Tuesday July 31, 2007
I just came across this glowing review of French Kiss Terrasse at something called “Blind Mind.” Guy sounds like he knows what he’s talking about, and very impressed. Checked it with Consumable Joy, who had a good first impression there. Sounds like a place worth checking out, right? Here it is.
“It appears that males seek females in the spring by following scent trails, so park biologists, along with other scientists, are testing whether females — with radio transmitters inserted into their body cavities — can serve as ‘Judas snakes,’ a living lure for mate-seeking males.” — The New York Times on fighting the growing Python infestation in the Everglades.
You will be delighted to hear that FPL is feeling flush.
Miami-Dade County Elections Supervisor Lester Sola is all proud of himself, because he just fired 261 election polling clerks because they failed a test on voting procedures. That’s out of 787 that took the test (more are still to be given). Here he is: “We could have very well continued like we did in the past, just making sure there were warm bodies. This year, we said, ‘Enough is enough.’”
Nice work, Lester. No use crying over the spilled milk of the botched elections of the last few years, eh? Oh, and where do you plan on hiring more competent folks willing to work for $8 to $11 an hour for two days a year?
In any case, the article is an interesting read for the detail it gives about election procedures. This is rich, too: “‘I think we can all vouch for that one,’ said Commissioner Natacha Seijas, whose Government Operations and Environment Committee oversees Sola’s department. ‘We do need to professionalize our elections.’”
Whoa: just learned that today is the last day to comment on the new Everglades National Park’s General Management Plan before it’s finalized. From Greener Miami, which provides more information and gives the Sierra Club’s recommendation. My recommendation: it’s too late to catch up; if you haven’t been studying up on this it’s a little late now. Oh well.
“Publix was responsible for many store amenities that are de rigueur in supermarkets today, including air conditioning and automatic electric-eye doors, which were both introduced in the early 40’s.” Details from the history of Publix, with great photos. (via SotP)
Monday July 30, 2007
Seagulls. And this is at 22mm, so I was really up on those fuckers.
Truth that throws some meat to the dogs is no less worth telling for doing so.
That’s what I said here, much to everyone’s amusement. And admittedly, it’s a pretty twisted formulation, constructed under the influence of alcohol (TWI?). Be that as it may, it’s sensical, and I’m sticking by it. And so let me explain:
- “Truth” — this is a noun, the subject of the sentence. It means “A true statement . . .”
- “ . . . that throws some meat to the dogs” — in other words, making the statement satisfies a group of people that is really not worthy of being satisfied. Not an unheard of colloquial expression.
- “ . . . is no less worth telling for doing so.” — making the statement satisfies a group that is not worthy of being satisfied. However, that fact ought not to prevent its being made.
In other words: “Be honest, even if your honesty gives satisfaction to someone you don’t particularly want to give satisfaction to.” I may be convoluted, but I’m not gibberishizing.
Update: This line is to live on in infamy: it’s [slightly mis]quoted here.
Walk Score calculates the walkability of your neighborhood by finding the closest grocery stores, coffee shops, etc. My South Beach apt scored 93, while typing random West-Broward addresses produced scores in the single digits. How did you do?
Kryptonite has a five-level system to assign theft-proofness to their locks, which is — no kidding — 7, 8, 9, 10, and 12. This lock is a tame level-8, but it looks impressive enough, and comes with $1250 worth of theft insurance (no power tool exemption, but enough hoops that require jumping through that I’m not going to bother).
By the way, this $80 bike from Target is great. It absolutely eats the road, it’s got 21 speeds, front suspension, and a seat that can be adjusted/removed on the fly. I’ve been torturing it, riding through construction sites, on beach sand, through water, and it holds up like a champ.
So, it’s been in front of my building since Saturday, locked just like you see it here (I’ve been removing the seat and water bottle). Let’s see how long it lasts!
And yes, that amazing pink bike with sponge seat is theft-proof. It’s got a hardware-store chain with a master padlock, a flat front tire, and it’s been sitting out there, unridden, for years. An inspiration to abandoned bikes everywhere.
Saturday July 28, 2007
- The making of Damien Hirst’s $100 million diamond skull.
- Fun with words.
- The Wattson personal energy monitor allows you to monitor your electricity usage minute to minute, and share the info with the world.
- List of words banned from Scrabble in 1993.
- Breathtaking video for a Kanye West song, with Zach Galifianakis and Bonnie ‘Prince’ Billy.
- Origin of the term white trash.
- Fake Steven Wright twitter.
- U: Inbount/outbound tact filters.
- M.I.A.: banned in the USA, weird accusations, censored on MTV, is single, photos from NY show, new music: Boyz (photos from shoot), Bird Flu, new album tracklist and releaste date: Kala, Aug 21.
- Creepy photos of an abandoned village in Italy.
- Lifehacker 10 DIY office projects.
- I don’t like this one as much but whatever: Triangles.
Friday July 27, 2007
“When I started my blog, people were upset that I didn’t offer my opinion. Some of the hard-line exiles felt I should be out there as a champion for anti-Castro cause. There is a concept in parts of the traditional Cuban exile community where you have to pass a litmus test of opinion to be approved of or included. But that’s a minority point of view.” — Oscar Corral, interviewed by Rebecca Wakefield. Corral has been going some great work lately, but count me among those who find it odd that he doesn’t want his blog to be “anti-Castro.” (via Herald Watch)
The City of Miami turns 111 Saturday. I’ll drink to that.
- Tonight: “Un cuento para niños basado en un crimen real” (“A childrens’ story based on a real crime”), opens at Centro Cultural Español.
- Sandra Bernhard at the Colony theater, but $45-100. Tomorrow too.
- Electroma, a film by Daft Punk(!), will screen at Studio A, 9 pm (DP tribute DJ set starts at 8 pm).
- SoBe Music Institute open house, with performances of orchestral excerpts. 2100 Washington Ave., which I’m delighted to hear is known as the Carl Fisher Clubhouse. Free, 7 pm.
- Viernes Culturales.
- Saturday: The birthday, and how appropriate that an artist should help us celebrate: Octavio Campos presents One-One-One: Imagine Miami Reborn, at the Jose Marti Building, 801 SW 3rd Avenue. $10.
- The Coast Guard Barque Eagle will be docked at Bicentennial Park; get a free tour 1 – 5 pm (Sunday too).
- Antonio Rafael de la Cova discusses The Moncada Attack: Birth of the Cuban Revolution, at Books and Books, 7 pm.
- Otto Von Schirach plays Miami Bass at PS14 (or something).
- Sunday: Yay — free Sundays at Vizcaya are back this year! (Last Sunday in July, August, and September.) Horticulture talk at 11 am, music later, including a performance on Vizcaya’s legendary pipe organ.
- Ye olde huge reggae/dancehall show at Bayfront park, including Beenie Man and Gregory Issacs. Good luck figuring this out — better just show up.
Those closely following the housing market you can plumb the latest quarterly figures. Keep in mind that all the talk about the market nationally right now is relatively irrelevant for Miami, which is often cited as an edge case.
Thursday July 26, 2007
“Have you noticed that the Palm Beach Post’s Internet site has become the new ‘tip sheet’ for the Sun-Sentinel?”
Monday’s 2LL image, an achievement both sartorially and photographically.
You asked for more Miami 21 meetings, and you’ve got ‘em. Here’s a schedule from an e-mail they just sent, also available on the schedule page of the Miami 21 website. I’ll go on record once again saying that the website is a mess, and that a project of this magnitude (and budget) should be ashamed for dealing with the internet in this flimsy way. Still, the information is there, and here are your opportunities to learn what it’s about and speak your peace.
|Aug 2||Simpson Park||55 SW 17th Road||6pm||Coral Way|
|Aug 7||West End Park||250 SW 60th Ave.||6:30pm||Flagami|
|Aug 9||Police Benevolent Assc.||2300 NW 14th St.||6pm||Allapattah|
|Aug 15||Curtis Park||1901 NW 24th Ave.||6pm||Allapattah|
|Aug 16||Belafonte Tacolcy Center||6161 NW 9th Ave.||6pm||Model City|
|Aug 20||St. Michael||2987 West Flagler St.||6pm||West Flagler|
|Aug 21||Disabilities Center||4560 NW 4th Terr.||6pm||Flagami|
|Aug 23||Orange Bowl||1501 NW 3rd St.||6pm||Little Havana|
|Aug 27||Citrus Grove Elementary||2121 NW 5th St.||6pm||Little Havana|
|Aug 28||Frankie S. Rolle Center||3750 S. Dixie Hwy||6pm||SW Coconut Grove|
|Aug 29||Hadley Park||1350 NW 50th St.||6pm||Model City|
|Aug 30||Shenandoah Park||1800 SW 21st Ave.||6pm||Coral Way|
|Sep 4||Coral Way Elementary||1950 SW 13th Ave.||6pm||Coral Way|
|Sep 5||LaSalle High School||3601 S. Miami Ave.||6pm||NE Coconut Grove|
A ship’s cannon from the 1700s was found underground at a construction site off the Venetian earlier this week. Update: An update: the cannon spent a part of the 1900s as decoration in front of a hotel — that’s how it got where it is now!
Wednesday July 25, 2007
The list is out. [Comments go there]
These are photos of the last two standing of the original Art Deco lifeguard stands. I took these photos in February, but both of these are still there; all the others have been replaced by the new boxy monstrosities (comprehensive photoset coming soon).
10th Street (you can click these and get geotags at flickr).
Scrapyard behind the Convention Center, where these two were temporarily stored on their way to the scrap yard. I also dug up this photo, of one of the original, but non-deco-ed stands. This one stood at South Pointe, and was photographed in 2003.
The Homestead Housing Authority is kicking a Miami-Dade Public Schools program for the children of migrant workers off its property and getting ready to tear down their portable classrooms. The CBS4 report and DeFede commentary twist words to make it sound like it’s a full-fledged school, when it’s really a summer camp, after-school, and pre-K program, and omit the fact that there are other similar programs offered. Even with a more complete picture though, this seems incomprehensible — why not allow the free program that people obviously want? And why are the classrooms being razed; isn’t the whole point that they’re portable? Update: I love Jim DeFede as much as the next guy, but does this indicate that he’s as willing as anyone else to play word games and twist facts to spin a story a particular way?
Tuesday July 24, 2007
My used Nikon stuff for sale on ebay: MB-D80 grip/battery pack, SB-400 flash, and MH-18a charger. All gently used and available to a good home, and yes, I did kvetch about getting my D80 stolen in every single listing.
More on the cockfighting trial: “The website’s backers defend it as an exploration of cultural traditions . . . the argument over cockfighting’s cruelty [has expanded] into one that involves the First Amendment and, its defenders say, cockfighting’s cultural significance in other countries.”
Illustration by Mike Gorman, New Times.
While I was sleeping, last week’s New Times quoted me as saying “Whoever thought this piece of shit up missed the spirit of the originals by a mile, and should be kicked in his patriotic balls.” It accompanies this article by Janine Zeitlin, which defends the new lifeguard stands as cheaper, and opens, “Tourists love ‘em. So say Miami Beach city officials.” Well duh, they haven’t seen the originals. “With art deco, everything goes.” Um, don’t even get me started. People come from all over the world by the millions, as much for the beach as for anything else, and you’re justifying your cheapness while spending lavishly on park overhauls, Washington Ave. “beautification” (as if anybody cares about Washington Ave.), and tax refunds. The lifeguard stands should have been restored or recreated according to the original designs. And Scott Timm should have said so when asked, not begged off because the stands are not technically in the historic district.
Anyway, the quote (“Ript from the blogs,” not in the online version) provides a link to the photo (where the above quote is from). NT also helpfully linked to my Sun-Sentinel website writeup (so did Elad, thanks) and a recent weekend todo. Wow.
For the past few nights I’ve actually been sleeping with the A/C off. It gets cranked back up to 11 during the day, but the weather has been great compared to last week. This is the time of year when Southeastern Florida is sometimes the coolest place in the country.
Monday July 23, 2007
Feast your eyes: photos from last week’s Swim Fashion Week.
It’s all doom ‘n gloom over at Bloomberg, where Bob Ivry predicts a recession for Florida by October, resulting from the condo glut. I see the point, but surely a 30% drop in condo prices has some positive repercussions for the economy as well? The developers will get stung by this, but they can deal. (thanks, KH)
It’s odd that out of the three Graziano’s, the one on Bird Road is the only one that’s considered a pizzeria, because I took the whole thing to be a pizza joint, albeit a somewhat fancy one. I guess the other ones are “just” Italian restaurants. But the great thing about this place is how they do their wine. There’s a regular wine shop in the front where you peruse a very respectable selection. When you’ve figured things out, you hand your bottle(s) to your waiter or waitress, and they take care of everything else. Not only is it like getting to browse through a restaurant’s wine cellar before eating, but the prices are in line with what they’d be in a shop, not on a menu. Cheers to that.
The other thing is the wonderful staff. I’m not normally a stickler for service, but when drinking wine by the bottle, it’s important to have an unhurried evening, and out waitress struck just the right mix of attentiveness and distance. She brought out a fresh set of wine glasses for each new bottle. And while, this being Bird Road, not everyone was absolutely bilingual, I don’t get the sense that this is ever a real problem. And the pizza was sensational. Delivered variously on ceramic trays and cast-aluminum platters, each had its own personality and charm. The four-cheese + green and black olive was particularly formidable.
Prices on the wine started in the $10-15 range and topped out around $100 (they probably keep the good stuff tucked away a little), while the pie was around $10 for a single-person dose and $20 for a two-person. Parking was a bitch; the other Italian restaurant next door (same owner?) had most of the parking lot blocked off for their valet service.
Graziano’s Pizzeria, 9227 SW 40th St., (305) 225-0008.
Last week, Charlie Crist’s office sent out a list of all the requests for information it had received from reporters during the previous day. Bob Norman waxes philosophical about the ethical conundrum for reporters who have this information available to scoop their colleagues. All well and good, but this is the internet dammit — I want to see the full text of the e-mail posted somewhere by the end of the day today! Update: The list is out. The Orlando Sentinel stepped up to the challenge.
“The current [job] growth rate is the slowest on record since December 2003 . . . Miami-Dade County had a [June] unemployment rate of 3.4 percent, compared with a May rate of 3.2 percent.”
Sunday July 22, 2007
Saturday July 21, 2007
- It has come to my attention that there are people around who still haven’t seen the George Washington video. “Present beware. Future beware. He’s coming, he’s coming, he’s coming.”
- Hilary Clinton exchanges some correspondence with the Pentagon: “In effect, Edelman was telling her three things. First, you’re practically a traitor for even asking these questions. Second, maybe we do have contingency plans for withdrawal, but we’re not going to tell you about them. Third, run along now, little lady, I’ve got work to do.”
- Pimp my rice paddy.
- Ryan posted this NY bike messenger video, and if you didn’t watch it then, do yourself the favor.
- Top 10 audio recordings. (So what can’t you get on the internet?)
- “Even if you don’t agree that price discrimination on the basis of race and gender is reprehensible . . . you should at least consider the possibility that it’s a bad business strategy.”
- Uhh.. horses like to play with balls.
- Ask a music scene micro celebrity: Steve Albini. Along the way Albini shies away from nothing and sheds wisdom on countless topics, not the least of which is how to deal with people on the internet. Strategy: read only posts by “electrical.” He’ll quote any question he’s answering, and the whole thread is just too damned long to sit through.
- New photos from the battle of Passchendaele. From the Wikipedia page, this aerial view shows the town before and after the battle.
- The White Stripes’ one-note show in St. John’s.
- “Listen. I got into politics because a friend of mine who is a big time corporate attorney thought I’d be good at it. He said I should be a Republican. He explained to me all about crony capitalism and told me I’d make great connections and scads of money. And all I had to do was represent the interests of my friends and donors. They’d tell me what to do.”
- Derren Brown
beatstoys with 9 chess players simultaneously.
- Over at the NYTimes, the wealthiest Americans ever. In inflation-adjusted $s, most of them were alive in the 1800s.
- Music star real names.
- I know, I know, I’m weighing you down with lots of videos. But here’s an adorable short by Pixar you need to see anyway.
- This lightbulb has been burning almost continuously since 1901.
- Persuasive Games.
Friday July 20, 2007
- Tonight: Screening of White Elephant, a documentary about the now-gone Miami Stadium, followed by a Q&A with the producers and directors. At Miami City Hall in Coconut grove, 7 pm, free.
- Rick and Gina’s “First Real” Art Show. At the “yellow and coral house.” BYOB. (This list needs more BYOB events.)
- Bolivar Is Me, part of the ongoing Colombian Film Festival at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
- Mickey Avalon at Studio A.
- Saturday: The Flagler Memorial Island cleanup, 8:30 am.
- Rag Trade presents Kraftworks, an open-air (yikes!) market featuring local artisans and craftspeople.
- Hello Miami! Ye olde Vans Warped Tour [link broken right now, hope to be fixed soon] rolls into town. 6 stages, 57 bands, 1 long day in the sun. This is what Bicentennial park is great for now.
- Miccosukee Everglades Music and Crafts Festival (the best way to get information about this one appears to be to watch the flash intro on their site).
- Frizz-Ease Beat the Heat Tour. Yes, it’s pretty much what it sounds like. And yes, I’m a little embarrassed to be posting it.
- State of the Art at PS14.
- Sunday: Arpeggione Chamber Orchestra performs at the Renaissance Ballroom.
- If it must be metal, oh please let it be Japanese metal: Deepslaughter, live at Churchill’s among a million non-Japanese bands.
Thursday July 19, 2007
“Second quarter earnings for [Miami Herald] publisher McClatchy Co. fell 9.3 percent, a drop the company attributed to weak advertising sales.” The real-estate slump gets a big share of the blame.
A much needed overhaul
The Sun-Sentinel’s website recently went in for a long-due redesign. The new page is much easier on the eyes, with whitespace, gray hairlines between content, and periwinkle headlines. They’ve added some significant features, including modern “article tools” (which allow for resizing text, e-mailing a page, and more), a 5-star system that allows you to “rate” almost everything on the site, and “most viewed/most e-mailed” lists. A handy site index at the bottom of the home page allows quick jumps to any section of the site. The flagship of the re-design is a tabbed box on the home page that allows you to quickly scan headlines from the five most popular sections. To top it off, the design gives a nod to modern design standards; while it doesn’t quite validate, the old table-oriented layout is gone, almost completely replaced with more semantic markup. (If the last sentence made your eyes glaze over, don’t worry, just know that it’s a good thing.) So, the Sentinel gets a pat on the back?
But the big deal isn’t what the Sun-Sentinel did wrong, but what they chose not to do at all. What we have here is a content management system that just doesn’t manage the content very well, and doesn’t present it to the user in very helpful ways. Where are the archives? Most of the pages (not all!) display lists of articles only from the present day, but to find something that ran yesterday or a few days ago, you’re relegated to the search function, which, while vastly improved, still often returns way too many results and does not allow the results to be sorted by date. So it’s back to the needle-in-haystack scenario for finding anything but today’s news.
Blogs and archives
Let’s talk about blogs. The Sentinel has about 20, and they’re fine. But the news/blogs dichotomy implies a lack of understanding of what’s happening on the internet. Insofar as this dichotomy exists on almost all newspaper sites, this is a criticism of the industry rather then the Sentinel specifically, but bear with me. Consider that the blogs are the only parts of the Sentinel’s site that get obvious RSS feeds and permanent archives. What could possibly be the rationale, 10 years from now, of making their writers’ fleeting impressions searchable and accessible, while hiding the real news stories behind a paywall? (And no, they don’t get to say that it’s a question of needing to make money.)
The defining characteristic of real-world blogs is their reverse-chronological organization. What newspapers should be doing is to take the aspects of blogs that make them so powerful (in particuar the immediacy) and apply them all their content, not to have two parallel (blog/non-blog) systems. What’s the difference, really, between a short article and a blog entry? In the case of the Sentinel, it’s that the former is gone from the internet after a month, and the latter is permanent and has monthly archives. The Sentinel’s today-only mentality about the news means that even pages that do list older articles, such as Joe Kollin’s column about homeowners’ associations, don’t list the dates for the articles (look at that page and note how many features of a blog it has — does what the Sentinel is doing here really make sense?). Other columnists get a page with dates, but one which seems to observe the one-month rule.
A change in thinking
The problem with most newspaper websites is that the newspapers are trying to make the internet work their way, rather then adapting themselves to how the internet works. Online video on news sites is all well and good (well, actually it’s often terrible), as is PDA/cellphone-friendly content, but what we need is some real thinking about how to use this medium to its best advantage. Adrian Holovaty wrote an excellent article about how he envisions the job that newspapers do shifting in light of the new possibilities of the internet. He pleads for a move away from the “collect information/dump it into a news story” mode of thinking to a way of presenting each set of information in the way most suited to it.
For example, say a newspaper has written a story about a local fire. Being able to read that story on a cell phone is fine and dandy. Hooray, technology! But what I really want to be able to do is explore the raw facts of that story, one by one, with layers of attribution, and an infrastructure for comparing the details of the fire — date, time, place, victims, fire station number, distance from fire department, names and years experience of firemen on the scene, time it took for firemen to arrive — with the details of previous fires. And subsequent fires, whenever they happen.
What he’s arguing is that data, where applicable, should be stored in a database format that can be re-purposed later with maps, timelines, and other tools not yet envisioned. Write news articles where applicable, but look constantly for more useful ways to present information. Over the years the paper news industry has developed tools that made the most of the newspaper format (including charts, photos, diagrams, and other infographics). It has been painfully slow to do so for the internet. A couple of weeks ago the Sun-Sentinel ran a front-page story about water pumps that had been shut down due to groundwater salt intrusion, accompanied by an interesting diagram. Obviously much more could have been done online, but the website version of the story didn’t even have the diagram!
Other opportunities missed
There is a hostility to the notion of someone getting their news from multiple sources working here which again turns a blind eye to the realities of the internet. Want people to make your page the first place they visit? Why not make it customizable? No need to go as far as iGoogle — how about allowing folks to choose what their favorite sections are and put those on the front page? How about RSS feeds from other news sources? Outlandish? Works pretty good at the Seattle Post-Intelligencer: their traffic page is a marvel of maps, live cams, RSS feeds, external links, and articles which — helpfully — have a headline, short summary blurb, and for articles from before today, a date!
So, they changed the layout. Great. Some bloggers do this every few months, to abate boredom. No doubt the Sun-Sentinel spent in the (low) tens of thousands of dollars for their new layout. Is it an improvement over the old site? Well, duh (on a good day, my cat can vomit up an improvement over their old site). But have they addressed any of the challenges facing them and their fellow businesses on today’s internet? No, natch. They’ve dressed a dog up in a slightly more practical and less baroque dress.
Update: I have more nit-pick thoughts that I’ll add as they occur to me:
- The top of the page. There’s a weird gap above the masthead, and below the little ad off on the right. Why not close that up?
- The general ad-glut. 5 ad blocks per page isn’t way more then most paper sites, but somehow they manage to be particularly intrusive on the Sentinel. I guess that’s intentional.
- That huge that swings down over the home page. Whoa!
- As Onajídé points out in the comments, a Herald redesign is pending. I hope they do better with this stuff.
— Coconut Grove Grapevine, July 14.
— Transit Miami, July 19.
— Critical Miami.
Update: Another one.
“That’s why I hate the [Broward County] school board. It’s lifeless, no heart, no fun, gulag central, full of paranoia, run by corrupt and dumb political whores. And this case is just adding more coldness to the equation.” — Bob Norman, on the firing of a teacher over MySpace content. (The page is set to private, but there’s the suggestion of “fired in part for being gay” here.) Update: Bob updated his post with more information.
Wednesday July 18, 2007
Here’s a horse/cart order issue for you: the Carnival Center was told it needs higher-profile programming to attract more private donations. Makes sense, but big names cost big bucks, and you really can’t put expected increases in donations in your budget. Perhaps timely, more money for the center from the county.
The City of Miami Beach’s response to water restrictions: this water main at the recently demolished Holtz stadium, has been dripping like this for days.
A nice overview of what’s been happening in Wynwood this decade in, of all places, the Washington Post.
Tuesday July 17, 2007
The helpful folks at Miami-Dade.gov are always looking out for you. Next up is an alert system that will send you an e-mail, pager alert, or text message (your choice!) in the event of a hurricane or other warning situation. More about your choice: English, Spanish, or Creole! Kindly direct yourself to this only slightly user-hostile page if you’re interested.
From the freshly redesigned website of Nefarious Girl.
Nice try boys, but South Florida doesn’t have earthquakes. And yes, it is possible to build a hurricane-proof building. The company my dad worked for had a data processing center right in the eye’s path during Andrew, and they went about their business like nothing happened; didn’t loose power for even a second.
A live, auto-refreshing list of Miami-Dade Fire Rescue active calls. Can I have these archived, sortable, and mashed into a Google map, please?
Major controversy surrounds the so-called ugly tomato. A man-made hybrid of some heirloom varieties, supposedly they taste much more “like a tomato” then anything else you can get. I’m not sure where the legal situation sits right now. They used to be illegal to export from Florida because of their unusual shape, though I believe the ban was recently lifted.
I spotted some at Publix the other day, and decided to try one out. Mine came individually protected in a little stretchy styrofoam net, and at $2.99/lb (I believe that’s actually a bargain for them), it set me back about a buck fifty. It came with a sticker linking to the official Ugly Ripe website, which confirms the legal status:
The new USDA rule, published in today’s [January 17, 2007] Federal Register, amends the Florida Tomato Marketing Order to exempt the UglyRipe from the shape portion of the USDA grade standards as long as the UglyRipe is grown, packed, and distributed under USDA’s Identity Preservation Program (IPP). The IPP uses the unique genetic fingerprint of a produce variety to assure that it is in fact the product claimed by its grower. The UglyRipe will still have to meet all of the other grade standards imposed under the marketing order.
This is all suitably absurd, but what about the taste? Well, I chopped up half of one into my salad, and saved the other half, which I’m munching on as I type. No worries here: it’s delicious. The skin is a little thicker then a regular tomato, and gives it a hint of leaves, and (seriously) earthy notes. I have to admit that the differences was much less dramatic in the salad. And cooked, I’d bet it disapears for all but the most discriminating marinara palate. I’d recommend picking one up and eating it sliced into wedges, sprinkled with a little salt.
Oh, and get this: the Ugly Ripe has a blog.
Diagram of the Biscayne Blvd. streetscaping currently underway south of I-395. Gabriel has an overview of everything planned for this stretch, full of links and images. I still don’t see, though, how getting rid of the median parking (only “useless” if you’re not looking for a place to park, btw) around Bayside makes the road less daunting for pedestrians — the number of lanes isn’t changing. Also: a Metromover overhaul (replete with more heinous Photoshopping).
“Our preliminary work seems to indicate that Mr. Proenza is another victim of retaliation by the administration for speaking out on issues that Congress and the American people need to hear.” — Rep. Bart Stupak, D-Mich. Now come hearings in congress over Proenza’s removal.
Monday July 16, 2007
A Ghost Orchid (pivotal in “The Orchid Thief” and “Adaptation”) has been found in Florida. Suprisingly interesting story, with a picture.
The odd case of Tough Sports Live, a locally based website that broadcasts cockfights from Puerto Rico (where they’re legal) on the internet. David Oscar Markus of the Southern District of Florida Blog is defending the site in court. The Herald’s coverage of the case links to the site, which Bob Norman points out is unusual, and may be a sign of some shifting realities in how the newspaper deals with the internet.
A lot more interesting information about possible changes to downtown.
A couple of observations. Firstly, I think they should ditch the walkway between the museums and I-395, and push the museums as far to the north as possible. Secondly, I wonder if anyone told the American Airlines Arena that we were planning a big soccer field on their side of the canal stump. Speaking of the canal stump, the plan calls for part of it to be filled in, plus the addition of a little island, which will make the transition from the arena to the park nicer for pedestrians and actually replace some of the land the museums are taking up. I am perplexed to be reminded that the southernmost building, just north of the canal stump, actually is a restaurant. Funny how nobody seems to be making a fuss about that. Also, remember that the museum buildings as seen in this illustration are not representative as to their final shape, though the sizes should be accurate.
Update: A closer look at the AAA site reveals that the eastern edge is in fact undeveloped, so I guess the soccer field there is a real thing. Add that to added space offsetting the loss to the museum buildings.
Please direct comments to this conversation, already in progress.
Reporting on the Serve to Preserve Florida Summit on Global Climate Change last week: Jim DeFede, Carl Hiaasen, Rebecca Carter (and here, with video), and Ken Kaye. Here are some photos, and here’s the AP version.
Saturday July 14, 2007
- At Ironic Sans, a roundup of terrorist organization logos.
- The loudness war — how record companies are ruining your music (true, even if the example is a bit exaggerated).
- Photo above is from the Black Sea. More here.
- Top 10 strangest deaths.
- New, minimalist Coke can, and the history of Coke cans.
- The pretty fucking impressive sculpture of Kris Kuksi.
- Blah: nature photos. these are from the Smithsonian, and not too bad.
- Charlie Vandergaw is a dude who enjoys hanging out with bears. Hopefully he won’t get eaten like the dude in that Herzog film.
- Segovia tears it up.
- Photos from Pakistan, 2004.
- Apparently American Express jacked this photo from flickr.
- “When Dateline NBC recently asked children to choose between a banana and a rock with a Scooby-Doo sticker on it for breakfast, nearly all chose the rock.” Great moments in product placement.
- Some idiot cheats on Price-is-Right.
- Denis Darzacq’s falling photos.
- Schadenfreude is a German word meaning ‘pleasure taken from someone else’s misfortune’.
- Photos from inside a McDonald’s factory in Moscow.
- I’ve had this tab open in my browser for weeks, and since I can’t seem to bring myself to read it, I think everyone else should read it instead: The Stylistic Artistry of the Declaration of Independence.
- Reversal ring? We don’t need no stinkin’ reversal ring: how to turn a regular camera lens into a microscope on the cheap.
- ‘Bush Lied, They Died’ t-shirt banned in three states.
- Nude LP Covers. Where’s the Blind Faith cover?
- Here is a decent optical illusion. If you stare at the + in the middle, first the moving dot will turn green. Then all the purple dots will disappear, leaving only a moving green dot. “Proof enough, perhaps, that we do not see always what we think we see.”
- BrianBrown’s photostream.
- We build tunnels through things.
- Rare deleted scenes from Shawshank Redemption. “2 not so good deleted scenes from the classic Shawshank Redemption. Rare scenes are from an old VHS taping of a Showtime cable special in 1995, and never seen again. Not in the DVD, because Frank Darabont had regrets about showing these. Both scenes feature Morgan Freeman.”
- The wonderful objects of pan-dan.
- Thomas Pynchon: essay about, literature map, random page from Gravity’s Rainbow, Against the Day deathmarch.
- Michael Moore vs. CNN on fact-checking Sicko: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5.
Friday July 13, 2007
The Bal Harbour Sheraton is
remodeling about to be demolished, and everything is for sale, now through August (9701 Collins Ave., Bal Harbour).
“Other metropolitan areas of Florida are light-years ahead of South Florida on recycling. While communities elsewhere reuse 90 percent to 100 percent of their water, Broward reuses 5 percent to 7 percent of its water; and Miami-Dade recycles 5 percent.” The Herald calls for year-round wanter-use limits.
The Sun-Sentinel’s web page has been redesigned for the usefuler (obviously inspired by the fabulous nytimes.com). Word is that miamiherald.com is undergoing an overhaul right now, to be launched in the near future.
- The International Mango Festival at Fairchild. Yes yes, unbeknownst to most Americans, there are actually dozens of varieties of mangoes. Learn about, and sample, them all. Note especially: the mango brunch on Sunday (reservations required).
- Colombian Film Festival at Miami Beach Cinematheque.
- Tonight: Dandi Wind at Off the Radar, PS14.
- Saturday: Critical Mass one year anniversary.
- Critical Mass’ goody-two-shoe alternative, the Miami Beach Community Bicycle Ride.
- Chef Sattie Narace will demonstrate the preparation of traditional Trinidad and Tobago dishes. Dadeland Macy’s, 1 pm.
- Yep, Morrissey at Mizner Park Amphitheater, Boca.
- Black Violin again at the Joseph Caleb Auditorium.
- Gallery hop. Masochists will brave the atmospheric conditions to find any number of closed galleries. The open ones presumably feature artists gallerists are least sure about, so potentially some diamonds in the rough. Reality: mostly hodgepodge group shows. Try Snitzer, Lowenstein, Kunsthaus, Antikulture, Buena Vista Building, and Locust.
- Dirty Disco at Pawn Shop.
- Sunday: Off-beat meetup of the day: Neo Shamanism (RSVP required I think).
- Dunkxchange at Stuido A, 1-6 pm.
- Later at Studio A, Da Dog Dayz Of Summer Tour, with DMX.
Thursday July 12, 2007
“Memo to the U.S. Department of Agriculture: You have better things to do with our tax dollars than harass Key West Hemingway House owners over the ubiquitous — and welcome — presence of 47 six-toed cats.” (Just added a Herald RSS feed to my collection: Editorials.)
The water restrictions have just been eased for Broward and Palm Beach counties. Basically, everyone except West Palm Beach, Lake
Worth, Lantana, Dania, and Hallandale is now under Phase II, which Miami-Dade has been under all along. Here’s the nitty-gritty [PDF — a pox on the SFWMD’s house for putting plain-textable information into this godforsaken format]. (Via SotP)
“Hot tar spilling out of a roofing kettle ignited a fire Wednesday afternoon at an under-construction gate-assignment tower at Miami International Airport.” No, not the main tower, and yes, everything’s fine. Here’s the story, but do you see something peculiar? In the photo, by Herald photographer Tim Chapman, there’s a little halo around the top of the tower, which is often a telltale sign of photoshopping. I guess the Herald considers a little digital burn-n-dodge Kosher, but you’d think at least they could be a little less sloppy about it. Here’s the photo, for when the Herald yanks it.
Hey look, Onajide spotted one of those black helicopters they keep telling you don’t exist. Think, indeed.
Here’s the other coral house, on the 10th block of Washington, soon to be a restaurant. Good, but not nearly as quality as the one they’re demolishing.
The listing has a couple of factual errors, but Miami made FastCompany’s 2007 list of Fast Cities. Apparently we’re a “Cultural Center,” along with Barcelona and Dakar.
Wednesday July 11, 2007
Serve to Preserve, a summit on global climate change, takes place in Miami Tomorrow and Friday. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Robert F. Kennedy Jr. are among the keynote speakers. Live coverage at Greener Miami. (I found no mention of this in the Herald, btw.)
“Inasmuch as a marriage is the legal union of only one man and one woman as husband and wife, no other legal union that is treated as marriage or the substantial equivalent thereof shall be valid or recognized.”
Those words will appear on the November 2008 ballot, a proposed amendment to the Florida state constitution. It’s intended to ban domestic partnership benefits that some cities and counties grant to gay couples (Broward County, Miami Beach, Key West, and West Palm Beach). These bans have passed in 28 states, and have failed nowhere except Arizona.
Now, I disagree with the so-called social conservatives on almost everything, but I grant them that some of their issues have complicated moral and other issues surrounding them. But their opposition to homosexuality has no such complexity — it’s plain and simple wrong. It’s a small-minded fear of the different, lazily tied to a gross misreading of Genesis 19 (which features a condemnation of homosexual rape, and which just as a kicker has the guy offer his daughters up for rape to protect two angels visiting him; but I digress). It’s an attempt to stop people from doing what they very much want to do, when said actions do absolutely no harm to anyone. The fact that a majority of Americans support these bans is abhorrent and, frankly, a little incomprehensible.
Well. Florida Red & Blue is an organization put together to fight the amendment. Because some argue that it could be interperted to stop all domestic partnerships, the group has chosen straight couples to represent them. They have a pretty good shot of success, in part because constitutional amendments require a 60% majority to pass.
But really, can’t we get past this already? Wouldn’t it help the anti-gay crowd to realize that they’re on the wrong side of history, that in the very near future these laws will look the way Jim Crow laws from the 1950s South look today? Wouldn’t it be nice to relax a little bit and, you know, live and let live? What do you say, guys?
South Beach haunted house?
Opium Garden decided to make a federal case out of its right to blast loud music all night (something about having their right to due process under the 4th amendment violated, if you must know), and well, it got knocked down by the 11th Circuit Court.
Genius of despair with an ode to reading the newspaper (the real newspaper).
WHL visited Flagler Memorial Island Monday, and found it a mess. “Sadly it is in poor condition and the beach had piles of trash and overflowing garbage cans.”
Sounds like sanitation needs to do a better job of maintaining the island, but first it needs to be brought back to some semblance of normalcy. To that end, ECOMB is having a Flagler Monument Island Clean-up volunteer event on the morning of Saturday, July 21. Volunteers needed! Help your city! Meet people and have fun while doing a good deed! All that; please register ahead of time so they know how many people to expect.
“The National Weather Service’s National Hurricane Center is devoted to and fully capable of delivering to the nation its hurricane warning program.” — Bill Proenza interviewed by Martin Merzer. (Catch the subtle dig against NOAA in the quote?) [Comments go here.]
Tuesday July 10, 2007
Maybe Ed Rappaport, the new interim director of the NHC, can get his hands on some solvent and UNSTICK THE CENTER’S CAPS LOCK KEY.
“A congressional group concerned about the effects of climate change will make a proposal in Congress to combat rising sea levels by making the oceans deeper.” Just silly.
Coral house on Collins Ave., getting torn down as we speak.
Monday July 9, 2007
“Quoting activist/urban theorist Jane Jacobs, Commissioner Sarnoff recently argued (very compellingly) that the problems of the widely disparaged Bicentennial Park stem precisely from the fact that it is a ‘vacuous park.’ Most of the world’s great parks feature additional draws. Art has been a crucial element of great parks since ancient times. I worry that if the park were renovated without the museums, it would eventually fall into neglect once again, and then be turned over for the construction of luxury high-rises.” — In the Diet Newsletter, MAM curator René Morales answers two of the arguments against the new building. (via TnFH)
“It’s not like I’m irresponsible about sunstroke, bleeding to death, or skin cancer, though. E.g., I know now that when it’s 92 degrees with matching humidity, it’s vital to remain hydrated: drink liquids! That’s why I always take breaks every 40 minutes or so to pound a cold beer.” — Steve Klotz mows his lawn.
BoB Miami has current photos of most of the construction projects in downtown. (You need to right-click and say “view image” to really see them, because the images on the blog are resized in-browser and very jagged.)
I’ve worked in a government bureaucracy, and I’ve seen people lose their jobs when they publicly said stuff that made their bosses uncomfortable, so when the shit started to fly around Bill Proenza last month, I was the first to support him. Well, new shit has come to light. SotP has been following the story (and has been consistent about sticking up for Proenza, and scathing toward his critics). Not only have more then half of the staff of the National Hurricane Center that Proenza heads signed a petition against him, but it seems that the scrutiny from above came at their urging as well. I think it’s time to give this guy a closer look, not just blindly defend him.
There are two possible scenarios here: (1) Bill Proenza is all about the integrity — he puts the public’s interests first, and is not afraid to tell it like it is, even if it pisses off those around him. (2) Bill Proenza is an asshole who has pissed off those above him by grandstanding and those below him by not focusing on the job at hand, and by making their lives miserable.
Well, the main thing that Proenza has been outspoken about is QuikSCAT, claiming that if the satellite dies, “two-day forecasts would suffer by 10 percent and three-day forecasts by 16 percent.” It turns out that this claim is based on a a mis-reading of some unpublished research. Jeff Masters tracked down the same research, and de-bunks some of the errors of Proenza’s reasoning. The study looked primarily at hurricanes out at sea (when hurricanes are within 72 hours of landfall, superior information is obtained by the Hurricane Hunters). The study only used one weather model; hurricane predictions use at least five. Masters cites a much more thorough study that found “no meaningful impact of QuikSCAT data on tropical cyclone forecasts.” In other words, Proenza’s 10/16% claim is bullshit.
Let’s look more closely at the voices from inside the National Hurricane Center that have turned against Proenza. Keep in mind that this guy has been on the job for a few months, while many of the senior staff have been there decades. 23 out of 49 employees (including all the senior staff) signed a petition [PDF] calling for his removal (some others didn’t sign because they were not around). Their wording is careful, but the underlying subtext is clear: “This guy has made working here difficult. The public is not served well when our job is more difficult then it needs to be.” Calling these people cowards is obstinate — they have nothing to gain from taking a public stand against their boss. In fact, insofar as his removal is uncertain at this point, they have much to lose.
The director of an agency doesn’t do the work there — he does some management, but mainly he’s the public face of the agency. The staff do the work. Well, the staff held a press conference Friday, and Masters has a transcript. It’s worth reading in its entirety, but here’s a quote from Senior Hurricane Specialist James Franklin:
When things are really happening, we’ve got a Katrina out there or a Rita type of storms, everybody needs to stop what they’re doing and pull together and make sure our message gets out and that we’re doing the best job that we can to make the best forecast. We’ve got a lot of people pulling together to do that. That takes a certain amount of teamwork and appreciation of sense of family and he’s destroying that, he’s destroying that.
The others add a lot more specifics. I think the conclusion here is clear — Proenza is an asshole, and he’s difficult to work with. He’s wrong about QuikSCAT, but the real problem is that he’s making the situation inside the NHC difficult for the people actually doing the job of predicting the hurricanes. Those are the people we should be sticking up for, no the guy who flies around the country making wild public statements. Some of Proenza’s claims about his superiors’ priorities are probably well founded, but his job is to run the Hurricane Center, and if everyone who works there hates him enough to publicly say so, then it’s absurd not to listen. It’s absurd to accuse them of playing politics; these are scientists and they want what everybody with a serious job wants: to do a good job.
So… is Proenza going to step down? Well, Margie Kieper rounded up the news yesterday, and it seems to indicate that he will (she also has some visual demonstrations of QuikSCAT imagery, compared to imagery from other satellites). Let’s hope we get someone else in there soon enough to get the ship together before we get hit with the first storm of the season.
Update [6:25 pm]: For better or worse, Proenza’s out. Everything else aside, the way NOAA handled this stinks. “Anson Franklin, a spokesman for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration . . . would not say whether Proenza was ordered to take leave or voluntarily left the agency. He said Proenza is still a NOAA employee, but he would not provide details about Proenza’s status, citing privacy laws.” What a crock.
Saturday July 7, 2007
- That’s right, folks, we’re three-quarters of the way through the 00 decade. As such, I think it’s time we take stock, but I’m going to start slowly, by looking back at the 90’s. Back then, we had this thing called techno, and I’m now going to proclaim Underworld’s Pearl’s Girl the apex of that genere. Here is the original version, with the visuals suitably subsumed by bitmapping, and for those who’ve heard PG more times then they can count, here’s an extended live cut.
- Are you a real American? Take the immigration test. (I got a 95% (1 wrong).)
- Slideshow from a doll factory.
- James Dyson dries his hands. “Well, if you’re interested in saving the environment . . .”
- You call that a light switch? No no, this here is a light switch.
- Font smoothing, anti-aliasing, and sub-pixel rendering. Noteworthy for the “how your brain works” analysis at the end.
- Al Gore’s contributions to the internet and technology.
- “[I]f you weren’t familiar with the fact that this is the first time in history that we in the United States are able to eat mangoes that are actually from the place that mangoes were born, it’s time to get acquainted.”
- The Boda-Boda taxi-bikes of Africa.
- Five good things to absorb while you’re still young. Oh, what the hell, let’s do some more 5vies: Five great reasons to buy a Hummer™, Five more slightly misleading revelations of federally-funded abstinence programs, Five things that must be stopped immediately.
- You have to “skip introduction” and click “music OFF” real quick, but here’s a link to a 9.9 Gigapixel image of an Italian fresco, and an explanation of how it was done.
- Lots of interesting ideas get thrown around in this think-piece about posters.
- You know you want ‘em, and here they are: your human cadaver dissection videos.
- This chickenshit Esquire writer tries “Radical Honesty” and fails. (belated via to DN)
- “The music companies are in a dying business, and they know it. Sure, they act all cool because they hang around with rock stars. But beneath all the glamour these guys are actually operating two very low-tech businesses. One is a form of loan-sharking: they put up money to make records, then force recording artists to pay the money back with exorbitant interest. The other business is distribution. They’ve got big warehouses and they control the shipment of little plastic boxes that happen to have music in them . . both parts of their business model are fucked.” All this and more, including stuff about getting hit with the clue stick, at the Fake Steve Jobs.
- Greg Packer, man in the street.
- Today’s flash game is a music app: Pandora.
- Next week: album of [this] decade.
Friday July 6, 2007
- Kicking off the XXII International Hispanic Theatre Festival at the The Miracle Theatre in Coral Gables.
- Tonight: Just the Funny comedy improv troupe is doing two shows at the Miami Science Museum, a clean version at 9 pm ($10) and an uncensored one at 11pm ($5). (Tomorrow too.)
- Here Miami Showcase at Churchill’s.
- Saturday: Art Against the Climate Crisis at the downtown library. “Exhibitions, workshops, art-making, music, food, discussion, and a public art installation illustrating the potential effects of global warming on Miami”
- First meeting of the Miami Drink and Draw club [MySpace, natch] at 8:30 tonight. And yes, it is what it sounds like.
- Miami Lyric Opera presents Verdi’s Rigoletto at the Colony Theater.
- No shit: Erasure at the James L. Knight Center. (I think attending this show would constitute an exercise in absurdity, but be my guest.)
- Brendan O’Hara [MySpace] at Transit Lounge.
- Sunday: Festival Argentino en Miami, Tamiami Park.
- Intermediate Mountain Biking at Oleta State Park.
- The Miami Movement Against Human Trafficking will present a screening of Born into Brothels, 5 pm at Karma Studio.
Thursday July 5, 2007
Miami Memories has a great post up about Royal Castle.
“We can blame teachers for not working harder to get their pupils to work harder, or principals for not working harder to get teachers to work harder to get pupils to work harder, or administrators for not working harder to get principals to work harder to get teachers to work harder to get pupils to work harder . . . Admit problems and strive to fix them rather than striving to fix blame, of which there is plenty to go around.” — Michael Lewis on the fact that 26 schools in Dade got failing scores.
Edgewater is one of the most quickly changing neighborhoods in Miami. Historic houses that date back to the earliest days of Miami stand (and often fall) among modern high-rises, many still under construction. There is an excitement there, but also the unease that comes from development that is too much, too quick, and too disorganized. I talked about this in my Miami 21 article, but the truth is that Edgewater is in some ways a case study in how not to do development, and in a decade may look like a hodgepodge if surrounding neighborhoods are developed under the new code.
But right now, the rapid change is causing some frayed nerves. The new buildings isolate their residents high above the street and behind security, so that when they, say, run into homeless folks at the gas station, there is some natural tension. And while it’s easy to make fun of this “What — poor people live near me?!” attitude, the thought of an officially-sanctioned colony of homeless sex-offenders nearby would give anyone understandable (if ultimately irrational) jitters.
It’s too bad the Miami Herald didn’t talk to the Edgewater residents who don’t live in buildings with security guards and locked garages, because the residents living in the older buildings in the neighborhood deal with much more serious problems, not the least of which is regular break-ins (I actually have talked to those people). But not to fear. As this transformation proceeds and the neighborhood fills out with a new population of middle-class folks, the homeless and the criminals will gradually move elsewhere, and things will be hunky-dory in Edgewater again.
Update: Where is Edgewater? This map shows it lumped in with Wynwood, but Edgewater is the eastern slice of the orange block — between US-1 and the bay and between downtown and I-195.
South Beach Community Hospital, photographed last week.
Margaret Lake, the new director of theater operations of the Gusman Center, has big plans for the place. Historical renovations are to be completed, and she envisions more outreach and more original programming. Hopefully this will bring the Gusman the prominence it deserves.
Wednesday July 4, 2007
The 4th: It’s official — the afternoon will be a washout. Rains starting later this morning, heavy by the late afternoon, and scattered crazy thunderstorms.
Tuesday July 3, 2007
I don’t mean to lecture you people, but let’s not get engulfed with nationalism this 4th. Maybe go read up on the American Revolution, or better yet, the Washington Post report on Dick Cheney (you know, who fights every day for the right of our troops do far worse then what was pictured in those Abu Ghraib photos).
But OK, July 4th is a celebration of our history, and a chance to party, and — well, there are at least a dozen government-sponsored “parties” scheduled for tomorrow. Rebecca Mandelman compiled a comprehensive list of them all posted at Wormhole Lab. More what-to-do’s are at New Times and About.com. A sampling (all these events are FREE):
- Key Biscayne 4th of July Parade Yes, it’s a big parade, replete with a jet flyover. Starts at 11 am, so a portion of this might happen before the storms kick in. Village Green Park; 400 Crandon Blvd.
- America’s Birthday Bash at Bayfront Park, 5 – 9 pm. Music, food, the dreaded “family fun,” and fireworks. Possibly best enjoyed from Watson Island.
- Baptist Hospital Extravaganza, 6 – 9:30 pm. Similar idea — food, music, “fun,” followed by fireworks, but Kendall style. And no, I’m not sure what that means. And no, I don’t really want to know. Baptist Hospital; 8900 North Kendall Dr, 6 – 9:30 pm.
- City of Miami Beach Fourth of July Celebration: Miami 25/7 The annual South Beach party, which includes a citizenship ceremony for children from all over the world. Plus latin music. And yes, fireworks. (On the beach, vaguely centered on 10th Street.)
- Coconut Grove: The Grove is too cool to just have one 4th thing. Witness: Old Fashioned July Fourth at the Barnacle (Barnacle State Historic Site; 3485 Main Highway.) Tours of the historic house, plus period-inspired activities for kids. Bring a picnic, but it’s 11 am – 3:30 pm only, so then head over to . . . Coconut Grove July 4th Celebration (Peacock Park, 2820 McFarlane Rd.) The usual food, fun, music, fireworks, plus a hot dog eating contest.
- Fourth of July Celebration at Upper Eastside With lunch courtesy of the Boy Scouts (hot dogs and hamburgers on the grill) and dinner from the Legion’s kitchen (ribs and chicken)(note to vegetarians: you are not patriotic), plus music, kids rides, and fireworks.
- Barbecue at a friend’s house. Seriously. The crowds will be more manageable, and while while there will no doubt be “children’s activities,” it’s bound to be plenty of fun. Possibly with store-bought fireworks, or maybe the ever-popular climbing on the roof to watch distant fireworks at one of the above locations, or one of these:
- J.C. Bermudez Park; 3000 NW 87th Ave; Doral
- Amelia Earhart Park; 401 E. 65th St., Hialeah
- Florida International University-Biscayne Bay Campus; 3000 NE 151st St.