Journalism is publishing what someone else does not want published. All the rest is public relations. - George Orwell

Tuesday, October 06, 2015

Absentee ballots win elections

I received a manila envelope in the mail which said something on the outside about being an absentee ballot. When I opened it, it was an application for the absentee ballot and there was an ad for one of the District 2 candidates along with the form attached. I'm not mentioning the candidate since I don't know who I am voting for yet.

Anyway, I loved the whole mailing concept about the absentee ballot. This was a very clever thing because the absentee ballots, right or wrong, are what wins elections these days. 

It would have been better if an actual absentee ballot was attached to this candidate's ad as people would vote right on the spot I'm assuming, but having the middle step of having to send away for it will probably lose votes that would have been gained by people actually voting on the spot at that time.

It's a shame that absentee voting is the way to win the election, and I think it's important for all the candidates to understand this. I know of one already who has made the old age homes rounds, you know, visiting the retirement and assisted living facilities. It doesn't sit right with me that this is done, hitting a lonely captive audience who will give you an absentee vote for a friendly smile. But this is the way it's done today. Nothing really fair or relevant about the whole thing.

This weekend, I received another candidate's ad in the mail with the absentee ballot application form attached, they obviously stole the idea from the first candidate who sent it out. But that's the way to go. Absentee.

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Monday, October 05, 2015

After hours tour of Vizcaya and cocktail party

Vizcaya is having an open house on Wednesday, October 7. It's an actual open house, you will be welcomed inside. Visit the main house for an evening of cocktails and hors d'oeuvres (for sale).

There is also a guided mini tour and explore the history of women at Vizcaya. You can also wander around on your own.

Doors open at 6 pm, the event runs until 9 pm.

Cost is $12 for members; $18 for non-members. Get them here.

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Harry's Pizzeria opens Wednesday

We got a tweet from the Miami Herald this morning informing us that Harry's Pizzeria in the Grove is opening this Wednesday, October 7, for business.

Here's our report and photos of Harry's from our lunch there last week.

Thanks, Miami Herald, for the info!

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FAM season opening energizes Center Grove

High energy and fun family-friendly atmosphere filled the air in Center Grove Saturday evening.  More than a few people expressed what a positive experience they were having visiting restaurants, shops and galleries, especially the several pop-up galleries in stores, restaurants and salons.  Restaurants were filled, families crowded the sidewalks, the Arts took center stage. Many merchants reclaimed FAM Night making it just like previous gallery walks, they really stepped up and made it special. We don't have many galleries left in Coconut Grove and these guys compensated for it, in a big way.

Coldwell Banker Residential Real Estate Coconut Grove showed its support for FAM Night, and with artist Peter Johann Studl opened its doors to art loving visitors.
Filling the vacant corner at Main and McFarlane presently under renovation, artist Lauren Corona sketches subject Carolina Acosta. 
Several stores and shops joined in the effort to being excitement to the Center Grove experience.  Hair by Hisham on Main Highway went the full route by showcasing new art throughout the already creative salon. Hair By Hisham showcased live painting by artist Lynn Garcia “Lyne” outside the salon on Main Highway  Inside the lobby area were works by artist Peter Johann Studl with various artists upstairs.

Vinos in the Grove, in their usual classy eclectic way, provided minstrels in front of the wine bar and restaurant as well as an art gallery experience upstairs. 
Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery brought back venerable artists  painter Mai Yap (left) and  sculptor Freda Tschumy, who stand by their works.  
 Via Cocowalk Gallery always hosts a top-notch reception for FAM Night in the Grove, featuring several artists.  New additions to their collection include the very fun and interesting mixed-media works of Gianna DiBartolomeo. Gianna likes to show the effects of small objects and forms, mixed colors and interesting patterns.   

Artists Sol Luna (left) and Natasha Noriega enjoy showing their works as much as visitors enjoyed watching them in Cocowalk.  

One of the smiling faces pieces.

Melissa Martinez shows off her whimsical character painting skill in front of two highly engage young admirers. 

By Peter Johann Studl 

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Sunday, October 04, 2015

Pre-party for Bed Race at Concrete Brewery

Concrete Beach Brewery is hosting a Bed Race event on Friday, October 9. Come out at 6 pm and join the Road to the Race. This annual pre-party will introduce this year's race - the rules, the teams, the fun that is in store.

Teams gain inches at these parties - the more members you bring to this Get Rolling Gathering, the more inches you gain on the track on race day, November 7. Drink and food specials will be offered on Friday.

Concrete Beach Brewery is at 325 NW 24 Street in Wynwood.

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We thought it was the new Hyatt Regency

It's been a week since the grand opening of Regatta Park. I think it's great, but a few people have had complaints about the benches and the lack of shade. But there was one thing that stood out like a sore thumb and almost every person I came into contact with has something to say about it - the Dock Master's building. Look at it. It's humongous! Ha, Humongous; I don't think I ever used that word before, but it just fits.

The thing is the size of a hotel. At one point, some of us were joking about what to call it - the Hyatt, the Double Tree, the Ritz Carlton? I ran into one of the local Grove hotel managers at the event, I joked about him being the new manager, he shied away and said, "Hey, don't get me involved, I have nothing to do with that!"

I'm not sure who planned this $3 million dollar monstrosity, an ugly building that blocks the water, but whomever approved it, probably our city commissioners, should be ashamed of themselves. It's a joke. The whole point of knocking down the Expo Center was to open up water views and then right on top of the water is this thing. One of my neighbors thought this was Grove Harbour, the new mall on the water, and that there were restaurants in the building, which of course, there aren't.

Look at the old Dock Master's office here; what was it, 400 or 800 square feet? It served the purpose and was unobtrusive.

You would think the new park would lead down to the water's edge after all the planning, but no, there is a big black driveway that separates the grass from another bit of grass and then there is more concrete and then there is the Dock Master's office. I only noticed the big black driveway because a couple of people brought it up to me. Very strange. If this is how the waterfront plan is going to work, I shudder to think how Grove Harbour, is going to end up. In fact, just yesterday, I had people refusing to believe that there would be a bay walk along the water, they said I was wrong for saying that, that it would end up being the private property of the restaurants that were being built on the site. This is how people think these days, it's a shame that they cannot even trust their government to do the right thing. Maybe some of these leaders saw and heard The Pope this past weekend and something he said will sink in and they will start doing the right thing.

Regarding that; I had believed that there were a lot of people at the Regatta Park grand opening event, but it was quite small, I am told 150 people attended. I was told by friends that they did not attend because it was turned into a political thing and not a park opening. It's true, the usual suspects were there, but all the same, I had a good time.

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Saturday, October 03, 2015

Bring your pet to church to be blessed

St. Stephen's Episcopal Church is offering the Blessing of the Animals on St. Francis Day, Sunday, October 4. 

Bring your pets to attend the traditional mass and have them blessed at 10:30 am.

St. Stephen's is located at 2750 McFarlane Road. For info: 305-448-2601.

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Enjoy FAM Night Saturday night

FAM Night is back for the season, tonight, Saturday, October 3 in Coconut Grove. That is where Fashion + Art + Music collide or a night of everything from 6 to 9 pm.

Art galleries and boutiques will offer special things along with local bars and restaurants. 

Highlights include

Live performers be up and down Main Highway and Commodore Plaza, you know, out on the street.

Three Sheets to the Wind, Acoustic Pizza, Sam Hart Trio and DJ Robba will be performing around the village. Local hip-hop artist, Anita Will, will be performing outside Condom USA. 

Sale Rack’s Pop-Up Jewelry Shop will be right next door in front of New Age Body Piercing  featuring modern and vintage treasures.

DJ Daz will be DJing at CocoWalk where the kids can enjoy face painting and a parents can enjoy a styling event by Vicky Victoria boutique. Via Gallery will also be holdings its gallery night at their new location in Cocowalk from 7:00 pm to midnight.

Art Box at Mayfair in the Grove will be hosting artists Miguel and Ileana Collazo who will be leading a 2-hour still-life painting lesson from 7:00 to 9:00 pm. The cost is $15 per person. Street artists Lauren Corona, Courtney Burge, Cory Hunter and others, will be painting scenes of Coconut Grove, or you can get a henna tattoo by a Miami henna artist, The Henna Touch on Main Highway.

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Friday, October 02, 2015

You're gonna love Harry's Pizzeria

We tried the new Harry's Pizzera out. Loved everything! A few people were invited to try them before the open next week (date to be determined), we were invited and grateful for the excellent lunch. We didn't order from their daily menu and we had all the specials for the day. Above is the swordfish, which was delicious.
The restaurant is large, bright and very homey at the same time. These guys already had their computers out and set up camp! The staff is large, and friendly.
We ordered the Pizza Calabrese with manchego and tomato sauce, another daily special. And we got the short rib soup with Brussel sprouts. All excellent.
The famous duck wall.
We had coffee and panna cotta for dessert along with home made zeppoles.
Their new pizza oven was kept busy. It's a great addition to the Grove.
Harry's Pizzeria is located at 2996 McFarlane Road.  This is The Genuine Hospitality Group’s third restaurant, a casual neighborhood joint opened in September 2011 and named after top chef Michael Schwartz’s son Harry. Michael is a James Beard Award winner.

The Coconut Grove Harry's Pizzeria's hours are:
Monday through Thursday - 11:30 am to midnight
Friday and Saturday - 11:30 am to 2:00 am
Sunday - 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

We will announce the actual opening date when we know it, which is some time next week.

For more on Harry's and a look at their menu, visit: 

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'The Last Breakfast' to be presented tonight

Some of The Breakfast Club now.
You know the Breakfast Club? No, not the movie, the group of friends who meet in the Grove for breakfast every day. For years they met early at GreenStreet Cafe, but for the past few years they have met at The Bookstore, I sort of consider myself an honorary member, as I visit with them while getting my breakfast at The Bookstore on weekends.

Well, tonight, October 2, at GreenStreet, a painting called "The Last Breakfast," by artist Donna Du Frasne, which is a take off of The Last Supper, will be presented. The painting features images of the Coconut Grove Breakfast Club members from the 1970s and 1980s in the famous apostle positions. The painting is being presented to GreenStreet and will hang on the wall there.

About 50 long-time Grove residents (and some members of The Breakfast Club) will be present at the unveiling which starts at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome to attend.

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They don't like the changes at Lincoln Park

Some residents of Center Grove are upset of the changes at Lincoln Park, not the band, the little pocket park on Jackson Street. 

"Over the past couple of years, Lincoln Park has been transformed from a lush, much-loved gem of nature nestled within a tight-knit community, to a plastic, fenced in compound. This transformation has disturbed many long-time residents of the neighborhood such as myself, and has materially affected the aesthetic of what was once a quaint sanctuary within our city," says a resident. You can see the difference in these two photos, the bottom photo is the park before the city made the changes.

The grass is now artificial turf and a five foot high fence was erected.

People don't like artificial turf and with over-development encroaching, we are losing all that is real and natural in Coconut Grove.

I asked the Commissioner's office about this. Ron Nelson, his chief of staff responded. He told me that Lincoln Park was turned into a family park in reaction to the families who complained about Blanche Park being closed due to the toxic problem. 

I can see how changing one park to accommodate another park is a problem. Also, apparently neighbors were not notified of the artificial turf and other changes, which bothers neighbors who enjoyed the naturalness on the small street. Also, Peacock Park is due to have play equipment, but in the meantime, the kids have the play equipment at Lincoln Park. The ubiquitous artificial turf which is a cure all for everything these days is said to work better than regular grass because the trees caused too much shade and the grass that was there did not grow well, according to Ron.

"Lincoln Park had tested free of contamination and was close by, so it became the safe place for families. Play equipment and artificial turf were added, and when you have children you need a fence," says Ron.

Ron says that, "Returning the park to its original condition will need to be discussed with the residents, the new Parks Director, and the Police Commander."

I can see how neighbors might feel, if I lived across the street from the park, and I almost lived right across from this park at one time, I would hate to see a quiet pocket park turned into a playground with fake grass and a fence. It's almost like waking up one day and having a school yard just magically appear across the street from you. It's a dramatic change. That neighbor who lives right next to the park went from living next to a quiet oasis, to a playground. But I think the complaints are more about the fake grass and gate that encloses the park than it is about the children.

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Thursday, October 01, 2015

Uber and Lyft will soon be legal in the county

Uber and Lyft will be legal in Miami-Dade County by the end of the year according to county Mayor Carlos Gimenez. I love his quote: “I’m not going to drag Uber and Lyft back into the 20th century,” he continued. “I think the taxi industry has to move into the 21st.”

I'm a fan of Uber, never tried Lyft, mostly because I don't want to be drivin around with that big pink moustache on the front of the car - maybe in November for Movember.

Last time I went to the airport a couple of months ago, my fare was $13.99. You don't have to tip, but I gave the driver five bucks. So for $18.99 I was taken to the airport from the Grove - a fraction of the cost of a yellow cab.

One of my friends drives or used to drive for Uber. She told me that she picked up one of the new landowners in the Center Grove, someone I had not met. She started talking to the guy and for some reason, he asked her, "Do you know Falco?" And she said she did and by the end of the ride she had him liking me, he was conflicted at first. So I like that about Uber, too, the drivers are part of the experience, not really like a yellow taxi where the drivers are usually on the phone or in their own world and you feel like a burden in the back of their cab.

Almost a year ago, I wrote an article for the Huffington Post called "Uber Is My New Favorite Thing," you can read about my first experience with Uber here.

And you can read the Herald story on the Mayor and Uber and Lyft's future in the county here.

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We have a winner!

Rossie Ruiz, one of the contestants in last week's Vizcaya Halloween contest, has won two tickets for the Vizcaya Halloween Bash on October 30. Everyone was asked to send us their list of the Peacock locations around Coconut Grove. She sent in 10 locations. Two I am not sure of but even so, the nearest competitor only sent in seven locations, so if this list is whittled down to eight locations, Rossie is still the winner.

Above is "Munroe," by artist Deborah Starbuck, being unveiled at The Cloisters in July 2010.

These are the locations she sent in:

Peacock 1 - Ewm Realty at Franklin and Main Highway
Peacock 2 - State Farm on Commodore Plaza
Peacock 3 - The Cloisters
Peacock 4 - Mayfair Center 2911 Grand Avenue
Peacock 5 - St. Stephen's at McFarlane entrance
Peacock 6 - The Fresh Market
Peacock 7 - Shell Lumber
Peacock 8 - Coconut Grove Hampton Inn. 
Peacock 9 - Milam's market 
Peacock 10 - Village West at The Collaborative office

I question whether the Cloisters peacock is still there and also the one that was at Shell Lumber. But again, she had enough to fairly win the contest.

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Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Panther Coffee voted best in Florida

Panther Coffee is the "best coffee shop" in Florida, according to Business Insider.

But we knew that.

Here is the full list.

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District 2 Candidates meet Grove residents

The District 2 candidates forum at the Coconut Grove Woman's Club was pretty nice as a community event on Tuesday night. A full room of neighbors came out in the rain to hear the candidates. I was pleased that all nine candidates were there. It's not the same when one or two are absent. This shows me that they are all making an effort and they want the job. Don't they say that 90% of success is just showing up? The historic Woman's Club is beautiful and Marlene Erven, president of the club, with all the ladies, did an excellent job hosting the event. It was all very professional and it all went off without a hitch.

From left are candidates Javier Gonzalez, Rosa Palomino, Ken Russell, Mike Simpson, Teresa Sarnoff, Williams Armbrister, Grace Solares, Lorry Woods and Seth Sklarey; in red at the end is emcee for the evening, Jackie Nespral from NBC6.

While I thought there were certain front runners yesterday, each has their own fans, at least that's what I got from the audience, so front runners are shifting. Friends in the audience would come up to me throughout the night and tell me who they liked or asked me the name of the person speaking at the moment. Mike Simpson had quite a few fans at the forum as well as Williams Armbrister. People also favored Grace Solares, Javier Gonzalez and Ken Russell.

The debate was soft though and many of the questions really did not relate to the Grove, they were too general and not specific to the audience that was present. Minimum wage hikes, housing for the poor, transit and traffic are all important subjects but they seem like more universal or global issues and not many of these problems can be solved by a local city commissioner. Getting people to avoid Coconut Grove streets as they make their way from the south end of the county to downtown during rush hour was talked about, which is really a non-issue because in the scheme of things, who cares?

For the audience present, the questions should have been more localized. Two friends who were present last night sent me their questions that they submitted ahead of time, which were not used at the forum, they were things like: Did you support the recent initiative to replace Scotty's Landing and the boatyard behind it with the Grove Bay development? and Do you support removing the locks and allowing the public to have total access to the basketball and soccer courts in Peacock Park?

And also these: By a show of hands… Who has voted in the last two City of Miami elections? How many Commission Meeting and P&Z Meeting have you attended in the past 4 years? Please list some of the issues that you chose to champion for our community (i.e. Home Depot, Rezoning of Mercy Hospital, Fire Fee Settlement, Marlin Stadium, no Bid Contract, etc.). Please list some of the committees, boards or organizations you have been actively involved with over the past 4 years that have benefited our community? Do you think a candidate should be elected because they are the most qualified, have worked for many years to benefit our community are able to raise the most amount of money to purchase the most amount of advertisement?

One odd question by a friend was: 
Do you support getting rid of the colorful information booths that sit on the Grove's downtown sidewalks? This question I don't understand. Is there a problem with the info booths?

Look at Grace Solares who is all smiles, she can take the tough questions.
I would have asked harder hitting questions about development and the rapid changes in the Grove, which is changing the flavor of the village. They did ask about zoning changes in the Center Grove to allow for high rises (over the current five story limit), but the answers were not specific. I would have asked Teresa Sarnoff - "If Terra Group and The Related Group requested zoning changes to allow for higher and denser development and the residents are against it, whose side would you take, knowing that the developers have funded most of your campaign?" That's what people would like to know. Also, I would have asked, "What could or would you do to help promote new business in the Center Grove. Rents are out of sight, how would you confront the landlords about this?"

I learned a lot and I met some of the candidates for the first time. Some comments I wrote
down are:

"Condo developers should be required to build low income housing with each expensive condo that they are allowed to build," said Grace Solares. She went on to say that she will always be the same and people know here record, she cannot be bought.

Rosa is against zoning changes for the Center Grove, "I will not take money from developers, that is my promise to you. The moment you touch blood money, you are beholden the minute you take your seat," she said.

Lorry is a newcomer, she is only in Miami five years, she did not commit to the question of whether the Center Grove should be rezoned for high rises. She said that each neighborhood should decide its fate. The problem is, we never do decide our fate in Coconut Grove. 

Ken said, "The Grove has a soul and a character that we don't want to lose."

Javier said that, "I am truly one of the non-politicians here." He says he will only be in office for four years, and will not seek re-election. "I'm not a political pro," he said, meaning he won't make a career of it.

Mr. Armbrister said this about Village West: "Every lot needs a homeowner - there are too many empty lots." He received a lot of applause for that.

Teresa had her fans in the audience; the usual Center Grove crew. She never addressed over-development and talked a lot about charitable work which she has done. People liked that.

Mike Simpson said the trick is to get people out to vote and he's right. That is the trick, especially with so many candidates.

Seth Sklarey at left, Jackie Nespral at right.

Al Crespo has the whole event on video here.

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'33' restaurant is coming to Coconut Grove

33 is a lucky number, at least it is in the eyes of Sebastian Fernandez, who is the new owner and chef at "33" a new restaurant coming to Commodore Plaza. He's taking over the former Bombay Darbar space at 3195.

Sebastian believes that number 33 not only stands for 33133, our zip code, but it encompasses so much - 33 on the Newton Scale is the temperature that water boils, it has a lot to do with astronomy including time cycles of eclipses and it's the age that we are in Heaven for eternity; among so many other things, including being the atomic number for arsenic. !?

He was the 
Executive Chef and Food and Beverage Manager at Coral Reef Yacht Club for 
13 years. Sebastian told me that 33 will consist of mostly Peruvian/Asian cuisine, which is quite hot right now in the world restaurant scene. Plates will be meant to be shared, there will be a lot of fish and sushi-style creations from what I can tell from the photos he showed me. 

Sebastian being the owner and chef is doing it all, including the renovation, if you stop by on any day, you'll see him in there creating the space. He showed me the plans - there will be a big, cozy faux brick wall at the back and metal shingle-style walls. The color orange will be a theme throughout the restaurant. I've seen Sebastian's renovation work before, he's quite creative. His wife, you all know, Leslie Ames who owns Goldie Boutique and Bazaar on Fuller Street and previously Design Bar, on Commodore, which was right next to the new 33 location.

He's hoping for an opening by the end of October, if not sooner. We'll keep you informed as things progress. 

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Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Voting for the person who will protect the Grove

I watched Al Crespo's videos of last night's Candidates Forum in Village West. I may or may not attend tonight's event at the Woman's Club. I've been hearing the same thing over and over from all candidates and to be honest, nothing new or striking has caught my attention. I do like what they are saying, I just think it comes down to personality now, since they are all basically saying the same thing. Who can take over the office and be a friend to the voters and not act like God, which has been the case here for many years.

The front runners seem to be: Teresa Sarnoff, Grace Solares and Ken Russell, possibly Javier Gonzalez. The others are not making themselves known, they are not standing out. I think Javier could easily be the front runner. More people need to get to know him.

I like Teresa a lot, not as commissioner, but as a person, and I like her life story. I just don't want a third Sarnoff term. I never wanted a first Sarnoff term.

I do believe that Javier wants to help the community and serve the community. He has been working behind the scenes on almost every major issue that has faced us in the city and village, and has not made a show about it, he has quietly done his thing to make life better. He's a regular guy, down to earth, humble, friendly and honest. He vows to protect Coconut Grove and he cares about the neighborhood. I believe Grace feels the same.

I don't believe anyone will stop big development. Developers are a greedy breed, let's face it, building multi-million dollar condos and zero-lot-line homes is not doing God's work. They don't care about quality of life and they steamroll over anyone in their way. They have given thousands of dollars to Teresa Sarnoff's campaign and nothing to the other candidates. That tells me a lot. I don't see any future commissioner reining them in. Grace talks about stopping the up-zoning and spot zoning and stopping the waivers given to developers so that they can have their way. If only the rest of the city commission felt like that. But of course, it all starts with one person and we can build from that.

All the candidates have great reasons for wanting to be district commissioner but will they strong enough for the job, what I mean is, once elected, will they hold their own? Will they be able to make their agenda happen by getting the other commissioners to side with them? I do believe the rest of the city commission cares about Coconut Grove as well as their own districts. I think that we need a person who will protect the neighborhood, care about its history, and I feel that the rest of the city commission will go along with them. We cannot keep selling out the village. The majority of Coconut Grove residents want the mass development to stop. They live here and not downtown or on Brickell because they like small village life. 

In Coconut Grove, when people ask questions at these forums, they don't ask about taxes and climate change and traffic (although that is related), they ask about over-development. How do we stop it? I think the first step is to vote for someone that is not in the developers' pockets. 

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Village West property is perfect for a hotel

A Village West property is up for sale at 3280 Grand Avenue. That's the car wash at the former gas station site, across from CVS. Development on that site has been talked about for years. The lot is 14,953 square feet, not too large, but it can accommodate a 44 unit hotel and wellness center which are part of the sales brochure. Nothing has been sold but there are renderings of the proposed project, of what could be - a South Beach, South of 5th-style place.

Permit uses include commercial, multi-family, hotel and residential, including 33 zoned parking spaces; the gross development is 59,812 square feet. 138 feet front Grand Avenue.

The spec for the hotel does look nice though, it's a nice low rise-style design.

The property is listed for $4,200,000, but the average listing price for that area and that size lot is $1.2 million, so it could sit on the market for awhile since they are asking 3.5 times the comps.

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Monday, September 28, 2015

Bruce Turkel luncheon guest speaker

The Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce is having a luncheon at the Sonesta Bayfront Hotel on Friday, October 2 from 11:30 am to 1:30 pm. Guest speaker is local ad man Bruce Turkel, left, well known for helping to create well-known brands like Bacardi, American Express, Citicorp and more. He is known for his TEDx speeches and also from talks at Harvard and MIT among others.

Cost is $40 for members / $45 for non-members. Please RSVP at info@coconutgrovechamber.com or call 305-444-7270.

The Sonesta is located at 2889 McFarlane Road, hotel valet parking is $10 or the self park garage is right next door.

Buy tickets here.

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Harry's Pizzeria preparing to open

I went looking around the new Harry's Pizzeria at 2996 McFarlane Road. They are almost ready to open. This week, they are training staff, so it could be next week when they have their opening, I was told that they don't have a date yet because they are not sure themselves, as they want to be totally ready when they open rather than announce a date and then have to
postpone it.

The place is nice, big and the big pizza oven in the corner looks ready to go. The menu is the same as their other location and it could change because the kitchen in the Grove location is larger than the Wynwood location, so they have plenty of room to experiment. The first thing that could change is the beer selection, but right now, it's the same in both locations. They offer draught beer on tap and bottles like Pabst Blue Ribbon, Rolling Rock, Stella Artois, Goose Island, Cigar City Hard Cider and a few more.

The menu is mostly pizza and salads and they have daily entrees:

Monday - Wood Oven Roasted Eggplant ($16)
Tuesday - Braised Short Ribs ($20)
Wednesday - Slow Roasted Pork ($19)
Thursday - Wood Oven Roasted 1/2 Chicken ($19)
Friday - Wood Oven Roasted Local Fish ($21)
Saturday - Chicken Milanese ($18)
Sunday - Wood Oven Roasted Leg of Lamb ($20)

There is also a soup of the day ($6)

These are served with sides from tomatoes, kale, aioli, escarole, tabuli, etc, depending on the day and the dish. 

Some of the large pizza line are: Margherita, Short Rib; Caponat (eggplant is the main ingredient); Oyster Mushroom; Meatball; Braised Fennel; Slow Roasted Pork and a few more. They are price from $12 for the Margherita up to $17 for the Short Rib.

And they might make a special pizza of the day like this Roasted Tomato and Fontina pizza drizzled with garlic oil and oregano. And at the top is the Grilled Pork with onions, calabaza, roasted tomato, fontina, goat cheese and rosemary, another special of the day.

Desserts are Panna Cotta, Zeppole, Biscotti and Chocolate Chunk Cookie. Their are appetizers called "Snacks" like Polenta Fries and Marinated Olives or Meatballs in Sauce. They serve coffee of all types (Panther Coffee beans used), right from their neighbor around the bend, there are homemade sodas, iced tea, and lemonade among other things.

The Coconut Grove Harry's Pizzeria's hours are:
Monday through Thursday - 11:30 am to midnight
Friday and Saturday - 11:30 am to 2:00 am
Sunday - 11:30 am to 10:00 pm

Bon Appetit!

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Sunday, September 27, 2015

Two candidates forums this week

The Village West Homeowners and Tenants Association (HOATA) is holding a Candidates Form for the District 2 Commissioners who are running for office.

The event is Monday, September 28 from 6 to 9 pm. the League of Women Voters and I Am Coconut Grove are presenting the candidates.

The location is the Frankie Shannon Rolle Center at 3750 South Dixie Highway. Moderator is Ed O'Dell, former CBS 4 news anchor.

Meet the candidates; learn their position on issues to relate to Coconut Grove, ask them questions.

Refreshments will be served. 

Also, please remember that the next night, at the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove, there is another candidates forum. The Coconut Grove Park Homeowners Association, Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove and the Coconut Grove Village Council will host a Forum for the candidates on Tuesday, September 29, at 8:00 pm the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove, 2985 S. Bayshore Drive. 

Doors will open at 7:30 pm. Jackie Nespral, NBC 6 news anchor will serve as moderator. 

For more info or to RSVP, please email womansclubcoconutgrove@gmail.com.

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Flocking to Fairchild for the Annual Bird Festival

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is once again celebrating its feathered friends at the annual Bird-Festival, presented in partnership with the Tropical Audubon Society, from October 3-4, 9:30 am - 4:30 pm. Visitors can learn all about birds and their habitats with energizing bird walks, dynamic lectures from birding experts, bird-attracting plant sales, and interactions with special avian guests.

South Florida is a bird haven during the fall and winter months, welcoming dozens of migratory species to its warm climate. One of the best ways to see them is a guided birding tour. In addition to two days of on-site tours at Fairchild, the Tropical Audubon Society will lead two days of off-site tours on October 1-2 before the festival, registration is required here.

For more ways to see the amazing diversity of bird species, stop by the festival booths of local organizations presenting fun encounters with birds from around the world.

James A. Kushlan Keynote Speaker Kenn Kaufman, author of "Kingbird  Highway" and winner of the American Birding Association's lifetime achievement award, will take guests through a vicarious journey of his many cross-country birding travels during his lecture. Other notable speakers include Brian Rapoza, Joe Barros, Nils Navarro, and Angel and Mariel Abreu.

Held in conjunction with the Bird Festival, the 77th Annual Member's Day 
Plant Sale features plants grown by Fairchild horticulturists. A garden tradition, the sale is held in appreciation of Fairchild Members who help support the growth of the garden. This year's offerings include native South Florida plants, butterfly attractors, fragrant varieties, and more.

Winners of Fairchild's "Birds of South Florida" Photo Contests will be announced before the Keynote Lecture on Saturday. Be sure to check out the top 20 entries displayed digitally throughout the garden and on social media.

The Bird Festival is made possible by the generous support of the James A. Kushlan Bird Conservation Program at Fairchild.

Admission is $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up, $12 for children 6-17, and free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under. Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables.

For more info, please call 305-667-1651 or visit Fairchildgarden.org/Bird-Festival.

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