Where have the months gone? Time flies when you are having fun, so they say; therefore, it is once again the season to appraise, assess, calculate, consider, evaluate, examine, gauge, measure, ponder and scrutinize all that has been noteworthy in the past 12 months. Without further mention, here we go. This is this year’s completely biased review of the Top 10 impressively detailed objects of beauty, curiosity or otherworldly merit related to the 305 we live in.
#1. Ray Allen’s Jesus Shuttlesworth Miracle
#2. Pulse at the Ice Palace
#3. The Opening of the Perez Art Museum Miami
#4. The Orange Line’s Airport Station and Rental Car Center (RCC)
#5. Sunset Harbor
#6. Miami Book Fair International
#7. 12 Years a Slave by Steve McQueen
#8. The End of Breaking Bad
#10. A year full of WDNA, Hot 105, WLRN, Get Lucky and bands
#1. The referee was counting as the Heat were lying on the hardwood canvas, trophy and champagne about to be rolled out, with ropes ready to restrain the masses from going on the court, when somewhere before the word “Ten,” God, fate or the devil made a deal with the denizens of the dunk to give us one last gasp and one more title. For those of us who have worked in the industry, the word miracle was apropos — another ring for Lebron, Dwyane, Chris Bosh, Pat Riley and the Heat, courtesy of Ray Allen.
2. Art keeps waving its magic wand over the city and these days Art Basel dominates the week after Thanksgiving, turning the Beach, Midtown and Wynwood into a mammoth parking lot/graffiti experience/cash cow. This year’s insanity grew exponentially as more folks jumped on the bandwagon, many showing up at venerable Art Miami sporting madras shorts, Izod shirts, and freshly pressed cosmetic corrections to amuse global art specialists from galleries far and wide, leading them to write SMH on their Facebook pages while pocketing boucoup bucks.
Fortunately, sanity meets insanity at the Ice Palace where everything – inside and out despite the dodgy parking – is done perfectly during Pulse, Art Basel’s most coolly curated satellite event. 28 Chinese at the Rubell, UNTITLED and Miami Project also impressed.
3-4. Architecture. After millions of dollars and a long wait, the Perez opened along with a refurbished MetroMover Station just south of the AA Arena to oohs ahhs and gotta see its. Despite its gloriously Miami unfinished construction entrance, PAMM was one of a few important new buildings. For different reasons, the stations at MIA also made the city and its formerly embarrassment of an airport suddenly merit a Metrorail excursion.
5. Sunset Harbor comes next, proudly serving a potent new cocktail to go along with its rising sewer water. The quiet, residential neighborhood north and west of Lincoln Road and Dade Boulevard suddenly became hip and stylish with the Pubbelly empire, A la Folie, Icebox, Panther, Lucali, Sardinia, Fresh Market, Burger & Beer Joint and, of course, Publix.
6. Holding down sixth place was the 30th Miami Book Fair International, during which Junot Diaz, Nikki Giovanni, Amy Tan, Edwidge Danticat, Bill Ayers, Chris Matthews, Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Richard Blanco all spoke on Sunday. Props to Mitch Kaplan, Eduardo Padron and beautiful literacy.
7-8. Both of these are visual. Director Steve McQueen and actor Chiwetel Ejiofor managed to make 12 Years a Slave a palatable, must see experience on a topic too painful and unpalatable to imagine seeing. Breaking Bad managed to create extraordinary water cooler buzz while acquainting millions of 15-yearold boys with Badfinger before turning to Dexter.
9. Lagniappe provided unpretentious folks the perfect venue for music, wine, and old time sitting around and talking pleasure just east of the railroad tracks on NE 1st Avenue in Midtown. Seeing the Digo Trio with a young brother playing the funkiest, bluesiest slide guitar in history was not only mind blowing, but, as intended, humble as well. Owner David Tunnell’s homage to the Big Easy is Miami’s finest, sanest night out.
10. Last but not least, Miami’s music, radio and concert scene. Frank Consola and Michael Valentine – thank you. Gary Ferguson and Mark Hayes – thank you. Freddie Cruz and Chico the Virgo – thank you. Flagga and Tracy Fields – thank you. Kendrick Lamar and Kanye – thank you. Jacuzzi Boys and Band of Gypsies – thank you. Daft Punk, Nile Rodgers, and Pharrell – thank you.
Carl Rachelson is a teacher at Palmer Trinity School and a regular contributor to the Pinecrest Tribune. He may be contacted by addressing email to email@example.com.