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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Technology
6:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

How In The World Could Florida Ban Cell Phones?

Credit illmaterial.com

Your computer or cell phone, most likely whatever you’re reading this article on right now, could technically be illegal in the State of Florida. Which is great because I’m sick of my cell phone anyway, and often think that going back to the days of just using a pager would streamline my life.

Though I would be out of a job. And theoretically, so would everyone who uses a computer at work.  And all of my personal relationships would be put in serious jeopardy. My mother, bless her, would be very angry. 

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Comic Books
10:51 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Where Heroes And Nerds Meet: Florida SuperCon

Credit Florida Supercon, 2012

I am a recovering comic book addict that still likes to occasionally hurl himself off the flying wagon, preferably to be saved while assisting Batman foil an evil plan.

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NBA Championship
7:36 am
Fri June 21, 2013

Miami Heat Fans Share A Moment Of Pure Bliss, Again

Credit Kenny Malone

Game Seven was beautiful.

Yet again the Heat turned us all into a stunning supernova of clanky pots and clinky pans. Everyone exhale. After the textbook magnificence of Game Seven, Miami is alive and absolutely knows it.

This morning and for the rest of the summer the Miami Heat are our guiding knights and definitively the best team in the National Basketball Association.

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Literature
8:34 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Has South Florida Displaced Los Angeles In The World Of American Crime Fiction?

Credit newyorker.com

Everyone knows that South Florida has a seedy underbelly. The American fascination with crime-sex-and-violence-laden stories about South Florida has been going strong for quite some time, particularly on the silver screen.

Miami Vice, paved the way for today’s Magic City, CSI: Miami, The Glades, and Burn Notice. You don’t have to dig deep into contemporary pop cultural output to see that people are intrigued by South Florida’s lure. We’re a rap star mecca, and there’s a party-banging mention of the 305 in a lot of catchy club tracks.

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NBA Finals
7:44 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Heat Swarm Like Piranhas To Beat Spurs In Game Two

Credit Sports Illustrated.

Poor Tiago Splitter. He tried so hard to make a teeny dunk. When the Spurs starting center went up to throw one down on Lebron James with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Brazilian got waxed.

Two plays later Lebron slammed a two-handed dunk off a steal, and it was at that moment you knew the Heat were relentlessly swarming, like a school of frenzied piranhas, and they would not be defeated. Not there and not then.

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Flawed But Fabulous
8:18 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Why Miami Heat Fans Must Find Solace In First Loss

Tony Parker's miraculous game-winning shot during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
Credit Big Lead Sports

The opening sequence of last night’s NBA finals game against the San Antonio Spurs summed up the Miami Heat’s 2013 season under the big three of Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

An electrifying dunk by Dwyane Wade followed by nine unanswered points and then a grinding hustle to get back in the game. We, as fans, must live and die with the unremitting arc of sports narrative and the sorrowful nosedives of emotion. The 2013 Miami Heat are like Agony and Ecstasy coming over for a dinner party to your apartment. 

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Aviation
6:00 am
Thu June 6, 2013

How One Family's Tragedy Became Training For Future Pilots

Timothy Johnson Jr., who the scholarship is named for, doing what he loved: flying.
Credit The Johnson Family

Life has been difficult this year for one of Wynwood’s most celebrated gallerists.

Nina Johnson, owner and operator of Gallery Diet, has been emotionally supporting her family through the worst of times. 

In December of 2012, Nina’s brother, Timothy Johnson Jr., a pilot in his free time, was flying alone in a two engine Cessna that took off from Lantana Airport. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

His father, Tim Sr., watched the aircraft ascend, falter and go down.

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Flawed But Fabulous
8:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

After Urban Beach Weekend, What Was The Big Deal?

The Standard Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach was under a tent on Friday and Saturday nights as a security measure during Memorial Day weekend.
Credit Nathaniel Sandler

On Friday evening the Standard Hotel and Spa was completely tented for the weekend, to reopen Sunday, while countless other businesses were closed up on Miami Beach.

Spiga Restaurant on 12th and Collins had a sign stating they were observing Memorial Day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Ostensibly, businesses like Spiga really love the troops, but no one is fooled.

It seems like Miami Beach abstracted Memorial Day in more ways than one.

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Recreation
8:28 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Where To Learn All About The History Of Ocean Diving

The library inside Islamorada's History of Diving Museum.
Credit Nathaniel Sandler

One of the earliest pieces of writing known to humanity is the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Babylonian legend that’s formative to the history of literature.

In it, Gilgamesh himself attaches stones to his feet, weighing him down to the bottom of the sea, so he could get the Plant of Eternal Youth. It is the first known record of someone plunging to the bottom of the sea on a breath hold dive.

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Publishing
8:28 am
Wed May 15, 2013

Why Bookstores Don't Reflect Miami's Literary Health

The recently closed Barnes & Noble in Aventura.
Credit Broward Palm Beach New Times

Many have taken the recent closing of Barnes and Noble in Aventura and the general dearth of bookstores in Miami as an omen, a portentous sign that the city is somehow culturally headed in the wrong direction.

And the easy takedown of South Florida, both nationally and from locals, is that a lack of bookstores is representative of a stupid populace, or an uncultured mass mostly focused on booze and partying.

But bemoaning the death of the bookstore is missing the point. It’s happening everywhere. And it’s not just a South Florida issue.

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Flawed But Fabulous
7:30 am
Wed May 8, 2013

How Much Do You Walk? Livability In South Florida

A pedestrian walk across the crosswalk as a vehicle makes a right turn heading west on SW 13 Street in Miami's Brickell area on Wednesday, May 30, 2012.
Credit Carl Juste/Miami Herald Staff

Have you ever tried to cross US-1 on foot? Both in South and North Miami, all the way through Broward and even in parts of the Florida Keys it’s a harrowing experience. People are driving fast and not expecting pedestrians. It has the feel of an action movie to it and one you’re definitely not starring in.

There are other roads that have this same feel in South Florida. Brickell, Calle Ocho and the Macarthur Causeway are streets you take to get from point A to point B and pray you avoid running into a $200,000 luxury car or uninsured $500 car.

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Archaeology
6:00 am
Mon April 29, 2013

More Evidence Of Tequesta Civilization Unearthed Near Miami River

The Third Avenue Circle, pictured with archeologist Ray Skinner and FIU archeology student Adrian Espinoza
Credit Nathaniel Sandler

Two months ago, twelve dump trucks bursting with dirt and fill from a downtown Miami construction site made their way to the Everglades Outpost, an animal rescue facility in Florida City.

Barbara Tansey, the facility’s owner and overseer is slowly sifting through the remnants looking for clues. Though volunteers occasionally come to help, at some moments the elderly Tansey is entirely on her own, tirelessly sifting in hopes of revealing any artifact.

It should be mentioned that twelve truckloads is an insane amount of dirt.

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News
7:00 am
Tue April 23, 2013

How Urban Explorers Record History South Florida Forgot

Aerojet Missle Silo (not to be confused with Nike Missile Silo, this facility is outside of the Everglades and not open to visitors)
Credit abandonedmuse.com

Built in 1964 as part of the Cold War response to the Cuban Missile Crisis, the Nike Missile Silo was abandoned in 1979, but the former complex remains eerily intact within the southern portion of Everglades National Park. It is a reminder of a time when South Florida was a focal point of international politics, and it's also one the region's more famous abandoned sites.

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Flawed But Fabulous
4:37 pm
Fri April 12, 2013

WLRN Live Chat Tuesday at 11 AM: Tell Us Why Miami Is 'Flawed But Fabulous'

WLRN's recent letter to the NYT sparked an online avalanche of reactions. Join our live chat on Tuesday, April 16, at 11 a.m. when Nathaniel Sadler will hear why you think Miami is 'flawed but fabulous.'
Credit Cristian P Cardenas Flickr

Well everybody, I have a new assignment. I'm WLRN's Flawed-But-Fabulous beat reporter.

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Arts
3:03 pm
Mon April 8, 2013

Poetry In Motion: A Chat With O, Miami's P. Scott Cunningham

P. Scott Cunningham at O, Miami 2011
Credit Robby Campbell / From the NEA website

P. Scott Cunningham is the founder of O, Miami, a biennial poetry festival in Miami organized by the University of Wynwood and with support from the Miami-based Knight Foundation. The festival is happening this month.

WLRN: Tell us a little bit about yourself. The real P. Scott Cunningham. 

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