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Miami has both sizzle, substance.

Why not Miami or Miami Beach in 2004? Few cities in the nation can match the sheer beauty of Biscayne Bay bathed in the golden light of a fall sunset, the magic of Miami's lighted skyline, the glamour of Miami Beach's restored Art Deco district, and the rhythms that waft into its streets from its sidewalk cafes and nightclubs ... steel bands, flamenco, Latin jazz, American blues, and good old rock 'n' roll.

Name it, you'll see it or hear it in South Beach, on Calle Ocho, at Bayside or Tobacco Road, in The Grove.

And beyond the city? A different cadence, that of nature. To the west lies Everglades National Park, a vast watery wilderness of rippling sawgrass and towering clouds, of wood storks, roseate spoonbills, herons, alligators, and bobcats. To the south the coral reefs of the Biscayne National Park, John Pennekamp (a former Herald editor) State Park, the Florida Keys, and Key West.

The Miami Herald and its sister Spanish-language newspaper, El Nuevo Herald, stand ready to help put it all together in 2004 for the National Conference of Editorial Writers.

Plenty of issues to explore

Yes, Miami's a place for family fun and, yes, there's always more news than the Herald and El Herald can cover. Editorial writers will find plenty of issues to explore and with two major universities ... Miami and Florida International ... plenty of experts to explain the economic, political, social, and cultural trends of the hemisphere.

Health care? Jackson Memorial Hospital, teaching hospital for the University of Miami, is one of the nation's leading transplant centers. Human rights? Survivors of the Nazi Holocaust and the civil wars of Central America and Cuban exiles have stories to tell. Drugs? The story only begins with interdiction, the Southern Command, and narco-financed guerrilla insurgency of Colombia. Social Security? Twenty-five percent of Florida's population is over 65. In Miami, theories are tested by daily reality.

Public education? With vouchers and a new system for "grading schools" Florida is in its second wave of "reform." In its first, Miami pioneered employer-based charter schools. In four years, we'll be ready to tell you what worked.

Trade? It's fast replacing tourism as the No. 1 industry and currently home of the secretarial of the Free Trade Area of the Americas.

Crime? We've seen it, we've fought it ... successfully (we think).

Fall weather is 70s and low 80s, showers daily but brief. Packyour summer clothes. Fall is "off season" (though influx of Latin American and European tourists is changing that). Hotel rates can probably be held to $130-$150 a night.

The city is easy to get to. Miami International Airport is an American Airlines hub, and also served by Continental, Delta, Northwest, United, US Airways,Air Canada, and a plethora of international airlines. Southwest flies into nearby Fort Lauderdale/Hollywood International.

For spouses and family, there's Parrot Jungle, MetroZoo, the elegant Deering estate Vizcaya, and Fairchild Gardens, art galleries, museums, bay cruises, racing, and sporting events. Sawgrass Mills, the largest discount mall in the nation, is a shop-'til-you-drop day trip. So, too, is Miccosukee Indian Village.

Miami is the nation's largest cruise port. For fall's bargain cruises to the Caribbean, Bahamas, and Bermuda before or after the convention, choose among Carnival, Royal Caribbean, Norwegian, and Cunard.

And, who knows? Maybe we can get those visas to Cuba.

NCEW member Martha Musgrove is associate editor of The Miami Herald.
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Title Annotation:Miami, Florida
Publication:The Masthead
Article Type:Brief Article
Geographic Code:1U5FL
Date:Jun 22, 2000
Previous Article:Chicago's the right kind of town.
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