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Monday June 23, 2008

That's all folks

I guess this is as good a time as any to make it official: I’m putting this ‘ere website on the bloggy mothballs. I’ve been giving this a lot of thought, but the truth is that the decision isn’t an intellectual one — I’m sort of just over it. With the pink accents, the paisley background, the local news: it’s all gotten a little restrictive. The truth is that I started this site because I thought there was a need for it, and today the need is well covered by dozens of excellent sites, from Covert Overt to Miami Art to TM and EoM, and they’re all held together by Rick’s daily grind. I just don’t have desire to keep up with it all anymore.

SO. Thanks to everyone who’s been checking in regularly over these three years. It’s been a ton of fun, and the support has been really really overwhelming.

Where we’re at as of now is this: I have a new thing, More Blog about Buildings and Food, that I’m putting together. It hopefully will be more open-ended, less locally-obsessed, and more infrequently updated then CM, but will hopefully also dovetail pretty well. I still owe you a slideshow of FOOD from the Georgia/Florida trip, and that’s going to pop up there in the next day or two. I also have a Twitter lest you forget, and you should totally subscribe to my updates. Further, friends and people that I actually know should get their own Twitter accounts post-haste. (No eye-rolling. You’ll thank me later. And btw, I’m reforming myself and will be regularly checking voicemail and e-mail from now on.)

My goal is to keep Critical Miami up in perpetuity. I’ll probably make some final adjustments to the linkroll, and some other tweaks becoming of a defunct blog (ie archives easier to access, etc.). That’s about all, folks. Hope to see you at the new place.

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Amid news of Carlos Miller being found guilty of resisting arrest in his police-photographing case, we have this: Artist Momoko Sudo harassed and intimidated by Coral Gables police for looking funny and photographing their motorcycle. (via Artblog)

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Wednesday June 11, 2008

An illustrated demonstration of the new optical voting machines and accompanying article. It’s like taking a test in college, with multiple-choice bubbles you fill in with a #2 pencil. But so then why do the scanners need to be at the polling stations? Why not a big fast scanner at election headquarters?

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Somebody heard my bitching and the Herald has a re-spiffed Twitter feed. If you’re still listening, what we’d like is a feed that updates 2 or three times per day with the cream of the local news.

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Friday June 6, 2008

Old school weekend

turntable

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Thursday June 5, 2008

Lookie here, the Herald has a few Twitter feeds: main, Cuba, weather, and Dolphins.

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Wednesday June 4, 2008

Georgia and Florida, manmade

CHURCH

More photos from the trip, this time hopefully in contrast to the previous “nature” shots. To answer some of the practical questions I’ve been getting: I took the train up to Savannah last Friday. Upon getting to the train station at 8 pm (just as the sun was setting) I had to put my bike back together (it was boxed for the trip) and search for a camping spot for the night. I began pedaling the next morning, and arrived back in Miami the next Sunday. That’s nine days on the bike, including three night stays in motels and five nights of camping. My speedometer was once again on the fritz during this trip, but my daily mileage averaged over 80 miles, with at least a couple of 100 mile days. Other then an almost-constant headwind, the weather was cooperative, with no rain to speak of, and comfortable days and cool nights (at least until the last few days in South Florida, where the sun laughed at my SPF 30 and cooked me to a crisp).

As a bicycle tourist, I was able to tap into an abundance of goodwill from motorists, truckers, pedestrians, convenience store clerks, waitresses, other cyclists, bike shop workers, park rangers, law enforcement officials, and just plain everyone I ran across. There is a whole taxonomy of friendly waves that I discovered which unfortunately I cannot express in a text format (but ask me if you run into me).

One story I can share is the thing about the dogs. Folks in rural Georgia sometimes have loose dogs hanging around outside their homes, and a cyclists is exactly what these dogs love to chase. In fact, for the first few days of the trip, I’d be chased by dogs several times a day. Usually, a little adrenaline would kick in and I’d hustle a bit and soon pass out of the dogs’ territory, at which point they quickly give up chase. Two occasions stand out. Once, two dogs ran after me and straight into the path of an oncoming minivan, which came to a screeching (and honking) halt, within a hair’s breath of death. The other time, two good sized dogs saw me coming, and ran out to meet me, barking, growling, and blocking my path of escape. I got off the bike and tried to use it as a shield between myself and the animals, but they wisely spilt, each circling me from one side. I fended them off for a bit by yelling and squirting my water bottle in a wide arc, and walked down the left side of the road, my bike a sort of shield. They escorted me, and whenever they got too close I again squirted water and yelled at them (my yelling got gradually friendlier as the threat seemed to subside). Once I was passed their territory I was allowed to get back on my bike and ride on.

So. Anyway, here’s the slideshow of photos of man-made stuff from the trip.

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Tuesday June 3, 2008

Scenic Georgia, Florida

Northern Florida mudflat

In Miami, a dense urban and suburban strip of communities borders the Everglades on the west and the Atlantic on the east. So it’s easy to forget that most of the rest of the country is rural — a web of roads connecting scattered homes, farms, and the occasional small town. This is commingled with lots and lots of largely raw nature, with forests, prairies, rivers, and lakes, many of which look exactly as they have for thousands of years.

Or rather, on some level we’re aware of it. You can’t leave the state via I-95 without driving through stretches of forest, but it’s always seemed like an abstraction to me that way. And of course the best thing about riding a bike, even around the block, is for the slow way you experience your surroundings. Here then, the first of a few slide shows from the trip. I edited out anything with overt traces of humanity, trying to convey the varied and primal nature that’s still out there.

The route I followed started in Savannah and followed Section 6 and Section 7 of the Adventure Cycling Association’s Atlantic Coast series of maps. Through Georgia the rout heads about 60 miles inland from Savannah and meanders through the interior of the state, then follows the coast for most of Florida. Here’s the slideshow.

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Sunday June 1, 2008

Home safe & sound. Thanks to all for the good wishes, and for keeping tuned. Blogging resumes tomorrow, with all the trip show and tell and whatnot. Meanwhile, welcome back our weather map, in honor of the first day of hurricane season, and see the twitter updates resume their modest old spot on the sidebar. Unless they keep slowing down the site, in which case maybe gone for good. Also, bear with me while my handlebar-numbed hands reaccustom themselves to a keyboard. It’s been a long ten days.

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