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Monday December 4, 2006

The word on Art Basel

Basel always brings some temporary outdoor art installations. This one is in front of the Jackie Gleason Theater. Some more are here and here

Yes, I’m going to be talking about Art Basel this week; apologies to those who don’t care. For non-art people who are interested, I’ll probably do a post on Friday to tell you what to see if you don’t want to see everything. For the others, somewhat more frequent updates on what’s particularly interesting.


Thursday July 5, 2007

Royal Castle

Miami Memories has a great post up about Royal Castle.


Monday June 23, 2008

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


Monday July 24, 2006

Hey kids, the Vamos a Miami writing contest. “Prose style must be naive, as if written for some young, impressionable pansy, but the underlying satire must be saw-toothed, with cojones.” Ha! Steve might have a head start.


Tuesday October 31, 2006

The WikiProject Florida: stuff to see, contribute, and do on Wikipedia, including some small but helpful tasks. (I’m not sure this counts, though.)


Wednesday September 13, 2006

Vix, a restaurant at Hotel Victor on Ocean Drive, sells a $1,000 cigar


Friday March 7, 2008

Filmz weekend

film canisters


Monday October 1, 2007

A list of still-live Miami-related Geocities websites, including Early aviation photographs, the Coconut Grove juggling exchange, ‘Nicholas Dunn’’’s Story’, and the charming South Beach crew. You may also enjoy the Firefox extension Timemachine 1.0, which will make ANY website look like 1996.


Tuesday August 8, 2006

Rocket Projects has closed?!


Friday May 18, 2007

Rebecca Wakefield on Museum Park, and right about everything as usual. And — stop the presses! — is it just me or do the SunPost’s homepage articles now point to permalinks!? I’ll check when the next issue comes out, but if this is true it’s a big deal.


Wednesday April 25, 2007

Friends With You written up in Wired magazine this month.


Friday June 30, 2006

The Palm Beach Post’s Frank Cerabino on the recent Liberty City terror arrests. “So don’t worry about the usual legal problems with entrapment and flimsy evidence. We are in a ‘detain indefinitely’ mode these days. And we can certainly work around all your constitutional deficiencies and elicit confessions through water-board torture, if necessary.” Related: “Miami Groups Cry Double Standard In Terror Arrests.”


Friday August 19, 2005

Scala naturae

Let’s be honest: August is not the only month of the year when Miami is too hot for words—by our count, it’s March through October. Still, there’s something special about August; it’s the time when Miami residents hunker down for what we assume must be the hottest hell on earth. Actually, we’re cowering in our air-conditioned homes and cars (Cohen has a theory about how genocide and air conditioning are mutually exclusive propositions), but boy, outside . . .

Outside, though, is real life: there is nothing more alive then when the planet Earth’s tropics get cooking. Weird plants that wouldn’t survive anywhere else grow like crazy, it rains every day, and mosquitos multiply in any teaspoon of standing water. The whole place is teeming with life, and it’s very impressive, and a little gross. That’s if you think about it, which most of us don’t. But some of us do. Frances, the crab girl has recently marveled at all the spiders in her back yard. They remind her of masks and skulls (Frances was last spotted break-dancing on the Metro-Mover with some dread guys).

Kathleen’s parents have a pool with a broken pump, and she’s fascinated with what happens when we let a controlled bit of lake go wild. Incidentally, this is the same Kathleen that occasionally gives the painter dudes on a run for their argumentative money. Her new blog looks great so far.


Tuesday June 14, 2005

Go See Art

Our man of the pallet-knife has emerged from weeks of squinting into a tiny powerbook, and launched Go See Art. Anyone not feeling optimistic and grateful about this is free to tell us how they find out what’s opening when in the gallery world (our solution thus far has been to go to as many things as possible and geekily pick up every single flyer and card laying around). Ever since The Street died, there has been no central clearinghouse for this information. Franklin expects to make money with this site which, um, more power to him if he does.

It’s always fun to link to all of Franklin’s sites: if the web were a monopoly board, he’d be pulling in major rent money (sadly, the formerly glorious pink now forwards to Go See Art).


Monday June 4, 2007

Critical updates

site stats: 274945 page views in May I spent most of the day Sunday neck-deep in code and stuff like this, trying to make you a new and improved Critical Miami. I mostly got done the more “coding” type stuff, and left the sorting/data decisions for another time, because I can officially only use one half of my brain per day, and I need to do this geek-out stuff during my rare forages into sobriety. Anyway, here’s a summary:


Friday July 27, 2007

“When I started my blog, people were upset that I didn’t offer my opinion. Some of the hard-line exiles felt I should be out there as a champion for anti-Castro cause. There is a concept in parts of the traditional Cuban exile community where you have to pass a litmus test of opinion to be approved of or included. But that’s a minority point of view.” — Oscar Corral, interviewed by Rebecca Wakefield. Corral has been going some great work lately, but count me among those who find it odd that he doesn’t want his blog to be “anti-Castro.” (via Herald Watch)


Monday June 26, 2006

FIU changes its mind about a Metrorail stop after a week of negative publicity and public opinion.


Thursday February 15, 2007

Ana Menendez’ tear-jerking ode to her father’s 14 citrus trees, cut down in 1997. “Dad stood by helplessly as Asplundh workers chopped down every one of his precious trees: the sour oranges, the lemons, the key limes, the tangelos — 14 trees in all, some of them 30 feet high. Just before the big orange tree was taken down, my father carted away four wheelbarrows full of oranges it had produced. By the end of the day, more than 10 years of patient care had been reduced to yard trash.”


Wednesday February 21, 2007

A rundown of the upcoming Subtropics festival, including an interview with Subtropics’ founder, Gustavo Matamoros. “Miami has been a big failure at trying to be like New York. This is because to be like New York one must start with the subway.”


Thursday October 5, 2006

cifo opening

cifo, outside

Stopped by the opening of “10 Defining Experiments” at CIFO last night. (Sorry: still not able to link to Flash sites.) Lovely event, I must say: fully stocked bars, beautiful people by the boatload, and a spectacular facility. The art was meh, and three gorgeous photographs absolutely stole the show. Big openings of course ≠ a good place to experience video so, you know, caveat there. And this sculpture made of bobby pins was very nice, though I expect it doesn’t look like much in the photo. Then I rushed over to the MAM, but the opening there was already over, having closed at 8:30(!) and people were on their way out.

Next time: opposite order!


Monday July 31, 2006

When you are a beanstalk with the figure of a broomstick who survives on cocaine, cigarettes and soda water, you don’t sweat—you dehydrate—which makes you a very good candidate for a coma. Manola offers answers to some of our most persistent questions. Click for the picture, at the very least.


Thursday May 31, 2007

Hmm, it looks like the Carnival Center will in fact be closed for part of the summer, for August and part of September, probably in part as a money-saving measure.


Tuesday December 5, 2006

Art Basel T minus 1 day


It’s silly for me to talk to out-of-towners since they’re either packing, in transit, or settling in, but whatever. Welcome to Miami Beach. Sorry about the crowds. You’re in the Northernmost portion of the world-famous South Beach (please don’t call it SoBe), a neighborhood called Collins Park. Here’s a map. You’re at the convention center, and the white square in the upper right is where Positions is; the right edge of the map is the beach (the other two edges of the map are just where the map leaves off. Google shows it pretty good). It’s about a 10-minute walk between the Convention Center and Positions, and through a neighborhood that’s experiencing a small-scale and slightly delayed version of what’s happening in all of Miami — massive buildup and reconstruction. You’ll see brand new buildings, old buildings, buildings getting torn down, renovated, and built up. The weather should be okay — it’s not going to be hot like it was last weekend, but it’ll probably rain here and there.

I’ll reserve judgment, but if last year’s any indication, the satellite fairs on the mainland tend to be better then the ones on the Beach. The Beach fairs (such as Scope and Aqua) are mostly in hotels, and I find that sort of setting very claustrophobic and not conducive to looking at art — you’re in a small room, usually with a desperate gallery owner breathing down your neck and being all friendly and shit. The beautiful building of NADA and and even the absurd tent of Pulse were more open and relaxed to me (at least last year).

A general word of advice, as much to myself as anyone else — go slowly. There’s no way you’re going to see everything anyway; it’s better to have quality time with fewer pieces then to run around looking for some sort of cream. If you think you can spot the stuff you really need to see very easily, you’re probably just accentuating your self-imposed tunnel-vision. Also, this might be a good year to stop fawning over overpriced German photography. Maybe.

Now let’s have today’s list of links:


Tuesday July 19, 2005

What's Wrong with Housing Costs?

[Contributed by Steve Klotz]

Perhaps you picked up on the rumor that Miami is experiencing the most remarkable explosion in both building and real estate prices in the entire country. In downtown Miami, cranes (the building variety) now outnumber turkey vultures 3:1.

The downside seems to be that ordinary middle-class working people are being priced out of the market. Median price of existing single-family home is $354,900 in Miami-Dade; $367,000 in Broward. The Herald’s business section, spearheaded by chief hand-wringer Lisa Gibbs, has focused on the issue over the last few weeks, not providing any real answers, of course (it’s the Herald, remember?) but pointing out that it’s already a big problem, preventing local industry, schools, hospitals, etc., from attracting the level of talent the area needs.

“People aren’t willing to give up their more spacious living arrangements to relocate,” recruiters are saying. “They look at what it would cost for similar housing here, and decide they can’t afford it. So they stay put, and we lose them.”

Well pardon my sarong, as Bob Hope once said, but isn’t the real problem here the rate of compensation, not the cost of housing? Housing here would be affordable if Florida employers actually paid workers at a rate competitive with the markets where those workers are found.

I did some research. Here’s a comparison of average annual wages of major metropolitan areas throughout the country. Read ‘em and weep:

What’s the big mystery here? Why can’t the Herald figure this out? South Florida pays its employees at Banana Republic levels, ensuring a steady stream of mediocrity in its workforce. It’s immediately obvious to any newcomer: professional services, skilled workers, laborers, educators, journalists, even counter staff are below average. Every one of us has a horror story or ten about the low quality of work and worker one encounters in south Florida. It is one of many factors often cited in discussions regarding our status as a national laughingstock.

This only proves you get what you pay for. It ain’t the housing that’s the problem, Sherlock, it’s what you’re paying the housed.

[See all Articles by Steve]


Tuesday June 19, 2012

dirty projectors I’d have to say the #1 upcoming concert I’m exited about right now is Dirty Projectors at Culture Room on August 7th. If ya didn’t know, now you know. You will unfortunately have to navigate Ticketmaster’s user-hostile, scammy, impossible to figure out online ordering, and pay $16 in fees for two $20 tickets. Fucking Ticketmaster.


Thursday November 2, 2006

How to recycle phone books. Fine, but how do you get them to stop delivering them in the first place? There are stacks of phone books in the hallway of my apartment building that nobody wants. Why would they, when it takes a fraction of a second to find any phone number on Google?


Monday August 20, 2007

Miami globe

Miami globe.


Monday September 24, 2007

The Big Squeeze, North Miami.


Wednesday July 19, 2006

Let's build offices

Biscayne and 19th Street

Some interesting developments (ha!) in the last couple of days. Over at Transit Miami a guest writer points out that downtown needs more office buildings. And the Herald suggests that more office buildings we shall have:

Currently 1.5 million square feet of office space is under construction—including the University of Miami’s 350,000-square-foot Clinical Research Institute in Miami’s newly named Health District. Another 6.4 million square feet have been proposed, according to the city’s Planning Department.

In some ways this is a perfect compliment to the glut of condos springing up. But keep in mind that part of the reason for the cool off are worldwide skyrocketing prices for construction materials. They may put a damper on some of those proposed projects.

Particularly foreboding is that the developer of Midtown Miami wants to sell. Midtown is that huge development in Wynwood in what used to be a shipping yard: probably the biggest construction project in Miami right now. The owner is claiming that he wants to sell “for tax reasons,” and that he’ll make about the same amount of money selling now as if he held on until construction was finished and sold the finished units. Which idea the article pretty well refutes, suggesting the obviousness of the assumption that he’s trying to sell now because of low and dropping demand for residences. Maybe someone else can “buy the risk” and get hosed down the line.

Or maybe not. Over at Blueprint:Miami, we get Gary Hennes’ 10 reasons why Miami will keep booming. Not uninteresting, and quite plausible:

4. New luxury hotels and restaurants bring new visitors each day, many who explore possibilities of owning something here.

5. Continued low crime rates, expansion of cultural institutions and sports venues make the quality of life better each year.

Go read the rest. What to do with all these contradictory messages? Maybe just to hang on for a bumpy ride.


Sunday December 10, 2006

Basel weekend: everything else

This one and the next one are the only thing I have from Pulse, which was pretty small, cramped, overcrowded, and cost $10. There were, however, lots of great pieces. This scary little photograph is by Roger Ballen. It totally fooled me into thinking it was a real Joel Peter-Witkin-style photograph, but for some reason on screen now it looks much more like what it is: a digital composite.

More obviously digital, this is a detail from a big image by Dionisio Gonzalez.

Jesus looks over the entryway to NADA.

This little joke piece shows up every year. At $200, (unframed) in an unlimited edition, it makes a killing.

Installation with a customized Gucci suitcase at the Sister gallery (L.A.).

An arresting photograph of an empty Jack Daniels bottle by Melanie Schiff, titled Emergency. Not the only alcoholic humor art we saw: a David Kramer print at Pulse prominently read, “WHOEVER IT IS THAT SAIDLESS IS MORE’ PROBABLY OWES ME A ROUND OR TWO.”

Here’s the NADA building from the outside. Very relaxing, with a big lawn, hammocks, and a little restaurant (nothing to write home to mom about there, though).

This guy performed on the lawn, heavily reverberated voice, guitar, and chime percussion. He sounded a little bit like Panda Bear, but he kept stopping to chat with his friends who came up. We got impatient and left.

An opportunistic resident outside Scope, spraycan-changing the price for parking on her property from $10 to $15. I think her logic was that if someone eventually did park there, she’d boost her profits by 50%. Unfortunately for her, everyone was just parking on the street.

One of the things I really enjoyed about Scope (oh, sorry: ~scope) was the outdoor scene. There was a lot more there then I’m going to show you, including a big stage, a bus with a tent in the back that you entered to see a light show, and some extremely fancy porta-potties. This is the immortal Eric Doeringer, hawking his bootleg versions of contemporary art. Eric is beyond cool: I have a picture of him holding up a fake Art Basel VIP card, with which he apparently got into the Vernissage, among other things.

blood for art

The Blood for Art table. This idea is simultaneously great, depressing, morbid, and inadvisable on a long weekend of running all over town and spending most of your time on foot.

Oh the art. This amazing drawing by Mat Brown.

Other then the Nike logo, a great sculpture. Christopher Cutts Gallery, Toronto.

Sometimes you just can’t pass up a picture.

Locust Projects contacted Flight 19 (Tampa) to co-present something at Scope this year. They came up with this Negativland piece, Rightmanland, a singing animatronic Abraham Lincoln. Efforts to bring Negativland to Miami are in the works!

Photo Miami was excellent, and for some reason sparsely attended.

Here’s one piece, by Luis Molina-Pantin.


Opening/party for the Monster Show, Thursday night. This is a link to a photoset; click the picture to see more photos from the evening (probably not interesting unless you were there).

Opening at Carol Jazzar’s on Friday evening.

One last visit to Basel.

This wasn’t up before: a loop of magnetic cassette video tape hovering in the field between two fans. No artist info, sorry. Zilvinas Kempinas, Spencer Brownstone Gallery.

Saturday night in the Design District/Wynwood. This is the incomparable Cody ChesnuTT. Cody was performing a new suite of songs, solo electric, and recording it, so he asked us to hold our applause until the end. He was great, and a surprisingly agile guitar player, though I’m not sure the self-indulgence that bugged Pitchfork is waning anytime soon.

Cody’s crowd.

We spent the rest of the night hanging out at Lenny’s. The show he has up includes pieces from his private collection, including a Gregory Crewdson, a Robert Rauschenberg, and this lovely drawing by Hope Gangloff.