Nathaniel Sandler

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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.”

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.


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."

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?”

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.

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.

“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.

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. 

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.

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.