgusting crap. At least they shut down that horrible place. Takeaway point: hell is adults.
- Ok I feel better. While you’re down at The Daily Pulp, check out the ‘look at all this nasty fat’ bit: “I was so moved that I drove to up to Stuart to find the family and, thankfully, found them in peaceful repose. I even took [a] picture.”
- SotP is hilarious about 8th & Ocean.
- CGG had coverage of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival. Frances Nash went, too, and took some great pictures. Kathleen wonders why none of the “arts bloggers” went. My excuse: I forgot. (file under why being grown-up is better then being a kid: the “i forgot” excuse is good enough!)
- Hidden City has some galleries up.
- This chart somewhat validates Steve’s claims from yesterday: according to it, Cincinnati is 0% capable to support an MBA team.
- Miami’s most important (and most difficult to read) blog continues to be Miamista. Go ahead – try to read his most recent post through to the end. I dare you. Give up? Ok – but every minute you spend struggling with the dense prose (and anti-legibility white-on-black) makes you a better person.
- florida fucks don’t spend enough quality time together.
- Elisa Turner on the William Kentridge show at MAC.
- Critical Miami has been duely assured that merit-pay for teachers is a very bad idea. Hmm…
- BBT has an interview with David Raccuglia, the director of a documentary about Purvis Young, which premieres at the Miami Film Festival.
- A U/M study finds that in addition to warmer, the oceans are getting more acidic.
Contributed by Steve Klotz
What comes to mind when you hear the words, “Oklahoma City?”
Is it the horrific bombing of the Alfred Murrah building? That was ten years ago. Certainly a vibrant metropolis in the nation’s heartland has had something of note since then, right?
Do you think, Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s musical? Then you’re old and/or gay. You and your surrey with the fringe on top.
How about, It’s the latest candidate for new home of the Florida Marlins Baseball Franchise? Yeah! Now you’re cooking with corn husks.
Okie City, population 520,000, was founded in 1889. At one time, Oklahoma was known as “Indian Territory:” essentially an informal concentration camp to accommodate banished Native Americans whose land was taken for white settlement. Even that didn’t last, though, and in 1906 Oklahoma became a state, Indian Territory became a non-entity, and the city fathers declared their interest in attracting major league baseball.
The present Florida Marlins roster, composed mostly of Triple-A youngsters and journeymen second-stringers, contains no Native Americans, so we assume no sensitive “tracing the trail of tears” issues will arise. There is a real problem with the name, though. The closest marlins to Oklahoma swim in the Gulf of Mexico. How about the “Okie Dokies?” They’d like that.
David Samson, the Marlins’ stature-challenged president, doesn’t see anything odd, ironic, or idiotic about relocating a major league franchise to a third-tier American city where cow-tipping is the weekend sport of choice. “The long and short of it,” he told the press (to background snickers), “is we’ll go to the community that support us.” He’s also negotiating with the City of Hialeah for a stadium. Imagine opening day ceremonies: a city commissioner plants a bomb under the bullpen cart.
Then again, following the owners’ off-season vivisection of the Marlins, a baseball game in an Okie City barnyard wouldn’t have as much tumbleweed blowing through the stands as Dolphins Stadium will this season.
Sunday February 19, 2006
Neiman Barkus is a cute little store in Wilton Mannors, and they’re being bullied by Neiman Marcus to try to make them give up their name and URL, neimanbarkuspet.net. Neiman Marcus has been doing this to pet stores with the same name around the country, and William Thomson, owner of the Broward store, is the first to stand up them. Dean Trantalis is a Fort Lauderdale city commissioner and a lawyer; he got interested in the case and is representing Thomson:
This big Goliath wants to beat up on my little puppy, and we are not going to let them do it . . . There can be no consumer confusion between Neiman Marcus and Neiman Barkus because they have different names, different products and different clients.
I’m not a lawyer myself, but I’ve followed a number of situations similar to this, and it’s clear to me that this is decidedly not about is a legitimate claim of trademark infringement or dilution. Neiman Marcus’ lawyer practically says so himself: “Several [other owners of stores called Neiman Barkus] have said, at first blush, that they’d fight it, but none have.”
Their demanding the URL is particularly absurd. See the case of The Shops at Willow Bend for an example of one case of a large company bullying the little guy which dragged on for years, cost the company lots and lots of money and both parties lots and lots of time, and ended in victory for the defendant.
I’m not sure what the status of wrongful or groundless threats of infringement laws is in Florida (anyone?), but I do think that any trademark purity Neiman Marcus has to gain from this will be at the expense of a significant public relations cost. After all, not even the snobbiest of rich people likes a bully, especially when they’re going after someone who’s got fancy stuff for their Brussels Griffons, right?
Update: Two other legal point I’ll throw out for consideration: This use of the Neiman Barkus name seems like a very clear case of parody, a particularly well established sense of fair use. Secondly (probably less significantly), and I think this is in the Wikipedia article I linked at the top of this post, business that are named after people (say, Ford, or Neiman Marcus) enjoy less legal protection of their names then companies with names that are made up, like Sony or Exxon.
Friday February 17, 2006
- Glenn Lowry, director of the MoMA, talks tonight at the Frost (8pm).
- At MoCA, the opening of Raqib Shaw’s Garden of Earthly Delights, previously seen at Deitch Projects.
- The Miami Boat Show.
The Wine & Food festival, which I think is sold out.[Am I stupid? It’s next weekend.]
- Hey!: Here and Now is also sold out. You think they’ll be scalping tickets at the lightbox?
- The International Noise Confrence at Churchill’s. 30 bands per day – one every 15 minutes. Bring your earplugs (not joking).
- Tickets go on sale today for the Miami International Film Festival.
Wednesday February 15, 2006
So, the other day, I'm coming home along A1A, stopped at the light at 21st street on Collins, and I glance over to my right at the Bass Museum of Art.
?! The Bass Museum? Shouldn't I be looking at the South Beach Library? Well, exactly: no: the library's gone, in it's place a grassy field, the rotunda the only thing left. I doesn't look like a demolition site - looks like it's been this way for years.
I pull over to snap the photograph above, and walk around the site a bit, and a cop pulls some poor sucker over, blocking my car in with his cruiser. Just then I notice the new library, across the street to the north side of the block. I've got some time to kill now (who wants to ask a cop to move his car?), so I check out the new library.
It's the same collection (I checked out a couple of books!), and the layout is OK - pretty generic, nothing special. Two stories (kids on the 2nd floor - who thought of that?), much less interesting architecturally then the old building. On my way out, I notice the chairs they have at their computer workstations. I try one out (they look pretty plain), and instantly I'm in love. I find it on the DWR site when I'm at home and the thing is over $600 with shipping, which brings me to my real point: it's a pain in the ass buying furniture in Miami.
Unless you're a Rooms-to-Go kind of person, your choices are limited, and generally are going to involve overpaying.
Ikea is decent furniture at reasonable prices. But there's no store anywhere in reasonable driving range (even the one in Atlanta is only recently opened), and boy does their online/mail order system stink. Not to mention, my $180 order became $300 when shipping fees were added in.
There are lots and lots of small stores with modern furniture in town (a number of them are clustered around Biscayne Blvd. between 125 St and Miami Gardens Dr), but they tend to have minimal selection and high prices - great if you have lots of time and money on your hands.
Then there's Design Within Reach, which recently opened a store on Lincoln Rd. - expensive, but at least it's the real deal, right? No: problem is that it's a showroom, and whatever you want is ordered, just like from the catalog, and shipped to you, with the same shipping charges as if you were calling in to the catalog.
And yes, there are thrift stores (the best being Faith Farm in Ft. Lauderdale) which have amazing furniture, but less so with every year that goes by.
So what's the solution? A friend of mine is trying to cook up a scheme involving cheap one-way flights to Atlanta, a trip to the Ikea store, and a u-haul back - that's how desperate we're getting. But so with no further fanfare, we are pleased to announce that yes, the rumors are true: Ikea is planning to open a store in South Florida. In a mere year and a half, all our furniture-related troubles will be over.
 Anyone know why it says 'Bass Mvsevm' on the front? Some sort of ancient alphabet thing?
 I recently ordered a wall unit and dresser from their online store. Mind you, I had to enter my credit card information before being told the actual shipping cost. I got an e-mail a week later with the shipping cost, asking me to confirm my order. I immediately did. It took another week for them to acknowledge the confirmation, and tell me I'd be getting my furniture within 3 weeks. If that wasn't bad enough, I called them today, and (after about an hour on hold) was told that it was actually 3-4 weeks, and I had to call another number still to get any more specific information (I gave up on that one after half an hour on hold).
 See West Elm for an example of how to manage an online furniture purchasing experience. A clean and beautiful web site, pre-submit shipping charges, and no-hassle confirmation.
Tuesday February 14, 2006
- You can’t really tell, but that’s a picture of manatees huddling around a power substation because it’s fucking cold. nbc6
- Katie Danza smokes pot? Big deal. No link, but if you must, check out the picture of the four girls with those awesome sunglasses. Dang.
- The Herald just heard about the Miami Performing Arts Center parking situation, which Michael Lewis was talking about back in September. Meanwhile, the contracts are coming in, especially the big ones, with Concert Association of Florida, Florida Grand Opera, Miami City Ballet, and New World Symphony. Expect trouble and spin if any one of the four backs out.
- Huh? We’ve been calling 311 with this kind of stuff for months…
- New Times reads Critical.
- Miamista goes off on the validity of this article, then on the whole educational system (especially read the heartbreaking #4 in his post, about the Heiken Children’s Vision Fund, an organization so broke, their web site is on angelfire), then (of course) on the whole city.
- Uh . . . something of a Valentine’s Day link.
- New toilets at 14th street on the Beach. Stay tuned for a Critical Miami inside investigation…
- Here and here is some information on the courthouse pictured here.
Monday February 13, 2006
Privately, I’ve been advising home-owning friends and family thusly for the last six months or so: find a moment (and find it soon), to sell your house, put your stuff in storage and rent an apartment for a year (maybe two or three), then buy your house (or one similar) back, for a maybe $200,000 profit. It remains to be seen whether my advice is worth anything (to date, everyone has emphatically ignored it), but for the first part, housing prices are finally starting to crash.
Kidding: the Herald sugar-coats it. Clear, though, is that housing prices probably hit their peak near $400,000 for awhile in November 2005, and will now be heading south, abetted by (1) the fact that everybody who was looking to buy a home has bought one, (2) 2005 proved that hurricanes can be a bitch in SoFla, (3) the subsequent increase in insurance costs, (4) some of the folks who took out interest-only mortgages are going to be defaulting over the next few years, and finally (5):
There are, for instance, 15,080 [condo] units under construction in the city of Miami alone, compared with 11,241 built in the entire past 10 years. And that doesn’t even count the more than 28,000 units approved to go up in Miami.
Sooo…. if you just bought a house, congratulations: you’re living in the place of your dreams, carefree. (Just don’t obcess too much about its value.) If you just sold a house, you probably did so at exactly the right time (it might not be too late yet). If you’re thinking about buying, waiting a couple of years might make you look very smart.
This is good news to all of us Gen-Xers who have been renting, and drinking through the savings: now is the time to accumulate a five-digit savings account, so that when the price bottoms out, you’re set to take advantage of the next housing bubble. [links via Infomaniac]
Friday February 10, 2006
- Bottled water [spoiler:] is a scam, and other true things at the Florida Room Documentary Film Festival, this weekend.
- Two important movies (30 mins. each) at MAC tomorrow.
- Dance Now! Ensemble premiers AMERICA/America at the Art and Culture Center.
- Awesome New Republic is moving out of town; their farewell show is at Churchill’s on Sunday.
- It’s Second Saturday tomorrow, and all that that entails.
- George Clinton never stops touring. He’s up in Pompano Beach this weekend.
Not do: Uh, how about Kid Rock, Steve Miller, and Bon Jovi, for Christ’s sakes.
Thursday February 9, 2006
Garrison Keillor and company hit Bayfront Park on Sunday, causing mayhem and destruction. Heh, heh – got ya there, didn’t I? Seriously, though, Garrison was great, talking Miami history (he had a whole thing about the Lyric Theater) and different parts of town, pointing in wildly wrong directions and mispronouncing “Calle Ocho” (maybe on purpose).
Wednesday February 8, 2006
While this rages on . . .
Nobody likes to get towed, but us folks who live on South Beach generally have a more positive perspective of the tow truck operators then anyone else in sprawling South Florida. Most everyone in our high-density town parks on the street, and carspace for residents is a limited commodity. Add to that folks from the mainland coming down to party, guest passes, large 60’s-era convertible Cadillac’s, and folks who leave too much space in front of their car, and you’ve got a recipe for stress. (Actually, visitors from the mainland have it easy: find one of the many garages or lots, and you’re done.) Anyone can learn to drive; parking is another matter. And at the expense of of turning this into a SoBe-living blog (no!), I present some parking tips:
- You can squeeze into spaces that look too small. Above is a picture of my car in a space I just parked in – there are about three inches between me and the Toyota in front of me, less then two between me and the Jeep behind me
- Parking karma: park so as to leave room for as many other cars as possible. If there might be room behind you for another car, then pull up as close as possible to the car in front of you. If you’re at the end of the block, let your car overlap the yellow curb a little.
- Speaking of yellow curbs. The rule seems to be that if the wheel closer to the corner is partially in the non-yellow zone, you’re OK. Some experimentation may be called for, though; parking authorities seem a little more lenient on Friday and Saturday nights.
- As far as towing, anyone parked in a handicapped space or blocking a driveway gets towed the fastest. Next comes cars in residential zones without a permit. To the best of my knowledge, though, recently expired permits and cars in front of yellow curbs only get ticketed, not towed, so maybe it’s worth the risk.
- Those alleys sure are tempting when you’re desperate to find a spot late at night. There are spots that are definitely fine, but nothing will get you towed faster then taking some’s space on private property. Therefore, alley parking at your own risk.
Please use the comments space if I’m wrong about any of this, or if you have more advice.
Tuesday February 7, 2006
- Not happy with the price he got on his Explorer, this guy torched the dealership.
- Bob Norman, a columnist at New Times Broward, started a blog a few weeks ago wherein he comments on local reporting, and he’s killing it: check out today’s post, which he starts by tearing into a Sentinel article on kids use of myspace, and concludes with a transcript of the Explorer arsonist with his dealer.
- In Sun Post, Omar Sommereyns interviews police chief John Timoney re the ACLU lawsuite re the Miami Police’s handling of the 2003 FTAA meeting.
- The closest Target is 11.36 miles from my house. But maybe not for long.
- Carl Fisher’s house, on City Debate.
- Per the WLRN interview, Jim DeFede’s got a show on WIOD.
- Carl Hiaasen on white-foot, black-foot. (Via Robert, who disagrees with Hiaasen: “blaming the discrepancy in handling of Cuban and Haitian immigrants on racism is pretty stupid. I guess all those Haitians working hard to make a decent living in Little Haiti must be white, no?” To which I say: huh?)
- A maybe-interesting book.
- Jonathan’s Photoblog is
apparently abandonedalive and well.
- A little something: the NY Times Correspondents guide to Miami.
- Emily Witt reviews a New World Symphony young professionals event. Hella Frisch responds.
- Beyonce and Jay-Z’s Miami mansion
- Maybe this.
Monday February 6, 2006
On January 24th, Jim DeFede was interviewed on Topical Currents. For technical reasons, WLRN was unable to post the mp3 to their web site. However, Richard Ives, associate producer of the show, sent me a CD of the interview, which, after some jostling, I was able to rip back to an mp3.
The interview is great: DeFede oozes wisdom, and Joseph Cooper has the knowledge of local history and politics to know just what to talk about. They start with a long conversation about the Teele suicide and Jim’s subsequent firing from the Herald, and go on to a whole host of other interesting issues. With thanks to Richard Ives and Joseph Cooper, all due attribution to WLRN, and a salute to Jim DeFede, here’s the file, followed by a few quotes:
Jim, on recording telephone interviews:
It wasn’t an elaborate setup, it was something you buy at Radio Shack . . . it’s just something you plug into your phone and plug into a tape recorder. I like tape-recording interviews, because then you can concentrate on what the person’s saying, and you get quotes accurate, and you can actually get more flavor in a quote . . . you know a lot of times I hate in newspapers when you see quotes that are just like six or seven words because that’s all the reporter could write down. I like words that actually go on 10, 15, 20 words; you know, you get more of a context and a flavor. So when I’m doing interviews, I’ll let the person know I’m recording them, and then I’ll turn on the tape recorder.
on the night he got fired:
I drove around. It was close to midnight by then and I just sort of drove around the streets, because I didn’t want to necessarily just go home, and I was stunned.
on Tom Fiedler:
I’ll ‘till my dying day never understand why Tom didn’t pick up the phone and call me, and talk to me. Apparently Tom’d been talking to Jesus [Diaz] during that two or three hour period before they’d made the decision to fire me, and all Tom had was second and third-hand information; he had snippets of information that I’d given to Jesus and the newspaper’s attorneys. He never spoke to me directly—I mean, think about that for a second: the executive director of the Miami Herald made the decision to fire me without ever speaking to me.
on Commissioner Joe Martinez:
The man in an unabashed scoundrel and villain. He is the worst of the worst as far as I’m concerned. . . he takes the one person who stands for honesty and integrity and wants to protect the environment, Katy Sorenson . . . and he takes her off the regional planning commission . . . he’s just the worst of the worst.
FPL executives should be hung by their thumbs, that’s at the very least . . . and this was only a category 2. . . It’s a shame that nobody will hold FPL accountable, we’ll see if the legislature does anything, but I doubt it.
on the Wynwood development:
Where are the people who used to live in this neighborhood supposed to live now? This is still one of the poorest cities in the country, and we’re not dealing with affordable housing—we’re dealing with rich-people housing – we’re doing that real well.
There’s also great stuff on wet foot/dry foot, the recent beating of a homeless man by teenagers, and much more. (Previous Jim Defede coverage on Critical Miami.)
Saturday February 4, 2006
There is the potential here for good pizza: Piola is a swank-looking little place around the corner from Lincoln Rd., with roots in Italy [caution: a Flash monstrosity lurks behind that link]. Their ingredients are fresh and high-quality. Unfortunately, the execution leaves something to be desired.
We stopped by the other day for a quick bite. Our pizza came out, uncut into slices. We asked our waiter (who had been friendly and helpful up until that point) for a pizza cutter, and proceeded to get into almost like an argument with him: him insisting the pizza was cut (it wasn’t: there was maybe a faint indication of an attempt at one lengthwise cut, but, I swear, that’s it). Well, we didn’t get the pizza cutter, and had to manage cutting it with utensils. The pie itself was good enough, but sloppily assembled: big fields of dry crust around the outside, a single huge sheet of extremely salty prosciutto covering about half the pie (are all cutting implements banned from the premises?), the rest sprinkled with chopped tomato.
Also: can we talk? In the days when soda fountains are the standard in everything from hamburger shacks to gourmet restaurants, what self-respecting pizza place brings you a can when you order a coke? And where do they get the cajones to charge $2 for it? Oh, and after we finished, the waiter cleared the plates, and let us sit there for a completely absurd amount of time . . . he must have walked by our table 8 times, ignoring us completely. We finally slapped down some money and walked out. Ma sei pazzo? Get me the hell back to Pizza Rustica.
Illegal Art opened yesterday at the Art and Culture Center (disclaimer: I work at the Center). I’ve been looking forward to this exhibition since I first heard it was coming over a year ago, and it didn’t disapoint. A lot of the best pieces are videos, but here are a few pieces from the show; above, Heidi Cody, American Alphabet, and Ray Beldner’s “O” sculpture (made of sewn dollar bills), a take-off on the sculpture that Robert Indiana makes lots of money licensing.
Wally Wood’s Disneyland Memorial Orgy from 1967.
Diana Thorneycroft’s imaculate graphite drawing of sinister Mickey Mouse and Pooh dolls.
More Mickey, this time as a possibly functional gas mask by Bill Barminski.
Yikes! Batman and Robin, the The Ambiguously Gay Duo. (By the way, I photographed all these in the gallery, hence the weird reflections and less-then-perfect quality).
Friday February 3, 2006
- Miami Light Project Here & Now: 2006, the next three weekends.
- Illegal Art opens tonight at the Art and Culture Center.
- Saturday, a KISS Tribute at Churchill’s!
- Sunday, the Vols Quartet (hell yes that’s their myspace) plays Smetana, Turina, and Prokofiev; 7:30 pm, Miami Lakes United Methodist Church (14800 NW Ludlam Road); free.
Thursday February 2, 2006
[Contributed by Steve Klotz]
Once in a great while your elected officials say something honest and sincere. When they do, it stands out like a swollen gland, usually for the level of vapidity it reveals.
In today’s Miami Hurled you can read about Florida Senators Martinez and Nelson jointly proposing a bill to protect Florida’s coastlines from oil and gas drilling interests. It’s so popular, Republicans worry it might help Democrat Bill Nelson get re-elected. But never fear:
Martinez downplayed suggestions that Nelson’s political future could play a role…… “At some time we’ve got to just work in the public interest,’’ Martinez said. “If that means working with Senator Nelson, so be it.”
Got that? Martinez admits that there actually are moments—rare, perhaps, but detectable—when against his every instinct, he simply finds “serving the public interest” inevitable, his only alternative, as distasteful as it is. In a squalid career grubbing money from special interests, pulling faces at cameras, boning voters in back-room deals, and strutting his power at Washington cocktail parties, there are still those isolated situations when, well dammit, a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do.
I can see his handlers cringing over this one. “Holy shit, Mel, the hell you say that for? You’re supposed to say, ‘In matters as essential as protecting Florida citizens and ensuring the integrity of our irreplaceable environment, I call on all members of the Senate from both sides of the aisle to support this legislation.’ You make it look like politics is the last thing on your mind! Act like a dignified fucking statesman, can’t you?”
Remember, it’s not just Mighty Mel we’re talking about, it’s every mother’s son of ‘em. Treasure this hour of truth and light, and keep an eye out for more. They’re infrequent as Haley’s comet, but not nearly as dependable.
“The Fabulous Floating Inflatable Villa” was designed by [Luis] Pons as a reaction against the “McMansion” culture of Miami real estate. The 30-foot-high floating pavilion is moored at Aqua . . . The 900-square-foot structure boasts 360-degree bay views, and is illuminated with white lighting throughout its columns and dome, making it visible at night. The PVC villa will be kept inflated by a generator and transported by a flatbed barge to various other locations.
Wednesday February 1, 2006
Ever since the fiberglass plaintains, I’ve kept an eye on the DEA drug-bust brag site. Today I was sorry: these soulless bastards surgically implanted heroin into puppies to smuggle it into the US from Columbia. Three kilograms worth of liquid heroin, in plastic baggies, were found distributed among six puppies (that’s about a pount each) in 2005; the investigation has only now wrapped up, which is why the information is being released.
Three of the puppies (mostly Labrador Retrivers) died after the packets were removed. It’s almost like they were trying to be evil on purpose, right? I mean, puppies. The mind boggles.