Wednesday, December 7, 2011

We Are Seriously Serious About Our Work

Seen at Pulse: 
She: Listen! My nails were done for far less than this painting.
He: How can I get my hands on that painting?

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Class Warfare

You can call it whatever you like, but many of us in Miami will not go to Art Basel 2011 on the Beach, preferring instead to stay where we belong, on our side of the causeways.

If You Don’t Know, Now You Know: The Other Side of Town

If the Super Bowl came to town and you didn’t know it, wouldn’t that put you a bit behind the eight ball?

Celebrating its 10th Anniversary, Miami’s Art Basel is about to kick off once again as one of the world’s top destinations for everything that is everything in the art world; it is the art world’s Super Bowl.

The hype raises the Art-O-Meter higher and higher. There are invitation only galas at guarded enclaves on the beach which only those fortunate enough to share fist bumps with the bourgeois may attend. You’ve got name-dropping and eaves-dropping elevated to extraordinary art. Traffic snarls the streets and good luck getting a restaurant reservation. This is Art Basel for the VIPs.

For those of us on the other side of the causeway tracks, it’s going on as well. Wynwood is the crossroad, focal point, hub, epicenter, nucleus, and heart of all that is thriving in the city. On the GPS, the main drag lies between 20th and 29th Streets on NW 2nd Avenue. It is gritty. There is big time graffiti. You can get a good cup of coffee at Panther. It needs bike racks. Auto body shops flourish. And you can still get robbed. Don’t expect glamour, but Wynwood ain’t what it used to be (no disrespect intended), an urban ashtray.

Disinfected Midtown Miami offers those who prefer their countertops vanilla a respite from the concrete rainforest around the corner. Just south of 195 and east of Miami Avenue, sparkling digs abound. The restaurants are pleasantly named Sugarcane, Sustain, Gigi’s, Morgan’s, and 100 Montaditos. If this is all a bit too urbane, there’s a Target around the block. Many of Art Basel’s finest satellite tents are down the street from here. Art Miami, Art Asia, and Scope are here, all good, all wide-ranging.

Under the highway, the Design District combines the aforementioned districts. Michael’s Genuine, Harry Pizzeria, and Sra. Martinez have fed those who weathered the early, pre-Basel days, and now Y-3, Con 6, Genius Jones, and Christian Louboutin are wedged in among the bath, kitchen, and home design spaces.

This is the landscape that Art Basel helped create. There are other stories – about old galleries, Lombardi, Goldman, Rubell, and dozens of others, but the early tents in Roberto Clemente Park helped make people see all that exists in this part of the city these days.

This weekend, shuttle buses will drop tourists off. Limos may slide through. Yellow Cabs will be everywhere. You might even see a few convertible Chrysler Sebring’s around with some old school tourists wearing their NFL, NCAA garb who read about Art Basel in their local Midwestern newspapers. Suffice it to say that this weekend, Miami will not only party, but do it with more aplomb than during the Super Bowl.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Art Basel 2011

The Notorious B.I.G. put it so well: It was all a dream. I used to read Word Up magazine. Salt'n'Pepa and Heavy D up in the limousine.

Everything we dream about happens this week -- especially if you like free-forming, roller-skating, graffiti-writing, canvas-painting, pop-up shopping, single-speed-riding, foodie-friendly, barista-admiring, DJ-spinning, pretense-loving, cafe-perching, Soho Beach House see and be seen-ing. All good in the hood so to speak.

It's an ART thang, and the airport gonna be busy up in here starting like yesterday. You gonna see people in hoodies, sipping hip soft drinks out of the bottle (and Red Bull), congregatin' in dat dere Wynwood district, strollin' down NW 29th Street across Miami Avenue, detourin' through a bit of Puerto-Rican Miami (I went through Roberto Clemente Park!), sashaying past tents housing Art Miami, Art Asia, and Scope, seeking respite at Sugarcane, Sustain, Gigi's, and Michael's Genuine if they walk under 195 properly. Some will wander into Sakaya Kitchen and stumble into a Clive's (Omigod is that Lenny Kravitz on the wall?) open at unusually ungodly hours just to capitalize a bit on the week.

Despite the cynicism, it is our finest hour, better than the Superbowl (IMHO, a strip club is better than the Superbowl) better dressed than ULTRA (IMHO, the Mummers Parade is better dressed than ULTRA) and much cooler than the proposed Genting Casino (IMHO, the end of the world is cooler than the proposed Genting Casino). Though the SAT got rid of the analogies, Art Basel is to Miami as cool is to the 1111 Lincoln Road parking sculpture -- something to proudly show off.

Enjoy this week everyone -- this is Miami's 21st Century event. 

Sunday, October 2, 2011

Seasons May Change/The Rainy Season Will Soon Be Over

It's just about time for us to stop sweating, turn off the coolant, open the windows, and derive pleasure from watching the Weather Channel wherever snow is falling. With this in mind, I have decided to try to be nice this month, just to see if I can do it I like it. On Halloween, I promise plan to provide kids with healthy snacks and a smile, and all month, I will try riding my bike with a special October playlist in my head. I will share it with my friends (yes plural), and hopefully the corkin' brothers will use some of the cuts for their Critical Mass ride on October 28th.

  1. October Song: Amy Winehouse
  2. Beautiful: Damian Marley
  3. Outside Man: Junior Parker
  4. High On Your Love: Kings Go Forth
  5. Give Me The Sunshine: Leo's Sunshipp
  6. Send Out for Sunshine: Heatwave
  7. You Are My Sunshine: Dyke & the Blazers
  8. I Wish It Would Rain: Mayer Hawthorne
  9. Sun Goddess: Ramsey Lewis Trio
  10. Fresh Air: Quicksilver Messenger Service
  11. Anotha'(BBQ): People Under the Stairs
  12. Cold Rock a Party: MC Lyte
  13. Cold Sweat: James Brown
  14. Too Cold: Roots Manuva
  15. Autumn Sweater: Yo La Tengo
  16. Diana in the Autumn Wind: Gap Mangione
  17. I'm a Mummy: The Fall
  18. Bad Moon Rising: Creedence Clearwater Revival
  19. Orange Moon: Erykah Badu
  20. Bela Lugosi's Dead: Bauhaus

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Dangers of Privatization

There are those who suggest that the private sector handles everything better than the public sector. I beg to differ. Here is indisputable visual evidence: I am certain that even the most appalling US mailbox has nothing to be ashamed of when compared to one of these swanky, Palmetto Bay, private sector mailboxes.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Take Your Rulers Out!

I'm not exactly sure what these guys are measuring but I'm gonna keep the pictures to a minimum.

Miami Lakes councilmen in bathroom squabble

Dropping the F-bomb and threats to "take it outside" may sound like the start of a schoolyard brawl.

But this squabble involved two Miami Lakes politicians and happened in the bathroom during a break in the Tuesday night council meeting.

Both elected officials — Councilman Richard Pulido and Vice Mayor Nick Perdomo — claim the other made physical threats laced with cuss words.

Pulido said Perdomo threatened to beat him up while he was washing his hands. Perdomo also claims Pulido threatened him with a thrashing in the men's room.

According to Pulido, his colleague on the dais lost his cool because he felt Pulido had slighted him during the Tuesday meeting to discuss a development deal on Northwest 87th Avenue.

After the meeting, the councilmen were still taking verbal swipes.

"We’re not thugs. We should act like public officials. We’re not conducting business like we’re in a third-world country," Pulido told the Herald.

Perdomo — who runs a family cigar business with operations in Nicaragua — said Pulido started it. FUll story from The Herald's Laura Isensee here. The more reputable New Times here.

And he just keeps going...

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

The HEAT Is On

Fifteen minutes into Mike Bibby's new tenure as a member of The Team the Lord Destined to Win the Crusade called the NBA title the HEAT, the front office began to panic calm the nerves of all those who eat and sleep HEAT. Rumor has it that Bibby missed a shot. Sports radio stations got a Tweet from somebody who was watching from the custodial team a member of the front office, who insisted that the HEATwere not tendering offers to Rick Barry, Reggie Miller, Oscar Robertson, Michael Jordan, Larry Bird, and that dude who made the deal with the Devil in a number of Hollywood films.

Miami Herald columnist Dan Le Retard Le Batard reported that Bibby had been signed because he was dedicated to earning a ring, and that he would be a fine replacement compliment for Mike Miller, Undonis Haslem, Eddie House, Zydrunus Ilgauskas, James Posey, Mario Chalmers Chris Bosh, Lebron James, and Dwyane Wade.

Rumors swirled about whether to bring back Don Shula, Jimmy Johnson, Howard Schnellenberger, Shakey Rodriguez Pat Riley, but in the meantime, the entire Western sports world continued to place the blame onus of responsibility on scapegoat Coach Eric Spoelstra and Randy Shannon, Barack Obama, or public school teachers.

Meanwhile, the NBA was putting its finishing touches on another NBA Cares commercial featuring Carlos Arroyo when the HEAT mercilessly blamed him too placed the well-respected veteran on waivers. Fans of the HEAT pray expect that the Bibby move will propel them to 70 victories 60victories the playoffs this year. Season ticket holders hope he turns his hat around is just the spark that the team needs. or they will call talk radio and act like Qaddafi or Michele Bachmann.

Ownership plans to give all Overtown children who have no absences from school and elementary school AP level classes free nosebleed level obstructed view tickets to a Sacramento Kings game, plus free salt and pepper for all nacho orders with a Winner's Circle certificate.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Coming Soon to Miami: Do U Wanna Ride + Playlist

On the beach last night, I saw the new millenium in the form of rental bikes. I imagine we'll find a way to fuck it up for the bikes to become vandalized, but let's keep our fingers crossed.


We're Rolling On: Impressions

Let Me Ride: Dr. Dre ft. Snoop Dogg

Free Ride: Illinois Speed Press

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Thing Fall Apart-Volume 1

Ever since Rick Scott became governor, things have begun to fall apart. Although he made enormous promises, and has an illustrious history with finances, it has been nearly 2 months, and things have not gotten better in any way. Despite the glory of Scott’s coronation inauguration, which only cost $3 million, nothing compared to the $73 million he spent to get elected, and even less compared to the $219 million he is worth, things have begun to crumble in Miami, and I have the photos to prove it. 

Certainly, with a tiny bit of cutting, like closing schools where freeloading children and teachers waste hard earned private sector cash, or raiding wasteful public pension funds like great governors like the one in Wisconsin, Scott could begin to repair things like that pictured above. (I have a handyman who could do it in two hours for about $79, but I hesitate to share his digits.)  

In any case, Rick Scott's star has obviously faded, and it is increasingly clear that he is just another plastic, phony politician making promises he cannot keep. 

Sunday, February 13, 2011

SMA Miami/Strip Mall Aesthetics 101

Few citizens of an urban metropolis are as fortunate as we in Miami when it comes to the creation and design of a beautiful place like the strip mall. Sunset Drive is no exception, particularly well-endowed with lovely edifices and cutting edge design.
With this in mind, we would like to introduce you to a new feature: Strip Mall Aesthetics Miami (SMA Miami)
Congratulations to Sunset Strip Plaza, anchored by Presidente Supermarket #22 and Family Dollar for earning 0 spaces.

The key to appreciating the quality of the strip mall being discussed may be found in this analysis. Several factors are important:
  1. size and number of puddles in the lot
  2. nausea creating traffic
  3. vacancies
  4. symmetry
  5. signage variety
  6. parking harmony
  7. multicultural appeal
With this in mind, here is the key:
  • 0 spaces available -- top shelf 
  • 1 space available -- needs something
  • 2 spaces available -- needs more than a little help
  • 3 spaces available -- fender bender paradise
  • 4 spaces available -- wrecking ball ready

Friday, February 11, 2011

A Seventet of Magnificent Miami Experiences

1. 6:30am Biking to Breakfast at Coral Bagels.
2. 9:00am First Customer in the door at Books and Books.
3. 11:00am Coffee and pastelito at Versailles.
4. 12:30pm Glass of Wine and Pami at Happy Wine.
5. 2:30pm A cold beer at Scotty's.
6. 4:00pm Smoothie at the Wayside Market.
7. 6:11pm Enjoy the sunset with Hector and his parents fishing at Deering.

total distance- 40 miles; total cost- $40; amount of snow encountered- 0 inches.

Thursday, February 10, 2011

A Sextet of Miserable Miami Experiences

  1. Getting awakened by your neighbors' lawn crew's string trimmer before 8:30
  2. Talking to your formerly unionized, government pensioned, retired neighbors who hate unions and government 
  3. Five cars turning left as a light turns red and you are in West Kendall
  4. Seeing housekeepers getting on the bus during a thunderstorm near Old Cutler mansions
  5. Having to enter any Winn Dixie
  6. Waiting for workers who routinely fail to keep appointments or even show up 

Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Wednesday History Lesson - 4 Mangos and 3 Avocados

Farmers'/Farmer's/Farmers Markets are all the rage. However, we haven't discovered America there Columbuses. Fresh fruit, off the tree, shrub or bush and into your mouth, was the norm not the exception for a lot of folks here in the nature's tropical farmer's market of South Florida. So pick something off a tree and eat it, although you should consult your wild produce guides first. You do have one don't you?

Dorn Brothers Company 1914 - The Original Pinecrest Farmers' Market - Not the exact same location and selection, but it's been local and delicious for a while.

Dorn Building Today - Corner Sunset and US1

The Dorn Brothers had a long history of improvement in South Florida. 

In 1925, they opened the Riviera Theater in Larkin Florida. A year later Larkin was incorporated as the town and then city of South Miami.

Riviera Theater (1925) - 5700 South Dixie HighwayYou know that spot today as Sunset Place.

Of course the best selection of farmers' marketable stuff today is going down at Pinecrest Gardens. Ride your bike and catch a glimpse of Big Time Jones, live.

Blooming Undercover in Winter

Tuesday, February 8, 2011