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Tuesday May 13, 2008

Sassy photos from Miami (NSFW). Chinese food in the belly button: do not try this at home.


Tuesday August 23, 2005

Every building on Aragon Avenue circa 1948

Our pal Chad is in the process of archiving old photographs for the city of Coral Gables. Here’s a link to theproject’s web page. Nifty. Note the high-res scans of the backs of the cards: Nicholson Bakerism run amok at its finest (well, ok, there’s actually writing on the back of some of them).


Friday November 23, 2007

People dressed in white weekend

white party






Friday December 15, 2006

An Art Basel flickr photoset, dominated by pictures of the Friends With You parade. Great!


Friday May 5, 2006

South Beach Chamber Ensemble


The South Beach Chamber Ensemble performs at MAC at 4 pm on Sunday. I caught them doing the same program a few weeks ago at the Miami Beach Community Church, and they are excellent. Drawn from the teaching staff at New World School for the Arts, SBCE is a surprisingly hip string quartet. This program, for instance, includes nothing older then 1957. Between pieces, they explain, give background, and tell stories, sometimes interrupting each other to jump in on a point.

They open with Shostakovich’s String Quartet #7, which is Russian modernism at it’s best – dissonant, dramatic, and in places just plain weird. It’s the sort of piece that demonstrates why the string quartet can be the most effective of classical music units – it is able to create rich layers of texture with unusual techniques on each instrument, while allowing each of the instruments to be heard as a distinct voice. The show continues with Osvaldo Golijov’s “Tenebrae” (composed in 2003) a shimmering, slowly developing tribute to a visit to a planetarium, and concludes, fittingly, with a string quartet by Villa-Lobos, the Brazilian master.

The show is part of the ensemble’s “Music in Beautiful Spaces,” a good execution of a good idea. ($5)


Monday March 12, 2007

Saturday gallery hop + more


Pictures from Saturday night, and yes — mixing images of art with unrelated photos of the evening. Here are Abner Nolan’s found negatives at Leonard Tachmes Gallery.


AA spot in the Design District I can never seem to catch the name of (Update: it’s an annex of the Moore Space Update #2: madebythem says: “That space as well as the show was is in no way related to the Moore Space. My friend and I wrote a proposal to get the space and decided to have a show with no theme, flyers, invites or any sort of publicity.”), a big exhibition involving live dogs in uncomfortable-looking costumes, video, a lawn-sized patch of live sod, copious piles of broken furniture, an altar, and at least one boy in neon-orange briefs.


This is not art. Actually, I don’t think I was supposed to be upstairs, as the whole floor was linoleum-recently-removed sticky.

Tarot card altar by l’elk!


I am sometimes asked to explain the difference between the Design District and Wynwood. They are adjacent art districts, with roughly separated by I-195. The Design District has some notable architecture and history, and contains several non-profit art spaces, along with high-end furniture showrooms.


Wynwood is mostly old warehouses, many of which have been occupied by the hottest commercial galleries in town. (There are also a few private collections and the MoCA annex.) There used to be a rivalry of sorts, but I think the DD folks largely gave that up when they changed their gallery walk to second Saturdays to coincide with Wynwood’s.


Sara Stites at the Buena Vista Building.


A Jen Stark peephole piece at the Bas-Fisher Invitational.

Kerry Ware

Kerry Ware at Dorsch.



Friday June 15, 2007

Yay: The Google embargo has been lifted. Attention Google visitors: Critical Miami is safe.


Wednesday February 6, 2008

BarCamp Miami 2, February 28th.


Tuesday May 13, 2008

The Bas Fisher Invitational just had its last show ever and is closed.


Monday August 6, 2012

Catching up Miami Monday links

miami river

I’ve been reacquainting myself with the Miami Internets a bit, and here is some stuff, a lot of which will be old to you. By the way, I have been using the snot out of the CM Twitter feed, so stuff like this will be retweeted there moreso than collected here going forward, I think.

Oh yeah, and I monkeyed with the design over the weekend. Wider. Coming soon: Twitter and FB share buttons for each articles. Eyesore I know, but we gotta get the word out…


Wednesday January 2, 2008

Keeping warm in sub-freezing Miami

43 degrees 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?)


Wednesday March 29, 2006

Hell no, you can't rename my street

Here’s a map of downtown; let’s orient ourselves (if you know downtown, skip down a paragraph or two). We have the bay on the right, I-95 on the left; the Miami River cuts through, emptying into the bay near Brickell Key (the triangle island) and the Port of Miami (just out of the frame to the northeast). On the north side of the river, Bayfront Park sits between US-1 and the water (the amphitheater at the north-most edge). The eastern end of Calle Ocho is south of the river, as is Tobacco Road (Miami liquor license #001).

OK; let’s talk about Brickell Ave. It’s home to some of the shiniest high-rises in Miami (Pan-American financial centers), and has an almost suburban feel, lined with trees and wide sidewalks. North of the river is noisy and loud — the read downtown; south of the river is quiet and serious. If you follow Brickell Avenue over the bridge going north, [correction] you can’t even keep going straight along 2nd Avenue: the street forces you to turn right and follow US-1, because 2nd Ave is one-way southbound. [/correction]

Anyway, a developer who’s building a high-rise on 2nd avenue a few blocks north of the river is lobbying the City Commission to allow him to call his address “Briclell Avenue.” This doesn’t fly because Brickell Avenue has always been south of the Miami River. It seems to be by definition, and so it is, in a way: in the early days of Miami, there was a feud between Flagler and Tuttle, who owned the land north of the river (and had most of the power), and Brickell, who owned the land south of the river (and couldn’t so much as get a bridge built). Renaming 2nd Ave north of the river “Brickell” is a slap in the face of history (you can get more of the historical background in the Herald article). Note, also, that the prestige that the Brickell name caries has to do with being the closest street to the water — i.e., odd-numbered Brickell properties are generally waterfront properties. Not only is this not the case with 2nd ave, but the land is now nowhere near the river, not on US-1, and not particularly prestigious location from a satellite-view perspective (of course a 2nd ave address has plenty of historical cachet, not to mention a prime-ass location).

So, renaming those few blocks of 2nd avenue “Brickell” is a slap in the face of the prestige of the name, a slap in the face of history, a slap in the face of developers not needing any additional goddamned encouragement, and a slap in the face of us having a city commission to do some fucking serious work for our city, which has some real goddamned problems, and not dick around with this bullshit.


Thursday November 29, 2012

Coin flip example

“If a woman has two children and one is a girl, the chance that the other child is a girl has to be 50-50, right? No.”

I figured this out. Go back to the coin example. I flip two coins into a box, such that I can see the results and you can’t. The probability of two heads is 1 in 4. The probability of two tails is 1 in 4. But since there are two ways to get one heads and one tails, the probability of one coin being heads and the other being tails is 1 in 2.

I look down, and I say, “one of the coins is heads.” At this point, the probability of the other coin being heads is 1 in 3, and the probability of the other coins being tails is 2 in 3.

Back to the example of the kids. If I said “the woman’s first child is a girl.” Then the probability of her second child being a boy would be 50-50.

I think what this highlights is the extent to which what our brains are good for is based on how we evolved. We’re wired to figure out certain real-world practical problems, and comparatively terrible at abstract thought. We have the illusion of being good at abstract thought. Simple puzzles like this poke holes in the illusion.

(Via Steve, who brought an old newspaper clipping with this.)


Wednesday September 5, 2007

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


Monday August 27, 2007

New speed-limit enforcement procedures on I-95?

So, this was the scene on I-95 Northbound around 9 am Friday. Notice the Miami-Dade Police cruiser around the middle of the photo above, and the empty stretch of road in front of him? OK, so this guy’s going about 60 or 65 mph. For awhile I was behind him, as were a few other people, sort of contemplating passing him. Then he flashed his lights a couple of times. No idea what that was supposed to mean. I changed lanes, and very slowly crept past him on the right. When I was next to him, he turned on his siren for a couple of seconds.

I looked over, and dude is giving me a “slow down” hand guesture! It’s official: here’s a Miami-Dade cop who’s decided he’s going to single-handedly tame I-95! It’s not his jurisdiction, but of course he can pull anyone over. I backed off, and got back into the huddle. That’s when I took this picture. The scene continued to be pretty crazy. At one point a plumber’s van tried to pass on the cop’s left, and the guy turned on his lights again and actually swerved into the left lane to cut the van off! So there he is, like a herder leading a flock of sheep, which got thicker and longer as it went (maybe the Pied Piper is a better analogy). This went from around I-195 to the 135th street exit, when he got off and the clump dispersed.

I wonder if this is standard policing procedure. I’d think the FHP troopers who patrol here would have something to say about it — average speed on ’95 during this time is about 75, and it seems to work pretty well. The FHP seem happy with this, and they don’t seem to ticket anyone going under 80. Weird.


Wednesday December 27, 2006

Johnny Rockets pads the bill. Oh, and charging for a slice of lemon? That shit is wack, yo. And now it can be told: you never, ever tip on the tax. $28 for lunch for two at a burger joint . . . I just threw up a little bit in my mouth.


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.


Thursday September 7, 2006

Pitchfork pans Rick Ross’ Port of Miami. “Sure Ross needs these beats—he has all the charisma of a cold meatloaf.” Ouch.


Friday February 15, 2008

Renaissance festival weekend

Renaissance Festival


Tuesday May 6, 2008

Alton Road bike lanes? Weather we like it or not, Alton Road is soon to be torn up. So, Miami Beach commissioners had a choice to make. Look at the two proposals below, and see if you can guess which they chose to recommend to FDoT.

alton road proposed reconstruction


Friday October 26, 2007

I think this might be Halloween weekend

halloween pumpkins

Halloween is next Wednesday, so I guess a certain amount of the related celebrationing is to fall on this weekend. Not any of the particularly emphatic celebrationing, I doubt, but there seems to be a lot of stuff for kids. I haven’t got the interest to try to distill it, so just check the top of SunPost’s Calendar.





Tuesday July 25, 2006

Roll Out!

sk8 pix

All sorts of people will tell you that roller skating is more fun then ice skating, right? Of course it’s apples and oranges. But Roll Out Tuesdays in Ft. Lauderdale isn’t just an ordinary rollerskate night. Hosted by the inimitable DJ Hottpants and attended by the hippest of both counties, Roll Out is (well, not to be retarded about it, but) like a club on wheels. I realize it doesn’t look like much in my pictures (hey, it’s dark in there, and people are zipping around: you try photographing it with something that fits in your pocket), but plenty of busy people will tell you that it’s worth a trip up from as far as Coral Gables on a school night. And hey, nobody’s getting stabbed.

sk8 pix

Take 95 north to 595, head East, get off at US-1, and go North. Gold Coast Roller Rink will be on your right almost right away (2604 S. Federal Highway). 8 pm to Midnight: hell yes. $3 door, $2 skate rentals. And the snack bar serves beer.


Wednesday June 27, 2012

On The Fence episode 27

On The Fence 28: talking about Marco Rubio, the Vice Presidency, the impending economic meltdown, and Northern Exposure. As always, you can subscribe in iTunes here.


Wednesday May 30, 2007


Tornado in downtown Miami, May 12, 1997. (via Rakontur, via SDoFB)


Wednesday October 4, 2006

Look: the remaindered links (aka “news bytes”) now indicate when they have comments! Thanks to Rick for the suggestion.


Thursday March 23, 2006

The new Miami Herald blogosphere

Infomaniac reported on two new Miami blogs back on March 9th; I just got around to linking to them yesterday, and wondered why one was on the herald’s url, the other not. James Burnett, author of Burnett’s Urban Etiquette one of the blogs in question, replied in the comments:

[my blog] is hosted on blogger (along with a half dozen other new Herald blogs), because the paper is in transition between it’s old software platform for blogs and a new system being set up.

This is interesting for a number of reasons (some of which are technical, and those I’ll leave alone). One is that the recent change of ownership of the Herald makes the newspaper much more of a wild card in the online news-delivery game [1] , and what the Herald does with its web site over the next couple of years could be the most historically important action the Herald will ever do. The other is that it turns out that the Herald has a bunch of new blogs(!) we get to look at (scrutinize?). Fun! Let’s look at each individually; but first, let’s make some comments about them as a lot.

Even though these must, to be effective, be driven by what blog-interested staff are interested in blogging about, the overall mix is a look at what the Herald considers important. During hurricane season, there was a hurricane blog. There’s a celebrity blog. Etc. Also, annoyingly, points to Dave Barry’s blog, not to a Herald blog directory. For that, you have to go here. Let’s run them down:

I wonder, finally, what the Herald is thinking of with these offerings. (Of course “The Herald” is an amorphous concept in this context; we’re really talking about the Herald’s editors along with (I suppose) their new owners.) To some extent, of course, they’re throwing things at the wall to see what sticks. And no doubt they’re trying (and considering trying) all sorts of things, many of them non-blog (Why not let us post comments to all Herald articles?), and many of them so new and daring that they’ll require some time to implement. Let’s hope there’s a lot of interesting stuff to look forward to.

[1] An e-mail I received from a spouse of a Herald employee after my harsh words re the Herald’s online operation indicated that a lot of the crappiness came from Knight-Ridder higher-ups, and that the local staff was doing the best they could under the circumstances. I agreed that this seemed quite plausible.


Tuesday May 22, 2007

What's up with the primary?

Yesterday, Florida moved its primary to January 29th, which means it’s preceded only the Iowa and Nevada caucuses and the New Hampshire primary. It puts us ahead of Super Tuesday, when most of the states hold their primaries.

This sort of leapfrogging is bad for the system (humor me a second), because there’s no logical place for it to end — nobody wants to be at the irrelevant end of the process, and the greater the time between the primaries and the general elections, the more wasteful and boring the whole process gets. And sure enough, the national Democrat and Republican parties wagged a finger at Florida about doing this, and both have threatened to take away 50% of our delegates. We’ll see if they follow through.

The standard arguments for the move is that Florida is one of the most important swing states in the country, and there’s no reason for us to have near-irrelevant primaries at the end of the process. So why not just move our date to Super Tuesday with the parties’ blessing? Well for one thing, South Carolina is on January 29th. Why should they get a first say about the candidates?

But for that matter, why should Iowa and New Hampshire? This is the problem with United States presidential primaries — the whole system stinks. I’m sure folks are real nice in Iowa and New Hampshire. But let’s face it — they’re hicks! Nothing wrong with that, but why in God’s name should this ultra-homogeneous (~97% white, overwhelmingly farmers, mostly Christian) group of people play the crucial role in our election process year after year after year? The only possible defense is a feeble appeal to tradition. Please. This is no way to run a country.

So Florida’s move is selfish, unreasonable, and destabilizing. But it’s destabilizing in a good way. We’re risking our delegates to bring down this idiotic system. When Iowa, Nevada, New Hampshire, and South Carolina move their primaries to February 5th, we’ll do the same. That’ll never happen, you say? Well, they won’t do it voluntarily, sure. But If this keeps up the national parties will make them move. Having all the primaries on one day is far from a perfect system (if you want to get wild and crazy with it maybe consider the random primary proposal), but at least it makes sense.

Oh by the way, the bill that brings this change also mandates new paper-trailed voting machines. No time to think this through, though, we’re going to find some “good enough” machines that print a little receipt and it’s going to be disaster city all over again. I predict that whatever new machines they get will have immediately-obvious flaws, we’ll be replacing them again in a year or two, and I’ll be looking for someone else to sock.


Monday December 17, 2007

Can’t say I’ve ever given a thought to the plastic-wrapped plates of food that most restaurants on Lincoln Road display for would-be diners. Looks like the Miami Beach Commission has noticed, though, and decided to outlaw the practice on the grounds that it’s déclassé.


Tuesday June 5, 2007

sand art

hay-zoos: Free Jams goofs around in the sand.


Wednesday August 8, 2007

Demonstration to save the coral house

Coral house

Margaret sent this along (here is her photo set of the coral house):

Location: 900 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach, Florida 33139

On Wednesday, August 8, 2007 at 6:00PM, historic preservationists and residents of Miami Beach will demonstrate and picket to urge the City of Miami Beach to save the historic Coral Rock House and Mediterranean Revival Apartment Building in the Miami Beach Architectural Historic District from demolition.

This was the same 1916 historic coral rock house that was partially demolished last month in spite of the June 15, 2007 Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board order to make a good faith effort to restore the historic building.

Next week, on Tuesday, August 14, the Miami Beach Historic Preservation Board will consider a petition for rehearing concerning the demolition and the request of a neighboring preservationist to penalize the property owner for acting in bad faith and causing the demolition to occur because of the owner’s own neglect of the historic coral rock structure. The petition is additionally seeking the reversal of the order allowing the demolition of a historic Mediterranean Revival Apartment Building also on the site.

An April 6, 2006, a letter from the City Manager documented the refusal of the coral rock house owner to allow city inspections that would have unearthed the cause of the sudden deterioration of the structure which had led to a court order allowing the demolition. With the demolition, possible evidence of “demolition by neglect” was destroyed which could lead to an inference that the premature demolition covered up the owner’s contributory negligence leading to the demolition of the coral rock house.

Update: Coverage in the Herald, along with some of the politics behind the house. The historic preservation board will vote next Tuesday on an appeal to the demolition order.