Shopping & Services

  • Best Place to Spend a Rainy Day

    Sawgrass Mills Mall

    Millions of years from now, when archaeologists are trying to figure out how we lived circa 2012, they need only unearth the site of the Sawgrass Mills Mall. Our entire culture can be deduced from a Marshalls, a Best Buy Mobile, and a SuperTarget, plus a 23-screen theater with IMAX and some fossilized Chick-fil-A. Although the mall is a legendary… More >>
  • Best Yoga Studio

    Anuttara Yoga Shala

    Sincerity is an increasingly endangered species. When someone earnestly tells you to "prepare to rule the world" after performing a few hip-opening stretches, its tempting to roll the eyes or, at the very least, stifle a laugh. But just one muscle-melting session inside this cocoon of a studio will cure that cynical knee jerk. Pick a class — seriously, any… More >>
  • Best Massage

    Urban Retreat

    Once upon a time, massages seemed like fairy-tale creations available only to Condé Nast-reading, spa-going rich men and their trophy wives. But then a friend tipped us off to this cool studio that puts massage in reach of us little people. Owners Frank Velaz and MaryLou DiNicolas use massage to alleviate real injuries — from accidents, sports, baby-making, stress, and… More >>
  • Best Place to Ditch the Kids

    Calvary Chapel Fort Lauderdale

    When it comes to finding safe activities for kids, parents are in a major bind these days. What's that, you say? Go to the beach? In this 100-degree heat? Snoogums will get a sunburn. The indoor play place? Those rackets charge $20 a pop. A private babysitter? Sigh... they're probably pedophiles. There is an oasis in this swamp of iniquity.… More >>
  • Best Human Advertisement

    Liberty Tax Service's Statue of Liberty Dancers

    The folks who don Statue of Liberty costumes and dance the day away for all the cars on Hallandale Beach Boulevard are so reliable that they should be reference points in local traffic reports. Jesus Abikarram, manager of Liberty Tax Service (get the costume reference?), says he employs a steady flow of dancers on the sidewalk from 9 a.m. to… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market in Broward County

    Marando Farms

    Chelsea and Fred Marando opened their place in 2009 as a hub for local, organic produce. In a few short years, they've grown so much that the farm is supplying restaurants in addition to families. Grab a bag and a pair of scissors at the entrance so you can clip your own herbs and lettuces. Browse the baskets of bright… More >>
  • Best Place to Meet Single Men

    Publix

    It's 6 p.m. on a Monday at Publix. Armed with shopping carts, 20- and 30-something men dressed in their work attire stroll through the various aisles. You can learn a lot about a man from his grocery cart. It's sort of like the real-life version of a dating website profile. The grocery-store choices reveal if he's healthy, if he can… More >>
  • Best White-Collar Criminal

    Larry Tibbs

    Most white-collar criminals 'round these parts are in it for the money — in the case of former Lauderdale Lakes Finance Director Larry Tibbs, however, the achievement isn't in how much he stole but how much he invented. To hide just how bad the city was at the whole "having money" thing, Tibbs used every trick in the book and… More >>
  • Best Young Guy

    Jacques Bruna

    When he's not rapping onstage — or on top of a bar — Jacques Bruna, AKA Bleubird, can be found distributing ice pops and hosting local Record Store Day events, saving kittens from trees, and organizing area happenings with the creative collective Black Locust Society. Impossible to miss, the wildly charismatic Bruna is usually seen driving around in his multicolored… More >>
  • Best  Political Activist

    Rita Solnet

    Any disgruntled citizen can hurl insults during a school board meeting or launch a NIMBY crusade. Rita Solnet is the rare activist with powerful allies inside and outside government. Her diligently researched arguments prompt policy changes with far-reaching implications throughout the state. The Boca Raton mom helped found the national, nonpartisan group Parents Across America, which rails against privatization and… More >>
  • Best Gadfly

    Bill Di Scipio

    When Bill Di Scipio heard that officials were trying to land a contract for an immigration detention center in the quiet, low-tax town of Southwest Ranches, he went to a few meetings to investigate. What he thought he saw was a handful of bumbling and conspiratorial city officials bent on sealing a deal behind the backs of residents. The proposal… More >>
  • Best Political Surprise

    State Attorney Michael McAuliffe's Resignation

    When an ambitious state attorney resigns his post as the top prosecutor in Palm Beach County to become a lawyer for a fossil fuel company, eyebrows will inevitably rise. But it was an especially strange move for Michael McAuliffe, because the Democratic litigator left to work for Bill Koch, one of Mitt Romney's top fundraisers and brother of the famed… More >>
  • Best TV Reporter

    Bob Norman

    Bob Norman is adept at pissing people off. In February, the Broward Sheriff's Office labeled Norman as "cocky" in an incident report suggesting that the Channel 10 reporter was creeping around and filming illegally at the Pine Hollow Equestrian Center. A month later, Norman found himself in a pushing match with a mustached foreman at the Sun Recycling plant in… More >>
  • Best Weathercaster

    Ryan Phillips

    Ryan Phillips isn't just some cloud-talking mimbo telling you whether it's going to be hot or hotter. The 34-year-old NBC weatherman has been geeking out on cold fronts and low-pressure systems since he was a kid in rural Ohio. "While I was in high school, I actually went and interviewed for a meteorology program at Ohio University," he says with… More >>
  • Best Old Guys

    Peter Finch and Jose Ramos

    Police say 29-year-old Patrick Davis attempted to rob a man in a McDonald's in early March. The victim resisted, but for some reason, Davis stuck around — long enough for a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy to arrive and attempt to arrest him. Davis responded with "super strength," according to police, and broke free — until Finch and Ramos, white-haired homeless… More >>
  • Best Neighborhood Revival

    North Federal Highway between Broward and Sunrise boulevards, Fort Lauderdale

    For years, this stretch of U.S. 1 has sat empty and forlorn: vacant fields on one side, boarded-up retail spaces on the other. But this year, it began to turn around. First came construction of the Fresh Market high-end grocery store, and then cultural outpost Radio-Active Records moved onto the strip, forging a connection through the dereliction of Sears­town to… More >>
  • Best Nonprofit

    Emerge-USA

    Regardless of your political leanings, it's tough to deny that Muslims in America are routinely stereotyped and vilified by the rest of society. For young people, being labeled an outcast can be a self-fulfilling prophecy. Margate attorney Khurrum Wahid aims to prevent such alienation before it begins. In 2006, he founded Emerge-USA, a nonprofit group that aims to empower Muslim,… More >>
  • Best Place to Free Caged Dogs

    Broward County Animal Care

    Sure, you could adopt a pet from the sparkling-clean shelter run by the Broward County Humane Society, but if you're intent on extracting a little soul from shabby misery, why not go all the way? Just down the road at the Broward County shelter, on the grounds of Fort Lauderdale Airport, the volunteers and staffers at the shelter certainly try… More >>
  • Best Local Legend

    Steve Sipek

    He swam across Lake Ontario, played a mutant killer turkey in a movie called Blood Freak, and made national headlines when authorities raided his Loxahatchee home earlier this year to remove two tigers and a leopard. But the legend of Steve Sipek is rooted in the myth-like relationship he forged with a lion named Samson. Here's the CliffsNotes version based… More >>
  • Best Bookstore

    Bob's News & Books

    Hidden among the abandoned businesses and empty lots on Andrews Avenue is a true book lover's secret paradise and a 40-year-old quirky Fort Lauderdale landmark. The space is tight, but you'll never notice. Every way you move, there's another page-turning gem waiting to be discovered. Whether looking for a banned book from the '60s, a magazine from a foreign land,… More >>
  • Best Reggae Shop

    Reggae Land Muzik

    Tucked behind an IHOP on Hallandale Beach Boulevard, Reggae Land Muzik isn't so much a record shop as it is a reggae museum. Meticulously organized crates of hard-to-find vinyl give way to stacks of epic dancehall mix CDs and carefully cataloged cassette tapes. Whether you're looking to venture beyond Bob Marley for the first time or you're an avid collector… More >>
  • Best Swap Shop Vendor

    Celebrity Bright Smile

    Walk past the twirling yellow Ferrari and tilting silver Porsche. Cut through the rows of designer knockoffs, Bob Marley beach towels, and assorted ninja weapons. Then hang a right toward booth AA24, a shimmering beacon of dental cosmetics plopped in the melting pot of Fort Lauderdale — the Swap Shop. Sure, it's a bit weird to seek out minor dental… More >>
  • Best Shoe Shop

    Fashion Footwear (AKA $8.88 Shoes)

    Know what's so great about shoes? In a society where even the most liberated women can't quite escape the enculturated need to feel pretty, shoes are always your friend. Gained ten pounds? Shoes still fit. Bad hair day? Shoes look awesome. Bad skin today? Good shoes today. Feeling generally unsexy and awful? Know what's always sexy and awesome? Shoes. Men… More >>
  • Best Place to People-Watch

    Atlantic Avenue, Downtown Delray Beach

    Downtown Delray Beach is known for its fine-dining choices, beautiful parks, and generous, free public parking. There is even Old School Square, home to a museum, a theater, a vintage gymnasium, an outdoor pavilion, and an amphitheater. Every possible enjoyment you can imagine is found here, and every bit of it is bait. The great secret pleasure of downtown Delray… More >>
  • Best Screen Printing

    Squeegee Science

    Screen printing is undeniably cool, no doubt about it. But hurting the environment is totally uncool. Luckily, Squeegee Science knows both of these things and harms no plants, animals, or people while cranking out killer designs. Although other screen-printing shops may talk a big game promoting eco-consciousness, Squeegee Science has the products, knowledge, and dedication to back it up. Founder… More >>
  • Best Road to Avoid

    Sunrise Boulevard, between Federal Highway and I-95, Fort Lauderdale.

    In the early days of videogames, things were pretty simple. You stayed still and shot asteroids zooming past you. You went back and forth across the bottom and bounced a dot at bricks. Or you were a frog navigating across a busy roadway, trying not to get squished. Perhaps it is this deeply buried societal memory of Frogger that explains… More >>
  • Best Building

    Broward Main Library

    The task presented to architect Robert Gatje of New York-based Marcel Breuer Associates was difficult: Design a library that would embody the early 1980s resurgence of Fort Lauderdale. To do this, he employed a hodgepodge of design elements that came together flawlessly. The glass façade facing north is imposing. The landscaped terraces are swank. Walls made of local coral rock… More >>
  • Best Public Restroom

    Mother Earth Coffee

    Do not abuse this bathroom. Unless you've paid for coffee and tipped the lovely proprietor, Patti, you don't deserve this kind of karma. A beaded curtain shields the entrance. Inside, it's cleaner and more spacious than a Manhattan bedroom. An ancient L.C. Smith typewriter rests on a bureau next to a book titled Ten Zen Seconds. Should you require further… More >>
  • Best Place to Witness a Fender Bender

    The parking lot at University Commons

    How to explain the hot mess that is the parking lot for this plaza that houses Whole Foods Market, Barnes & Noble, and numerous other yuppie magnets? Perhaps there is a component in fair-trade coffee and organic kombucha that causes people to throw all driving inhibitions — like the notion that you should, you know, not crash into other cars… More >>
  • Best Bank for Ponzi Schemers

    TD Bank

    Convicted Ponzi schemer Scott Rothstein implicated tons of people in his blockbuster ten-day deposition in December, but only a few entities were described as being absolutely integral in his plot to steal more than a billion dollars. TD Bank was one of them. According to Rothstein, TD employees passed off bogus documents, helped put on "shows" for investors, and lied… More >>
  • Best Vintage Store

    Vintage Diversity

    Time machines might not exist, but thankfully vintage stores do. When shopping at Vintage Diversity, it's all about the hunt, so get ready to dig, and set aside a long afternoon. Wall to wall packed with treasures of yesteryear, there is no telling what's hiding underneath a 1950s gold-embroidered housecoat or an authentic pair of '70s, white, patent-leather go-go boots.… More >>
  • Best Farmers' Market in Palm Beach County

    West Palm Beach Green Market

    With Cider Doughnuts, Boston Chowder Co.'s Maine lobster rolls, and Anita's Guacamole, this category could easily be renamed "Best Place to Justify Standing in an Ungodly Long Line," because you will do just that for any of these vendors, all the while producing enough back sweat to fill a Big Gulp. But it's so worth it! In its 17th season,… More >>
  • Best Flea Market

    Swap Shop

    "Where's the bargains?" No, it's not grammatically correct, and yes, you might occasionally find better pricing on Craigslist, but if you are a living, breathing, deal-hunting Floridian, you can't help but utter a Pavlovian "At the Swap Shop!" response anytime someone utters the above question. The Swap Shop slogan that was first made famous on local TV ads a few… More >>
  • Best Website

    Gossip Extra

    This site, run by renegade Palm Beach Post reporter turned gossip blogger Jose (that's "Joe-ZAY") Lambiet, is way more than just silly pictures of the Kardashians — though they're on there too. While he's quick to pick up on South Florida celebrity news, Lambiet is also constantly rooting through the business of the Palm Beach County Sheriff's Office, keeping it… More >>
  • Best Website for Spying on Cops

    PBSOTalk.com

    The gossip here is juicy. Palm Beach County Sheriff's deputies dish anonymously about everything from a high-profile murder case to a lieutenant with an alleged pain-pill addiction. Founded by Mark Dougan, an ex-deputy who left the force in 2008, PBSOtalk.com makes no attempt to hide its contempt for Sheriff Ric Bradshaw. On the messageboards, it's tough to sort fact from… More >>
  • Best Meet-Up Group

    South Florida Preppers

    Worried about an electromagnetic pulse from solar flares wreaking havoc on the modern world? How about a global pandemic or a complete devaluation of the dollar? No? Well, maybe you should be. Here to guide you gently into that dark night are the South Florida Preppers, a congenial bunch of folks who are preparing, in their own particular ways,… More >>
  • Best Thrift Store

    World Thrift - CLOSED

    A quick scan around this bustling mecca of secondhand finds can leave even the most avid garage-sale warrior with that sinking feeling of being in over her head. With its ten cash registers, internal ATM machine, bright fluorescent lighting, and metal railings for growing lines, World Thrift could have easily been a Winn-Dixie in its former incarnation, but it remains… More >>
  • Best Body Shop

    Abernathy's Paint and Body

    The man who runs Abernathy's is not named Abernathy — he's Tom Tahmasebi — but don't let that turn you off. He comes highly recommended, and for good reason: On cars he fixes, he gets the paint a near-perfect match to the original color and makes sure it looks as good as new. The waiting room smells reassuringly of solvents,… More >>
  • Best Reality-Denying Campaign

    The crusade to save the Hillsboro Lighthouse

    The animal advocates at Sea Turtle Oversight Protection (STOP) don't have a beef with the Hillsboro Lighthouse — just with the particular way that its beam shines onto the beach, thereby disorienting sea-turtle hatchlings to the point that many completely miss the ocean and end up dying. The turtle protectors have been trying to get the Coast Guard to fix… More >>
  • Best Lawyer

    Gordon Weekes Jr.

    Few attorneys would clamor for a government job representing juvenile delinquents. Broward Chief Assistant Public Defender Gordon Weekes treats his clients as he would any other kids — with dignity, respect, and a fierce sense of protection. When a 14-year-old boy alleged he was repeatedly sexually assaulted by a guard at the Thompson Academy detention center, Weekes got the teenager… More >>
  • Best Way to Make Everyone Think You're Racist

    Post an angry YouTube rant about your classmates

    It certainly wasn't the first time something racist was said on the internet, but Santaluces High School was briefly on alert for "cracka beatdowns" after girls posted an outrageous video in February. Turns out, saying "So, guys, if you are watching this video right now and you have a weave and you are black, please be offended, 'cause we are… More >>
  • Best Lawsuit

    Fane Lozman vs. the City of Riviera Beach, Florida

    They say the man who represents himself has a fool for a client, but this long-running David-and-Goliath case just might end with a local government looking like the fool. It all started in 2006, when Lozman, a retired Chicago financier with plenty of money to burn on justice, claimed he had been illegally evicted from his floating home in Riviera… More >>
  • Best Rich Guy to Ridicule

    John Goodman

    Driving drunk, plowing your Bentley through a stop sign, and capsizing a Hyundai into a canal is one thing. Leaving the 23-year-old driver of the Hyundai to drown while you stumble off down the road to call your girlfriend is a whole different universe of awful. A Palm Beach County jury convicted Wellington polo mogul John Goodman of all of… More >>
  • Best Place for a Second Date

    Swap Shop

    Taking a potential love to the Swap Shop is great place to show your quirky side without having to go out and buy any artsy posters of men covered in body paint. There's no one thing about the place that will make you look cool, but where else in South Florida can you buy hot dogs, studded belts, and flowers… More >>
  • Best Hurricane

    Irene

    Oh, Irene. You big, dirty tease. It looked like you were coming straight at us: In mid-August, the forecast cone painted an elegant swath across the Atlantic, tracing the contours of Cuba and landing smack-dab up the spine of Florida. We rushed to the stores and bought all that great South Florida stuff like batteries and cans of beans and… More >>
  • Best Place to Smoke a Little Doobie

    John U. Lloyd Beach State Park

    Tired of ripping a bong, then going on a 45-minute YouTube bender? Feel like adding a little excitement to your next stoned escapade, getting all Harold & Kumar with it? If so, twist up a fatty and make your way toward John U. Lloyd State Park, a stretch of Dania Beach scenery wedged between the ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway.… More >>
  • Best Local Boy Gone Bad

    David Britto

    In 2010, David Britto was named Officer of the Year by the Boynton Beach Police Department for investigating the shooting of preachers and resuscitating a 2-year-old. Little did his bosses know, he was also allegedly slangin' large quantities of methamphetamine. The feds arrested Britto in July, saying he had "conspired to possess with the intent to distribute more than five… More >>
  • Best Place to Get a Used Bike

    Jack the Bike Man

    Samuel "Jack" Hairston III looks like your doting grandpa, if the old man had a soft spot for bikes and migrant workers. Jack has white hair, a handle-bar mustache, and a broad smile. At his shop, workers and volunteers take old bikes and parts, repair them, and resell them to support Jack's charity. The nonprofit donates hundreds of used bikes… More >>
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