Archive for December, 2008

Miami-Dade Twitter Directory

The following is a directory of Miami-Dade entities on Twitter. As far as I can tell, these are all legitimate accounts kept by the respective companies/entities.

This is a work in progress, and your help is greatly appreciated.

Cultural

Misc

Newspapers

Sports

TV News

  • /wsvn – WSVN Channel 7 (Fox)
  • /nbc6hd – WTBJ Channel 6 (NBC)

Universities

Side note: Really, this is all there is out there? There’s gotta be more, right? I mean, compare Seattle.

Jewish Hatred on Miami Beach

And just in time for Channukah. Last Thursday, Dec. 18, Dovid Hazzan, an Israeli immigrant who is a teacher at a Jewish Day School in Miami Beach, was viciously attacked by three unknown assailants.

WSVN: Man hospitalized following hate attack

The attack occurred at night, just off 87th Street and Collins Ave. in the North Beach area of Miami Beach. That is just about 10 streets north of where I live! What the hell! I feel so much sympathy for this man, who is suffering serious bruising on his face and swelling of the brain thanks to these [insert explaitives here] who attacked him simply for being a Jew. 

I rarely walk around with a hat and I always wear my kippa (yarmulke) as well. I ride my bike around the beach at various times of the day and I just go about my business as usual. Am I next? I could be, simply because of my religion. This is ridiculous and it needs to stop now.

This attacked happened in one of the areas with the largest Jewish communities in South Florida, a place with many families living their lives, children playing as normal, not some backwater neighborhood hidden deep in the county. This isn’t an issue of concern only for the Jewish community either; those who today beat up Jews simply for being Jews tomorrow will beat anyone simply for being anyone. 

To Dovid Hazzan I wish a speedy refua sheleima (complete recovery). To the assailants, I wish you to have remorse for your actions and courage to come forth. To everyone, I wish peace.

Morning Fishing

Morning Fishing

At the intracoastal, off the 79th Street Causeway bridge between North Bay Village and Miami Beach.

Bike Miami Days 2.0 Report

At Bike Miami DaysOn Sunday, Dec. 14, we had the second instance of Bike Miami Days, the City of Miami’s now-monthly event turning part of Downtown Miami into a car-free zone for cyclists, skaters and pedestrians to run around and enjoy. Mayor Manny Diaz and his office have been working hard to build this up as Miami’s own cyclovia, and their efforts are greatly appreciated.

This sophomore effort, however, had a smaller turnout than the brand-spanking-new one in November. Considering the time of year, the at-home Dolphins game and that fact that this lacked the novelty of the previous one, I found it understandable. There were, however, quite a few participants, even at 1:30 pm when I finally arrived, so it wasn’t a wash-out by any stretch of the imagination. 

The Green Mobility Network once again offered free bike valet services at both Bayfront Park and Mary Brickell Village (the two bookends of the route), and as before, there was a small army of volunteers riding around ready to answer any questions. The Everglades Bicyle Club held a toy drive in conjunction with the event, which was very cool. There were also a few changes from the previous event, all of them for the better: the route was extended along the waterfront towards the AA Arena (though I was never able to find this extension), the entire route was marked with sandwich board signs with arrows marking the directions to follow, and possibly the best addition, water stations were setup along the route for participants to freshen up. Bonus points go to Kirk Jewelers for handing out water during the day as well.

After the event, TransitMiami hosted a party at Tobacco Road. A bunch of the volunteers gathered there and I had a great time just chillin out after a fantastic day of bike riding around Downtown Miami. You can read my personal report over at Slow Bike Miami Beach.

The one complain I have about this event has nothing to do with Bike Miami Days, the City or the Mayor, it has to do with the local mainstream media:

Where the heck were you?

I never saw representatives of any of the local mainstream media outlets, televised or print, covering the event; if (IF) they were there towards the start of the day, they quickly took off afterwards. No local newspaper promoted the event leading up to it, and I have yet to see any mention of it pop up on the website of any local news show, let alone on the air. I mean, not even Deco Drive!

What’s the matter with you, Miami mainstream media? You’ll cover any gory event no matter how stupid it is as long as there is enough blood and/or scandal, but an event that actually builds up community pride, highlights the city in a positive light, can be a boost for local tourism and the local economy, and shows the commitment of Mayor Manny Diaz towards making Miami an improved city doesn’t get anything? Not even a micro-post on Twitter? Shame on you.

Bike Miami Days will return in January (date still to be determined). I plan to be there with my wife, and I hope everyone else joins us as well, including you, local mainstream media.

Kosher for the Publi(c)x

Anny's ChallahYesterday afternoon I was running a bit late for preparations for Shabbat, so I decided I’d just got to Publix (Collins Ave. and 65th Street, Miami Beach) only, instead of my usual Friday afternoon trip which also includes going down to 41st Street where there are a couple of Kosher stores. I wouldn’t be able to get challah, but I could live with that, since I could at least get some Kosher bread (frozen baguettes in this case). Imagine my surprise when I enter the supermarket and right around the corner I almost run into a tall display of Anny’s Bread Shoppe challah and breads.

This Publix had once carried Anny’s products, but they stopped after only a couple of months and I was never sure why, since the breads actually sold all the time. Naturally I grabbed two challahs (one regular, one chocolate chip [great for French toasts]) before it all disappeared like a mirage. Needless to say, this made my day, as I was able to do my Shabbat shopping AND get the most exquisite challah in Miami (seriously, if you see this display, grab some and be taken to bread paradise).

Kosher Sushi at QFCUltimately, however, you might be wondering why I was so excited to see Anny’s challah at the store. It has something to do with my recent trip to Seattle. The Jewish community in the greater Seattle area is smaller than that of Miami, especially the Orthodox segment, yet they enjoy an amazing availability of Kosher food in regular markets in the heavily-Jewish neighborhoods. I visited an Albertson’s that has a Kosher Deli & Sushi Chef, Bakery and Butcher, not to mention a whole Kosher mini-market rivaling the ones in Miami. I later visited a QFC (think their version of Publix) that had also just in the last 3 months expanded their Kosher section to include a Deli and Sushi Chef. Why is it that I, living in one of the largest Jewish communities in the US, arguably the largest outside of New York, have to go clear across the country to Seattle to visit a supermarket that gives me my choice of about 15 to 20 different breads, including artisan varieties, all Kosher? And I’m not even going to get into the topic of prices, which are way cheaper in Seattle than here, where there is a lot more availability.

Frankly, it’s our own fault. We, the Kosher-keeping Jewish community, have settled for whatever we can get from the local merchants, be they gentile or Jewish. We need to demand better products in our markets, and then purchase them to show our support and encourage thier continued presence. I realize that this means that many Kosher-keeping Jews will have to break out of their (IMO bland) comfort food zones, but it will be worth it, I assure you.

Now, to be fair, there are some supermarkets in the greater South Florida area that do feature Kosher departments inside their stores, usually a Butcher and/or Deli. Most of these are Winn Dixie (I know of one in Aventura [at 204th St and Biscayne Blvd.] and one in Hollywood that seems to also have a bakery) plus a couple of Albertson’s in Palm Beach County. What happened to you, Publix? Catch up. Let me suggest starting with one of your stores in Miami Beach (maybe the one on Collins and 65th). And if you already have such a store, how about promoting that fact to the Jewish community? Actually, that goes for all of the markets: promote yourself to us, so we can then support you.

I long for the day that I will be able to walk into my local Publix and buy Anny’s challah (or some other artisan bread) and some freshly-made Kosher sushi to take home. I just won’t be holding my breath.

Art Basel Miami Beach: Here, and Gone

While I was away in Seattle, Art Basel Miami Beach, the yearly event showcasing artists from around the world right in our backyard, one of those events that proves that this city has a lot more going for it than the superficiality most people associate with it, took place at the Miami Beach Convention Center.

Sadly, given I am currently the only Miami Metblogs writer and I was out of town, there was no coverage for this blog. To our good fortune, however, Alesh Houdek of Buildings and Food (and formerly of Critical Miami) did cover the event, so check out the following links and enjoy Art Basel Miami Beach 2008 vicariously.

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