Tuesday, June 9, 2009

I Really Hate...certain Miami-Dade commissioners

Alright. Off the bat, I sincerely apologize if you're from District 12 or 13 of Miami Dade County, but I've got beef with your comissioners. As a matter of fact, I've got beef with all city commissioners who voted in favor of moving the UDB, but I'm sticking to two for the sake of readability of this blog.

In case you don't already know, there's an Urban Develepment Boder issue in Miami Dade county. Get up to speed here.
As a quick and slightly drunken rundown...
Miami-Dade County has a border that officially marks where urban development ends, and farmland + nature begins. This border has been disputed lately, largely because developers are trying to develop right outside the already determined line. The largest and most impactful development in the works is a community called Parkland, a 7,000 home suburb which would be erected during a time when unemployment is high and more houses than ever are sitting empty accross the nation.
It is painfully clear that there is no need to expand the UDB.
Miami-Dade is already a ridiculous sprawl as it is; it takes half an hour or more to get anywhere. Miami needs to build up, not out. County planners agree that Miami has plenty of land within the UDB that is ripe for usage before we need to even think about expanding. With proper usage of free land within the UDB, as well as using urban development as a tool to improve currently deteriorating communities, the people of Miami might actually find their city accessible and easy to get around in, for once.

Furthermore, farmland doesn't just pop up anywhere. If it already exists where it does, it is a precious resource that should not be stripped barren and pummelled like a porn-star's lady bits.
The same could be said for precious wetlands. For me, the question is, "What mysterious quality is there to farmland and wildlife preserves that Miami-Dade proper doesn't have, that's got developers licking their bottom-line-loving-lips?"

Oh yeah, it's cheaper to buy...no mystery there! Manatees be damned, cutting costs is priority number one!

Speaking of manatees being damned, this brings me to my previously mentioned "beef with commissioners." Lets start with Natacha Sieja of District 13, who amongst sucking in general, votes in favor of expanding the UDB. There is so much to say about Natacha Sieja, that by now, any dirt I could dig up on her is old news. This being the case, I'll just point out one particular instance of lameness. She has openly voiced that she dislikes Manatees, an animal that can eat 10-15% of its body weight daily. For no particular reason I find this mildly ironic.

Now for commissioner of District 12. At first, It appears plausible that Jose "Pepe" Diaz's inspiration for wanting to expand the UDB is simple; a little good ol' fashioned bribery. Mr. Diaz is under federal investigation for allegedly recieving gifts from developers whose plans he's voted for, but I think that's too simple. I've got a theory, suggesting that the root of this issue runs deeper than mere corruption.

I think the man has adequacey issues. I mean, I almost feel sorry for him; check out his district map. He's got maybe 10 square miles of developed Miami-Dade sprawl to look after, tops. The rest is all farms n' glades. Who wants to be commissioner of that? So heck, why be a guardian of Florida's great wildlife preserves and precious wetlands, when you could stand tall with your swollen district map penetrating sturdily into the moist, wild, and delicate gateway to the Everglades?

Luckily for Florida, a judge ruled it unlawful to expand the UDB to accomodate for a new Lowe's store that was in the works last month. This might be a good sign and a turn for the better, but to be realistic, if the people of the county don't do anything, nothing will be done. I strongly urge you to read up on the issue, and do what you can to help out. There is so much information out there, and I hope that in the end, Miami-Dade's commissioners will do the right thing. Unfortunately, I don't have much faith in that happening. If this is the case, it might just be up to us to make the difference..

Monday, June 8, 2009

I Really Hate Miami's Formal French Fry Review (1st installment)

If you've ever heard someone mention the word "hipster," and secretely hoped they were talking about you, then you are probably aware of Miami's Poplife, and their recent 10th Anniversary Party last saturday.



A ten year anniversary for one of Miami's best weekly parties exhibiting the finest independent music sounded like a perfect way to distract myself from the bitter fact that god is a bartender who whips up Dark n' Stormies like it was going out of style. So, brimming with excitement, I buttoned up the ol' skinny jeans and double checked the directions to the White Room, just to discover that I should have pre-ordered my TWENTY dollar ticket by now. Considering that
a) I wasn't gonna get in the club before sunrise, and
b) 20 bucks is on the high end for someone who's got an 8 hour work week, and likes to drink...
I reconsidered my plans for the night. It was this very brainstorming session, combined with the fact that I was hungry and broke, that I decided to innitiate the soon to be world-famous:

"I Really Hate Miami's Formal French Fry Review"

Holy jumpin' catfish! I'm sure you can practically taste the salt stinging your lips already! Much to the bereft of my girlfriend and cardiovascular system's pleasure, I create balance in my life by eating well and excercising during the day, and pairing fast food with alcohol by night. I figured I might as well do something productive with this lifestyle by sharing tips on how to experience the most satisfying of self-destructive behaviors.

This is how it'll go. We'll be using ratings of poor, fair, decent, good, and great to describe the fries. Bonus points might be available to deserving contestants, all combined in a fancy equation to give the fries an overall score.
The first installment of this highly critical evaluation of processed potato product took place at an establishment that is not so much local to Miami so much as it is one with franchises in 113 countries from Andorra to Yemen. That's right, we're talking McDonald's.


Exhibit a)

Presentation: Fair. The paper bag containing the McDonald's small fry is low on packaging waste, which is good, but otherwise there's nothing special about how these fries are laid out.
Sauce Options: Decent. And a good thing too. With options of ketchup, sweet and sour, and barbeque by the pump, as well as a fair selection behind the counter, you've got enough high fructose corn syrup to cover the otherwise bland flavor.
Service: Fair. Eh. Welcome to Mdconald's.


Exhibit b)

Appearance: Fair. Mildly appetizing. At least they weren't shriveled or dry.
Scent: Poor. Mildly repulsive. Definitely smelled like they could fuel a car.
Texture: Fair. Salty, greasy, and lacking any true crispiness. Their insides weren't drastically softer than the outsides, which were limp and squishy.
Unique features: Poor. Often over or under salted. Also, considering that the fries are only as hot as you're lucky to have them, getting a "good" batch of McDonald's fries is a crapshoot.


Exhibit c)

Flavor: Poor. Pure salt is the main discerning flavor of McD's, unless you got an unsalted patch of fries, which will just taste like oil, or whatever you dip them in. Without the sauce options, I wouldn't even eat them. The best descriptors for McDonald's fries are bland, soggy, and strangely addictive. I'm not sure what combination of chemicals in these fries keep me eating every last one, shaking my head with disappointment in every bite.
Bonus Points: 0 Unless getting high blood pressure is an added plus, no bonuses here.
Overall score: 3.5/10 Basically just like cigarettes. There isn't a single good thing about them, but you just can't stop.

Friday, June 5, 2009

Loose Cannons on the Run




This little Ampulle contains hormones harvested directly from the adrenal glands of such badass animals as hogs and ... sheep. Be sure to inject directly into the muscle for best results. Thigh is good, buttocks is bad.

Or,

ii) Loose Cannons on the Run

This death defying extraveganza of a bicycle race is probably the purest source of 100% grade A adrenaline one could obtain on a regular basis here in our not-so-fair city. An event organized by I Am Your Villain, the Loose Cannons race is a monthly occurance, on the first Thursday of every month. This is perfect timing for most Miamians, considering this is right after we've paid our exorbitant rent, ridiculous credit card bills, and are generally left with the sensation that hurdling through traffic is the only prevention to an onset of deep depression.

These races usually begin around 10pm at a fine local bike shop such as Revolution Bicycles or Keirin Cycles, and end up at The News Lounge, a few miles north of downtown Miami. One of the refreshingly liberating aspects of this race is that it is a no holds barred, every man for himself surge of speed from point A to point B. No checkpoints, no planned route, you just go. This allows for creative use of Miami's streets, testing the riders knowledge of the area, as well as quizing them on their reflexes and decision making skills.

Anyone interested in participating in a Loose Cannons race merely has to show up, and acquaint themselves with the fact that the race is only as safe or dangerous as they choose to make it. If you win a loose cannons race, it is safe to say you probably took a couple risks, which is indeed part of the appeal for many of the riders in this event. To quote a participant from the last race, "Woahhhhhhhh! (crash)"! He actually fell very gracefully, and pulled up through the pack for a 6th place finish, which is quite good considering the turnout for Loose Cannons is usually upward of 30 riders.

So, if you've got a need for speed, always wanted to be part of underground racing but couldn't afford the car payments, or if you just plain enjoy a good time on a bike followed by some good beer, this may be the Thursday night for you. For information concerning this, and other cycling to-do's in Miami, be sure to navigate your browser towards miamibikescene.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Palm Trees. What's the point?

Seriously. My occipital lobe is abused daily by the site of these pillaring odes to uselessness. Here, first give yourself a few moments to analyze this picture for reference, before I continue:


Look at them, Leering ominously. Not only are these phallic Obelisks of Ugly incapable providing a single square cm of shade, they are also undoubtedly the least fun tree to climb. It is actually no surprise that these frond-bearing dildos reside in miami, the place I hate.
To add to the problems associated with these "plants", the strangely incompetent planners of Miami have managed to bring out the worst in palm trees. That is, to line them up along every man-made object in the area.
It's true, perhaps the majority of man-made objects in miami are so ugly, they need to be covered by something. Palm trees however, physically manifest the fact that we are prisoners to sucky-ness by resembling the bars of a jail-cell everywhere we look.
Furthermore, they are a menace to all users of the streets, by lining up along roads and casting fronds and coconuts to their heart-of-palm's desire. Usually, they land right in the precious few bicycle lanes we have here, only to be NOT be cleared out by road maintenance EVER.
Finally, palm trees, which there are a lot of in miami, are actually more dangerous than sharks, which there are also a lot of in Miami. Falling coconuts kill 150 people worldwide anually, which is 15 times the number of shark fatalities. 

IRHM...but I love the Fi'zi:k Arionne CX saddle

It's the one on the very left. I took this nifty test saddle for a spin at the velodrome, and i found it to be very comfortable. Perfectly padded, perfectly narrow, and its flat shape was very supportive. Best of all, my nuts weren't the slightest bit numb.
To quote a respected bicycle shop manager, "Of course you liked it. It's the best saddle known to man. WITHOUT EXCEPTION."

IRHM

Here you are. You sat in front of your computer, clicked yourself a couple o' clickity clicks, and decided to type "ireallyhatemiami.blogspot.com" in your address bar. You might have even typed "http://www.", first. Thats a lot of work. This URL is as cumbersome as they come. You must really hate miami. Or, you might be a friend of mine, being nice. Thanks.

In any case, I just want to apologize about the number of keystrokes that are required to get here. To be frank, although I do really hate miami, I was actually gunning for ihatemiami.blogspot.com. Its a solid word shorter, and a lot easier to remember. Problem is, it turns out that I'm not alone in my hatred for miami. 


At first I was pleased to see another who's out there spreading the truth. Upon reading the blog, though, all one post of it, I noticed that it hasn't been updated in five years. Furthermore, he grouped all of Florida into his hatred, which just isn't cool.  So, to solve this wordy problem that is associated with my hateful URL, I will propose the acronym "IRHM" to be used in reference to this website. Consider the following scenario:

 You could be standing by the water cooler, where your coworker is lamenting about how he "spent too much money at the Booby Trap and now he needs to use the atm machine." You pull out a gem like this: "I was reading IRHM the other day, and it turns out that Miami was the first city ever to have an ATM. Also, saying 'ATM machine' is redundant."

Pretty cool huh? You know what isn't cool, though? Living here. But! If that's what you're stuck with, I feel it is my responsibility to help you ease the pain as best I can. Stay tuned for super great information, such as: 
  • Suggestions for places to go that don't suck. At least not all the time.
  • Dirty martini reviews.
  • Things that I, and other woeful Miamians, do to take the edge off.
  • Places to ride your bike that won't kill you.
  • Of course, stuff that does suck, so that you can avoid it. 
  • General information about Miami that I probably pulled off wikipedia five minutes ago.
Enjoy!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Welcome to "I Really Hate Miami"

Welcome. Before we get started, I'd like to clarify something. My blog's title, claiming that I hate Miami, is not sarcastic. I truly do. I was born in this sweaty armpit of a city, and I have lived here for virtually my whole life. Time and time again, my heart will fill with hope that perhaps it isn't so bad here, only to be squashed in the clamp-like grasp of this greater metropolitan area's evil spirit, leaving my abused organ bleeding on the ground like a kinderg√§rtner's unsuccessful attempt at filling a water balloon. These instances usually lead me to question whether or not this city should even exist, and after much pondering, my conclusive answer to this quandary is always no.  My main source of solace in regards to this glaring problem is that our 305 (and sometimes 786) area code is so close to sea level, that it will eventually be swallowed whole by the steaming hot, ice-cap drinking oceans of the earth. Fingers crossed.
I normally would not consider my disdain for this geographical pimple to be blog-worthy, but today, the first of June, 2009, was the last straw. I was riding to class on my bicycle, when I was guerrilla attacked by a thunderstorm. As to be expected, the weather was gorgeous before and after my half hour commute. As I sit soaked from collar to sock, the sky is blue, and the clouds are sighing gently across the sky, displaying obvious satisfaction in their job well done; thoroughly shitting upon one of their favorite targets. However, fifteen minutes earlier I was being deprived of any one dry spot on my body by rain and the inconsiderate splash of an 8th street driver, causing me to shake my fists at the nearest Pollo Tropical and cry, "I really hate Miami"!