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Wednesday July 12, 2006

Mini-protest

protest with signsprotest with signs

A little protest (maybe 50 people), possibly about this, in which case they have my unmitigated sympathy. Monday afternoon, MacArthur bridge to the Beach. (click images for flickr link)

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Friday April 18, 2008

420 weekend

420 weekend

Update: Oh right, there’s a big Porn Fest at the Convention Center. Also, cb says “Gospelfest is free and the Swamp Stomp is a separate event over at Jimbos.” I have no idea, read the comments and figure it out.

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Tuesday November 13, 2007

All charges against Jeff Weinsier have been unceremoniously dropped. It is now this guy’s responsibility as a journalist to sue the police for false arrest. Update: Bob’s got the full text of the SA Maggie Gerson’s memo. I love her for her common sense (Rick should read this twice): “As to the . . . Failing to Obey a lawful command charge, the arrest may have been lawful had there been a lawful command. However, the command does not appear to be lawful in this case since being on the sidewalk in and of itself is not illegal.”

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Tuesday May 6, 2008

Pepe's

Pepe's

So, as I was pulling into Key West a few weeks ago, I called up our friend, and Key West authority, Squathole to figure out where to have a big post-100-mile dinner. “Pepe’s,” he says, “hold on, let me see if their address is printed on the bottle of hot sauce I bought there.” Well, it was, but whether through my bad hearing or S’s bad vision, I ended up with the wrong address: 506 Caroline, right off Duval. After looking for it, giving up, looking for someplace else to eat, not finding anything promising, I ended up finding Pepe’s up the street at 806 Caroline.

From first glance you can tell it’s going to be perfect: Pepe’s opened in 1909 and looks it. It looks a little shacky from the outside, but inside is surprisingly cozy, blending indoor and outdoor spaces with equal parts Key West shamble and fine dining. It looks empty from the outside but is actually packed — mostly with locals as it turns out, this being one of the places on the island they cherish.

Pepe's

The parrot guy holds court, and expounds on the joy and life-long commitment that is parrot ownership (tip: never buy a parrot at a pet store). The parrot doesn’t talk, but instead likes to imitate other animals. He does a pretty good pig. I made pals with seasoned locals Ollie, his wife, and the parrot guy, who could totally get babes if he tried.

So the food. Well, first beer: there is exactly one beer on tap. It’s Yuengling, and it’s $1 per glass, and it tastes absolutely perfect when it’s on tap and you’ve got no choice. (I strongly advocate the 1-beer concept to other restaurants, btw. It’s got charm, and so long as it’s a half-way decent beer it will make people happy.) I think I drank about 6 over the next couple of hours. The food is surprisingly gourmet. Pepe’s style fish comes with melted cheese, but I opted for the blackened. It came prefectly cooked, generously portioned, and with fancy presentation, vegetable, and mashed potato. The rule of thumb in the Keys seems to be that the seafood is fresher and better, but not really any cheaper, than Miami, and so it was. Apparently Pepe’s has a master pie baker, so leaving without pie is considered self-in-foot-shooting. There’s a daily pie special(!), Ollie ordered a slice to go, and I followed suit, which meant killer macadamia nut and chocolate chip pie for breakfast next morning. Need I say more?

Pepe’s Cafe
806 Caroline Street, Key West, Fl.
(305) 294-7192

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Friday October 12, 2007

Waxing moon weekend

waxing moon

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

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Wednesday March 12, 2008

Jesus Christ, the fucking police in Palm Beach. I mean, really? (via) Update: Carlos deleted the post. Here’s why. The gist was that he was on assignment to photograph a mansion, cops were called in and told him he couldn’t stand on the sidewalk and photograph the house, and issued him a written warning.

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Tuesday June 13, 2006

Manola’s report from Exxxotica this weekend. Hilarious.

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Tuesday May 23, 2006

You know, and I was just about to start feeling bad for Winn-Dixie. First the bankruptcy and all the closed stores, then the unfortunate needle incident. But maybe they’ve had it coming: turns out the WD is rolling with lobster poachers. Tsk, tsk!

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Wednesday June 15, 2005

Ceviche Curious

A friend of ours was talking about ceviche this weekend, and we were intrigued. In a nutshell, it’s seafood that is prepared by marinating in lime or lemon juice, which apparently does something very similar to cooking it. So whether the fish is cooked or raw starts to become a semantic issue. Our kind of food.

Originally Incan, this idea has had time to develop variations specific to most South American countries, which, in turn, makes it ripe for adoption by US fooderati. This guy writes very passionately about ceviche and a restaurant in North Miami called Mi Peru, which makes the best stuff in town according to him. We’ve been to Mi Peru, and can vouch for its hidden-sercretness. But we’ve never had ceviche – yet. Stay tuned…

Now, this would all be sort of disgusting if we hadn’t all been eating raw fish for years. As it stands, it’s merely interesting. Gothamist came up with this variation, involving tuna that touches lemon for “only the minutes it takes to go from kitchen to mouth.” The smart person will move now to figure out a safe way to serve beef tartar.

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Friday November 23, 2007

People dressed in white weekend

white party

Tonight

Saturday

Sunday

NOTE!

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Friday January 5, 2007

Heads up: Yo La Tengo at Studio A, January 31. Early warning because it’ll sell out.

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Monday November 19, 2007

A few places you can get Thanksgiving dinner, but there’s gotta be lots more, right? Anyone have any recommendations from years past?

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Friday April 28, 2006

A childrens' weekend

kid with horn

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Tuesday August 21, 2012

What's up with my car?

car scar

So, this happened. I walked out of my work the other day to go to lunch and saw that the left rear tire on my car was flat. It actually wasn’t too much of a surprise, because I had a flat on the right rear a couple of months ago. I live in Edgewater across the street from a construction site, and they love sprinkling nails and screws into the street. I guess what happens is that I drive over one leaving the house and cause a puncture that drains the air over a couple of hours, so that I have no trouble getting to work, but after a few hours it’s flat. Point being, I know the drill.

I bust out the works: under the floor of the trunk there’s a toolkit with a screwdriver, a peculiar jack contraption, and a bunch of other stuff. The spare is attached to the bottom of the car in a peculiar German-engineering sort of way, and is actually removed from the inside of the trunk. I pop off a little circular piece of plastic by the rear wheel where the jack attaches by plugging into a semi-circular hole (again: German engineering). Before jacking up the car I set the emergency break and loosen the bolts on the wheel by inserting the tire iron into each one and jumping up and down on it, because it’s considered best practices at any place that works on your car these days to overtighten the bolts.

Then I jack the car up and take the bolts all the way off to discover that the (aluminum) wheel has bonded itself to the (steel) hub. I dealt with this exact situation a couple of months ago when I had the other flat, at which point I tried tapping it around the rim, banging on it with a 2-by-4, putting the bolts back on — but loosely — and lowering it and driving back and forth a few feet, all to no avail. Ended up calling the three A’s that time, who arrived and got the wheel off before I had a chance to see what the proper technique. The point being here, is that I’m officially screwed.

This is the point at which my mind officially went soft. I’ve had the chance to process this and try to figure out what the hell I was thinking, and as best as I can figure it’s that, ok, this is an automatic, right? It’s in fucking park, which means you hardly ever even use the emergency break because, like, the fact that it’s in park means the front wheels don’t move, and all the emergency break is doing is keeping the rear wheel from being able to be turned, which right now is totes not helping.

So, I reach into the vehicle and disengage the parking break.

Well, you know how this movie ends: the front wheels roll, the jack gently bends, and the left rear wheel comes gently down, which hallelujah unsticks it from the hub and causes it to pop off. It sort of gets wedged underneath, so that the wheel and tire, now sticking out at a weird 45-degree angle, are the only thing between the bottom of the car and the ground. This is the, what do you call it? The oh-shit moment.

But actually the way out of this is clear: you just need another (a real) jack to jack the car back up, and you can put the spare on and drive off in victory to World Wide Tire up the street.

(An aside about World Wide Tire: these people are kings among men. They’ve got a divey little shop next to like a creepy halfway house on US-1. Years ago I had a slow leak in a tire and I took it to Firestone, where they told me I needed a new tire because the puncture was was in the side of the tire. I had them fill it up and told them I’d be back later in the day and went to World Wide, where I explained that I needed a tire because I had a leak in the side of mine. They waved off Firestone’s assessment and patched it in about five minutes. $10, and that tire is still fine a year later. I went back a few months ago because my tires are almost bald thinking I’d get a news set, and they refused to sell me anything. “You’ve got six months left on those tires, minimum.” I’d kill for a mechanic that was as honest and good. (King Automotive in Wynwood may be close?))

But where do you find a jack suddenly in the middle of Hollywood? Well believe it or not, I look across the street and in the parking lot of the Publix I see one of those flat-bed trucks pulling through. I run over just as he’s ready to pull out back onto Hollywood Boulevard heading towards the beach and I wave at him with both arms. Do tow trucks even stop if you wave them down, if they have someplace they’ve already been summoned? This one did, and rolled down his window. It was a really high truck, and really loud, and I couldn’t really hear what the guy said back to me as I explained what happened (and he had on these wrap-around sunglasses with the multicolored reflective lenses, so maybe he wasn’t even looking at me) and that I just needed a quick jack. But I gather that he had just gotten a call and needed to be somewhere pronto and where was my car. I pointed across the street, and he said he’d come back if he couldn’t find the call(?) (maybe meaning after he was done?).

But so I thank him and I’m walking back over across the street but then I see him pulling in behind me. Which is totally awesome. He pulls in, and he’s, like, perpendicular to the row of cars, with the back of the truck just barely clearing the back of my car, and he busts out the jack. And admires my handiwork, by the way. All I can do is shrug and laugh. Whatever. He jacks the car and pulls my jack, which is twisted and useless now, and I run inside to grab a twenty to give him, and when I get back out he’s got the spare on there and discovered that it’s flat too, which is odd considering I just used it recently for the other flat. “I’ve got air,” he says, sighing, and adds that he’ll just tell (his next call) them he had to stop and use the crapper. He busts out this brand-new looking, perfectly coiled orange hose and attaches one end to something on the truck. It’s leaking from the valve, and pretty fast. I tell him I just need to get down the street to the tire place. “Ok, I’m going to fill it up as high as I can, but you’d better hurry,” he says. We throw the flat wheel, the jack, and all the other crap into the car and I thank him and he’s telling me to hurry. I jump in the car, and he opens the passenger seat and throws in the big metal contraption that holds the spare to the bottom of the car. “Alright, thanks!” I yell as he slams the door, and back out. Huge metal scraping sound, and I have no idea what that just was. I pull back forward and hop out the car to survey what just happened, and I don’t really remember what my exchange with the guy was. There’s like an extra bar at the back of the flatbed that can come down and out and tow an extra car when there’s another one on the bed itself, and the way he parked it stuck out just far enough that the side of my car scraped against it as I pulled out. There’s of course no damage to the truck at all, so the parameters of the situation haven’t really changed, and I’m back in the car and off.

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Thursday June 22, 2006

There is no shortage of Heat victory celebration posts and articles around. The only one remotely worth it is Christian’s post about the impromptu parade on Washington Avenue Tuesday night (ever the generous one, he also uploaded his full 457 picture roll). I’m sure the official parade will be great. But c’mon – a celebration three days after the victory? And only for people who can take a half-day off work?
Update: Oh, and read Christian’s hilarious reflections on posting the images, a comment that’s longer then any post he’s done on fanless in months.

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Friday July 21, 2006

Price

Price the band

Hey, did you notice how I’m not doing the “it’s Friday, here’s what to do this weekend” sort of posts anymore? Well, I figure it’s the summer, there’s not that much to do, not that many people in town, and not that much desire to do anything but sit at home and bask in the warm glow of netflix. However, in the spirit of teaching a man to fish and he’ll eat forever, might I suggest signing up for the Sweat Records e-mail list. Well, ok, you’ll actually also have to get on Lolo’s friends list and read her bulletins. Had you done so last night, you might have been one of a small group that saw Price last night (pictured).

Which band was, by the way, quite wonderful in a white-soul, 1970’s, ironic-Michael-Bolton-t-shirt-wearing (and pointing it out) kind of way. And funky. Which brings me to my question:

What is up with the dancing thing? The DJ was playing before the band’s (tastefully brief) set, and there were a fair number of people dancing. Another DJ began to play right after the band, and actually a lot more people danced then. But for the entire time Price played, everyone stood there motionless. Now first of all (1), the boys were not that beautiful. I mean worth a look or whatever, but not worth staring at. Secondly (2), and I mean really, they were jamming; just as or more danceable then the DJ music preceding and following. I was noting this to an old friend I bumped into randomly there, and he had an answer for it which I forget now (it was that kind of night), so help me out here: why do people dance to records and not to bands??

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Thursday November 3, 2005

Port of Miami tunnel

The problem: Trucks coming from the Port of Miami need to drive through downtown to get to I-395, causing traffic congestion and problems regular drivers.

The solution: A $3.1 billion (we were tempted to round off the .1, until we realized it represents 100 million dollars) tunnel to connect the port directly to 395, bypassing surface streets.

The scoop: Actually, it’s not exactly like that. As this video [35meg .avi] explains, the tunnel actually connects the port to Watson Island (beautifully shown with all planned improvements in place), from where the bridge (widened by a lane in each direction) takes you to 395. The image above is from the video; the image is the tunnel openings, with Parrot Jungle on the left, the MacArthur causeway in the distance, and said development on the right.

We got exited when we saw this article, which says the tunnel may soon be a reality. But then we noticed this other article (same publication), from 2002, which also says the tunnel may soon be a reality. Turns out the tunnel has been “about to happen” since the 80’s. Larry Lebowitz pointed out that the construction in downtown is really going to make this a necessity (although . . . um, did the budget double since his column came out in July?), although Mr. Tunnel remains skeptical. On the other hand, FDOT seems very optimistic: they have a whole web site devoted to the project, including some very detailed plans.

Does democracy suck, or what? In China, they’d have built a dozen tunnels by now, while here in Miami, supposed crossroads of the world, hands are wrung over a single one (and only a mile long).

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Monday June 5, 2006

Miami-Dade county has 2,600 traffic signals: the original 2,000 are on a coordinated grid, while the new 600 are off. Updating the traffic signal system will cost $5 to 8 million and take three years, on top of $8.6 million and ten years already invested. I’m no networking expert, but to me that says exactly one thing: the wiring that should have been put in place when each new signal was installed was ignored. Otherwise, wouldn’t it just be a matter of putting in a few additional PC’s and recalibrating the system?

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Saturday April 30, 2005

On the Road

Critical Miami has seen a whole bunch of these cars on the road lately. To make a long story short, BMW bought the Rolls-Royce name, and this car is the first spawn of their white-glove assembly clean-room. You will be interested to know that they sell for $260,000, so, um . . . careful cutting them off.

And what the hell is this thing?! I spotted this 1940’s looking truck taking part in actual road-work (dredging?) on my way to work yesterday. Are we in Russia, or something? (Actually, it’s 9th and Washington on South Beach.)

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Tuesday June 20, 2006

Over at the Pulp, Bob has been reading the Herald’s comment boards, and has a startling and crazy report.

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Monday July 23, 2007

swimwear fashion

Feast your eyes: photos from last week’s Swim Fashion Week.

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Tuesday April 18, 2006

MPAC announces more shows, including Woody Allen and his New Orleans Jazz Band and the Classical Theater of Harlem. A press release for the opening weekend.

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Saturday December 23, 2006

Ho ho ho. Frances Nash photographs some holiday lights. And you thought there was going to be no holiday post. Look out for her trademark Chuck Taylors.

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Friday August 10, 2007

Edited Herald letter

Herald Watch got a hold of a letter to the editor sent to the Herald and compared it to the published version. The letter is by former Herald journalist Paul Crespo, one of the subjects of Oscar Corral’s Radio Marti story. The strikeout text was deleted from the version published, underlined text was added. Interesting:

Reporter arrested / I was amazed -- but not surprised -- by your coverage of the arrest of Miami Herald reporter Oscar Corral. As the self-styled arbiter of ethics in Miami, The Miami Herald is displaying its own lack of ethics and professionalism in this case. In contrast to your front-page coverage of several Cuban-American journalists (including me) in 2006, your microscopic coverage of Corral's recent arrest for allegedly soliciting a prostitute was hidden on page three of the Metro section. / Regarding the front-page story by Corral about our freelancing for TV Marti, your own ombudsman, Clark Hoyt, found numerous flaws in Corral's reporting. Among the many critiques in his report on Corral's article, Hoyt stated that the story's ''hard and accusatory tone and the large and breathless headline suggested something more sinister than the story actually reported.'' What a difference between your piece against us and this minimal coverage of your reporter who wrote it. -- PAUL CRESPO, Coral Gables

What happened here? Well, they haven’t made it sound like Paul is saying anything he didn’t say. They’ve selected one particular point he made and deleted the material that’s tangential to that point. In the process, much of the anger obvious in the original has been sapped. There’s no question that the Herald editors have the right to do this. The question becomes, again, what should newspapers do differently in light of the internet?

A commenter on HW says: “On the web, there is little space limitation. They could have at least published the full version online.” More interestingly, they could publish both versions online, and let us see the edits. Such radical transparency seems to be the direction the internet is pushing all business, and it’s not ironic that newspapers are getting pushed in this direction, too. It will be interesting to see how long they fight this, and to what extent they are willing and able to change.

In the meantime, let’s have more of this. CC Conductor on letters you send to the Herald, and maybe these sorts of revision-revealed letters will become a regular feature.

[Accessibility note: the edited version of the letter is in the image’s alt-text. The original version is here.]

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Wednesday January 16, 2008

Plans are taking shape for Miami Circle. Not sure why this project is happening on the scale of decades.

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Monday October 22, 2007

miami beach flyer
 
miami beach flyer

Here’s a crazy racist/homophobic election flyer sent out in Miami Beach. There’s a weird fake poll, too.

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Monday January 9, 2006

Head for Sure

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Reliable sources have reported body parts turning up in some unorthodox locations throughout the region, the most unnerving of which is the floating head in Jupiter inlet. Turns out that this sort of thing goes on often enough that the state has an entire department established to investigate these incidents and coordinate with local law enforcement and environmental authorities. So I dutifully place a call, and get the usual “off the record don’t quote me” official to dish.

For background, I ask him a little about the department itself.

“Bureau of Parts and Wrecks really got going in the 30’s,” he says. “Before that, we mostly pulled bodies outta the water after boating accidents. But back when South Florida was teeming with racketeers murdering one another, body parts were found all over the place, and somebody needed to put them together just to keep track of who was dead or alive.”

That doesn’t happen any more?

“Oh, it still happens, but people are a lot more thorough these days. What with technology like wood chippers, explosives, etc., there ain’t a whole lot left over. And with paved roads all the way through the Everglades, it’s easy take a nice ride out, dump your prey, and let nature take over in a matter of hours.”

So what’s with the head floating in Jupiter Inlet?

“You mean Bob? We’re pretty sure there wasn’t any foul play with that one. No evident trauma at all. Maybe just an unfortunate boat person got ate by a shark and had his head horked up.”

Charming. Guess you got a lot of grisly tales to tell.

“Nah, not so bad. Mostly hands with the fingerprints burned off, occasional femur, bone chips in backyard gardens, ears. We got a whole freezer unit fulla ears. We call it the cornfield. Heh-heh-heh.”

Yeah, heh-heh-heh. When he offers to show me around if I ever get up that way, I beg off. I also skip lunch.

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Tuesday July 10, 2007

Maybe Ed Rappaport, the new interim director of the NHC, can get his hands on some solvent and UNSTICK THE CENTER’S CAPS LOCK KEY.

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Monday September 25, 2006

Stuart Miller, president of the largest housing builder in Miami-Dade, is puzzled by the sudden downturn in the housing market: “It happened very quickly, very suddenly. I can’t identify the trigger.” That’s ‘cause you haven’t been reading, dude. “Miller plans to ‘keep the conveyor belt running’ and finish building new homes in projects already underway. He also plans to offer sales incentives and slash prices to get the homes sold.”

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Friday February 2, 2007

Wayback Machine entry for Critical Miami, circa May 2005. Masthead and right sidebar appear broken, but everything else is where it should be. There are no links to other blogs because, with the exception of Babalu and Infomaniac (which I didn’t know about yet) and Artblog (linked) there were none.

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