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The Story Matters

Calendar p.14 Nature Reflected, the art of Helen Webster and Kari Snyder will be on show at the Miami Beach Public Library through September.

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August 12, 2010

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We welcome submissions to Tropical Mayhem. To get your business or item considered for publication, email a hi-res photograph (300dpi) and a description to • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • Page 5


Tantalizing Tryst By Dr. Sonjia Kenya

ARE YOU GOOD IN BED? This question came up when a colleague, Surgery Girl, confessed she was competing with another woman (aka his girlfriend) for the attention of a certain doctor. In her attempt to beat the competition, Surgery Girl (SG) asked me to teach her some bedroom tricks so she could seal the deal with doctor man once and for all. If you can steal a man with a few tricks, he’s probably not worth having. But let’s face it, no one wants to be bad in bed and everyone wants to know if they’re good. Feeling assured about your skills in the sack can enhance self-esteem and confidence; two very sexy traits SG did not possess. She was insecure about her erotic abilities and worried that the competition was genetically predisposed to be better in bed. I asked why she felt this way. “Well she’s Latin, and everyone knows Latins are the best lovers.” Smart people can be so stupid sometimes. Despite her obvious ignorance and need for education beyond the bedroom or operating room, I was feeling collegial and decided to assess SG’s sexual prowess before determining whether I (or anyone on this planet) could help her. Don’t get me wrong. I wasn’t assisting her efforts to woo doctor man. Not only an unrealistic fantasy, but the desire to do so reflected an unhealthy aura which was less than attractive. No, No, this wasn’t the right direction. Instead, I put on my scientist hat and committed to developing a method for SG, and every other Miamian, to measure their level of erogenous expertise. Since this assignment demanded tons of social research in Miami’s sexist settings, I put on my lipstick and stilettos and got to work. The first step of all research involves gathering background information to determine prevalence of the problem. I needed to know if Miamians were worried about their private performances. While mingling with some pretty people at the Miami Art Museum’s young contemporaries cocktail reception, I asked artists, collectors, and their associates, “Are you are good in Bed?” Answer after answer proved that creative personalities in the art scene felt pretty confident about their capacity to cause and capture orgasms. “Yes I’m good,” announced a handsome, lanky, man in his 40’s wearing a t-shirt, slacks and Adidas sneakers. How does he know? “I’ve heard sentences from women with words like, you’re better, the best ever, or that’s never happened before. I also get calls from ex-girlfriends who want nothing more than sex from me.” He described how his decision making process

around sex contributed to the good reviews. “I’ve never really had a bad lover because I just don’t have random sex with strangers. I usually know a person first. Through talking, touching, and spending time, you get a sense about whether you will click when the clothes come off“. As the complimentary cocktails flowed, the conversation continued and a self-proclaimed poet added her insight, “I’ve received lots of feedback that indicates I’m good.” “Really?” asked another lady, who revealed that she didn’t know whether she was good. Motivated by the poet, she added, “I’m going to ask my exs’ about my ability. I’ve never received feedback but it would help to know if I’m good or need to practice.” As the art exhibit evolved into an alcohol-infused exchange about erotic abilities, everyone agreed that post-coital feedback was the most significant, yet least discussed, indicator of sexual skills. To cure the following morning’s hangover, a hearty brunch at Oliver’s in Sobe was required. Along with my humongous egg white omelet, my gay best friend (GBF) insisted we ingest champagne to heal our throbbing brains. Hair of the dog that bit you, right? During the second glass of medicine, our wholesome conversation turned whorish when GBF bragged about his skills under the sheets. “I’m incredible,” he boasted. “I know because they are all sweaty, huffing and puffing, and say things like, ‘wow’!” I asked if good sex have anything to do with the partner. “Oh yes. It definitely depends on the partner too. Like me, a lot of people have attention deficit disorder (ADD) and get bored if the sex isn’t good. I can’t stand when someone just lies there. I want to scream, ‘Get the f%ck up and do something!’” GBF isn’t the only one tired of lazy lovers. Most of the males I spoke to described bad sex as something that occurs with women wary of releasing their wild side. Sex is a participatory sport and no one enjoys intimacy or intercourse with someone who appears apathetic. Get excited or get out! Armed with invigorating caffeine-inspired cocktails, I asked two Miami ladies to meet me at Cafeina in Wynwood to discuss their distaste for doing the deed. “For me, it’s like get it over with as soon as possible and hopefully when I’m drunk,” confessed a female economics expert in her late thirties. Justifying her judgment, she asked, “How could anyone lick and kiss the same place that releases urine? It’s all just kind of gross to me.” Makes you wonder why she’s single, right? My other guest was in her mid-forties and could count her climaxes on one hand. “I have no issues performing fellatio. My problem is that no man has ever paid enough attention to my needs. I’ve never had

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anyone eager to work with me to try to discover what turns me on.“ I asked if she took time to learn about herself and discover specific techniques that may activate an orgasm. “No, “she responded, “But it’s a total turn off when a man wants to have sex with me and knows I’m not into it. I feel like he’s masturbating and doesn’t even care that I’m not getting off. “ Perhaps this explains why no man is having sex (masturbating) with her? Since neither has experienced sexual pleasure, it’s no surprise that these ladies don’t enjoy sex. Both exude the same lackluster attitude towards sex and neither knows how to increase their own sexual satisfaction. Feedback may be most significant indicator of sex skills, but ability to enjoy sex comes in as a close second. If you’re getting good feedback and enjoying yourself, you’re probably pretty astute at pleasuring your partner. Although no multiple choice test will score your sexual skills, quite a few experts claim specific behaviors indicate your coitus capability. Eating habits are clues to your bedroom personality. Do you gobble down your food passionately (yes) or take time to savor every morsel? The first is going to crave actionpacked excitement while the latter is into delayed gratification and pleasing their partner. Do you love to share your food, feeding others with your fork or even fingers? This is a strong signal of emotional generosity and I’ll bet you’re pretty giving when it comes to genital gratification. Are you a super- picky eater that fusses over every ingredient and refuses food unless you approve of every ingredient? Chances are your romantic tactics are similar and you probably avoid experimenting in the bedroom. Speech also indicates your sexual strategy. A person who speaks without rhythm, in short, detached sentences exudes un-coordination in and out of the sack. When someone trips over words frequently, they’re exhibiting self-consciousness and looking for approval. This implies an insecure attitude which won’t play out pleasantly behind closed doors. On the other hand, a person who speaks energetically and passionately will likely transfer that same enthusiasm to their private performances. The way you touch others is an obvious sign of sexual style and the most telling type of touch is found in the kiss. It’s basically an act of penetration that warms you up for the real thing. If the kiss stinks, the sex isn’t going to smell any better. But mastering the art of kissing isn’t everything, as timing plays a crucial role too. Too much too soon or too little too late are sure fire ways to predict how a person will play in bed. Some will scare you off like the guy I met at Townhouse who unsuccessfully attempted to shove his tongue in my mouth before asking my name. This told me he was selfish and probably an inconsiderate lover. Others will go to the opposite extreme like my first male friend in Miami. He took me to dinner several times a week for almost a year before trying to touch me. By the time he revealed his desire to do me, I had met and fallen in love with someone else. Feedback from partners, sexual enjoyment, eating habits, speech patterns, and touching techniques all indicate how you’ll behave in the bedroom. But attitude is more important than all of these qualities combined. The brain is the biggest erogenous zone so open your mind to the idea of mind-blowing sex.

An open attitude involves paying attention and participating with the other person. Sex is a team sport and no one wins when teammates don’t get a chance to score. Paying attention means picking up cues as to what they like. This can be tricky for nonverbal lovers but being good at sex means figuring out how to please your partner. So, consider yourself a detective searching for reactions. You’ll find them if you stay present and have an open attitude about trying new things. Just because your last partner liked getting spanked doesn’t mean your new one will. Screams of passion can land you in a relationship while screams of pain can lead to the slammer. So pay attention and participate! Participation means you are not allowed to just lie there. Even if you’re blind-folded and hand-cuffed, you can still squirm and moan a bit to convey you’re alive. No matter how much of a good girl you are, most guys don’t want sex with a near-dead blow-up doll. So act like a human by hugging, squeezing, licking, kissing, sucking, and moaning. Initiating sex is very participatory. Don’t be scared to jump on top, strip your partner down, and get to work. To make sure your lover’s sexual confidence is intact, it’s also important to discover what you like, and tell them. You wouldn’t have someone guess your favorite food and expect you to eat it even if they guessed wrong. So why let someone guess about your sexual turn-ons? To find out how SG and every other Miamian stacks up in the bedroom, I recommend a self-assessment that considers: 1) feedback from previous partners, 2) level of sexual enjoyment, 3) eating habits, 4)speaking patterns, 5)touching behaviors, and 6) attitudes towards sex. But most important, don’t forget about the fun! Approaching sex with an open mind makes sex more fun, which is just what it should be. Be silly. Laugh and learn. It’s not work, it is sex! Simply paying attention with an open mind can change the way you eat, speak, and touch in the bedroom. These changes can produce more orgasms and healthier, longer relationships. Who’s going to leave a consistent climax creator? Better yet, increasing your orgasms may also keep you young. According to Dr. Oz, achieving more than 200 orgasms annually reduces your physiologic age by six years. Looks like I just turned 18 again!

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Can He Say That?



10 Reasons Why Evil Can’t Co-exist with Good By Charles Branham-Bailey To a war-ravaged, landmine-strewn, impoverished country as Afghanistan – and its downtrodden, war-weary people – kind-hearted do-gooders the world over have, for decades, come to ply their humanitarian trades and offer their labor and skills: Doctors. Dentists. Nurses. Teachers. Social workers. Tom Little, an optometrist from Delmar, New York, was one. He and his wife had been working there for more than 30 years, raising their three daughters in Kabul, and sticking it out through the Soviet invasion of the 1980’s and a civil war of the 90’s, when Afghan warlords rocketed the city. He supervised a host of hospitals and clinics offering eye disease treatment. Dr. Thomas Grams, a dentist from Colorado, was another. He left a lucrative practice behind to go and give poor Afghan, Indian, and Nepalese children free dental care. Dr. Karen Woo relinquished her job at a London clinic to go to work in Afghanistan. Friends say she was planning to leave in a few weeks to marry. Glen Lapp, a nurse from Lancaster, Pennsylvania, had come to the country two years ago for a limited assignment but ended up staying. “The main thing that ex-pats can do,” he recently wrote, “is to be a presence in the country,...treating people with respect and with love.” Cheryl Beckett, a 32-year-old from Knoxville, Tennessee, had spent six years in Afghanistan, which was only the latest tour in a young life that had already seen service in Central America and Africa. Her specialties were nutritional gardening and mother-child health. Tom Little, Dr. Grams, Dr. Woo, Glen Lapp, and Cheryl Beckett will offer their charitable assistance to the Afghan people no more. They were among a group of ten humanitarian volunteers – 6 of them Americans – who were slaughtered by the Taliban last week. Ambushed. Murdered in cold blood. They had just completed a two-week stay in a remote valley in northern Afghanistan, treating the locals for eye diseases and other ailments. Their caravan was pulled over and, according to the The New York Times, “The gunmen marched them into the forest, stood them in a line and shot them one by one.” Mercifully – a word that doesn’t seem apropos when describing anything Taliban – their Afghan driver was left unscathed. He told rescuers he was spared solely because he was a Muslim and had recited Islamic holy verses as he begged for his life. The Taliban unabashedly claimed credit for the deed, accusing the group of being spies and proselytizing Muslims into converting to Christianity. These lies were quickly doused by friends and associates of the murdered: “Their mission was humanitarian, and they went there to help people.” “[Woo’s] motivation was purely humanitarian. She had no religious or political agenda.” “[Grams] knew the laws, he knew the religion. He

respected them. He was not trying to convert anybody. His goal was to provide dental care and help people.” The head of a charity called Kids 4 Afghan Kids that builds schools and wells lamented, “The kids had never seen toothbrushes, and Tom [Grams] brought thousands of them. He trained them how to brush their teeth, and you should’ve seen the way they smiled after they learned to brush their teeth.” “I’ll miss her love for life probably the most,” Woo’s fiancé remarked. “The fact that anybody who met her couldn’t help but smile. The fact that she made people happy. She helped people.” It can’t be overreaching to speculate that these murders will only discourage others from wanting to venture there in the future. Afghans will be the greatest losers. Humanitarian relief may have been the 11th victim among the blood and sand in the woods that day. There is only one way in which to deal with these Taliban shits. You kill them. Kill them till they’re dead, dead, wholly dead, and till every last one of their rat nests is extinguished, too. Our military forces need to be turning captured Taliban – whatever ones that don’t have the good luck to die in combat – over to the Afghan authorities, not to be imprisoned, then eventually let go. Or to have the opportunity at a prison break and escape. No, these vermin need to be caught, tried, and executed. Every. Last. One. Of. Them. This is the only way this boil upon society’s ass can logically, realistically be lanced. For those who blanch at the penalty of death, know this, accept this, wrap your minds around this: Evil of this nature cannot co-exist with peaceaspiring, peace-loving peoples, societies, and nations. There are some among us who are so vile, so contemptuous of life, that they will kill to spread their noxious religious and cultural stupidities. They will blow up cars in crowded marketplaces, ambush innocents – adults and children alike – in their homes and in public places, and kidnap and behead hostages. You don’t negotiate and make peace with these depraved monsters. You don’t rationalize, hand hold, or try to find common ground with them. You don’t attempt to feel their pain. You make them feel pain. You take them out. You remove them from this world. You kill them. Before they kill you. This is the only apparent way we will ever solve the Taliban problem. And as we near the beginning of the tenth year that we’ve been at war against them – ten years – we need to apply this solution. These are not zealots who will soften their extremist, demented views of other people and the world around them. They cannot be pacified, or persuaded toward moderation. Their threat to Afghanistan, and to the world at large, will only dissipate once they are gone. Physically gone.

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Not chased into caves and mountains in some noman’s-land region on the Afghan-Pakistani border -gone. Not allowed to escape and blend in, undetected, among the teeming urban masses in cities like Kandahar or Karachi gone. No. Gone. Not a trace to remain of them and their ugly reign of terror save for web pages, news videos, history books, and the receding memories of their victims. To believe otherwise – to lull ourselves into the notion that these heinous bastards can ever somehow be reformed or rehabilitated – is a fool’s fancy. A deadly one at that. When you find your home invaded by roaches or mice, you don’t cut a deal to give the vermin the kitchen and the pantry while leaving you the rest of your house. You exterminate them entirely. You don’t need some holy scripture, or some religious mantra, to justify executing the Taliban. You need only this: For the sake of permitting men, women, and children who desire to live in peace to do so, you rid that country, that region, and the world of those who are a threat to that peace. The only justification one needs. No god, no Bible, no Koran, no Talmud, no prayer, invocation, or commandment involved. Just the simple principle that those among us who have no compunction about killing others (and who have done so and would continue to do so) must be removed – permanently – from the general population. No exceptions. And you don’t hesitate, procrastinate, equivocate, balk, whimper, or dither. No quivering upper lip, no getting squeamish and turning away, no flinching. You do it and move on. Now we could wait them out till every single one of them dies a slow, natural death from old age (thankfully, for us, the Afghan life expectancy is just 43) and is too feeble to pick up a Kalashnikov rifle, wire a suicide bomb, or toss a grenade. But how many others of their ilk will these vipers spawn in the meantime? How many of their future offspring might take up their fathers’, brothers’, and uncles’ grudges, then take up a gun, then take up a mission to kill? Let’s not wait to find out. Cheryl Beckett’s grieving family said that the group’s attackers “should feel the utter shame and disgust that humanity feels for them.” Right on. But ultimately they should also feel the uncomfortable scratchiness of a nylon rope pulled taut around their necks. Or of sharp, hot bullets from a firing squad slamming into and ripping up their torsos. Such would be the justifiable coda to the nefarious lives of these piss-poor excuses of men. It is the only way that crazy, murderous zealots who claim to have the eye of a god or prophet trained on them – as well his instructions in their hearts – will ever listen to reason. You reason with them by sending them straight to the hell they deserve. Period.



A Special Moment in Time

The Suburbs, Part Six Haulover Beach By Seth H. Bramson ( In the columns of the past several weeks, wherein we have been notating Miami Beach’s suburbs (which we will continue to do and complete in the next few weeks) several of the Sun Post’s readers have asked me about Haulover Beach. Among the excellent questions: What does “Baker’s Haulover” mean? Was there a person named “Baker?” Was today’s Haulover Park always a park? “It looks like there is a paved road east of today’s Collins Avenue. What’s that all about?” “Don’t I remember there being a restaurant there?” And those are all great questions, well worthy of answers, which is what this column is all about. First, it should be noted that the geographic limits of today’s Haulover Park extend from the north end of the Haulover Bridge (the current four lane bridge was built in 1950 and has been rebuilt and strengthened several times since then) to the south end of Sunny Isles Beach, at approximately 156th Street and Collins Avenue. Interestingly enough, that approximately fifty-block long (north to south) and about one-half to fiveeighths of a mile wide (east to west) stretch is physically larger than Indian Creek Village, Surfside, and Bal Harbour Village (individually, not collectively!) and is about the same size as Bay Harbor Islands. Today exclusively the province of a county park, golf course, marina, fishing boat docks and several franchises on county property, Haulover Beach was once part of North Miami and then North Miami Beach. North Miami lost the property because they could not provide services at a time when access to that area east of the Intracoastal Waterway was available only via either Hollywood Boulevard or the 79th Street Causeway. The Sunny Isles Causeway, built by the legendary Harvey Baker Graves, was not usable much of the time due to flooding and water encroachment. North Miami Beach, after becoming a city in 1931, did annex all of today’s Haulover Beach Park and Sunny Isles Beach, but, as with North Miami, NMB, at the height of the Depression, had difficulty providing services to the area. Since the beach and bay-sides south of 156th Street were mostly open land the county stepped in and took the property for use as a park, a move which NMB did not contest and which left that city with the property from 156th Street to Golden Beach. Through various political machinations, however, NMB would lose the remainder of its beachfront property (now the City of Sunny Isles Beach) by 1952. By 1925 the first Haulover Cut bridge was completed, a somewhat rickety wooden crossing of the cut. Interestingly, the original bridge—and its successor crossing—were built almost at ocean’s edge, well east of today’s bridge. The extension of Collins Avenue to the cut had been completed, although, at that time, it was barely wide enough for two cars to pass. But about a block south of the cut the road turned east almost to water’s edge and then turned north to cross the bridge, with the original Sunny Isles Beach Road (the prior name of what would be called Collins Avenue all the way to Golden Beach) being built straight north from there, along the ocean, similar to California’s state highway 101. That road, today used by service vehicles, is still in place. Next week, the remainder of the fascinating story of Haulover Beach, the trailer park, the Lighthouse Restaurant and the opening of the new bridge concurrent with the re-routing of Collins Avenue.

Politics COLUMN

Lord of the Stings By Jeffrey Bradley “This is a unique, one-of-a-kind project and there are no guidelines.” —Jeff Bercow, Attorney Those words, from that source, should have you running for the exit. If they don’t, consider that Custer’s scout told him, “Those are friendly Indians over the hill.” Now, while we seldom cross the causeway (anything west of Mt Sinai makes us nervous), and seldomer still upbraid Miami for political hijinks—tho’ it’s absolutely imperative sometimes to take the County Commission to task—there are limits. Like, why is that city rushing through plans to rear a pair of advertising towers so sneakily over the Adrienne Arst Center? These Twin Toweresque electronic billboards will blatantly blare ads from giant LED screens—hi-tech finials throwing light more piercing than a Fresnel lens—looming some 350 feet overhead of an already 100-foot-high parking garage (that’s 50 as in five-oh stories, Gertrude) to make sure nobody misses the kitsch. Now, you can always tell when Miami’s up to something. You read the papers; but nothing makes any sense. So you’re left with a dull dread, because you know the shoe is about to fall. It’s like being home alone at night and suddenly the cellar door rattles hideously. Just another episode of Miami’s benthic politics, one of those crazy ideas that surface occasionally like weird fish from abyssal depths, right? But there’s more to this billboard than meets the eye. Much more. Sure, it seems like Miami’s pulling a fast one. Add it up—letting a developer hatch, plan and implement his own design with little adjunct help from the city, those behind-the-scenes closed-door negotiations, the hush-hush let’s do it during recess aspect that makes it seem like someone somewhere’s doing something—wasn’t it the Beatles said, one and one and one is three? Crowds are not company, and faces are but portraits in a gallery. There’s cloak-and-daggery afoot. Everybody knows that developer Marc Siffin has a snowball’s chance in the hot place of making this fly. State and federal laws are specific as to the size and place of commercial signs, and these are so literally and legally over the top that DERM and a slew of other alphabet agencies are just itching to pounce like flies on dung before the ink on the permits is dry. Obviously, he hasn’t a clue as to his impending fleecing, but then, if God did not want them sheared he would not have made them sheep. We wonder when he’ll first sense something is wrong? Miami Mayor Regalado justified the rush by explaining that things must be done before addressing the budget crisis. Doesn’t he know that the faster the collision, the bigger the wreck? Even tho’ the city stands to make a killin’, Jack, that’s surely not the answer. In politics, the hangnail of doubt morphs into a sucking chestwound of despair, and when we came to understand that the rules barring a private attorney from handling any public permitting process carte blanche were obviated because—get this—the proposal merits special treatment as the city has no rules, we grew so agitated that we fell to the floor rolling and snapping. In effect, the city wrote a new law to get the towers approved. Deals-within-deals apparently hang on the towers completion: the new parking garage; the long-dormant City Square retail mall that Siffin vowed to get done; even that Miami Herald parking lot worth a cool $200 mil, which the newspaper ironically had “no comment” on. It

means having a huge complex abutting the Boulevard Shops and Performing Arts Center that alters the skyline forever. Still, much could unravel… an independent analysis found the signs apt to throw “offensive glare” in a half-mile radius (Siffin sniffs it wasn’t conducted by a “lighting expert”), the Highway Beautification Act could mean running afoul of state and federal rules, FDOT harrumphs it as excessive, even the FAA is concerned over height restrictions and the hazards to low-flying aircraft… complications, complications! But this is Miami, so the rules may or may not apply. And in art’s yin to clutter’s yang, supporters want the towers deemed “murals,” ala those commercial banners festooning the sides of downtown buildings. They contend the county has often let the city disregard billboard regulations unbeknownstlike. To get a handle on it, remember the name Marc Sarnoff (of theCommissioner-who-is-to-be-Mayor fame). We’re betting there’s more to it than political quid pro quo. In fact, this is political hardball. Compared with the hamhanded tactics of County Commissioner Dorrin Rolle—who hides a large gray animal with tusks behind a bamboo shoot then disingenuously asks, “Elephant? What elephant?”—Sarnoff serves his constituents by masterfully finessing the system. Good Ford! Consider how long it takes to accomplish anything here on the Beach (if you said, “Since the late Cretaceous,” we agree with you): writing the new ordinances, that pesky permitting process, jumping through design review, historical relevancy and public-input hoops—the rigmarole is endless. But under Commissioner Svengali’s, er, Sarnoff’s aegis, the developer was not only suborned into handling all that, his firm’s also charged with cobbling an ordinance that circumvents the messy public-vetting (hey, deals need doing!)—even paying for it. (We’re more quaint this side of the Bay. We pay the developer and pony up a half-million dollars or more when the project invariably comes in overtime, overcost and overrun—then congratulate ourselves on how sly we’ve been. The term, we believe, is the bush leagues. Returning to Commissioner Sarnoff... This all brewed up last May, when City Commission Chairman Marc Sarnoff ostensibly dragged the towers into the limelight by demanding a public presentation. Or is that just the official line? Anyway, things unfolded and questions surfaced. Then more questions. In fact, concern became rife with the not altogether wisely-timed hiring of two of Sarnoff’s staffers by a community agency at some pretty handsome salaries. Charged with addressing “elimination of slum and blighting”, a Community Redevelopment Agency (CRA) is a special taxing district in the city. Except for salaries, property-tax money paid within the district stays there. Most, unfortunately, have an execrable track-record as commissioner slush funds. It was an irksome audit of the late Art Teele’s Overtown CRA that led to that unfortunate’s one-time drama of blowing his brains out all over the lobby of The Herald. What staffers profited? Why, no other than two that worked on the Siffin deal. Apparently, after Commissioner Sarnoff trimmed his budget, these two managed to land on their feet. They still work for the city: one doubled his salary by becoming assistant executive director for the Omni CRA—which <ahem!> Commissioner Sarnoff oversees—and the other, formerly Sarnoff’s communications director, oversees all three CRAs at a very princely sum. Perception takes a dent, too, because the commissioner made a previous run at CRA funding to pay for staffers, who do indeed handle some CRA work, but whose salaries fall far outside permissible use of agency money—and raises the spectre of potential abuse. CRA Executive Director Pieter Bockweg averred no deals had been struck, and the commissioner himself expressed shock; the agency had informed The Herald of the shifts. Still, if we find the self-same staffers who worked intensely on the Twin Towers deal now allocating community funds—in the very heart of the district where the towers will sit—you’ll forgive our skepticism. And with the knowledge that Mr Bockweg spent the last two years working with Sarnoff in crafting the city’s mural ordinance, you don’t need opposable thumbs to conclude that things… are kinda murky. • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • Page 9



PLAYER Help Miami Beach High School Football Team Get New Uniforms Written by John Hood Photography by Mitchell Zacks/Magical Photo


nyone whoâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s driven up Prairie Avenue or across Dade Boulevard over the last few years canâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;t have missed all the construction going

on at Miami Beach Senior High. So continuous and apparent have been the goings-on that it seemed for a time that the facility was under siege, and to some it appeared that it would never end.

las that’s what happens when you undergo a many million dollar overhaul. And despite the omnipresent appearance of construction equipment, none of that tearing down and rebuilding had much effect on the classes, which continued apace throughout the renovations. Now the construction is complete and, after 47 years Beach High has an all new facility. It’s state of the art, up to the minute, and something both students and alumni can be proud of. There’s a new gym, a new weight room, even new lockers. There’s one small thing though: after all the remaking and remodeling and retrofitting, someone forgot about the football team. Like the rest of the school, the team is called the Hi-Tides. And like


owner Stephen M. Ross is also a Beach High alum. And it is Ross who has come through with $82,000 so that his alma mater’s football team can play on a field not filled with potholes. The Dolphins themselves have matched Ross’s grant, and the resulting $164, 000 should be enough to field the team without them spraining an ankle or breaking a leg. Unfortunately that good deed got tied down in bureaucracy, so instead of the planned upon September unveiling of Ross Field, the HiTides will be meeting their opponents at Maurice Gibb Memorial Park. At least until November anyway, which is when the Field is now scheduled to be completed. That’s the good news. The bad news is that though the Hi-Tides will eventually get their new field, they will be playing on it in old uniforms. Yep, you read correctly. Beach High’s football team can’t afford new uniforms. Believe it or not, they haven‘t had new uniforms in five years.

Kali’s a freshman this year, and he took a chance on trying out for the Hi-Tides football team. He not only made it (as Left Tackle), but Head Coach Jimenez thinks Kali’s got enough in him to parlay his talent into a scholarship, if not a career. “This kid’s got it, all right,” Jimenez told SunPost Weekly. “And if he sticks to it, there’s no end to what he can do – on or off the field.” When Kali told his mom that he’d made the team, naturally she was thrilled. When he added that they’d be wearing old uniforms, she was puzzled. Then she got mad. And like all good moms everywhere, she set out to rectify the situation. The result: Beach High’s Adopt-a-Player Program. Yep, beginning this week one can log on to the Miami Beach High website, head over to sports, and be prompted to help out the football team. It’s a novel idea, and it’ll bypass all the budget cuts and bureaucracy that’s keeping the team in tatters. According to Coach Jimenez, tatters doesn’t even begin to describe the condition of his team’s gear. “The uniforms are ripped, missing numbers, and incomplete,” says Jimenez. “It’s almost gotten to the point where we’ve gotta share shoulder pads in the middle of a game.” Of course having a fresh-faced future football star don a ratty old uniform doesn’t do much for a kid’s pride – or their performance.

all high schools, there’s an inherent pride in team activities, particularly in football, which is a fabled tradition at Beach High. The team has fielded many a member that would go on to join the NFL, including Duane Starks (Ravens), Terry Cousin (Bears, Dolphins), Dave Thomas (Cowboys), Chad Ochocinco (Bengals) and Samari Rolle (Oilers). And at least two of them – Starks and Thomas – were Super Bowl Champs. In fact, so prevalent is the sport that in 2007 Beach High was one of only 16 schools in the entire country to have four of its alumni on NFL rosters (only four teams had 5 or 6). Perhaps even more impressive is that Miami Dolphins majority

That means little Johnny is wearing the very same duds big Johnny wore when he was on the team back in the middle of the decade. And having to wear hand-me-downs is the positive part of the story. See, while some members might have to wear another man’s old, smelly uniform; others don’t have any uniform at all. And when they do, it’s generally incomplete. That brings us to Donna Hughes. Hughes, a familiar face in Miami nightlife, has a son named Kali.

Have you ever tried swaggering in hand-me-downs? It doesn’t work. And for the football team to feel as if they’re a part of the newly-renovated school, they’d like a little love too. “The entire school is new,” says Assistant Coach Schmidt, who’s been at Beach High for 13 years. “And soon there will even be a new field. It’s a shame these kids have to put on old clothes to play.” Or, as mom Donna Hughes might say: “Not on my watch.”

Page 12 • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • SunPost Weekly •

In the larger scheme of things, a football team’s uniforms might seem rather trifle. But remember, these are kids we’re talking about; if not yours, then your neighbor’s. And they deserve to walk with their heads held high. Besides, it’s football. An all-American team sport that teaches camaraderie, builds strength and gives these kids a chance to shine. Do we really want our kids looking like they’ve been left behind before they even got started? To donate to Miami Beach High Football Team log on to or for the appropriate links. • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • Page 13



Page 14 • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • SunPost Weekly •


August 12 BOOKS Algonquin Night Algonquin Publishing's Craig Popelars brings a night of authors, books, wine and beer to Books & Books. The fun begins at 7pm with a blind wine tasting and then novelist Brock Clarke will read from his new novel, Exley. Free. Also on in the Cafe is a three-course Guided Wine Tasting Dinner with Chef Allen Susser and wine experts Robin Goldstein & Alexis Herschkowitsch. 6pm. $58 a person. Books & Books, Coral Gables, 265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables. For info: or 305-448-9599.

August 12 FILM Saturday Night Fever The Flickin’ Summer movie series has featured some of the most classic dance movies of the eighties. Then, followed by an outrageous onstage dance party with DJ Pauer spinning retro classics. This year’s Flickin’ Summer lineup continues with Saturday Night Fever starring John Travolta as Tony Manero. Happy hour starts at 6pm. with reduced drink prices. Dance party follows immediately following each flick. $10. For info 305-372-0925 or



August 12 COMEDY Paul Mooney Paul Mooney has been performing stand up comedy for years and is best known for his work on the Chapelle Show. He hits town this weekend for a one night performance. 8:30pm. $17. Miami Improv. 3390 Mary St, #182; Coconut Grove.

August 14 SPORT Dolphins vs Bucs

August 13

It's football season! And time for the annual Dolphins and Bucks preseason pounding. Time for both Florida teams to strut their stuff for Miami fans. Let's hope at least one makes the playoffs this year. Sigh! $45. 7pm. Sun Life Stadium, 2267 Dan Marino Blvd;, Miami Gardens. For info:

FILM Brazilian Film Fest

August 14

The 14th edition of the Brazilian Film Festival of Miami takes place from the 13th to the 21st of August. Short and feature films competing for the Cristal Lens Award. Opening night films are Sildenafil and Therapy. Cinema Paradiso in Fort Lauderdale will screen recent films that have earned both public and critical acclaim, in addition to the tribute screening. Free. 9pm. Colony Theatre, 1040 Lincoln Rd, Miami Beach. For info:

ART The It Click The always fabulous Butter Gallery is showing two photographic exhibits based on street culture. The It Click Exhibit features photographers, Rudy Duboue, Frankie Galland, Jake Katel, Charis Kirchheimer, Diana Larrea and Pamela Wasabi. The Tenderloin Project is the work of San Francisco photographer Sean Desmond who photographed the street people of the Tenderloin District. Through August 31. Free. 7pm. Butter Gallery, 2303 NW 2nd Ave; Miami. For info:

August 14 MUSIC Brad Paisley H2O World Tour will hit Miami this weekend. Darius Rucker and Justin Moore will open. Tour will include a music stage featuring new stars Easton Corbin, Steel Magnolia and Josh Thompson. Cruzan Amphitheatre, West Palm Beach. For info

August 15 ART Sexual War politics Intriguing and provocative, attacking wars in the Middle East, Africa and other countries. The seductive artwork of Miami artist Rosemarie Romero is currently on show at the World Erotic Art Museum. In Sexual LEFT: TENDERLOIN PROJECT BY SEAN DESMOND AT BUTTER GALLERY • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • Page 15



money, sex, and drugs were the keys to the portal to divine understanding. 8pm. Free. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave, Coral Gables. For info:

War Politics, Romero attacks global conflicts through her deconstruction and personal criticism of pop culture and politics which inhabit the lives of those who live in the 21st century. $15. 6pm. Through August 31. World Erotic Art museum, 1205 Washington Ave, Miami Beach. For info: 305.535.9336 or

August 18 ART Nature Reflected

August 15

The exhibition and installation features individual and collaborative artwork by Miami based artists Helen Webster and Kari Snyder. Both share a common fascination with Florida birds, plants, architecture, and domestic environments. The artists combined Webster’s paintings with Snyder’s printmaking to create a fresh series of works on linen, in addition to their individual work on paper, and wood panel. Through September 29. Miami Beach Regional Library, 227 22nd Street, Miami Beach. For info: 305-535-4219 or

FILM Hiroshima Mon Amour Hiroshima mon amour is a drama directed by French film director Alain Resnais in 1954. It is the documentation of an intensely personal conversation between a French-Japanese couple about memory and forgetfulness. It was a major catalyst for the Nouvelle Vague. 8pm. $10. Screened at the Miami Beach Cinematheque at the Raleigh Hotel, 1775 Collins Ave, Miami Beach. For info:

August 18 BOOKS Seth Bramson

August 16 POLITICS Rally for Meek President Bill Clinton hits town to rally for Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, Kendrick Meek. Sounds like a good time. 8:30pm. Free. Gusman Center, 174 E. Flagler Street, Miami. For info: 305-374-2444 or

August 17 STYLE Surf the Webster Last few weeks to hang ten at the Webster and their fabulous salute to all things surf. The ground floor of the shop has been turned into Surf the Webster, a curated Pop-Up shop by Timothee Verrecchia inside the Webster debuting hand-chosen pieces from exclusive surf inspired gear, ready-to-wear, accessories, art, and boards from Daniel Fuller, Lisa Marie Fernandez, Tori Praver, Saturdays, Basta, Sundeck, Ted Shred, Orlebar, Feal Mor, and much more. A portion of the proceeds benefit the Surfrider Foundation. Through August 31. The Webster, 1220 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach. For info:

August 17 BOOKS Michael Largo Meet and greet author Michael Largo as he reads from his new book God's Lunatics. Largo, chronicles history's vast and colorful cast of true believers--from the hidden side of the Bible's eccentric characters to today's street-corner doomsayers, and from extraterrestrial communicators, levitating hermits, and flagellating ascetics to self-serving preachers of overindulgence who believed Page 16 • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • SunPost Weekly •

SunPost columnist and author Seth Bramson has written another history of South Florida, this one entitled Hallandale Beach Florida. Seth will read from his latest book and sign copies this Wednesday evening at 7:30pm. Books and Books in Bal Harbour. 9700 Collins Ave. Bal Harbour. For info: ABOVE: ROSEMARIE ROMERO, LYSISTRATA. LEFT: THE WEBSTER. BELOW: HALLANDALE BEACH FLORIDA SETH BRAMSON’S NEW TOME.

FOR KIDS Wednesday, August 18 Diary of a Wimpy Kid Ice Cream Truck I SCREAM. YOU SCREAM. WE ALL SCREAM FOR THE DIARY OF A WIMPY



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Top of the Pops By Ruben Rosario (

Admit it. We’ve all gone easy on movies we have no business liking in the first place. Comic book adaptations immediately spring to mind. More often than not, I wind up having to reconcile the professional reviewer side of me with my more forgiving inner fanboy, and this results in enjoyably trashy fare like Catwoman and Daredevil getting a pass from me. (Let’s keep that last part between us, shall we?) But when a film as special as Scott Pilgrim vs. the World comes along, there’s no need to start an argument between my moviegoing selves. This cheeky, playfully inventive hodgepodge of Gen-Y romance and super-powered shenanigans is the real deal, the kind of inspired pop culture artifact that’s bound to yield countless imitators. It’s lodged itself in my mind and refuses to leave. In bringing Bryan Lee O’Malley’s manga-in-


spired graphic novels to cinematic life, director/co-screenwriter Edgar Wright has succeeded in transposing the language of comics from page to screen. Other films have attempted to pull off the same feat before, most notably Ang Lee’s flawed but intriguingly oddball The Hulk, but whereas other filmmakers limit themselves to impose comic book panel imagery so it becomes visible to the viewer, Wright goes one step further. Sure, he occasionally changes aspect ratios and divides the screen into panels, but for the most part, the English filmmaker views the entire screen

as the panel, and then edits the film in a way that adopts the ebb and flow of sequential art. The story is simplicity itself. The title character, played by Michael Cera, is a struggling 22-yearold Toronto-bred bass guitarist for grungy local band Sex Bob-Omb who is dating clingy Chinese high schooler Knives Chau while insisting he’s gotten over his ex…even though the traumatic breakup has prevented him from getting a professional haircut ever since it happened (thus the shaggy ‘do). His gossipy sister (Up in the Air’s Anna Kendrick), sassy gay roommate (Kieran Culkin, deftly sidestepping stereotype), and bandmates put up with the whining, but when Scott sees recent U.S. transplant Ramona Flowers (Death Proof’s Mary Elizabeth Winstead) at a party, the world stops. The ensuing courtship echoes Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind in its lived-in dynamics, only here magentacolored hearts flutter out of the lovers’ lips when they kiss. And then, Ramona’s baggage rears its unwelcome head…in the form of her “seven evil exes”…whom Scott must fight in order to win her heart. Sound absurd? The film’s trippy logic, combined with the actors’ crack comic timing, makes it a hoot and half to just go with it. It’s at this point that Wright, who made the funniest zombie movie ever (Shaun of the Dead) and gleefully dissected the action genre (Hot Fuzz), adds another layer to the film’s visual vocabulary: He appropriates the hyperkinetic lexicon of video games, which gives the film’s fight sequences the addictive thrill of a hopped-up Street Fighter or Tekken match. (When Scott fights Evil Ex #3, a vapid vegan played by Brandon Routh, he literally punches the highlights out of the ex’s hair.) It would be all for naught if Wright didn’t ground the pyrotechnics in recognizable human behavior, and that’s the key to the film’s success. Cera, American cinema’s reigning prince of lovestruck befuddlement, is not

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afraid to portray his character in an unflattering light or, as his roommate puts it, “a total lady killer wannabe jerky jerk.” He turns Scott Pilgrim vs. the World into a feast for the senses with a lovely ache in the middle. The high-wire act Wright and his creative team sustain for nearly two hours deserves the highest of compliments: They make movies feel new again. Which is not to say there isn’t a place for defiantly old-school middlebrow entertainment in this weekend’s crowded movie lineup. In the Prohibition era charmer Get Low, Robert Duvall plays Felix Bush, a cantankerous hermit whose infamy extends across four Tennessee counties and at least three generations. He’s made up his mind that it’s time to go, so he visits funeral director Frank Quinn (Bill Murray) and his assistant (Sling Blade’s Lucas Black) to arrange a “funeral party”…while he’s still alive. “He was like this big old cave that went deeper and deeper,” says Mattie Darrow (Sissy Spacek), the widow who used to date Bush before he dropped out of sight. Bush is haunted by an Unspeakable Act he committed forty years before, the one that made him go into self-imposed exile, and it’s too bad so much of the film revolves around the mystery surrounding that incident (seen briefly in flashback), because when the big secret is revealed, it’s pretty much what you’d expect. GET LOW There are, nevertheless, plenty of low-key pleasures to be had when director Aaron Schneider, who won a 2004 Oscar for his live-action short Two Soldiers, simply lets the old pros go at each other. Murray, in particular, hams it up as a 1930s variation of the ambulance-chasing lawyer he

played in Wild Things. I kept wishing Schneider would embrace his protagonist’s curmudgeonly spirit, but Get Low is tasteful to a fault, too slick by half, and pretty easy to digest. If you can only see one movie this weekend, I say Metropolis. I would have liked to see the look on Buenos Aires film curator Fernando Peña’s face when, after decades of searching, he discovered a 16mm dupe negative of Fritz Lang’s masterpiece that included 25 minutes of footage that had not been seen publicly since the film’s 1927 Berlin debut. Up until the time I saw this version earlier this spring at the Miami Beach Cinematheque, dubbed The Complete Metropolis for this special reissue, I had only seen bits and pieces of this influential tale of a dystopian society, an idealistic leader, a mad scientist, and a devious female android. I am very glad I waited this long to take in the full measure of Lang’s arresting vision, one in which science fiction is only one of many elements it encompasses. It’s a richly satisfying experience. The Complete Metropolis screens this weekend only at the Bill Cosford Cinema; for more information go to Get Low is now showing at Regal South Beach Cinemas and at AMC Aventura 24; for more information go to Scott Pilgrim vs. the World is currently in wide release. I can’t wait to see it again.

Music Goo Goo Dolls: Back in Focus By Alan Sculley

Johnny Rzeznik, singer/guitarist in the Goo Goo Dolls, is no songwriting neophyte. He’s been the band’s chief songwriter throughout its two-decade history, and he’s written or co-written an enviable number of hit songs, with tunes like Iris, Slide and Name among his dozen top 10 adult top 40 hits. But over the course of writing and recording the ninth Goo Goo Dolls studio CD, Rzeznik said he found he still can learn about the art of songwriting, particularly in terms of learning how to deal with the times when ideas aren’t flowing. “I think that’s the biggest lesson that I learned in writing this record,” Rzeznik said in a late March phone interview. “It’s really frustrating. It’s kind of scary looking at the blank page. You look at the blank page and say ‘Oh God, what am I going to say?’ How am I going to say it in a coherent way?’ Sometimes that causes me a bit of anxiety.” Several people have had helpful advice for him, Rzeznik said, including Lamont Dozier, the legendary songwriter for Motown Records. “I said to him ‘You’ve written so many songs, and you’re so incredibly talented. It’s like you’re just able to tap into this place inside yourself so easily,’” Rzeznik said, recalling a conversation he had with Dozier. “He’s like, ‘Well, I sit down and I work a lot.’ He goes, ‘When I get frustrated or something’s not coming, I go take a walk. Then I come back and 15 minutes later, it’s like boom.’” But perhaps the songwriter who most directly helped Rzeznik grow during the writing of the new CD, which is called Something For The Rest Of Us, was Andy Stochansky. “(He’s) an amazing songwriter, and I actually produced an album for him about seven years ago,” Rzeznik said. “It’s always a learning process with Andy, because he’s kind of prolific,” the singer/guitarist said. “It’s like I’ll write 20 songs in a year, and he’ll write 100. I’m always astounded by people who can do that. He’s just so comfortable with going to the well and diving in.” Rzeznik, obviously, got more comfortable with the idea of working through times when ideas are not coming easily and respecting that it’s part of the creative process. But it’s also clear that he had some specific inspiration for some of the songs on Something For The Rest Of Us. While he’s usually written about love and relationships, on the new CD, Rzeznik said he found himself exploring a more topical direction in his lyric writing. “It’s not like a concept album, because I hate that term, but a lot of the subject matter on the album is kind of addressing what people seem to be going through in a very angst-ridden time in America,” he said. “I’m kind of trying to speak to people who are going through pretty intense times right now. Rzeznik said some of the lyrics were inspired by notes he had received from fans, some of which were surprisingly personal and candid. “I don’t know why they want to tell me these things, but there’s a lot of separation anxiety with a lot of people who have loved ones who are off fighting two different wars right now, and people losing their jobs and feeling very insecure about that and losing their homes,” he said. “I just wanted to, I don’t know, man, just kind of try to give them some kind of hope or something.” One song in particular, Not Broken, grew from a letter Rzeznik received from the wife of a returning soldier, who had been paralyzed and had avoided coming home to his wife. “He was afraid she was going to see him differently,” Rzeznik said. “And she just wants him to know that she still loves him and still wants him. And he’s having a hard time ad-

justing to that, so he’s kind of hiding out in a hospital. The story really kind of touched me, and I kind of wanted to write a love letter for her to him, and let him know that it was OK to come home.” The writing and recording of Something For The Rest Of Us was not particularly quick or seamless. Work on the album stretched out over about two years. The group (Rzeznik, bassist Robby Takac, drummer Mike Malinin) produced much of the CD itself, with Tim Palmer, Rob Cavallo and Butch Vig, also doing some production. In fact, Something For The Rest Of Us was originally going to be released this past fall. But Rzeznik said the group backed off of that plan after realizing there was room for improvement on the CD. “We had the album in our hands, and we listened to it and we were like ‘Wow, this is really good,’” he said. “Then we had Paul (Hager, who for several years has mixed the Goo Goo Dolls sound at concerts) come in and mix a couple of songs, and it was just, it just exploded out of the speakers. It was like ‘Wow, this is so much better.’ Then we started playing the songs in rehearsals as a band, as a five-piece, and they started evolving even more. We were like ‘We need to go back and re-do this.’ It is so much better now. We were afforded the luxury to go back and really dig deeper and come out with something that was much better than the original first draft, in a way.” Not only does Rzeznik feel good about how Something For The Rest Of Us eventually turned out, he feels better about where the Goo Goo Dolls stand as a band now than he did a few years ago. Leading up to the 2006 CD, Let Love In, Rzeznik voiced some uncertainty about how much of a future the group would have, even contemplating the idea that Let Love In could be the last Goo Goo Dolls album. But in doing that previous CD, he, Takac and Malinin smoothed out some issues and started working better together as a band. Today, Rzeznik said the group members are in a good place and excited to be starting what probably will be a two-year touring cycle behind Something For The Rest Of Us. “It’s nice because everything feels really comfortable,” Rzeznik said. “The band is at a point, we’re one of the few bands lucky enough to be able to go out and earn a living playing live. And that’s a really comforting feeling because you don’t have to worry so much about chasing hits. Let’s face it, selling records is really hard now. It’s nice that we can go out and get our music out to people and they come out to see us. “And in the space between (the 2002 CD) Gutterflower and Let Love In, we sort of lost focus on that because we were trying to pound so hard to be successful and do all of that,” he said. “We kind of lost our focus at certain points. It’s nice to have that back…Now we just sort of feel a bit more comfortable in our own skin and sharing our space together.” The Goo Goo Dolls will debut some songs from Something For The Rest Of Us on tour this spring, and Rzeznik said he remains excited about touring, especially after working so long on a CD. “It’s like I kind of feel like a dog that’s been stuck in the house for a long time and wants to go outside and run around,” he said. • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • Page 19

The 411

Belkys Nerey and Jason Clarke at Nick D'Annunzio's Birthday Party at La Fee Verte

Bill Kearney, Tara Solomon, Nick D'Annunzio and Tara Gilani at Nick’s birthday party at La Fe Verte


Burlesque and Bubbly By Mary Jo Almeida-Shore Photos by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore

Danny and Merle Weiss with their granddaughter at La Fee Verte

Yannick Henriette, Brigitte Grosjean and friends at La Fee Verte

Mary Jo Shore and Mario Vergel at Nick’s Birthday Party at La Fee Verte

One event to which we look forward every summer is TARA, Ink. Principal, Nick D’Annunzio’s birthday party. Some locals even plan their summer travels around the celebration, which promises a fabulous themeand even better crowd, year after year. This year’s party, which took place last Saturday night, was no exception, with a “vintage tease/burlesque” theme at Miami’s first and only exclusive tease burlesque absinthe club, La Fee Verte. Miami’s who’s who, dressed in their haute-est couture, enjoyed V Georgio Vodka cocktails, hors d’oeuvres courtesy of French Bistro Lemon Twist and delectable treats courtesy of Sweet Street and Ana Paz Cakes, who created a cake in the shape of a corset, in keeping with the theme. The burlesque numbers were unmatched, including contortionist acts and a ballet performance-leading to comments by partygoers such as, “If I could do that, I’d be a very wealthy woman,” and “Who needs college, when you can do THAT!?” (from one of the younger attendees). Guests delighted in a surprise performance by temptress Nicole Soden of the club’s tantalizing Madames du Mischief and danced the night away to the beats of South Florida’s latest stylish DJ duo Ess & Emm (Sasha Lauzon and Michelle Leshem). But the highlight of the evening was the seductive birthday surprise, in which a dancer, clad in black feathers, serenaded Nick with Marilyn Monroe’s infamous, “Happy Birthday Mr. President.” Nick’s partner, in business and in life, Tara Solomon, remarked, “Nick has had some fun birthday themes in the past, but I think this one was my favorite yet. Love La Fee Verte — the space is so clandestine, so Miss Havisham — and the burlesque performances were amazing; sexy yet tasteful. As a pole dancing school dropout, I’m awed by their talent! The birthday boy had the time of his life, and, at the end of the night, that’s what counts.” In lieu of gifts, Nick requested that party goers consider making a do-

Page 20 • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • SunPost Weekly •

nation to his charity of choice, Susan G. Komen Foundation in honor of his late mother Gail Paglia. Nick shared the following, “Wow, I had such a good time. I wanted to have some sense of theatrics and La Fee Verte was the perfect solution. The tease burlesque was amazing. The past six weeks have been so hellish with the passing of my mother, it was wonderful be back in Miami with my friends and honor her. I thought a party in her honor was much better than a Mass. She was the consummate hostess and I am my mother’s son.” Close friends sharing Gail, Nick and Tara’s joie de vivre: Belkys Nerey, Carlos Betancourt, Michael Capponi, Laura Buccellati, Red Carter, Merle and Danny Weiss and their granddaughter, Blair Telepman; Frank Amadeo, Gingi Beltran, Mario Vergel, Lydia Martin, Elizabeth Schwartz, Jamie Jo Harris, Hello Campos, Pierluigi Gazzolo, Jose Ortiz, Mario Cader-Frech, Robert Wennett, Dana and Gary Shear, Keith Paciello, Raphael and Alyssa Reboh, Paul Wilmot, James Brown (from Original Penguin), Leonardo Davalos, Pedro Maal, Michael Valdes, Rob Brown, Malinka Max, Michael Kirkland, Marnie Howard, Tara Gilani, James Cubby, Brigitte Grosjean, Yannick and Hadley Henriette, to name a few. Sidebar: Tara looked ravishing in a 1960s leopard maillot swimsuit embellished with black cord fringe, black fishnets, a top hat and operalength black gloves, and carried a riding crop as an accessory. Her ensemble was actually pulled from her closet, and dated back to her “circus years” in Miami Beach, circa early 1990s, when she hosted a Karaoke night and other club gigs. Talk about the quintessential “Queen of the Night!”

ICED, ICED BUBBLY Earlier on Saturday evening, a group of local socialites, including: Su-

Johnny the Boy and friend at La Fee Verte

Gingi Beltran, Frank Amadeo and friend at La Fee Verte

sanne Birbragher, Laura Buccellati, Lizzy Dascal, Jilian Sanz, Dana Shear and Aaron Resnick got together to host the launch of Moet & Chandon Ice Imperial at Nikki Beach. And while the stuff is quite heavenly straight up, Ice Imperial is blended to be served on ice - perfectly refreshing for the late afternoon heat. Adam and Vivianne Kurzweil, Faye Bochner, Jennifer Sybers, Anne Owen, Suzy Buckley, John Wu, Jillian Jacobson Altit, Lizzy Dascal, Laura Buccellati, Matt Heien, Chad Frabikant, Ana Maria Bauer and several other tastemakers enjoyed the sunset and this official un-corking while dancing to the sounds of DJ Irie. Imperial was an apt description for both the drink and the setting: Moet ice buckets, matching white acrylic stemware and monogrammed towels were set throughout the space (some guests were overheard complaining about their lack of success at sneaking out with the towels and the cups). As the sun went down, a seemingly endless parade of Moet girls-clad in white maillots, with bottles topped with sparklers hoisted over their heads, spanned the beach club, taking an already festive evening to a whole new level. According to Jilian Sanz, Haute Living’s newly appointed National Fashion Director, “When you marry the powers that lie between Moet & Chandon, and Haute Living magazine there’s really very little margin for error. Take that and couple it with the fact that I was in the great company of a host committee that few can rival and you have a great idea of what the day was like. Not to mention, the fantastic people who planned this fete had the good sense to go with Haute Living’s official DJ, Irie—so the perfect day was carried by the perfect set of sounds.”

Pedro Maal and Leonardo Davalos at Nick's Birthday Party

The door princess at La Fee Verte

Red Carter, Tara Solomon and Nick D'Annunzio

Michael Valdes, Malinka Max, Jose Ortiz and Nick D'Annunzio

Gingi Beltran, Elizabeth Schwartz, Lydia Martin at Nick D'Annunzio's Birthday Party

Nick D'Annunzio, Tara Solomon and the TARA Ink team at La Fee Verte

Ricardo Britto, Marco Marquez, Marnie Howard and Michael Kirkland

Tara Solomon and Alvaro Cuadrado at La Fee Verte

CELEBRITY SIGHTINGS: While house hunting on Friday, Chris Bosh spoiled his girlfriend, Adrienne Williams with a day of pampering and beauty at Femme Coiffure Hair Spa in the Ritz-Carlton on South Beach. Onlookers say Adrienne and her sister received the works – over $2800 worth of treatments ranging from changing their hair to a blonde and chestnut brown contrast, deep conditioning and a $500 haircut from owner and master stylist Raphael Reboh. Scarpetta’s Top Chef, Scott Conant, was spotted dining at The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar on Friday night. Chef Dewey LoSasso prepared different dishes for Conant to sample, including a specialty pasta dish that got rave reviews from the Food Network star. • SunPost Weekly • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • Page 21


Photography by: Ninh Chau

Usher welcoming guests to the World Leadership Awards Photo: Cassie Wright

World Leadership Awards in Atlanta Also on Friday, Miami-based Grey Goose Vodka sponsored the first World Leadership Awards in Atlanta hosted by Usher and his New Look Foundation. Grammy Award winner, Ciara and pop sensation, Justin Bieber entertained guests with exclusive performances as VIP guests, including former President, Bill Clinton, sipped Grey Goose Vodka cocktails and enjoyed a special evening honoring key individuals and organizations for their recognition of youth as leaders. Usher, former President Bill Clinton and Ciara. Photo: Cassie Wright

Robert Epstein of Bacardi, Joe Johnson of the Atlanta Hawks in the Grey Goose VIP Lounge

Jermaine Dupri and Shaniah Mauldin

Ciara and young friend

Jonnetta Patton (Usher's mother)

Page 22 • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • SunPost Weekly •

Justin Bieber accepting the Global Youth Leader Award

Mary Carillo and Jeanne Ashe

Honoree J.Y. Park in the Grey Goose VIP Lounge

Akbar Hamid and Ciara

Nadji Jeter and Lil Twist

Professional U.S. Golfer Michelle Wie

starting at $60 for Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce members and $75 for guests, with sponsorship opportunities starting at $700. For more information or to RSVP, call Valerie Rasken at 305-695-6833 or




Oil, Oysters, Art and Gold By Maryanne Salvat

HELP WITH THE OIL SPILL AT JB JB Kitchen & Bar (1250 South Miami Avenue) will host the Oil Spill Relief Happy Hour alongside the accredited National Wildlife Federation (NWF) and a team of young professionals, invites South Florida residents to a charitable happy hour event on Thursday, August 12 from to 9 p.m., featuring music by popular local fixture DJ Ethics. JB Kitchen & Bar will donate a percentage of the proceeds from drink sales and a select menu of appetizers towards funding the rehabilitation of wildlife and the environmental cleanup of the affected area. There will be additional donation opportunities at the venue, as well as information on how to further get involved with the NWF. For more information or to make reservations call 305.415.0071 or visit

CELEBS AT CITY OYSTER & SUSHI BAR On Thursday, August 12, head to City Oyster & Sushi Bar (213 Atlantic Avenue in Delray Beach), where celebrities including Olympic Medalist Dara Torres, LPGA Golfer Kurt Bagwell and local philanthropists will tend bar and serve guests their favorite cocktails at a fundraiser for Palm Beach County JDRF Ride to Cure cyclists â&#x20AC;&#x201C; who will cycle 72 miles around Lake Tahoe in September to raise money for Type I Diabetes research. Complimentary hors dâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; oeuvres will be provided by City Oyster & Sushi Bar and all tips will be donated to JDRF. There will also be a raffle with great prizes. The fun starts at 5:30 p.m. and goes until 7:30. Call 561.686.7701 or visit

Celebrated local pop and multi-media artist, sculptor and urban impressionist, Miguel Paredes, will continue making his mark in the Wynwood Arts District with the opening of his first solo gallery Paredes Fine Arts Studio on Saturday, August 14 during the districtâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s monthly â&#x20AC;&#x153;2nd Saturdays Art Walk.â&#x20AC;? Paredes is scheduled to be present on opening night and be part of the galleryâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cocktail reception at 8 p.m. which is open to the public. The artist will exhibit select pieces and sculptures from collections such as Boroughs, Digital Art, Pop Collages, Urban Dreams and Los NiĂąos. Guests should confirm their attendance by emailing: All guests are also invited to attend Paredesâ&#x20AC;&#x2122; official after-party at Florida Room located inside South Beachâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Delano hotel. After-party event begins at 11 p.m. and guests must RSVP to LoveCat at

GOLD-DIGGERS CUT-A-THON Camelot Salon & Spa (2600 Galiano Street, Coral Gables) is sponsoring The Gold-Diggers, Inc.â&#x20AC;&#x2122;s Third Annual Cut-A-Thon charity event on Sunday, August 15, from 12:00 to 4:00 p.m. for a salon experience like no other, all in the name of charity. Guests at the salon can receive a haircut for $20, nail polish change for $5 and/or a relaxing chair massage for $10. Gourmet â&#x20AC;&#x153;coutureâ&#x20AC;? will be served from Cupcakes Nouveau and Giardino Gourmet Salads; fitness tips from Gables Fitness. The Gold-Diggers, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) organization, now in its 33rd year, and has raised over one million dollars for its beneficiaries, The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society of South Florida and The Food for Life Network. The Gold-Diggers, Inc. is made up of 40 women from Miami-Dade and Broward Counties who raise money for these charities through fall fundraisers and their annual spring musical revue. Visit for more information or







THE 4TH ANNUAL â&#x20AC;&#x153;CHAMPIONS OF BUSINESSâ&#x20AC;? LUNCHEON Young and notable business professionals from around the community will join the Emerging Leadership Council of the Miami Beach Chamber of Commerce (MBCC) to experience and learn from the best of the best at the 4th annual â&#x20AC;&#x153;Champions of Businessâ&#x20AC;? Luncheon on August 13. Individuals will have an opportunity to not only enjoy the divine creations of the newly improved and most iconic restaurant in town, The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar, but interact with a discussion by a panel of champions in their field. This yearâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s 2010 â&#x20AC;&#x153;Champions of Businessâ&#x20AC;? panelist discussion will begin at 11:30 am and will be moderated by Michelle Villalobos, principal of Mivista business skills training, and Willard Shepard, investigative reporter for NBC 6. Panelists include: Ricky Arriola, President & CEO of Inktel Direct Corp, Misha Kuryla-Gomez, owner and creator of Mishaâ&#x20AC;&#x2122;s cupcakes, and Shareef Malnik, owner of The Forge Restaurant | Wine Bar. The event is open to the public and tickets are available

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        !"#$%&'('%)(** â&#x20AC;˘ SunPost Weekly â&#x20AC;˘ Thursday, August 12, 2010 â&#x20AC;˘ Page 23


Believe It or Else! Michael Largo Gives Us God’s Lunatics By John Hood

Gotta hand it to Michael Largo – the cat really knows how to pick a subject. His first book of the new century – Final Exits: The Illustrated Encyclopedia of How We Die – was a comically keen look at something everybody’s got in common. Fortunately, we all don’t all gotta go by electronic air fresheners, heating pads, non-stick pans or any one of the other odd ways Largo cited in his lavishly entertaining encyclopedia of death. Largo’s follow-up – The Portable Obituary – gave us more dead people, only this time they all were famous (or at least infamous), as were most of the ways they died. So too his Genius and Heroin, which catalogued our most famous creatives’ abuse of substances, from James Agee (drink) to Stefan Zweig (barbiturates). Now Largo’s dispensed with death (kinda) and instead looks at the after-life, as proscribed by religious tyrants and the like. In other words, the ways of those fast-talking kooks who are crazy for deity and insist we believe them – or else. The book’s called God’s Lunatics (Harper $16.99), and, as the subtitle attests, it’s loaded with “Lost Souls, False Prophets, Martyred Saints, Murderous Cults, Demonic Nuns, and Other Victims of Man’s Eternal Search for the Divine.” It also happens to be an enlightening riot, and one that will steer you away from religion quicker than a pervert priest. Largo, who spent some time residing right here in the MIA, is coming back to town next week in order to hype his beloved Lunatics. So I decided to slip him a few questions that’ll whet your appetite for what’s in store. Why God’s Lunatics? While writing the death trilogy (Final Exits, Portable Obituary, and Genius and Heroin) I found that a significant category of mortality has been, and still is, caused by religion. Punishment for sins, religious warfare, proselytizing, staving advancements in science, and the strange quests for divine enlightenment have all considerably shortened the lifespan of many throughout history. I am fascinated by anomalies of human nature, and religion has given us a mother lode of oddballs to scrutinize. The subtitle promises a who’s who of wackos. Can you tell us about some of the False Prophets? One man’s wacko is another man’s saint, but yes, God’s Lunatics is a compendium of the fanatical fringe, in addition to examining the legends and mythologies of the world’s most popular religions. From the U.S. Navy vet who washed ashore on an isolated South Pacific island only to assume the role of the islander’s long awaited messiah, to the sun gazers who claim to turn themselves into solar chips and need only air and sunlight to survive, or why one man was chosen as the patron saint of hemorrhoids, or why another is worshipped by drug dealers to help avoid getting busted, I hoped to offer a bit of equal opportunity blasphemy for everyone.

Page 24 • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • SunPost Weekly •

What about the Murderous Cults? Many religions, of course, started as “cults,” and usually involved some claim of knowing when impending doom or an apocalypse was to take place. Nearly 90% of all cults used fear to gain recruits in record time, and many, such as the visions of Charles Manson and Jim Jones, led to horrific crimes. And Demonic Nuns? I am sure Sister Mary Gabriel, my former elementary school teacher, would crack my knuckles with a wooden ruler for writing such a book, but there were not only “real” flying nuns as well as claims of entire convents that were supposedly possessed by sexually deviant apparitions. In trying to understand the divine, religions have surely given us some incredibly creative stories, even if offered as fact. Who are some of the other Lunatics which stood out from the pack? The Adamites, who believed we should live as Adam and Eve did without clothing, were interesting, or the free-love communes, which sought divinity through pleasure, are some of the fun-loving lunatics I covered in the book, even if they were prosecuted or killed off. I also like the ones who believe in the “Ancient Astronaut Theory,” in as much that we are supposedly genetic seeds from an extraterrestrial race. As you’ll find in this encyclopedia, religion has invented some wild stories. Do the Lunatics hail primarily from the States? Theology attempts to offer answers to the questions that have puzzled humankind from its earliest origins: where did we come from, how should we live, and where do we go when we die? The prophets who claimed to know these answers are not exclusive to the U.S. But, since we are supposedly more religiously tolerant than many other countries, at least constitutionally, the States have given us a number of bizarre visionaries. Are people just preternaturally susceptible to fast talk about religion? It seems we need to believe in something. Religions offer a ready-made set of beliefs and rituals, which if followed, implies we’ll get a reward later. If you argue or question a principle or dogma, then you don’t have faith – which immediately stifles any meaningful discussion. I intended God’s Lunatics to at least make a case for religious tolerance and to flag the dangers of trying to convert others to one’s cause. Et tu? Has belief ever gotten the best (or worst) or you? My first religious experience was as a Catholic altar boy. I tried Eastern religions, from Zen to transcendental meditation, went on Christian spiritual weekend retreats, attended New Age lectures, had my palms read, did a past-life regression, attended a Santeria session, and visited many holy shrines in Rome. In my journalistic research for this book I attended services held by Episcopalians, Methodists, Baptists, and Calvinists. I went to Pentecostal meetings, as well as sat among the crowds of a Mega Church. In addition, I ate matzo ball soup with Jewish friends in their sukkah in Brooklyn, and did mushrooms with some women who were into Druids and Earth religions in upstate New York, among other stuff that I’ll discuss at the reading at Books and Books. Who’s next on your hitlist? Critics who give me bad reviews – no, seriously, death is a big subject, and I’m sure my next book will not stray far from my true love.

“I am sure Sister Mary Gabriel, my former elementary school teacher, would crack my knuckles with a wooden ruler for writing such a book, but there were not only real flying nuns as well as claims of entire convents that were supposedly possessed by sexually deviant apparitions.”

We have a new website. What you love about our print edition is on our website, plus a whole lot more. Check it out right now.


Scents and Senses By Jennifer Fragoso (

SOOTHING THE SENSES Life is sweeter with a little fragrance. Here are a few of our favorite aromatically delicious concoctions. Inhale and enjoy.

RUB A DUB WHAT AN AMAZING SCRUB The St. Ives family of products may be familiar to us all but just in case you haven’t tried their scrubs you should. The Invigorating Apricot Scrub is a treat for the skin and a delight for the senses. Imagine waking up on a Monday morning groggy from the previous afternoon escapades at the Mondrian pool. You and your skin both tired from the sun, sand and sangria. You fumble into the shower open up the tub of Invigorating Apricot Scrub and immediately spring to life. Sloughing away dead skin and taking in the energizing scent of citrus, apricot and melon. The medley of botanicals and extracts make for a refreshingly invigorating scrub that leaves your skin feeling healthy, clean and loved.

I AM WOMAN GIVE ME CAVIAR Thierry Mugler, designer extraordinaire, has launched another fragrance. Balancing the essence of fig with the decadence of caviar for a unique sweet and savory scent. Womanity salutes “the invisible bond between women.” Log on to to share your thoughts, images or stories about womanity— a hybrid of humanity.

HELP FROM THE HONEY POT Burt’s Bees Radiance Body Lotion is chock full of vitamins and nutrients, 134 to be exact, which enrich your skin. The weightless fragrant formula soaks right in and boasts Mika, a light-reflecting mineral that gives you a luminous glow. Soft, lustrous, honey scented skin is in the bag if you remember to pick up a tube the next time you hit your local Whole Foods. Log on to to find a purveyor near you.


Page 26 • Thursday, August 12, 2010 • SunPost Weekly •


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Vol. XXV No. 32 August 12th, 2010 "ADOPT-A-PLAYER"