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Wednesday July 11, 2007

Flagler Memorial Island cleanup

Flagler Memorial Island

WHL visited Flagler Memorial Island Monday, and found it a mess. “Sadly it is in poor condition and the beach had piles of trash and overflowing garbage cans.”

Sounds like sanitation needs to do a better job of maintaining the island, but first it needs to be brought back to some semblance of normalcy. To that end, ECOMB is having a Flagler Monument Island Clean-up volunteer event on the morning of Saturday, July 21. Volunteers needed! Help your city! Meet people and have fun while doing a good deed! All that; please register ahead of time so they know how many people to expect.


Thursday October 12, 2006

“The South Miami-Dade Watershed Study has been an ongoing process to determine the course for growth over the next 50 years. The Infrastructure and Land Use Committee (INLUC) of the County Commission will be present and your voice and attendance is vital to promote sound results that will impact future development and conservation.” A public workshop will be held tomorrow, October 13, from 9:30 am to 2pm. Go to Greener Miami to read how and why to participate.


Saturday May 12, 2007

Total eclipse of the heart Saturday

radioactive ad


Tuesday December 19, 2006

Pizza Rustica

Pizza Rustica

We’ve all heard or been in a million “best pizza in Miami” arguments, right? Forget it. Usually those are talking about New York style pizza, a thin-crust round piece of dough with a little tomato sauce, cheese, and maybe pepperoni. The not-so-secret is that pizza like this is so easy to get right that hundreds of places make it really, really well, which can be shocking if you’re only used to Hut/Domino/Caesar crap. Everyone’s attached to some little joint somewhere (in Miami they’re usually called “Steve’s,” for some reason), all of which make great pizza, I’m sure.

Pizza Rustica is something else. Big rectangular pieces (they slice them into six pieces so you can pick it up!) of Roman-style pizza smothered with any of a dozen+ very specific combination of toppings. They use a particular type of oven. They import their flour from Italy, for chrissakes. Cute girls will pop your slice into the oven for a few minutes and set you up with a coke or a beer (on tap, but nothing good) if you’re eating there. I think all the “slices” are $4, but all it takes is one and you’re stuffed. I don’t normally tip when I’m ordering from a counter like this, but here I always do; come on, they’re running around that hot oven all day, right? Plus, it rounds it up to $5 (no messing around with tax), and so the best $5 meal in town.

Pizza Rustica

Here’s a slice of the eponymous Rustica (bad photo, sorry). Prosciutto, tomatoes regular and sun-dried, black olives, artichoke hearts, and whole basil leaves. Serious business. On a second visit, or for vegetarians, might I recommend the potato pizza — it sounds weird but trust me; the potato is sliced very thin, and paired with a few other specific ingredients, and it works. All the varieties are like this — very specific combinations of a bunch of ingredients. Caprese salad pizza? Chicken Fiorentina pizza? You get the idea. They’ll also custom make (round) pizzas with any combination of 35(!) ingredients. Forget the silly arguments: this is the best pizza in town by a long shot.

There are three locations on the Beach: the one on the corner of 9th and Washington is the original, though the other two have a little more seating inside. There’s also one in Ft. Lauderdale which I’ve never eaten at. Google maps does a good job of finding them.


Thursday September 7, 2006

A great writeup of the Coconut Grove Farmer’s Market at the new Miami food blog, mango&lime. And a flickr set. (via SotP)


Friday July 13, 2007

Mango Weekend


Update: I completely forgot about Tom Scicluna’s Mast installation at Twenty Twenty, the one thing that has a shot of getting me down to Wynwood Saturday. More at TnfH (and here) and Dig.


Thursday June 29, 2006

New Times Broward ran my crazy Mercedes photo.


Monday May 22, 2006

Larry Lebowitz calls bullshit on the recent survey that declared Miami #1 in road rage and on Miami-Dade Transit’s Commuter Challenge. Even he has to admit, though, that the “survey numbers probably reflect a greater truth.”


Wednesday November 9, 2005

You can learn to drive: part 4 (post-Wilma edition)

“Treat intersections without signals as 4-way stops,” is great advice for a day or two after an emergency, when people are happy just to be alive and able to spend 6 hours in line for a free bag of ice. Here we are on day 16 (right?), and in some areas lots and lots of intersections are still out, including some pretty big ones. The novelty of 4-way stopin’ (8-way when you count turning lanes) grows ever the more thin. We have some advice for police, and some advice for drivers.

First, thank you for pulling 12-hour shifts directing traffic. It doesn’t look like much fun, but it helps, and we appreciate it. Sometimes, though, it’s difficult to see you when we’re approaching, which causes us to slow down even when we don’t need to. Maybe something to indicate an officer is signaling at an intersection. And those temporary stop signs in the middle of the road? As long as you’re there signaling, maybe could we cover them with a garbage bag or something, ‘cause they’re contributing to the confusion.

OK, let’s talk here for a minute. You’re frustrated and angry, and you’re late for work. Follow these simple rules, but please do calm down – stress on the road is dangerous. About those 4-way stops:

  1. We don’t understand why a blinking red/yellow light is a 4-way stop, but so long as everyone else is treating it that way, we will, too.
  2. If you’re at a busy 4-way stop intersection (meaning there’s enough traffic that everyone has to stop anyway), your job is to try to get through it as fast as possible but without cheating.
  3. That means not waiting to make sure everyone else is standing completely still before you go. If it’s your turn, go already! Just go carefully, and be prepared to stop if someone else has a difference of opinion about who’s turn it was.
  4. If you’re on a street with 2 or three lanes going in each direction, and the guy next to you is starting across the intersection, go with him even if it’s not your turn.
  5. If people are going in the opposite direction, and there’s no one waiting to turn who would impact your lane, go!
  6. If you’re coming up on an empty intersection, and you have a blinking yellow light, do not stop ( [sigh] unless there’s a stop sign, we guess). As we see it, at that point the pre-hurricane laws are in effect, the guy with the blinking red has to stop, and you can drive right through that intersection, just slow down and be careful.
  7. If you’re on a major boulevard, and coming up on an intersection where nobody else going in your direction is stopping, slow down and proceed with caution, but do not stop. Chances are there’s a good reason they’re not stopping.
  8. Conversely, if you’re on a side street and getting onto (or crossing) a major intersection, be careful and treat it as a regular (not 4-way) stop, because there is a very good chance people on the bigger street will not be stopping.

Far and above the best thing you can do, though, if you work 9 – 5, is to ask your employer to let you do alternative hours: say, 10 – 6. Traffic is much much better an hour later. Also, check out Miami Traffic.

[Previously: Part 3]


Monday March 17, 2008

Damn, have y’all seen Wormhole lately? Get down with the MySpace-fabulousity, Jose!


Tuesday August 22, 2006

Let’s not get too comfortable, kids: Atlantic hurricanes could rev up any time. Take ‘ol Andrew, back in 1992. That was the first hurricane of hurricane in that year, and it hit on August 24th. The peak of hurricane season is about the three weeks before and after September 10th. “There’s absolutely nothing that I know of that is unfavorable (to hurricane development) in the eastern Atlantic,” said Max Mayfield, director of the National Hurricane Center.


Monday September 24, 2007

The Miami Herald comes out in favor of nuclear energy. I agree.


Thursday March 1, 2007

Michael Lewis is right: making positions such as county property appraiser and elections supervisor electable offices is absurd. This is just the County Commission trying to fight the strong mayor proposal again, and Commissioner José “Pepe” Diaz should be ashamed.


Friday May 5, 2006

Critical Miami supports getting rid of stuff, and living an uncluttered, unencumbered life. Now, Greener Miami has a guide for getting rid of stuff: the A-Z Disposal & Donation Guide.


Friday September 23, 2005

Stan, Tammy, Vince, and Wilma

Give yourself a pat on the back if you said, “what are the last four hurricane names of the season?” The Hurricane Center doesn’t use names that begin with U, X, Y, or Z, ‘cause there aren’t enough. So we were wondering what happens if there are more then four more tropical storms this season. Our first instinct (isn’t this what they do with bra sizes?) is to start the alphabet again, this time with names that have two of each letter at the beginning. So after Wilma comes Aaron. After Aaron comes . . . um . . . that’s where it gets dicey. Actually they’ve already got a plan for that, too. Turns out we go into a sort of hurricane-name overtime, and start in on the greek alphabet: Alpha, Beta, Gama, and so on (Omicron is a cool one).

In other countries, they name hurricanes after things other then people, plants, animals, and such. In Japan they give them numbers. But we suspect this is another area where foreigners are jealous of superior American culture: destructive storms named after people are somehow poetic. And going to greek letters after 23 storms in one season lends the event just the right amount of menace. We wouldn’t mind behing hit by another storm if it was called Iota.


Saturday July 1, 2006

A midsummer night's navelgaze


We’re halfway through the year, kids! And since there’s so many new folks reading, a mid-year review seemed like something to do. There’s been some “does anyone read my blog?” speculation going on lately, and I’m pleased to say that the answer is ‘yes.’

Whatever. In lieu of congratulations, please send acerbic letters to Republicans (before I start to sound like this guy). Meanwhile, here follows a somewhat absurdly replete ‘best-of’ from the last 6 months (and see Critical Miami year-end chin stroking for a similar treatment of 2005) in forward-chronological order:







As a parting thought, I might point out that my favorite blog of all time hasn’t been updated since November of 2003.


Monday July 16, 2007

Bicentennial park with museum overlay

Home Page

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.


Friday August 3, 2007

Bicycle renting stations from around the globe. I appreciate the sentiment, but this would never work in Miami. If you think so, make me a map of where you would put the rental stations. The distances are simply too great, even putting aside the obvious weather issues. Riding a bike is great exercise, and a really good way to get to know your neighborhood, but as transportation it just stinks. On the other hand, bike + public buses seems promising. But for that you need your own bike, because by nature the bike rental stations will be sparser then bus stops.


Monday May 7, 2007

The full text of Miami mayor Manny Diaz’ State of the City Address for 2007 is now online.


Monday June 6, 2005

iVotronic Disenfranchisement Machines

Anybody who knows anything about computers knew that computerized voting machines were a bad idea, even before the systems Florida is using started to show their numerous problems. Ridiculously expensive, difficult to use, and inacurate (choice detail: the machines take so long to boot up that voting officials have been turning them on the evening before elections, then guarding them overnight).

There have been reports of the machines loosing votes, and at least one instance of vote manufacturing. And even with all that money already spent, future elections using the contraptions will cost $4 million each (punch-ballot elections used to cost $1 million). What with all of that, it’s no surprise that ditching them is starting to sound like a viable option. What’s so great about this is that, for example, Brazil has had a reliable, high-tech system in place for years.


Monday July 9, 2007

“It’s not like I’m irresponsible about sunstroke, bleeding to death, or skin cancer, though. E.g., I know now that when it’s 92 degrees with matching humidity, it’s vital to remain hydrated: drink liquids! That’s why I always take breaks every 40 minutes or so to pound a cold beer.” — Steve Klotz mows his lawn.


Friday August 12, 2005

Laser Light Show

The laser light shows over at the Miami Science Museum planetarium have been happening for as long as anyone can remember. We stopped by a couple of weeks ago to see how it’s changed since our high-school days. It hasn’t. They still crack the same “no smoking . . . of anything” joke before every single show, and the technology seems to be cutting-edge 1979 lasers—n—slides. They’ve added shows set to Outcast and Green Day, but fuck all that, Floyd is the way to go.

These days, when every $300 Dell comes with trippy lightshow technology and techno geeks can experiment with beat-matching video generators, the laser show sounds primitive on paper, but sorry, it’s still great. The stream of high school stoners must have slowed down, though, because the planetarium recently went from four shows every weekend to two shows a month.


Thursday August 31, 2006

Pictures of a dud storm


Well, I finally made up with flickr (and ponied up my $25), and just in time to upload a few pictures from the last three days: before and after Tropical Storm Ernesto, a big fat dud, and the very thing we shall point to to explain why people didn’t bother getting properly ready for the next one, which might take us all out. Enjoy; regular bloggigng resumes next week (or not).


Monday July 3, 2006

ignore treats us to a pre-emptive dis of the Miami Vice movie. “The filmmakers sent an offer to Edward James Olmos to reprise his role as the never-not-brooding, pineapple-faced Lieutenant Martin Castillo. He declined and reportedly had his agent send a VHS [of] a 20-minute loop in which Olmos silently stared into the camera in absolute disgust.” Update: ignore gets hatemail.


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.


Monday July 23, 2007

It’s all doom ‘n gloom over at Bloomberg, where Bob Ivry predicts a recession for Florida by October, resulting from the condo glut. I see the point, but surely a 30% drop in condo prices has some positive repercussions for the economy as well? The developers will get stung by this, but they can deal. (thanks, KH)


Wednesday May 24, 2006

Henry e-mailed the Herald about the new blogs. I wouldn’t hold my breath waiting for a response.


Saturday May 26, 2007

Parkour Saturday

a bridge in japan  

Links takend from a variety of places, including Cynical-C, Waxy, and Kottke .


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.


Tuesday January 30, 2007

“[Metrorail] also does not go to many other places that many Miami residents would like to go, which is why most of them do not use it. To them, the Metrorail train is a mysterious object that occasionally whizzes past over their heads, unrelated to their lives, kind of like a comet. The point is, you need to rent a car.” Dave Barry’s guide for Miami visitors.