In a daring broad daylight heist, thieves stole hundreds of canvases and sculptures from the Romero Britto Art Store located in the Miami International Airport.Jacinta Fernandez, manager of the airport location informed the Plantain, “A frequent flyer inquired about a possible holiday discounts on a painting of a smiling flower he has had his eye on for two years. We informed him that we don’t do holiday discounts as that would interfere with our year-round perpetual sale. That’s when we noticed that the smiling flower painting was gone! Along with 57 other semi-original works and prints that all look the same.”
“This immediately raised our concern for our hermana stores in Lincoln Road and Wynwood.” Her calls to these stores quickly revealed that over half the inventory was missing. “We were so surprised! Over half the inventory on the gallery floor showroom has been missing since before Thanksgiving—and no one even noticed,” said Alvaro Caseres, assistant manager of the Miami Beach Lincoln Road Mall location. “It is hard to keep inventory when you can’t distinguish one piece from another.”
“Then we remembered the recent Walk of Fame star that Romero was just awarded in March–we feared it, too, might be stolen,” said Fernandez, referring to the concrete-encased Britto star located at the Bayside Walk of Fame which features sidewalk stars designed by Britto himself to honor accomplished and famed Miami personalities. But, after some searching, Britto’s star was found, safely located under a postcard rack.
Some art critics have speculated that the stolen works were removed to be sold on the black market during Art Basel. Myra Lebowitz, owner of the prestigious Miami-based, Lebowitz Gallery said that “People will pay for anything once they perceive it to have value. That’s what keeps me in business.” A source wishing to remain anonymous leaked to The Plantain, “His stuff is crap—I ought to know, I manage his Miami Beach store. Whomever took it was just trying to do the art world a favor.” Still, others have hinted that Britto himself removed the works to create a media stir to boost sales.
Miami-Dade Aviation Police Officers investigating the robbery reviewed the airports surveillance camera system, which revealed a sole, sweatshirt hoodie-wearing thief carting off Britto’s oeuvres d’art in several trips, stacking the “art pieces” by a terminal trashcan where they remained until the cleaning staff carted them off to the dumpsters. When confronted by investigators about his involvement, Airport janitor Hector Esquival added, “I don’t know jack shit about art, but I do know trash. And that stuff I threw out was trash.”
The mystery may never be solved according to Detective Ashley Ramirez, who said the investigation to find the art thieves will be ending soon. “It is difficult for our department to devote resources to this case as the items that are missing have zero value.
Romero Britto, 54, renowned Brazilian neo-pop artist who has resided in Miami since 1989, came to fame in the mid-1990’s with his colorful, child-like style that appealed to the masses and quickly became capitalized in the form of reprints, sculptures, key chains, ATM machines, fashion wear, fire hydrants, and a legion of tchotchkes. Stores began opening up in malls and airports in other cities in order to vie for a market share from their main competitor, Hello Kitty stores.
With an estimated net worth of nearly 70 million dollars, Britto is not just content to afflict the art world; a declared conservative, he has held fundraising events for Republicans, including election losers Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush.
Britto colorfully declined to be interviewed for this article, instead offering to sell us a Britto iPhone case for 30 bucks.
By Lisa W. Hopper, staff writer for The Plantain

AT&T released a statement Monday morning that it had fired an employee who had mistakenly issued rapper Pitbull a 786-area code number at one of its Miami stores.

The incident went viral after a customer tweeted a video of a perplexed and angry Pitbull, who bills himself as “Mr. 305,” rejecting the offensive area code. “What is 786? Is that New York? I’m Mr. 305!” shouted a frustrated Pitbull at the 22-year-old store clerk. 

Tensions escalated after the clerk suggested the singer change his moniker to “Mr. 786”, a proposition that not only angered the superstar singer, but also Geraldo Arroyo, a local businessman who uses the title to promote his Kendall-based used electronics and furniture rental business. “The ordeal has been very upsetting,” said Mr. Arroyo before offering to rent us a Blu-Ray player for only $8.99 a month.

At one point during the video Pitbull approaches the store clerk for what appeared to be the initiation of a well-deserved beat down, but in a stunning display of forbearance, the gracious singer simply sternly requests to speak to his manager. The video concludes with the singer pacing around the store shaking his head in disbelief for several minutes as he waited for the store’s shift supervisor to return from her meal-break at the Jamba Juice next door.

In its statement, AT&T reports that it has issued Pitbull a 305 area code, and confirms that it had fired the employee and would be using the incident as a “teaching moment” for store managers. The Plantain reached out to Daniel Tellerman, the AT&T employee who lost his job because, who says he holds no hard feelings toward Pitbull and reports that he has taken a new job at a sports-ticketing agency. “I’m really excited for what the future holds,” said Mr. Tellerman. “Dale!”

Update: The Plantain has learned that Mr. Tellerman has been fired from his job for offering to sell Daddy Yankee New York Mets season tickets. “I’m Daddy Yankee!” said the die-hard Orioles fan in a statement to the Plantain.

By Manuel Del Fango IV

As you know, for nearly 35 years the Plantain has worked very hard to bring you honest, up-to-date news about life in Miami, Broward, Palm Beach, and Duluth. We used to also serve the community of Vero Beach but stopped in 2008 after an incident that I think needs no further explanation or commentary. It is with this long history in mind and with great sadness in my heart that I inform you that the Plantain’s annual coverage of the South Beach Food and Wine Festival has been canceled because it now costs $60 to park on the Beach and $125 to eat some watery ceviche from a plastic cup while Guy Fieri stands around awkwardly waiting to be recognized.

And it’s not that we at the Plantain don’t like to spend money on things that are fun. I recently bought some insulin and am very much considering paying rent eventually. But for the promoters to hawk some undercooked fancy-ass burgers with truffle bullshit on it for $250 when I can literally buy the most delicious cheeseburger in the world for like $6 at 5 Guys is unconscionable. Plus, at 5 Guys I rarely have to witness Guy Fieri, a man who looks like what would result if Fred Durst and a Mango had a baby that went to college at a Jimmy Buffet concert, whisper fight with his wife in a corner while fans wait for autographs. “Don’t do this right now!” he sternly shouts before wrapping his arm around an old man who thinks he is Smash Mouth.

The Plantain reached out to the Festivals promoters and asked them for complimentary tickets and a parking pass, but was told that the Plantain was not welcome because we are “fake news.” While that is technically true, it is still very hurtful.

So in conclusion and in summation, the Plantain will not be able to report on the South Beach Food and Wine Festival, or the staggering amount of times Guy Fieri awkwardly throws his hands behind his back in an attempt to catch the Oakleys he has on backward from falling to the sand.  

Is that?…. Could it be?… Oh, my God, Jean-Paul, it is…that’s Michael Tilson Thomas!If you’re anything like us, and you’re not, then you too have found yourself in the unenviable position of spotting Michael Tilson Thomas, the devilishly handsome artistic director of the New World Symphony, in public without being quite Howard Shore to approach a man of such class, charm, and erudite sophistication in order to ask for a selfie or some other bullshit.
Well, readers, it’s time to stop Haydn behind a plant hoping MTT doesn’t see you fanboying over seeing him in public. The Plantain offers this Howard Shore-fire (it’s not lame if we use that joke twice, shut up) Listz of suggestions on how to best Handel meeting your musical and sexual idol with respect and grace.
Step 1: Congratulate yourself for knowing who Michael Tilson Thomas is and recognizing him by his ageless face. You are a member of Miami’s intellectual elite, which is probably saying something, albeit less than it would in other cities Michael Tilson Thomas frequents.
Step 2: Don’t be nervous! Michael Tilson Thomas is more afraid of you than you are of him. The classical music enthusiast community in Miami is very small, so being approached by someone who recognizes him that he does not already know may put Michael Tilson Thomas on edge. Accordingly, approach Michael Tilson Thomas slowly with open palms to assure him that you mean no harm and aren’t a process server or something.
Step 3: Assess the situation. There is literally no situation in which it is inappropriate to approach Michael Tilson Thomas. Whether he is sitting alone at a table working on a composition, at the airport Karajan a complete set of Bottegga Veneta luggage, chatting with a group of well-dressed Europeans, or sneaking off for a Shake Shack hoping no one recognizes him or, if they do, mistakes him for Jeff Goldblum, you should feel free to approach him.
A common question people like you often ask is whether it is appropriate to approach Michael Tilson Thomas if he is in the bathroom. The answer is it would be perfectly acceptable, however, Michael Tilson Thomas has not “used” a bathroom in a conventional sense since the early 1980’s and, even now, the only time he has been seen inside a bathroom is while on a private architectural tour by his good friend Frank Gehry.
Step 4: Dress appropriately. While there is no exact style guide to approaching Michael Tilson Thomas, experience dictates that the color blue calms his nerves and the color orange sends him into a sexual rage.
Step 5: Know what to say: Michael Tilson Thomas is a renowned conversationalist who can speak masterfully on nearly any topic. But he isn’t going to want to waste all of his wit and charm on any old schmuck. Show him you are worthy of his attention by name-dropping a classical composer or two, but make sure it’s not someone basic like Beethoven or Mozart. Pick someone a little more obscure and less Austrohungarian like Alexander Scriabin or Maurice Ravel to let Michael Tilson Thomas know you are one of him.
Step 6: Let him know you are a fan. From its days in the backroom of an H&M to its present location at Soundscape Park, the New World Symphony has entertained thousands of underdressed patrons over the years. Let MTT know you were one of them by complimenting a performance you’ve enjoyed. If you can’t remember any specific performance, that’s okay, since they sort of run together for him too. Just make sure you don’t bring up those “PULSE EDM” nights because he doesn’t much care for them and only begrudgingly allows them at the insistence of the NWS Board.
Step 7: When in doubt compliment his poodles. Michael Tilson Thomas can nearly always be seen towing around a few dogs. When approaching the star while he is accompanied by his dogs bend down and say “Who’s the pretty boy? Who’s the pretty boy? You are! Yes, you are! Yes, you are!” a few times before turning your attention to the poodles. Doing this will put MTT at ease because he will know that you think he is a very pretty boy, yes he is, yes he is.
Step 8: Don’t take up too much of his time. Michael Tilson Thomas appreciates his fans, but also has a call with Tokyo in about 3-minutes and really has to go. He hopes you understand.

No one likes Art, a study finds. Not a single god-damn person. A surprising revelation given the seemingly immense worldwide popularity of Art and the millions of people attending Art Basel in Miami this week. A survey among Art Basel attendees released today found that despite over 98% of them responding “Yes” to the generalized question of “Hey, do you like Art?”, 100% of those respondents confessed upon additional questioning that they thought Art was stupid and boring and that they just use Art Basel as an excuse to dress-up and go somewhere. “Art is sort of gay,” said David Rubenstein-Smith of his bisexual cousin Arthur Totorro. “And he and I always talk about how awful attending someone’s gallery exhibit is.”

The study found that despite universal hatred for Art, attendance at Art Basel is at all time highs because attendees like the secondary benefits of attending Art events, particularly: exuding the impression of being cultured, European accents, drugs, not feeling like all you did this week was watch twenty episodes of Get Shorty, the possibility of sex, complaining about traffic, selfies, and also drugs. Those, as well as the chance of running into Adrian Brody, the study found, are the only reasons people attend Art Basal every year. Not because they enjoy Art, which they don’t, because Art is stupid.

When confronted with the results of the survey, 24-year-old Christina Delmonico rejected its conclusion, stating that she “always loved Van Gogh’s “Starry Night” as well as other pieces she could totally name but doesn’t want to, but quickly conceded that Art is sort of overrated and pretentious and that she only went to a couple of satellite Art Basel exhibits so she could say that she was doing something when people asked her if she was doing anything for Art Basel.

One of the events Ms. Delmonico attended was the “Overlord Hempmaker” exhibit at the Euphoric Gallery/Café/Clothing Store on Collins. The gallery featured original (but highly derivative) street-inspired collages by “Overlord Hempmaker”, an up-and-coming local artist better known as Daniel Schwartzman, son of real-estate developer Hershel Schwartzman, who owns the Euphoric Gallery.  “The pieces are meant to speak to the struggle of being a minority in this country,” explained Mr. Schwartzman as he vaped. When asked what inspired him to become an artist, the 27-year-old said that he always felt the need to express himself, but mostly he liked all the drugs and women that come from being a famous artist. 

The Plantain asked Art historian Barbara Dunkin whether people always hated Art or if it was a new cultural development. “People never really loved Art, but they certainly liked it a little more before TV and the internet came along. Before 1950, you have to remember, the only activity people were allowed to do was stare at Art or die of Typhoid Fever.” As more and more better options for entertainment became available, the world stopped having to pretend that staring at a painting for more than 10 seconds was fun or emotional, which she admits it never was. “But people have always loved drugs and having people think they are cultured, so Art continues to maintain a veneer of popularity.”

Local filmmakers David Cypkin and Alfred Spellman, the duo behind the classic South Florida documentary Square Grouper, are at it again with SCREWBALL, a Miami-focused baseball movie about fraud and dishonesty that somehow isn’t about the Marlins.As a supporter of local art, I watched the film last night, and cannot convey to the viewers my disappointment with the film. The story was, in my opinion, ill-conceived and not worth the $3.99 I spent on the title. Luckily for Mssrs. Cypkin and Spellman, I had inadvertently watched a movie called “Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story”, which was the first thing that came up on my Video on Demand. Thanks, Xfinity.

“Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story” is a comedy about a wiffleball player named Ted that overcomes the odds to remain a whiffleball player named Ted. It is the kind of movie that Brian Doyle Murray shows up in toward the end for some reason, causing the person sitting next to you to say, “Hey, you know that’s Bill Murray’s brother?” Fortunately for Mr. Doyle Murray, he wasn’t actually in this movie and the actor was just the “Jump to Conclusions Guy” from Office Space. A man who is definitely not related to Bill Murray, I think.

Maybe they don’t look like each other. Is one of these guys the diabetes guy from China Syndrome? Anyway…
After watching Screwball: The Ted Whitfield Story for an hour and a half, I realized this wasn’t the movie I intended to watch, which isn’t even on Xfinity anyway. After spending another 30 minutes fiddling with my Roku and having to sign up for an account on something called Redbox Online, I finally was able to watch the actual “Screwball” movie. Brian Doyle Murray isn’t in it either.
Screwball tells the real tale of Pedro Bosch, a man with a Belizian medical degree who injected athletes and children with steroids for money. He is all of the Cuban guys that grew up in Miami in the 80’s and the type that has gotten into several arguments at a Pollo Tropical while his kid, who he only has for the weekend, shout whispers at him “can we just go?”. To make a long story short, Bosch scammed $4,000 from a guy named Porter Fisher, the kid that was bullied at your high school but now works out too much and tries to sell you something called Shakeology through Facebook messenger once a year (I’m still not interested, Jeremy!).
The conflict between Porter and Bosch eventually “took down” numerous steroid pumping baseball stars including Alex Rodriguez and other famous athletes I definitely heard of before the movie. And by “took down,” I mean it didn’t, because A-rod is doing just fine. He does seem like a weirdo though and, although this wasn’t mentioned in the movie, is definitely is the type of guy that has jerked off to videos of himself hitting homers.
Screwball has gotten a lot of attention for its use of children during the film’s reenactments, an effective and entertaining storytelling device that is unfortunately ethically undercut by a scene during the credits in which the child actors are shown actually playing baseball among themselves. During the film’s parting moments, there is a shot of the child that plays Porter Fisher throwing a ball with just absurdly poor form. Like, the worst throw ever filmed on camera. That the filmmakers would put such an embarrassing shot of this young man in the movie is shocking and we have heard that CPS has opened an investigation on the filmmakers.
Screwball is an entertaining movie that is more about the folks you see driving rented BMWs on the Rickenbacker than Major League Baseball. It deserves to be seen now that it is on Netflix.
Grades:
Screwball: A
Screwball: The Tim Whitfield Story: C-
The Kid that Plays Porter’s Throwing Arm: F
Child Tim Elfrink’s Demon Red Beard: B+
Redbox Online’s Sign Up Process: F
This Article’s Photoshop: A+

Jonathan Davis, a 33-year-old Best Buy employee, is prepared for the viral fame and inevitable burn wounds he will garner following Thursday’s Fourth of July holiday after he drunkenly tries to launch a firework from between his teeth. “I know it’s dangerous,” said Davis, “but being scared of danger is for pussies,” said the Florida State graduate.

Mr. Davis got the inspiration for the stunt after his friend “Fat Mark” showed him a clip of Jacksonville resident Chip McClintock attempting the same stunt. Mr. McClintock, also a Florida State graduate, died of his wounds.

“I showed Jon Jon the clip and bet him that he was too much of a chick to try it,” said Fat Mark. After accepting his friends challenge, Fat Mark and Jon Jon, who kissed once and have been close friends since pledging Pi Kappa Alpha in 05′, started to plan the stunt.

“We are taking a lot safety precautions,” said Mr. Davis while seated next to his exasperated fiance, former Florida State attendee but not graduate Heather Schmidt, who insists she never liked Fat Mark but nonetheless had sex with him three-times during junior year, before her and Mr. Davis became “serious” but well after they started dating, a fact Mr. Davis has never been told. “For instance, we are going to have a wet rag to wrap around my head in case my face catches on fire, and I’m going to wash out my mouth with chocolate milk before lighting the rocket so the alcohol on my breath doesn’t ignite.”

“I think he is being really stupid,” said the unemployed Ms. Schmidt who plans to wed Mr. Davis in October. “He better not mess up his face before the wedding.”

But Mr. Davis is confident he will be fine and that the attention he will receive following the video’s online release will pay for the upcoming wedding, and may even be enough to help him renovate his man cave and purchase Ms. Schmidt a breast enhancement that Mr. Davis and Fat Mark both agree that she desperately needs. “We’re going to be millionaires,” said Fat Mark. “Can you imagine the number of hits we’ll get after Tosh.0 and Ridiculousness finds out about this.”

When asked to respond to her fiance’s plans for his anticipated cash influx, including his plans with Fat Mark to purchase her a “much needed” breast enhancement, Ms. Schmidt let out an irritated moan, muttered “you got to be fucking kidding me with this shit,” and left the room to have a Newport mentholated cigarette.

“This was like the best freaking Ultra ever,” said a still fucked up Willy Gort Monday morning. “The music, man. It was just so…you know, intense!” he told the tree to whom he was speaking. The tree had no comment.Ultra is the premier EDM Music Festival (“EDM” stands for Electronic Dance Music, meaning I guess that should just say ED Music Festival, or EDM Festival, neither of which looks correct to me, and one of which looks like it would be Erectile Dysfunction Music Festival–I digress).
Ultra, the EDM Festival, took place on Virginia Beach this weekend and was a complete disaster according to everyone except the five City of Miami Commissioners in attendance, all of whom report having had a real “lit” time after being slipped “something funny” by Greg “Dirtboi” Grungerstan, an Ultra lobbyist and part-time DJ.
“The City of Miami is a great friend and partner to Ultra, and I was glad to share the positive vibes and drugs, I mean, just positive vibes and not drugs, with them. Good save, Dirtboi. They’ll put you on the main stage soon,” he told a nearby tree who also declined to comment for this article.
While many have been critical of the City’s plan to move the Erectile Dysfunction festival to Virginia Beach, an area surrounded by protected wildlife that lacks the infrastructure to deal with 60,000 people trying to navigate the only road to the festival, the City of Miami Commissioners in attendance see the festival as overall a positive event for Miami.
“Ultra brings a wonderful mixture of sweaty Europeans on drugs and sweaty locals selling drugs together every year,” said Commissioner Joe Carollo as he stuck a neon pacifier in his mouth and waiting for a sick beat to drop. “I can’t wait for next year. It’s gonna be fire.”
By Bernard Ng-Mann

The City of Miami voted unanimously to kick the Ultra Music Festival out of Bayfront Park. The electronic music festival has attracted techno music lovers, dendrophiliacs, and drug enthusiasts from all over the world to Bayfront Park since 2001, but in recent years has become a source of blinding rage for downtown property owners who believe the three-day music festival attracts far too many young people having a great time to the City and could potentially be “bad for their investment.”The Commission was adamant that electronic music was not “real music like when I was a kid” and passed a unanimous resolution to “tell those kids to turn that noise down, dagnabbit!”
At the hearing, Commissioner Joe “Sir, I’m going to have to ask you to leave,” Carollo told his constituents that he would work to save Bayfront Park so the community could continue to enjoy its ‘concrete and broken water fountain’ design, however the Commissioners eventually decided the City-owned waterfront land was probably best suited for another rarely used stadium.
The idea of “why not build a stadium?” originated when Marlins’ owner Derek Jeter suggested during public comment that the waterfront property would be the perfect spot for a new new super deluxe Marlins Park.
“I believe a new stadium will revitalize the team and improve attendance to Marlins games in a way that the last stadium you gave us just hasn’t been able to,” said the former All-Star as he signed an autograph to several starstruck city officials.

The Florida Department of Health has issued an advisory to Miami-Dade Residents warning them not to swim at certain beaches, including Golden Beach, Sunny Isles, Surfside, North Shore, 53rd Street in Miami Beach, Haulover South and Crandon North, due to dangerous levels of feces found in the water. Department investigators believe the fecal matter was caused after the entirety of DJ Khaled’s furniture line was tossed to sea.The furniture, which features embossed lions and more gold than a Donald Trump shower, can be purchased at El Dorado Furniture, an acid trip of a retail establishment described by some as “the most Miami store ever.” The DJ Khaled line of furniture, whose signature piece is a gold colored upholstered love seats and a pair of spray painted lion statues, has been widely mocked by bloggers, most of whom have decorated every home they have ever lived in with cheap Ikea furniture. “It’s just so tacky. What type of adult would want that in their house?” typed one 30-year-old blogger while sitting underneath a cheaply framed Doors poster he has had hanging since High School.
The furniture was reportedly tossed into the Atlantic Ocean following a bet between two El Dorado employees about whether it would sink. “We didn’t realize how much fun it is to toss sofas into the ocean,” said an anonymous El Dorado employee. “It all floats, by the way, but before we knew it we had dumped it all. Our manager Carlos was so pissed.”
The Plantain asked Department of Health representatives how discarded sofas could result in an increase level of fecal particles found in our oceans: “Oh, it’s because the furniture looks like shit.” “This is sort of a mean spirited joke, if you ask me,” said the Official.
The Plantain reached out to DJ Khaled for comment, but he was too busy being more successful than we are to comment.
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