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.
- /miamiherald – The Miami Herald
- /miaminewtimes – Miami New Times
- /miamihurricane – The Hurricane (UM Student Newspaper)
- /hurricanesports – The Hurricane: Sports (UM Student Newspaper)
- /dolphinsnfl – Miami Dolphins
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.
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.
At the intracoastal, off the 79th Street Causeway bridge between North Bay Village and Miami Beach.
On 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.
Yesterday 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).
Ultimately, 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.
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.
- Art Basel prep 2008
- Art Basel: guide for normal people
- Art Basel 2008: 1st peek
- Art Basel 2008: Wynwood fairs
I’m leaving today for a 10-day trip to Seattle, WA. Far from this time being a hiatus from Miami blogging, I’ll be exploring a couple of Miami-Seattle connections and sharing those with you. Not to mention the Miami vs. Seattle Metblogs-off bound to stir up between myself and my friend, Seattle Metblogger Patricia Eddy!
In the meantime, I leave you with this short and funny comparison between our two cities.
Tonight is the Madonna “Sticky & Sweet Tour” concert at Dolphin Stadium, in Miami. If you’re going, be sure to arrive early so you can get parking and get to your seat without rushing. If you are not going, stay the hell away from the stadium and neighboring areas until tomorrow!
I won’t be going but my wife is, so I’ll see if I can rope her into giving me a report of the concert to share with you here.
I went to Norman Brothers Produce today to see if I could get some local produce to take on my trip to Seattle as a gift for my friend Patricia Eddy, who aside from being a fellow Metblogger is also the creator of Cook Local, a website dedicated to championing local foods in the Seattle area. Normally she wouldn’t order anything from South Florida, but since we’re traveling there anyway, and it is local to us, we can share our bounty without her breaking the 250-miles-radius rule she’s established as her guideline. I used to shop a lot at Norman Brothers when I lived in Kendall, so I knew they were a great place to get local produce without short of taking a trip to Homestead. Boy, how have times changed.
That sign was placed hovering above a selection of beans from (somewhere in) Florida and produce from California, Guatemala, Colombia, Peru and just a few bins down even some eggplants from Holland. I’ll let you savor the irony for a moment.
I understand some thing are not in season, but it just seemed that more than 70% of their produce stock was not local at all (unless you also count “USA” as local, but I’m not at this moment), with a fairly disconcerting sub-percentage being from Latin America. I mean, plantains from Colombia? Mangoes from Brazil? Seriously?
For the record, I did at least get two giant avocados from “Dade County,” a pound of Cubanelle peppers and a dragonfruit, these last two from Homestead. I wish I could have gotten a couple pounds of stone crabs to take to my friends, but I needed those packaged for a plane trip and this was not something they could do at the seafood counter, nor I at home since I cannot bring stone crabs into my kosher kitchen. Oh well.
Norman Brothers, if you’re gonna have this phrase as your official slogan (as featured on the front page of the website), you gotta do better than this. I’ll have to return to the store later on to see if this was a one-time fluke, so expect a follow-up post sometime down the road.
A couple of nights ago I had a chance to visit Grass Restaurant & Lounge in the Design District of Midtown Miami for my wife’s best friend’s birthday. Back in January when I (briefly) worked at Miami D&E Magazine (don’t bother looking for it, it folded) we ran a review and an ad for this place, so I knew of it. Now, understand this is not a review. I keep Kosher so there was nothing there I could eat, and even the drinks were problematic, so consider this more of an impression of the place.
I went to do my laundry at Express Laundry of South Florida and as I walk in, I see the picture above. When I go to get my quarters, one of the employees has to count them by hand because the automatic change machine is not working. Turns out, I overhear as I’m adding detergent to the washers, that the laundry was burglarized just last night, sometime between closing at 10:30 pm and opening at 8:00 am.
The thieves made a hole low on a wall leading into a back office that doubles as storage, moving a hell of a lot of really heavy equipment piled up back there, from what one of the owners told me, to get into the main area. There, they proceeded to break the locks on all the dryers and to take out the change machine, emptying them all of their precious jingling contents. They also stole cash from the back room (including the payroll) and who knows what else.
This is just sad and a big shame. The people who run the laundry are very nice and have improved that place a lot from how they got it from the previous owners. Here’s hoping the police catches the thieves and that the laundry owners not have any more troubles.
For the last few months the Normandy Isle area of Miami Beach has been undergoing a number of construction projects all rolled into the vaguely-named “Normandy Isle/Normandie Sud Neighborhood ROW Improvements (BP-4)” project (though you have to go HERE to see a description). Now, I’m all for general neighborhood improvements and I understand that there will be inconveniences while the construction is underway, but at least as it regards my street, this is already bordering on the ridiculous.
It’s been 3 months since our street was first invaded by the construction crews. Parking, already a thorny issue on the Beach, has been made an even greater headache by the projects, most of which are started, then left unattended for days or weeks, before being picked up again. Just last week the crews returned to my street to begin the “final phase,” which so far has involved the removal of a roughly 5 ft. section of asphalt next to the sidewalk, and today, as you can see above, the removal of the sidewalk itself. I’m hoping that they will start pouring the signature pink concrete to make the new sidewalk and gutters soon. Perhaps it is a good thing I am flying out of town next week.
The big problem I have with all of this is one of communication. Though there are some signs around the area with all the legal mumbo jumbo these usually have, the residents of the area should have been informed directly about the project to be undertaken in our neighborhood. In fact, I’ll take that further and say that type of communication should not be a one-time event at the start of a project, but a constant stream of information and updates as things move along. I mean, there is already a web page for the project at the official city website, how about adding an RSS feed and regular updates? Is that too much to ask of city hall?
In the meantime I continue to stretch my patience and park my car in makeshift (and generally illegal) spaces, thanking heavens that no ticket-happy cops have passed by (and if they have, thank you for being understanding).
Hey, everyone, my name is Daniel M. Perez and I just wanted to take a moment to introduce myself. I just joined Miami Metblogs as a contributor and I’m very excited about it. Though I’ve been living in Miami for thirteen and a half years and I keep a blog, I’ve never really done so about the city. Which isn’t to say I haven’t had opinions to share about this magnificent mess we call home, I just never wrote them down; that’s about to change.
A few factoids about me: I live in Miami Beach, I’m Puerto Rican and I’m Jewish. I love to write (I have a small publishing company and keep five different blogs on various topics), play games (pen & paper roleplaying games, plus card and board games, and Wii), travel wherever and whenever I can, and ride my bicycle with a mindset of style over speed. Everything else you’ll just have to find out as we go along.
I have a love-hate relationship with Miami, and though in the past I expressed it by not caring about my hometown, I now make a concerted effort to address it by looking for what’s good despite the not-so-great parts.
Thanks to the Metblogs team for this opportunity. I look forward to sharing my view of Miami with all of you, and to your feedback letting me know how you, in turn, see Miami as well.
Writing for Metblogs has the potential to be the most rewarding experience in your entire life. It’ll make you rich, famous, good looking, will help you lose weight, make your clothes fit better, and get you a super good deal on a new car. It will make you the most well known person on the entire planet. Yes, each and every one of you. Really.
OK maybe not. Actually those are all lies, but it’s fun at least. The truth is Metblogs is the largest network of locally focused blogs on the web, covering almost 60 cities around the world and we’re looking to add a few new bloggers/writters/authors to this fine site. If you wanna know more about us check out this wikipedia entry but it’s kinda boring so I won’t waste time repeating it all here again. If you wanna write for us, here’s the scoop:
- All author positions are volunteer. That means you don’t get paid.
- You must live in (or very near) the city you plan to write about.
- Anything you post must relate to the city somehow. That means you shouldn’t post a movie review, but talking about going to see a movie at a local theater is fine.
- There’s no requirement for how much you can or should write, but we ask that if we set you up as an author you make about 3 posts a week.
- You can post about things you love, you can post about things you hate. It’s entirely up to you
Additionally, because of our global network, there’s plenty of options for things you write to be read by people all over the world. Interested? Want more details? Post a comment and we’ll be in touch!
The last day of the 25th edition of the Miami International Film Festival is here and we still got a full day of wonderful films ahead of us, including the documentary “One Water” -produced by the University of Miami- tonight at 6:30 pm at The Colony theatre in Miami Beach.
AND THE WINNERS ARE….
Audience Award for Dramatic World Feature: BLISS (Turkey-Greece)
Audience Award for Ibero American Feature: LA ZONA (Mexico)
Audience Award for Best Documentary: VENGO DE UN AVION QUE CAYO EN LAS MONTAÑAS (Uruguay)
Knight Grand Jury Awards:
World Dramatic Feature: TRICKS ((Poland)
Special Mention, Best Actor: IT IS HARD TO BE NICE (UK, Slovenia, Serbia, Germany, Bosnia-Herzegovina)
Special Mention, Best Script: FOUL GESTURE (Israel)
Ibero American Dramatic Feature: (tie) COCHOCHI (Mexico) and EAT FOR THIS IS MY BODY (Haiti, France)
Special Mention: PARPADOS AZULES (Mexico)
Special Mention: LAS NIÑAS (Chile)
World and Ibero American Documentary: SANTIAGO (Brazil)
Special Mention: RUE SANTA FE (Chile, Francia)
Special Mention: UN TIGRE DE PAPEL (Colombia)
Shorts Competition: HOMECOMING (Canada)
Honorable Mention: TRAUMATOLOGIA (Spain)
Special Mention, Best Animated Short: MADAME TUTLI PUTLI (Canada)
Special Mention, Best First Time Director: OVERNIGHT A ROSE ( Taiwan)
FIPRESCI Jury Prize: FOUL GESTURE (Israel)