Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Webcams, take you away

Talk about greater exposure. South Florida is home to several webcams that broadcast live streams of the beaches, ports, marinas, and even manatees. I wrote a story on the popularity of these webcams which are hosted by EarthCam and PTZtv.com
If you're cold and miserable up north, here are some live streams from Miami to check out

Webcam of Biscayne Bay

Webcam of South Beach

The Manatee Cam (this is a new one)

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

Wild about golf carts

Golf carts are as common in South Florida as the palm trees and courses they navigate around. But these carts are getting pimped out and morphing into mini cars that are hitting city streets for everyday errands.

Some people have customized these vehicles into classic cars while others lift them with big rims making them look like carts on steroids.

I wrote a fun story for the Sun Sentinel  hat looks at South Florida's love for golf carts.

Above is a golf cart modeled after a Rolls Royce as it zips around Fort Lauderdale.

Friday, December 18, 2015

My Miami Must-Sees

I love playing tourist in my hometown of Miami because I'm a natural wanderer, because I roam, around-around-around-around. (insert Dion's classic song here.) 

Whether I'm running, cycling, taking a stroll or driving around, I enjoy finding hidden nooks and things to do in South Florida and then sharing them.

I recently wrote a Miami guide for Zipcar, the online car rental company, about must-see places and events when you think you've seen it all in the 305 and 786. These are things I've done or heard about and then did them.

This follows another Miami guide I wrote that focused on what to do in three cool neighborhood hangouts such as Wynwood, Brickell and Miracle Mile in Coral Gables.

And I also headed south for another guide on what to do when in Islamorada in the Florida Keys. (The Netflix series Bloodline is filmed down there but I didn't catch them shooting when I drove down. Chucks!)

Follow the links and see if you've been to any of the spots that I highlighted. Or if you ever come down to Miami or Islamorada, I hope the guides may be useful.

(the Zipcar photo above is from the pier at Miami Beach's South Pointe Park, a great place to Zen-out, watch the cruise ships glide by and families fish -- or to write a travel guide.)

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

Scott Rakow's daughter makes name for herself

Many people who grew up in Miami Beach or lived in South Florida during the late 1980s probably remember the story of Scott Rakow. He was a 28-year-old police officer who was fatally shot in the head while chasing a drug dealer in Miami Beach.

When he died, he left behind a widow and a six-month old daughter, Erica.  Now she's reporting for ABC affiliate WPLG in Fort Lauderdale and Miami and people are recognizing her famous last name. I wrote a profile on Erica, how she never met her father but got to know him through the news articles and TV footage of him over the years. And it was those news stories that inspired her to become a reporter.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Uber do's and don'ts

The first few times I took Uber (for this story last May), I wasn't sure what to do. Do I hop in the front? Do I leave a tip? Could I change the radio station? Could you drink in the car?

As Uber and Lyft have grown in South Florida like wild flowers, I thought an etiquette guide would be handy for first-time passengers. Here are some tips  that I got from some drivers.

Friday, November 27, 2015

On location: Cuba

Conan O'Brien, Shark Week, Discovery's Cuban Chrome, and now a new Starz drama. US TV networks and shows have been descending on Cuba lately to shoot episodes and specials.

I wrote a story about the trend and why there's more interest among the networks as well as news outlets to shoot in Cuba.  CNN was down there for an episode of Anthony Bourdain's travel show Parts Unknown.

And South Florida ABC affiliate WPLG Channel 10 had a crew spend 15 days in the island nation to shoot a special series called Historic Access: Cuba Coast to Coast' which aired this month. (The photo above is of Ch. 10 reporter Hatzel Vela interviewing a fisherman in the province of Sancti Spiritus.)

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Hitting new notes

Gay men's choruses have always been safe and supportive places for gays to foster friendships and sing together.

There are a couple of groups in South Florida but there's one that has grown to 150-plus members in five years. I wrote a story about the Gay Men's Chorus of South Florida and how it's entering a turning point, one without it's founding artistic director.  It's a new direction for the group, which has members from Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.  Photos by Mike Stocker from sunsentinel.com

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Top 100 sitcoms via math

What are your top sitcoms of all time? Everyone will have a different list but what if there was a way to create a ranking using math?  I wrote a story on a new book The Top 100 American Situation Comedies: An Objective Ranking by former Sun Sentinel TV critic Tom Jicha and University of Miami communications professor Mitchell Shapiro that ranks the top comedies using a math formula.  Check out the top five in the story and see if you agree with the authors.

As for my personal list, I was never a big fan of sitcoms. I was more partial to light-hearted dramas such as the Hallmark Channel's Cedar Cove series, former NBC series Providence, ABC's Brothers and Sisters and Charlie's Angels and CBS' Touched By Angel (which I still watch in reruns on The Up Network and on DVDs from Netflix.)  The above choices may explain why I tend to watch these shows alone so much.