People & Places

  • Ron Gunzburger

    is a long-time political consultant in South Florida. He recently became legal counsel and director of public affairs for the Broward County Appraiser's Office.

    Q: Do you watch reality-TV shows? A: I live with someone who really likes them. We share the remote, so I've seen Survivor for a few seasons. I've seen some of Big Brother and Joe Millionaire. Then there's the reality-game show hybrids, like Blind Date. That's pretty funny. The one I can't stand is Fear Factor. It's not even… More >>
  • Best Reason to Live in South Florida

    Prepares you for reality TV

    C'mon, we all want that 15 minutes of fame. Well, maybe we want it for a little longer than that, more like eight to ten hours of prime time on a reality-television show. And if you're wise enough to move here from the peasant-filled snowy lands of the north, you´re already ahead of the pack in preparing mentally and physically… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Members of the Opposite Sex

    Buehler Planetarium

    Hi, there. Come here often? Yeah, me too. My guess is that star-struck lovers like, um, us have been wandering into this planetarium since it was built in 1965. I must say, your eyes look lovely in the moonlight. Or should I say, the simulated moonlight? See that bright light right up there? Lean against me and look where I´m… More >>
  • Best Place for Girls to Meet Girls

    Monday Night at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida

    Monday night at the Gay and Lesbian Community Center of South Florida is better than even Saturday night at the hottest bar. Host Laurie Weiner facilitates meetings of the Women´s Rap Group, where you not only get to meet and chat with a couple dozen women of all flavors but you´ll hear the gory details of the many relationships that… More >>
  • Best Place for Boys to Meet Boys

    The patron´s film-review kiosk at Sunrise Cinemas at Gateway

    Our 2001 winner of the Best Independent Cinema has the most gay-themed films outside of a queer film festival, making it a great place for boys with brains or a penchant for art films to hook up. The kiosk to the left of the concession stand beats out even Holiday Park for cruising. The four-sided kiosk offers pencils and index… More >>
  • Best Sunday Tea

    Tea at Sea Cruise Sea Monster Nightclub

    Sunday Tea is a venerable tradition in the gay community: fresh from their post-Saturday-night-partying naps, hordes of good-looking people, mostly men -- but usually some women as well -- consume cocktails, live it up on the dance floor, and loll poolside with come-hither looks. Where the boys are, indeed. Most of the legendary South Florida venues for such frolicking (Tacky´s,… More >>
  • Best Evidence that We Can Get Along

    Blackie´s Welding next door to All-White Manufacturing

    Whether you´re stuck in southbound I-95 gridlock or whizzing by on a Tri-Rail train, these twin neon beacons prove that racial harmony is attainable for South Florida; it just takes a large FPL bill.… More >>
  • Best Baby Sitter

    Sitters in a Second

    You can take that ill-mannered wench from down the street raiding the fridge while watching the kids for only so long. Eventually, you have to break down and call the professionals. Sitters in a Second employs more than 100 baby sitters in Palm Beach County to keep track of the brats while you´re out on the town. The company screens… More >>
  • Best Cheap Thrill

    Budget Inn North

    Cheesy, cheap, sleazy, slutty, whorish. It would take a linguistic surgeon to discern the fine line among the terms. Still, you know cheap when you see it. At the Budget Inn on Federal Highway, they have two rooms of Austin Powers-like, circa ´70s, dirty, disco-queen fantasy. Slip into a pair of platform heels, slide into a vinyl mini, and don… More >>
  • Best Not-So-Cheap Thrill

    Anticipation Yacht Charters Marine Hospitality Corp.

    One of the best things about living in South Florida, if you can afford it, is having your own boat. Another of the best things is, well, having a good friend who owns a boat. But what about the in-betweeners, those with a few bucks -- if not enough for their own yachts, enough for some self-indulgence? That´s where the… More >>
  • Best Hogs and Hamburgers

    Fuddruckers Restaurant

    The burgers are beef, but the hogs are beefier. On any given Friday night, this Fuddruckers´ parking lot swells with dozens of Harley-Davidsons, Triumphs, Indians, and just about every other chrome-plated two-wheeler you can imagine. For the boys and girls astride these growling, porcine behemoths, it´s a chance to show off and shoot the breeze. For the rest of us,… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Burger and Road Rage

    Wendy´s

    Ye gods! Who designed this clusterfuck? Whoever it was, they should be dragged out into the street and shot as an example to other fast-food-chain architects. Anyone who approaches this benighted Wendy´s from the opposite side of the street will find he must drive around the building to order, somehow slipping past the cars picking up food at the window.… More >>
  • Best Business Name

    Elizabeth Taylor Fence Co.

    Ask how this eye-catching joint along a particularly butt-ugly stretch of Route 441 got its name. Go ahead. You´ll probably be compensated for your time with a withering stare and a stern reply: ¨Through marriage, OK? Next!¨ If that´s the truth, fine, but ETF Co. must attract customers hoping it´s really a wedding chapel, makeup warehouse, or place for Michael… More >>
  • Best Sign that Good Help Is Hard to Find

    Guardian Pools

    Recession, reschmession -- it´s still not easy to find good pool cleaners. How else to explain Guardian Pools´ motto -- ¨We Show Up!¨ -- which is proudly displayed on the company´s trailers. Is this how they stand out from the crowd?… More >>
  • Best Employee Lunch

    The Breakers

    The 1,900 employees who pamper the rich and famous at the Breakers receive some royal treatment themselves at noon-time. Florida´s fanciest hotel serves a first-class lunch to its workers at the below-ground Breakaway Cafe. The price: just $2. Those who fluff pillows for celebrities can have chefs prepare specially ordered pizzas and stir fry. There´s also a salad bar, pasta… More >>
  • Best Employee

    Miss Tootsie at Florida Nursery Mart

    One-hundred-and-ten-pound Miss Tootsie stands only a foot tall. She keeps no set hours. She provides no assistance whatsoever as you choose a hibiscus or some pond stones or a Bismarck palm to take home and plant in your front yard. Yet the jovial, Vietnamese pot-bellied porker will happily bound over to you, snout quivering with delight, to see if you´re… More >>
  • Best Pet Fashion Shows

    South Florida Pet Therapy

    Word to fashion divas: You´re not worth your Vogue subscription until you´ve seen a poodle in purple sequins work a runway. Those style credentials ain´t worth doggie-doo until you´ve seen a dachshund don Harley leather. And you just haven´t lived until you´ve caught a Chihuahua in a bikini. For 20 years, the Pet Therapy Dog Foundation of Boca Raton, a… More >>
  • Best Pet Resort

    Clint Moore Animal Hospital & Pet Resort

    Psyched about your two-week vacation but dread boarding your kids, er, pets at the vet? Then don´t. Instead, put them up at a resort where dogs, cats, and other critters are spoiled rotten (only the best for little Spanky). For as little as $25 a day (plus a mandatory $31 bathing charge), the kindly folks at Clint Moore will dote… More >>
  • Best Friend to Animals

    Anita Lankler, Founder of Friends of Jupiter Beach

    Watch a dog´s nose burrow down into a bed of seaweed and then spiral into it, whole body writhing in joy, and you´ll understand what Anita Lankler did for dogs on Jupiter Beach. In 1994, Jupiter was set to follow most other waterfront cities and ban dogs from the Atlantic. Lankler and a couple of her friends asked the town… More >>
  • Best Landmark

    Galt Ocean Mile

    At the beginning of Galt Ocean Mile, where a condo canyon screens Fort Lauderdale Beach from public view, there is a monument, a marker really, to Arthur Galt, the man who once owned this land, the land that became the condo canyon we now call Galt Ocean Mile. That´s a circular sentence. An off-putting sentence. And that´s the way those… More >>
  • Best Place to Conversate

    Skinner´s Grill

    The early-morning conversations at Skinner´s Grill are like a river. Sometimes the talk is smooth and graceful, eddying around a twig of thought that slips from person to person. And sometimes it roars -- with laughter or what sounds like rage but is more like passion, but passion that turns to laughter. At the L-shaped counter, Frankie reads the sports… More >>
  • Best Place to Beat the Heat

    Broward County Governmental Center

    Sure, it´s a labyrinthine building with drab hallways and floor plants -- and, yeah, those stairwells look like they belong in a federal penitentiary (Alternate title: ¨Best Place to Film a Shank Scene¨) -- but don´t forget the Broward County Governmental Center as a summertime destination. Hey, how else you gonna take advantage of government handouts? That cold air is… More >>
  • Best Place to Take Out-of-Towners

    Butterfly World

    Only the hardiest of butterflies ever ventures north of South Florida´s subtropical zone. Oh sure, temperate-region dwellers may get a colorful eyeful during visits to museums of natural history, but those lepidoptera are impaled and quite, quite still. Butterfly World, on the other hand, has created screened, outdoor gardens alive with fluttering brilliance. The plants and flowers that grow in… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    Swap Shop Flea Market

    ¨I´ll give you two dollars for that bag of forks.¨ Well, that answers the question of ¨where´s the bargain?¨ But the Swap Shop, that wonderfully entertaining theater of human tragedies and oddities, offers more than good bargains. Behold a sea of mullets, Camaros, mullets in Camaros, Rastafarians, girls in thongs, guys in thongs, crying children, midgets. And this is just… More >>
  • Best Place to Volunteer

    Guatemalan-Maya Center

    Sure, you almost always feel all warm and fuzzy after doing volunteer work. But it´s not bad if you can learn a thing or two in the process. The Guatemalan-Maya Center is a great place to help new immigrants adjust while learning about one of America´s oldest civilizations. Every month, the center serves about 450 families chosen from a population… More >>
  • Best Place to Spot Celebrities

    Hollywood

    Moviemakers just can´t get enough of Broward County´s little honky tonk by the sea, Hollywood. Indeed, several big-time moguls have in recent years become enamored of the picture-perfect beach and Broadwalk, the cozy downtown, and the ´40s-era homesteads. And they have brought the stars with them. During the past two years, alert stargazers could have caught Denzel Washington filming Out… More >>
  • Best Reason to Say Merci

    Alliance Francaise

    Let´s make a list of things we adore: a lemony-colored, wafer-thin omelet that practically dissolves on the tongue; a gooey slab of camembert with a nice Chardonnay; an eclectic, visually appealing range of hors d´oeuvres served just before dinner; chanteuse Edith Piaf; and artist Claude Monet. After French President Jacques Chirac had the gonads to refuse to endorse the U.S.… More >>
  • Best Natural High

    Seminole Health Club

    Since 1969, this family-owned, ten-acre naturist park on the edge of Davie has been home to the bare-assed -- those who want to feel the breeze blow and the sun warm their skin without interference. Used to be a happening place, before Miami-Dade officially allowed nude sunbathing at Haulover Beach, before Europeans started going topless on South Beach, and before… More >>
  • Best Tourist Trap

    Mai-Kai Restaurant & Lounge

    In the 1950s, that famous buttoned-down, Eisenhower-era stiffness let loose in the phenomenon of the tiki bar. At the time, they were ubiquitous. All things Polynesian seemed foreign, so it was OK to delve into a world of rhythmic hips and almost fleshy tropical blossoms. Even in the backyard, tiki torches burned. Since 1956, Mai-Kai has been serving this Polynesian… More >>
  • Best Mile of Broward

    East Sunrise Boulevard

    There is better food, films, coffee, and scenery here than on any other stretch of Broward County road. This strip offers a full night of refreshments, entertainment, and nature. Best of all, there´s no need to burn a lot of gas, even if you drive a monster SUV that seems to get feet rather than miles to the gallon. Start… More >>
  • Best Mile of Palm Beach

    Lake Avenue/Lucerne Avenue

    It wasn´t long ago that downtown Lake Worth´s only positive attribute was that it was near to West Palm Beach and Delray Beach. Now the downtown nestled around Lucerne and Lake avenues draws from the areas that used to look down their municipal noses at little Lake Worth. The past six months are indicative of its progress; a couple of… More >>
  • Best Way to Reach the Beach

    The tunnel at Hugh Taylor Birch State Park

    The Hugh Taylor Birch State Park makes a day at the beach, well, a day at the beach. The entrance fee is $3.25 per carload and $1 for bikes and pedestrians. That´s cheap for a shady respite from the sun and access to a tunnel that crosses beneath busy A1A to the beach. There´s a mile-long loop on the paved… More >>
  • Best Road Through Perdition

    NE Sixth Street in Victoria Park

    Developers salivate over this small neighborhood just northeast of downtown Fort Lauderdale. So naturally, home values have skyrocketed, which has led to a feeding frenzy. Cozy bungalows have been torn down to make way for McMansions or, worse yet, crammed parcels of townhomes. Strip malls are pressing in from the west. Still, there´s one forward-thinking development smack in the middle… More >>
  • Best Scenic Drive

    Heritage Boulevard and Park Lane

    The key to proper scenic motoring is the absence of other vehicles. Think about it: If you´re concentrating on defensive driving and cursing the typical maniacal South Florida driver, how can you enjoy the scenery? The Heritage-Park excursion is a five-mile pastoral loop off the beaten track -- in fact, most of it´s off the tar. Part of the fun… More >>
  • Best Hotel

    The Colony

    The rooms are, let´s say, intimate, and the plumbing has a clunky, antique, pre-war look, but the Colony has ambiance in spades. The buttery yellow building with burgundy trim almost demands that passersby on Atlantic Avenue step in for a look around. Have a house-specialty Bloody Mary on the shady front porch as a ceiling fan turns lazily and you… More >>
  • Best Weekend Getaway

    The Rod and Gun Club

    You´re tired of living in a place where the oldest architecture is a strip mall built in the 1950s? Well, soak up the past and shed this use-it-up-and-run South Florida culture by hopping on Alligator Alley and heading to Everglades City on the other coast. And we don´t mean the Pacific. There, you must stay in the Rod and Gun… More >>
  • Best Scandal

    International Swimming Hall of Fame

    This scandal seems almost too good to be real. You have the last decent public park on the beach slated for massive condominiums by a greedy, unscrupulous developer (Michael Swerdlow). There´s the sleazy, glad-handing mayor (Bill Griffin) who sells out the beach and his town (Pompano Beach) for political and financial gain. You have a do-little state attorney (Michael Satz)… More >>
  • Best Epicure

    Steve Abrams´ kid

    What you are about to read is true. And it has never before been published. Last year, a teacher asked third-grade students at the prestigious Lighthouse Point Academy a seemingly innocuous question: Can you name your favorite food? Surprisingly, sushi surfaced as the preferred chow for several savvy members of the Sponge Bob set. Not to be outdone, the young… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    Peter Sheridan

    Peter Sheridan isn´t just a local boy; he´s a mama´s boy. Mom Joan Sheridan is a long-time Fort Lauderdale political activist who has been involved in litter pickups and neighborhood watches. But she should have been watching her son more closely. Pete, when he was assistant city engineer for the City of Fort Lauderdale, got a little too cozy with… More >>
  • Best Local Girl Gone Bad

    Miriam Oliphant

    A year ago, Broward County Supervisor of Elections Miriam Oliphant was one of the brightest stars in the South Florida political firmament. We said so ourselves, naming her Best Politician in our 2002 Best of Broward-Palm Beach issue and concluding, ¨Seems the woman in charge of the political process in Broward knows a thing or two about politics herself.¨ She… More >>
  • Best Political Gaffe

    Unopened Absentee Ballots

    So a bunch of naive folks in Broward County thought they voted this past September. So a few months later, investigators turned up a tray of unopened ballots in a file cabinet in county elections supervisor Miriam Oliphant´s office. So those ballots were never time-stamped and apparently forgotten. So the clerk responsible for picking up the ballots from the post… More >>
  • Best Politician

    Jim Naugle, Fort Lauderdale mayor

    He wants to enforce sodomy laws against gays. He believes the world would be a better place if more of the right people carried handguns. He wants God in the classroom and counts the Christian extremists at Coral Ridge Presbyterian Church as some of his most important supporters. He´s a Republican who calls himself a Democrat for the most cynical… More >>
  • Best Sun-Sentinel Writers

    Sally Kestin and Megan O´Matz

    The category this year would better be titled Best Reporters. Kestin and O´Matz do kids better than anybody in the country. The Sentinel´s finest story this year came on August 11, when Kestin and O´Matz, along with Diana Marrero, located nine kids whom the state Department of Children and Families couldn´t find. One of the families was listed in the… More >>
  • Best Palm Beach Post Writer

    Bill Rose

    OK, so Bill Rose is a deputy managing editor at the Post. He´s not working a beat, day in and day out, not out shaking the bushes, not crunching big stuff (that would fill a book if they´d give ya´ the time and space) into bite-size portions. That´s a tough biz. Still, in the course of three days in October,… More >>
  • Best Miami Herald Writers

    Daniel de Vise and Wanda DeMarzo

    OK, so they both write too much. Sometimes two stories per day. He's all over the place -- libraries, cloning, astronauts. And all she can really do is cops. But his prose is straight-ahead. No bullshit. None of that Carl Hiaasen sarcasm. More of a Gene Miller type, really. And, when it comes to cultivating cop sources, she's in the… More >>
  • Best News Anchor

    Craig Stevens WSVN-TV (Channel 7)

    That´s right, we´ve actually chosen an employee of chief media evildoer Rupert Murdoch. And it surprises us more than anyone. But perhaps it´s the company Craig Stevens keeps that makes him look so good -- kind of like the one dog at the pound that doesn´t have mange. Stevens, after all, is a successor to Rick Sanchez, who will be… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Jackie Johnson WSVN-TV (Channel 7)

    Before you rip us for placing Johnson ahead of her more seasoned competition solely on the basis of her appearance, ask yourself this: What other local weather wonk could have so distracted professional golfer Fuzzy Zoeller that he agreed to hit practice shots on a course after his round was over? This is what Jackie did at the Royal Caribbean… More >>
  • Best Radio Personality

    Neil Rogers WQAM-AM (560)

    Since the 2000 presidential ¨election¨ was stolen from Al Gore and our current administration has waged a holy war on ¨Terra,¨ the schism between the left and the right has gotten wider and wider. What´s worse, the so-called ¨liberal¨ media, including TV news programs and talk radio shows, have become all-too-eager cheerleaders for the right wing, uncritically gobbling up whatever… More >>
  • Best Website

    http://newsresearch.blogspot.com

    Long-time Miami Herald news research editor Elisabeth Donovan maintains this meticulous blog on current events. Called ¨Infomaniac¨ for an award Donovan won several years ago, it´s chock-full of useful links. Most of the recent postings have been about the war in Iraq, but in more peaceful times, the site focuses on South Florida, Cuba, and other parts of Latin America.… More >>
  • Best Herald Scoop of the Herald

    A Cowboy Dies on Broadway

    On March 30, 2003, the Miami Herald ran a story that chronicled the adaptation of the 1980 movie Urban Cowboy into a Broadway play. In a lengthy feature filling most of the front part of the Sunday arts section, theater critic Christine Dolen described the difficulties with the production before and after its pre-Broadway run at the Coconut Grove Playhouse.… More >>
  • Best Correction

    Sun-Sentinel on March 8, 2003

    ¨An article published Friday on page 1A concerning bacteria in the ocean water off South Florida misstated the cause of various gastrointestinal diseases. Enterococci and fecal coliform bacteria are indicators of the presence of human or animal waste, which contains pathogens that can cause salmonella, cholera, shigellosis and hepatitis A.¨ Whew, that makes me feel better.… More >>
  • Ron Gunzburger

    is a long-time political consultant in South Florida. He recently became legal counsel and director of public affairs for the Broward County Appraiser's Office.

    Q: Do you watch reality-TV shows? A: I live with someone who really likes them. We share the remote, so I've seen Survivor for a few seasons. I've seen some of Big Brother and Joe Millionaire. Then there's the reality-game show hybrids, like Blind Date. That's pretty funny. The one I can't stand is Fear Factor. It's not even… More >>
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