South Florida is a competitive place, whether it’s a sporting event, a lane on I-95 or a duel over the last marble rye. It’s our lifeblood. But now what do we do?
The Marlins are, mercifully, about to call it quits with meaningless weekend games in Philadelphia. The Dolphins season became instantly meaningless with a four-touchdown loss to Buffalo at home, and only a fool is cutting short his Saturday night to prepare for Sunday’s 9:30 a.m. dance with the Jets in London. The Heat take the floor on Sunday at AmericanAirlines Arena against Charlotte, but, as good as this roster feels, preseason NBA is more meaningless than the first 60 games of the real season.
But there are a few places that this weekend will offer some competition worthy of South Florida.
As you may have heard, Fort Lauderdale beach this week is hosting the Swatch Beach Volleyball FIVB World Tour Finals, which has drawn some of the top volleyball players in the world and, according to spies, an especially attractive crowd of fans. The matches take place in a special 4,000-capacity stadium built for the occasion at Fort Lauderdale Beach Park. There’s a vendor village, with food, drink and music. More than 10 hours of competition will be broadcast from the balmy beach setting on the Universal Sports network beginning Friday, and the men’s and women’s finals on Sunday will be shown live at 2:30 p.m. on NBC. They’ll be wearing jackets in London and Buffalo on Sunday. We win! Info: US.SwatchMajorSeries.com.
VESSELS OF OKTOBER
It feels like everything’s a competition at the Oakland Park Oktoberfest, which returns to Jaco Pastorius Park (4000 N. Dixie Highway) on Friday and Saturday. The tented gathering, now in its 11th year, will have the usual dachshund racing and the apple strudel-eating contest. But what is it about grabbing hold of a 32-ounce stein of Tucher that turns into a race? Why? Maybe it depends on which pack of yahoos you go with. Worth noting that Funky Buddha Brewery will have its Florida Hefeweizen on tap. The Oakland Park Oktoberfest is 5-11 p.m. Friday and 1-11 p.m. Saturday. Admisson is $5, free ages 12 and younger. Organizers say free parking will be available a short walk away, with paid premium parkgn onsite. Info: OaklandParkFL.gov.
GET YOUR KICKS
They do good beer at Tap 42, and they do good. The downtown Fort Lauderdale inn will host a kickball tournament 9 a.m.-3 p.m. Saturday at Floyd Hull Stadium (2800 SW Eighth Ave.) to benefit PetSet and the Broward Humane Society. The cost is $25 per player, which includes two free drinks and light bites. Kickballers of all skill levels can take part, and teams (10-15 players) can register (and download the waiver) at HumaneBroward.com/PetSet-kickball-create-a-team. More info: Facebook.com/Tap42Bar.
HE'S NO. 864!
Michael Kosta, appearing at Palm Beach Improv through Sunday, is the future host of “Comment Section,” produced by Joel McHale on the E! network this fall. He’s also a former professional tennis player. When you Google that, you’ll find that his highest world ranking was 864, but he will point out that the $11,000 he made on tour is $11,000 more than you made as a pro athlete. Tickets: $20. Info: PalmBeach.Improv.com.
READY, SET, TORTUGA!
Last year the early-bird presale packages for the Tortuga Music Festival on Fort Lauderdale beach sold out in about 90 minutes. Advance tickets for Tortuga 2016, now a three-day gathering of country, indie and Americana music fans set for April 15-17, go on sale 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 2, at TortugaMusicFestival.com and by calling 877-987-6487. The three-day, general-admission passes are $179 each, with VIP tickets $679 and super VIP $1,149.
GET AMPED UP
Hear some top local bands for free on Sunday during Duende A.M.P. Festival at the Pompano Beach Amphitheater, which has invited nine acts to compete for the title of Most Amped Band in the county as part of the weekend’s Broward 100 festivities. From 3 to 6 p.m., the finalists will play for a panel of judges (including Tito Puente Jr.), with the winner getting the 6:30 p.m. slot opening for headliners including Sammy Figueroa and Otis Cadillac. Audience response will play a hand in the decision. The finalists (decided by online balloting over the past few weeks) are the Blues Brothers Soul Band, Wilton Drive, A New Way To Live Forever, Blu.Line, Predator, Yardji, Petty Hearts, 33 Years, the Nash Carey Band and the d/b/a Band. Admission is free. Info: PompanoBeachArts.org.
DRINK WILTON DRIVE
It’s not a race. We don’t think. The inaugural Stonewall Pub Crawl will raise money on Wednesday night by getting a cut of the proceeds if you buy a drink at a participating hot spot on Wilton Drive, including Rosie’s, Thirteen, Mind Your Manors, Naked Grape, Rumors, Village Pub, Monkey Bar/Alibi, Hunters, Progress Bar, Thirteen Even, Courtyard Café, New York Grilled Cheese, Infinity Lounge, Pink Submarine, Novel Tea and more. Which, let’s admit, is just another Wednesday night for you. The Pub Crawl is from 5 to 11 p.m. and benefits the Stonewall National Museum & Archives. Info: Stonewall-Museum.org.
YOU WANT CANDY?
Does it feel like South Florida still loses out to other cities when it comes to booking great bands (Orlando, even)? Well, when they do drop in, we need to step up. Last we checked, there were tickets available for the Jesus and Mary Chain’s 30th anniversary return to the glory of “Psychocandy” Friday night at the Olympia Theater at Gusman Center (174 E. Flagler St., Miami). Seriously? Tickets: $40-$75. Info: OlympiaTheater.org.
You can’t drink craft beer while watching the Miami Dolphins — you’ll go broke. World of Beer understands, and will only charge you $2 a pint to drown your sorrows in PBR on Sunday at their West Palm Beach and Coconut Creek locations. They have plenty of craft beers, too. Info: WorldOfBeer.com/Locations.
The West Palm Beach GreenMarket, one of South Florida’s most popular and eclectic markets, has its season-opening display on the downtown Waterfront on Saturday from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Twenty-three new vendors will join the lineup that has swelled to 80 local merchants at the gathering, which includes live music, free kids’ activities and bottomless $10 mimosas. Info: WPB.org/GreenMarket.
LATE NIGHT WITH BRENDAN
South Florida troubadour Brendan O'Hara will debut his new album, “Late Night Radio,” on Friday at The Annex in Wynwood (44 NE 29th St., Miami), with a little help from his friends, including the Carly Jo Jackson Duo, the Rescue, Helen Tess, Ted Zimmerman of the Spam All-Stars, John Joiner and Mark Godwin of Stokeswood, and students from Guitars Over Guns. The evening will be fueled by Concrete Beach Brewery and Afrohead Rum. Admission is free. RSVP at ThePrismMusicGroup.EventBrite.com.
Both Cinema Paradiso theaters in Hollywood and Fort Lauderdale this weekend are all in on the Ryan Reynolds-Ben Mendelsohn pairing in the bittersweet “Mississippi Grind,” written and directed by Anna Boden and Ryan Fleck, who gave us the indie hit “Full Nelson.” Los Angeles Times reviewer Michael Rechtshaffen says “You can practically smell the cigarette smoke and bourbon-soaked desperation wafting through ‘Mississippi Grind,’ a nicely observed throwback of a road movie about a pair of gambling addicts en route from Dubuque, Iowa, to a high-stakes poker game in New Orleans.” Info: FLIFF.com.
NIGHT AT THE MUSEUM
Art After Dark at the Norton Museum in West Palm Beach has the return of College Night on Oct. 8, with free admission to college sudents (bring your ID), live music and a lineup of events designed for youthful exuberance. These include an art-themed scavenger hunt, sessions called #ArtHacks (“Three tricks to looking at art that will make you sound smart about art”) and DIY: Pour Paint (“an alternative brushless painting workshop”), and a curator’s coversation about the Norton’s current exhibit “The Summer of ’68: Photographing the Black Panthers.” You’ll also find #SnackHacks, a free DIY mix-and-match popcorn bar. Art After Dark runs from 5 to 9 p.m. Info: Norton.org/ArtAfterDark.
This is your last weekend to see the first comprehensive history of Haitian photography in NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale’s excellent collection of more than 350 images titled “From Within and Without: The History of Haitian Photography.” The exhibition, curated by Miami-based Haitian-American painter Edouard Duval-Carrié, is up through Sunday. Info: NSUArtMuseum.org.
TOWN AND COUNTRY
Admission is free on Sunday at the Boca Raton Museum of Art, the perfect opportunity to stand in the luminous light of the recently opened exhibit of paintings by Samuel Rothbort. Best known (by me) for his colorful New York street scenes, this show is titled “Memories of the Shtetl,” and surveys some of the Rothbort’s 1930s “memory paintings” of life in his native Walkovisk, a small village in Czarist Russia. As the museum points out, these dreamy scenes challenged many observers’ notions of prewar Eastern European Jewish life and provided inspiration for Jerome Robbins’ 1964 staging of “Fiddler on the Roof.” Info: BocaMuseum.org.
The free monthly JM Lexus Sunday Jazz Brunch is 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. on the shady banks of the New River in downtown Fort Lauderdale, with sounds from the Nestor Zurita Jazz Quartet , Davis & Dow and Sabor Latino this time around. If you find us passed out on a blanket under the Sunday paper, we can only blame the granola pancakes on the brunch menu at Marti’s New River Bistro, the terraced cafe on the water at the Broward Center. Marti’s brunch is offered 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Info: BrowardCenter.org/Bistro.