Now, perhaps Carl Hiaasen is the easy pick for the finest Miami Herald writer because he's a nationally known novelist who has worked as an investigative journalist and columnist for the paper since 1976. Or perhaps he's the only pick. Here's a guy who has a love-hate relationship with the sleaziest side of the Sunshine State. He isn't afraid to take a hard stance on the sickening flow of oxycodone pills, Gov. Rick Scott's disgusting policies, and the crappy new stadium that awaits the Marlins. But he's also not afraid to profit off all of this muck and turn it into a compelling read. Shrewdly played, Hiaasen. And now you write children's books too?

Is there anything in this world better than a large group of people spontaneously breaking into song and dance? No, there is nothing better. So on the rare occasion that it happens, you better hope there's a camera on. This time, it was during a rain delay last season in the middle of a game against Western Kentucky. Words can't adequately describe all that went on that afternoon, but it involved the FAU Owl baseball team marching in step, to the beat, in a West Side Story kind of way, and ultimately concluded with one shirtless young man standing in the center of a circle of kneeling teammates, Shake Weight in hand, dancing his ass off.

He's big-headed, stubborn, childish, and most certainly a mama's boy. On Pardon the Interruption, an ESPN show he occasionally guest-hosts, he's known as "the hatable Dan Le Batard," and he introduces himself with varying forms of the word bam. But Dan Le Batard can also write like rain, like the purest form of nourishment pouring from the sky. His ideas are often counterintuitive, his notions unorthodox. He cares about the athletes he covers, about the people, and those are the stories he tells. From a Le Batard column about the downfall of Bernie Kosar, the great college and pro quarterback whose success on the field could not prevent failure in every other aspect of life: "The game was fast and muscled. He was neither. He was always the giraffe trying to survive among lions. Still is, really. He has merely traded one cutthroat arena in which people compete for big dollars for another, and today's is a hell of a lot less fun than the one that made him famous. More painful, too, oddly enough."

Trapeze

Half the club is a decadent and delicious buffet, a strobe-lit dance floor, lots of plush seating, and a sprawling bar. The other half is composed of several private rooms, beds, special contraptions, and a sexy, outrageous fuck-fest that is second to none in the state.

Green Room

Recipe for debauchery: 1. Mix equal parts class, decadence, and people dressed too well to stay downstairs at America's Backyard.

2. Sprinkle in some immaculate white VIP couches, glittering chandeliers, and anything-goes stripper poles.

3. Add a pinch of smut.

4. Blend in liberal amounts of champagne, Lady Gaga tunes, and drunken party girls in mile-high heels.

5. Now throw it all on a crowded dance floor and jump directly into the middle. You won't stay sober. Or celibate.

Tealicious Tea Room

The Chinese discovered it. The Japanese made it ceremonial. The Indians made it a latte. And the Brits, well, they took it over and made it seem like their idea. Typical. But it's merry old England we have to thank for afternoon tea as we know it. Probably the most perfect place in the world for a traditional cream tea is the Orangery in Kensington Palace at the west end of Hyde Park in the heart of London. Since that would require an eight-hour plane ride and an updated passport, TeaLicious Tea Room in Delray Beach is the next best thing. Patrons will find themselves in a perfect re-creation of a posh English parlor, free to reenact their favorite scene from a Jane Austen novel. Surrounded by porcelain and silver, vases of roses, and pastries piled three tiers high, diners can choose from a simple repast of tea and scone or a lavish spread of croquettes and finger sandwiches. Brits wouldn't consider getting through the day without stopping for a cuppa, and frankly neither should you. So reread a few chapters of Northanger Abbey, find something floral and flowy to wear, and treat yourself to the great Chinese/Japanese/Indian/British tradition that is tea.

Wine Watch
Tabatha Mudra

A vast selection of varietals, wallet-friendly prices, an informed staff, and delicious catered eats — wine snobs don't expect anything less from a shop. At Wine Watch, proprietor Andrew Lampasone believes "you should have between three and five glasses of wine a day." In that case, we better get sipping. Good thing his shop features more than 3,000 wines, with tastings offered regularly. Sample a great-tasting weekday bottle, then procure a celebratory champagne from a few shelves away. Oh, did we mention that Wine Watch also offers an informative email listserve announcing upcoming winetastings and online shopping? Wine Watch, how helpful.

Books & Books @ MOAFL

If, by some minor miracle of the market, the new outpost of Miami's noblest booksellers manages to flourish in its home at the Museum of Art|Fort Lauderdale, we'll all be better for it. Books & Books does bookstores right — all the coolest authors come and speak (Greil Marcus! Bernard-Henri Lévy!), all the coolest books are kept in stock (books by Nabokov that aren't Lolita or Pale Fire!), and the people who run the floors have the bookseller's aesthetic down pat. Of course, the outpost at the Museum is artcentric, but oh well. Fact is, we need some good bookstores in Lauderdale, and it doesn't really matter what kind they are. Downtown isn't known for its appreciation of life's finer things, but here's hoping Books & Books can help change that image with a new, literary crowd.

Donna Pascoe Salon

Like the miles and miles of our sun-drenched beaches, there are miles and miles of (seemingly) sun-drenched (flatironed) blond hair. But if you're not afraid of big, bold curls, then head to Donna Pascoe Salon. Curly girls — and lads — this is your new hair home. Aside from all the usual posh salon services and the fact that they've recently switched to organic products, Donna Pascoe has Katrina Rodriguez, curl specialist. She's a Color & Cut Deva Specialist trained at the Devachan salon in NYC. She's a curl educator, and she will not only teach your curls to behave but she'll teach you how to let them be free. So be brave. Put down the flatiron. (And walk away from the Sun-In.) Walk in to Donna Pascoe's, and let your curls be free.

Design Center of the Americas

Judge a building by its cover, sure. If you're in Dania Beach, taking a gander at the Design Center of the Americas is a must: It occupies 775,000 square feet. It turns colors at night, with shades of pink and yellow and green that light up the east side of I-95. This squarish white building is not a bank or a grand hotel. It's a campus — for trade design — the largest of its kind in the world. So you better believe you should get out of the car and explore what's beyond the front walls. The building is open to the public. You can meander throughout more than 100 showrooms. Yes, you got that right: somewhere around 150 rooms, displaying interior and designer showrooms. Folks spend a whole day inside this building — not just the internationally renowned designer suits trying to lock in clients, but those guys are there too. You're inside a giant swatch. Discover different types of flooring, lighting, window treatments, every style of furniture, every type of paint and fabric. This turns Rooms to Go into a yucky kiddie Fun Zone containing plastic tunnels and pits of balls with spit on them. Ikea, shucks, it's nothing but a Charlie Brown playpen.

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