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Starsailor is Here

With the release of The Bends and OK Computer, Radiohead inspired a surge of British bands that have become almost like a trend. Travis and Coldplay lead the pack of sensitive musicians, who with high pitched vocals, pained lyrics and slow guitar strums, have taken over the U.K. charts and, to a certain extent, the U.S. charts.
The new artist to emerge and be most talked about in recent months is Starsailor, a Northwest Britain quartet, who more than any of the other groups, gives the most average music fan an intense experience of quality, passion and hope.

Named after a Tim Buckley LP, Starsailor formed in the beginning of 2000. With influences that range from Neil Young, Van Morrison, and both Tim and Jeff Buckley, the band released their first full album Love is Here the second week of 2002. Backed by much critical acclaim, a stunning performance in David Letterman, and a long string of magazines and newspapers’ features, there is little doubt Starsailor is on the way to becoming the next big thing, not only in U.K., but also in America.
Love is Here has made a jump in the Top 200 charts to number 145, up number 3 in the Heatseekers chart and has remained number 1 in the Alternative New Artist chart since its release. The album has also just received Platinum status in the U.K. and is currently number 12 in the album charts.

Starsailor’s front man is 21-year-old guitarist James Walsh, whose ardent voice closely resembles the late, great Jeff Buckley. His lyrics contain a baggage of pain, anticipation and drama. The indie rock foursome is also composed of James Stelfox on bass, Ben Byrne on the drums, and the last to join and complete the sound Barry Westhead on the keyboards.
Although the whole album is solid from start to end, the stand-out tracks are the first single Fever, their latest radio airplay gainer Good Souls, and the beautiful anthem Lullaby. Most of the album keeps a slow to medium tempo, except some faster and heavier tunes.
Starsailor has taken a common sound and by complementing it with other styles, has found an identity all its own.

Entertainment News

Country music’s savior, Alan Jackson, ended Creed’s eight-week hold on top of the album charts with his new album Drive, debuting with sales of 423,000. Jackson is riding on the success of his hit single Where Were You (When the World Stopped Turning), which gives a Southern perspective on the Sept. 11 tragedies.

Martin Lawrence and Will Smith are readying to star in a sequel to their hit action film Bad Boys. The movie will boast a much larger budget than its predecessor, while the primary story line will remain in Miami.

And the sequels continue…Rumors are abound that Boogie Nights 2 is nearing a reality, with Rollergirl, played by actress Heather Graham, making it big in the 1980s porn business. Actress Juilanne Moore is also scheduled to return, while Mark Wahlberg and his d*** will apparently not.

Music critics and 18 elite photographers from around the world have voted a picture of Clash bassist Paul Simonon destroying his guitar as the top rock ‘n’ roll photo of all time. The photo (above) was taken in 1979 by photographer Pennie Smith and graces the cover of the group’s album London Calling.

Fans of That 70s Show tuned in identical numbers for the debut of the retro sitcom’s younger sibling That 80s Show. The show attracted more teen and adult viewers than any program in its time slot last Wednesday, giving Fox its second hit new comedy of the season after Bernie Mac.

Actress Kim Delaney, formerly of NYPD Blue and now the star of ABC’s Philly was arrested by the LAPD last Saturday night for suspicion of drunk driving and refusing to take a blood alcohol test.

Seize the bike

Bicycling around Miami-Dade County may seem tantamount to suicide, but it shouldn’t stop anyone from braving the streets and exploring the county’s scenic neighborhoods and waterfront parks.
Break the routine. Get off the Stairmaster and monotonous conveyor belt. If you don’t have a bike, buy one, rent one, borrow one or steal one. Do whatever you have to do to get out there. Seize the beautiful weather.
Matheson Hammock Park is one of the closest waterside parks to the University of Miami. The tropical enclave on Old Cutler Road offers one of the county’s best views of Biscayne Bay and downtown Miami. At the northeastern end of the park, slim and chunky pineapple-like palm trees encircle a man-made beach and salt-water wading pool deep enough to for adults to swim.
Wooden benches along the cement path look out toward Key Biscayne and the gleaming skyscrapers of Brickell Avenue. A patch of green grass just off the side of the pool is ideal for picnicking and enjoying soft orange sunsets on weekend afternoons. Matheson lacks shady areas, but the afternoon heat is not bothersome.
The ride to Matheson is relatively quiet and very pleasant. The safest routes to get there are through Maynada Street (a.k.a. Stanford Drive on this side of U.S. 1) or Alhambra Circle. Traffic is light on the roads to the park, a measly 3.5 miles away from campus, at 9601 Old Cutler Road.
Coconut Grove’s David T. Kennedy Park is another ideal riding destination. It has several large, grassy plots and volleyball courts. Although it doesn’t have much of a shoreline, it too boasts soothing sunsets and stunning sunrises. The park, on 2400 Bayshore Dr., is about four miles away from UM. To get there, take Ponce de Leon North to Le Jeune, crossing U.S. 1 and going through the Grove’s side streets until one reaches South Bayshore Drive.
Those who thrive on adventure should brave the trek to South Beach or Key Biscayne. The flux of traffic is much heavier, and while the human road hazards can be as deadly as you think, the adrenaline rush and ocean-side vistas are worth the risk.
Key Biscayne has two major beachside parks, Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. The former is just past the bridge one crosses after the Miami Seaquarium and the latter is at the southern end of the key. Crandon Park and Bill Baggs have plenty of palm trees and picnic areas.
Crandon also has a soccer field, a baseball diamond and a carousel. Both have many shady areas. Key Biscayne is about 11 miles away from UM. To get there, take South Bayshore Drive and make a right at the intersection of Brickell Avenue and Southwest Twenty-sixth Road.
SoBe is not much farther than Key Biscayne and the ride can be much more interesting. Take South Bayshore Drive and head north on Brickell Avenue, which will eventually become Biscayne Boulevard. Before you go to the beach, however, take a detour to downtown Miami. It has a handful of small restaurants, trinket shops and art galleries waiting to be explored. Once you’re back on Biscayne going toward the Beach, continue north and make a right on Northeast Fourteenth Street. Don’t take McArthur Causeway. The shoulders along the bridges are cluttered with fishermen and littered with glass. Instead, take the Venetian Causeway. It’s much lovelier, much cleaner and the views of the bay are just as breathtaking.
For information on the parks, call 305-755-7800 or visit www.miamidade.gov.

Smoothie Solutions Where to go for a smoothie fix

Since Miami’s a hotbed, both a tourist trap and an actual hot region, trendy smoothie joints have been popping up in the past few years, cramming for diet-crazed, health-conscious, skinny girl/boy dollars. How does one chose among the various, similar chained smoothie stops, though? Well, here’s a list and a review of each.

Jamba Juice
Probably most close to home, Jamba Juice has become in the past year a campus staple. The waiting is long, the crowds huge, and the smoothies well, smooth. This is definitely one of the better smoothie joints in Miami, with many excellent flavors to chose from. I’d speculate it’s the addition of sherbet to many of the flavors that gives Jamba Juice that extra zing. Also included on Jamba’s menu are health conscious foods such as pretzels, power-bars, and soup – all excellent.

Sun Juice
Very similar to Jamba Juice, Sun Juice is located just past Sunset Place on Sunset Drive. Not exactly as health conscious as Jamba Juice (there’s less “Muscle Power Punch” drinks) yet still as tasty. It’s a worthy competitor, with drinks that taste almost identical to Jamba Juice. Sort of tucked away, Sun Juice is definitely worth a drive.

South Beach Smoothie
A smoothie place as overrated as its moniker, many people have raved about the deliciousness of South Beach Smoothie, yet I beg to disagree. What I tasted was pure, powdery, muscle-driven film. With so much “muscle” powder put into each smoothie, strawberry banana begins tasting like red chalk. Add unoriginal flavors to the mix, and you’ve got one of the worst smoothie joints in the biz.

Smoothie King
Here’s a place somewhere in between-boring and repetitive, yet not as filmy as South Beach Smoothie. While no Jamba Juice, Smoothie King has become a chain across the country. Recently I found out one opened in Providence (of all places). Its “Citrus Squeeze” and “Strawberry Banana” are hard to top (an extra dose of honey completes the flavors). Stay far away from the “specialties” that become muddled, varied, flavor messes.

Dunkin’ Donuts
Well, it’s a doughnut stop, but in the past few years it’s added so many coolatas to its menu to become a smoothie joint as well. The coffee coolata is the best (a frappuccino rip-off, for sure), yet even the fruit flavored ones hold up. Add grade-A doughnuts to wash down each smoothie (I’d recommend the classic jelly), and you’re set.

Weber’s ‘Chop Suey ‘ a tasty dish

Bruce Weber’s documentary Chop Suey was on the menu last Wednesday at the Cosford Cinema as audiences were served up this intricate medley of sight and sound that offers an intimate view into the renowned photographer’s soul.
“There are two ways to go through life,” said Weber, sporting a navy blue bandana around his graying head. “You can live your life or you can see it through the lens of a camera. I chose the second.”
There really is no way to sum up Chop Suey but to say that it is truly an experience of the senses. Where a typical autobiographical approach would be to tell a story, Weber chooses instead to weave a tapestry of his artistic, childhood, and emotional experiences using his photos and videos as the key elements. Accompanying the visuals are Weber’s narration, relevant quotations from books and people, and vibrant music, mostly the work of legendary singer/songwriter Frances Faye.
One of the main threads used to weave this story together is Peter Johnson, whom Weber plucked out of a crowd of high school wrestlers and took to New York to become a highly paid model. The camera, along with Johnson’s and Weber’s voiceover narrations, tracks the life of Johnson from his high school days to fatherhood, and from the shy, insecure rookie model he once was, to the professional muse he becomes to Weber.
As Weber acknowledged, the main theme of Chop Suey is that of the journey. Johnson’s journey from innocence mirrors Weber’s, as do all aspects of the film.
Another dominant thread was that of Faye, an influential performer whose characteristic high-strung, wild style led her to success throughout most of the twentieth century. Weber grew up listening to Faye’s music, and he presents her music almost as if it were the soundtrack to his life. Weber gives it a prominent role in his autobiographical work, so much so that he lists Faye as the star of the film in the credits.
“Chop Suey is a celebration of life, but there is also a sad quality to it all,” said freshman Tarah Rogowski as she was walking out of Cosford. “He captures so much beauty in his work, but he knows he will never be like the muses in his photographs, so he’s always on the outside, looking in.”
Weber has been a leader in the world of photography and film for decades. Along with Chop Suey, Weber has produced seven short and feature-length documentaries, two of which were named Best Documentary at the International Documentary Association, and his Let’s Get Lost was nominated for an academy award. His work has been published in 16 books and almost every magazine, and he has even directed music videos for Chris Issac and the Pet Shop Boys.
With a documentary featuring the late Robert Mitchum still in production, Chop Suey will be a hard act to follow, leaving high expectations for those who tasted the delight, the sorrow, and the wonder of Weber’s latest dish.

Sports Briefs


University of Miami head women’s golf coach Lela Cannon was inducted into the National Golf Coaches Association Hall of Fame at the annual Hall of Fame Banquet on Wednesday, January 23 at the Sheridan World Resort in Orlando, FL. Cannon, entering her 19th season, has led the Hurricanes to 15 NCAA Tournament berths, six NCAA top-10 finishes and the 1984 National Championship. She has coached eight NCAA All-Americans including Tracy Kerdyk, the 1988 NCAA Player of the Year, and sent eight players onto the LPGA tour. Cannon’s student-athletes have been just as successful in the classroom. In 1986, Jill Briles became the first Academic All-American in women’s golf at UM. Joye McAvoy earned Academic All-America honors in 1988, and Shannon Hammel became the first Hurricane to earn Academic All-American honors two consecutive seasons in 1991 and 1992. Shayne Wild would better Hammel’s mark being named to the Academic All-America team in three consecutive seasons (1997, 1998, 1999). Cannon, a two-time South Region Coach of the Year, was featured in the book, Celebrating Women’s Coaches, A Biographical Dictionary. The book, which was released in 2001, profiles 42 of the world’s top female coaches.


The University of Miami women’s track and field team moved up to No. 16 in the Trackwire Online Top 25 rankings released Tuesday. The Hurricanes, who debuted at No. 25 in last week’s preseason poll, jumped nine spots after a strong showing at the Carolina Elite Invitational in Chapel Hill, NC. Freshman Lauryn Williams won for the second straight week posting the fastest time in the nation in the 60-meters (7.35). Williams set a UM record in winning the 55-meters at last weekend’s Florida Intercollegiate. She is currently the NCAA’s No. 1 ranked sprinter in the 60-meter dash. Senior All-American Kareen Clarke was also impressive in winning the triple jump with a leap of 12.91 meters (42-04.25). Clarke is undefeated in the triple jump this season. The defending Big East Champion, Clarke ranks No. 1 in the NCAA in the event. Miami’s 4×400-meter relay of senior Wylleseia Myrick, junior Saraque Whittaker, Jenise Winston and Jamillah Wade were also victorious at the Carolina Invitational winning with an NCAA provisional qualifying time of 3:43.30



Sophomore Shaquana Wilkins won her first Big East honor after averaging 20.5 points and 10.5 rebounds in a pair of conference wins for the Miami women’s basketball team. Wilkins earned Big East Player of the Week after scoring a career-high 26 points on 11-of-17 field goals and added 10 rebounds off of the bench in a 75-71 overtime victory against Syracuse. In a 56-54 win over Seton Hall, Wilkins netted 15 points to go along with 11 rebounds, three blocks and three steals. Wilkins averages 7.7 points and 4.9 rebounds per game for the Hurricanes.

UM wins, but no one’s there to see it

It is depressing to go to the Miami Arena for a Hurricane men’s basketball game and be able to count the number of fans with my fingers. The team is off to a spectacular start 17-2 (4-2 in the Big East) to the 2001-02 season and not many of you know it.
Miami is a young and exciting team who does not understand the advantage of playing on its home court. Yes, the Hurricanes are a perfect 10-0 at Miami Arena entering last night’s game against Villanova, but the fans deserve no credit. Miami is averaging only 3,350 fans per game. Simply put, this is pathetic.
Miami has earned national attention. The Hurricanes are ranked No. 19 in the ESPN/USA Today Coaches Poll and No. 22 in the AP Poll.
Miami has quality wins against Indiana, at LSU, and at Georgetown. They are coming off two consecutive overtime victories at home over Pittsburgh and Providence, and yet, nobody was there to view the exciting action.
The Hurricanes’ only two losses came at Connecticut and at St. John’s. Both teams benefited from outstanding fan support. Miami only lost to Connecticut by one point and the Huskies’ fans deserve a lot of credit due to the extremely loud atmosphere.
Not only is Miami winning, but they are also playing exciting and inspired basketball. All five starters are averaging double figures, led by sophomore Darius Rice’s 14.4 points per game. Senior point guard John Salmons is a triple double threat every night, as he averages 13.9 points per game, 6.2 rebounds and 5.6 assists.
In addition, the team averages 75.9 points per game and are nailing just under eight three-point baskets per contest. The Hurricanes are an explosive team that loves to shoot the long ball, and does so while winning games. What else would a college basketball fan ask for?
The Hurricanes have already surpassed last season’s win total, and the future only looks brighter. The Hurricanes are a relatively young team, as starters Rice, James Jones, and Marcus Barnes will all return next season.
Ah yes, next season. Next season is all I hear from Hurricane basketball fans. The construction of the new on campus arena, the Ryder Center, will be complete and will indeed make it much easier for students to attend games. But I do not buy this excuse.
If you are a college basketball fan who attends the University of Miami then you need to go out and support the men’s basketball team now. How difficult is it to take the Metro Rail for five minutes and get off directly in front of the Miami Arena?
To put this in perspective, it’ll take longer for those students who live in Mahoney/Pearson next year to walk to the Ryder Center, then fans will walk this season from the Metro stop to the Miami Arena.
I know this is pushing it, but the point is do not call yourself a Miami basketball fan unless you attend the games.
As of now, it looks like the Hurricanes are en route to an invitation to the NCAA tournament and us fans can expect a lot of Miami students to jump on the bandwagon once March comes along. Rather than taking the leap late in the season, come support the Hurricanes now.
Hopefully I will see you on Tuesday at the Miami Arena when the Hurricanes take on Big East foe Boston College.

Tennis teams look to build on rankings

Hurricane Sports Writer

Members of the University of Miami’s men’s and women’s tennis teams enjoyed a successful individual meet season, which concluded last November. Now, the real thing is about to begin.
The men’s squad, ranked No. 18 by the Intercollegiate Tennis Association, kicked off the dual meet season yesterday against Florida Atlantic and continue with a match against South Alabama on Sunday at the Neil Schiff Tennis Center. The 37th ranked women’s team kicks off their season tonight at 6:00, as they play host to FAU.
The expectations are high for a men’s squad that finished the 2000-2001 campaign with a 21-4 record and a No. 11 national ranking. Head coach Jay Berger has six of last year’s nine letterwinners returning, including an excellent senior trio of Jose Lieberman, Tomas Smid, and Tarik El Bassiouni.
Much of the attention, however, may be directed towards freshman phenom Todd Widom, who is one of three newcomers on the team. Widom posted a 9-2 mark during the fall season, which included an appearance at the quarterfinals of the ITA Regional Championships back in October.
The men’s squad certainly has enough players to pose a threat for NCAA contention, but first, they need to get through another challenging schedule. Miami travels to Tallahassee in February for a meeting with their hated in-state rivals. Other challenging road matches include SMU and Duke, the squad which knocked Miami out of the NCAA tournament last season. The NCAA Championships kick off on May 18 at College Station, Texas.
On the women’s side, the 2001-2002 season also carries a positive outlook. Miami finished 15-9 last season, good enough for second in the Big East before bowing out in the first round of the NCAA Tournament. The Hurricanes return seven members of the 2000-2001 team, including senior Marcy Hora and junior Lauren Scaglione.
The women’s squad is also bolstered by the addition of three newcomers, including sophomore transfer Marcy Tora, who is ranked No. 69 in the nation.
The women’s home schedule includes matches against in-state rival Florida, as well as Virginia and Boston College. The road schedule includes dates with TCU, Michigan, and Notre Dame.
This weekend is a springboard for both teams to advance on the success of a season ago.

‘Canes pick up valuable road win

Hurricane Sports Writer
With goals of appearing in a postseason tournament, the University of Miami women’s basketball team continues to find new ways to win.
On Wednesday, the Hurricanes defeated Big East doormat St. John’s, 68-51, in Jamaica, New York, extending their win streak to three games.
The victory improved Miami’s record to 12-6, including a 5-3 mark in the Big East. The Red Storm dropped to 0-7 in conference play and 3-15 overall. Associate head coach Robin Harmony was pleased that the Hurricanes came out of the contest with a victory.
“This was not an easy game, especially considering the circumstances with the coaching change,” said Harmony, referring to the recent St. John’s coaching shakeup. “We didn’t know what to expect from St. Johns and of what we saw, they certainly did not play bad.”
Junior Meghan Saake led Miami with 17 points, hitting six of seven from the free throw line. Sophomore Shaquana Wilkins posted her third consecutive double-digit scoring game, scoring 11 of her 13 points in the second half. Fellow sophomore Chanivia Broussard also chipped in for the Hurricanes, scoring 12.
“It was very nice to get several players in double figures for us tonight,” Harmony said. “Having several players step up really helped us get the victory, and it was also nice to hit our free throws, especially during a road game.”
Miami struggled out of the gate, shooting just 33 percent in the first 20 minutes. The Red Storm, however, was unable to do much better in the first half which contained six ties and 12 lead changes before the break.
Leading 29-28, Miami turned up its game in the second half, reeling off 13 unanswered points to give them a 20-point lead with 9:43 left in the game.
“We definitely struggled during the first 20 minutes,” Harmony said. “At the half, we talked about picking up our intensity and overall game, and even though we made it hard for ourselves at times, we were able to go on that big run and never look back.”
Junior Alicia Hartlaub and freshman Melissa Knight led the Hurricane rebounding attack, pulling down eight apiece.
Miami played a solid game altogether on the defensive end, holding the Red Storm to just 32 percent shooting while forcing 25 turnovers. The ‘Canes also picked up 16 steals in the process.
Tomorrow night, Miami returns home to the Knight Sports Complex for a 7:00 p.m. game with Rutgers. Last season’s meeting between the two teams in Miami provided one of the most sloppily played games of the year, as the Hurricanes and Scarlet Knights combined for 57 turnovers. Rutgers won the game 39-37 on a controversial buzzer-beating layup by current sophomore Nikki Jett.
Miami owns a 1-0 advantage in this season’s series, however, with the Hurricanes defeating Rutgers 67-53 in Piscataway, N.J. behind a strong performance from Martha Bodley. The 6-3 senior came off the bench to score a career-high 18 points while grabbing 14 rebounds in 30 minutes. Miami has played well at home, posting an 8-2 record.

Don’t keep off the grass

Keep Off the Grass?

When I told one my former political science professors that I was considering coming to the University of Miami, he said, “Isn’t that campus just like a country club?”

I didn’t know. I had never seen it. Now that I’ve been here for all of one semester, I can see what he meant. UM does have the feel of a country club. I think the flowers are arranged with a protractor, that each bloom is in perfect perpendicular alignment with its neighbor, with whom it will never cross-fertilize because bees can’t afford the parking passes. Sidewalks criss-cross lawns trimmed with tiny eyebrow scissors, and as soon as a little pig-trail begins to develop, a new cement overlay is applied so it won’t look like white trash.

Not that I’m complaining. The overall effect is beautiful. The only problem is there is all of this luscious grass just begging to be walked across barefoot on one of Miami’s signature azure days, all of this expanse of green saying, “Play Frisbee on me! Bring out a blanket and read a book! Have a picnic!” And no one is listening!

I went to the University of Georgia to get my bachelor’s degree, and the quad on north campus looked like a patchwork quilt or an alien landing pad on warm afternoons for all the blankets and flying plastic discs. I’ve talked to friends who went to other universities. They have the same stories. What could be going on at the UM that’s keeping people off the grass?

I contacted the university administration, worried that there might actually be some prohibition on frolicking. Maybe there were pesticides being sprayed that might interfere with our ability to conjugate verbs or calculate profit and loss ratios. Perhaps it was a problem of maintenance expense; maybe they contract those guys who work at the Marlins’ field to come out here in the off-season.

After a long rabbit chase through different departments Alan Weber of Facilities Administration assured me, “There is no prohibition about being on the grass.”

So, maybe it’s a matter of expensive shoes that shan’t be soiled or scuffed. There is a strangely skewed ratio of black leather shoes to sneakers here, not to mention high-heeled sandals that might aerate the lawn nicely, but cost more than my first car, and pedicures that are more expensive than my best pair of shoes.

When I was a kid, my mom told me that if I walked across someone else’s lawn, I would kill the grass. Maybe that’s what’s keeping UM students off the grass: memories of parents threatening dead landscaping. I somehow associate the memory of myself as a potential grass murderer with my dad telling me that if I didn’t stop sucking on my hair he would cut it all off. My hair’s pretty short now, but my dad had nothing to do with it.

I hope the rest of you aren’t similarly traumatized. Think of it less as a country club and more as a giant kickball field. Run out there and play. Don’t worry. It won’t mess up your pedicure. It will probably do your kid-spirit some good.

Angie Henderson is a master’s student in the School of International Studies.

Chez Chartwells

Cafeteria food. No matter where we eat it or how we eat it, it’s always the same: tasteless, boring and, in a nutshell, nasty. So it follows that Chartwells, however fancy the name, stays true to tradition.

In the brochures we receive in our orientation packages, we are told about the many places we can get food and about how there are choices for all people: the vegetarians, meat-eaters, the health-conscious and the not-so health-conscious alike. There are enticing pictures showing pretty, spacious dining halls with happy diners. The former is more or less true, but I’m not so sure about the latter.

For starters, the spaghetti and fettuccini with marinara sauce are always cold. Not to mention that the pasta is so dry that when separated from the (tiny) heat source, it instantly becomes cold and disgusting. Why can’t Chartwells invest in a better heating system and covers? Maybe they wouldn’t lose money on uneaten pasta if the pastas were actually good.

Another problem is the lack of fresh fruit. There is melon. And apples and oranges. And that’s about it. There’s the fruit salad from cans that is full of preservatives and lathered in syrup. Whether or not you’re health-conscious, that stuff (which sits there for eons) is not very appetizing. Whatever happened to fresh grapes or fresh fruit salad, even if only in the mornings? The salad bars are better, even though, again, the vegetables tend to be somewhat dry after sitting in the open.

The coffee is horrible. It tastes as if it had been made of burnt, day-old grounds. It’s bitter, murky and lukewarm. And this is the result, I’m certain, of second-rate machines that aren’t cleaned often, not to mention cheap coffee. And then there are the scrambled eggs in the mornings. They are awful. They come from a bag. How healthy is this? Processed eggs? Yuck.

There’s another major turnoff: the odor that reeks from the kitchens. The hot, smelly air bellows from the opening through which the conveyor belt carries the trays into the kitchen. This forces students to take deep breaths, drop their trays and run. Then the conveyor belt gets clogged and overflows. And in one particular hall, when this happens, the manager can’t be more gruff to the staff, as though it’s their fault. I have overhead him yelling and snapping unnecessarily at the employees, who are actually rather pleasant.

To be fair, Chartwells has come up with some good ideas, such as the chef that cooks up stir-fry on demand. Commendable, but one chef with only three skillets? The lines for this dish are massive. Many don’t have the time to wait and they miss out on great food. Another good treat are the self-serve waffles. These are readily prepared, although sometimes the irons are not properly sprayed and the waffles stick to the machine, creating quite a mess. I also love the particular nights when there is a “theme” dinner. Last semester, the one I enjoyed most was the “Western Night”. Like I mentioned before, the staff are very pleasant people. They make eating at Chartwells a little less of a chore.

Maybe if the kitchens were managed a little more effectively there would be no overflowing conveyor belt, better coffee, more stir-fry, less lines and less wasted food. It’s a matter of common sense.

Amanda Hoyos is a freshman majoring in Art and English.

The Indie Scene in Miami

Though people complain the music scene in Miami is all about Gucci flip-flops, Italian hair gel and the latest from Oakie and cohorts, the small indie electronic music scene is thriving in Miami.
Miami Bass lives on with the help of dedicated djs and the venues that support the scene, though ensconced within the urban sprawl, are teeming with intelligent alternative life. Just venture into South Beach’s Tanja on a Thursday to ease some of that jungle fix. The temperature at FM (Two Last Shoes) on Friday reaches triple digit category with the eclectic sounds of jungle and local bass, courtesy of top-notch djs who spin the music from a booth upstairs. One can also chill downstairs with some rare grooves and hip hop.
Poplife (Piccadilly Gardens) brings a gamut of local and foreign talent. Miami, host city of the Winter Music Conference and all its ,uberfamous djs, has a steady load of high-caliber but unsung djs from the US, UK and Europe. FM recently had Silicon Scally. Revolver also presents some nice surprises. Local acts Push Button Objects and Secret Frequency Crew recently performed there, as have a number of indie rock bands from in and out of state.
Revolver and Poplife are the kinds of places where one would go to assuage that nostalgia for the music of the 1980s and 1990s. On a good night, one can hear Human League, Billy Idol, The Smiths, Duran Duran, Soft Cell, and the usual suspects, as well as newer acts that wear out the needles on everyone’s record player, like Radiohead, the Gorillaz and the Strokes.
Speaking of the Strokes, their concert at BillboardLive is sold out, proof that Miami is ready for some real deal acts. One can also find an ample supply of information on the rave scene on the Internet. Though demand is stronger north of the county (in Ft. Lauderdale), Miami surprises sometimes. Miami-based DJ Craze is a household name, a reference for anyone who aspires to master the art of the “turntables and a mixer”.
Dozens of talented scratchers, such as DJ Marky- renowned London-based Brazilian junglist of the Movement crew- packed the Sci-Fly party on Jan. 19. So instead of complaining, whining that Miami is a musical wasteland, a bore next to Brooklyn and San Francisco, scope out the scene, and do something to improve it-much like the talented folk who are thriving in town.

Mauricio Vieira is a public relations graduate student in the School of Communication.