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Thursday November 8, 2007

Untitled, from the Castles of Miami series.

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Monday July 16, 2007

Bicentennial park with museum overlay

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Our pal Christopher recently visited Bicentennial Park and shot some photos to try to visualize how much of the park the museums will take. I decided to try my own shot at visualizing the difference — mouse over the image above to overlay the proposed plan for the park, taken from this post, over the Google view of the site. (I’ve been elbow-deep in the JavaScript all morning to make this happen, btw.)

A couple of observations. Firstly, I think they should ditch the walkway between the museums and I-395, and push the museums as far to the north as possible. Secondly, I wonder if anyone told the American Airlines Arena that we were planning a big soccer field on their side of the canal stump. Speaking of the canal stump, the plan calls for part of it to be filled in, plus the addition of a little island, which will make the transition from the arena to the park nicer for pedestrians and actually replace some of the land the museums are taking up. I am perplexed to be reminded that the southernmost building, just north of the canal stump, actually is a restaurant. Funny how nobody seems to be making a fuss about that. Also, remember that the museum buildings as seen in this illustration are not representative as to their final shape, though the sizes should be accurate.

Update: A closer look at the AAA site reveals that the eastern edge is in fact undeveloped, so I guess the soccer field there is a real thing. Add that to added space offsetting the loss to the museum buildings.

Update: Just realized the mouse-over effect isn’t working in IE7. I guess I’ve much to learn of the ways of the JavaScripts. For now, see the alternate image here or download Firefox.

Please direct comments to this conversation, already in progress.

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Tuesday April 22, 2008

Parabolic

Just passed the third anniversary of this’ere blog (that’s right — old enough to be your blog great-granddaddy), and so I was looking at some site stats, and the above graph struck me. We’re looking at page views per year, and while the numbers may be impressive, the trend is not. Extrapolating the numbers for 2008 out, we get 4,257,150. In other words, the difference between 07 and 08 is smaller then the difference between 06 and 07. That’s all kinds of bad — slowing growth, a gradual leveling off of readership.

On the other hand, this is all a bit of an oversimplification. Growth happens in fits and spurts and most of those come in the second half of the year, for whatever reason. And while my stats program doesn’t track unique IP stats (arguably a more accurate indication of readership), they have been growing more dramatically: 54,522 last May, 210,437 in March. Who knows what it all means.

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Saturday November 26, 2005

What's up with the dean of UM?

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Personally I don’t give a rat’s ass about college football, and in fact my observation is that in general, schools that take their sports programs seriously take their academics lightly, and attract both a student body and faculty of decidedly less ambition and achievement. Say, like, University of Miami.

The recent campus incident involving sophomore Kyle Munzenreider, who published a link on his blog (Miamity) to the football players’ 2-year old thugaphonic stab at art, is a perfect example of everything wrong with a school that prizes football over all else. It needs to be thoroughly researched and written up as a textbook case of what a serious Academy should not do. Ever.

The kid is on his way out the door—ultimately this may turn out in his favor, as he’s obviously too bright, too motivated, and too advanced in his development for the Coral Gables Temple of Basketweaving—for the High Crime and Cardinal Sin of embarrassing the football program. Disregarding the obvious point that the players themselves, the ones who actually recorded the dick-waving song, are the genuine culprits in the embarrassment category, exactly what did the blogger do that was wrong, let alone illegal? How do you defenestrate a student for “embarrassing” the football program? Isn’t that action in itself rather embarrassing to the whole university?

If the cover story of Thursday’s Miami Hurled is accurate, the real embarrassment here is the conduct of the Dean. (College deans are almost universally reviled by faculties and students alike. For the most part, they are failed academics—glorified bureaucrats whose lack of people-skills made them ineffective teachers, and whose intellectual shortcomings ensured their career status as mediocre academicians. They end up—where else?—in management). This poor deluded dunce calls the cops (“Arrest that kid! He embarrassed the football program!”) and has the kid delivered to his office on the pretense his “suicide note” posted on Miamity was genuine. This keen Dean still wonders why Curly doesn’t bleed when Moe smacks him with a hammer.

And apparently during the interrogation the Dean had a staff shrink stowed away in the next room (what, spying? It’s not clear, which is why before it goes into the textbooks, further research is needed) who pops in and advises the kid to go home (based on what? Eavesdropping?), and he gets bounced from the dorm. How does this work? If the suicide note is genuine, he’s tossed into the street unsupervised, out of care and custody. Very responsible. If it isn’t genuine, why evict him?

These are not first-raters we’re dealing with here, but as noted above, this is the dismal mediocrity generated by a university that prizes its football program above all else. If I’m on the Board of Trustees, I’m outraged and want an accounting directly from the Dean, who BTW anounced his retirement last September and ain’t talkin’ now. Perhaps he’s arrived at the conclusion that it’s better to clam up and be thought a fool than to open his pie hole and remove all doubt.

Update: Deadspin agrees, and provides an e-mail address for those who want to share their disgust with his decision.

Update (Nov. 28): The school responds.

Update (Nov. 28): Kyle responds to the school’s response.

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Tuesday October 23, 2007

Fishing, Haulover Beach.

Dusktime fishing, Haulover Beach.

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Wednesday November 22, 2006

Conspicuous Consumption

Conspicuous consumption on Palm Island. Parked perpendicular to the shore for extra conspicuousness. Not sure the exact address, but around here. Seriously, though, it’s a nice boat. Anyone have a make or model on this thing?

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Thursday January 11, 2007

A great time-lapse movie of the sun setting over downtown Miami, with an unnecessary Ocean Drive coda. (No sound.)

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Monday January 8, 2007

According to a study by 1000 Friends of Florida, Miami-Dade county is one of only two places in Florida not expected to be completely built-out in 2060 (the other is the panhandle).

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Thursday December 27, 2007

Be still my heart!: The audio archives of Tropical Currents with Joseph Cooper are online, going back to mid-2006. Thank you to Steve Malagodi and/or whoever made this happen. Check out the show from December 10th, about the housing market.

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Monday December 31, 2007

“I’m thankfully no longer with the company, and the last I heard the project’s delivery is now late by around 5 months. So, when your new Comcast Personal Web Pages sucks a fat donkey cock, you can blame the shitty management at Affinity Internet and the even worse decision making of Hostway Corporation. ¶ How’s that for professionalism?” — Alex Cabrera, who recently outed himself as the author of Habla Mierda, from his about page. Yowzer!

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Wednesday January 4, 2006

Terence Riley named new MAM head

Terence Riley has been named the new director of the Miami Art Museum. For the last 14 years, Riley has been the curator of architecture and design at the Museum of Modern Art. Clearly, the fact that MAM is preparing to build a new building factors heavily into the decision. Probably more important is where Riley is coming from (Columbia, in addition to MoMA), and where the MAM sees itself going.

I’m feeling very optimistic about this – Riley sounds like an intelligent guy, and his background appears to be more academic then managerial, which should be a good thing. How will this affect the artistic direction at the MAM? Well, he is a modernist . . .

The shows I curated at Columbia, on Paul Nelson [1990] and Iacov Chernikov [1991], showed other types of modernism. And the purpose of my International Style show [1992] was to demonstrate the reductivism of the original show, which was done at the cost of a lot of other routes to modernism. Johnson came to see the Nelson show, even though he told me he thought he was a bad architect. He said to me, “So, you want to be a museum man, eh?” I instinctually said, “No, I’m an architect.” I believe that was, unthinkingly, the correct answer.

I suppose that accepting the MAM directorship (he agreed not to practice as an architect as part of the deal) indicates a change of heart with respect to the latter statement. Or maybe not.

It is also unclear whether Riley was in talks with the MAM when he announced his resignation from MoMA in November. It will be interesting to see what comes of this. The Herald article indicates that the hiring of an associate curator will be one of Riley’s first tasks – whom he selects will be a very good indication of the direction he has in mind for the MAM.

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Friday August 10, 2007

Washout weekend

rain

Actually, who knows? Yesterday they were repeating 70% rain chance all weekend, now it’s down to 60%, and judging by recent performance, what we may have is a couple of isolated showers and beautiful weather otherwise. Not much happening anyway:

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Monday June 18, 2007

Dark side of the Boom, a documentary about the housing crisis in Miami, is screening tonight at Barry University.

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Monday May 5, 2008

Crabby Jack's

Crabby Jack's

Hey kids, it’s non-Dade week here at CM, bringing you a random sampler of attractions from “the greater South Florida area.” You know, I’ve always had a feeling about the expression “South Florida” — it’s an expression that you hear in Broward much more often than in Dade. It’s the Miami Herald, but the South Florida Sun-Sentinel, and I’ve always had the impression that it was an expression used by people who don’t live in Miami to make it sound like there’s no real distinction.

Anyway, on to Crabby Jack’s. Let me make clear that this is not a place to make a trip from Miami to visit. BUT should you find yourself hungry and driving down US-1 in the northernmost reaches of Broward County, I’d implore you to stop in for one of their Dolphin sandwiches.

CJ’s oozes old-Florida charm. The building looks like it was designed by the owner on the back of a napkin and build by his college buddies over spring break many decades ago. Exposed beams, brightly painted, hold the roof on, and big home made skylight let dramatic pools of light into the cavern-like room. Slats outside the winddows that circle the building let in a little more, but the feeling is not unlike a fort. “Stuff” covers the walls, but not in that charming-but-clean TGIFriday’s kind of way — this stuff is decades old. The menus stick together. Buckets on the tables hold flyers advertising 3-for-1 beers and bingo night. Most of the people in here on an early afternoon are sitting at the bar. A sign proclaims that smoking is permitted after 10 pm, and I think that’s an essential aspect of the atmosphere; it doesn’t reek of cigarettes during the day, but it has that “people smoke here at night” vibe. The waitresses wear tiny shorts and stockings, just one step above Hooter’s uniforms (one of them spent a good solid 10 minutes adjusting her boobs in her tank top in plain view of me, not that I’m complaining or anything).

But oh, that fish sandwich. Unbelievably moist, tasty, and generously sized. It comes plain or blackened, big slice of lemon, tomato and lettuce on a good roll, with near-perfect fries and that tartar sauce that makes you realize what tartar sauce is supposed to be — more creamy than mayonnaisy. Perfecto.

Crabby Jack’s
1015 S. Federal Highway
Deerfield Beach, FL 33441
954.429.3770

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Thursday November 1, 2007

At ArtsJournal, Glenn Weiss has an excellent report on Britto in Miami, including pictures of all the public art pieces, the perfume and liquor bottles, the cars, and the 2006 superbowl halftime pre-game show. Also lots of interesting insights, including the comparisons to Peter Max and Dale Chihuly, and this: “As Britto may have learned . . . printing art on anything – cups, T-shirts, fishing rods – has a positive effect on distribution of the imagery. The goal of the marketing is to familiarize a broad audience with the imagery and its appreciation by the rich and famous.”

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Monday March 12, 2007

The Café at Books & Books gets four green hearts on Meatless Miami.

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Friday May 23, 2008

& i'm out (again)

Well, folks, I’m off on the trip originally mentioned here. The route is different: I’m catching Amtrak to Savannah GA first thing in the morning, and pedaling back according to routes suggested by the ACA, via maps that finally arrived Wednesday.

My only contact with this site will be by cell phone, which is why the twitter updates have once again taken prominence. Should be back in 1 week and some change, barring unforeseen circumstances, in which case all bets are off. Stay tuned for updates from the road.

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Monday October 30, 2006

Crosswinds approved

rendering

Here’s an issue that a lot of people are disagreeing about: the Crosswinds development for Overtown was just approved by the Miami City Commission. Since the Herald’s open comments seem to be a thing of the past, it seems worth getting into here.

What we have is a big mixed-use project, mainly residential, now approved to be built in one of the city’s poorest neighborhoods. Hundreds of people showed up to either support or oppose the project. On the pro side, obviously, is the observation that the development would be an economic boost to the neighborhood. Those opposed (who included Arthur Teele) say that the project would hurt the character of the neighborhood, raise property values in the whole neighborhood, and kick-start gentrification.

The question is whether, with the Performing Arts Center, places like Karu & Y (here), and even historical renovations like the Lyric Theater, gentrification isn’t inevitable. Otherwise, it’s worth pointing out that the plan seems to follow Miami 21 principles; the tallest buildings are on the side of the busy boulevard (exact address?), with a height-transition down to the existing houses and apartments.

Of the 1,050 condo units in Crosswinds, 112 will be “heavily subsidized” (up from the 50 the developer was originally offering), and another 210 will be partially subsidized. Hardly makes a dent in the 1,200 new subsidized units the city wants for the neighborhood, and doesn’t really square with the 50/50 market-rate/subsidized ratio that was previously discussed, either. This is peculiar, since by my reading the city gave the developer the land.

Two lawsuits must be resolved before construction can begin, one of which was brought by the Power U Center, the folks who brought the 25-foot inflatable rat to the commission meeting. Should be interesting.

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Tuesday January 24, 2006

Winter Tuesday linkiage

Robert Annable on the tower of the Herald building

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Thursday January 18, 2007

The bad news: Lincoln Road Cafe, a Cuban restaurant that I always enjoyed, is closed. The good news: it’s now a German restaurant! Hofbräu München, which sounds great. This is very good, since Edelweiss is apparently permanently closed. (via Rick)

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Thursday June 30, 2005

Miami Police vs. US Department of Justice

Impressive gear for dealing with unarmed protesters This article in the New Times is a must-read. It concerns a struggle between the City of Miami and the Civilian Investigative Panel. Now, the CIP was created in 2001, when the Miami police were running amok, shooting people and planting guns on them, and whatnot. Well, we all remember the crap that went down during the FTAA meetings in 2003. So naturally the CIP is investigating. In order, we suppose, to determine where the blame for the horrible handling of the protests belongs, the CIP requested the police plan for dealing with the protests, which the City promptly refused to let them see. The CIP sued for it, and won. That’s where the New Times story picks up:

After losing to the CIP in state court, Miami officials contacted various federal agencies and “stated the order might implicate federal documents,” without mentioning which ones, according to the federal motion. Federal officials had to investigate for themselves which documents the police were referring to. And that’s when they learned a seven-page U.S. Coast Guard memo was included in the operational plan. The Coast Guard was responsible for securing the Port of Miami during the FTAA. The memo detailed where personnel would be deployed and what specific tasks they would perform.

Turns out, the CIP isn’t interested in that memo. Oh, ok…

But Miami city attorney Jorge Fernandez decided to play hardball.

“Despite the clear statement from the Panel that it is not seeking access to the Coast Guard memorandum, and although federal law prohibits disclosure of that document, the city nonetheless informed us through its counsel that it will release the memorandum (along with the rest of the Operational Plan), unless a State appellate court reverses the trial court’s disclosure order,” the motion states. “Because of the city’s position, the United States can protect this federal sensitive security information only by intervening in this appeal.”

Hey, that’s great! The City Attorney is bullying the Department of Justice, and toying with our national security, to protect it’s brutal police department.

Fernandez’s tactic of strong-arming the feds into helping him by threatening to reveal sensitive information is hardly improving his popularity. In fact the feds have in essence declared him a potential lawbreaker. After all, when the feds claim in their motion that the U.S. Government has to insert itself into this matter “to prevent the unlawful disclosure of a federal document,” it is Fernandez they are talking about.

I guess you have to admire his chutzpah. CM can’t wait to see how this one turns out.

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Friday July 13, 2007

“Other metropolitan areas of Florida are light-years ahead of South Florida on recycling. While communities elsewhere reuse 90 percent to 100 percent of their water, Broward reuses 5 percent to 7 percent of its water; and Miami-Dade recycles 5 percent.” The Herald calls for year-round wanter-use limits.

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Monday December 31, 2007

Ay Miami at lastnightsparty, which really sort of captures it pretty well. Also: Paris in Miami. Plus, added lnp/miami to the links.

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Sunday December 17, 2006

Geo Metro needs babysitter for 3 months: a sort-of contest

The Blue Man Period of Milton Van der Spuy

Cayetano writes:

I came into town with the Basel storm and just kind of stayed, as I am currently something of a hobo. Well I’m going to Puerto Rico in a couple days and I have this car that I have to get rid of.. and I was hoping you’d be interested enough to . . . write an essay for a chance to get a free piece of shit car.

I recently drove across the country with this Geo Metro with a radical paint job… from Oakland to Miami. Surprisingly, it made it all the way and its still going strong. I’m flying to South America in a few days and I’m hoping to put it into some good hands for the best 25-word essay that I get. The catch is, if its still running when I get back in March I’d like to drive it up to Chicago.

Thanks, Cayetano! Not interested myself, but if anyone else is, 25 words really isn’t that much, and climbing in through the passanger door isn’t that big a deal, and there are bound to be pretty few entries, and it is pretty arty, so this might be worth a shot. Here are links to the craiglist post and flickr set. Good luck!

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Thursday May 18, 2006

That’s right – buy it bitch. White Dade (see here for a dubious explanation of the name) brings this rant, which starts out as a guide to partying smart, and devolves rapidly into a misogynistic tirade. Oh, well. It’s difficult to get too upset with a guy who lists “Bob Seger, Bruce Springsten, John Mellencamp, Bon Jovi, Poison, Motley Crue” at the top of his “favorite music” list.

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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.

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Tuesday April 18, 2006

battlebots

BattleBots IQ is coming to Coral Gables Coconut Grove.

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Tuesday May 9, 2006

Miami foodie earns its pay: BYOB restaurants in the Miami area. If anyone knows of any others add them in their comments section, and let’s get a comprehensive list going. BYOB is the best idea EVAR.

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Wednesday December 14, 2005

Public transportation as recreation

As someone who’s frequently taken the bus from South Beach to Downtown when it would have been a lot faster to drive, I can appreciate the entertainment value of our public transportation. You’re sitting higher then in a car, and spared having to pay attention to the road, you can really enjoy the scenery – it’s a surprising interesting way to see the town; MacArthur Causeway is particularly spectacular this way. There’s your fellow passengers: the potential to engage in or overhear interesting conversation is pretty well assured. On the end, being dropped at a somewhat arbitrary spot, rather then the parking lot of wherever you’re going, leads to at least a little bit of walking, which is always nice. Of course, the sightseeing potential is even greater with metrorail, and don’t get me started on the metro-mover, which seems like a tourist sightseeing device first and foremost.

Now we get Metrocrusade, wherein a couple of UM students take Metro Transit to a random stop and explore everything they find, providing 5-point ratings. In their first post, the reviews include I-Hop, which gets the only perfect score (?!), and . . .

It was a Middle Eastern market called the Middle East Market. Definitely a cool place. They had lots of fresh Mediterranean and Middle Eastern food, packaged stuff, and even pretty inexpensive hookahs! They also served food, so we might go back for lunch some time. We bought stuffed grape leaves, hummus, and gyro bread, and we were very pleased with our purchases. The store was very vegetarian-friendly, so veg heads, check it out! We give it 4.5 out of 5 Metro Coins.

. . . that’s right: it’s a 5-point scale of metro coins. It’s hard to do dry wit on the internet, but these kids obviously are up to it. Let’s just hope they stick with the program. [Via Miamity. The photo is from the northern end of the metromover, facing downtown]

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Tuesday August 7, 2007

I noticed the “Herald reporter charged with soliciting prostitute” headline in my RSS this morning but wasn’t interested enough to click. So it turns out the reporter in question is none other then Oscar Corral, which has all the internets in a frenzy. Also, whether he remembers or not, Rick got ‘schadenfreude’ from me.

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