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Monday October 23, 2006

The Miami-Dade Election Reform Coalition. Since what goes on a polling places here is still sort of messed up, getting in touch with them and volunteering to observe (film?) polling-place closings during the upcoming election would be a most excellent idea.

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Sunday May 28, 2006

It never fails. I’ve got some news for you, guy: they’re not Latino. Also, Ed McMahon called to say, “you may already be a racist!” Personally, I’ve lived on South Beach for five years, and I’ve never noticed Memorial Day weekend as anything more then a bunch of people hanging out and partying.

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Saturday July 14, 2007

Jelly fish Saturday

jellyfish

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Wednesday March 19, 2008

RUMP

Haha.. someone stole Trump’s ‘T’. (Tagged ‘activism’?)

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Thursday April 13, 2006

Coconut Grove Playhouse Clings To Life. It’s been a rough day for the playhouse. Unless a few more benefactors come forward, it’s going to be tough to keep going.

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Monday January 14, 2008

Gridskipper’s rundown on the Miami dining scene: mostly a best-of in various upper-crust dining categories.

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Friday February 8, 2008

Chinese new year weekend

year of the rat

Weekend-long

Saturday

Sunday

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Tuesday January 23, 2007

Strong mayor: vote NO

For the reasons mentioned previously, I’ve come to realize that the Strong Mayor proposal is a BAD IDEA. Read here and here, or just consider: under the proposal, the department heads serve at the mayor’s pleasure. The department heads decide who gets city contracts. The people who want the contracts make campaign contributions to the mayor. The current system is broken and corrupt, but the path to corruption under the proposed system is much shorter. The system needs to be fixed, but let’s not do, as mkh says, “gee, this frying pan’s hot . . . I wonder if the fire will be any cooler.”

Right now, this measure is on its way to passing. If it does, we’ll be in for bigger trouble then we’re in now. So, though our friends at EoM will disagree, it’s important for you to vote, and vote no.

See also: Strong mayor debate.

Update: I just voted. The guy told me I was the second person there in the first hour. Depressing.

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Thursday January 18, 2007

The Houses of Morningside


Click picture for photoset.

Morningside was founded in the early 1920s by James H. Nunnally, a candy baron(!) who, according to local lore (OK, I talked to a guy walking his dog) would take folks up from downtown on a boat, smoke cigars with them, and sell them houses in what was a premium community even then (original price for a bayfront house: $13,000). More history here and here. The houses are the usual mix of Mediterranean Revival, Art Deco, and 1960’s suburban sprawl. It’s surrounded on three sides by much poorer neighborhoods, so much so that you can see the boundary on the google map, and it’s been gated/walled in for awhile.

I’d originally meant to photograph up and down Biscayne in this area, but once I wandered into this neighborhood, I was hooked. The Houses or Morningside photoset has commentary with each of the houses. Look for Nunnally’s house, plus three model houses that he had built to show off the style he intended for the neighborhod. On the map, the three model houses are grouped together on the little triangular wedge between 57th and 58th streets.

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Thursday April 17, 2008

Alex was recently charged $6 for a bagel with lox at Mo’s. Is that excessive? What’s the going rate for a bagel with lox?

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Tuesday November 14, 2006

Glimpse of Midtown

Midtown

I stopped by the Midtown Miami development the other day. It’s still a big construction zone, with only a couple of stores open, but the overall shape is very apparent. This is only a brief look; I got there too late to really check it out.

I have aesthetic quibbles with some of the style decisions, but in terms of substance, this is development done right: mixing retail, office, and several styles of residential buildings in a dense and walkable little mini-district.

midtown miami map

The map. From here, it looks like a regular mall. The residential developments aren’t on this map; they’re to the east. The Target, Linens ‘n Things, and West Elm are a godsend. Petsmart and some of the other stuff I could give or take. Marshalls, there’s one downtown, so I don’t see the point of that really. Plus, who shops at Marshalls, anyway? I have no idea what Loehmanns is.

Midtown Miami residences

Here are the towers going up. Taken from the parking lot of the Target. Some of this stuff has a loooooong way to go before it’s done.

Midtown Miami Target

Target (my camera was set incorrectly; it didn’t really look Satanic). No pictures of the inside — it looks exactly like every other Target in the world, except for the customers, who were maybe slightly hipper looking. It’s not a “super” target (in the parlance of large discount retailers, “super”=“has a big food section”), but there is a sizable food area; just no produce.

Midtown Miami facade

This is a bit of the facade. It’s all still getting finished up, but it looks good. The brick finish I guess is supposed to put the “town” in “Midtown.” Just behind those storefronts across the street is a working-class neighborhood with lots of small old single-family houses. Someone should do a comprehensive photo project on the neighborhood, which is now going to be undergoing some fast and drastic transformation.

Midtown Miami West Elm

Some of the rest of the development, looking quite a bit more generic, though it’s unfair to say that when it’s not finished. This is the West Elm store, which I’m looking forward to. After the target, the only other thing open is Circuit City, which I have zero interest in.

One other interesting note: unlike most malls, the parking garages charge. The rates are weird, too: free for the first hour with Target ticket validation (a pain in the ass), $1 per hour for the next four hours, and then $10 per hour after that. I have no idea what the logic behind those rates is. Someone obviously did some deep thinking about how to maximize their profits, logic and sense be damned. I’ll be surprised if they don’t get so many complaints that they have to change this soon.

Update: Oldswish points out that they got $170 million from the city to build this thing and paying for parking was always part of the plan.

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Thursday January 10, 2008

Orange Bowl souveniers for sale

orange bowl

Get your piece of the Orange Bowl here at the official site, or get them cheaper at the Canes shop. Obviously I don’t care, but the framed vintage seats are nice. There’ll be an auction on February 9th for all the bigger stuff (urinals!), including the scoreboard.

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Thursday February 8, 2007

Via the radio yesterday, one of the main complaints that out-of-towners had about Miami during Superbowl weekend was the overzealous and unreasonable measures taken by the Miami police. They specifically quoted someone with ESPN, though I’m not sure if he was specifically referring to Miami PD or the County department. Sort of related: Miami’s Operation Tornado results in 101 arrests.

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Monday June 11, 2007

“Ingots were buried under the Miami Performing Arts Center by workers installing the subterranean infrastructure. The performance was photographed. The ingots remain.”

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Wednesday October 11, 2006

Fuck democracy, right? That’s what the Miami-Dade Commission is saying. Enough voters signed petitions to get the strong-mayor proposal on the ballot (to, you know, let the voters decide), but the commissioners have hired outside council which will cost hundreds of thousands of dollars, to see if they can ignore the petition. Oh, and of course the bill is being picked up by the taxpayers. And by the way, they already have a lawyer on payroll who specializes in this sort of thing. There’s always “how about we vote your asses out of office, how’s that for a ballot initiative?”, but this pisses me off, because getting those signatures is very arduous, and they shouldn’t be seen as something to be fought by anyone in power they inconvenience. Update: More at MVB.

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Tuesday August 7, 2007

Yikes!: Gus and Michelle bought themselves a kayak, and on their maiden voyage were attacked startled by a 7-food crocodile. A pants-browning experience.

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Tuesday August 15, 2006

Cuban exiles suspect Castro photos are fakes, obviously. The US government says “there is no reason to doubt the authenticity of the photos,” but yet they’re “conducting further analysis.”

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Wednesday June 21, 2006

Nefarious Girl

The official after party for KRELwear 'WILD LIFE' Collection 2006

The other day, I got an e-mail from Jipsy, who’d just seen my brief mention of her great column from a few months ago. This would have been cool enough in itself, but it pointed me toward her amazing photography site, NefariousGirl.com.

Anyone who’s ever opened Ocean Drive knows that taking interesting photos in clubs is usually impossible; you get two or three garishly flashed idiot-smiling people standing in front of a camera, and a pitch-black background. Jipsy turns those photos on their ear, creating instant little dramas with a remote-flash technique that gets her interesting photos with alarming regularity. Borrowing liberally from punk, disco, goth, and glam, the kids in her photos make the perfect subjects for photos, too.

It’s tons of fun to just browse through her pictures. A few of my favorites: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8.

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Tuesday July 17, 2007

Miami Art Exchange with a good writeup of Saturday’s art walk: part 1, part 2. At least one person had to go to the hospital from the heat.

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Monday February 5, 2007

Miami-Dade’s new housing locator appears to be pretty comprehensive, and lets you search by area, number of bedrooms, and price range. Even has Google maps integration. Too bad you can’t pull up a map with all the results and click from there. (via Miami Vision)

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Wednesday January 3, 2007

Epic

epic

I love me a little digital rendering in the morning. Click for extra mega-sized, with vividly obvious seams between reality and CG. These buildings, under construction on the north side of the Miami River, are modestly titled “Epic.” Prices are about what you’d expect: $500,000 – $5,000,000 per unit. Like all with-it people, places, and things, Epic has both a website and a MySpace. Both are worth visiting, for more spectacular photography.

Seriously, though, this is a primo spot — downtown Miami, surrounded by water on two sides, in the middle of real-city action.

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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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Wednesday August 15, 2007

What's up with Cypress mulch?

cypress mulch

Environmentalists are up in arms about Cypress mulch. They say coastal Cypress forests are being wiped out to produce it, endangering humans while clearing old-growth forests (yes, the video trots out images of Katrina-devastated New Orleans). Meanwhile, the stores selling the mulch claim that the mulch is created from the parts of trees that can’t be used for lumber, that the trees would be cut down anyway, and that regardless the logging is being done in a sustainable fashion.

Unfortunately, neither side has much credibility. Let’s try to sort this out. A recent AP article on the issue notes that the drop in area of Cypress forests is probably a result of changes in mapping techniques. That can be read to mean that they don’t know whether the forests are contracting (hey, nice work there, forestry dudes). Florida Today has a good article, which noted that most of the good Cypress was cut down over a hundred years ago anyway (go read — it’s the best overview of the issue).

The commonsense presumption is that if loggers are planting Cypress as fast as they’re cutting them down, everything should be fine (this could be ensured, btw, by strictly limiting the area they’re allowed to log). Are they? This strikes me as a good opportunity for an enterprising young journalist — we need some real answers.

I did my own investigation down at Home Depot, and sure enough, Cypress mulch is cheaper then other options. $1.67 gets you a 2-cubic-foot bag, vs. $2 for “Red Mulch,” $2.57 for Pine Bark nugget mulch, $2.95 for Eucalyptus mulch, $4.99 for fancy chemical-treated stuff. The Eucalyptus stuff makes pretty strong “Environmentally friendly / produced from plantation growth,” claims. If you’re covering 100 square feet, it’ll cost you an extra $12 over the Cypress stuff, so if you’re concerned about the environment it shouldn’t be a big deal to error on the side of caution. Real answers would be welcome, however.

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Wednesday July 12, 2006

Almost everything in this week’s issue of Miami Today is good. My favorite is Joe Arriola’s quote about the USS Mohawk: “The city deserves something big, beautiful and important,” he said. “No offense to the owner, but it looked like it belonged more as a reef than in Bicentennial Park.”

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Monday June 11, 2007

Bob Norman dissects some choice phrases the Sun-Sentinel has been kicking around lately.

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Thursday July 6, 2006

Do the right thing and sign up for some local food.

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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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Tuesday July 3, 2007

BoB confirms my suspicions, that it might be a good time to look around for a new apartment lease: “The current influx of condo units is creating a glut in the rental market as well . . . This is good for renters in that it places lessors in a competitive bind. Some owners are so desperate to lease out their units that they are resorting to transient occupancy for tourists.” This trend will accelerate over the next 12 to 18 months, as more and more under-construction condos come online.

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Thursday September 20, 2007

aquarius

Aquarius, 9 miles off Key Largo and 60 feet under water, is the only live-in underwater research laboratory in the world. NBC6 did a live report from the station today, the first ever broadcast from there, including info on what it’s like to live on Aquarius, and what they’re studying. People who live underwater are called ‘aquanauts’! [Photo courtesy NOAA and UNC Wilmington]

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Friday December 9, 2005

Punk - the DEA's got money-stacks bigger than you

A. Congratulations go out tonight to our friends at the DEA, who busted some drug-dealin’ bad guys and confiscated their loot.

B. The government today arrested 18 businessmen, confiscated their money and products, valued at over $10 million, and tossed them in jail.

Choose your version – we’ve covered both sides (oops . . . not really) of the drug legalization debate. But let’s be serious – the DEA is pathetic. This is the first announcement out of them that’s been made the news in as long as we can remember.

Congrats, guys. Please ignore any sense of scale or perspective when considering how important this bust is. Oh, wait – they already did that. “To date, DEA’s ‘Money Trail Initiative’ has resulted in the seizure of $43.6 million US dollars,” gloats their press release. Let’s see… the global drug trade is estimated at $321 billion. That means that “Money Trail Initiative” has been quite successful at getting a little over one-tenth of one-tenth of one percent (.01358%) of drug deals. Just don’t ask them how much they’ve spent in the effort – you might get upset.

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