HOME   CALENDAR OF EVENTS    AD RATES   33133 STORE   PARKING MAP

grove-bikes

Daily updates on what's up in Coconut Grove and beyond including Brickell, Coral Gables and Midtown Miami

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Join the Mangoheads in Jr. Orange Bowl Parade

The Jr. Orange Bowl Parade has invited the King Mango Strut to participate again this year.

Last year was a lot of fun, and it was a fantastic way to advertise the Strut, but they need volunteers.

The Jr. Orange Bowl Parade is on Sunday, November 30 in beautiful downtown Coral Gables. Remember all those times you watched the parade growing up? Well now is your chance to be in it!

Sign in by 4:30; parade starts at 5:30, and lasts about one hour.

The theme is Route 66, celebrating the cars and music of the era.

Wear simple costumes, of your choosing, and carry signs advertising the King Mango Strut, on Dec. 28, in Coconut Grove. It's that simple and fun.

If you want to participate in The Jr. Orange Bowl Parade, please contact Deborah Crisp by Nov. 1, 2014.

ddcrisp@msn.com
305-567-9802

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Art Shows preparing for next event

Last week, the Coconut Grove Arts Festival was doing the judging for this year's show. It's actually next year's show, which is February 14, 15 and 16, 2015. St. Stephen's Art Show is also that same President's Day weekend and they are still accepting art applications here.

The Florida Festivals and Events Association (FFEA) named the Coconut Grove Arts Festival with several SUNsational Awards. They presented the Coconut Grove Arts Festival with four Gold/1st Place Awards in the following categories for events within the “$150,000 and Over” budget category: Educational Program, Commemorative Poster, PR/Marketing Campaign and T-Shirt Design. The Arts Festival also received two Silver/2nd Place Awards for Program/Event Guide and Social Media.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

New Reverend to be installed Friday

The Reverend Father Jonathan G.A. Archer (left) is the new and 4th Rector of Christ  Episcopal/Anglican Church an Historic Site and Landmark in Coconut Grove. There is a Holy Eucharist and Installation of Father Archer on Friday, October 24 at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome.

Most of Father Archer’s education took place in Nassau Bahamas, where he graduated from Queens College High School (1992).  He furthered his education at The College of the Bahamas graduating with an Associate Arts Degree in Computer Data Processing. From there his spiritual journey took him to Codrington College of the United West Indies in Barbados were he received a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Theology;  he then completed his studies at The College of the Bahamas with a Diploma in Secondary School Education (Religious Knowledge).

On July 22, 2002 he was ordained Priest. This journey called him to serve as Assistant Curate at St. Anne’s Fox Hill (2001-2003) and to become Rector of St. Patrick’s Parish in Central Eluthera (2003-2010). His last Parish was St. Paul’s Parish in South Long Island where he served as Rector and ministered to seven churches over a 26 mile area (2010-2013).  During his tenure at the aforementioned Parishes, he found the time to teach part-time as a High School Teacher of Religious Knowledge at Central Eleuthra High and work as a part-time Guidance Counselor at N.G.M. Major High School in South Long Island. 

Father Archer has two younger sisters and is married to Nicola Archer.

Christ  Episcopal/Anglican Church is located at 3481 Hibiscus Street.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Free yoga class on the grass

Free Yoga is back at Peacock Park staring Thursday, October 23. The class will be held every Thursday, from 6 to 7 pm.

Thanks to local sponsor OXXO Care Cleaners, Dharma Studio sends gifted teachers to lead the hour-long sessions. Participants of all levels of yoga experience are welcome to the open-level Vinyasa-style classes. If you don't have a yoga mat, a beach towel will work since the class is on the grass!

Jo Jo Tea, a Miami-based tea company, will be offering tea before and after the class. They provide a natural, smooth and consistent tea experience by purchasing tea from reputable farms around the world and applying a strict importing discipline, ensuring you receive world class quality with every cup brewed.

You can find their tea at Panther Coffee, Eating House, Zak the Baker, and the 50 Egg concept restaurants. 

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Thousands attend Coconut Grove Seafood Festival

It was some heck of a weekend in Coconut Grove. The weather was perfect, but even better than that were two big festivals which drew thousands of people back to back - Saturday and Sunday. Saturday was the Grovetoberfest beer festival and Sunday was the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival, both in Peacock Park.

This Seafood Festival was one event where the prices were kept in line. We had these blue crabs (three per serving) for just $10 per serving. Incredible and delicious. The SapientNitro group had their own tent with tables and thanks to Gabriel Mendoza, we were welcomed to sit there and eat and drink. 

There were some tents like at the VIP area, where there were non-stop lines for food, liquor, desserts and cigars. You could purchase an upgraded ticket for that.




People were lined up down the block, just like with Grovetoberfest the day before. I think we need to hire Tony Albelo, who heads these two events, to run all the Grove events. He really knows how to bring the crowds out and he always has beautiful weather, too.


LOTS MORE PHOTOS ON OUR FACEBOOK PAGE HERE.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Fine Wine & Spirits Fest is really all about chocolate

One of my favorite events is coming to Coconut Grove. The last couple of times I attended at Pinecrest Gardens, but now The Miami Fine Wine & Spirits Festival will take place in Peacock Park on November 22 and 23.

The festival allows consumers an opportunity to sample, buy, learn about and be entertained by all things related to fine wine and spirits. The event offers seven shows within the show: VIP Pavilion, Fine wine & spirits pavilion, culinary, chocolate and dessert pavilions, live cooking demonstrations sponsored by Florida Builders Appliances, live music stage sponsored by Prohibition Restaurant Miami, pairing and tasting seminars. Beer, wine and spirits vendors will offer free samples, culinary/chocolate/dessert vendors offer samples at the vendor discretion. 

There will be almost 100 booths and 80 companies at the two day event.

A unique feature of this event is the focus on fine wine and spirits with hundreds of brands to sample. In South Florida from November to April over 300 mostly culinary events take place, no other event “dials into” fine wines and spirits like the Miami Fine Wine and Spirits Festival. This is done in part with a full schedule of live cooking demonstrations and seminars featuring both cooking with wine and spirits as well as pairing wines and spirits with certain foods or chocolates. 

Another unique feature of the Miami Fine Wine & Spirits Festival is CHOCOLATE! Over 20 chocolate and dessert companies will be on hand. The will be located inside a large air conditioned tent this is South Florida after all.

Tickets can be purchased on line at miamifinewineandspiritsfestival.com
Adults $25 online or $35 day of show
Child $10 anytime (Child 3-12 yrs.)
VIP Adult Ticket $59 one day or $69 for a two day pass  – only 250 tickets sold each day
VIP Child Ticket not available

For those looking for an “all inclusive” experience the VIP Pavilion is the place. Open both days from 2:00 to 6:00 pm only. This area offers the VIP: 
Free Valet Parking
VIP only entrance line
Unlimited Beer, Wine & Spirit Samples
Food Tastings
Entrance into the main event and VIP area
Re-entry for both days of show when purchasing a two day pass
Admission to all seminars and live demonstrations
Private restrooms
Music
All under VIP only private tent.

“My goal is to offer consumers a great time, the opportunity to learn about wine and spirits and to do this at a good value,” says show founder Mario Pi. “I am excited to be able to offer the South Florida consumer an upscale event that is not at an outrageous price."

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Sunday, October 19, 2014

Supporting the Mad Hatter Festival

There are a couple of fundraisers going on to raise money for this year's Mad Hatter Festival, which is November 15 and 16 at The Barnacle.

Detlev Spa + Salon is holding "Spa Days" from October 20 to November 1 where a portion of each facial and massage will benefit the Mad Hatter. 

Call them for dates and times: 305-448-5750. 

Detlev is located at 3065 Fuller Street.

Then on Sunday, October 26, Milda Bublys is having one of her Stitch n' Bitch sessions at Blu Moon Studio to help raise funds for Mad Hatter.

The workshop will teach you how to make Toppers & Fascinators, perfect to wear on Mad Hatter days. 

The event is from 2 to 5 pm, cost is $39 for instruction plus all supplies and materials needed, plus there will be drinks and treats.

Blu Moon is located at 3444 Main Highway #7, please RSVP at stitchnstylestudio.com

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

SPECTRUM Miami is anticipating Art Basel

 It's almost Art Basel time again and the satellite shows especially, are all gearing up. Redwood Media Group, has announced the return of its celebrated fine art show, SPECTRUM Miami featuring ArtSpot International Art Fair, from Wednesday, December 3 – Sunday, December 7 in the heart of the Wynwood Art District during Art Week Miami. 

SPECTRUM is more than an art show — it’s a 5-day fine art experience featuring top galleries and artists from across the US and around the world, along with live performances, curated Art Lab projects and Late Night parties drawing crowds from all corners of the city.

New to this year’s show is a special curated Art Labs series, featuring educational projects and seminars by leading Miami-based art institutions and industry leaders. One such project—[mi.ami][inter.play], by local nonprofit partner Life Is Art — will be an artistic collaboration within the community. Another, Yo Miami, will be a live, invitational mural painting endeavor involving both experienced artists and up-and-comers.


Other surprises include a partnership with the Cirque du Soleil show, Amaluna, which includes performance art and ticket giveaways throughout the show. There may also be a dramatic photo shoot with dancers by international bookseller and world-renowned photographer Jordan Matter!

Located at 3011 NE 1st Avenue at NE 30 Street, the juried show of contemporary art features original paintings, photography, sculpture, mixed media, glass and limited edition prints.


Nicole Furman's "Unzippin' Color" 
The show’s signature VIP opening preview party, SPECTRUM After Dark, takes place from 6 – 10 pm on Wednesday, December 3, and includes artist unveilings, performance art, music and DJ, a full cash bar, complimentary cocktails and passed hors d’oeuvres. The following nights, from Thursday, December 4 – Saturday, December 6, features Late Night parties from 7 – 9 pm daily. 

Housed within the SPECTRUM tent for its 2nd year is the independent show, ArtSpot International, organized by Aldo Castillo. ArtSpot presents modern and cutting-edge galleries exhibiting contemporary art, including photography, works on paper, sculpture, and installations from emerging and established artists. The show merges a range of international art with strong Latin American influences. Castillo, the show curator and director, is one of the most respected authorities of modern and contemporary art and has overseen the direction of more than 250 international art exhibitions.

By catering to high-end collectors, buyers and art enthusiasts, SPECTRUM Miami offers gallery owners, designers, architects and collectors extraordinary works by innovative and established artists and galleries from around the world.

Jordan Matter

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Saturday, October 18, 2014

It's all about that beer

Another successful Grovetoberfest under our belts at Peacock Park on Saturday. Thousands lined up to enter the park for the yearly event. 

Hundreds of craft beers were available for taste and sale and lots of food of all types was for sale, too, free for those in the VIP tent.
The lines were so long, that it was a victory just to enter the grounds.

These are the first to enter at as the gate opened, they grabbed a sample cup and went from tent to tent to try the different varieties.

More photos of Grovetoberfest here.


The group from Michael's Genuine were there, handing out beer and nibblie things, they're excited to become our new neighbor soon when they open Harry's Pizzeria, just up the road a piece.

If you missed the beer festival, Sunday, October 19, is the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival - also in Peacock Park from 11 am to 8 pm.

More photos of Grovetoberfest here
.



FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Owloween at The Barnacle

Celebrate all things owl with crafts, games, storybook reading, face painting, costume and hooting contests, and live owl presentations at "Owloween" at The Barnacle on Sunday, October 19.

Cost: Included with $2 park admission. Ages 5 and under free.

The event is from noon to 4 pm.

The Barnacle is located at 3485 Main Highway. For info: 305-442-6866

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Today's Grovetoberfest and the Cuda after party

Grovetoberfest is back today, October 18, from 3 to 7 pm at Peacock Park. The event offers over 300 beer styles and over 7,000 visitors usually attend.

There's plenty of beer, live music and food.
After the fest, head on over to Barracuda on Fuller Street for the after party, the "Crafty Cuda Block Party."


- It's free
- It's walking distance
- 16 ounce beer specials
- Food
- Live bands
- Closed down street

The action takes place right in front of Barracuda Bar & Grill on Fuller Street and begins at 6 pm and goes until 2 or 3 am or whenever they get shut down.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

City refuses to clean-up park to neighbors' liking

Last weekend, neighbors surrounding Merrie Christmas Park on LeJeune road held a protest against the city's response to the toxic clean-up of the park.

The neighbors are concerned about the way the job is being completed, they feel that the dirt is being pushed from one area to the other but it's not being completely removed from the park. As of now they claim that the property values are dropping, too.

A meeting at City Hall on Thursday brought some bad news. The City is refusing to remove all of the tainted soil and  it was suggested that if the neighbors want otherwise, they should pay for a large part of the removal costs and replacement of the soil themselves. The cost is about $50,000.

District Commissioner Marc Sarnoff said that the $50,000 is about one third of the total cost.

As of now the park is closed, the property values are declining and neighbors are totally frustrated. This affects not only Coconut Grove but Coral Gables, which is across the street from the park and within a quarter mile perimiter which is deemed toxic. Arsenic, barium, cadmium, and lead still cover the area, all the result of the long ago incinerator Old Smokey.

Neighbors have now retained attorneys to fight for their cause.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Toastmasters celebrates 90th anniversay

Toastmasters Clubs around the world will celebrate Toastmasters’ 90th anniversary with special meetings. Locally, Grove Gables Toastmasters, which meets at The Peacock Garden Café (2889 McFarlane Road) Mondays at  noon, will host a special themed meeting and presentations on Oct 20. The event is free to the public and lunch specials start at $13.

Through improved communication and leadership skills, millions of men and women have become better speakers and leaders since 1924, when founder Dr. Ralph C. Smedley held the first meeting in a basement of the YMCA in Santa Ana, California.

Kristy Moore Hernandez of  Coconut Grove has been a member of  Grove Gables Toastmasters for 18 months. She credits Grove Gables for helping her to  overcome crippling stage fright, which hindered her ability to give an effective talk. “Since joining Grove Gables Toastmasters, I have overcome the stage fright and now find it exciting to give a well prepared speech,” says Kristy. 

Nancy E. Maidique of Coral Gables has been a member of  The Grove Gables Toastmasters for 8 months. She credits the club for helping her hone her communication and leadership skills. “Since joining Grove Gables, I have learned to embrace my personal style, express my natural abilities, and focus on areas of improvement,” says Nancy. 

Skarley Guerrero  of Miami has been a member of The Grove Gables Toastmasters Club  for two years. He has been a member and club officer,  he  credits the club for helping him to improve confidence when speaking in front of a crowd and develop better listening skills. “Since joining, I have been able to address an audience of more than 50 people with poise and effectiveness,” says Skarley.

The general public is invited to visit a meeting and learn more about what Toastmasters has to offer. Please contact  Kristy Moore Hernandez  at  305-807-2121 for more information.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Friday, October 17, 2014

Ritz-Carlton presenting Beer Garden

They had such a good time at the Beer Garden earlier this month, that the The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove, has brought it back this weekend. With the huge Grovetoberfest taking over Peacock Park for the weekend, this will be a more subdued beer option for those of you who like your beer garden's a little quieter.

In collaboration with Wynwood Brewery Company, they invite guests to an exclusive beer garden filing the outdoor terrace with lively music, games, a mouthwatering German-inspired menu and let’s not forget…locally crafted beer.

Beer Garden Menu presented by Executive Chef Ramesh Kaduru:

Chicken Schnitzel Sliders, Tomato Jam, Cabbage Slaw, German Fingerling Potato Salad- $10
Beer Braised Grilled Bratwurst with Sauerkraut- $10
Soft warm Pretzels served with Beer in Porter Cheddar Soup- $9
Belgium Beer Cookies with Orange Icing- $6
Apple Strudels- $6

The event is Saturday and Sunday, October 18 and 19 from 3 to 9 pm.

The Ritz-Carlton is located at 3300 SW 27 Avenue. Valet parking is complimentary. For more info: 305-644-4680.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

New EJ ALPS Studio opens at Grove Art Gallery

I've been running into local artist Peter Studl by accident a lot lately. The first time, I was groggily walking into the gym and I passed him on the street on an early Saturday morning, maybe 7:30 am. As we walked by each other we said, "good morning," and went on our way. Just two Grovites passing in the morning.

A little later, I went to the Bookstore for breakfast and as I was waiting for breakfast, I heard someone call my name, it was Peter. He was with a friend who pointed me out. Peter had emailed me earlier in the week about his new art gallery, but we had never seen each other, so it was funny that earlier we had said "hello" on the street but just kept going. 

The next time I went into the Bookstore, I saw Peter's art hanging on the walls, it was to introduce his new gallery on Bird Avenue, the new EJ ALPS Studio at the Grove Art Gallery. It now the home of the Bellezza Stratificato method of art.

The work is the brainchild of Austrian-born artist Peter as inspired by young daughters Avignon and London. This is the first gallery offering of his works.  


Peter explains, "The Bellezza Stratificato technique of creating a layered and opaque metallic iridescence on archival papers, canvas and textiles uses inks, mica, atomized metals, acrylics, natural pigments and other materials to achieve a remarkable layered visual result. Many pieces are embossed to add a unique three-dimensional look. The often challenging and intricate applications result in styles ranging from layered and opaque classical figures to modern bold polished abstracts on canvas.  Among many favorable descriptions, the works have been called 'spiritual.' " 

As a new “artist direct” studio and gallery, Grove Art Gallery is offering these stunning works initially for a pre-grand opening price of one-half of the already very modest suggested gallery price. Net prices range from $100 to $1100. Additionally, the gallery offers a Code 33 discount for Grovites, all in keeping with the gallery's philosophy that good original new art should flow into the marketplace and be available to both experienced collectors and people of limited means. 

This ranks among the best fine art bargains in Miami. Make it a holiday gift for yourself or a special other.  

Visit by appointment or by chance.  Visitors are always welcome.  Call 305-351-9189 Grove Art Gallery is located at 2809 Bird Ave, 2nd floor.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Fancy Fangate


FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

A cause to pause; culture at the construction site

I was walking in New York, on the upper east side the other day and I was stopped in my tracks, I think a lot of people were. As you approached E. 51st Street on Lexington Avenue, this was the scene.


There's a small construction project being done on the sidewalk outside Dos Caminos restaurant and as you walk, you come upon these cool black and white affirmations. Culture at the construction site.


The construction company paid the street artist, James De La Vega, to create these. It's really something special to come upon as you're making your way through the city. It does cause you to pause; to stop and reflect.


With the mess all over the Grove from Commodore Plaza and up to Tigertail and SW 27th Avenue, this would be a nice addition to brighten our days.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Thursday, October 16, 2014

Sapore di Mare restaurant coming to town

I met the new owner of Sapore di Mare, the new Italian seafood restaurant taking over Focaccia Bistro at 3111 Grand Avenue. Meet Matteo Paderni, left, who now owns the premises with his wife Gioryia.

Matteo will be transforming the restaurant over the next month or so, hoping to open by the end of November. While Italian seafood will be a large part of the menu, so will lots of vegetarian dishes, special pastas, octopus salad, for which Matteo is known, burrata, zuchinni dishes and so much more. Burrata is 
a fresh Italian cheese made from mozzarella and cream.

Some of you may know the Padernis from their former restaurant called Nido Caffe which was at 72nd and Biscayne Blvd. They had a Mozzarella Bar there, great antipasti, raviolis, gnocchi, lasagna and all the great Italian things you would come to expect.  A lot of that will be brought here to the new Coconut Grove restaurant.

Matteo is very friendly, outgoing and welcoming; in all these years I've noticed that the first impression is usually the indicator of how the restaurant does in the neighborhood. This is a good indication of Sapore di Mare doing well, I think you'll feel welcome the second you enter and the Italian food seems to be a big draw for many. We wish them well.

Foccacia and Sapore di Mare are both closed for now while being renovated. 

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Navigating the Peanut

My friend Harry, who is an avid biker says that the new peanut shaped traffic circle at SW 27 Avenue and Tigertail might be hard for bikers to navigate. When coming from one street into the intersection, bikers not only have to navigate the oncoming traffic, but they would have to then cross the street to get around the peanut.

His solution is to have access cuts in the peanut, sort of like street corners have now, which will allow for not only bicycles, but for baby strollers and wheelchairs.

He sent his suggestion to the county.


Joan Shen, head of the Traffic Engineering Division of Miami-Dade County Public Works and Waste Management has agreed that it is a good idea. She says the concept shown is a work in progress and that changes can easily accommodate the bicyclists and others using wheels. "Existing conditions do not reflect the final project design. Once at the roundabout, all legs will have crosswalks for pedestrians and cyclists," says Joan.


It's now in the hands of the City of Miami.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Festival Miami's 'Music of the Americas' Concerts

From now until November 8, Festival Miami presents the "Music of the Americas," series, where award winning Lain aritsts bring energy to the festival stage. 

Steel pan virtuoso Leon Foster Thomas brings his unique Caribbean, jazz and Latin musical fusion to the festival stage. Originally from Trinidad and now based in Florida, Leon blends the music of his Caribbean roots with the music of North and South America in a lively meld all his own. A drummer, percussionist, composer and arranger with nine CDs to his credit, this colorful artist shines with first-rate programming, phenomenal musicianship and warm stage presence. He is joined onstage by jazz musicians Martin Bejerano on piano; Mike Piolet on drums and Kurt Hengstebeck on bass.

The vibe sizzles into the weekend on October 18, with a fiery Latin-Brazilian fusion that pairs multi-percussionist and two-time Grammy Award nominee Sammy Figueroa with São Paulo-based singer Glaucia Nasser. 

From their promo: "Sammy is a superb conga artist who has performed with everyone from Miles Davis to Mariah Carey; together their tasteful renditions of Brazilian songs and originals are intoxicating, playful, and free. This Festival Miami exclusive showcases the electricity of two extraordinary artists as they combine for a night of exceptional invention highlighting Latin Jazz rhythms and sounds."

On October 21, enjoy the popular Concierto de Aranjuez and Concierto de Andaluz, along with other guitar masterworks by Spanish composer Joaquin Rodrigo featuring guitar virtuosi Rafael Padron, Rene Izquierdo, Isaac Bustons and Federico Musgrove, supported by string musicians from the Frost School of Music conductec by J. Steven Moore.

The following week on November 1, meet Fantine, a singer fluent in Spanish, Russian, English and French and a unique talent with a musical style that reflects her cultural diversity. A fusion of indie, dance and electro soul, with a "swampy yet sultry" voice, she debuts her new album I Am Fantine produced by Emilio Estefan.

Festival Miami's Music of the America series closes out with Latin flair as Guatemalan singer-songwriter Gaby Moreno, recipient of the 2013 Latin Grammy Award for Best New Artist, lights up the stage with hit songs in both Spanish and English on November 6. Her latest album Postales is hugely popular, and her YouTube video of "Fuiste Tú" with Latin legend Ricardo Arjona has over 100 million views.

All concerts are held in the UM Gusman Concert Hall, 1314 Miller Drive, Coral Gables, unless otherwise specified.

For info and tickets: 
Ph: 305-284-4940 
www.festivalmiami.com 

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

A new Italian restaurant coming to Focaccia location

Focaccia Bistro (3111 Grand Avenue), which has been Focaccia for many years, under many different owners, has been sold again. This time, an Italian restaurant, which a location on Brickell, is moving in. They hope to open by November 1. I don't have the name yet, but I'll let you know when I know.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Coconut Grove Seafood Festival is Sunday

Tony Albelo, head of this weekend's Coconut Grove Seafood Festival was handed one of the fresh stone crabs that arrived by helicopter jumpers in Peacock Park this morning. 





Yup, this morning the Coconut Grove Seafood Festival marked the opening of the stone crab season by having three skydivers jump out of helicopters over Peacock Park.


One skydiver held a flag, one held the first batch of stone crabs of the season and the third had a camera to capture all the action. And then there were a few of us down below watching this whole oddity take place.

 The Coconut Grove Seafood Festival is Sunday, October 19,  when Peacock Park becomes a paradise for seafood lovers. Bushels of shrimp, oysters, crawfish, lobster, clams and fresh fish will take over the park.



With all kinds of seafood prepared in a variety of ways, the festival will have vendors offering everything from Bahamian cracked conch, Jerk grilled fish, paella, ceviche, lobster rolls and so much more. The ever-popular Casablanca Fish Market will come loaded with fish from around the world that folks can select, purchase and take home after they’ve had their fill at the festival. The Milam Kitchen Lab will feature cooking demos by popular South Florida restaurants, including Chef George Patti from Salt Fusion Cuisine, Chef Oscar del Rivero from Jaguar Ceviche Spoon, Chef Igor Ferraro from La Bottega, Chef Alex Lopez from Calamari and Chef Michael Cerny from Truluck’s. 

Yellow smoke filled the park today as the stone crabs landed.

This is just a taste of Sunday's goodies.

They flew them in, so they get to taste the first batch.

Jackie Segedin, Marketing Director of the Coconut Grove BID, with Tony Albelo.

And what would a seafood festival be without rum? Hosted by Rums of Puerto Rico, the VIP Island Experience will be an exclusive area limited to 500 VIP ticket holders and offer complimentary Mojito Bar, Rum Punch and Coquito Bar, Aged Rum Sipping Bar, Hand Rolled Cigars and Pairings, Coconut Rum Paella, Puerto Rican Frituras with 4 rum-infused sauces, Lemon & Coconut Rum Ceviche, Rum Cake Station and Air-Conditioned Private VIP Restrooms.

To complete the equation, the festival will have a constant stream of live music including calypso, steel drum, reggae and Island Escapism. The Festival will also feature several nautically-themed exhibitors showcasing art, jewelry and decor.


Admission is $15 per person online at CoconutGroveSeafoodFestival.com. Children 12 years and under enter for free. Tickets will also be available at the door for $20. 

The festival is from 11 am to 8 pm, that's Sunday, October 19.



FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Mad Hatter has room for a few more artists

There is still room for artists at this year's 10th annual Mad Hatter Arts Festival which takes place in and around The Barnacle on Saturday and Sunday, November 15 and 16.

This is a great Coconut Grove signture event and it's always right before the holidays, a perfect time for artists to sell their art as gifts.

Liz Gibson and Audrey Scott as
the Queen of Hearts and the Mad Hatter
I'm not sure which I like better - the outside art displayed along Main Highway or the tents all the way inside on the Barnacle property on the great lawn out back. Both, I guess.

This juried event features artists of all types of media. Artists interested should download an application at MadHatterArtsFestival.com.

This year's Mad Hatter Arts Festival is shaping up to be quite the event as music, contests, and fun for the whole family encircle the main attraction of this Festival: Artists’ Original Works.

Be a part of this zany arts festival -- for more information or to request an application packet, contact director@MadHatterArtsFestival.com

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Grovetoberfest is Saturday in Peacock Park

Grovetoberfest is back Saturday, October 18; this is probably the largest beer festival in South Florida. Peacock Park will be loaded with craft beer of all types and there's lots of food and music, too.

Performing live will be Robbie Elias and Anna Palmerola at Bougainvillea'S Old Florida Tavern's Live Music Stage.

Pincho Factory's Chef Nedal Ahmad's KC BBQ-inspired menu (with a Miami twist, of course) has some special treats for the Boulevard Brewing Company VIP Beer Garden this Saturday/ Get your VIP tickets at grovetoberfest.com/tickets.

On the menu:
Pulled Chiclen Tostones
Guave Riblets
Frita Chili
Brisket Croquetas
cuban Sammy Mac

And there are plenty of other vendors and food trucks around the park.

During the Grovetoberfest, starting at 1 pm, park at Coconut Grove Elementary School. Your parking fee supports much needed funding for the oldest school in Miami and is tax deductible (save that receipt). Find the parking lot on Oak Avenue between Matilda Street and Virginia Street. From the lot, it is a quick and easy walk through the gates to Peacock Park. They have a special area for visitors in need of handicapped parking. The friendly PTA volunteers will throw open the gates just before 1 pm.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Why I hate my new Chase VISA Slate credit card

This morning, it took me one hour to link my new JP Morgan Chase Slate VISA card with my current Chase accounts so that I could easily pay the bill online rather than send a check each month.
The people at Chase had me transferred to the Fraud department! All I wanted to do was pay my bill.

Here's the whole story in the Huffington Post.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Chamber presents Business Insider Breakfast

The Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce invites you to join them for the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce Business Insider Breakfast Seminar – CEO Roundtable.

If you could please add this information to your Event Calendar, we would really appreciate it! Also, if you would like to send anyone from your staff to attend the seminar, please let me know and I can reserve one ticket for them.

Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce Business Insider – CEO Roundtable Breakfast Seminar
  • Date: Wednesday, October 22nd, 2014
  • Time: 8:00-9:30am
  • Location: Ygrene Energy Fund
  • Overview: Join the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce for our next Business Insider Breakfast Seminar – “CEO Roundtable”. During this informative program, you’ll sit face-to-face with CEOs, presidents, and company owners in the real estate, finance and retail industry as they share their experiences and strategies in building and maintaining a business in Coconut Grove. You’ll hear about what’s happening in the Grove’s commercial marketplace, and what opportunities are available for Grove businesses.
  • Cost: Seating is limited, so advance reservation is highly recommended. Attendance is FREE for all Coconut Grove Chamber members with advance registration, or $10 at the door. Future members pay just $25 in advance, or $30 at the door. Coffee and light breakfast will be provided.  

For info, please call 954-530-0350 and you may register at www.coconutgrovechamber.com

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Harry's Pizzeria coming to McFarlane Road

Courtesy of Harry's
Tumblr page.
There's been talk of Michael's Genuine coming to Coconut Grove for over a year now, but what's actually coming is Harry's Pizzeria, one of The Genuine Hospitality Group's well-known restaurants.

James Beard Award-winning Chef/owner Michael Schwartz’s casual neighborhood joint will open its first new location in 2015 in the Grove with Grove-based architectural design firm Arquitectonica building out the space located at 2996-98 McFarlane Road.

“It’s funny, what began with a question mark – should we open a pizzeria – has grown up and become this great restaurant with an identity all its own, one that we feel has great potential for growth, ” says Michael.  “Choosing the right next location was super important, from the community, to the space itself and the partners involved. To have another opportunity to work with the Forts and the team at Arquitectonica is really exciting, and I think we’re all really looking forward to collaborating and getting to know our new neighborhood!”

Harry’s Pizzeria is The Genuine Hospitality Group’s third restaurant, a casual neighborhood joint opened in September 2011 and named after Schwartz’s son Harry. The restaurant is a comfortable place to gather for snacks, salads, and specials featuring seasonal ingredients, Hedy Goldsmith’s desserts, Schwartz’s signature thin-crust pizzas cooked in the restaurant’s wood-burning oven, local and craft beers on draught, creative wines by the glass and bottle, and other beverages including housemade sodas and Panther Coffee.  To make a new house a home, its “Chef Pop-Up Series” has welcomed America’s most acclaimed chefs into the kitchen over the past three years, effectively cementing Harry’s Pizzeria as a fixture in Miami’s dining community known for both its consistency and energetic, fun approach to the restaurant experience.

“We are very excited to be working with Michael on this restaurant. The addition of Harry’s to the neighborhood is a big part of our re-visioning for the center Grove to make it a place for everyday life and a unique destination” says Raymond Fort, Arquitectonica Project Designer.

The space on McFarlane Rd that Harry’s Pizzeria is entering is owned by Main Highway Partners. Harry's Pizzeria has plenty of items other than pizza like Polenta Fries, Daily Soup, Meatballs in Sauce, Escarole salad, Kale salad, Peach and Bacon salad and many more salads.

There is Margherita pizza and Meatball pizza as well as Slow Roasted Pork pizza and Oyster Mushroom pizza, just to name a few.

Harry's has daily dinner specials including Braised Beef Cheeks, Slow Roasted Pork and wood Oven Roasted Local Fish. Snacks include Marinated Olives, Polenta Fries and Organic Ricotta, homemade.

"We have a history here – our family home is in the Grove and our corporate headquarters in the Grove, in the original space the company launched over 30 years ago. We understand the fabric of the neighborhood and are so thrilled to have entrepreneurs and business owners like Michael Schwartz and Panther Coffee coming into the fold,” says Bernardo Fort-Brescia, Founding Principal of Arquitectonica

Harry's Pizzeria is in the same building where Panther Coffee is renovating a space.

There have been rumors of Michael's Genuine coming to the second floor of the old Coconut Grove Flower building next to Greenstreet Cafe at 3112 Commodore Plaza (a new shoe store is taking the first floor space). I asked the Michael's Genuine people about that, they said, "The talk couldn't have been from us at The Genuine Hospitality Group. We like ground levels with the people!"

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Monday, October 13, 2014

The street work

South Bayshore Drive is going to be slow going for awhile once the roadway and drainage project starts. Capital Improvement Projects deputy director, Jeovanny Rodriquez says the project will take one year and only one lane would be open. It was suggested to coordinate this with the rush hour traffic patterns, but if you think that the one closure at Tigertail and 27th Avenue was a pain, get ready for real headaches.

The job goes from the entrance to Mercy Hospital to Darwin Street, in front of The Fresh Market.

I think it's time to dust off our bicycles.


As for SW 27th Avenue, the County declares that the job will go on through June 2015, which of course could end up being December 2015 or beyond.  The water and sewer department required special work to be done on the west side and that created a backlog of work. According to sources, the contractor is very slow and at times does not even return phone calls. When the west side of the road is done, it will be open and the east side will be worked on, which should not be as complicated and the work should go faster.

The "peanut" traffic circle" should be open when the west side is open and you'll be able to go on Tigertail from one side to the other, but of course, you'll have to go around the peanut, which is taking the place of the traffic light, which is there now.

The County seems to be upset over how slow the job is going, but other than talk about it, they don't seem to have been doing anything to push it along. 

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Halloween past



With Halloween, coming up, we got this Postcard From a Friend:


Regarding Halloween this year, I would like all the fun-seekers to give half a moment's remembrance of Greg Gillingham, a native Grovite who started the Coconut Grove Halloween Street Party some 30+ years ago, way before CocoWalk appeared, and destroyed much of the remaining Grove ambiance.....sadly, MayFair was first destroyer.
Where once, (now MayFair) was a supermarket, a laundry, a truly noteworthy restaurant called, "The Country Store," and several other small businesses that genuinely helped make a community, now there is a flailing, would be office building and pseudo renovation that cheaply un-does what the original architect and developer, Ken Treister placed his ego upon. 
Yes, times and places change. Mutability is the only constant.  
Greg's party was a great success, so much so that the City of Miami shut him down for a year or two and forced the event to Deering Estate. Sadly, Greg died of heart attack in his sleep in Uruguay where he had stopped on the round the world trip he was taking in his own airplane. (His younger and quite attractive lady co-pilot did not comment on details).
To round things out, Greg was instrumental in starting and supporting Mary Luft's longstanding and well acclaimed "Tigertail Productions." They both lived on Tigertail at the time. (Greg worked as a roofer most of his life, until his grandfather died and bequeathed him much of the property the Ritz-Carlton now occupies.)


Feel free to send in Coconut Grove observations (good or bad) and we will run it as a "Postcard From a Friend." Any observation, long or short, if it's not good, please try not to use names of people or places. Email address is to the right, you can email your "postcard" there. We'll keep it unanimous.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Regatta Park

The next Waterfront Advisory Committee meeting is Tuesday, October 14 at City Hall, 3500 Pan American Drive. The meeting starts at 6:30 pm. Regatta Park will be discussed. Here's an illustration of the plans. Please click on it for larger image.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!

Join the Grove 2030 workshop

A strategic visioning workshop called "Grove 2030" is being held on Saturday, November 1 at Ramsom Everglades School. This is an effort by a group of residents and other community stakeholders to plan for our shared future by developing a coherent vision of Coconut Grove in the year 2030 and by outlining the steps necessary to fulfill that vision. 

I don't mean to sound negative, but unless this group can reign in development and greedy politicians, there is not much that can be done as the train on Coconut Grove's future has already left the station. I hope they can come up with solutions that keep Coconut Grove the Coconut Grove that we all know and love. As you drive up South Bayshore now, you can see it's turning into a condo wall, with the new street infrastructures on South Bayshore, SW 27th Avenue and Bird Avenue, I feel that the writing is already on the wall. 

The workshop is sponsored by the Village Council. From their press release: "Community visioning is a strategic process to define and articulate a preferred future and the actions necessary to achieve it. Visioning is collaborative and inclusive, allowing all interested participants to engage in a process that distills disparate hopes and dreams into a collective blueprint for action. The product of strategic community visioning provides a reference point to guide public policy and private development plans. Broad public involvement allows communities to identify shared values and concerns, and to find bridges between divergent ones." 

Grove 2030 will produce a vision statement and strategic goals through a six-hour Strategic Visioning Workshop, to which all are welcome.  Follow-up committees will create proposed action plans for each goal area. Be part of the process. Pledge to participate in the Grove 2030 Visioning Workshop; volunteer for a follow-up committee.  Tell your friends. Our success depends on a broad range of engaged, active community members who are committed to shaping our future for the better. 

This workshop is limited to 100 people. It's almost full, there are a few seats left. The workshop is at Ransom (3575 Main Highway) on Saturday, November 1 from 8:15 am to 12:30 pm. It will start with coffee and bagels and then the workshop will take place. For info or to join in, please email Grove2030@gmail.com.

FEEL FREE TO SHARE THIS STORY ON YOUR SOCIAL NETWORKS
For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing!