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Friday February 29, 2008

Quilt Weekend

quilt weekend

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Thursday February 28, 2008

A number of people gave me shit for not posting today. Ahh, the love.

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Wednesday February 27, 2008

I haven’t read this yet, but New York Times plagiarizes the Miami Herald.

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Well well well… whadawe have here?

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worlds tallest proposal

Empire World Towers: It looks like this crazy thing is actually going to get built. It’s over 1000 feet tall, 93 stories, will cost a cool billion, and take at least four years to even break ground. Originally seen here.

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Tuesday February 26, 2008

Holy crap: The whole area is without power. People are trapped in elevators, traffic is at a standstill, and there are crazy thunderstorms all over the place. Turkey Point is down. I’m pleased to report that power has been restored on the Beach, though, and never lost it here in Hollywood. Anyone have anything interesting to report? Update: Early reports have the problem stemming from the main power lines leaving TP. Update: Problem solved: a fire at a substation.

Update (2/27): So, yeah, the official story is that the substation fire somehow shut down the two nuclear reactors at Turkey Point. 2 million people were without power, mostly in Miami but including areas as far north as Tampa and Orlando.

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Upper east side market, which has been such a hit with everyone is closing in three weeks. Why? Update: False alarm: The market is staying open at least until May 3rd.

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This week, the Herald is running a 5-part section on the history of 27th Avenue, home among other things of the world’s first Burger King and home to the world’s last standing Royal Castle. Includes a silly scrolling map and audio interviews with local folks (for all of which the second is the better half). Update: I fixed the link. Now everyone go look!

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In an effort to “beautify,” North Miami’s city government removed New Times’ and Sun Post’s distribution boxes. I guess they’re taking their slogan seriously, and intend to continue to make improvements like this. Wow.

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Do not go out on the open ocean, dump bloody fish parts in the water to attract sharks, and then jump in the water after them. (Unless you absolutely have to.)

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Monday February 25, 2008

Cruise arrives at Port Everglades 6 hours late. Is this really a news story?

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Tamarind juice

This tamarind juice was delicious, about the consistency of peach nectar. Very sweet, as it should have been — it contains high fructose corn syrup, which, along with the fact that it contains mostly water (30% actual tamarind juice) should have disqualified it from the “Juice” label. Oh well. I bought mine at Fruit and Spice Park, but it’s probably also available at Caribbean markets all over town.

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Crazy video of the Miami Alleycat bike race. Via Rick to whom: 1) Where did you get the idea that this is a Critical Mass event? and 2) How is it a cyclist’s fault that some pedestrian walks out into the street without looking?

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A short article that puts some numbers to the fiasco of the Miami-Dade public art program: 13 pieces worth $12.6 million not recorded in inventory, 24% of the collection in need of maintenance or repair, one $400,000 piece destroyed because of a disagreement with the artist, $24,000 in storage fees for pieces not on public desplay, 87 items (total value $94,780) missing, 46 other pieces damaged or deteriorated. Shameful shit. Total collection: 630 pieces of art valued at $28.2 million. (via MAeX)

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Langerado schedule: No excuses, you’re going to have to take Friday off this year. And pack a minimum of three hits of acid per person.

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Friday February 22, 2008

Kick it up a notch with some Taco Bell™ Fire Sauce™ weekend

Yum, delicious fire sauce with clever sayings

Did I spell everything correctly this time?

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Thursday February 21, 2008

Hallandale house move

Before

After.

map

Route. More info.

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Wednesday February 20, 2008

Michael Lewis sounds a little disgusted with the whole Miami Circle thing. Turns out the circle is one of three, the other two of which are buried under Icon Brickell, and the one we have is going to be buried under all the financially plausible scenarios we have. So, he seems to say, what was the point of ever bothering?

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Quick interview with Miami Beach’s new Mayor’s chief of staff, AC Weinstein. No on Baylink, yes on more bike paths, vagueness on everything else.

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Yawn: A list of 6 celebrity-owned restaurants in Miami.

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Miami-Dade Transit is out of its sodding mind: I recently noticed that parking at MetroRail stations is $4. With $1.50 per ticket, you’re looking at $7 per day round trip for a commute. In a 30 mpg car, this same trip, 10.8 miles x 2, will run you around $2.20 at today’s gas prices. So what person in their right mind would take the rail?

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Total eclipse of the moon tonight. The action begins at 8:45 pm and the moon will be completely eclipsed from 10:01 to 10:51 pm. Hopefully not too many clouds to get in the way. For best results, get thee to the middle of the everglades or other wise away from major concentrations of light pollution.

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Tuesday February 19, 2008

37 photographs of hostesses at South Beach restaurants.

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Search query report graph: 1: jessica alba, 2: jessica alba beach, 3: critical miami, 4: drug money stacks

Critical Miami Search Query Report: I got a chuckle out of this, the graph of search terms that brought folks from Google for the month of January. And, note that CM doesn’t even show up in the first 100 results for jessica alba. Drug money stacks ranks a distant 4th.

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It’s sort of funny how we negotiate our co-existence with semi-domesticated animals living in the city. New laws passed in North Miami prohibit roosters, but a last-minute change allows people to feed feral cats, which they were considering outlawing.

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“My worry is that Grove patrons are going to move in on Downtown, and Downtown clubs already have filled their douche quota. I shudder to think of being in the same room with a gaggle of Kendall girls with overly tight jeans that give them that muffin top look they love paired with their favorite top from Forever XXI.” — Duran’s reaction to the new 3 am closing time for downtown Coconut Grove night clubs.

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marlins stadium renderings

Proposed Marlins stadium renderings. More here. Other images at Transit Miami and the Sentinel. Update: Like you needed reminding that public funding for ballparks was a bad idea?

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Photos from the Coconut Grove Arts Festival: 1, 2. About what you’d expect.

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Big news of the morning: Fidel Castro has officially resigned as dictator of Cuba. Three quick things: (1) Obviously this is to lessen the political turmoil that would otherwise have been caused by his (imminent?) death. (2) What happens in Cuba now? My optimistic predictions from 2005 still hold. (3) I’m offended by the opening sentence of Frances Robles’ article: “Saying he is no longer healthy enough to hold office, Cuban leader Fidel Castro has announced he will not seek reelection after 49 years in power and nearly 19 months sidelined by illness . . .” When elections are universally believed to be a travesty, why mention them in the opening paragraph about a leader’s resignation? At least put quotes around “seek reelection” so we know you’re in on the lie. Update: What timing!: A map from the revolution, hand-drawn by Castro in 1953, is up for auction. Update: Val’s thoughts.

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Saturday February 16, 2008

King of my village Saturday

FIREWORKS

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Friday February 15, 2008

A directory of spots in Florida where there are frequently speed traps, organized by city.

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Renaissance festival weekend

Renaissance Festival

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Thursday February 14, 2008

 

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“Doesn’t the list basically include every fucking condo in Miami?” Cue the fucking confetti and the fucking fanfare, because with those immortal fucking words Duran becomes commenter #10,000 in the history of this fucking site. How about that?

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BankUnited has a blacklist of condos they will write NO mortgages for, and they’re not alone. The lists are apparently based on buildings that have a rapidly falling values and a high investor concentration.

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Canela Cafe

Late dinner at Canela Cafe yesterday, primarily because it was the only thing open at 10:30 pm on a weekday; and a very pleasant surprise. Great crusty sandwiches, yummy tapas, and just about the perfect atmosphere. You know places like Lime — chain restaurants where they take the Starbucks aesthetic and attempt to apply it to a homey restaurant setting? Well, Canela is no chain, and it splits the difference between that a genuine comforting/dive type mood.

The only real problem was that out of a list of about 10 beers only 4 were in stock (the restaurant also turned to be out of ketchup?!). This was for the best, though because the star of the evening was the Sangria — a humongous 15-glass (orange glazed ceramic) pitcher full of sweet delicious redness plus tall glasses with fruit and a small pail of ice. Yes, technically this is not how you do Sangria but trust me it works.

The food was all neo-rustic, with fresh quality ingredients. Came out fast, too, which is always nice. And the service was great. Oh: Cholula hot sauce right there on the table, which is not something you see every day. And the menu turned out to be a real treat — the entire first page is charming preamble and background explanation on the various foods. It’s obviously lovingly typed by the owner, and obviously subject to frequent revision, because the online PDF version is quite different, and ends with a 24-point note: “Please excuse me with Spanglish menu.” (The prices have substantially risen since the online version, but what can you do?)

Oh, and did I mention the live music? When we arrived a Gibson SG and amp were set up outside, and shortly arrived a dude, back to us, who proceeded to noodle casually for awhile and finally sang a few songs in a hushed mumbly voice. It was perfect near-empty-restaurant music, and I didn’t realize until later that it was none other then Jesse Jackson. There you are then — a perfect meal.

Canela Cafe
5132 Biscayne Boulevard
305.756.3930

Update: An unfortunate habit of closing before the regularly scheduled 11:30 pm kind of sours me on the place.

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Wednesday February 13, 2008

Idiot Sun-Sentinel columnist ‘doesn’t get’ why evolution should be taught in public schools but not intelligent design. Unbelievable how low this newspaper is sinking. Dear Broward residents: I know the Herald leaves something to be desired, but no comparison to this crap, and they have a whole separate Broward edition! (via Bob Norman)

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Is the Florida sugar industry suppressing documentaries about its labor practices? It would appear so. The Women’s Film Festival canceled a screening of Sugar Babies it “would create controversy and endanger [their] funding” and the Miami Film Festival has dropped the movie as well. See an older documentary here.

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You can learn to drive: Part 5 (dealing with bicycles)

bike in traffic

So there you are, driving merrily along, minding your own business, and suddenly there’s a cyclist in the road in front of you. The lane is narrow, the street is busy, and dude is like two feet out from your lane’s right line, and he’s not moving over to let you pass. Wtf??

Well, you know what I’m going to say, but hear me out anyway. I’ve been at this situation from both sides, so I understand your frustration. The first thing to realize — and believe me it is a realization that is very far from universal — is that cyclists have as much right to the road as cars do. We’re not blocking traffic, we are traffic, as the Critical Mass folks say.

Okay, so here’s the law: The cyclist can be as far out into the lane as he feels he or she feels necessary. That means out of the way of parked cars who’s doors can fly open unexpectedly, out of any road debris potholes, and in the case of narrow lanes, just out in the middle of the lane. If you can’t without giving the bike a few feet of space, don’t. (Update: Commenters indicate that 3 feet is the legal minimum!) I know it’s frustrating sitting there with a row of cars behind you, but trust me: the cyclist isn’t any happier about it then you, and he’ll give you a chance to pass as soon as possible. Note that honking just shows you’re an ignorant moron, and in my case at least will make me move farther over into the lane before you try squeezing by and killing me. (Which, btw, thank you to everyone’ who’s passed without killing me — I really appreciate it!)

Four way stops: Yes, cyclists often run four-way stops. Yes, there are situations where you have to stay stopped for a couple of extra seconds, but trust me, it’s better for everyone this way. Imagine you get to the stop sign a little after a stopped bicycle; now you’re waiting much longer, because these things take a while to get up to speed. If you’ve come to a complete stop, and the bicycle is a few car-lengths away from the intersection, go ahead. Otherwise, exercise a little patience. Momentum is a beautiful thing.

Stop lights: Kind of a similar situation; bikes sometimes run red lights. When they cut it a little too close, a gentle tap on your brake is considered more polite then a honk of the horn. Oh, speaking of horn honking — do NOT honk at a bicycle to let them know you’re behind them and getting ready to pass. This is annoying, and may require the bike to move further out into the lane, so as to prevent someone clearly clueless from passing too close. Urban cycling is exiting enough without drivers going out of their way to make it more stressful. If you’re waiting to turn and a bicycle is passing, sit patiently — no inching up, please.

Special note to cell phone users: Look, sorry, but you swerve all over the road, ok? I know you don’t notice it, but that’s because you’re on the phone. If you’re trying to pass a bicycle and you’re on the phone, give the bike lots and lots of space to leave room for your swerving. Be extra careful. If you’re not going to hang up, at least stop talking. Thank you to everyone who hasn’t killed me yet!

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Tuesday February 12, 2008

Bike lanes around the world separated from regular traffic, often by a row of parked cars. Bad idea, because right-turning cars can’t see the bike, and you die. Bike lanes need to be in very plain view of regular traffic, so I agree — the Barcelona solution would have been a beautiful way to go for Biscayne Blvd. Fuck you very much, city planners and FDOT.

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February Artwalk

February Artwalk Wynwood

Blackbooks’ spectacular show at Spinello — no stencils, all wood cuts. With the help of a computer and laser, images are precision-cut out of the top layer of a piece of painted wood. The results tend to speak for themselves, and note that this technique gets extended into sculpture and other media with, presumably, the use of a jigsaw.

February Artwalk Wynwood

Swarm the freshly-scrubbed art collectors!

February Artwalk Wynwood

Charley Friedman’s show at Gallery Diet was a bit unfocused, but there’s no arguing with larger-then-life nipple photos and Q-tip sculptures.

February Artwalk Wynwood

Rene Barge and Gustavo Matamoros’ sound installation at Dorsch. This reminds me of the story where the Velvet Underground wanted to record a 24-hour piece of music, and then have their engineer do custom mixes of it for each listener, based on their personality… But seriously, it’s interesting how easily people seemed to take to the idea that the way sound activates a space is very similar to the way that paintings on a wall do. 24 channels, and you walk around to experience each one, but what you’re really doing is absorbing the whole thing as a continuous experience.

February Artwalk Wynwood

An uneven portrait show at Hardcore Art Space, but with some real standouts.

February Artwalk Wynwood

For example, Jordi Bernardo’s Tenerife. I don’t know if you can see the person standing off on the right side of the frame?

February Artwalk Wynwood

We close, as always, with Twenty Twenty (because the beer there never ever runs out). Amazing laser piece by Matthew Schriber.

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Monday February 11, 2008

Ultra-fancy coffee/tea/snacks at Sweat Records. “Numi Organic Flowering Tea Service which is a hand-sewn rosette of tea leaves, served in a clear pot with clear teacups, that blossoms as it seeps.” (Free WiFi, too!)

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Hey parents, don’t let your teenage daughters roam around the church unescorted, because you never know when a deacon might jump out of the shadows and rape her. I gotta tell you, I’ve just about had it with the religious nuts. Get thee to a Christopher Hitchens debate video on the existence of God.

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bike for sale!

My bike, for sale! Seen in action here, and it includes all the accessories seen in both pictures. First $100 takes it. SOLD!

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The Herald covers food bloggers and Daniel Brody is not impressed. (And yes, he really did write about Brunellos one week before Fred Tasker.)

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Calm Bobby goes to a cockfighting ring. “Honestly, after the initial shock subsided, I was happy as hell to be there. This was a covert and illegal operation, probably the dumbest thing I had ever done. But I admired the culture around it, the energy in the room, all the men still trying to hold on to their old lives in Cuba or Mexico or Haiti.”

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mangrove restoration

Restoration of Mangrove forests at Virginia Key [Photo: Al Diaz, Herald].

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Saturday February 9, 2008

Oily Saturday

mining

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Friday February 8, 2008

Chinese new year weekend

year of the rat

Weekend-long

Saturday

Sunday

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Thursday February 7, 2008

The Knight Foundation has announced major grants to three local arts organizations: $10 million to the Miami Art Museum, $5 million to MoCA, and $5 to the New World Symphony. Other organizations and individual artists can apply for a chunk of another $20 million available for smaller grants, which must however be matched by funding from other sources. Given this, and given the recent $30 million Arsch gift and the $10 million recently given to the Harn museum in Gainesville, the question becomes: who’s going to be the next to step up with an 8-figure donation?

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Great. I bust my ass fixing the site for Klotz, and the first thing he does is to throw in the bucket.

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So, the sex offenders that have lived under a bridge off Biscayne Bay are being kicked out. The problem, of course, is that they have nowhere much to go, so when they were told they had 72 hours to leave (a lie, to “motivate” them), at least one just went underground, and most of them are still there. What a mess. This is all because of those “you can’t live within X-number of miles of Y-type establishment” laws I’ve been bitching about for years. The story alludes to a possible reform, which ought to be hastened. Also: a description and a few photos of their life, surprisingly cushy for being under a bridge.

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The 178th, 191st and 199th street intersections with Biscayne Blvd. will soon to have cameras to catch red light runners. You’ll get a warning in the mail for the first 90 days, then come $125 tickets in the mail. No points on your license, though — because of a state law, these are civil infractions, not “real” parking tickets.

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Wednesday February 6, 2008

BarCamp Miami 2, February 28th.

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The foie et bonanne (that’s goat liver stew, I believe) at Chez Merlin Le Jardin is ‘superb.’

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Wow, the state of Florida is deliberately trying to slow down enrollment to its public universities.

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“While you’re drinking diet Snapple.” First of all, NSFW, even though all the f-bombs are beeped out. Sarah Silverman and Jimmy Kimmel have been an item for over 5 years, and this is a video she made for him for his 40th birthday. I get to post this because of a sketchy Miami connection: the clip was filmed at the Delano.

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Tuesday February 5, 2008

Oh, hey people: Steve’s site, Klotz as in Blood is DOWN. Some sort of DNS problem. I’m working on it. Update: Back up! Beer for me!

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Larry Lebowitz on the Metrorail expansion’s serious problems: The US DoT is lowering its “rating” on the North corridor expansion and yanking is $700 million for the project, throwing the whole system into turmoil: “[T]he Federal Transit Administration will be lowering the rating because of the county’s inability to maintain and modernize the entire system after 2015. If the county can’t afford to pay for the transit system after the $1.3 billion North opens, why would it be able to do so for the $2.2 billion East-West?”

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Around the Redlands

A few photos from a bicycle trip around the Redlands a couple of weekends ago:

I think this is a field of little plots where folks in the surrounding developments can have little vegetable gardens. One-way streets crisscross and for now it’s very barren and abandoned.

There really are more nurseries then farms, though plenty of each.

And yes, plenty of suburban hell here too. Some of it recent, but plenty of it is classic 70s and 80s vintage. Unlike Miami, folks cruise around on ATVs for fun.

Actually, this is South Miami. Another cute old house on the chopping block. Is that limestone construction, does anyone know?

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Monday February 4, 2008

Not only is Dogma some litigious bastards, but they’ll totally serve you beef if you order turkey and turkey if you order veggie-dogs and think nothing of it. Bah!

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As they do every so often, New York Times surveys the Miami scene. An eclectic collection of galleries, clubs, and other odds and ends (e.g. Lost and Found Saloon, of which a review is forthcoming right here, and the recently mentioned Aventura Mall art collection). (via NefariousGirl)

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Saturday’s Bal Harbor beach access protest: story, video, photos. Whadya know — the beach access walkway is to be re-opened “within a few days.”

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Museum members month

Museum T-shirts

Here’s a good idea, well executed: for all of February, membership at any of nineteen museums gets you free into any of the others.* Simple enough, although they’re also packing the month with special events, parties and the like. I’d say this is a no-brainer, and if you’ve been thinking about joining any of these institutions (the MAM is a particular bargain, having recently raised regular admission rates but not membership rates), well you know what to do. My only gripe is that the Metrozoo isn’t participating.

The oddest aspect, though is the t-shirts: fifteen local artists were commissioned to create a shirt for each participating museum, and the commissions must have been pretty open-ended, because the results range from the literal to the, well, not so literal. The shirts are $25 each, on sale only at a couple of special events throughout the month, so if you want one, you’d better do some planning.

* Actually, a couple of the museums have no admission, some don’t have memberships, and some aren’t really museums, but let’s not quibble.

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Friday February 1, 2008

Miami Provocateur interviews Nina Arias, primarily on her latest project — an art studio for abandoned children in Bogotá. “Please note while working on this interview Nina called herself a ‘keyrat,’ perhaps one of the truest Miamisms.”

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Things not looking so hot for our pal John Timoney. Docked a week’s pay ($4,348, which if you’re all mathematical means his yearly salary is $226,000) plus a little extra, and he’s been persuaded to testify before the citizen’s panel, which makes recommendations to the city commission. Update: Actually, he didn’t testify. Can you believe this asshole?!

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Fair weekend

antique fair

Weekendlong

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

Image: alanshov.

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