That's right. We're going with Bogenschutz, the shrewd advocate for damn near every lousy public official in Broward County (Ken "Jailbird" Jenne, Al "Urinal Man" Capellini, and "Weepy" Larry Seidlin are three recent clients). Sure, you can condemn him for representing high-rolling sleazebags. Many have. But whatever you think about his defense of officialdom's scum, it's hard to argue that he doesn't perform his odious duties with shrewdness and stealth. He doesn't grandstand and make outrageous claims. Bogenschutz just works doggedly to either try to keep his clients out of trouble or hammer out a deal to get them as little of it as possible. The lack of excess has been a key to his success. He's a damn good man to have walk through your door when you're in a jam.

Every town needs a resident freak to make life interesting and keep the gossips in business. Unfortunately, Britney Spears lives in California and former sheriff Ken Jenne is incarcerated. So it was our luck when the Iceman himself moved his digs to Wellington. Every fan of The Surreal Life knows that Rob Van Winkle once resented being known as the world's first solo white rapper and serving a brief stint as the laughingstock of the music industry. But with the help of TV legend Ponch Poncherello and porn star Ron Jeremy, Ice learned to count his blessings ("Ice, Ice Baby" will remain an awesomely catchy song until the end of time). These days, he's mellowed considerably. (The domestic violence charges were dropped, people!) If you see him out — say, hanging with pal/Aventura resident Dennis Rodman, or racing one his 50 cars at Moroso Motorsports Park — he will most likely be happy to indulge you with a picture and a smile. In fact, the last time we bumped into him, he asked good-naturedly, "Remember when my pet wallaroo escaped?" (The wallaroo, Bucky, was eventually found wandering with Ice's pet goat, Pancho.) Ice has managed to extend his proverbial 15 minutes of fame. This coming year, his itinerary includes filming a reality show with racecar driver Emerson Fittipaldi and playing a Kappa Sigma frat house with the Ying Yang Twins. Last December, when he held the Vanilla Ice House Party at the local Polish Club, he was sure to include human bowling, pudding wrestling, and a real live giraffe — all while collecting toys for tots. Long live Ice!

Yeah, she's made lots of porn movies. Yeah, she has several times made a mockery of the democratic process in California, running for governor of the golden state on her "Porn for Pistols" campaign. And yes, she showed up for the first day of her celebrity rehab reality show on VH1 so shitfaced she could barely talk to counselors. But now Fort Lauderdale's own Mary Carey — a product of Pine Crest School — has turned over a new leaf. Kind of. Since her mother attempted suicide, Carey (whose given name is Mary Ellen Cook) has aimed to set her life straight: No more porn. No more drugs. No more of the generally self-destructive behavior out of which she has made a career. And while she hasn't exactly reverted back to the pleasant ballerina princess she was as a child (rehab didn't take and she still dances at strip clubs), simply showing the American public some of the horrors of addiction from a young, white, wealthy woman's perspective may have saved innumerable lives.

In light of the economic downturn, the story of Frank Stranahan is both instructional and apropos. Long before the land boom of the early 21st Century, there was the high-flying 1920s. Broward was growing and the Ohio-born Stranahan was at the center of it all. A rather stern and extremely determined fellow, he built the county's first bank and opened a trading post on the New River. But then fate dealt Stranahan and the area two crushing blows — a devastating earthquake in 1926, and the Great Depression in 1929. Whatever the natural disaster didn't wipe out was taken from him by the economic tumult. Stranahan not only lost all his own money but the fortunes of relatives and friends throughout the area. So on the morning of June 23, 1929, the 64-year-old Stranahan tied an iron grate to his leg and jumped into the New River, drowning himself. Left behind is the home he built on the river, which is now a historic landmark — and a favorite on the haunted house circuit.

Keeping up with Broward County's alternative nightlife scene is a huge undertaking; the posters, the flyers, the drag divas, the circuit boys — it's enough to make you pass out while cartoon thongs spin overhead. The fact that Mark's List (www.jumponmarkslist.com) thoroughly tabulates and organizes every major gay and lesbian event from Miami to Palm Beach — and now also those in the Central Florida/Bay Area — is befuddling. The fact that it also accounts for all of the smaller ones (drink specials, karaoke nights, bear bowling, etc.) is what makes it a necessity. The only problem you might discover while navigating through this collage of to-dos and nearly naked men is that every click leads to another. It's a party planning hydra. Soon you'll realize that you've spent a whole afternoon learning about the ins and outs of gay beaches when you should have been doing "real work" (you scamp, you). Don't feel bad, the website is just that good. Without it, our local nightlife would lack cohesion, our city would be less fabulous, and, worst of all, we would never know what our favorite porn stars were up to these days.

In October, an out-of-shape, 30-something accountant named Gary decided it would be a smashing idea to organize a weekly volleyball match for folks of all skill levels. It would be casual, friendly, and non-competitive. Nobody would have to fret about getting spiked in the head by a hard-bodied beach bully. Heck, they wouldn't even bother to keep score! It took Gary a while to assemble a core group of regulars for the Saturday beach matches. Busy schedules, hangovers, and the harsh Florida sun made for spotty attendance in the fledgling, loose-knit group. But several months in, he has attracted enough faithfuls to warrant a weeknight match as well. The locations vary, as Gary seeks to lighten the commuting burden on members whenever possible. After playing, the group usually grabs a drink and maybe some grub together. Members have awarded the Meetup group with an average approval rating of four-and-a-half stars (out of five).

Entrada

Its name lined in globe lights, the Entrada stands as a final vestige of old Florida motels. From Federal Highway you might mistake it for another piece of crumbling Floridiana, but inside the cocktail lounge around 2 a.m. you'll find it's ever so much more. Grab a seat in one of the stackable metal chairs that fences in the sunken bar and order a dirt-cheap drink from a plastic cup. Don't worry; this bar is grandfathered in with a 6 a.m. liquor license — all you have to do is be patient and wait for the magic to happen. Phase One: Sex workers fresh off their shifts pile in to commiserate about their nightly ordeals over $3 gins; their pimps loiter menacingly in the room's smoky corners. Phase Two: friendly neighborhood businessmen (i.e., dealers) swing by to drop off and collect from the underbelly's graveyard shift. Phase Three: If you've waited this long, you've now officially entered "Crazy Hour." This is when the order of operations stops making sense. Here's what you recall the next morning: the police came, repeatedly; prostitutes were passed out on the bar, the floor, your friend's lap; pimps got angry; there were fights; more cops; distant gunfire was heard; your friends vanished; you left a twenty on the bar — it was enough to buy a round for everyone in the room; you had new friends; the cops came and took your new friends away; you went home amazed.

Their skin is wrinkly, colorless, and dry, and sometimes covered with white powder of non-illicit origins. They have the money but sometimes can't read the sign or hear the price as the tattoo artist shouts it into their hearing aids. But oh boy do older folks love getting tats these days. In the past, new trends have included young people going to clubs with bed-head (thinking it looked cool) and women walking around in thick fur boots, despite the year-round tropical climate. But this year it's seniors cruising around with freshly crafted, technicolor art covering all parts of their bodies. Whether it's a Harley insignia on an arm, an elegant rose on an ankle, or a full-color recreation of Michelangelo's Sistine Chapel fresco spread between melanoma-covered shoulder blades, local retirees are splashing into the body art scene like a bratty grandchild at the community pool. One thing, though: if the ink isn't done by early-bird special time, it's a definite deal breaker.

When it comes to playing Caribbean music, South Florida radio stations have a lot of competition. It's not like rock or urban formats where anywhere from 2-6 solid competitors exist in the market place at any one time. There are a slew of Caribbean radio stations here (some legal/some illegal) and staying on top of the game is always that much harder. But Riddims 94.5 FM is a station that you can consistently count on to have the top selectors and the best jams. Their DJs like Louie Rockaz of Jah Cuban Sound System know how to smoothly shift between Jah Cure, Tony Rebel, and Beres Hammond without being afraid to throw newer acts like Gyptian and Turbulence into the mix as well. If you can't catch their feed in your car, you can also listen to them online. For lovers of real reggae, soca, bashment, and dancehall, 94.5 FM is definitely the best pirate station in South Florida by far.

Fort Lauderdale has long been called the Venice of America, but even folks who live there hardly ever see it by water ('cept for the ones with boats). This is dumb, because water is romantic, and so is Fort Ladida. Especially in December. The Carrie B. Evening Holiday Light Cruise brings visitors up and down the New River and parts of the Intracoastal while the wintertime pageantry of the town's many rich people is on full display. The boat's got a bar, some snacking options, and a low-key narrator to tune in on when the conversation hits a lull — but the goings-on are so mellow that you can ignore the patter and chat among yourselves. It's breezy out there on the waterways, so sitting close together is a swell idea. The Evening Holiday Light Cruise is a December-only thing, but the Carrie B. runs daytime sightseeing cruises all year — through historic Tarpon River, past the mansions on the Isles, past Pier 66 and into Port Everglades, and then past hundreds of yachts docked near 17th Street. These waterways were the reason Fort Lauderdale was built, and the city's soul still thrums in them. Checking it out is a way more inventive first date option than dinner and a movie. First dates on the Carrie B. tend to lead to second dates elsewhere.

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