Sinking your balls into the soft center pocket will never be tough again. Just start practicing now at this classy pool hall, where 21 tables in impeccable condition are almost certain to improve your game. And even if no marked improvement is observed, don't worry -- the spacious, full-liquor bar and friendly waitresses are sure to lift your spirits. Happy hour is daily between 11 a.m. and 7 p.m. Even serious players -- folks with their own cues and chalk -- can likely find their match here among the tattooed machos, smart-aleck pretty boys, and smooth pool sharks who frequent the joint. If you fancy taking in a meal to the melodious background sound of cue striking ball, Shootersville offers a dining section overlooking the pool hall with a late-night kitchen that serves a variety of scrumptious fare, from steaks to loaded cheese nachos. And there are even plenty of bar stools and comfortable couches to sit on while awaiting your turn and enough lighting to distinguish stripes from solids.
From its departure point at the Bahia Mar Yacht Basin on A1A, the Jungle Queen Riverboat tour chugs west down the New River, passes beneath the concrete canopy of the Interstate, and docks at its secret mini-theme-park destination. When the gator wrasslin' and pretzel-eatin' gets old, a few tots'll amble around the monkey-and-parrot filled "island" (actually a large, tropical compound in the Riverland area) and look for trouble. They often find it at the ground-level iguana cage, where a greenish-brown gaggle of lumbering, slumbering lizards do a whole lot of nothing, making them easy targets for the prodding fingers and twigs proffered by toddlers. The critters tolerate these indignities with typical reptilian indifference -- but as any herpetologist can tell you, touching the iguanas before putting your hands in your mouth is a sure-fire way to contract salmonella. So hands off, young professor.
Despite the association of trainspotting with the tracks left in the arm of a heroin user, which may have its origin in the 1996 movie of that name, the word is used in England to describe a person obsessed to the point of mania with the trivial. Trainspotters haunt railway platforms in England, notebook in hand, writing down the numbers of trains that roll through. Then they gather and compare lifetime lists. South Florida trainspotters covet a spot on 15th Street under the I-95 overpass, west of the Pompano State Farmer's Market. Four train lines rumble down the tracks -- Florida East Coast Railroad, Tri-Rail, Amtrak, and CSX Corp. So you can see a damn fine assortment. But if you decide to head over in pursuit of the trivial, take a few words of advice from big brother New Times: Don't let the monkey on your back.
So you want to make your friend into a punching bag... nothing too horrible, just some friendly, good-natured fisticuffs. But brawling in the streets can lead to misunderstandings with the local police, who generally are willing to demonstrate how to properly whip the tar out of someone. And doing it at your house could break all those valuable family heirlooms. Boxing gyms charge obscene fees. Can't a guy just strap on some gloves, step into a ring, and light up his buddy? You bet he can! This is America, dammit, and if you want to put the smackdown on your pal, that's your God-given right... as long as you do it on Wednesday at Atlantis. On that night, the club features amateur boxing matches. Arrive early to sign up (early in nightclub speak means around 7 or 8 p.m.) or the dance card will definitely be full and you'll have to wait another week to prove once and for all who would win if you and your best friend traded shots. And who hasn't had that conversation?
After only a brief existence, it can honestly be said that Warrior's Boxing Gym has changed the face of the sport in South Florida. It's no coincidence that major title bouts returned here after decades of absence since the gym opened, though it was sad to see the gym's great hope, Andre "Tombstone" Purlett, get dropped. But since that inaugural bout, SoFla has seen matches featuring such big names as Roy Jones Jr., pound-for-pound perhaps the best professional fighter today. The gym's trainers, Bill McKnight and Jessie Robinson, can take some credit for returning the sweet science to one of its most legendary locations. Because of the presence of this top-of-the-line training facility in Hollywood, we can look forward to local big-name pugilistic contests for years to come.
Two words that allow Firm Fitness to crush all its girlyman competitors: hypoxic chamber. Michael Jackson ain't got nothing on this contraption that creates a more efficient, thus shorter, cardio workout. From what New Times understands, the treadmill, encased in glass, is temperature-controlled -- read: average 58-60 degrees. It purifies, stabilizes, and thins the oxygen, which makes you breathe a little harder and sweat a little more to create more red blood cells. Remember the Olympic controversy over blood doping? Well, the hypoxic chamber lets you do something similar without causing an international scandal. The Firm complements the chamber with washboard-abs, muscle-step, and yoga classes. If you haven't had enough after these, try the roomy, circuit training area, which offers standby Atlantis equipment as old as 1997. Or for those who like the latest, there's the Cybex VR2 machines, which allow smooth and comfortable resistance and weight training. For those who are easily bored, hang out in the EZone section and hook up your headphones to local radio and television shows. The basic annual fee is $499, which includes two sessions with one of the gym's eight trainers. Premiere membership lets you use the chamber, take spinning classes, and bronze yourself silly for $599. Monthly rates are available.
With almost 30,000 square feet of workout space, Body Perfect should really have its own ZIP code. It certainly has everything else. This behemoth offers rows of treadmills, bikes, Stairmasters, and elliptical walkers. Build muscle the old-fashioned way with free weights, or for the latest thing, hop on the Flex Fitness machines. All classes -- kick-boxing, Pilates, spin, yoga, and others -- come free with membership. Ditto for on-site child care. An annual membership costs $36 a month after a one-time $75 enrollment fee. The gym also offers everything from one-day passes to three-year memberships. Tanning and massages are available for an extra charge. It's open from 5 a.m. to 10 p.m. weekdays, with shorter hours on Saturdays and Sundays.
They don't call him P-Rock for nothing. No, it's not because he won that "The Rock" look-alike contest last year when the wrestler formerly known as Dwayne Johnson threw out the first pitch at a Marlins game. It's that body. Though he tips the scales at a modest 213 pounds, it is all muscle, as ex-skipper John Boles discovered last May when he tried to restrain an irate Wilson from getting in an umpire's face. "My goodness, is he strong," Boles told reporters after the game. "I got his arm, and he moved me out of the way quickly. If he wanted to [reach the umpire], I certainly couldn't have stopped him.... We needed to call in the militia." Wilson also showed his internal strength last year, returning from injury and the heart-wrenching death of his newborn son to finish the season on a hot streak, reaching the 20-20 (home runs-stolen bases) plateau for the second time in his young career. Look for him to take another step toward stardom this season.
Gilbert was a sensational basketball player at Dillard High School and ended the regular season of his senior year at the University of Missouri on a down note. Missouri was ranked as high as number two early in the year but, in one disappointment after another, eventually fell into unranked territory. They barely made the NCAA tournament as a 12 seed, and, with Missouri's dismal past record in the Big Dance, few expected much out of the Tigers. But Gilbert wouldn't go down easy. First, the guard came up with a theme for the team -- "The Rock" -- that Coach Quin Snyder said galvanized his club for the tourney. Then Gilbert backed it up on the court, pushing his teammates and averaging about 20 points a game as Mizzou knocked off the University of Miami, Ohio State, and UCLA to become the lowest-seeded team ever to reach the Elite Eight. The bigger, stronger bodies of number-two seed Oklahoma finally stopped the Tigers, but Gilbert left the court proudly; he made Missouri one of the maddest teams in March history.
Number 37 perfectly represents the Florida Panthers. Every time trade rumors have surfaced this year, the 30-year-old goaltender's name has come up. He has been here for three seasons, and his lucky break this year was Roberto Luongo's injury on March 20. Maybe now the front office will shut up and Kidd will finally get the ice time he's always wanted. Kidd has a reputation for not complaining, for showing leadership in the locker room, and for rising to the occasion when necessary. This season, he had a terrible time coming up with wins at home. In 33 games, he had 4 wins, 16 losses, and 5 ties. Those stats, though, don't tell the whole story of Kidd's performance.

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