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Calendar p.14 Love all things Cuban? Then Don’t miss the Cuba Nostalgia Fest this weekend.
Vol. XXV No. 19
May 20, 2010
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FOR KID’S SAKE CHARLEE is Saving South Florida, One Child at a Time MAYHEM P.4
PROFILE P. 6
POLITICS P. 8
CALENDAR P.14 411 P.18
GO! P. 21
FILM P. 22
FOOD P. 22
SEE PAGE 12
SEX P. 24
FASHION P. 26
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Tropical Mayhem BITS AND PIECES OF MIAMI LIFE
Calling Miami Artists
Miami through my iphone
Time again for the Tobacco Road Art and Blues Fest. Artists, Musicians (professional and amateur) are invited to showcase their talents at this
Deadline for entries is June 14th. So far the musical line up includes One of the Original Blues Brothers, Blues Legend Matt “Guitar” Murphy, The Nouveax Honkies and Iko Iko. The festival will be held on June 19. 5pm to 2am. Tobacco Road, 626 South Miami Ave, Miami. For info: tobacco-road.com
SUMMER COCKTAILS ON THE WAY by Ines Hegedus-Garcia - miamism.com - firstname.lastname@example.org Some people call me the "Queen of Mojitos" because of all the mojito reviews we do around town, but once in a while my attention gets diverted to a different type of cocktail, like this one. The Mellow Melon from Sugarcane in Midtown Miami - watermelon juice, muddled cilantro, guava juice, Cruzan rum ... WHAAAAAT! It's refreshing and beyond delish and don't even let me get started with the food there ...an absolute MUST GO! (take my word for it).
Tina Spiro Exhibits at W-DNA’s Jazz Gallery Renowned visual artist, curator and educator, Tina Spiro will open her solo exhibition, Jamaica Sojourne, Friday, May 21st, at the 88.9FM Jazz Gallery. Spiro, who is originally from New York, began her career as a protégé of American sculptor David Smith. She moved to Jamaica and for over thirty years there has immersed herself in Afro-Caribbean culture and Caribbean art history, becoming a fan of Reggae, which she listens to while painting. She paints in her studio in the mountains above Kingston and teaches advanced painting techniques. Jamaica Sojourne at the 88.9FM Jazz Gallery opens to the public with a free Wine & Cheese Reception, Friday, May 21st, 7:30pm – 10pm. The exhibition runs through June 17. 88.9FM Jazz Gallery, 2921 Coral Way, Miami. Page 4 • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • SunPost Weekly • www.sunpostweekly.com
www.miamisunpost.com • The SunPost • May 20, 2010 • Page 5
Can He Say That? COLUMN
Pass the Bowl of Sh –, Please By Charles Branham-Bailey bigail DuBearn is probably specialordering a bumper sticker right now that declares. “I’M THE PROUD PARENT OF AN HONOR STUDENT WHOSE PRINCIPAL HAS A FOULER MOUTH THAN MY KID’S.” Ms. DuBearn is a member of Coconut Grove Elementary’s “Educational Excellence School Advisory Committee”. Her recent email request – about a seemingly tame matter involving an upcoming committee meeting – provoked a rather unsavory and unpalatable response from her kid’s principal, Eva Ravelo, who, according to the Miami Herald, wrote back, tersely: “Advise her to eat sh— and die.” Ms. Ravelo spelled out her communique just as it appears here – omitting the last two letters. How tidy. What wasn’t so tidy was that, instead of sending it to her assistant principal – as she intended – she accidentally sent it to DuBearn directly. Uh-oh. And that, folks, is when the sh— hit the fan. The email quickly got around to a wider circle of parents and it wasn’t before long when – holy sh—! – the match was lit and the demand for her firing went up the chain of command to the superintendent. It’s no itty-bitty, sh—ty mistake to make to tell off a parentmember of an advisory panel on “educational excellence”. And I’m guessing Ms. Ravelo will be sh—ing in her pants if she has to attend that committee’s next meeting and make amends for all the sh— she’s managed to step into. Bet she’ll feel like she’s in Sh—sville. But let he who stoops to fling sh— beware: He may find out the hard way that the ones he flung sh— at can be just as avid sh— flingers as he. This one reckless (and unappetizing) email may boomerang and cost Principal Potty-Mouth her well-paying job. Then she’ll be sh— out of luck. I reckon it’ll be hard to get another school administrative post with such a black...um... streak on her personnel record. It’s quite a sh—tty situation when it’s a school principal of all people trotting out the four-letter words. But an elementary school principal? What happens if she’s allowed to remain? Might the schoolkids be awkwardly cordoned off from their own principal lest she be a “corrupting influence” on their innocence?
Egads. A Miami-Dade County Public School spokesman was quoted as saying, “As public servants, we are all held to a high degree of professionalism. The behavior...is particularly unbecoming for a public employee.’’ Unbecoming, perhaps, but not uncommon. This is South Florida, don’t forget. our state and mine essentially told 55,000 Broward residents last week that they, too, could eat sh—.What they’d rather eat, though, are oranges, grapefruits, lemons, and other of nature’s homegrown from off the citrus trees they once owned and nurtured. But – oh, sh— – that’s no longer possible. You will recall that Tallahassee declared the Great Citrus Canker War of 1995-2006 and unloosed a whole sh—load of tree killers across the width and breadth of Florida. An army of chainsaws and backhoes descended upon every citrus tree standing within a radius of a canker-infected one. By war’s end, the state had lopped down nearly 900,000 of ‘em before deciding it was a futile fight and throwing in the towel. Twothirds of the felled trees didn’t even have the canker. When their trees went, so, too, went a lot of people’s livelihoods. And spleens. The people got mad at the state Department of Agriculture. Mad enough to sue the sh— out of it. The state initially didn’t want to compensate them even a copper Lincoln cent for their losses, but gave in
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and paid $55 for each downed tree, throwing in a $100 Walmart voucher for a replacement. How thoughtful. The Ag Department believed it was a “fair” deal. That didn’t appease the fruit-less. You must think we’ve got sh— for brains, the plaintiffs groused. So off to court they went to file their class-action suit, as did folks in other counties, including MiamiDade. Dade’s suit, involving 130,000 residents, will be decided soon. In its response to the angry masses, the Tallahassee chain saw gang claimed that canker-exposed trees were a “public nuisance having no value.” The plaintiffs cried, “BULLSH—!” The state retorted, “No, YOU’RE full of sh—.” And last week, the Broward verdict came down from the The Fourth District Court of Appeal, which ordered the state to pay the plaintiffs over $11 million. The twelve judges were unanimous in siding with the tree owners. The canker eradication war – which may in time come to be known as Florida’s “Vietnam” – was excoriated every which way in the opinion: “There is substantial competent evidence that healthy, privately owned citrus trees are not harmful or destructive, even though found within 1,900 feet of a tree having citrus canker. There is evidence in the record that the healthy trees taken...had continued to produce the fruit, the juice, the shade, the pleasing aromas, the agreeable vistas — all the virtues for which their owners carefully planted and tended them. There was expert testimony that no study using an acceptable scientific method supports a conclusion that healthy trees so situated will necessarily develop citrus canker or bring trouble or damage to anybody. That’s some real heavy sh—, now ain’t it? “It is apparent from the history of this case that [the state] destroyed these privately owned healthy trees not because they were really ‘imminently dangerous’ to anybody but instead to benefit the citrus industry in Florida.” Take that, you stupid Ag Department sh—s! The court further declared: “Government has regulatory power for the very purpose of safeguarding (the judges’ emphasis) the rights of citizens, not for destroying them....[I]f government cuts down and burns private property having value, then government has taken it. And if government has taken it, government must pay for it.’’ No sh—, Sherlock. The ruling leaves the state with not only the sap of murdered trees on its hands but also some serious soily sh— on its shoes. (Try repeating that three times, swiftly.) Despite all this, Tallahassee’s attitude towards these good folks is “Tough sh—!” Recalcitrant to the end, it plans to appeal to the state supreme court. What dumbsh—s. ot many of us will ever put a used car up for sale, attract a buyer for it, then greet a cadre
of FBI agents rapping at our door days later to ask if we might provide an artist’s sketch of the terrorist we sold it to. That’s exactly what happened to one Connecticut woman a few weeks ago. She’s the one whose Nissan Pathfinder entered notoriety after it was bought by Times Square bombing suspect Faisal Shahzad. “Hey, I used to drive that SUV before it became famous! When I knew it, it was just your run-ofthe-mill clunker. I spilled coffee in that thing all the time. Wiped boogers off under the seat. Even had sex in the cargo hold. Now it’s more famous than I’ll EVER be! Splashed across all the NEWS NETWORKS! On LARRY KING! The star exhibit of a FEDERAL TERRORISM TRIAL! Who’d have thunk it?” There’s likely a vehicle in each of our pasts that we would have eagerly given away to be blown up by a willing terrorist. I wish one might have been around to take my first car off my hands. It was a Fix It Again Tony. I became acquainted with that acronymic definition only when I had to replace the transmission early on in my ownership. Now don’t get me wrong: I really loved that little (and we’re talking little) car. In the beginning. For all of the first month that I had it. But I began to fall out of love with it soon after. I really had my eyes on a beautiful Triumph convertible in my neighborhood, whose allure both tempted and tormented me every day for weeks as I’d come home and see it parked on the street; unfortunately, it wasn’t for sale. Within days, I went out and grabbed the first convertible I could both find in the listings and afford. It was an impulse purchase indeed. Never mind that I couldn’t drive a stick. I learned real quick. But it was a convertible, as I so wanted my first car to be. By the end of its life in my care, I doubt any terrorist would have wanted it for even a test explosion. Osama bin Laden wouldn’t have wanted it (“Stupid infidel! I’ve got camels that are more dependable than that!”). It’s a new twist on the warning, “Make sure you’ve got clean underwear on when headed to the ER” – NOW we have to be careful that the car we sell on Craigslist doesn’t come back to haunt or embarrass us: “Ma’am, the FBI crime lab took a carpet sample from the floorboard, examined it under infrared lighting, and wanted us to ask you about a particular stain that was found. Would you be able to account for that stain?” You might not desire them to go there. Remember, these are probably the same folks who expertly located a certain stain on Monica Lewinsky’s blue dress a while back. Does this mean we may have to really, really clean our cars before we sell them, making sure to scour every inch and surface with every cleanser we’ve got stashed under our kitchen sinks? If so, a lot of you are gonna be in a whole sh— load of trouble.
A Piece of the Action By Jeffrey Bradley If this is spring, it must be pay raise time. Indeedy; there’s money in the air: our Miami-Dade commissioner friends are seeking a raise to the tune of $92K. But they’ll have to slip it onto the ballot unbeknownst-like, if precedent serves that is, because this is the fifth time in eight years they’ve sought to ratchet up their income. Yet each time they were shot down quicker’n a Japanese Zero at the Marianas Turkey Shoot. Talk about your questionable timing! As usual, their hamhanded attempt comes at a bad time for pushing personal agendas. These aren’t happy days, after all, or flush times what with countywide service cuts, endemic downsizing and belt-tightening across the board as the county faces a horrific budget crunch and confronts a shortfall in the millions of dollars this fiscal year. Leave it to these politically tone-deaf commissioners to ignore all that and reach for the goodybag instead. They’ll actually ask (demand?), via referendum, a twentyfold increase in their $5,000 (that’s $55,100 in benefits, car and expense allowances) yearly salary. This will go before us voters August 24, and we can’t WAIT to have them serve up that hanging curve! Even they recognize the move as lame. “This is a really bad time to do it”, said Commissioner “Pepe” Diaz, who voted for it anyway. See, they haven’t received a pay raise since the 1950s, but not for lack of trying—11 times and counting—to coax the voters into enabling this fraud. Gee; wonder why? This is the same bunch, after all, that came damn near criminalizing any attempt by Joe Citizen to put any referendum on any ballot. That’s because most referendums are aimed at them, and obstructing their piggery at the trough. Only when then-mayor Dermer, in one of his saner moments, sued the County over this blatantly illegal and self-serving claptrap, did they back off even a little
(just a little; try getting a referendum on the ballot and see what a complete hash they’ve made of it). Oddly enough, their pet referendum—this pay raise, we mean—has more “keeps on going” to it than the Eveready Bunny. The thing just won’t quit. But who are they kidding? Do they take us for dolts, or worse? Think we’re pulling your leg? Then listen: “If the community wants term limits, they can vote people out of office,” says Commissioner Katy Sorenson. How’s that for an exercise in arrogance? (Of course, she won’t be surprised when this referendum goes down in flames too, will she?) See, no sitting commissioner has lost an election in some 16 years. They control millions to help them curry favor with their fiefs, er, districts. So, who, exactly sided on this 8-4 vote seeking a state-derived yearly salary increase of $92,097 based on population? Why, the usual suspects, of course!: Chairman Dennis Moss, Barbara Jordan, Bruno Barreiro, Sally Heyman, Audrey Edmonson, Dorrin Rolle, Jose “Pepe” Diaz and Joe Martinez.. (As our grandmother observed, that lot bears watching.) Oddly enough, the hike wasn’t enough for some. “We work a lot of hours”, claimed “Pepe” Diaz. “We are selling ourselves short.” No, Commissioner; it’s actually us you’re selling short. And we will hold it against you; make book on it. Those against? Commissioners Carlos Gimenez, Natacha Seijas, Rebeca Sosa and Javier Souto. Note that Commissioner Gimenez seems almost always
on the right side of a vote. But congratulations to all those responsible for slamming a torpedo into this garbage scow of an idea. Worser and worser, they refuse to allow the public to consider imposing any term limits or curbing their busybut-lucrative outside “interests.” Hey, no need of getting foolish! Oh, this just keeps getting better and better. They’re even considering asking us help them end the current “strong mayor”‘ form of government. A few years ago, Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Alvarez won the ability to wield considerable authority in operating this Byzantine government. And while we sometimes look askance at the Mayor’s more bizarre moves, he gets high props just for going after those sleek, wellfed political felines like a pitbull on neutered cats. Hello, Kitty! And here’s Commissioner Barbara Jordan, fresh from Twinkle City to propose scaling back some of those powers. She’s probably been frustrated in getting a handle on that commissioner Christmas sack called the Miami International Airport. We wrote about this problem a few columns back in Skeleton Coast. Mind those feebly struggling bodies caught in the spiderweb, Commish—‘less you’re angling to get your name up here, too. Anyway, this proposal would basically strip day-to-day management away from the mayor—with its coveted power of picking department heads—and give it to some handpicked milquetoast who’d report straightaway to the commission. Need any help getting that lead balloon off the ground, Commissioner? We sure can be helpful! Even the commissioners know this for the hokum it is, as proved by their inability to muster consensus or even a vote. Say, here’s an idea. Why not place al-Qaeda in charge of commission security? If you can get by the head schmatas, we hear they work pretty cheap. Even bring their own boxcutters. If nothing else, it’s one more contract to be profited from. All we gotta do is get that on the ballot! Or, you could dismantle your personal demesnes,
throw open your books, unbatten yourselves from the public weal, pull those rasping lamprey suckers off public agencies and agree to term limits and practicing good (read good for the public) government. While your hand-in-the-cookiejar blatancy can’t be undone, it sure won’t go unremarked. If nothing else, next time you send that clay pigeon spinning up in the air we’ll grab our 20gauge shotgun and blow it clean out of existence. You might say our mission is to derail your success. Think not? Well, you’ll know who to thank on the 24 of August after the polls close. WE’LL be voting and, unfortunately for you, the only way around us is through us. A PIECE OF THE ACTION…CONTINUED This Just In: Miami-Dade county commissioners won’t be seeking that pay raise after all. Shockingly, they decided not to ask voters for a pay hike, even with a financial crisis looming. (Most unlike them.) Someone must’ve woke up and smelled the coffee, and now the commission has concluded it isn’t the time to ask for a pay raise. We’re so glad logic prevailed; just when we were wheeling up the heavy artillery. That slaughter wouldn’t have been pretty. Not only did the panel reverse itself on putting the question of a pay raise on the ballot, they won’t be trying to curb the strong mayor powers, either. Talk about running up the white flag! All this comes just two weeks after an 8-4 vote pushing a ballot question asking voters to boost commissioner pay rates to $92,097 a year. Luckily they awoke to the fact that this request had even less chance of persuading voters than any of the previous 11. Good thinking; MiamiDade is confronting a gaping deficit and shrinking tax revenues. In the event—big surprise here—only Commissioners Barbara Jordan, Bruno Barreiro and Chairman Dennis Moss continued to press ahead. Guess we know now who the out of touch commissioners really are. The others also wisely agreed not to try to curtail the mayor’s powers a mere three years after voters approved strengthening them. “I think it’s a little too soon to revisit it with the voters,’’ Katy Sorenson said. Good girl. A commissioner exercising common sense and fiscal restraint will turn us on everytime. But it’s sooo difficult, we know. They came to it late, but come to it they did. For that, a tip of the millionaire’s fedora. But we’ll be watching real close for that next underhanded, stick-it-to-the-voter power grab that they’re sure to indulge in.
www.sunpostweekly.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • Page 7
The Visiting Voyeur
Being Me Smoke-Free
By Dr. Sonjia Kenya Were you invited to the Exxxotica expo? I didn’t even know it was in Miami Beach last week until invitations were extended by a work colleague on Thursday, a neighbor on Friday, and an adult movie producer who crashed the PG-rated dinner party I attended on Saturday. Overwhelmed by peer pressure and my personal commitment as a research scientist, I rationalized a way to skip church on Sunday and found my way to the convention center on the last day of the expo. To prepare for an intense day of work, I scheduled an early research training session at Ice Box with three single friends who would serve as assistants for the project. While we fueled up on egg whites, turkey sausage, and mimosas, I instructed two attorneys and a business administrator on strategies for data collection and ethical principles guiding the interview process. Attempting to ensure objectivity among my volunteer assistants, I did a little research on them. I asked, “Would you ever have intercourse with an adult film star?” Not a second passed before the youngest man at the table, barely 30 years old, answered, “No. Never. How could you have sex with someone who you’ve seen have sex with someone else? He shrugged as if to shake germs off his shirt. “Yuck!” Good, I thought. He will be an excellent assistant. The other two waited a moment before responding and the eldest attorney, in his early 40’s, went first, “Yes, I think I could handle it. I could do it.” Oh no, I thought. How will he handle the adult actors at the convention? I was optimistic about the third research assistant but she also let me down, killing our potential for an objective study. Petite, pretty and totally confident, she said, “Yes, I would do it. Ron Jeremy is going to be there and I want a picture with him”. Considering that one-third of my research team was on a first name basis with adult stars and two thirds wanted to have sex with one, I ditched all hopes for studying anything and ordered another mimosa. Since I found lay people interested in intercourse with a professional, it seemed only logical to explore their boundaries. I asked, “Would you have a relationship with an adult star?” Before anyone answered, I described my old friend Sean, a nightclub manager I worked with in college. Sean’s live-in girlfriend was an adult film star and everyone at work once watched her in a movie showing every hole in her body being simultaneously penetrated by several men. This didn’t bother Sean, nor did the fact that no latex protection was used during the action-packed film. My recently fired research assistants were not like Sean. While they admitted to considering a one-time fling with an adult star, each balked at the idea of a relationship with an erotic adult actor. From a social
science perspective, this irony makes perfect sense. Relationships are based on feelings and pornographic media does not convey real human emotions. Adult films focus on mechanics and miss the personal dimension of sex among people in love. The lack of intimacy expressed in many x-rated films may explain why some therapists prescribe certain videos as a desensitizing treatment for individuals dealing with sexual guilt or other sex problems. Some even credit exceptionally explicit films with the ability to reduce sexually deviant crimes by providing an alternate way for would-be predators to satisfy socially unacceptable fantasies. On the other hand, the disassociation of emotions and sex that is so revered in adult movies is also blamed for negatively impacting society, especially children and the institution of marriage. A study by the Kaiser Family Foundation found that 59% of 15-24 year olds think Internet pornography encourages sex before they’re ready and almost half said unprotected sex and bad attitudes towards women are dangerously portrayed in adult films. According to divorcewizards.com, the majority of attorneys at a recent Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers meeting said that Internet pornography significantly impacted divorce rates. Despite evidence implicating the adult industry as cold, emotionless, and harmful, I noticed a lot of wholesome-looking couples holding hands as they waited in line to buy tickets for the Exxxotica expo. After being greeted by spray-painted ladies with $1 bills dangling from their bikini bottoms, I watched more normal-looking couples taking notes at the lecture in the seminar room and exploring merchandise while strolling from booth to booth. I couldn’t ignore the 20-something female pole dancers strategically swinging in every open space, cleverly adhering to the no-nudity policy by placing scotch tape over their nipples. Most of the dancers spray painted their bodies. Some used colors to create faux abdominal muscles, others designed flowers on their breasts. All wore heavy make-up, high heels, and little else. It was 2pm on Sunday and these ladies were working hard. To make sure we didn’t miss anything, our team started on the right side and covered every inch of the convention center floor until we hit the left wall. We ran into the “Jesus Loves Porn Stars” booth at the onset of our adventure and received an edited Bible created specifically for consumers and participants of the sex industry. The Bible included stories from the New Testament and loads of additional statements describing how much Jesus loves everyone, regardless of their history. Aside from the religious atmosphere permeating the crowd, most aspects of the conference seemed like any other professional meeting. Hundreds of booths were erected next to each other, a few food
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By Jennifer Fragoso (email@example.com)
vendors hawked edibles, and a seminar room hosted key discussions with industry experts. Topics included how to break into the movie business, how to build your own adult website, and how to keep your relationship exciting. About halfway through the floor, we encountered a group of Japanese engineers selling TENGA, the most technologically advanced self-stimulation devices I’ve ever seen. Their marketing materials stated “TENGA is here to revolutionize the realm of adult goods and is committed to realizing grand dreams and ambitions.” Although TENGA targets only males right now, many females were awed by the products and openly expressed the desire for the company to create stimulating solutions for women. Those seeking mutual stimulation were attracted to the Liberator pillows and knowledgeable sales people instructed couples on different ways to position the pillows to optimize pleasure. The pillows can be used by both genders and maneuvered several ways to experience new positions without leaving the bed. By the time our journey was complete, we met several movie stars including Ron Jeremy, famous for his unnaturally proportioned reproductive gland. Surprised by his obvious lack of height and hygiene, one onlooker accurately declared, “He looked like a troll.” On my voyage into voyeurism, I encountered diverse people from every walk of life. I met upcoming actors selling their very first film while wearing lingerie and observed seasoned stars flirting with lay people as their movie featuring unprotected sex played in the background. I saw Asian, Black, Caucasian, Latin, disabled, fat, skinny, pretty, and gruesome people. There were couples and singles, groups of men and groups of women. Except for the pole dancers and half-dressed ladies in eight-inch heels, it was very much like a normal work conference focused on selling a specific product. The strengths of the industry were highlighted, the dangers ignored. Imagine being at a tobacco conference and you’ll get the picture. I attended to see what’s new in the industry and learn from the experts. I was not alone in my quest for education and some even viewed the expo as an opportunity to take lessons from top professionals. As one attendee succinctly stated when asked if he would have sex with an adult film star,“ Are you kidding? That’s like asking if I would field ground balls from Derek Jeter.”
Name: Jennifer Fragoso Age: 38 Years smoking: 23 SMOKE FREE: 11 Weeks
WEEK 12: GETTING TO KNOW THE NEW JEN I can’t believe how good this feels. I’m really enjoying being me smoke-free. I was out with a bunch of friends the other night and someone in the group remarked on how she couldn’t believe that we had been talking for a couple of hours and I hadn’t yet had a cigarette and I said to her, “I know, isn’t it cool?” To which she completely agreed. Which got me thinking that not only am I getting to know me smoke-free but my friends are too. Which makes things interesting. Smoking gave me both a sense of purpose and bridge to fill in the gaps, on a social level, in conversation. Now, I’m finding other ways to transition without lighting up and people are apparently taking notice. One friend also told me she hadn’t had a cigarette in weeks and just recently had one and after the fact she felt a little ashamed for having allowed a tiny little Marlboro Light get in between her and her own resolve. One thing I’ve learned above all in my new smoke-free life is that these cancer causing torches a.k.a. cigarettes are small but mighty. Anyone can succumb to their siren call if they listen closely enough. What I’m getting now as the withdrawals have subsided is that if I listen to others, and myself i.e. in conversation, the call of the cigarette goes unanswered. Or maybe it is simply much more enjoyable to talk to someone without having to figure out when and how I’m going to get my next fix. Whatever it is I’m just so happy to be me smoke-free and it seems my friends are too.
www.sunpostweekly.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • Page 9
LEFT: DEMETRIC BY JACKSON LYNCH. RIGHT: INDIA BY SID HOELTZELL. BELOW: JOSHUA AND JOVAN BY MANOLO DORESTE. BELOW RIGHT: JENNIFER BY ANDREA HELFER. ON THE COVER: JESS AND KYLEIGH BY JACKSON LYNCH
FOR KID’S SAKE CHARLEE is Saving South Florida, One Child at a Time Written by John Hood “You are in foster care because the State believes that you were not safe at home and that your parents need some time to learn how to take better care of you.” So says The Foster Care Guide (for Kids) on a page headed “Why am I in foster care?” It’s the second entry in the handbook (right after “How long will I be in foster care?”), so the question is undoubtedly among a child’s most frequently asked. And if you picture, say, a six or seven or eight-year-old kid asking that question, you’re pretty much guaranteed to feel a break in your heart. You’d feel likewise whether the child was five or fifteen. After all, it’s not the kid’s fault the “parents need some time to learn how to better take care of” them. Even more heartbreaking perhaps is the handbook’s helpful “Words to Know.” There you’ll find definitions for terms like Case Plan, Child Placing Agency, Department of Children and Families, Guardian Ad Litem and Juvenile Court. Big terms. Bureaucratic terms. Scary terms. Terms that no child should ever have to learn. But there’s no use hoping the day will come when children won’t ever again have to learn them, because as sure as the sun will set tonight, somewhere there’s a parent who can’t take care of their kid. They don’t necessarily have to bad parents – they could be mixed-up or out of work or simply too young to handle their charges. But whatever the reason, it’s generally the child who suffers most. That’s why there are organizations such as CHARLEE Homes for Children. Outfits that not only place a child somewhere safe, but act as a safety net for the various falls a foster child is bound to endure in their young life. One of those nets in fact is that handbook, which the good folks at CHARLEE keep on hand for any kids that happen to come their way. Put out by The Children’s Home Society of Florida, it provides a kid’s eye view of what could very well be a nightmare. And it’s just one of many steps – small, medium and large – that CHARLEE takes to ensure a kid never ever wakes up screaming. CHARLEE, as you might suspect, is an acronym, and it stands for Children Have All Rights: Legal, Educational, Emotional. The organization was founded 27 years ago right here in Miami-Dade County “as a coordinated effort of the Junior League of Miami, the National Council of Jewish Women and the Episcopal Diocese of Southeast Florida. Word is it’s “based on a concept created by the Menninger Foundation,” who, according to their Wiki page, have “a vision of a better kind of medicine and a better kind of world.” Walking through CHARLEE’S two floor, Downtown headquarters, one gets the impression that the Menningers aren’t the only ones looking toward a better world. From the front desk (which is handled by charming CHARLEE graduate Crystal Jones) to the in-house medical team (headed by Pam Goodman) there’s a small sea of people who see that the future can be in their hands. And if you were to stand on the shoulders of these giants, you too could see for miles.
That doing good view gets compounded when you meet the keen Kedy Augusten, another CHARLEE grad, who divides his time between HQ and Miami-Dade, where he’s learning the tech ropes that’ll keep him in good stead throughout the rest of his life. Augusten, a Haitian-American who’s quick of smile and bright of eyes, is a perfect example of the best kind of adult CHARLEE kids can grow up to be. Then again, he could be a feather in the cap of all humanity. CHARLEE Development Coordinator Amy Pepe, who kindly gave SunPost the tour of the headquarters, estimates that 90% of their kids go on to some kind of continuing education. And it appears that when possible many of those kids find work right there at CHARLEE. That only makes sense when you consider that they know the business first hand. But one doesn’t have to have been a CHARLEE kid to empathize and want to help the children. And everyone from Executive Assistant Leah Houston to Executive Director Suzy Schumer is alit with mission. That sense of altruism is evident at each of CHARLEE’s 165 desks. And it’s especially evident at the desk of Adoptions Recruiter Ronald Mumford, who serves as a kind of community outreach specialist for folks thinking about navigating the waters of adoption. “I go out to various civic organizations and churches and spread the word on the need for adoptive parents,” he says. “And I try to dispel some of the myths involved with adoption. For instance, people think you’ve got to be married or make a certain income or own your own home. You don’t.” That’s not to say there isn’t a strict criterion for adoptive parents to abide by, and, to be sure the screening process is necessarily thorough. Then again would you want our town’s future leaders to have grown up under anything less? Of course you wouldn’t. A similar criterion applies to the 100 licensed foster families that fall under CHARLEE’s domain, each of which get the benefit of the staff’s vast expertise. There’s a five kid limit, for instance, unless a set of siblings are involved, and one of CHARLEE’s 35 case workers visits each home with whatever frequency is needed. But placing the kids is just the big picture stuff; CHARLEE also handles everything from clothing them (the in-house Depot) to granting them the vacation of their lives (at CHARLEE’s Buffalo Cove Outdoor Education Cen-
ter in North Carolina). Then of course there’s counseling, the aforementioned medical (which includes dental and vision), and, for kids 13-17, an Independent Living Program, which prepares them for a life on their own. Naturally none of this is cheap. And while the State does contribute, and folks like Oprah and Rosie have chipped in on occasion, and Grants Manager Christine Sainvil is a whiz of a writer, there’s never a day when more isn’t needed. To that end CHARLEE runs a plethora of fundraising activities, from CHARLEE Chats to the annual CHARLEE and the Chocolate Factory shindig. There are toy drives, and goods drives, and a Donor Relations Specialist named Margaret Perez who’s always on hand for those willing to give. It can’t be easy growing up without one’s biological parents, but CHARLEE has proven that it can turn out for the best. All it takes is a little know-how, a lotta moxie, and a desire to make tomorrow just a little bit better for a child.
ABOUT THE CHILDREN:
To Help: CHARLEE homes for Children needs your help. For cash donations: please go to charleeprogram.org/donate To Foster a child contact: Contact Maria Zuniga in Supported Foster Care Staff at 305-779-9746 or email firstname.lastname@example.org To volunteer: Contact Human Resources to complete Volunteer Application process 305-779-9720 or go online charleeprogram.org CLOCKWISE FROM TOP: 1. LEAH HOUSTON, AMY PEPE, SUZY SCHUMER AND CHRISTINE SAINDIL. 2. RONALD MUMFORD AND AMY PEPE. 3. GINNY HAMMOND. 4. KEDY AUGUSTIN. PHOTOGRAPHY FOR THIS PAGE: MAGICAL PHOTOS/MITCHELL ZACKS
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The images that appear on these pages are part of The Children's Trust Miami Heart Gallery, which is a traveling museum-quality exhibit, featuring portraits of children in Miami-Dade's foster care system who are available for adoption. The Art Deco theme of this year's exhibit is inspired by Miami Beach’s historic Art Deco District where all 44 portraits were photographed. Now in its third year, the exhibit has a more than 50-percent adoption rate. The Children’s Trust Miami Heart Gallery is a partnership between The Children’s Trust and Our Kids, the private agency responsible for foster care and adoption in Miami-Dade County and the Florida Keys. According to the state of Florida, more than 1,500 foster children are eligible for adoption in Florida and approximately 150 of them live in Miami-Dade. These children have been removed from their biological parents for reasons of abuse or neglect with no possibility of family reunification. To Go: Friday, June 8 through Monday, July 5. Launch Reception: June 4th, 6 to 9pm. Historical Museum of Southern Florida, 101 West Flagler St., Miami. For info: www.miamiheartgallery.org To Adopt one of these children: Please call Alejandra Perry from Our Kids at 305.455.2563 or email her at email@example.com
TOP LEFT: LEZZA BY VANESSA LAM. ABOVE: ALEXIS AND DERRICK. FAR ABOVE: ALEXIS BY MARIA LANKINA. FAR LEFT: KASSANDRA BY DEREK COLE.
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Calendar WHAT TO DO IN MIAMI THIS WEEK
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SAVE THE DATE:
THEATRE The Love of Three Oranges The last weekend to see the family-friendly adaptation of The Love of Three Oranges, the 18th century Italian comedy that inspired Prokofiev's opera. Two shows Friday, Saturday and Sunday. $15. Playground Theatre, 9806 NE 2nd Ave, Miami Shores. For info: theplaygroundtheatre.com
MUSIC Rose Max Catch the sounds of Brazilian bombshell Rose Max when she hits Van Dyke this weekend with Ramatis. Hot and soulful Brazilian melodies, electronic rhythms and a mix of bossa nova and samba. 9pm. Van Dyke Cafe, 846 Lincoln Rd; Miami Beach. For info: thevandykecafe.com
SOCIAL Heineken Inspire
SATURDAY, AUGUST 7
CHRISTINA AGUILERA SINGER, SONGWRITER, PERFORMER, PRODUCER, AND PERFORMER — IS THERE ANYTHING CHRISTINA AGUILERA HASN'T DONE? ONE OF THE MOST ACCOMPLISHED PERFORMERS OF THE LAST DECADE, SHE HAS SOLD MORE THAN 25 MILLION ALBUMS WORLDWIDE, ACHIEVED FOUR NUMBER ONE SINGLES ON THE BILLBOARD HOT 100 CHART, AND HAS WON FOUR GRAMMY AWARDS AND A LATIN GRAMMY AWARD, AS WELL AS TWO TOP FIVE ALBUMS IN THE UNITED STATES. SHE HAS COLLABORATED WITH OTHER GREAT ARTISTS INCLUDING HERBIE HANCOCK, ANDREA BOCELLI, SEAN "DIDDY" COMBS AND MOST RECENTLY, THE LEGENDARY TONY BENNETT. SHE WILL PERFORM AT THE CRUZAN AMPHITHEATRE FOR ONE NIGHT ON AUGUST 7. GUEST STAR LEONA LEWIS. CRUZAN AMPHITHEATRE, 601-7 SANSBURY'S WAY, WEST PALM BEACH. FOR INFO: LIVENATION.COM
For two days, Heineken Inspire will take-over the Moore Building in the Design District for a unique, intimate event featuring a high-energy performance by DJ Irie 3pm to 7pm and DJ Chad Hugo, Cold War Kids and The Hold Steady 9pm to 1am. Invitation only. Moore Building, 4040 NE 2nd Ave; Miami. For info: inspire.heineken.com
FESTIVAL Cuba Nostalgia For those of you who love Cuba or anything Cuban, then hit Cuba Nostalgia, a 3-day fest of all things Cuban. A journey back in time for those who remember the island’s glamorous times – and for those who
never experienced them. There will be live Cuban exhibits, artists and vendors, traditional Cuban foods, and music. $6-$12. Fair Expo Center, 10901 Coral Way; Miami. For info: cubanostalgia.org
BOOKS Daniel Okrent Author and former editor of The New York Times Daniel Okrent will discuss and sign his latest book, Last Call: The Rise and Fall of Prohibition, an exploration of the virtues, failures, and politics of Prohibition. $10. Wolfsonian-FIU, 1001 Washington Ave; Miami Beach. For info: 305.535.2644 or wolfsonian.org.
MUSIC Gay Men’s Chorus To honor the City of Miami Beach’s 95th birthday, the Miami Gay Men’s Chorus has brought back Miss Singleton and her School for Sensitive Boys as they sing their way through a nostalgic trip to Miami Beach past, present and future. $15-$30. 8pm. Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd; Miami Beach. For info: miamigaychorus.org
ART Photographs The last few weeks to catch the group show, Photographs at the Daniel Azoulay Gallery featuring the work of Karen Knorr, Daniel Azoulay, Sanchez Brothers and Lynn Goldsmith. Runs through May 29. Daniel Azoulay Gallery, 3301 NE First Ave; Miami. For info: danielazoulaygallery.com or 305.576.1977.
CLUB Kick (b)ASS A new one-nighter from Paris native Emeric Rico and Bar 721. Electro and house with a variety of DJs. No cover. 10pm. Bar 721, 721 N. Lincoln Lane; Miami Beach. For info: bar721.com
SHOP Swap Miami A PAINTING OF CUBA. MEMORABILIA AVAILABLE AT CUBA NOSTALGIA.
Swap Miami is a hip, eco-chic, barter shopping event this Saturday, where you get to swap your gently www.sunpostweekly.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • Page 15
Calendar WHAT TO DO IN MIAMI THIS WEEK
worn and used clothing, accessories, home decor or accent furniture pieces for items in kind. All the left overs are donated to charity. $8-$10. Noon. Cafeina, 297 NW 23rd St; Miami. For info: swapmiami.com
Cuban jazz saxophonist and composer performs live. Jazid, 1342 Washington Ave; Miami Beach. For info: jazid.net
May 26 FILM Vincere
DANCE Alvin Ailey A great way to spend a Saturday evening, before you hit the clubs is at the Arsht watching one of the best modern ballet companies in the US. Alvin Ailey is celebrating 20 years with Artistic Director Judith Jamison. Revelations and more modern masterpieces will be performed. 8pm. $25 - $120. Ziff Ballet Opera House, 1300 Biscayne Blvd Miami. For info: arschtcenter.com
BOOKS Yann Martel From the author of Life of Pi comes Beatrice and Virgil, a sweet tale of a donkey and a howler monkey and the epic journey they undertake together. On the way Yann Martel asks profound questions about life and art, truth and deception, responsibility and complicity. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave; Coral Gables. For info: booksandbooks.com
DANCE Don Quixote In Collaboration with Cia Brasileira de Ballet, the Cuban Classical Ballet performs their original staged version of Don Quixote starring Cuban Principal Dancers Lorena Feijoo and Rolando Sarabia. 5pm. $28-$65. The Filmore Miami Beach, 1700 Washington Ave; Miami Beach. For info: cubanclassicalballet.org
BOOKS Ferdie Pacheco Ferdie Pacheco, doctor, author and painter will read from his newest book Ferdie Pacheco – Tales from the 5th Street Gym. Meet the author and enjoy his tales of Ali and the boxing greats who frequented the gym in the ’60s and ’70s. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave; Coral Gables. For info: booksandbooks.com
MUSIC Jazz at Jazid This Tuesday at Jazid the Felipe Lamoglia Quintet, an AfroPage 16 • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • SunPost Weekly • www.sunpostweekly.com
Catch the last night of the fabulous flick Vincere at the Tower Theatre this Wednesday. A cinematic tour-deforce, Vincere is Italian master Marco Bellocchio’s portrait of Benito Mussolini, and the fiery woman who was his secret wife and the mother of his abandoned child. 9pm. $6. Tower Theatre, 1508 SW 8th St; Miami. For info: mdc.edu/culture/tower
MUSIC Renee Fiallos Real jazz with local jazz singer, Renee Fiallos. Free. 10pm. Tobacco Road, 626 S Miami Ave; Miami. For info: tobaccoroad.com
MUSIC Psychedelic Furs Catch a live performance of '80's rockers, the Psychedelic Furs as they hit the Culture Room this Wednesday. Opening band is She Wants Revenge. 8pm. $19.99. Culture Room, 3045 N Federal Hwy; Fort Lauderdale. For info: cultureroom.net
ART Paul Strand The photography of Paul Strand will be on display in a new exhibition that opens today at the Frost Art Museum. Recognized as one of the great photographers of the twentieth century, Strand believed firmly in the power of art and social documentary. These photographs provide a visual record of his journey through Mexico in the thirties and his brief return visit in 1966. Free. Frost Art Museum, 10975 SW 17th St; Coral Gables. For info: frostartmuseum.org
TOP: THE CUBAN CLASSICAL BALLET. MIDDLE: A PHOTOGRAPH BY PAUL STRAND. BOTTOM: THE HURRIED CHILD, THE SANCHEZ BROTHERS.
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Anne Owen and Alan Roth at Fashion Art Ball 2010 Buzzy Sklar and fiance at Fashion Art Ball
Buster Cox and Hilda at Fashion Art Ball 2010
Eric Milon at Fashion Art Ball
Fashion Art Ball is Hot! By Mary Jo Almeida-Shore firstname.lastname@example.org Photos by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore
Fashion Designer Karelle Levy at Fashion Art Ball 2010
Scott Balson of the Electric Bicycle Store on one of his bikes
Saturday’s Fashion Art Ball (FAB) hosted by Michelle and Tommy Pooch and Alan Roth was the hottest party of the week. Perhaps it was the burlesque show, the gorgeous women’s fashions, or the stylishly dressed and dynamic Legends on the Runway. But more likely, the fact that the air conditioning in the “newly remodeled” Gansevoort Hotel wasn’t working (insert snarky comment here!) added to the sweltering temperature. Whatever the exact reason may have been, it was a “sauna in there.” The shvitzing, energetic crowd, didn’t seem to mind too much, though, keeping cool with abundant cocktails provided by Bombay Sapphire and enjoying a wide variety of delicious bites from terrific eateries including Casale, David’s Café, Grill on the Alley, Ra Sushi, and our favorite, Frank Jeannetti’s, (Executive Chef of Essencia at the Palms Hotel) masterful creations. The mini spa treatments provided by Primp Salon were pretty “cool” as well (enough with the puns already!) and DJ Irie kept the crowd dancing and in good spirits. As we’ve said in the past, we consider the Fashion Art Ball the un-gala- since it’s a ball that’s, well, a ball! Think of it as fancy fundraiser meets frat party. Buster Cox from A3 TV and Deco Drive kept the party going by taking over the microphone to emcee, as Gen Art-winning Krel To Go designer/ Make Me a Supermodel’s, Karelle Levy, presented her signature Day-Glo fashion show. The fashion show was followed by a burlesque show performed on the catwalk, a la Dita Von Teese. After which came the highlight of the night: the Legends on The Runway show, featuring a bevy of South Beach nightlife impresarios and personalities, some of whom included: Tommy Pooch, Beau Beasley, Jonathan Babicka, SIR Michael Dreiling, Tony Gallo, Aric Gasper, Eric Milon, and DJ
Legends on the Runway
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Irie, who showed off some creative dance moves, dubbing him “the Flavor Flave of 2010.” After the guys finished on the runway, it was time for the good old-fashioned fraternity hazing ritual, which has seemingly become a FAB tradition, involving the shaving of Alan Roth’s head. This year, a group of guests got together and donated a whopping $7, 000 for Roth’s locks, and Roth got a free Mohawk, just in time for summer. All in all, it was a great night, which raised $50, 000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. To see a movie of the highlights of the ball, visit: miamisocialholic.com
CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: Grammy award winner Rudy Perez celebrated his birthday alongside Jamie Jo Harris at Cafeina on Thursday. Enrique Marciano, one of the stars from the hit show Without Trace hit the Wynwood hot spot on Friday with an entourage of friends. Actress and Covergirl spokesperson, Dania Ramirez was spotted at different locations in South Florida promoting the Covergirl Clean Makeup for Clean Water Program. Ramirez enjoyed dinner at Mr. Chow on Saturday night. Also dining at Mr. Chow was Benedikt Taschen of TASCHEN Books. Saturday had its fair share of Latin starpower. Daisy Fuentes, Juanes, Jeremias, Luis Fonsi, Victoria Gastaldi, along with Gloria and Emilio Estefan came out to support the Fed Ex/St. Jude’s Hospital Angels and Stars Gala at the Hotel InterContinental. Sean Penn made his rounds in South Beach during his volunteer efforts for earthquake relief in Haiti, making a pit stop at Coco de Ville in Miami Beach on Friday. The newest resident to the grief-
Michelle and Isabella Pooch at Fashion Art Ball
Tamar Burton and friend at Fashion Art Ball
Two girls and a Cupcake
Hardy Hill at Fashion Art Ball 2010
stricken country was overheard saying he was so happy to now have a home in Haiti which allows him to spend even more time assisting in the rebuilding process. Refusing to pose for photos, opting instead to enjoy his single-dom, chat up the ladies and drink a Grey Goose and tonic. Our spy tells us that a blonde with whom he was chatting allegedly left slyly a few minutes after Penn’s departure. The actor was also spotted at WALL at W South Beach on Saturday night. Also spotted at WALL at this past Saturday were Dania Ramirez, Eros Ramazzotti, and Deryck Whibley from Sum 41. Singer, Lucrecia performed on Saturday evening at the Adrienne Arsht Center.
Alan Roth gets a Mohawk
Lovely and Elegant at the Fashion Art Ball
Beau Beasley and Eric Milon
DJ Irie and Stephen Gamson support Fashion Art Ball
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Audience members flocked to the Adrienne Arsht Center for a sultry performance by Cuban songstress Lucrecia
Lucrecia, live in concert at the Adrienne Arsht Center! Arsht Center Photos by Manny Hernandez
Dr. Sanford Ziff attends the Lucrecia concert at the Adrienne Arsht Center
Rudy Perez and birthday cake at Cafeina
Jackie Mailhe & Shazeen Shah at Cafeina's God Save The Queen Party
DJ Emm at Cafeina's God Save The Queen Party
Jamie Jo Harris with Rudy Perez
Gino Campodonico & pop singer Corey Michaels at Cafeina's God Save The Queen Party
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Upcoming Social Events By Mary Jo Almeida-Shore email@example.com
JOIN THE “IN” CROWD The Young Professionals in Arts & Entertainment (Young Pros) Party takes place Friday, May 21 at Club 50 at Hotel Viceroy (485 Brickell Avenue) from 10 p.m. - 3 a.m. In its third installment, the Young Pros welcome managers, agents, music label executives, publicists, journalists, models, advertising agency executives, talent, bookers, casting directors, stylists, photographers, and other industry guests. Maxim model Melanie Tillbrook will host this month’s party, which is co-sponsored by Miami Socialholic™ www.miamisocialholic.com. For more information, contact Allison Seriani at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE MANY FACES OF JOE DERT LIVE AT ROKBAR On Friday, May 21, the Rokbar family invites you to a special night in honor “Mash-up Master,” DJ Joe Dert’s CD Volume 8 “Live at the 56” CD release party. Enjoy music by Joe Dert and live drum performance featuring DJ Affect! The party starts at midnight and goes until 5 a.m. Limited space is available! Table reservations are strongly recommended. Call 305.634.4397 or email: RSVP@Rokbarmiami.com.
SWAP ‘TIL YOU DROP! “Swap Miami,” an eco-chic fashion and furniture swapping event will take place on Saturday, May 22, from 12 to 6 PM at Cafeina in Wynwood (297 Northwest 23rd Street). Marketing and design agencies Super Market Creative and Creative Mafia, together with earth conscious brands including 944 Magazine, Yelp, Plum TV, Soul of Miami, Ecoist, Dream in Green, Portfolio Salon and METRO 1 Properties, will seek to revolutionize shopping in South Florida. Bartering, the oldest form of buying and selling, has been reinvented as the newest shopping craze, known as swapping. Bring your fashionable, clean and gently used clothing, accessories, home décor and furniture accent pieces to trade. Designer furniture retailers and local fashion stylists will be on site to give styling tips, as well as to help appraise items according to “Swap Miami’s” set pricing standards of low, medium and high. Co-founders Sean Drake & Michelle Leshem say “the point of Swap Miami is to finally get rid of that item you have been holding onto for so long and never use. It’s not about the exact valued amount you will get for donating your items. It’s about letting go and in the process, possibly scoring a few fine items. That’s just a small bonus on top of the charity who scores all left over goods at the end of each ‘Swap Miami’ event.” Registration starts at noon on the day of the event, with ticket prices at $10.00. Advance tickets are also available for $8.00 on swapmiami.com, which provides swappers the convenience of express check-in. “Swap Drop” locations for pre-event drops offs (no home décor) can be found in Miami and South Beach at participating swappers like Sweat Records, Elemental Design, Ecoist and Cafeina. For more information on
registration, swapping and to purchase tickets, visit swapmiami.com.
LINCOLN ROAD TURNS 50 AND ARTCENTER HONORS MORRIS LAPIDUS For Morris Lapidus, design is performance. The talented architect who transformed a two-way traffic street named Lincoln Road into the pedestrian mall it is today will be honored at ArtCenter/South Florida with an exhibit dedicated to his life’s work. A Question for Emotion and Motion in Architecture’s opening reception is slated for Saturday, May 22 at 7:00 p.m. at the 800 Lincoln Road Gallery, and coincides with the walkway’s 50th anniversary and ArtCenter’s 25th birthday. Exhibit runs through July 18, and is free and open to the public. Visit artcentersf.org for more information.
JAZZ CONCERT AT ANGELIQUE Angelique Euro Café, your best spot in the Gables for an eclectic blend of neo-classic European favorites from the Mediterranean Riviera with a focus on cuisine from Spain, France, Italy and Belgium ups the cultural ante by partnering with WDNA 88.9 FM Serious Jazz to bring guests another unforgettable jazz concert from some of South Florida’s top performers on Wednesday, May 26, at 7:30pm. Hal Roland and Irasema will entertain with the best in Latin Jazz while patrons have the option of enjoying a special Table D’Hote dinner experience at Angelique Euro Café’s intimate setting or ordering à la carte from their regular menu. This specialized menu includes a choice of Angelique’s signature Moules Frites, Steak Au Poivre, Coq Au Vin or Lobster Ravioli, along with soup or salad and dessert for just $29 per person, not including tax and gratuity. An à la carte menu will also be available. Angelique is located at 117 Miracle Mile. For reservations, call 305.529.9922. angeliqueeurocafe.com. www.sunpostweekly.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • Page 21
Fringe Dwellers By Ruben Rosario (email@example.com) As movie lovers from around the globe gather in Cannes for the festival’s 63rd edition, let us celebrate the desire for human connection that drives two recent releases. Nothing in Iranian director Bahman Ghobadi’s previous work (A Time for Drunken Horses, Turtles Can Fly), which chronicle life in his native rural province of Kurdistan, prepared me for the galvanizing jolt of energy of his newest film. On paper, No One Knows About Persian Cats, which rocks the Miami Beach Cinematheque this weekend, sounds like a social issue treatise, an awards-hungry exposé of young musicians determined to find an outlet to express themselves and defy the Islamic establishment. What we get instead is a rollicking, shot-on-thefly valentine to Tehran’s vibrant underground music scene. At first glance, Negar and Ashkan (Londonbased group Take It Easy Hospital members Negar Shaghaghi and Ashkan Koshanejad essentially play themselves) seem like your typical folksy indie pop duo. Recently out of jail, the soft-spoken partners in music and, Ghobadi discreetly hints, in life, are attempting to put together a band to perform at a London concert. They are assisted in their quixotic quest by Naser (scene-stealer Hamed Behdad), a motormouthed bootlegger who vows to not only to get them passports and visas, but to acquire authentic permits from the Censorship Board to perform legally. It’s a threadbare plot (the film’s title refers to a law requiring cats and dogs to remain indoors), but Ghobadi’s voyeuristic portrait of life in Tehran, which alternates panoramic urban vistas with vérité footage of the city’s bustling streets, is so vivid that I didn’t much care. And let’s not forget the music. Grungy alt-rock, eardrum-shaking metal, and, in the movie’s most memorable sequence, spirited Persian rap, all share ample screen time. Ghobadi, who co-wrote the screenplay with imprisoned Iranian American journalist Roxana Saberi (his real-life fiancée), was inspired by real events, but he never lets No One Knows About Persian Cats overstay its welcome. The film’s upbeat outlook on a bleak situation rocked my world, at least until the jarring – and inevitable – dose of nihilism at the very end, which brought me down from my giddy contact high. Wake up, Ghobadi seems to be saying. When these talented artists play, they carry the soul of the country with them. Thanks to this impassioned, and just plain fun, shout out to freedom of expression, that message is heard loud and clear. Films like No One Knows About Persian Cats represent the tail end of another Cannes cycle (it won a Special Jury Prize at the Un Certain Regard sidebar last year). The cycle begins anew…which leads me to check in with Miami Beach Cinematheque founder and director Dana Keith. The unabashed cinephile
has been scouring the Croisette for quality films and has this say as his first impression of Cannes 2010, which ends this Sunday: “It is exciting to see that the lineup in the main as well as sidebar competitions at Cannes once again has set the tone for what is art rather than what is commercial product. [I]t is not just acclaimed auteurs such as Abbas Kiarostami and Mike Leigh or revered legends like Jean-Luc Godard who are given a chance, but young directors like Xavier Dolan (I Killed My Mother) and new discoveries from Chad and the Ukraine, along with developing ‘new waves’ from South Korea and Romania. Cannes showcases first the films that will be talked about for months or years and will travel on to the festival circuit worldwide.” One festival favorite that fell through the cracks during its blink-and-you-missed-it theatrical release earlier this spring was Oren Moverman’s quietly affecting war-at-home drama The Messenger, which arrives on DVD and Blu-ray this week. When we first see Staff Sergeant Will Montgomery (a superb Ben Foster), he appears to be in a shell-shocked stupor whose sole outlet is thrashing to deafening heavy metal in the middle of the night. The Iraq War hero has just been assigned to assist Captain Tony Stone (Woody Harrelson), a recovering alcoholic whose toxic cynicism masks an empty life outside his profession, as the other half of a Casualty Notification team. Working from a shrewdly incisive Oscar-nominated screenplay he co-wrote with Alessandro Cimon, Mover man handles the awkward interaction between the officers and the relatives of the deceased with a confidence seldom seen in a first-time director. The Messenger, though, is on shakier ground when depicting the complicated relationship between NO ONE KNOWS ABOUT PERSIAN CATS.
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YI DONG, DESIGNER POINTS TO HER HAND-MADE PURSE
Curiouser and Curiouser By Marguerite Gil (firstname.lastname@example.org) Will and just widowed Olivia Patterson (Samantha Morton). Their scenes together don’t ring false, but they lack the verisimilitude of the earlier exchanges. Mover man is fond of monologues, but the ones here (Morton’s in particular) stop the film dead in its tracks; they make the film feel like an actors’ exercise. Despite the film’s shortcomings, though, this is Foster’s showcase. Ever since first having seen him in Barry Levinson’s coming-of-age nostalgia piece Liberty Heights, it’s been a pleasure watching the 29year-old Boston native grow onscreen. Whether he’s playing an evil gunslinger in James Mangold’s 3:10 to Yuma remake or the sexually ambivalent art student in HBO’s Six Feet Under, he rarely fails to make an impression, even though, it must be said, some of the films he’s chosen (Big Trouble, The Punisher) are downright unwatchable. He reaches a previously unseen level of maturity in The Messenger. Using his eyes and the subtlest of expressions, he peels back the layers of his wounded soldier with an understated intensity that recalls the young Sean Penn. Harrelson may have gotten all the nominations, but it’s Foster who gives The Messenger its potency. Keep an eye on this one.
Dear old Alice and her delirious entourage are always a festive and outrageous theme choice for any occasion. Recently, I attended one more Mad Hatter Tea Party that I must admit was deliciously demented. The event took place in the handbag department of Neiman Marcus in Merrick Park, where some of the designer purses on display, were more expensive than my first, brand-new, sunlit gold, supercharged Ford Mustang. But I digress. Any Alice gathering seems to give organizers and participants alike, carte blanche to wear bizarre clothing, funny wigs, outlandish make up and exchange scandalous conversations without any repercussions. How exceedingly curious. ☺ Guests were treated to Eat Me scrumptious hors d’oeuvres and tempting Drink Me signature cocktails. Included in the merriness, was a fun create a purse competition hosted by The Mad Hatter (Scott Russell of Ki Furniture) and Miami’s very own brazen Queen of Hearts…Adora. Much like in Lewis Carroll’s book, Alice and the rest of us, had a blatantly adventurous time, in a regal setting with imaginative characters who became curiouser and curiouser as the evening wore on. When I woke up the following day, I seemed to recall, the Cheshire Cat, purr-fectly whisper the quote “We’re all mad here” then suddenly disappearing. But maybe I was just dreaming. The event, which was actually called Altus in Wonderland, (a play on Ki’s newest Altus chairs), was a benefit for the Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation. More than 15 local architecture firms took the challenge and created masterful handbags for the event. All of the purses will be auctioned off during the Diamond Ball on October 2, 2010. Sponsorship info: 786.624.2038.
THE MAD HATTER (SCOTT RUSSELL) AND DRAG QUEEN DIVA ADORA
DELECTABLE DELICACIES AT WISH
Art for kids’ Sake Two New Books Bring Out the Inner Artist in Every Child By John Hood There’s nothing like a hands-on approach to bring out the inner artist in a child. Whether it’s a house made from Popsicle sticks or monsters crafted from Play-Doh, a kid’s creative impulse is always best-served when she or he is actually digging in and doing it for themselves. Imagine if said kid was digging in and doing it from a more informed perspective. In other words, not just painting a wooden spoon in the mode of fabricist Alexander Girard, but knowing who Girard was in the first place. Or realizing that the colored duct tape bag or wallet the kid’s just created has all the verve of Dane Verner Panton. How about a child’s weaving jewelry ala textilist Anni Albers, making a brown bag poster inspired by expert generalist Alvin Lustig, or designing a pillow after Modernism’s own George Nelson? If this sounds like heady stuff, well, it is and it isn’t. Sure, a lot of these famous names many adults don’t even know. But kids are notoriously supple when it comes to ingesting new information. When they’re given whip-smart and highly-fun projects in which that knowledge is merely a part of the embed, hell, it’s a cinch they’ll pick up just about everything in sight. That’s the bright idea behind Todd Oldham’s Kid Made Modern (Ammo Books $22.95), a fully-functional and robustly informative kids book that might just have your child in line to become the next Gio Ponti. Yep, the Italian wunderkind is included in the Modern collection, as is American lineman Paul Rand, the mobile mad Alexander Calder, and Finnish fabulists Marimekko, (among others), and each is offered replete with an assortment of keen to-do’s. Naturally those 52 to-do’s are best done in the company of a parent or two, but, hey, what better way to bond with your kid? And if you let your rugrat take the lead, who knows? They might just lead you to high design glory. Now, unless you’re child is a veteran of both Art Basel and Design Miami, you may wanna warm them up to the subject a little more casually. If that’s the case then I wholeheartedly recommend Mehar McArthur’s An ABC of What Art Can Be (Getty $17.95), a 40-page, 40-drawing run-through that starts with
Dining in Style at Wish By Marguerite Gil (email@example.com)
“Artist” and ends with the “Zillions” of ways art can be made. The pictures are by Esther Pearl Watson, who’s got a sorta primitivist slant that evokes the great Charley Harper (another Oldham/Ammo monograph everyone would do well to investigate). Done up in rhyme with very good reason, ABC is as easy on the eyes as it is inspiring to the impressionable mind. Both Ammo and Getty are the kinda boutique publishers the world needs more of. That they both happen to be American isn’t beside the point – it is the point. The point being that each is deserving of all of our support. Yes, right now I’m heralding a couple kid-skewed titles. But even if you’re without a young whipper-snapper or two running around the house, there’s plenty of titles on offer from both that’ll make you feel young again too. If, that is, you’re idea of feeling young is being always on the lookout for something new to get you going good.
It’s difficult to imagine a calm patio filled with lush vegetation, a romantic fountain, and a dozen colorful chartreuse and turquoise umbrellas just feet from one of the busiest streets in SoBe, but head over to 801 Collins and you’ll be pleasantly enchanted with a restaurant oasis known as Wish. Located in the very heart of the bustling Deco District, this rare gem is attached to The Hotel in Miami Beach, which offers quiet deluxe rooms, an efficient staff and a variety of interesting amenities for tourists and locals alike. Celebrating almost a dozen years of excellence, awards and consistent rave reviews for their cuisine and service, Wish and Chef Marco invite diners to experience creative fine food in a vibrant botanical atmosphere. Several months ago Jessica Goldman-Srebnick (Goldman Properties), along with some other formidable foodies, launched a nationwide search for the perfect chef. Their quest ended when they encountered Italian-born, French trained Marco Ferraro, formerly with (here’s a name any foodie worth their weight in expertise will recognize) Jean-Georges Vongerichten in NYC. Later Ferraro moved west and became the chef de cuisine at the Mobil four-star restaurant Jack’s La Jolla in California. On a warmish afternoon recently, a friend and I sat down under the tilted umbrellas at Wish to sample Ferraro’s newly created, Mediterranean-influenced menu. Alluring appetizers included a blue cheese watercress salad filled with caramelized figs, candied walnuts and sherry-fig vinaigrette, but I went for the classic gazpacho, created with heirloom whipped tomatoes, king crab meat and avocado chunks. The ingredients were emulsified into a smooth and very tasty soup with yuzu-aioli-basil oil and crowned with toasted croutons. My dining companion tried the poached seafood with tiger shrimp, mussels, cockles (sounds like a song), calamari, white corn polenta and an oregano tomato salsa ($21). It was practically a meal unto itself. Next, we shared the pan-seared foie gras topped with a blackberry compote wasabi, white chocolate and almond crumbs, a gourmet’s wish come true. Entrees are happy and healthy with a penchant for seafood. There are 11 on the menu, including local steamed snapper, pan-seared diver scallops, spiced crusted dorade, misomarinated cod, grilled spiny lobster tail and oven-roasted swordfish. Ferraro delights in surrounding his creations with fresh herbs and spices as well as some unusual ingredients such as maple syrup, kumquat compote or parsley purees. Desserts, priced from $9 to $14, are refreshing, luscious and superbly executed by pastry chef Anastazia Carter. “She and Chef Marco,” said Goldman-Srebnick, “share a similar sensibility when it comes to finding the very best ingredients for their dishes and really embrace detailed technique when it comes to cooking. She brings a wonderful balance to the magical Wish culinary experience.” Carter’s decadent desserts include spiced carrot cake with carrot-ginger puree, candied pecans, raisins and fresh whipped cream, and her guava yuzu cheesecake with cookie crust, almond crumble and macerated star fruits with elderflower-basil syrup, which is amazing. Chef Marco has created a cuisine that concentrates on innovation and natural flavors while highlighting local produce and ultra-fresh seafood. There is also a vast selection of champagnes, sparkling wines and liquors. Wish has received the prestigious AAA four-diamond rating and nine consecutive Mobil four-star awards. The eatery is also consistantly rated in the top five in all major Zagat categories. Details: 305-531-2222 or visit www.wishrestaurant.com. www.sunpostweekly.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • Page 23
Snaps By Jipsy
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Halston Heritage Stars in Sex and the City 2 By Jennifer Fragoso (firstname.lastname@example.org)
Move over Manolo Carrie’s got a new lover. Halston Heritage is all over Sex And The City 2. Earlier this year Sarah Jessica Parker was brought on as president and chief creative officer of Halston’s secondary, and more budget friendly line, Halston Heritage. Photos of Carrie wearing the white deep vneck dress from the line can be seen all over the internet and magazines as well as a vibrant royal blue tiered flapper style frock. Halston Heritage is priced from $325.00-$895.00 for clothing while the handbags range from $195.00$420.00. Quite a change from the aspirational brands like Fendi, Dior and Vivienne Westwood, (remember Carrie’s wedding dress in the first movie?), we have become accustomed to seeing on the fabulous foursome. Now maybe the little people can have a shot of living la vida Carrie without taxing their already limited clothing budgets. If you love the looks of Bianca Jagger and Marisa Berenson from the 1970’s Halston Heritage is your brand. The line stays true to the Halston aesthetic while putting a modern spin on stretch jersey jumpsuits, draped dresses and sequined vests. Halston Heritage can be found locally at Bloomingdale’s in Aventura or Scoop in South Beach. Sex And The City 2 opens next week on May 27th. Grab your girlfriends, load up on some pre-theatre Cosmos, and watch Carrie, Miranda, Samantha, Charlotte and Halston Heritage all on the big screen. Page 26 • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • SunPost Weekly • www.sunpostweekly.com
ABOVE: SHOCKING PINK ASYMMETRIC SILK-SATIN GOWN. FAR LEFT: BRIGHT ORANGE PLISSÉ DOUBLE-LAYER SILK MAXI DRESS. LEFT: SILVER METALLIC SHOULDER BAG.
ABOVE: SARAH JESSICA PARKER IN A SCENE FROM SEX AND THE CITY 2, IN A WHITE DEEP V-NECK DESS FROM HALSON HERITAGE. LEFT: BLACK SEQUINED VEST. RIGHT: PRINT SILK-SATIN PLAYSUIT.
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www.sunpostweekly.com • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, May 20, 2010 • Page 27
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