Miami-Dade County

Best Block entries roll in as deadline is extended

From West Palm Beach to Coral Gables and inner-city Miami, entries are rolling into The Miami Herald’s Best Block contest, which provides you, dear reader, the chance to showcase great city streets in South Florida.

Check out some of the submissions so far at the contest website, There you will find elegant blocks in downtown Coral Gables and waterfront West Palm Beach, but also vibrant barrio blocks in Miami’s Allapattah neighborhood and funky streets in the city’s emerging Wynwood arts district.

To give more of you the chance to send in photos and short videos, we’re extending the entry deadline until Sept. 17 at midnight. We’re also providing an additional way to submit entries via email.

There’s bragging rights on the line: All entries will be posted online, and readers will vote a people’s choice award. The sooner your entry’s in, the greater chance it has to garner votes.

But there’s cash on the table, too. The best photos and videos, as selected by an expert jury, will receive prizes of up to $600.

And the jury’s pick for best urban block in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties will get a block party.

The contest, sponsored by The Miami Herald and WRLN/Herald News in partnership with the Townhouse Center and the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, is an opportunity to highlight the elements of great urban blocks in South Florida, as our downtowns, city neighborhoods and suburban town centers spring back to life.

It’s also a chance for business and property owners, neighborhood groups, chambers of commerce, developers, architects and fans of city life to show off the places they’re proud of and think others may want to know about, maybe even emulate. It doesn’t have to be the block you live on. It can be a place where you like going to shop, to dine, to hang out or just stroll by. It can be anywhere — downtown, a city neighborhood, a suburban corner — but it should be walkable and have that hard-to-define urban allure.

We’re not necessarily looking for Madison Avenue polish, either. The idea is to identify a range of block-long streets — from the posh and urbane to the messy, colorful and everyday — that best represent the broad variety of the South Florida urban experience. We think the contest can help stimulate discovery and public discussion about how our city streets might look and feel at a time when the region appears on the verge of another urban development boomlet.

So, the next time you find yourself on a block you really dig, whip out your smartphone, snap a picture or record a short video, and tell us briefly what makes it a great urban place in a voiceover or a couple of lines of text. Then hit send.

Send more than once — there’s no limit to the number of entries you can submit.

Your entry doesn’t need be a Hollywood production. Just be bold, be creative, be fresh. Be an urban hero. Above all be interesting. You could be richly rewarded.