You are viewing a monthly archive page.

Monday October 1, 2007

Much of the fault for the less-than-ideal experience of going to the Carnival Center falls on the architect, Caesar Pelli. I lamented the selection of Pelli’s firm for the Center over two years ago, and it’s nice to see the dots connected this way.

#

Saturday September 29, 2007

William Burroughs is underrated Saturday

william burroughs

Permalink/Comments

Friday September 28, 2007

Kraftworks weekend

craft

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

Permalink/Comments

Thursday September 27, 2007

“They certainly can’t be trying to attract us with confusion, can they? Or with the implication of a vowel movement, which gives a more-than-regrettable connotation to ‘going Downtown.’” Michael Lewis has some fun with DWNTWN MIAMI.

#

 

What's so great about a housing crash?

platinum condominium Platinum Condominium has had some trouble selling units, so they decided to try selling 20 units off at a live auction. The results? Well, as Lucas put it at Miami Condo Investments, “the auction was a disappointing failure and Miami condo developers should soon be seeing brown stains appear in their underpants.”

Only 9 units were auctioned, and most came in hundreds of thousands less then what identical units have recently closed for. Luis has more analysis (plus videos of the event), and leaves open the question of whether this is the bottom. Well, folks, it’s not. Reports on the sub-prime mortgage meltdown have that fiasco continuing for about another year, so it’ll be feeding coal to this fire well into next year.

I still say this is great for Miami. The housing crash is nation-wide, and steps are being taken to fix the situation, but because it’s worst in Miami, those steps will do little more then soften the landing a tad. Consider the internet bubble of the 1990’s: one of the results was that insane amounts of fiber optic cable were laid down, much more then it made financial sense to do. The result is cheap broadband for everyone (and a hosing for greedy companies). The result here? Well, a hosing for greedy developers, but cheap condos for everybody! (With fancy lofts and primo stainless-steel appliances, natch.) Workforce housing? Give me a few more months, and I’ll have all the workforce housing you need on tap for ya.

Permalink/Comments

Wednesday September 26, 2007

Miami Project Hip Hop, 2007

hip hop project

Miami Light Project, one of my favorite organizations in the county, is opening their season with the Hip-hop project mini-festival, now in its 5th year. Performances, residencies, film screenings, and other events, most free, happen daily tomorrow through Sunday. This is ‘hip-hop’ in the broadest cultural sense, and filtered through an arts/cultural perspective, so nobody should feel unwelcome. Watch the video, and come out for an immersive mini-festival done up right.

Thursday, September 27, 2007 8:00pm
YOUTH EXPRESSIONS’ PERFORMANCE
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- FREE-
Hip Hop Culture can be proud to have given birth to Youth Expressions (YE), a not-for-profit organization (501c3) committed to helping at-risk urban youth develop into self assured, focused, productive and skilled adults. Now in the 4th year of partnership with MLP, members will perform an original work developed during their MLP residency.

Friday, September 28, 2007 8:00pm LIGHT BOX STUDIO SHOWCASE
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- RESERVATION REQUIRED-
This showcase features Rudi Goblen’s Insanity Isn’t and the Nicole Klaymoon’s Into the Fourth Dimension.

Saturday, September 29, 2007, 2:00pm
HIP-HOP: BEYOND BEATS AND RHYMES FILM SCREENING AND DIRECTOR Q&A
The Light Box, 3000 Biscayne Blvd #100 Miami, Fl 33137- FREE-
Hip-Hop: Beyond Beats and Rhymes is a riveting documentary that examines representations of gender roles in Hip Hop and rap music through the lens of filmmaker Byron Hurt, a former college quarterback turned activist. Conceived as a “loving critique” from a self-proclaimed “Hip Hophead,” Hurt examines issues of masculinity, sexism, violence and homophobia in today’s Hip Hop culture.

Saturday, September 29, 2007, 8:00pm
UNIVERSES- LIVE FROM THE EDGE
Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach, Fl 33139- $20.00-
Miami Light Project proudly presents the seminal NY-based theater company Universes’ in Live From the Edge, an evening that showcases the ensemble’s special brand of fusion theater in a “best of” evening that tracks the evolution of their poetic language from childhood rhymes and community rituals, to poetry and theater, Hip Hop and gospel. Redefining what theater is and who it speaks to, Live From the Edge is a unique performance event that turns the poem into a communal act.

NOTE: as of right now, you can get two-for-one tickets to this event (the only non-free event in the series) by entering the code ‘MPH10’ at this page. No idea how long this will work.

Sunday, September 30, 2007, 11:00am
Jeff Chang Book Signing and Discussion
Jeff Chang has written extensively on race, culture, politics, the arts, and music. His first book, Can’t Stop Won’t Stop, garnered honors including the American Book Award and the Asian American Literary Award. He has also edited an anthology entitled Total Chaos: The Art & Aesthetics of Hip-Hop, released in February 2007.

Permalink/Comments

 

The sad result of speeding in Miami — a boy on a bicycle hit by a speeding driver, as witnessed and reported by Asawaa. This is old, but I’ve been staring at it in my browser for over a month and it’s oddly compelling. Asawaa’s photostream is worth investigating, too. He has images that are stitched together from hundreds of smaller photos.

#

 

Swimmers in Sunday’s triathlon.

#

 

Next Thursday (October 4), the City of Miami Planning Department is having a meeting to discuss plans for the design of Museum Park. No idea what they did to publicize this meeting, but I note that their web page doesn’t even mention the time (it’s 6 pm). Inexcusable. Michelle at Museum Park Forum caught this. It’s at the Orange Bowl Stadium Athletic Club.

Update: The bastards changed the time to 4:30pm! WTF, they’re claiming conflict with a later event, but isn’t this a transparent effort to make it impossible for many people to come?? Why isn’t anyone making noise about this?!

#

 

Hey, would anyone be interested in creating a Wikipedia article about Awesome New Republic?

#

Tuesday September 25, 2007

Get that resume together: the National Hurricane Center’s hiring. Position: director.

#

 

Sushi Samba

Sushi Samba is obnoxious; if you can deal with that, you’ll probably love it. Exquisitely designed by Scott Kester, its shanty-space-pod interior, immaculate black-clad waitstaff, and perfect futuristic-Brazilian music give it a singular retro-modern atmosphere that would be right at home on TV.

Despite living no more than a few blocks of away since it opened years ago, I’d never been; this weekend a friend and I decided to give it a shot. It was Saturday afternoon and SS was fairly empty. We arrived, and . . . immediately had a problem with the hostess. You see, SS has two types of tables — 5 and 6-person booths, and outrageously uncomfortable tables for two. We didn’t like the first table we were offered, and even the second one was less then ideal. There were parties of two seated at booths, but it seems that we’d arrived after some sort of cut-off time after which this was no longer possible, in anticipation of the evening rush. A bit of tension ensued, and we ended up acquiescing to the cramped but not uncomfortable little table.

After that, though, the evening went rather remarkably well. Our waitress (the record will note that she was tall, beautiful, and really, really good at her job) eased our lingering irritation with an introduction the the restaurant’s aesthetic (“Japanese-Brazilian”), and got our waters. So I’ll cut to the chase: the food was great. We had beer, sake, several sushi rolls, edamame, and dessert, and every single thing was spectacular. The secret of their success is that all the portions are a little smaller, and a little more expensive, then you’d expect. Still, after tax and tip, we barely cracked $100 for two people.

The sushi rolls are a cut above. Try the Green Envy (wasabi pea crust, tuna, salmon, asparagus, and aji amarillo-key lime mayo) or the Neo Tokyo (yellowfin tuna, tempura flake, and aji panca), and you may wonder why you’re paying twice what you’d pay for the same amount of food in a regular sushi joint, but only until the first taste. There is substance to this here style.

When the kitchen was out of spoons for our dessert, they apologetically brought out two sets of huge soup-spoons and tiny spoons (then our waitress rushed out with the correct spoons, still warm from the dishwasher), which pretty well sums up how good the service was (but not everyone seems to have had quite this good an experience). I left feeling like quite the elegant slouch — Sushi Samba is style over substance, but only just barely.

Sushi Samba Dromo (menu)
600 Lincoln Rd. (Pennsylvania Ave)
Miami Beach

Permalink/Comments

 

Miami Herald Digital. Another in a long series of efforts by newspapers to try to make money by making the internet behave more like paper news. “The electronic editions follow similar launches by . . . The New York Times and Washington Post.” — I’m shocked that this passed the laugh test at chez Herald — the New York Times’ online edition launched in 2001. At this rate, the Herald will open its archives in 2013. (via Herald Watch)

#

Monday September 24, 2007

It never ceases to amaze me how many frickin blogs there are. Behold Miami Drums, dedicated to . . . well, drums in Miami. You’d think it’s new, but you’d be wrong: been around for over a year. No cheesy blogspot address, either. Update: Also — a list of Miami food blogs.

#

 

The Big Squeeze, North Miami.

#

 

The Miami Herald comes out in favor of nuclear energy. I agree.

#

 

goya etchings

Francisco Goya’s etchings, on view at the Freedom Tower (!) through November 9th (12 – 7 pm every day except Sunday and Monday). I saw these the last time I was in Prague; they’re exquisite.

#

 

Now the debate over gay rights threatens to drive a wedge between members of South Florida’s black community.” Bullshit. The debate over gay rights drives drives a wedge between the same two groups that it always drives a wedge between — rational people and dogmatic self-righteous assholes who have nothing better to do then tell other people how to live their lives.

#

Saturday September 22, 2007

Text Saturday

text

Permalink/Comments

Friday September 21, 2007

Park(ing) weekend

bikes

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

Permalink/Comments

Thursday September 20, 2007

So long, bike!

Well folks, the Kryptolok South Beach Bike Theft Challenge ended this Saturday morning, when I walked outside to find my bike gone! That’s 47 days!! (A much nicer Raleigh mountain bike, which had been parked next to my bike for the past few weeks, was gone too; it had been secured by a very serious-looking Alcatraz chain/padlock combo. The pink bike remains.)

Personally, I’m thrilled — I went out Monday and bought a road bike to replace the mountain bike, getting a much better deal ($150 bike on clearance for $75), a much nicer, aluminum-built bike, and a much more realistic vehicle for practical transportation. I’ve actually commuted to work by bike/bus hybrid twice this week, and plan to do so regularly. (BTW, the new bike is a Crimson Triax)

So . . . what to do now? I’ve been keeping the new bike inside for now, mainly because I have no bike lock at all for now. The case of the Raleigh suggests that merely getting a “tougher” lock isn’t protection enough. So my options are: 1) As ‘I was there’ suggested, get two locks. For example, another Krypto U-lock, plus a heavy-duty chain and padlock from Home Depot. 2) Keep the bike inside at all times.

Having a bike in the apt. is a pain in the ass, although this one is a lot lighter, so lugging it in and out is easier. Another factor to consider is that the bike rack in front of my building, while behind a fence (the gate doesn’t lock anymore) is also behind a hedge; perhaps a more public place to lock the bike is something to look into. One more thing: a road bike is much harder to ride then a mountain bike — more difficult to steer, keep balance, keep an eye on the road, etc. — does that make it less desirable in the underground bike market?

Permalink/Comments

 

aquarius

Aquarius, 9 miles off Key Largo and 60 feet under water, is the only live-in underwater research laboratory in the world. NBC6 did a live report from the station today, the first ever broadcast from there, including info on what it’s like to live on Aquarius, and what they’re studying. People who live underwater are called ‘aquanauts’! [Photo courtesy NOAA and UNC Wilmington]

#

 

Karen Kilimnik at MoCA

Before you go any further, grab a phone and call 786.735.1945. Ignore the nice recording, and punch in 1-1-#, and you’ll hear what at least one person thought of this piece. I love this because it makes the painting immediate, and it dispels the notion that lay-people often have of contemporary art, which is that you either “get it” or you don’t. (If you’re feeling adventurous, and you haven’t seen the show yet, try also 1-#, curator Ingrid Schaffner’s introduction to the show’s opening gambit, the “red room” installation.)

Karen Kilimnik’s show at MoCA demands unhurried exploration. Strains of meaning and beauty undulate around her paintings, installations, drawings, photos, sculptures, and videos, and they reveal themselves to the patient viewer. Kilimnik is known for her “scatter art” installations, but honestly, those were some of the less interesting pieces in the show. Picture a couple of piles of cartoonishly large yellow and blue pills, a mirror with a white powder, a razor blade, and a syringe. Or picture the most predictable tableau possible based on the Boomtown Rat’s I Don’t Like Mondays (chicken wire, gun-range targets, and a recording of the aforementioned tune on headphones).

Karen Kilimnik It’s all uphill from there, though. Kilimnik’s paintings are genuinely great — she has a feel for gesture, for color, for context, and especially for narrative. They also tell a story. There’s the story of the fenced Stonehenge (above), and there’s the red room installation that front-loads the show with a bombastic show of pure power. A free-standing little room in a large and otherwise-empty gallery contains a circular couch, red wallpaper, and 50 paintings, hung salon-style on all the walls. There is appropriation and anachronism in these paintings (and at least one is left intentionally incomplete), but what drives them is her technique — bold and loose, but extremely lucid. I suspect they would be judged excellent by any painting snob, yet they work extremely well subsumed into this rather playful larger project.

kilimnik, drawing The heart of the exhibition, however, are Kilimnik’s drawings. Employing a single-panel cartoon strategy without any of that format’s smugness or ease, they showcase her love/hate relationship with drawing, and play around with meaning, often leaving it just out of reach. Even after including text (both in the drawing and in the title) and overlapping symbolic references, we are usually left with an intriguing juxtaposition, not an overt statement. They make no attempt to delight the eye the way the paintings do, and often include elements drawn with deliberate clumsiness, stray marks, and a general approach to the surface that recalls the Basquiat school

There is a real magic to most of the pieces in the show. They are beautiful to behold, but their allure goes beyond their visual draw. They are loaded with meaning that walks just the right line of ambiguity — always hinting at a larger truth, but never allowing that truth to be captured and contained (clear-cut meaning is the short road to irrelevance in art).

One installation piece in the show consists of a splatter of red paint low down on a wall, accompanied by four fingerprint-like marks and a hand-drawn “S” in the same paint, all accompanied by a rectangle of pink synthetic fur on the ground and odd playing-card symbols attached to the wall. A nearby (but separate) piece consists of a silk sheet among straw with a black candle and more playing card symbols. What are we to make of this? Did a once-rich person, reduced by some sinister illness (one of the titles makes reference to smallpox), crawl from one space to the other to die, first issuing a vague message to the future? Again, no literal explanation will account for every element, and so the piece(s) play around with meaning without dashing towards it.

The show is rounded out with a couple of large installations, including a large room filled with aquatic objects which is somewhat less satisfying then the rest of the show. The back room collects several pieces that are again quite different from the rest of Kilimnik’s work. A dark photograph of a solitary figure, accompanied by two glittered twigs (arranged somewhat like antlers around the framed print) is especially evocative. Possibly the least interesting element in the show are the five video pieces, which seem to be mostly based on appropriated video. Haphazardly spliced together, they seem like transcriptions of someone experimenting with a collection of tapes and a television remote control, and with the exception of one that features footage from a fashion documentary (which is interesting more for the source material then the treatment), they leave one wondering whether the “meaning” is worth perusing.

The exhibition as a whole is more powerful then the sum of its parts because, while the techniques and media are all over the place, there is a profound and mysterious sensibility that pervades almost every piece in it. It isn’t anything as neatly tied up as “feminism” (though certainly feminist concerns are raised more then once), but rather an approach to the world which is way too subtle to be contrived, but way too distinct and present to be missed.

Permalink/Comments

Wednesday September 19, 2007

Jackie Gleason’s occult library on exhibit.

#

Tuesday September 18, 2007

Holy crap, Daily Cocaine does it again, and this time it’s Haitian food. I want to go eat with this guy. See also La Vraie Difference, one of the first ever CM posts.

#

 

A completely fascinating article about changes in the insurance industry which I haven’t finished reading yet but wanted to get out there.

#

 

Student tasered for asking John Kerry questions at UF

More, um, very nice police officers acting very nice in this story and video from a John Kerry speech at U/F yesterday. Student Andrew Meyer gets on the microphone and accosts Kerry for not contesting the 2004 elections, asks if he’s a member of Skull and Bones, and generally tries to get all loud and protesty. At this point campus police try to arrest him, and he sort of waves them off and continues his questioning. More police arrive and try to arrest him, and Meyer questions them, yelling “what did I do, what did I do?”

Eventually they get him down, and the, um, six of them have trouble getting his hands behind his back, and I guess they’re pissed that he still hasn’t shut the fuck up, because another cop calmly walks over with a taser. “Don’t tase me, bro!” we hear Meyer yelling, as he’s held down by a bunch of the cops, but bro goes ahead and gives him a good jolt anyway, and we hear Meyer howling in pain.

OK, so a few things.

  1. What’s most remarkable about this is that somehow Meyer is on the microphone during the whole thing — we hear him clearly, and so does the whole room. Without that this whole incident would have looked very different.
  2. Is it a crime to “disturb” public events (where “disturb” = not shutting the fuck up when told to do so)? I guess, but this is at best a marginal case.
  3. We’re pretty numb to seeing absurd police cruelty and violence directed at anyone getting uppity, but campus police? You’d think they’d see this stuff all the time, and shrug it off. Nope.
  4. What’s up with the rest of the students? They sit there like a bunch of obedient little sheep. Why aren’t they all standing and yelling at the cops?
  5. And what’s up with dude Kerry? Clearly he sees what’s going on, and he tries to act like nothing’s happing, telling the crowd to calm down, that it’s a good question and . . . WTF, he’s got people’s attention, how about “LET THAT GUY GO, HE’S ASKING IMPORTANT QUESTIONS QUESTIONS!” How about getting off the stage and intervening in the situation (maybe he’s afraid they’ll taser him, too)? What a coward; thank god we didn’t elect this guy president. Geez.

(thanks, Gabriel)

Update: A different video of the same incident.

Much more at EKBTV: 1, 2, including the following:

Please call to express your concerns about this horrific incident:

University of Florida Police Department: (352) 329-1111

University of Florida main switchboard: (352) 392-3261

Update: Andrew Meyer’s website (via Bob, who is exactly right)

Update: I’ve no idea why the moron editors at the Gainesville Sun took down the story at the original link, but their reporters have been all over this, issuing several stories a day on various angles of the story. They’re pretty easy to find on the website (search “Andrew Meyer taser”), but here’s an overall follow-up.

Permalink/Comments

Monday September 17, 2007

PBS’ Exposé on last year’s House of Lies series in the Herald shows how Debbie Cenziper put the story together, and looks at what’s happened since. Not enough, it looks like, but it’s a very impressive story of reporter vs. corrupt government agency.

#

 

What is the best Mexican restaurant in Miami? Update: A review of Rosa Mexicana by Alex, who also has thoughts pertinent to this question.

#

 

Doug transcribes the South Beach architecture walking tour, full of interesting tidbits about buildings I see every day. Just saved myself $15.

#

 

For your possible interest: MetaFilter is considering a meetup in South Florida.

#

 

Dear Miami galleries, thanks for keeping those sites updated, now can we talk about the Flash?

Try this experiment: Google a few of the artists that David Castillo represents, and note where the gallery’s page for that artist falls in the search results (#1 for Pepe Mar, a little way down on the first screen for Andrew Guenther, and on the second screen for Wendy Wischer). Repeat for Fred Snitzer (oops, it’s not possible to link directly to his artist list). Nope. Nada. Nothing (note: not even when you add the name of the gallery to the request). Hernan Bas is there right now, but with a broken link and slipping fast.

That, my friends, is why you don’t want a Flash website.

Permalink/Comments

 

Nasty cuts to bus and metrorail service; several routes no longer run between 9 am and 3 pm, one has been eliminated completely, and wait times have been increased. One rider: “Most folks I speak with are kind of shocked that this was done after the promises associated with the half-cent sales-tax increase.”

#

 

Cuchifritos

Cuchifritos in Miami at Daily Cocaine (his photo, and a huge screen-filling version is available over there). What is it? Well, “a light stew of pig parts (I’m pretty sure I inhaled some semi-crunchy strips of ears, maws, and stomach, and maybe some tongue, too), surrounded by two baked(?) green bananas (con guineo), was perfect for a hot late summer day.”

#

 

Jane Feltes’s favorite places on South Beach (she’s from This American Life). La Sandwicherie — yum!

#

Saturday September 15, 2007

Foodie Saturday

eggs

Permalink/Comments

Friday September 14, 2007

Awesome New Republic reunite: Sayeth John Hancock in an e-mail five minutes ago: “It’s all official. I announced last night at the show that we’re getting the band back together. We added a real tight rhythm section so ANR will be a four piece. We’ll only be playing once in awhile to begin with until B Rob and his lady have saved up and taken care of business things to move back down to the MIA.”

#

 

Not good: Lake Okeechobee continues to set records for low water levels. Expect to see even stricter water restrictions next year.

#

 

Earthdance weekend

earthdance

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

Permalink/Comments

Thursday September 13, 2007

Caution on South Beach

#

 

Rebecca Wakefield on Florida government budget cuts. “According to the gloom and doom projections of financial analysts, the consequences of years of mortgage fraud and ill-considered sub-prime loans have just begun to hit. In other words, we ain’t seen nothing yet. The budget reductions could last several years. .  . It won’t surprise you that Florida ranks 44th out of the 50 states in benefits for workers, such as health-care coverage, and 50th in the percent of private sector workers with pension/retirement plans.”

#

 

“To reduce costs, the [Carnival Center] plans to present 60% fewer performances itself next year and offer fewer self-sponsored commercially popular shows such as comedies and pop music artists, leaving open dates for outside presenters — but finding room for those shows on the calendar will be tricky.”

#

 

Irène says: “We’re coming in to visit and are wondering if Miami or Miami Beach has a fantastic independent espresso cafe specializing in in-house or local roasts and crafted Italian espresso drinks. Love the Cafe Cubano, but living in FL, I miss the Italianos coffee.” Anyone?

#

Wednesday September 12, 2007

History-based Sprint ad

Sprint ad

The trend in cell phone marketing seems to be local flavor (there’s an AT&T ad with four palm trees as signal graphs making the rounds), and Spring comes in with this handsome entry, bearing the headline “Our signal is way caliente.” And featuring a light painting made on South Beach. I dig. But.

See the problem? Let me give you a hint. That’s right — the lifeguard stand in the photo was removed after last year’s hurricane season. I don’t think this particularly diminishes the ad (it does give a glimpse into the time-lines that go into producing things like this). But it sure gives lie to the idiot officials that claim the new lifeguard stands are as popular as the old ones. Picture this in the background of that image. Not so much, eh?

Permalink/Comments

 

How come this took so long: a new local blog called Daily Cocaine. Apparently not that daily, but check out the post about Camellia Street Grill in Everglades City, with a salad made almost completely out of vegetables grown behind the restaurant, an old house by the water.

#

 

Riding a bike through Miami

Miami River

When I was a kid, my bike was indispensable to me. I explored the neighborhood, venturing farther and farther from home as I got older, learning about my world. Somewhere along the way I acquired a driver’s license and a car, and for a long time I was a car-only guy. But over the last few years, I’ve enjoyed exploring my urban landscape by walking, and I’ve come to appreciate the perspective that comes from low m/h travel.

But walking is out of proportion as a way to explore our sprawl-based metropolis. And so I’ve come to re-discover areas of my own neighborhood on my bike, and have again begun venturing far beyond. It’s amazing what you notice — how your very relationship to the streets changes — from a bycicle.

This all crystallized for me when I read Mike Lydon’s account of his commute by bicycle from South Beach to his workplace in Little Havana (he works for Duany Plater-Zyberk & Co., who are doing Miami 21). He describes, from an urban-planner’s perspective, (and with lots of photos) the experience of riding through the same neighborhoods every day:

Leaving the office in the evening I ride along SW 8th Street, or Calle Ocho as it is most commonly referred. It is the epicenter of Cuban culture in Miami. Urban conditions vary along the corridor, but the particular stretch from our office on SW 25th Avenue to downtown is fairly walkable and presents a mixture of retail, restaurant and cultural offerings. Nonetheless, the street is absolutely inhospitable to the cyclist, which is why the majority of people ride on the sidewalks.

You should read Mike’s entire story, if not because it’s a worthwhile portrait of our city, then because it well documents the perspective of a place afforded by the process of biking through it regularly. It’s a way of experiencing an environment that drivers-only cannot even imagine. (via TransitMiami)

Permalink/Comments

Tuesday September 11, 2007

Dawn over Biscayne Bay.

#

 

None of your business?

Oh, so, I don’t know if you’ve heard, but there’s a big custody case going on in a Miami court involving a 5-year old girl and her Cuban father. It seems he wants custody of her back after letting her come to the US . . . well, whatever. But so anyway, yesterday, the father was testifying, and one of the lawyers asked him to name all the women he’d ever had sex with. What type of crap is that? Someone asks me that and I’ll tell him to go fuck himself straight up; from the witness stand if that’s where I’m sitting. Seriously, isn’t that the kind of intimidation questioning they’d use in Cuba? I mean, if there’s a child in the house and you want to know what’s going on, ask for a number or something, but names?

Judge: “If he went out with other women and had sex with them, I don’t care . . . Quite frankly, if you go out and look at everybody who’s had sex with everybody, you are going to have to take a lot of kids away . . . People have sex, and they lie about it, as we all know.”

So the judge had a problem with the it too, but It’s unclear from the article whether the question ever got answered. (Damn you Carol Miller — setting up a question in the first paragraph and then not answering it!) I sure hope not.

Permalink/Comments

 

This Herald editorial, about the new downtown logo, drops the s-bomb. Sort of.

#

Monday September 10, 2007

I hereby order you to love the Good News Social blog. Behind every good city there are good people, networking, and making things happen. This is their site.

#

 

The state of the Art in Public Places program in Miami is a complete disaster. Many works have been lost, stolen, damaged, or destroyed. This makes me want to cry, and I want whoever is responsible to be brought up on charges of criminal negligence. It’s time for us to stop putting up with all this neglect and corruption in our government.

#

 

Rotund World visits Miami, and gives it the skeptical eye of a former resident (with photos!): part 1, part 2. “Seen a certain way, at just the right distance, the Miami of today is a teeming, sky-high toy metropolis, as appealing as a dream. It looks like a sleek urban pleasure craft for the twenty-first century’s captains of industry, or whatever they are these days: real estate moguls, no doubt, on-the-lam financiers from Venezuela, summering drug lords, homegrown art collector-pashas. But the newness quickly curdles.”

#

 

DWNTWN MIAMI

The Herald and others are making a big deal out of the stupid new logo for “rebranding downtown.” Don’t worry people: we’re almost never going to see this. It’ll appear on printed pieces here and there, usually very small, and it’s safe to ignore. Fun to see the choices they had, though. See also: the hated London Olypics logo and why it’s good: 1, 2. Update: Fraud on the Herald’s poll. Talk about embarrassment.

#

Saturday September 8, 2007

Infection Saturday

virus

Well, the weird computer infection persists, but it seems to have calmed down enough for me to do some basic computerin’. I might even check my e-mail sometime this weekend. Meanwhile, I just spoke to a friend of mine who’s computer has been taken over, with some remote hacker moving her mouse pointer, going to websites, and even opening a command prompt window. Yikes!

Permalink/Comments

Friday September 7, 2007

My pal Mr. Leif went to meet Bill Clinton yesterday, and got his picture both in the Herald and the Sun-Sentinel. Nice work, celebrity baby! Update: 1,200 photos from China.

#

 

Gallery walk, wine, and maybe rain weekend

gallery of some sort

I just heard the weather prediction for this weekend on the TV: It might rain some. Or not. Maybe a little more on Sunday then Saturday. Not a washout by any means, probably. Sigh. Ok, here we go:

Friday

Saturday

Sunday

Permalink/Comments

Thursday September 6, 2007

Museum Park Forum. I love the idea of a site like this, and while this seems pretty transparently anti-museum and somewhat wrong-headed (if you give people a list of 23 community-park amenities to choose from, don’t be surprised when it looks like people want a community park). Here’s the plan for Bicentennial/Museum Park. And FWIW, I still support a soccer field on Parcel B — soccer is one of the few things Bicentennial Park is currently used for.

#

 

Ye olde charter review update. So far, the panel is shunning major changes.

#

 

Miami Beach 'CANDO' arts neighborhood

Borders: lincoln road, dade blvd, meridian ave, and the beach

The CANDO arts neighborhood got a preliminary vote of approval by the Miami Beach city commission yesterday. It establishes a neighborhood (see map, above) in the northern part of South Beach where the city intends to help the arts flourish by . . . well, allowing developers to build condos with smaller units. Specifically: buildings on the Beach normally must have units that are 400 sq. feet minimum and 550 average. In the district, the latter requirement would be waived, allowing buildings of all-400 sq. foot units, for developments where 25% of the units are set aside for artists and those who work for non-profit arts organizations. Qualifying residents would have to make 50% to 80% of the county’s median income (which is $39,100 for one person, $44,700 for a household of two, and $55,900 for a family of four).

The linked article above, and the longer piece in the Sunday Herald, report that it’s 80% to 120% of median income. My information comes from the city’s planning board documents [pdf], which I take to be correcter. Much of the complaining seems to revolve around the fact that the 80-120% is too high, so I wonder where this’ll go.

It’s a common refrain that artists increase land values with their presence and price themselves out over time. And while the specifics of this plan open it to criticism, I think it will actually have a positive effect over time. The map shows that their is a substantial arts presence in the neighborhood already, and indeed rental rates on the beach are sometimes pretty reasonable.

Anyone making 50 to 80% of median income deserves some help with their housing. The argument for giving this help to those in the arts is that they specifically and tangibly enrich a neighborhood. But what will be more interesting to me is whether this really becomes a cohesive neighborhood as a result of this program; that would be a true measure of its success. (thanks to a commenter for suggesting this)

Permalink/Comments

Wednesday September 5, 2007

Mexican bromeliad weevil This little guy, the Mexican bromeliad weevil, has been plowing through the air-plant population of the Everglades and residential neighborhoods. Well, now scientists have discovered species of fly in the Honduras that feeds on these particular weevils, and are releasing these flies here to kill off the population. Really interesting glimpses into the local habitat here.

#

 

At NPR, a timeline of the ‘war’ on drugs. Of course Miami features prominently. Great photos, too. This would be interesting to read right before watching Cocaine Cowboys, for some historical perspective.

#

 

Ah! TM Sisters on the cover of ARTnews (actually, just Monica). And it’s the “25 Trendsetters” issue. Unfortunately, the article is not available on line. Update: At Awesome-ish, theyz ave yr skanz.

#

Tuesday September 4, 2007

Don’t get drunk and hit your 6-week old child upside the head with a beer bottle when your wife gives her a haircut. You’ll get your picture in the paper and end up feeling silly.

#

 

Utilities-marked sidewalk

paved sidewalk, spraypainted by utilities

People, this does not bode well. This is the Biscayne Boulevard sidewalk in front of the American Airlines Arena, where the fancy improvements are underway to make it a pedestrian paradise. The paving is still underway (half a block there are unpaved sections and stacks of bricks), but the whole stretch in front of the arena has been spray-painted, not by vandals, but by utilities. Here’s a page with the color codes; there were different colors farther up the block.

So . . . what the fuck is going on here? Did they just put all this sidewalk down only to tear it back up? Is there someone who just decided the street will NOT look attractive if they have anything to say about it? Did someone make some idiotic boo-boo? Either way, some right hand somewhere doesn’t know what the left hand is doing, and this does not bode well.

Permalink/Comments

 

Bob Norman sez you have a better chance of surviving a head-on car crash if you accelerate into the crash then if you brake. Nonsense??

#

Sunday September 2, 2007

globe2

BAPTISM?

Around Virginia Key.

#