Nathaniel Sandler

Nathaniel Sandler is a contributing editor for the arts at WLRN. He is also the co-founder and Head Librarian of the Bookleggers Mobile Library, serving Miami with free books on a monthly basis at literary events throughout the city.

He is a graduate of Vassar College where he received a B.A. in Asian Studies. He spent two years living in Japan and teaching English. A lot of his current writing focuses on collections based object analysis, from South Florida museums, such a The Curious Vault at the Miami Science Museum, which is reposted on WLRN.

Currently, in addition to the Miami Science Museum, he writes for the University of Miami Special Collections Library, The Miami Rail, ArtSlant, Red Flag Magazine, Where Magazine many others. He owns a canoe and is terrible at softball.

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Commentary
10:59 am
Fri March 28, 2014

Here's What The Tequesta Site Downtown Will Look Like, And Why It's Great For Miami

Credit MDM

Barring any drastic moves by the Miami city commissioners Thursday, the controversial Tequesta site unearthed downtown will have a marquee showcase from the sidewalk and numerous interpretation options for visitors.

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Commentary
12:28 am
Thu February 6, 2014

Wynwood Is Dead. Long Live Wynwood.

Seen in Wynwood during Art Basel 2013.
Credit Mark Hedden / WLRN

There are an exasperating amount of think pieces on the Internet about Wynwood. Its rise, fall, flourish and continued economic growth have all been continually documented both locally and across the world. There has been change recently and people have noticed.  Businesses never thought possible are moving in while most of the serious, professional artists have physically moved their studios downtown, to Little Haiti and even Opa-Locka.

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Art Basel
4:01 pm
Thu December 5, 2013

As Basel Expanded Beyond The Beach, Miami Became Its Muse

A peek at the city from inside the Perez Art Museum Miami.
Credit Alicia Zuckerman / WLRN

Basel is back in town and the annual artistic spotlight is swiveling around Miami, highlighting nooks and crannies the city normally passes by with nonchalance. Now in its 12th year, Art Basel Miami Beach has not only grown, but changed the landscape of the city and South Florida.

It’s easy to be cynical about the general milieu. I have been snarky about the crowds and traffic before and I most likely will be again. But taking a step back and appreciating what Basel has changed can be boiled down to a few simple questions.

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Architecture
8:13 am
Thu October 17, 2013

Now Sold, Will The Former Versace Mansion In South Beach Be Preserved?

The swimming pool at Casa Casuarina.
Credit Miami Design Agenda

On July 15, 1997 Gianni Versace left for the morning paper at just before 9 a.m. Nearly everyone in Miami and a great deal of people across the world know the story.

The mentally unhinged Andrew Cunanan then tragically shot Versace to death on the doorsteps of his world famous mansion. Cunanan, who had already killed four other people, set off a manhunt and houseboat siege that captivated the morbid attention of the world.

Thus the unknown fate of those world famous doorsteps and the building behind it was set in motion.

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Arts Season
12:01 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

How Creative Types Survive And Thrive In South Florida

Overhead by Kevin Arrow
Credit Dimensions Variable

Making the decision to become an artist, whether in South Florida or elsewhere, is sometimes not an option. Miami based visual artist Kevin Arrow explains, “every few months I promise myself to pack it up and take up knitting or building model cars.”

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Politics
7:00 am
Mon October 7, 2013

Senate Committee Probes Gambling Issue With Authors Of Delayed Report

Credit Wikipedia.org

A Florida Senate committee on gaming will take up the controversial issue of expanding casinos and gambling in the state at a hearing today in Tallahassee.

The hearing will include a discussion between elected officials and analysts from New Jersey-based consulting firm Spectrum Gaming Group, a firm with strong ties to the casino industry. The company was commissioned by lawmakers to compile a much-anticipated report on the impact of gambling on economic growth.

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Law Enforcement
2:58 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

What $57M In Federal Asset Seizures Might Say About South Florida

via Wikipedia

In the last year, over $57 million in illegal assets relating to federal cases in South Florida have been seized by the United States government, according to data provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida.

$57,321,390.40 to be exact.

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Flawed But Fabulous
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Why The Arrest Of 3 South Florida Mayors Is Our Fault

Disgraced Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman in court.
Credit CBS4

Three South Florida mayors were accused of corruption in August, offering up a salient, cautionary tale for anyone who puts their faith in Miami's elected officials. The mayors from Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Homestead represent a triumvirate of questionable behavior, a triple threat of public office tomfoolery and a real world trifecta of tropical sleaze.

I ran an informal poll of friends and acquaintances and the major takeaway and dominant response is that nobody is shocked. This is where we are in Miami politics:

"I'm not surprised."

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Diversity
12:32 pm
Fri September 6, 2013

Map Of South Florida Shows How Racially Segregated We Are

A new map clearly demarcates the racial divide in the United States through colorful dots, showing the demographics of South Florida and highlighting the striking partitions of how we live.

For example, most people know that Miami Beach is primarily a mix of white and Hispanic and that North Miami is mostly white east of Biscayne Boulevard and predominantly black on the west side. But there is more that can be read into the map.

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Environment
10:00 am
Thu August 29, 2013

Planes, Drones And Dry Ice: How South Florida Wages War Against Mosquitoes

Credit Prioria Robotics / Prioria Robotics

At dusk during a hot Miami summer, when you’re outside getting chewed on by countless mosquitoes, it’s easy to wonder how anyone ever decided to settle in South Florida.

The mosquitoes, in fact, were so bad for some early South Floridians that they had rooms at the front of their frontier shacks called “losers,” which contained smudge pots and palmetto branches to literally “lose” all of the bugs from your body before entering.

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Technology
3:32 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

How Miami-Based Sktchy App Turns Everybody Into An Artist

What does an app born from the spirit of Miami look like?

It looks like Sktchy, a start up mobile app motivated by Sketchy Miami, a blog and series of parties spotted around town two years ago where the goal was to create a portrait of every person in Miami.

Sketchy Miami comes from a time when “a burgeoning artist community in Miami and the average Miami resident had very little interaction with that community,” said co-founder Jordan Melnick. He wondered, “how can we come up with a way to bridge that gap?”

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Athletics
8:59 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Miami, Synchronized Swimming And The Beautiful Ladies Of Verso

If you ever had his ear, you could ask basketball star Dwyane Wade how he makes a party classier.

But since you probably don't, you should know that when he celebrated his birthday the day after the Miami Heat won its second championship ring, he invited the ladies of Verso Performance, a local synchronized swimming troupe to perform for his exclusive guests.

It was a super VIP occasion, with no pictures allowed, on the roof of a building in downtown Miami. Each girl in the troupe wore a hat with his name and the number 3 emblazoned on it.

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Business
8:23 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A High-End Pawnshop For Miami's Rich And Entrepreneurial

These Versace plates have a retail price of $2,600. At Midtown Pawn Boutique they are $1,650.

On Northwest 36th Street, between Wynwood and the Design District, there’s a wall mural depicting a highly stylized Queen Isabella, the Spanish monarch responsible for fostering Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World.

The mural is a fitting metaphor for Miami for a few reasons; it’s a city which houses the wealthiest of the world, back-dropped with the mystique of frontier land.

The mural was painted by local artist Diana Contreres and is found on the newly constructed Midtown Pawn Boutique, a high-end pawnshop that hopes to serve the rich and entrepreneurial.

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Recreation
8:08 am
Wed July 24, 2013

After Swim Week, Here Are The Worst Pools in Miami Beach

Credit miami.mbfashionweek.com

“Pools are such a potent symbol in the Florida dreamscape,” explains Florida International University anthropologist Laura Ogden.

The idea of Miami as an otherworldly dreamscape is what makes it the perfect setting for recently wrapped Mercedes-Benz Fashion Swim Week 2013. Most of the high-end hotels on South Beach give their clientele a long whiff of sex and money; it’s basically Art Basel, except instead of contemporary art, the commodity is perfect skin.

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Opinion
6:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Why Closing Half Of Miami-Dade's Libraries Is Dumb

Credit mdpls.org

“Who says that we get to kill all the books,” asked District 10 City Commissioner Javier Soto.

Miami, apparently, does. 

The decision yesterday was made to theoretically close 22 libraries (10 storefronts and 12 branches) as well as lay off 251 employees. This number is presented as the worst-case scenario. While it could be less, the closings are nearly half of the libraries in Miami-Dade.

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