Nathaniel Sandler

Arts Season
12:01 pm
Thu October 10, 2013

How Creative Types Survive And Thrive In South Florida

Overhead by Kevin Arrow
Credit Dimensions Variable

Making the decision to become an artist, whether in South Florida or elsewhere, is sometimes not an option. Miami based visual artist Kevin Arrow explains, “every few months I promise myself to pack it up and take up knitting or building model cars.”

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Law Enforcement
2:58 pm
Tue September 24, 2013

What $57M In Federal Asset Seizures Might Say About South Florida

via Wikipedia

In the last year, over $57 million in illegal assets relating to federal cases in South Florida have been seized by the United States government, according to data provided by the U.S. Attorney’s office in South Florida.

$57,321,390.40 to be exact.

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Flawed But Fabulous
7:00 am
Thu September 12, 2013

Why The Arrest Of 3 South Florida Mayors Is Our Fault

Disgraced Homestead Mayor Steve Bateman in court.
Credit CBS4

Three South Florida mayors were accused of corruption in August, offering up a salient, cautionary tale for anyone who puts their faith in Miami's elected officials. The mayors from Sweetwater, Miami Lakes, and Homestead represent a triumvirate of questionable behavior, a triple threat of public office tomfoolery and a real world trifecta of tropical sleaze.

I ran an informal poll of friends and acquaintances and the major takeaway and dominant response is that nobody is shocked. This is where we are in Miami politics:

"I'm not surprised."

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Technology
3:32 pm
Wed August 21, 2013

How Miami-Based Sktchy App Turns Everybody Into An Artist

What does an app born from the spirit of Miami look like?

It looks like Sktchy, a start up mobile app motivated by Sketchy Miami, a blog and series of parties spotted around town two years ago where the goal was to create a portrait of every person in Miami.

Sketchy Miami comes from a time when “a burgeoning artist community in Miami and the average Miami resident had very little interaction with that community,” said co-founder Jordan Melnick. He wondered, “how can we come up with a way to bridge that gap?”

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Athletics
8:59 am
Wed August 7, 2013

Miami, Synchronized Swimming And The Beautiful Ladies Of Verso

If you ever had his ear, you could ask basketball star Dwyane Wade how he makes a party classier.

But since you probably don't, you should know that when he celebrated his birthday the day after the Miami Heat won its second championship ring, he invited the ladies of Verso Performance, a local synchronized swimming troupe to perform for his exclusive guests.

It was a super VIP occasion, with no pictures allowed, on the roof of a building in downtown Miami. Each girl in the troupe wore a hat with his name and the number 3 emblazoned on it.

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Business
8:23 am
Mon August 5, 2013

A High-End Pawnshop For Miami's Rich And Entrepreneurial

These Versace plates have a retail price of $2,600. At Midtown Pawn Boutique they are $1,650.

On Northwest 36th Street, between Wynwood and the Design District, there’s a wall mural depicting a highly stylized Queen Isabella, the Spanish monarch responsible for fostering Christopher Columbus’ journey to the New World.

The mural is a fitting metaphor for Miami for a few reasons; it’s a city which houses the wealthiest of the world, back-dropped with the mystique of frontier land.

The mural was painted by local artist Diana Contreres and is found on the newly constructed Midtown Pawn Boutique, a high-end pawnshop that hopes to serve the rich and entrepreneurial.

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Opinion
6:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Why Closing Half Of Miami-Dade's Libraries Is Dumb

Credit mdpls.org

“Who says that we get to kill all the books,” asked District 10 City Commissioner Javier Soto.

Miami, apparently, does. 

The decision yesterday was made to theoretically close 22 libraries (10 storefronts and 12 branches) as well as lay off 251 employees. This number is presented as the worst-case scenario. While it could be less, the closings are nearly half of the libraries in Miami-Dade.

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Technology
6:00 am
Thu July 11, 2013

How In The World Could Florida Ban Cell Phones?

Credit illmaterial.com

Your computer or cell phone, most likely whatever you’re reading this article on right now, could technically be illegal in the State of Florida. Which is great because I’m sick of my cell phone anyway, and often think that going back to the days of just using a pager would streamline my life.

Though I would be out of a job. And theoretically, so would everyone who uses a computer at work.  And all of my personal relationships would be put in serious jeopardy. My mother, bless her, would be very angry. 

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Comic Books
10:51 am
Wed July 3, 2013

Where Heroes And Nerds Meet: Florida SuperCon

Credit Florida Supercon, 2012

I am a recovering comic book addict that still likes to occasionally hurl himself off the flying wagon, preferably to be saved while assisting Batman foil an evil plan.

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Literature
8:34 am
Wed June 19, 2013

Has South Florida Displaced Los Angeles In The World Of American Crime Fiction?

Credit newyorker.com

Everyone knows that South Florida has a seedy underbelly. The American fascination with crime-sex-and-violence-laden stories about South Florida has been going strong for quite some time, particularly on the silver screen.

Miami Vice, paved the way for today’s Magic City, CSI: Miami, The Glades, and Burn Notice. You don’t have to dig deep into contemporary pop cultural output to see that people are intrigued by South Florida’s lure. We’re a rap star mecca, and there’s a party-banging mention of the 305 in a lot of catchy club tracks.

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NBA Finals
7:44 am
Mon June 10, 2013

Heat Swarm Like Piranhas To Beat Spurs In Game Two

Credit Sports Illustrated.

Poor Tiago Splitter. He tried so hard to make a teeny dunk. When the Spurs starting center went up to throw one down on Lebron James with eight minutes left in the fourth quarter, the Brazilian got waxed.

Two plays later Lebron slammed a two-handed dunk off a steal, and it was at that moment you knew the Heat were relentlessly swarming, like a school of frenzied piranhas, and they would not be defeated. Not there and not then.

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Flawed But Fabulous
8:18 am
Fri June 7, 2013

Why Miami Heat Fans Must Find Solace In First Loss

Tony Parker's miraculous game-winning shot during Game 1 of the NBA Finals on Thursday night.
Credit Big Lead Sports

The opening sequence of last night’s NBA finals game against the San Antonio Spurs summed up the Miami Heat’s 2013 season under the big three of Lebron James, Chris Bosh, and Dwyane Wade.

An electrifying dunk by Dwyane Wade followed by nine unanswered points and then a grinding hustle to get back in the game. We, as fans, must live and die with the unremitting arc of sports narrative and the sorrowful nosedives of emotion. The 2013 Miami Heat are like Agony and Ecstasy coming over for a dinner party to your apartment. 

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Aviation
6:00 am
Thu June 6, 2013

How One Family's Tragedy Became Training For Future Pilots

Timothy Johnson Jr., who the scholarship is named for, doing what he loved: flying.
Credit The Johnson Family

Life has been difficult this year for one of Wynwood’s most celebrated gallerists.

Nina Johnson, owner and operator of Gallery Diet, has been emotionally supporting her family through the worst of times. 

In December of 2012, Nina’s brother, Timothy Johnson Jr., a pilot in his free time, was flying alone in a two engine Cessna that took off from Lantana Airport. The plane crashed shortly after takeoff.

His father, Tim Sr., watched the aircraft ascend, falter and go down.

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Flawed But Fabulous
8:00 am
Tue May 28, 2013

After Urban Beach Weekend, What Was The Big Deal?

The Standard Hotel and Spa in Miami Beach was under a tent on Friday and Saturday nights as a security measure during Memorial Day weekend.
Credit Nathaniel Sandler

On Friday evening the Standard Hotel and Spa was completely tented for the weekend, to reopen Sunday, while countless other businesses were closed up on Miami Beach.

Spiga Restaurant on 12th and Collins had a sign stating they were observing Memorial Day Saturday, Sunday, and Monday. Ostensibly, businesses like Spiga really love the troops, but no one is fooled.

It seems like Miami Beach abstracted Memorial Day in more ways than one.

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Recreation
8:28 am
Thu May 23, 2013

Where To Learn All About The History Of Ocean Diving

The library inside Islamorada's History of Diving Museum.
Credit Nathaniel Sandler

One of the earliest pieces of writing known to humanity is the Epic of Gilgamesh, a Babylonian legend that’s formative to the history of literature.

In it, Gilgamesh himself attaches stones to his feet, weighing him down to the bottom of the sea, so he could get the Plant of Eternal Youth. It is the first known record of someone plunging to the bottom of the sea on a breath hold dive.

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