Maybe this selection says more about the dearth of decent local radio than about the quality of the programming on WLRN. We love the kids at WKPX-FM (88.5), with their earnestness, amateurishness, and ever-changing menu of tunes. But truthfully, name us one other local station you can listen to for more than a half-hour without being driven insane by moronic commercials, sports "talk," or repeat playings of 'NSync. So we stick with the tried and the true: WLRN. Diane Rehm may be so far over the hill that she can't remember how she first ascended, and Terry Gross is way too precious. But is there a better way to kill off the commute than by listening to Morning Edition or All Things Considered or Marketplace? It almost makes you hope for a traffic jam. And how better to cool off on Saturday mornings (and again on Sunday afternoons) than with the still-hilarious guys on Car Talk? Still not convinced? We'd wager good money that you can't locate a single hour of radio more compelling than Ira Glass' This American Life on Sunday mornings, with its engrossing tales of everyday folks. And that's just the national programming. Weeknights we get Len Pace, the local equivalent of Barry White, serving up jazz, and late nights Clint O'Neil spins all manner of reggae, the perfect soundtrack to settle down with for the evening. We also love it that the traffic reporter is named Lourdes. Only in South Florida.
Maybe this selection says more about the dearth of decent local radio than about the quality of the programming on WLRN. We love the kids at WKPX-FM (88.5), with their earnestness, amateurishness, and ever-changing menu of tunes. But truthfully, name us one other local station you can listen to for more than a half-hour without being driven insane by moronic commercials, sports "talk," or repeat playings of 'NSync. So we stick with the tried and the true: WLRN. Diane Rehm may be so far over the hill that she can't remember how she first ascended, and Terry Gross is way too precious. But is there a better way to kill off the commute than by listening to Morning Edition or All Things Considered or Marketplace? It almost makes you hope for a traffic jam. And how better to cool off on Saturday mornings (and again on Sunday afternoons) than with the still-hilarious guys on Car Talk? Still not convinced? We'd wager good money that you can't locate a single hour of radio more compelling than Ira Glass' This American Life on Sunday mornings, with its engrossing tales of everyday folks. And that's just the national programming. Weeknights we get Len Pace, the local equivalent of Barry White, serving up jazz, and late nights Clint O'Neil spins all manner of reggae, the perfect soundtrack to settle down with for the evening. We also love it that the traffic reporter is named Lourdes. Only in South Florida.
Bamboo Room
Wednesday night, 9 p.m. Stomp on up the leopard-print carpeted stairs at this barely year-old blues bar. No cover tonight. Upstairs, within the bamboo walls, bluesman in residence Keith B. Brown is just getting started on his Delta licks. Order up a Konig Pilsener, John Courage, or one of the other fine tap beers. Or try one of the dozens of cocktails available. There are always a few on special for $4. Lounge at the bar and admire the house collection of vintage cocktail shakers. Or work your way near the stage, collapse into one of the comfy lounge chairs, and settle in as Brown works his way through some Son House, Robert Johnson, and a smattering of originals. Between sets rack up a set of pool balls and punch up a few songs on the vast, all-blues jukebox. Order up another round. The world seems a much finer place.
Wednesday night, 9 p.m. Stomp on up the leopard-print carpeted stairs at this barely year-old blues bar. No cover tonight. Upstairs, within the bamboo walls, bluesman in residence Keith B. Brown is just getting started on his Delta licks. Order up a Konig Pilsener, John Courage, or one of the other fine tap beers. Or try one of the dozens of cocktails available. There are always a few on special for $4. Lounge at the bar and admire the house collection of vintage cocktail shakers. Or work your way near the stage, collapse into one of the comfy lounge chairs, and settle in as Brown works his way through some Son House, Robert Johnson, and a smattering of originals. Between sets rack up a set of pool balls and punch up a few songs on the vast, all-blues jukebox. Order up another round. The world seems a much finer place.
Maguire's Hill 16
We think Maguire's is the best place to souse oneself and absorb the Irish bard's musings on beauty and love because (a) it's a bar -- the booze is already there, and (b) it's a bar with three Yeats verses framed on the walls of the south room, a handy touch if you've forgotten your own copy of his collected works. "Never give all the heart, for love/Will hardly seem worth thinking of…/For everything that's lovely is/But a brief, dreamy delight." So go ahead. Keep the Harp lagers coming and forget about your latest heartbreak. If Yeats found solace in his words, so can you. At the very least, his lines will give you something to focus on when the room starts spinning.

We think Maguire's is the best place to souse oneself and absorb the Irish bard's musings on beauty and love because (a) it's a bar -- the booze is already there, and (b) it's a bar with three Yeats verses framed on the walls of the south room, a handy touch if you've forgotten your own copy of his collected works. "Never give all the heart, for love/Will hardly seem worth thinking of…/For everything that's lovely is/But a brief, dreamy delight." So go ahead. Keep the Harp lagers coming and forget about your latest heartbreak. If Yeats found solace in his words, so can you. At the very least, his lines will give you something to focus on when the room starts spinning.

You'll have to wait a few months for the next Holiday Fantasy of Lights, but it's worth it. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Tradewinds Park becomes a drive-through, electrified fantasyland that is guaranteed to please the most jaded junior thrill-seeker. There's simply nothing anywhere at any price to compare with this sensory overload of lumens. Consider the stats: 1.2 million light bulbs, seven miles of cable, more than 50 individual displays. Last year's show included pirate ships, castles, frogs leaping across the road, a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree, an ice castle, and polar bears, to name just a few. Load the Packard with little people until the springs sag, because the cost is the same no matter how many you have in the car -- $5 during the week and $8 on weekends and holidays (unless you have a bus with 20 or more in it; then the price goes up to $35). Our advice: Go during the week. You'll save yourself a few bucks and a lot of time in traffic.
You'll have to wait a few months for the next Holiday Fantasy of Lights, but it's worth it. Between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, Tradewinds Park becomes a drive-through, electrified fantasyland that is guaranteed to please the most jaded junior thrill-seeker. There's simply nothing anywhere at any price to compare with this sensory overload of lumens. Consider the stats: 1.2 million light bulbs, seven miles of cable, more than 50 individual displays. Last year's show included pirate ships, castles, frogs leaping across the road, a 50-foot-tall Christmas tree, an ice castle, and polar bears, to name just a few. Load the Packard with little people until the springs sag, because the cost is the same no matter how many you have in the car -- $5 during the week and $8 on weekends and holidays (unless you have a bus with 20 or more in it; then the price goes up to $35). Our advice: Go during the week. You'll save yourself a few bucks and a lot of time in traffic.
About six months ago, the Nielsen people -- the ones who survey radio and TV audiences -- came to us and wanted to know what we listen to in the car on the way to and from work. They're probably sorry they asked. We flip constantly between public radio (WLRN-FM, 91.3) and WKPX. Neither carries commercials, so the $2 the Nielsens paid us to fill out the little diary was all but wasted. No station manager in his right mind would up his ad rates based on our listening habits. But if our input spiked WKPX's ratings, great. The station deserves it. It's an amateur-hour operation, and the DJs sound like the high-school and college kids that they are. But they spin an eclectic mix of music you won't find on any other station in this sorry radio market. Where else can you get a mix of hip-hop, heavy metal, electronica, and stuff so weird it's unclassifiable, all in a single hour? That and the fact that they produce some of the strangest public service announcements in all of radiodom has earned the station a preset on our dial.
About six months ago, the Nielsen people -- the ones who survey radio and TV audiences -- came to us and wanted to know what we listen to in the car on the way to and from work. They're probably sorry they asked. We flip constantly between public radio (WLRN-FM, 91.3) and WKPX. Neither carries commercials, so the $2 the Nielsens paid us to fill out the little diary was all but wasted. No station manager in his right mind would up his ad rates based on our listening habits. But if our input spiked WKPX's ratings, great. The station deserves it. It's an amateur-hour operation, and the DJs sound like the high-school and college kids that they are. But they spin an eclectic mix of music you won't find on any other station in this sorry radio market. Where else can you get a mix of hip-hop, heavy metal, electronica, and stuff so weird it's unclassifiable, all in a single hour? That and the fact that they produce some of the strangest public service announcements in all of radiodom has earned the station a preset on our dial.

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