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Miami Beach 411: The Year In Review

December 27, 2011 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Local News  | 3 Comments

From porn sets to protests, Miami Beach 411 was diligently working to keep our readers informed, entertained and in some cases, infuriated, in 2011.

This was the first year fellow Miami Beach 411 writer Matt Meltzer and I worked together on a consistent basis, providing multimedia packages with several of our stories and having a blast while doing so.

One of the highlights of the year was the South by Southwest Interactive and Film Conference in Austin where Matt and I joined by Miami Beach 411 founder and head honcho Gus Moore embarked on a week-long binge of boozing, bonding and business.

We covered Rakontur’s premiere showing of Square Grouper as well as attended a few important tech-related panels before conquering as many free-booze events as we could handle.

Infuriating Some Readers

Miami might not be the techno-centric city some would like it to be, as Matt pointed out in one of his articles, but it is still the party capital of the United States and we brought that attitude to Austin. Those Texans have nothing on us in that regard.

Sill bustling with social media fervor after returning to Miami, I attended an event at Sugarcane Bar and Grill for Social Media Day where we not only did not get free drinks, we didn’t even get happy hour specials.

And this considering we brought more than 100 people into Sugarcane.

So we gathered our troops and headed to Jimmy’Z where I got a group of fellow social media enthusiasts to voice their displeasure for Sugarcane, which they were happy to do at the time, but then regretted doing so when they saw the flamewar the video created.

Memorial Day Weekend

And no year would be complete without some controversy over the Memorial Day Weekend on South Beach, aka Hip Hop Weekend. At least I did not get arrested this year.

This year, police not only arrested several hundred people for minor offenses as they always do, they unloaded their weapons on a man who may or may not have been threatening them with a gun.

Videos from the incident indicate that he not only wasn’t shooting back, but he had his windows rolled up.

Then it took several days for police to find an actual gun in the car, but they won’t even say where it was found.

So that of course got the locals once again to demand an end to the weekend, which prompted Miami Beach officials to host a series of town hall meetings where they assured locals they would do all they can to end it while acknowledging they really can’t do anything to end it.

Local Politics

So that became a focal point in the November mayoral election with two new candidates promising they would put an end to hip hop weekend, including one candidate who promised to do so while legalizing marijuana.

But when it came down to voting, the people chose incumbent Mattie Bower, who assured us that nothing can be done to stop the weekend, so it will be business as usual this Memorial Day Weekend, give or take a couple of police shootings.

We were also invited a Miami Dolphin charity event where Matt and I were given access to a golf cart and a golf course sprinkled with open bars, so you can imagine the fun we had with that.

I then spent the following day on a boat with Dolphins wide receiver Brian Hartline, who was so modest and unassuming, you would never know he was a professional football player.

Porn Sets and Swinger Clubs

Matt, whose beats includes strip clubs, profiled a swingers club, which is probably how we got invited to the porn set.

The film crew of Real Housewives of South Beach: An Adult Parody, allowed us to mingle with a roomful of female porn stars and get front row seats to some explicit sex acts on a yacht.

We were also invited to a race track to test drive some go karts and I had to talk Matt out of drinking beforehand, which goes to show you just how responsible we are here at Miami Beach 411.

But it wasn’t all golf carts, go karts and porn yachts.

Occupy Miami

I covered the Occupy Miami movement from before they even set up their tents at Government Center, joining them for several protests against the banks as well as when they stormed the offices of Senators Bill Nelson and Marco Rubio to ask them to vote against a controversial bill.

Nelson voted against it, but Rubio voted for it, proving that he is willing to sell out the Constitution despite his promises to the Tea Party that he would restore it.

We also got to meet and interview one of our favorite writers, Edna Buchanan, whose writing has been a huge inspiration for both Matt and myself.

I also continued my neighborhood profile series, which got a little sidetracked because of the Occupy Miami movement, but I will continue profiling the most interesting neighborhoods in Miami because many of our forum members use them in deciding which neighborhood to move into.

What’s in Store for 2012

In 2012, we plan to continue doing what we’ve been doing but expanding on it by writing personality profiles on social media players and photographers in Miami.

And as much as we rag on the Miami Marlins and as much as we hate their new logo, we will be attending several games this year because Miami Beach 411 purchased a season ticket package right behind home plate.

So look for Matt to add his customary snark as he cheers the Marlins on. Yes, we are fans. We’re just not sure if we’ll be able to wear those horrid new colors.

And last, but not least, we do plan on revamping Miami Beach 411 with a complete redesign. And knowing how we roll, we will no doubt throw a party to celebrate the new design and will everybody will be welcome to that.

So stay tuned.

Here is the raw, unedited and highly compressed clip of the above video, in case you love us so much that you can’t get enough of us. Thanks to Maria de los Angeles of Sex and the Beach fame for operating my video camera during the interview.



Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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3 Comments on

"Miami Beach 411: The Year In Review"

Bryce says:

Great job guys. I enjoy the site and keep up the good work. I look forward to the new redesign and seeing what you guys have in store for next year.

Posted on 12/27/2011 at 1:38 PM

mirna says:

redesign? That sounds interesting. I loved what you did during 2011 and I look forward to keep enjoying your journey in 2012. Happy New Year!!!

Posted on 12/28/2011 at 1:51 PM

acreliable says:

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Posted on 12/30/2011 at 10:33 AM

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