Thursday January 31, 2008
Come on, she’s CUTE!! This kitty made it half way across the country recently after being packed in a suitcase accidentally and checked into luggage on a plane leaving out of Ft. Lauderdale Airport. Then the wrong person got the luggage! Anyway, she’s fine.
Currently, in the Miami area: 689 foreclosure homes, 97 foreclosure auctions, 4341 pre-foreclosures. Yikes!
A great article on the state of cycling in Miami in the New Times. Good news: a burgeoning bicycle-activist movement, lots of riders. Bad news: complete apathy and ineptitude by city planners (I still can’t get over the fact that they re-did Biscayne from scratch and didn’t include bike lanes).
More on the Lyric Theater in this week’s Sun Post. Including this tidbit: the Miami CRA was going to donate a parcel of land to the Black Archives to complete the Theater’s expansion. The County is blocking the donation by laying claim to the land because of something to do with an adjacent housing development, so, I rest my case.
Wednesday January 30, 2008
It turns out that Aventura Mall has a collection of public art. A fairly impressive one, at that.
I’m sure glad they just got done putting up these custom-made signs. I fully expect that Adrienne will have the tact to insist on less obnoxious signage.
Ye election results: YES on slot machines, YES on the property tax amendment, YES on the Miami “bill of rights,” McCain, Clinton, and of course it wouldn’t be elections in Florida without some clusterfuck disenfranchisement.
Historic Overtown/Lyric Theatre: new name of the Metrorail station previously know as “Overtown/Arena.” I dig the nod to the Lyric (name-checked by Garrison Keillor when he was in town), but isn’t the “Historic” a little much?
Of the four proposals for Miami Circle, only one would allow visitors to actually see anything — the other three involve re-burying the circle and creating “ghost-images” and replicas with educational materials. Boo, hiss. What’s more, the Let Us See It proposal is the most expensive, so least likely. We have until February 22nd to make public comments, which you can do at an online form. First you’ll need to look over the Special Resource Study (click on the bottom of the page to download a PDF). Update: Actually here is the better story, with links to graphical representations of the four proposals.
Tuesday January 29, 2008
The Miami Condo Investments blog is being sued for $25 million. Seems that an allegation that Developer Tibor Hollo went bankrupt in the 80s is the sticking point, along with some predictions that his current projects are headed for failure. Doesn’t this sort of alternate-revenue-seeking lend credence to the latter assertion, though?
Got some Black Sapote with my CSA share last week. They’re green when they arrive, and took about a week to ripen. Ripe in this case means looking really rough. When they get all black and ultra-soft — in other words, like they’re ready to be thrown out — that’s when they’re good to eat. You slice it open and eat it with a spoon.
The taste and flavor is indeed uncannily like chocolate pudding, but make no mistake, this is fruit, and there are way too many unhealthy things in actual pudding that give it an unfair edge. Sapote tastes like fruit that tastes like chocolate pudding, delicious and just a little strange.
Not sure what I’m going to do with the second one. The webernets recommend using it in baking, but that’s a non-starter with me. It would be improved basically by adding sugar and some sort of fat to it, maybe mixed with cream in a blender, but that sort of recommends getting some sort of alcohol involved in the mix, right? Some sort of Black Sapote rum drink? Suggestions?
Monday January 28, 2008
List your event at Miami Nights, free! Boy, you could have some fun with this, right?! “Party at Jessica’s!”
“I mean we’re on land and we don’t take it seriously how insane it is out there. You’re at the beach throwing a ball around laughing in the sand and out beneath the waves there is this slaughterhouse, this horror movie. Shark week forever. It’s amazing the ocean doesn’t just run blood all the time.”
Check, Please! South Florida, a show about dining, premieres tonight at 7:30 pm. No idea what channel it’s on, or if it’s web-only.
Shaquille O’Neal’s monthly income: $1.8 million. Expenses, again monthly: $12,775 on food, $17,220 on clothes, $48,750 on maids and babysitters, $156,116 on mortgages, and $60,417 on gifts. Hey Shaq — um, nevermind.
Monday morning in Miami music. It would appear that Jesse Jackson just walks around all the time with a little guitar.
Heads up: Girl Talk at Studio A this Saturday. Via Duran, who will give you a cookie if you can identify “that sample.” Huh? There are like three dozen identifiable samples in that song. But the Scentless Apprentice/Tiny Dancer/Juicy trifecta that closes the song is the pièce de résistance of that album. Sardines for dinner . . . yum. Anyway. Tickets available online, and highly recommended.
Saturday January 26, 2008
- That’s your boyfriend, via whitch, Corey Worthington.
- George W. Bush thinks his favorite painting is of brave missionaries, but it’s actually of a horse thief!
- The internet is great because it’s a vast source of almost unlimited information and data. Check out these data: kill stats for the four Rambo movies.
- Apple scored LAST on Fortune magazine’s list of socially responsible companies. Stick that in your iPod and rip it.
- Christopher Hitchens has been tearing it up over at Slate. Here he is pointing out that Huckabee is a fucking racist.
- Nice photograph of a lady sitting on a refrigerator.
- The two most promising measures were dropped from the stimulus package.
- Arto Lindsay, just because it’s wrong that a search of this site for his name doesn’t return any results. And on this occasion, some links? Why not: Interviews: one, two, three. Music: Beija-me, Copy me, Kukikeller.
- Funny cat-breathing game.
- My favorite person of the moment is Wendy Spero, and because I don’t trust you people to click through, here’s the pertinent video:
Friday January 25, 2008
- Hey everybody, the World Orchid Conference is in town. $20 admission, but if you’re even remotely interested, this is very impressive.
- Opens a special exhibition at the Metrozoo on Reptiles: more turtles, lizards, and snakes then you can shake a stick at.
- The Miami Jewish Film Festival.
- International Chocolate Festival at Fairchild.
- Becoming a Man in 127 EASY Steps, from someone who did.
- Homestead Rodeo. Can we go to this, mom, please??
- Yo, the Wu-Tang Clan (at the Fillmore). Review of a recent set here.
- Emerica Demo at MIA Skatepark.
- For sad people with empty lives: Matchbox Twenty. I can’t believe tickets for this start at $60… Shouldn’t they be playing Gulfstream or something?
- Jackie Mason at the Bank Atlantic Center.
- Peter Sellers Fest at Churchills (and no, I have no idea who Peter Sellers is or what will happen at this). Update: Oh, shit. Is this a joke? A cover for an international crime ring? What??
- Miami Bhangra Competition, something amazing from India, with 16 people dancing all at once.
- Farewell to the Orange Bowl event, fwiw. (With “free autograph sessions,” and by “free” they mean if you bought a $20 ticket.)
- It just keeps getting stupider: how about the Back Alley Turf Wars.
- The Zen Art Faire at Wallflower.
- Sweat Records is delivering on promises of being a cultural mecca, with all sorts of things happening, including today at 7pm “Primary Party,” an actual political round-table and discussion.
- The marathon if we had Rick we would have photos of this next week.
- Basque Ball, a documentary of which I can’t tell if it’s about a sport or about terrorism, but in the Basque region of Spain.
Thursday January 24, 2008
Tuesday, we saw a stately, if not exactly iconic, house from 1913 gain historic status, and everybody cheered. Now we have this news: the Miami Beach city commission has declared the eastern half of Alton Road between 8th and 14th streets a Newly Minted Historic District. The above little house is one of a group designed by “prominent” [?] architect Robert A. Little in 1934 which is cited as evidence for the NMHD. These houses (see them all in this pdf) are located between 12th and 14th Streets; the argument for 8th to 12th streets is apparently much weaker.
Now, Alton Road is a busy commercial corridor which serves the residents of South Beach — unlike Washington and Collins, which are much more tourist-oriented. These houses, designed as single-family residences and now all pressed into service as businesses, are clearly a drag on the commercial potential of the immediate neighborhood. With their newly found historic status, this is what they will remain.
In passing the ordinance, one of the commissioners cited a study which found that 88% of the city’s residents considered historic preservation important. Well, of course we do, and Miami Beach has much architecture that deserves protection. But I think we like our preservation to include concessions to common sense. Here is a group of out-of-context buildings that are ill-suited to their surroundings, and are of widely varying aesthetic (and debatable historic) value. Miami Beach boasts many homes from this time period in, you know, residential neighborhoods.
By advocating for historic preservation in all cases and at all times, preservationists appear oblivious to the reality that without tearing down old buildings, the only development possible is on virgin land (hello, UDB). The positives of historical preservation ought to be weighed against its natural negatives — a drag on economic potential of a property, and a contribution to sprawl.
In the case of these particular buildings, the argument against declaring a few of them historical and allowing the rest to be torn down falls particularly flat. Preservationists argue for the need to preserve the “character” of neighborhoods. This is laughable in the case of these particular buildings, which could not be more out of character to the street they find themselves on today. It is in fact much easier to argue that the historic and aesthetic value of the couple of real gems in the group would be heightened if they were surrounded by the more contemporary, and higher-density, buildings the neighborhood needs.
Such is the case with the Coral House, which (the same article notes) is now thankfully in a much better position to be restored and preserved. It’s the case of Dr. Jackson’s Office in Brickell. Both are gems, and both were once surrounded with similar buildings built in a similar time. Would we wish that those neighborhoods were “preserved” as they were thirty years ago? Of course not. Only a packrat saves everything — the rest of us keep a few cherished mementos from the past and toss the rest.
I’m going to close with a dose of libertarian argument, because the Miami Beach commission did not just act like packrats. After all, these properties are not theirs to do with as they wish — they have actual rightful owners. What has actually happened here is that the property rights of these owners have been restricted. It’s of course necessary for society to do this under certain circumstances, but it needs to be kept in mind. Property rights, aesthetics, economics — here we have an act of historical preservation that is almost all downside.
Wednesday January 23, 2008
A review of all the venues for live music in town. It’s a little depressing to see like this . . . I can’t think of any others, but I’d have thought the list would be longer. Anyway, it’s fun to read, and includes a review of the women’s bathrooms at each location. (via MN)
Tuesday January 22, 2008
A Citizens’ Bill of Rights has been added to the January 29th elections ballot. Here is the question, and here is the ‘Bill’ itself (I think). So it looks like this crappy Herald article is wrong — it’s not “Miami voters,” it’s “Miami-Dade voters” (thanks again, Miami-Dade officials, for making this extra confusing), not an insignificant distinction. What the article does not bother to do is to explain just what consequences this measure might actually have. Update: I’m wrong wrong wrong: the “Bill of Rights” is a City of Miami thing, the County thing is something else.
Villa Serena, built in 1913 and just added to the Miami Register of Historic Places. Photo by, and full story at, Miami Memories.
The [new] Bookstore in Coconut Grove has become quite the hangout, what with the coffee shop and free wi-fi. I always wonder whether this is economically sustainable — people sitting at a table on their laptop for two hours do not make the store much profit, even if they do buy a coffee. Getting customers in the store is key, of course, and it works well enough for Books and Books, so who knows? I sure hope it works out for them — I’d love to see independent bookstore/hangout-type spots everywhere.
Monday January 21, 2008
Crazy scene on the Turnpike a couple of weeks ago — a bad accident had traffic tied up so long that almost everyone was out of their cars, a block party of an odd sort.
Variable-fee I-95 express lanes are moving forward, and yes, hybrids and 3-person car pools will be allowed to use them free if pre-registered. And yes, apparently that does go for your 2008 GMC Yukon 1500 Hybrid, 20 mpg.
Rick, the blogger formerly known as Stuck on the Palmetto, has got himself a new blog, the South Florida Daily Blog. It’s to come online February 4th (Dude sure knows how to build buzz — an e-mail announcement went out this weekend to a number of local bloggers, but sadly not me.), a “review and discussion of local blogs.”
Saturday January 19, 2008
- Tom Cruise Scientology rant video. As one of the commenters puts it, HOLY SHIT. And courtesy of Rex, here are the takedown notice and Respect the Cock.
- New material pushes the boundary of blackness.
- Chinese punishments from 1804.
- Here’s something you’re going to want: Tenori-on.
- Artists take note: these nice people will make wallpaper, at any size, out of any image you like.
- I’m officially over Chris Matthews. His new book is null-skumbingly terrible, and now it turns out he’s kind of an asshole. (After you’ve watched that, you may be interested in seeing the apology that followed.)
- A list of changes made to the first three Star Wars movies.
- The strangest, most wonderful thing, ever. (Roughly, animations of two rabbit prisoners and their interactions with a sadistic door.)
- Slober slober.
- 10 physically modified people. You know, tattoos and stuff. Sillyness.
- If you absolutely must have a website, the least you can do is make it look like this.
- Flash game: Dogfight (an easy one). Related: Do pilots practice crash-landings?
Friday January 18, 2008
- Check out Upper Eastside green market.
- Sometimes the name of something clues you in to how clued in the event is. Um, the Beaux Arts Festival of Art . . .
- Finishes the South Beach Comedy Festival.
- Martin Luther King Jr. Day soul food cooking demonstration, but before you get too exited, it’s at Aventura Mall Bloomingdale’s.
- 10th Annual Medical Marijuana Benefit at Tobacco Road. $10, a million bands, community speakers, and “live painting.”
- Artopia, the name New Times has given to their 20th anniversary celebration. Not going, but congrats, folks.
- Today and tomorrow, the South Florida Folk Festival: like 30 performers, but you have to really want it. It involves things like camping, and expensive tickets.
- Bill Cosby at the Hark Rock Live
- Marilyn Manson at
Jackie GleasonFillmore Miami Beach.
Thursday January 17, 2008
Some current estimates on the cost of the Metrorail expansion: $57 million+ for planning/consulting, $290 million+ for construction of a line between the intermodal center and Earlington Heights, $2 billion+ for a northern extension into Broward and the east/west line.
The Miami Herald has launched miami.com beta, a city guide-cum-shot at internet relevancy, and it looks promising. There is great content, including a listing of artist with studios open to the public, a collection of old-Miami attractions, and a guide to the best of the food trucks. Most interesting though is the social-networking overlay, which allows the creation of MySpace-like profies, commenting, and whatnot, all tied to a point system that rewards active users.
Wednesday January 16, 2008
Last Friday, a guy got rowdy at a UM house party. The police were called, and they tased him to death.
A set of images from vintage Florida postcards.
Aramis Gutierrez’s sensational painting show at Castillo. Across the street at Gallery Diet, Richard Höglund’s installation had folks scratching their heads. Like a parody of contemporary art, it took a simple geometric shape and threw it at everything — small drawings, big drawings, installation, video, paper stacks — and nothing stuck.
Christina Pettersson’s eye-popping drawings of bricks stolen from writer’s homes. This one is Jack Kerouac. It’s unfortunate that these are only ever seen as details — the bricks are drawn life-sized, centered on massive pieces of otherwise-blank paper.
One of Steven Gagnon’s car projections in front of Locust, which includes the audio and video of a man describing his illegal entry into the US.
Bethany Pelle shows off one of her immaculate little kitchen sculptures. This one comes apart to function as a tea strainer.
Between two buildings on North Miami Avenue sit five of these huge aluminum 80s-looking palm tree sculptures. I mean, people are wasting their time making stuff like this? With world hunger, war, and disease, and you’re going to make huge palm tree sculptures and finish them off by drawing lines on them with a drill? Wow.
Kevin Medal’s at Twenty Twenty. A tour de force of a video created with thousands and thousands of drawings, stop-motion play-doh, and computers. Stunning, and . . .
. . . some of the cells are displayed in a tiny space adjacent to the projection room. Click the image above for full-size, and find the image from the still above.
Missed the Jordan Massengale show show at Tachmes, but luckily it will still be up in February.
Tuesday January 15, 2008
We don’t need to keep talking about the lamentable closing of Eidelweiss, now going on two years ago, but the fact is that authentic German food is hard to find in Miami. You would not expect a Lincoln Road joint to be much more then a stopgap to this problem, and in fact when it first opened Hofbräu München had a Latin section on its menu, some vestige of the Cuban restaurant that previously occupied the premises. Well, a year on, Hofbräu has established itself as a perfectly wonderful spot. It’s much more casual then Eidelweiss, and in fact is sometimes listed as Hofbräu Beerhall. A few niggles aside, is a great place for food and beer.
Ah, the beer. Three varieties of Hofbräu (plus two seasonal), all of course imported from Germany, are on tap: a lager, a wheat ale, and a dark. The lager is the default choice, as good as anything you’ll find on tap anywhere in town. I like my beer a little more bitter, but it should be just right for an American palette. The wheat beer is for the adventurous, unfiltered (cloudy) and with a distinct hint of citrus. The dark beer is rich and delicious, and unexpectedly easy to drink for anyone expecting a stout. All the beers come in half and full-liter mugs, the latter of which is recommended: if you’ve ever had two pints of beer with dinner, a liter is not much more, and it will make you stronger.1
The food so far has been exceptional. You really want to start with the Hofbräu Wurstplatte, four big grilled sausages of various styles, each more succulent then the last. It’s served with the obligatory sauerkraut and mashed potatoes. And while this is some of the least healthy food you’re likely to find on Lincoln, it’s a necessary occasional cardiovascular-health splurge for any carnivore. For an adventurous snack, split a Münchner Wurstsalat among a few friends over beer — it’s cold sausage and swiss cheese with vinegar, which, well, it’s a thing, anyway. I do have to agree with complaints about the mustard. While Hofbräu has a tasty sweet mustard that accompanies the wurst, I couldn’t really do a whole plate with it, and honest to goodness, the only other alternative is packets of Gulden’s. This actually is not a terrible alternative taste-wise, but it kills the vibe, man, and I hope it gets addressed soon. No excuse, as decent German restaurant is available at Publix, and especially so since they’re already flying in the beer…
Speaking of killing the vibe, let’s talk about the prices. Those liters of beer? $12 a pop. The Wurstplatte? $19. (And so it goes, almost all the prices having been raised from those listed at MenuPages.) Pricey, yes, but not so terrible when you consider (1) the imported goodies, in light of the weak US dollar, (2) exorbitant Lincoln Rd. rents, and (3) that it’s obviously not that easy to run a German restaurant in Miami. Be grateful, and eat your wurst. Less tangible is the relaxed atmosphere of the place, which is also sort of rare on Lincoln Rd. The booths inside have been replaced with real beer-hall style tables and benches, and the wood tables and chairs outside are comfortable and right-minded to the experience at hand, and yet none of this seems fussy or contrived. Well, ok, the waiters’ leather lederhosen pants are a little contrived, but we’ll let that slide.
943 Lincoln Rd. (between Michigan and Jefferson)
 I predict that one-liter mugs of beer are going to be the next big thing. In Bogota there are trendy new places, sort of Starbucks-equivalent beer halls, which have been serving them, and the practice has spread to some of the other restaurants. This is a trend that is ripe for introduction to America — you heard it here first!
Monday January 14, 2008
Gridskipper’s rundown on the Miami dining scene: mostly a best-of in various upper-crust dining categories.
You know how Miami Police Chief John Timoney was driving that free SUV around for like a year? Well, the city’s Citizen Investigative Panel asked him to come before them and testify, and he was all “no thanks,” so they subpoenaed his ass, and he still refused to come, so they went to a judge, who ordered him to show up, and guess what? He still refuses. Dear Mr. Mayor: why does this fucktard still have a job?
On Friday, the performing arts center previously known as Carnival dropped the bomb: it had received a $30 million donation from one Adrienne Arsht, and would now be forever after known as the Arsht Center. Well, actually, the official name is the “Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts of Miami-Dade County.” Observations, bullet-point style:
- I think the name is great. The 11-word “real” name is so grotesque that it will never again be uttered, and “Arsht Center” has a nice snappy ring to it, so don’t even go there. (Oops, they went there.)
- There’s the logo, cleaned up as best as I could manage from the photo accompanying the Herald story. It seems to boldly proclaim that the avant-garde implications the first season at the center have been thoroughly and permanently quashed. I actually doubt this is true, and so I hope this is just an ad-hoc logo and they’re working on something a little less generic.
- What’s up with a .com or a .org? If they’ve secured these domains, a nice “website coming” splash would have been helpful, and if not, I’d think that the negotiations would be a lot more, err.. difficult, now: “Hey, we just got $30 million, and we need to buy your domain.”
- It’s very difficult to sound humble on an occasion like this, and Adrienne Arsht didn’t bother trying. Her speech began: “As I look around, it’s clear that I stand here on the shoulders of giants. And what I hope I have accomplished in making this gift is that my shoulders become those which you stand on to take this farther.” Here’s a nice profile on her.
- $30 million is serious money. Of that, Carnival is taking back $10 million of its original donation (That’s very big of you guys. Carnival still sucks.), and $14 million goes to Miami-Dade county government to repay a loan (so why are they added to the name? And what’s with the huffiness?). But what it does show is that there is serious philanthropic money in Miami, boding well, one would think, for the MAM building.
Sunday January 13, 2008
Some sort of cool Outlook plug-in. It’s free, and if I refer two people I’ll get access to the closed Beta, so sign up!
Saturday January 12, 2008
- I don’t remember how I found Barrett Emke’s work, but I really like it.
- A few interesting ideas from lifehacker that may or may not be worth getting into: Jott, Sandy, Remember the Milk, Postful (would be cooler if it did 50¢ postcards). I haven’t really done anything with any of these, but as of 2008 I’m on Google Calendar, and my all-time favorite is ringfo. Also, for your computer, there’s Texter and Xplorer2.
- World leaders in youth and age.
- Randy Newman – A Few Words in Defense of Our Country. Also don’t miss Short People.
- Re-interperting the original Star Wars movie on the basis of episodes I-III. I just watched all of these, and I’m not sure I’m going along with all this, but interesting anyway. (And btw, if you don’t watch all six SW movies in the new intended order asap the terrorists have already won.)
- You probably saw this already, or don’t care at all, but crappy logo trends from 2007.
- “[T]he peanut butter, jelly, Bubbies, toaster hash browns, salt and vinegar chips, and chopped microwave sausages spread across a sourdough breakfast baguette that won (and probably nearly stopped) my wife’s heart.” — a celebration of peanut butter.
- Art Fag City’s Worst of the Web, because I don’t want to make the same mistakes.
Friday January 11, 2008
- New World Symphony’s Musical Xchange. Free, and please go to this: these are always great.
- Begins Fill Our Mouths, some sort of French lesbian hearing-impaired theater production, which runs through next month.
- Tea and Coffee World Cup, a fair dedicated to the warm caffeinated arts. For aficionados only: you know who you are!
- Haitian ≠ Hatian exhibition, all weekend.
- Redland Festival at Fruit and Spice Park — today and tomorrow.
- Also, the Redland Riot Road Rallye (possibly very related). (Or, closer to home, the Upper East Side Green Market.)
- Target Globebeat (free).
- Miami City Ballet for adults and for young people.
- Ye olde gallery walk…. do you really need to be told what to do?
- Switch, with Rachel Goodrich and more, at PS14.
- Great Taste of the Grove.
- Overproof at Global Cuba Fest, presented my Miami Light Project.
- Battle of the Bands at Churchill’s.
Thursday January 10, 2008
“I always think, why don’t they just slap pictures of their genitalia on there and be done with it? The message would be the same. Sunny Isles Beach is a travesty of overdevelopment. These four men, Jorge Perez in particular, are responsible for turning a sleepy and dilapidated but charming beach town into a glittering canyon of inaccessible glass and steel.” — From Rebecca Wakefield’s brief history of The Related Group.
Get your piece of the Orange Bowl here at the official site, or get them cheaper at the Canes shop. Obviously I don’t care, but the framed vintage seats are nice. There’ll be an auction on February 9th for all the bigger stuff (urinals!), including the scoreboard.
Wednesday January 9, 2008
The water situation, she is not good: Lake Okeechobee at historic low levels, and it’s time for the South Florida Water Management District to take some action. Specifically, they’re spending $1.5 million, of a $25 million emergency fund, to purchase pumps to allow the continued draining of the lake for surrounding farm irrigation (and for the few surrounding towns). I guess you do what you have to do, but this sounds pretty bone-headed to me. The rest of the money will go to fixing up the floodgates around the lake in case, you know, the water ever comes back. [Photo from scouttster’s lakeoceechobee tag. Recommend checking out and reading the captions for some crazy details.] Update: This is more like it: a half million to accelerate the opening of a water treatment plant in Palm Beach. Let’s use the water we already have.
Custom truck(s?), Hollywood. The left side is a GMC, the right side is a Chevy. I have no idea if both sides have operational engines, but the cockpit on each side sure looked complete.
Tuesday January 8, 2008
The spot marked above (click to zoom in) was the site of a major cockfighting bust this weekend. 37 people were arrested, with “a mob of suspects” getting away, and 40 roosters were found on the premises, two shot to death, Michael-Vick-style.
How the bust happened is that somebody heard the gunshots, called that shit in, and all police had to do was swarm in (helicopter and all). So, that’s fine. I get why cockfighting is illegal, but I sort of hope the law goes easy on the perpetrators, mostly elderly Latin-America men. I raised an eyebrow when I read that the case was being handled by the “organized-crimes bureau,” which I take to mean Miami Dade PD’s Special Investigations Division. And get this: “Big cockfighting busts are usually limited to extended investigations.”
Yeah, that’s right: the folks charged with conducting “major economic, narcotic, criminal conspiracy, auto theft, and organized crime investigations, and investigations associated with prostitution, gambling, and pornography that exceed the resources of other departmental elements” ALSO find the time to conduct extended investigations into cockfighting rings. Am I the only one that wishes they would spend their time otherwise?
But rest easy, my cock-fighting fans: at the rate of one closure every 2.5 years, it doesn’t look like they’re making much progress taking down this shadowy criminal conspiracy. We gather that cockfighting goes on un-much-abated in our lands. So, now a moment of silence for the cocks.
Monday January 7, 2008
OK, I know this is supposed to be serious, and I’m sorry, but I find the idea of a politician not being able to keep a memo he wrote to himself secret hilarious.
We stumbled on a completely amazing farmers’ market down in Homestead this weekend. It’s just off the intersection of US-1 and SW 244 Street. The market is in this big building with open sides, and an adjacent swapshop-type area is adjacent, where you can get your share of discount car audio and designer knockoffs. There are also junk food vendors and pony rides, but the farmers market is the main attraction.
Ultra-plump produce reigns large and small, everyday and exotic. To example the latter, how about green garbanzo beans still in their husks? Everything was bristling with flavor, and of course it was amazingly cheap.
Florida plum tomatoes. Not pictured: the biggest mountain of bananas I’ve seen in my life.
This being homestead, Mexican-oriented stuff was abundant. Here are some half-dozen+ different dried peppers. Also — did I mention there was a little nursery section? Chad bought an Epazote plant, which apparently is extremely difficult to find.
Mysterious powders and dried plants hang from the rafters. Note the cartwheel pasta, available freshly fried elsewhere on the premises. No idea what the orange stuff is.
Oh, and if you’re ever in need of a 50 pound bag of carrots, they’ve like totally got you covered.
Friday January 4, 2008
- Holy crap, The Circus is in town! (All weekend and next.)
- Ephniko at the Wallflower.
- Sweeney Todd at Carnival Center, all weekend.
- Florida Ghost Team Meetup. All the fun happens in Ft. Lauderdale.
- Suitably trashy: a weekly 80’s themed ‘ladies’ night’ at Studio A.
- Hoodstock, supposedly a two-day festival showcase of local hip-hop talent with significant national acts thrown in, and all they have is a lame MySpace, an outdated website, and this which comes the closest to having a clue. Good luck.
- A program of French orchestral music at New World Symphony, tonight and Sunday.
- Kickoff event of the Jewish Museum’s Jewish History Month events: a panel on the Jewish contributions to Florida politics.
- The Wren Boys and fiddler James Kelly will perform traditional Irish songs to celebrate St. Stephen’s Day. At John Martin’s in Coral Gables. To not miss? (For historical accuracy I note that St. Stephen’s may fall on December 26 or 27, or January 9, but not really on January 6, but we’ll let them slide, right?)
- Lin Arison discusses her book, “Travels with Van Gogh and the Impressionists,” at Books and Books, 6 pm.
- Vizcaya: Deering’s Dream on the Bay, a discussion by Charlyne Smith, at the HMSF.
Thursday January 3, 2008
“a pork is roasted at tom’s barbecue on eighth street…not a BBQ place at all, more like a super cuban dive”
BTW, we’re on a 1-week comment holiday here at CM — all old posts are open for commenting for the next week (ordinarily, comments close after 6 weeks).
Here’s the scoop for anyone, like me, who’s passed by Pit Bar-B-Q in the last few months and been dismayed to find it closed: the original owner, Tommy Little, died. The good news is that it’s re-opened: under new ownership, but supposedly with the same cooks and same recipes. This is going to require some investigation.
Miami-Dade has a pathetically small amount of park land, a fact that often gets over looked, because we also have one of the “biggest” national park in the country, Biscayne (which is actually almost completely underwater). Anyway, now there’s an idea to turn undeveloped lots, which will sit vacant until the housing crash subsides, into City of Miami parks. But you read that right — we’re talking about temporary parks. Apparently, adding permanent park land isn’t even worthy of pie-in-the-sky dreaming anymore in this city.
Wednesday January 2, 2008
I’m always hot and sweaty, so on those few evenings every year when the temperature dips below 60°, my response is usually a bitter “too little too late,” and some attempt to enjoy the cold while it lasts. But when the outdoor feels-like temp starts to approach 30°, even I have to resort to some drastic measures, living as I do in an unheated and drafty apartment. My big discovery this year: ironing. Just so happens that I had a pile of recently-laundered but unironed shirts laying around, plus more stuff that stood to benefit from a freshen-up, and ironing is just the perfect get-warm and do-something-useful activity perfect for a freezing evening. Other tips for staying warm in a normally-temperate climate, in order of increasing effectiveness:
10. Hot baths The problem here is that you have to get out eventually.
9. Liquor No reason not to drink,
and it may well keep you from dying if you fall into icy water, but sorry: booze does not actually make you feel less cold.
8. Layered clothing A necessary, but not really sufficient solution. Right now I’m wearing four layers (three long-sleeved), and while it’s better then nothing, I’m very far from snug.
7. Slippers Growing up, my parents would never let me walk around barefoot when it was the slightest bit cold. They had sort of a point. Of course nobody here has slippers, but two pairs of socks, or even sneakers indoors, can help.
6. Cuddling No particular explanation required, except that unless you’re wearing your slippers to bed, your toes will still have issues.
5. The hat thing You know how on all those survival shows they tell you that you looks 40% of your body heat through your head? They’re exaggerating, but still.
4. John Coltrane, Ascension “You could use this record to heat up the apartment on those cold winter days,” goes the famous quote, and it’s true. The only problem is that this is effective in proportion to the volume it’s played at, so on those cold nights your neighbors might not be happy if this is your only recourse.
3. Ironing As previously explained.
2. Tea Or any hot liquid. Soup, coffee, even hot water. Yum.
1. Suffer, baby Geez, it’s for what, 24 hours? People go for months sleeping on the streets of New York in the winter, looking for crappy grates that spit a little steam every few hours(?), and you can’t take one evening of discomfort? How about going for a nice brisk 2-hour walk for some perspective on the situation.
Update: Oh, and don’t go messing around with space heaters — you will burn down your house and die (The last line made me chuckle, too: “protect exposed pipes. Freezing temperatures can cause pipes in burst, especially those in unprotected areas” … like, huh? What am I supposed to do, wrap my pipes in blankets?)
What to do right now to help prevent development past the UDB.
The band that plays Tap-Tap on Thursdays is hot. Bass, electric guitar, tenor sax, and light drum-machine percussion, with revolving vocalists. I’ve seen them a few times, and not only are they great, but they really inhabit the space and fill the room without being overwhelming. They do traditional Haitian songs and jazz standards.
At Riptide, Isaiah Thompson has a wish-list of bike-related improvements to local streets. I can agree, but I also say ‘good luck.’ FDOT is spending millions to re-do Biscayne Blvd. as we speak, with no bike lane anywhere in sight. And note to road officials: if your bike path/lane is in crappier condition then the road, then the road is where you’ll find my bicycle. And note to drivers: when you honk at me I move into the middle of the lane, because you’re obviously a deranged lunatic who will side-swipe me if I don’t make it clear to your ignorant ass that you need to give me some fucking space as you pass. Update: OK, here’s my single wish, and it doesn’t require any road work: I want an online database of proven bike-friendly routes to and from different spots. Case in point: I was trying to make it from around Bird Rd. and US-1 last night to Downtown/Beach. The whole area south of US-1 is beautiful, quiet streets, but they’re riddled with dead ends, disorienting diagnals, and blocked routes. The right route would have been invaluable, because as it was I ended up on US-1, where I almost died (sudden screeching tires behind me made me realize I needed to get off the road), and ended up on the M-path, which is every bit the disaster Isaiah reports. I want something like Bikely, but slanted more toward getting from place-to-place, not pretty recreational routes.