Friday March 31, 2006
- Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden’s International Orchid Festival.
- At the Art and Culture Center, Elisa Monte Dance.
- At MAC, Al Otro Lado a 66 minute film from Mexico, about a 23 year old drug trafficker with a talent for composing “corridos” – ballads about the narcotics underworld and illegal immigrant life.
- You might live under a rock. Otherwise you’d know that the Alvin Ailey Dance Company is in town.
- Note to self: two more weekends to see the shows at MoCA.
- Mozart’s Mass in C minor was unfinished when he died. Now, it’s been “reconstructed and completed” from new material found by Mozart scholars, which I’m totally not down with. Nonetheless, you can expose yourself to the results Sunday.
- Huh? The Go-Gos??
- Monday, free: “join the fellows of the New World Symphony for an evening of learning and lively discussion about the elements which shape the world of classical music.” It sounds lame, but if my experience with Musicians’ Forum is any indication, it won’t be.
Hey: Also, I’m working on something about the UM Janitor strike. Anyone have any thoughts, e-mail me; think of it like comments in reverse. In particular, I want to get my hands on something called “Why the Protest Continues: It’s All About Democracy.”
Wednesday March 29, 2006
Here’s a map of downtown; let’s orient ourselves (if you know downtown, skip down a paragraph or two). We have the bay on the right, I-95 on the left; the Miami River cuts through, emptying into the bay near Brickell Key (the triangle island) and the Port of Miami (just out of the frame to the northeast). On the north side of the river, Bayfront Park sits between US-1 and the water (the amphitheater at the north-most edge). The eastern end of Calle Ocho is south of the river, as is Tobacco Road (Miami liquor license #001).
OK; let’s talk about Brickell Ave. It’s home to some of the shiniest high-rises in Miami (Pan-American financial centers), and has an almost suburban feel, lined with trees and wide sidewalks. North of the river is noisy and loud — the read downtown; south of the river is quiet and serious. If you follow Brickell Avenue over the bridge going north, [correction] you can’t even keep going straight along 2nd Avenue: the street forces you to turn right and follow US-1, because 2nd Ave is one-way southbound. [/correction]
Anyway, a developer who’s building a high-rise on 2nd avenue a few blocks north of the river is lobbying the City Commission to allow him to call his address “Briclell Avenue.” This doesn’t fly because Brickell Avenue has always been south of the Miami River. It seems to be by definition, and so it is, in a way: in the early days of Miami, there was a feud between Flagler and Tuttle, who owned the land north of the river (and had most of the power), and Brickell, who owned the land south of the river (and couldn’t so much as get a bridge built). Renaming 2nd Ave north of the river “Brickell” is a slap in the face of history (you can get more of the historical background in the Herald article). Note, also, that the prestige that the Brickell name caries has to do with being the closest street to the water — i.e., odd-numbered Brickell properties are generally waterfront properties. Not only is this not the case with 2nd ave, but the land is now nowhere near the river, not on US-1, and not particularly prestigious location from a satellite-view perspective (of course a 2nd ave address has plenty of historical cachet, not to mention a prime-ass location).
So, renaming those few blocks of 2nd avenue “Brickell” is a slap in the face of the prestige of the name, a slap in the face of history, a slap in the face of developers not needing any additional goddamned encouragement, and a slap in the face of us having a city commission to do some fucking serious work for our city, which has some real goddamned problems, and not dick around with this bullshit.
Szarkowski, who was Director of Photography at the Museum of Modern Art from 1962 to 1991, was instrumental in the medium’s acceptance as a valid vehicle for art. His books, including Looking at Photographs, argue vigorously and eloquently for the aesthetic value of excellent photographs. This is not to be missed.
The Margulies Warehouse, the private collection of Marting Z. Margulies, includes one of the most respected collection of photographs in the world (though the collection also includes video and sculpture), including many photographs by the early masters, and some stunning contemporary work. The collection is huge and dazzling. While it may not make sense to compare it with traditional cultural establishments such as the Miami Art Museum, it may also be the one must-see stop for an art lover visiting Miami.
The collection will be open for viewing from 6 pm on Thursday; see their website for regular hours and directions.
Tuesday March 28, 2006
- Sunset over Miami, taken from the
RickenbackerJulia Tuttle Causeway (thanks for the correction, Kyle!); downtown is at the left, the rest of the skyline is the midtown development.
- Something stinks about Florida’s voting machines. There is a lot more information, including what you can do about it, at hidden city.
- Potboilers: Artblog tears into the Rosenquist show at the MAM (which I found likable, but I pick my fights with those dudes).
- MiamiSNews is a strange and interesting site. (Via SotP)
- A lot of data entry has gone into Restaurant Place, an effort to consolidate all the menus of all the restaurants in one place. Two thoughts: (1) One day soon a restaurant without a website will be as foolish as a hotel without one is today; (2) as long as tying the name of a restaurant into Google (maybe along with a pertinent city name or cross street) is the fastest and best way to get this information, who needs a standalone directory?
- A little glimpse into life on South Beach.
- Stuck on the Palmetto treats us to pictures of ad planes snagging banners at North Perry.
- “Miami-Dade County remain[s] one of the least fair and reasonable jurisdictions in the country.”
- Just by the sheer force of sitting in front of her computer, reading all the Miami blogs, and posting comments everywhere, Manola B is rapidly becoming the glue in what may turn out to be a Miami blogging community.
- Maybe there’s a real magazine called Miami Monthly; in any case, there is this website. Anyone have any thoughts?
- Wow, a lot of people wrote about Guillermo Fariñas yesterday.
- A disastrous Patti LaBelle concert at the Riviera Beach Jazz and Blues Festival was apparently the fault of the festival organizers. (Via the Daily Pulp, now at its new location. w/r/t which location Bob is pretty ambivalent. Check out his weird, Dave-Eggersesque self-interview, here and here (it’s the 2nd half of each of those posts).)
Monday March 27, 2006
“I got on my knees and said, ‘Down With Fidel!’ They started kicking and beating me, bruising my back, arm and head. They stopped when they saw I would not lose my dignity and say things I didn’t feel.” (Herald)
So says Guillermo Fariñas, who has been on a hunger strike for 55 days, after his e-mail was taken away by the Cuban regime. We are blogging about this because we agree that it is an injustice, although I’m pessimistic about the power of blogs to make much difference in this case. Why is it that ten years after the fall of most communist regimes in Europe, Cuba is still in this impossible situation?
Update: Link to Reporters Without Borders story.
Sunday March 26, 2006
I strongly disagree that illegal immigrants deserve whatever they get. Our nation’s immigration policy is completely totally wack, and the difference between a “legal immigrant” and an “illegal immigrant” is determined by that policy, not by the immigrant’s choice. By definition, an immigrant is someone who’s left everything they know behind for a life, usually, of hard work and some degree of permanent outsider status. For an illegal, this status is augmented by the knowledge that they could at any time be sent back to an uncertain fate in their home country. (And don’t make me lecture you on the role immigrants have played, and continue to play, in the US economy.)
Criminals who prey on illegal immigrants (who are at the most vulnerable point in their lives) deserve our contempt. The US should ease its immigration policy (if not open its borders altogether). I direct the reader to John’s comment in the first link, above, and to the excellent movie Life and Debt.
Thursday March 23, 2006
- Looking forward to the M3 Summit, with a lineup that includes Coldcut, Jamie Lidell, Hot Chip, and a keynote by Wired magazine editor Chris Anderson (which I’m going to miss, unfortunately).
- Also, the Winter Music Conference, Studio A, BET’s Spring Bling, and Ultra Music Festival.
- A super-interesting-sounding performance eco-walk by Jennifer Monson, Saturday.
- An opening at MAC.
- The Miami Beach Dance Festival, with Dance Now Ensemble and Momentum Dance Company.
Infomaniac reported on two new Miami blogs back on March 9th; I just got around to linking to them yesterday, and wondered why one was on the herald’s url, the other not. James Burnett, author of Burnett’s Urban Etiquette one of the blogs in question, replied in the comments:
[my blog] is hosted on blogger (along with a half dozen other new Herald blogs), because the paper is in transition between it’s old software platform for blogs and a new system being set up.
This is interesting for a number of reasons (some of which are technical, and those I’ll leave alone). One is that the recent change of ownership of the Herald makes the newspaper much more of a wild card in the online news-delivery game  , and what the Herald does with its web site over the next couple of years could be the most historically important action the Herald will ever do. The other is that it turns out that the Herald has a bunch of new blogs(!) we get to look at (scrutinize?). Fun! Let’s look at each individually; but first, let’s make some comments about them as a lot.
Even though these must, to be effective, be driven by what blog-interested staff are interested in blogging about, the overall mix is a look at what the Herald considers important. During hurricane season, there was a hurricane blog. There’s a celebrity blog. Etc. Also, annoyingly, blogs.herald.com points to Dave Barry’s blog, not to a Herald blog directory. For that, you have to go here. Let’s run them down:
- Dave Barry’s Blog: I’m not particularly a fan of Barry’s humor, but blogging is perfect vehicle for it (as evidenced). I also like the fact that his assistant shares the blog with him.
- Greg Cote’s Random Evidence of a Cluttered Blog: a sports blog. Yawn.
- On the Beat: Miami Heat: a blog about the Miami Heat. Make my yawn a double (or maybe this one’s more interesting because it’s more specific, and gets to delve into grittier issues; let a regular reader decide).
- Miami’s Cuban Connection: pity the poor sucker who has to walk this tightrope. But note the treatment of this situation, and wonder whether MCC presents any challenge (or even any reasonable alternative) to babalú, 26th Parallel, or Cuban-American Pundits. Fat chance.
- Infomaniac: You’ve gotta hand it to the Infomaniac – as the Herald’s original blog, she gets to write about whatever she wants to – the paper itself, the newspaper industry, blogs, local issues, internet issues, whatever. Now that there are more fish in the sea, she may have to specialize a little more. Or not. In any case, worth reading.
- Burnett’s Urban Etiquette: A newbie writing on a very narrow topic, but one that could develop in interesting ways. Or could run out of things to talk about and get boring before it ever becomes interesting. We’ll have to wait and see. (I wonder how being on a .herald domain influences one in writing a blog of this sort; probably less of a factor then with the Cuban blog, but still a factor?)
- Gay South Florida: Similar to the Cuban Connection in that there’s a built-in audience. The difference is that (to my knowledge) there are not any Gay-in-Miami blogs around now, so just rounding up the news relevant to this group and presenting it may be good enough. (The trick will be to keep it local, since there are plenty of national Gay blogs, and Steve seems intent to do just that.
- The Work/Life Balancing Act: Short, smart posts (even on a topic that may seem dry at first blush) are blog gold. If Cindy can keep this up, she may have a winner on her hands. (Then again, if her audience is time-strapped women, she may have a winner without an audience, blogs being a time-sink and all.)
- Crazy for Critters: You’ve got to be shitting me (as my cat recently did, btw). I’m not going to bother with this except to say that, however ad-hoc, the Herald should have tried to find another way to get up a half-dozen blogs then Blogger. These generic blogger templates look really really unprofessional.
- Scene in the Tropics: One of the original ones (and punily named). Not bad from what I hear, although not really my area of interest.
- What a Life!: Another blog from a features columnist, with little local content. Again, I’m not sure that the potential readership of this blog are likely to be surfing the Herald’s site looking for more stuff to read online.
I wonder, finally, what the Herald is thinking of with these offerings. (Of course “The Herald” is an amorphous concept in this context; we’re really talking about the Herald’s editors along with (I suppose) their new owners.) To some extent, of course, they’re throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. And no doubt they’re trying (and considering trying) all sorts of things, many of them non-blog (Why not let us post comments to all Herald articles?), and many of them so new and daring that they’ll require some time to implement. Let’s hope there’s a lot of interesting stuff to look forward to.
 An e-mail I received from a spouse of a Herald employee after my harsh words re the Herald’s online operation indicated that a lot of the crappiness came from Knight-Ridder higher-ups, and that the local staff was doing the best they could under the circumstances. I agreed that this seemed quite plausible.
Tuesday March 21, 2006
- Spotted on MacArthur: a Lamborghini Gallardo in de rigour yellow. Miami Vice, biotch! (Actually, the other day I saw a Lotus Elise there, and it was so so much cooler.)
- Big trouble at little MPAC: it looks like $82 million of city money is getting yanked. Government officials got finally got mad at bailing out a project who’s other funding sources keep falling short? Nope: a spat between Burgess and Arriola. More on what may be the source of the conflict.
- Triff, Sintzer, and Lorie Mertes at Books and Books Friday.
- Aquaman pilot to start shooting in Miami.
- I wonder whether Carnival gave these Cubans the opportunity to try to make it to US soil.
- Rebecca decided to take the challenge yesterday and travel the county by public transit. The rest is here and here.
- ignore has an interview with 305 director Kareem Edouard.
- Ok, Rockstar games is out of control.
- Wacky Miami computer company makes good.
- Sunpost murmurs about new building regulations on Miami Beach. Personally, I don’t have a problem – hell yes we want to restrict what kind of McMansion crap you put up, and frankly, why shouldn’t the building codes be complicated; they’re laws, after all. If they’re serving a worthwhile goal, then getting an expert to look over your permit application doesn’t seem like an unreasonable burden if you want to build a house that the neighborhood will have to live with for the next 100 years.
- The buzz is on about Courier Blues, which is unupdated for a week now, so…
- No Channel 22 on my TV antenna. Why?
- Volkswagen discovers that “cojones” is offensive to Spanish speakers.
- New Herald blogs: one and two. Why is the latter on blogspot instead of blogs.herald.com?
- Some cranky guy gets into it with Bellsouth.
- Legal Art Miami. I have no idea what it is, but it looks cool.
- Some interesting comments on the purchase of the Knight-Ridder newspapers. Infomaniac says, “Wouldn’t it be wonderful if they could be acquired by local investors who would run them as community resources?” Which, to me, sounds like my suggestion that the Herald go non-profit (towards the end of the post).
- Pirate radio interferes with air-traffic control. This wouldn’t be a problem if the FCC got sane and made it possible for small enthusiast radio stations to go legal, and thus be subject to rules that would prevent this sort of thing.
- Citizens for a Better South Florida looks interesting.
 The Lotus Elise costs around $40,000, which is amazingly cheap for a supercar. It also has a 1.8 liter, 4-cylinder engine, which, though, cranks out 190 horses. It also weighs 1975 lbs (compared to 3285 lbs for a Camry), so those 190 horses make it haul.
The New World Symphony gets plenty of lip service around here, and I’ve been thinking I need to start actually attending more of their concerts (particularly after Marc’s recent visit, which he sounded exited about).
The Musicians’ Forum sounded like casual, adventurous fun (and it’s one of New World Symphony’s free events), although it turned out to be less casual then expected. The musicianship was first-rate, of course, but the program was pretty long, varied, and excellent. The evening opened with a couple of duets (who knew that a pair of trombones could be fun to listen to?), followed by the only piece composed by a NWS affiliate, 28 year old Fellow (?) Piotr Szewczyk’s violin concerto. Accompanied by a 38 piece orchestra, Szewczyk was obviously exited premiering the piece. Though I’m not sure it lived up to whatever expectations may be cast by the “very new music” claim, the piece was brooding and dramatic, and an excellent vehicle for the violinist’s scorching playing.
After intermission, more trombones, this time as part of a brass quintet, followed by an early-20th century solo flute piece. Performed by Ebonee Thomas, it had the drifting quality of much of the music of that time (see Saite and Debussy), along with some super-fast passages that Thomas executed gracefully. Ravel’s Tzigane, a violin/piano duet, closed out the evening. Ravel uses beautiful passages which dissolve into frenzied, hyperfast runs, and some Reeves Gabriel-style extended technique, atonality, rapidly alternating picking and bowing, and general craziness. A total show-stopper (the performers, Boris Zelichenok and Ching Ming Cheng, seen above accepting ample applause from the audience). Wow.
Next stop: the Percussion Consort.
Monday March 20, 2006
A lot has happened in Broward since the law allowing slot machines at horse tracks and similar facilities, but the complete rebuilding of the Gulfstream horse track is the most visible development. And while details are still being worked out on how slot machines and poker will work (the Gulfstream site says “We expect to open the 20-table poker room in July,” nothing about slots), horse racing is in full effect at the new facility.
The large building overlooks a positively huge plot of land. Currently mostly parking, a hotel, condos, shopping, and other facilities are planned (and presumably a garage).
The grand entrance includes a walkway where jockeys show off their horses before every race. None of these photos quite express just how packed the place was.
These look like slot machines, but they are for horse-racing only.
Still more horse-racing terminals, these look much more serious (I have no idea what all of this stuff is for – looks a little like mission controll, right?).
Each race is a different length, and the starting gate gets moved around. Track conditions were reported on the board as “fast” and “firm.”
You would think the race itself would be a let-down, but it’s kind of fun. There is much bilingual hollering from the (mostly male, mostly beer-drinking) audience. A nice Canadian lady filled me in on win, place, and show, and other subtleties of betting.
Jockeys chill after the race. I wonder about the horses. They seem to have it pretty cushy, but who really knows?
My favorite way to bet? Forget the computers – find one of the “Bet With Me” girls wandering the stands. Minimum bet is $2, so you can learn by doing, all without having to worry about spilling your drink.
Sunday March 19, 2006
My critique of a Herald article on rudeness in Miami resulted in some good comments, both here and on other blogs (I previously mentioned Robert’s thoughtful take ). I have a few more thoughts on the subject, though I don’t think they necessarily form a coherent perspective. Maybe Rick is right, and I’m sticking up for the rude people. So be it.
First of all, behavior needs to be broken down by situation before “rudeness” or “politeness” can have any meaning. For example, if I’m dealing with an employee of a business—someone who’s on the job—then their behavior has nothing to do with them, or with politeness; it’s a question of training, and of the priorities of the business owner. This may sound way off at first blush, but bear with me: When I go to Taco Bell, I’m there to get a 7-layer burrito for $1.79. The person taking my order is making shitty pay, working in a fairly demanding and unpleasant environment, and will be at that job a few months on average. The more polite the person, the sooner they’re likely to find a better job, the better the chance of a “rude” person taking my order the next time. Management could do one of two things if they wanted more polite workers: (1) hire only employees with a certain threshold of social skills, or (2) provide greater training in customer service. Either option increases the price of my 7-layer, and frankly, I’m not interested. I try to make the best of these interactions, and don’t expect too much. There are actually arguments for even budget-priced establishments to make the effort to ensure that their employees are always friendly and polite (because it increases business, see?). The point is, though, that it’s the management’s decision to make, and the individual’s role is secondary.
A second situation that needs to be looked separately is driving. In driving, there is a push and pull between getting somewhere fast and accommodating other drivers. This distinction becomes particularly present when one is faced with drivers who appear to be elsewhere, but it also factors into left lane hogs, people who won’t let you merge, folks who change lanes without signaling or even looking, I-95 drag-racing, and assholes in BMWs who tailgate and flash their high-beams at you when you’re in “their” lane. I’ve covered driving annoyances before, so let’s let this go for now.
That leaves everything else. We often hear impoliteness as being equated with a “sense of entitlement;” somehow, the impolite among us act as they do because they feel superior to everyone else. I simply find this difficult to swallow (so does Val, who thinks it comes down to being raised proper ). Perceptions of rudeness may result from a multicultural society such as Miami, but to suggest that it’s because there are “polite” cultures and “impolite” cultures mixing is to miss the point. Rather, the very concept of “politeness” is often arbitrary. The idea of “inconsiderateness” makes sense only when compared to “considerateness,” and much of that behavior, when examined, consists of doing what the observer would do. For example, if you assume the person in front of you will hold the door open for you, that is an expectation. If they don’t do so, we have a breakdown in expectations. Who’s fault is it?
The answer is nobody’s. Your expectation of having the door held is just as much a “sense of entitlement” as the supposed perception of the person in front of you that you’re not important enough to hold the door for. People bugging you at the movie theater? Join netflix: part of the fun of going out to the movies is to share the experience with your community. For every so-called rudeness, there is an unfulfilled demand that is at least worth examining. Oh, and what is the opposite of “inconsiderate?” Often, “considerate” behavior is simply that which meets our expectations. An “inconsiderate” person in my way is rarely actually less considerate then the person who gets out of my way. Is that person more considerate? Probably not – she’s just more like me, and in a hurry to get somewhere else.
If there’s good news at the end of this, it’s that the ‘lowest common denominator’ of all of this stuff is a beautiful place to be: it’s the place where you adopt a laid-back, everything’s-ok attitude, relax, and go with the grain of the situation you might otherwise feel stuck in. The beauty of this is that it it’s medically beneficial, and lets you experience more of what the here and now has to offer.
Friday March 17, 2006
- I get lots and lots of “party” e-mail promotions, and delete most of them. But sorry, Vamp may not be my friend, but she’s definitely in my extended network.
- Blood and Guts in High School at Locust, Jiae Hwang at Snitzer, and Kaleidoscope Conspiracy at Edge Zones.
- Hell yeah: The Full Monte.
- Giovanni Luquini Performance Troupe at the Art and Culture Center.
- Sephardic Fire – Jewish sacred music.
- The Miami International Guitar Festival.
- International Tropical Baroque Music Festival VII.
- Earth, Wind and Fire (sorry, no decent links).
- Prince(!) tomorrow at Mansion.
- Oh, and personally, I got over hard rock when I turned 18, but I know the kids gotta have it: Global Gathering.
Thursday March 16, 2006
When I started doing this blog almost a year ago, I had the idea that it would become a community affair, with a number of contributors. Steve Klotz, of course, was the first on board, and has been writing regularly here almost every week. We’ve sometimes disagreed about what constitutes “Miami-relevant” content, and I’ve often encouraged Steve to start a separate blog for some of the stuff that doesn’t fit here (then there was the case of the “dissapearing Islamic cartoon post,” but I’ll leave that for him to tell).
Well, he’s finally gotten it together, and here is ‘Klotz’ as in ‘Blood’. It looks like he’s having fun, too: five posts in the last three days. Hopefully, after Steve gets settled in at his new digs, he’ll continue to contribute here occasionally. Go Steve!
Wednesday March 15, 2006
This is literally a day late and a dollar short. There are perfectly good reasons, but they shall remain nameless. It’s my blog, and I’ll do as I damn well please.
- Alfredo Triff is now writing for the SunPost. After Omar and Rebecca, this makes him the third NewTimes alum to make the jump. The Post has got it going on (still no permlinks, tho).
- Speaking of the Post, Murmurs explains why the windows on the hospital at Alton Rd and 5th Street still hasn’t been fixed, and also delivers some bad news about the coral house on Collins.
- It’s a big deal, ‘cause some stadium in Broward realized people were getting around their 15$ (!) parking fee by eating across the street and walking over, and now they’re cracking down. This is me buying a ticket just so I can get in on the class-action lawsuit action. Really, a $15 parking fee is fucked-up enough, but since when do you just get to raise the ticket price by $5 for walk-ups?
- Robert has some great comments about the rudeness thing. Actually, his accounting of what’s going on is probably more accurate and spot-on then my post (which he picks apart a little). In particular, I agree with his analysis of the “learn to speak english” attitude that is common about white Miamians.
- Holy shit: the Miami Herald has been sold to McClatchy Company. That means it’s no longer owned by Knight-Ridder. This is a little too much for me to even process. Stuff like this is exactly where Infomaniac shines, though.
- The New Miamian.
Monday March 13, 2006
Vik Muniz was a hit at Art Basel 2004 (less so in 2005), and Margulies has a couple of wonderful pieces of his, so expectations were high for the MAM solo show. Muniz has a startling trick – he reproduces existing images with off-the-wall materials, often in uncanny materials, and photographs the result. Fame has given him the resources to extend his technique to large-scale materials; the picture at right, Saturn, after Goya, is comprised of large scale junk (note the upright piano in the middle of the left edge).
It’s an impressive trick. Unfortunately, it grows tiresome through predictable repetition and over-reliance on art masterpieces from bygone eras. Muniz takes the strategy that Britto applied to the work of Keith Haring, and applies it to Thomas Demand. The exhibition catalog points out that recreating familiar images with surprising materials creates juxtapositions of meaning: “how is an image of the Mona Lisa made of peanut butter and jelly different from other images of the Mona Lisa?” If they mean that the Mona Lisa has become ordinary and everyday, then I get it. I also get that it’s fun. And while I enjoyed the joke when I first saw it, like a joke it becomes less interesting on repeated viewings, not more so.
The portraits made from circular clips of magazine pages continue to be effective, even while the tryptic recreation of Monet’s Lilies, obviously intended as a kind of tour-de-force, falls flat. The exhibition also brings some wonderful early work. A series of super-famous Time-Life images (man on the moon, 3d movie theater, etc), recreated by the artist from memory and re-photographed, out of focus and halftoned, makes for some interesting looking.
This exhibition is traveling, so in that sense it extends MAM’s reputation on the national museum scene. That is certainly a good thing; it’s comprehensive and wonderfully presented. It just has an air of ‘art for people who don’t like art’ about it.
Open through May 28.
Friday March 10, 2006
- Brian Reedy’s woodblocks (pictured above) at Dorsch, among much else, at 2nd Saturday artwalk.
- Tonight: Deco and Design Tour—this two-hour walking tour of SoBe’s historic Art Deco District concludes with a look at the Wolfsonian collection. Limited to 20. RSVP and advance purchase tickets: 305.535.2645 or firstname.lastname@example.org. $10 Wolfsonian and MDPL members and students; $20 all others. Tour begins at the Art Deco Welcome Center, 1001 Ocean Drive, Miami Beach.
- The Miami International Film Festival is in full swing. Anyone seen anything good?
I’m out of town, and the last few days worth of posts have all been pre-recorded (what kottke calls time-stamp fraud ). Can you tell? Whatever: please add whatever may be going on this weekend in the comments.
Thursday March 9, 2006
Established in 1887, one year after Miami was incorporated, City Cemetery is the oldest cemetery in the city. It’s located a few blocks north of downtown, on NE 2nd ave. A visit here is a stroll through history: the buried here include veterans from as far back as the Civil War, and many prominent names from South Florida History, including Burdine, Peacock, and Tuttle. Many of the tombstones are beautiful and very, very old.
Pvt. Solomon J. Peters CO D 50 GA Inf. CSA 1842-1902
Sydney Martha, Wife of Solomon J. Peters, Died Oct. 1, 1921, aged 70 years.
In memory of Rev. Carmine S. Bird. Born Aug. 19, 1846, Died Sep. 18[?], 1892
A tree is known by the fruit it bears. Willie “Big Nick” Nicholson. June 17, 1926, December 13, 1990. Forever in our hearts.
Judge Lawson E. Thomas. Jan. 28, 1898 – Sept. 14, 1989. First black judge in the South since Reconstruction. Presided 1950 – 1955, 1959 – 1964. Practiced 1923 – 1989.
The Burdine crypt.
It is one of the few cemeteries where the owners of the plot actually hold a deed to the land where the plot is situated . . . Approximately 1,000 open plots still remain within the City Cemetery but to be buried the criteria is strict. One must be able to produce proof of ownership for a plot and must be either the deed holder or able to prove familial relationship to the owner. Friends of the family are not allowed . . . Currently between 10 and 20 burials occur every year at the City Cemetery.
Wow. And you thought only places further up north had history.
Wednesday March 8, 2006
Stopped by Jerry’s for breakfast on Sunday. Asked for a booth; was told to wait about five minutes (there were tables ready to go). Waited, and got seated at a table. A waitress came over, we ordered water, got treated like retards for it, and asked to look over the (moderately overpriced) menu for a minute. After ten minutes without water, during which time our waitress walked by our table five times without so much as a glance, we got up and walked out.
Watch out, people: there are lots of places to eat on South Beach (in Miami, period), and nobody has to deal with your shit any longer then they care to. Also, I don’t care how long your chain has been around—putting up a huge sign reading “ESTABLISHED IN 1978” in a room that was the best gay club of the 1990’s doesn’t win you any fans.
A one-block stroll south along Collins revealed three wonderful breakfast establishments (one Tiki-themed), all of which appeared to be less expensive, less annoying, and classier. We settled on Cafe des Arts, on the corner of 14th street. The wait staff was helpful from the beginning, and the elevated outside patio (with daisies on the tables) was much nicer and cosier then Jerry’s. Anyway, what can I tell you: the menu was smaller, but full of interesting and delicious combinations. The Food was great – an omelette stuffed with grilled vegetables, the fattest, fluffiest pancakes I’ve ever seen, and primo roasted potatoes. Yum.
Tuesday March 7, 2006
I’ve been asked to participate in a panel discussion about artblogging in Miami. I have by far the least knowledge of art of anyone on the panel, and I’m not particularly an art-blogger, so I guess I’m the non-expert slot on the panel. It’s a little intimidating, but I’m sure it’ll be fun. The panel takes place on Thursday, April 6th, 7 to 8:30 pm, at the Miami Beach Regional Library auditorium, 227 22nd Street, Miami Beach. Mark your calendars!
Looking for a Forum:
Art bloggers and artists on writing art and culture in Miami
- The impact of blogging and online communication on critical discourse around art and culture in Miami—why is it significant?
- How writing about the art of a community helps create that community’s sense of itself—or does it? Including comparisons between print vs. web formats
- Addressing and identifying the different arts sub-communities in the city
- Cross-pollination—how blogs are creating a space where people in the same city interact who might never do so in real life
- Bloggers’/writers’ role in documenting the local art scene
- Blogs as artistic infrastructure
- Accessibility issues – are there barriers to participation in these conversations?
Franklin Einspruch, Artblog.net
Alesh Houdek, Critical Miami
KH, The Next Few Hours
Onajide Shabaka, Miami Art Exchange
Alfredo Triff, Tu Miami Blog
Moderator: Helen L. Kohen, Director of the Vasari Project and Art Critic Emeritus for The Miami Herald
Organized by Denise Delgado, Curator, Miami Dade Public Library System
- Frances visits Miami’s maybe only winery. Related: you can now order wine by mail and bring unfinished bottles home from restaurants.
- The Wal-Mart effect, at Books and Books tomorrow.
- I let it slip by. Damn.
- 2006 Hurricane Season Could Rival 2005 (via Babalú ).
- AT&T might buy Bellsouth. Weren’t these two companies broken up in the 82’s under the antitrust act? Yes.
- A Cuban journalist is on a hunger strike since January 31. Sign his petition (via 26th Parallel ).
- More details on the port tunnel project.
- Queen + Paul Rodgers setlist. Ugh.
Monday March 6, 2006
Ok, Ok, fine. Miami is a rude town, no denying it. But fighting it? The Miami Herald is going to fight it by lecture its readers? Well, then, that should solve the problem right away. Sure.
It won’t even make a dent. It wouldn’t even make a dent if the writer, Martin Merzer, had a clear point to make. But he can’t make up his mind about whether this is a national problem or a local one. Let’s help him out and stipulate that it’s a local problem. Now why might that be? Actually, the answer is right there in the article, though concealed with some disguised racial language:
The problem can be particularly acute in a place like South Florida, [a random “expert”] said, because of the natural clash of cultures here: Brooklyn meets Boise, Havana meets Homestead meets Haiti.
Yeesh. Let’s try it this way: “Politeness” thrives in small, homogenous communities. You want politeness? Go to any small southern town. Very polite folks – seems that politeness goes hand-in hand with a history of not taking kindly to outsiders. It’s not just because different cultures have different standards of politeness (though that, certainly, is true); our biology instructs us to be less polite to those that are different from us. We can strive against it as individuals, but the aggregate result is that more diverse cultures will tend to be less polite.
You want a more polite society? Try acting polite: lead by example, rather then by front-page decree. The guy in front of you is under no obligation to hold the door open for you, but if you hold it open for him, he might do so for the next person. Get out of my way when I come up behind you in the fast lane on I-95, and I might let someone else merge in front of me down the road. But preaching at me from your newspaper? That’s only going to piss me off.
Witness the test that accompanies the article. It goes beyond unscientific. Picture the questions in a survey, and you quickly realize they’re intended, by their very wording, to lecture rather then to gather information. The smug get smugger, and the rude go read somewhere else.
Saturday March 4, 2006
Another evening with Subtropics. Gustavo Matamoros and Gino Robair variously played bowed saw, bowed percussion, bowed styrofoam bowl, prepared piano, beer bottles, and electronics, while Jorge Gonçalves performed the video projection live, using a powerbook with a pen tablet running Photoshop. Absolutely. Fucking. Stunning.
Guitarist Seth Josel preceded them. Here, he performs sethwork by composer Phill Niblock: thirty tracks of prerecorded e-bowed guitar, with the final layer played live, coupled with video of manual labor from the third world. (I’m being cheap with hyperlinks—you guys know how to use Google and Wikipedia at this point, right?)
Friday March 3, 2006
Ever since Laurenzo’s, the hunt has been on for a perfect Chinese market. Maggie’s Oriental Mart, nestled between two Chinese restaurants across the street from 163 Street mall, is not bad, but not quite up to the challenge.
The usual suspects are in effect: numerous variations of clear and regular noodles, a thrilling selection of sauces in jars, cans, and bottles, exotic candy, and almost a whole aisle of single-serving ramen. Yum!
Dried fish. We ate something like this in China, and they were delicious. I’m actually sort of regretting not getting some of these.
Fermented beans, pickled vegetables.
Maggie’s looses serious points for the almost complete lack of a produce section. There was fresh garlic, ginger, and one other mystery item (all in bags, without english labels), everything else prepackaged. Bummer. There was, however, a massive selection of medicines on the shelf behind the front counter. A pharmacy? We had an experience with Chinese medicine on our trip, too, and this might be worth investigating further.
Maggie’s Oriental Groceries
1234 NE 163rd St.
North Miami Beach, FL 33162
Update: See also Lucky Oriental Mart.
Wednesday March 1, 2006
The US Senate is debating drilling for oil and natural gas in the Gulf of Mexico, off the western coast of Florida. “Off the coast,” meaning 100 miles or more off the coast. Florida’s senators, along with legion tourism-industry representatives, are fighting the measure. Their reason? Oil rigs are a threat to Florida’s coastline, our coastline is a prime draw for tourists, and tourism is our most important industry. Thus do we try to protect ourselves from the same rules the rest of the nation plays by.
Let’s be honest with each other. Our president has said (and the rest of us have known for decades) that we’re in an energy crisis. Energy independence is a pie in the sky. Nonetheless, we need to do whatever we can towards that independence while we figure out the switchgrass. Removing several sites from the running does the exact opposite, and it places an unfair burden on the states where drilling already exists.
The “impact on tourism” argument is total hogwash. A six foot guy standing on a beach can see about 15 miles out; anything farther off the coast then that may as well be on Pluto. The drilling under consideration, though, stops 100 miles off the coast. And the currents in the Gulf are such that, if there were a spill, the oil would not be carried to our shores. Which misses the point that we need to make the stations safe and hold oil companies responsible when there are problems. Keep in mind that in Texas, bathers swim in the ocean in plain view of oil rigs.
The simple reality is that we live in an animal-eating, forest-clearing, oil-drilling society. We need to do what we can to mend our ways, but in the meantime we need to accept the realities of the situation, and deal with squarely. In other words, fuel from those rigs fuels your stupid SUV, bud. Unless your plug-in Prius is getting 180 mpg, stop fighting the inevitable.
[Image is from NIST, a source of somewhat relevant information.]