Size does matter. That's why we journey to Megasex Adult Emporium for our XXX video needs. With about 20,000 titles available for rent, the place stocks something for every fetish and fantasy. Looking for celluloid she-males? There's a whole section dedicated to the testosterone-challenged. Titillated by outrageously endowed women? Check out the "Big Tits" section. The women featured here make Dolly Parton's you-know-whats look like mosquito bites. There are also dozens of amateur titles, such as Fuck the Boss Vol. 5, which features five "suck-retariats." Not to mention countless "classics": Who could forget Deep Throat 6? Our favorite section of Megasex Adult Emporium, however, has to be "Wrestling." It features such cinematic juggernauts as Pussy Whipped and Smothered With Pantyhose. Open until 2 a.m. every night except Sunday (when closing time is midnight), Megasex is the perfect opiate for those lonely Saturday nights when the family-friendly fare at Blockbuster just doesn't cut it.
When it comes to airboat rides, forget the painted, commercialized boats and the uniformed tour guides. They're all too predictable and sanitized. For adventure and education, Buffalo Tiger's outfit is the place. Tiger is an old, worn former Miccosukee Indian chief whose dark eyes still twinkle. And he has a great retirement gig -- running an airboat company off Tamiami Trail. While others actually drive the boats, Tiger can often be found in his gift shop, surrounded by paints and putty, making crafts to sell. You get 40 to 45 minutes on the airboat for $10, but it's not the length of the ride or the cost that makes it really special. It's the intimate and casual approach. If you see something you want to look at more closely, the guide will stop the boat for you. White flowers on the water mean it's shallow, the guide will instruct you, while yellow flowers signify a deeper swamp. The guide will also stop the boat and let you pull a piece of sawgrass out of the swamp and inspect the bottom to see that it's white and has the texture of heart of palm. Miccosukees, you learn, used to eat the grass. (We took a small bite, but were warned that the Everglades are contaminated by pesticides from northern farms.) We saw about a dozen gators, from ten-footers to little babies. (Gators, we were told, live to be well over 100 years old.) The stop at an old Miccosukee village, where chickees stand in ruins, was fascinating. And we got a chance to drive the boat for a few minutes.

A yellow road-sign hanging from a tree warns "Butterfly Crossing," and the traffic is indeed intense. Dozens of yellow-and-black-striped zebras and classic monarch butterflies swoop, golden sulphurs hover high above, and orange julias flit about the garden that wraps around building contractor Ralph Johnson's Fort Lauderdale home. More than a year ago, Johnson and a friend, Bonnie Campbell, began courting butterflies. They sought books and seminars to find out which plants -- including cassia, milkweed, passion vine, and the wine-stained Dutchman's pipe -- attract the delicate creatures. Now Johnson and Campbell have their own photo album that tracks caterpillars through the pupa stage to full-blown butterflies and a log in which they've noted 13 species that have paid them a visit and as many as 70 sightings in the garden at one time. Johnson talks about putting together a guide to cultivating butterflies in South Florida and recently gave an impromptu instructional tour to a stranger who drove into his driveway and asked for his secret. He is already offering seedlings to his neighbors, sprinkling pollenlike fairy dust in the hope of creating a block-long private Butterfly World.
It's a suitably ironic commentary on the dismal state of so much South Florida architecture that the most striking piece of work around is this gloriously gratuitous bit of design from the world-renowned firm of Arquitectonica, which has offices in Miami. Built a decade ago, this marble-and-ceramic "stairway to nowhere" flies in the face of the notion that form should follow function in architecture. It's a flashy construction of geometric shapes fashioned from bright, shiny blue and red tiles and a checkerboard slab of gray marble, assembled with steps and railings to suggest a Jetsons-style confluence of the '50s and futurism. The overall effect is that of a sort of deranged el train station, and the punch line is that, once you ascend the stairs, there's nowhere to go -- the walkways extending from the stairs into the terminal lead to nonexistent train tracks. The structure is a piece of pure absurdist eye candy.

When Betty and Earnest "Blackie" Hinkle opened Hinkle Bait and Tackle on State Road 84 in 1955, a sprinkling of lures hung on the wall, and the empty boxes were put on display to make it look like they had more in stock. The trick worked, because enough customers returned to justify increasing the inventory. Soon the store was recognized for its wide selection of fishing equipment and accessories, especially live bait. So when Larry and Marcia Brooks took over the shop in 1996, all Larry had to do was mention the name of his new shop at a fishing trade convention, and he was promptly offered a $100,000 credit line by one manufacturer. The Hinkles originally sold the shop in 1977, but Betty Hinkle has stayed in contact with all the owners since, offering advice and occasionally working at the shop, which moved to its present location in Davie in 1983, when a section of I-595 was built through the property. Earlier this year the inside walls of the building, which resembles a rustic wood cabin with a porch, were knocked out to create more space. Now the current owners, Tom and Lisa Krips, are set to provide area fishermen with an even greater selection of rods, reels, waders, lures, line, hunting gear, and, of course, plenty of live crawly critters to put on the end of a hook.

Those are Ben Franklins you smell in the lobby of the Chesterfield Hotel. Crisp and tightly packed in a gold money clip, placed neatly inside the interior pocket of a pinstriped suit jacket. The portly gentleman wearing the suit saunters, Dominican in hand, toward the dark-wood-and-brass bar at the hotel restaurant, the Leopard Lounge. Two dignified middle-aged women with martinis ("Very dry, please") chat at small, low-to-the-ground cocktail tables by the dance floor. A three-piece band croons Sinatra tunes. The portly man with the Dominican smiles at the women and does a two-step past them. Were it not for the friendly bartenders, the live swing and dance music, and the nudes painted on the ceiling in swirls of red and white, the Leopard Lounge might at first glance appear to be too austere a place for even the bluest of blue bloods among us. But since it opened about ten years ago, the Leopard has been real money's top choice for a drink. Yes, there are celebrities: Alan King, Phyllis Diller -- even Whitney Houston and Bobby Brown (when he's not in jail or rehab). But they're bourgeois. Real money is invisible, because real money doesn't boast. And the Leopard Lounge is high society, where discussions of money -- greenbacks, moolah, cash, dough, shekels, secret accounts in the Cayman Islands -- are considered gauche. So if you start chatting with someone at the Leopard Lounge, just assume he or she has more money than God. Or you. And let him or her pick up the tab.
Customers of Guys and Dolls are sternly advised to "Please sit up straight, uncross your legs, keep your feet off the furniture, and please don't smoke while your hair is being cut." The sign on the wall is no joke, says co-owner Linda Lafrato; at the height of the season, her colorful beachfront salon draws weird walk-ins like driftwood. Maybe it's the huge row of red, green, orange, and purple "passion flowers" painted along the outside façade or possibly the six-foot, hand-carved teak "Java Man" statue waiting just inside the front door to greet unsuspecting visitors. Or maybe it's just they've heard this is an always-reliable spot to have your hair cut, curled, styled, teased, shampooed, combed, and blown dry for a reasonable price by a friendly and talented crew. They heard right.

While those poor, underpaid NBA players were working out their contract dispute, they cost owners a bunch of cash. They also cost fans half a season. So while you're boycotting the babies who call themselves pros, "get game" yourself. You and your friends can take it to the hoop in style at Cypress Park, where smooth, hunter-green asphalt is divided into four full-length courts by brick-red sidelines. At either end of every court stands a rectangular, mod-looking white backboard with a bright-orange rim and a new cloth net (not the canvas playground type). And for those rowdy games full of body-checking and wild fast breaks, the posts supporting the baskets are covered in blue foam padding, and the chainlink fence surrounding the court area keeps errant shots and passes from getting away. After working up a thirst, players can step over to the nearby fountain or grab a sports drink from the conveniently located vending machine. There's usually one full-court contest going, which leaves the other baskets free for shooting around. A stand of palms and pines shades the court area during part of the day, and for those overtime games, the lights stay on until 10 p.m.

We can imagine doing without the beer-soaked bacchanalia of Fort Lauderdale beach in season. We can imagine doing without the annual dance of the white-bellied snowbird on Broadwalk along Hollywood beach. But somehow we can't imagine doing without the small-town charm of the short but sweet stretch of beach known as Lauderdale-by-the-Sea. Drive along A1A from Sunrise Boulevard north. You'll know you're there when the high-rise hotels and condos fall behind and you begin to pass a multitude of small beachfront hotels with names like the Green Lantern and the Blue Dolphin. This beach has all sorts of small but pleasing touches, such as the diner sitting out over the water on the Commercial Boulevard pier where you can eat a down-home breakfast while watching the sun rise out of the ocean. Also, this beach boasts the best close-in reef in two counties for snorkeling or diving straight from the beach. Yes, the place has its share of tourists. Yes, traffic on the main drag can get a little crazy in season. But, it's not so well-known that you won't be able to throw down your towel on a nice quiet spot all your own.
No contest here, or should we say plenty of contests here? South Beach Park, which is south of Las Olas Boulevard off A1A, has just put up brand-new nets on nine volleyball courts in the sand. Some of the more serious players there swear that the park has the best volleyball courts not only in South Florida but also in the entire state. The competition in the pickup games can be fierce, as the winners move from court to court until they reach the first court, where the best matches can be seen. But you don't have to be a semipro to have fun. Whole families can also play, from the oldest, fattest aunts to the littlest, most awkward children. All that is required is a little waiting to claim a court. It's worth it, as the courts are perfect and the setting, complete with the dark blue Atlantic waters lapping on the beach under swaying palms, is enough to gentle the heart of even the most ruthless volleyballer.

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®