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

Friday, October 31, 2014

South Miami Arts Festival is this weekend

ChamberSOUTH’s Annual South Miami Art Festival, one of the premium juried art shows in the country, returns on Saturday and Sunday, November 1 and 2, from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, on the historic Sunset Drive in the heart of South Miami (Between US 1 and Red Road). This is a free, family friendly festival and is open to the general public.

The 43rd Annual Art Festival, which is sponsored in part by presenting sponsor First National Bank of South Miami and receives support from the Miami-Dade County Cultural Affairs Department and the City of South Miami, will include over 100 artist booths from around the world, musical entertainment, and international food.

Parking is available around the art festival and at the South Miami Metrorail station.
Learn more at chambersouth.com.

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New location for White Party's 30th Anniversary year

Care Resource is celebrating the 30th anniversary of the White Party, but as it usually is, it won't be at Vizcaya this year. The Diamond Jubilee will be a VIP event at the new Perez Art Museum Miami PAMM.

PAMM guests on Saturday, November 29 are invited to dress to impress in their finest formalwear and "debonairly debut their elegance all while enjoying an evening overlooking Biscayne Bay, the Port of Miami and the Miami skyline. It will be a fantastic night of fabulous fashonistas in white, emblazoned with diamonds and pearls."

The event is from 7 pm to midnight and if you arrive before 9 pm, you are welcome to fully explore the museum while being entertained by an array of musical quartets, ensembles and very colorful characters; while outside, you'll be treated to hors d’oeuvres prepared fresh from the kitchen of Stephen Starr Events. In addition, take your chance on winning great prizes at the outdoor Casino and enjoy amazing complimentary cocktails all night long. To reinvent the wheel, Care Resource contracted DJ David Knapp and the White Party Symphony, to perform a very special one hour tribute to 30 years of music, as composed and conducted by Sam Hyken, as never heard before. 


 “I am taking music and adding a whole new layer with strings, bass, horns, piano and percussion. It is a whole new level of sophistication and excitement. Together, with DJ David Knapp, we are going to take guests through 30 years of music – songs that were popular from White Party’s past. It will be epic,”  said Sam Hyken.

“This will be my sixteenth year serving as the official hostess. I am extremely excited about this year’s event being held at the Perez Art Museum of Miami because it is a beautiful space with a strong sense of style & modern elegance. In addition, I will be doing a production performance that will be talked about for years to come. I just hope in a good way! It will be fun & exciting that’s all I’m saying,”  added Elaine Lancaster, the official White Party Hostess.


“I love my city and my goal is to incorporate a larger spectrum of guests from all around Miami and the world. I think that attendees will enjoy, not only the musical journey they will embark upon this year, but the careful thought and planning that is going into every detail," said  Jonathan Welsh, Care Resource’s Marketing and Development Manager.

Through the White Party, for over 30 years, Care Resource has been able to raise millions of dollars for HIV/AIDS research, prevention, care and treatment services to individuals in Miami-Dade and Broward Counties. The last six years have ushered in a real maturing of Care Resource. They took their model of excellence and expanded it to include not only those with HIV, but all of South Florida’s diverse LGBT and less privileged communities. Today, they are a full-fledged federally qualified community health center (FQHC) – a medical home for all those in need. 


Round Trip shuttle service is available from the National Hotel on Miami Beach. Valet Parking will also be available for $25 at the event. Self-parking will be available for $15 at the Hyatt Regency, with complimentary shuttles to the museum throughout the night. Tickets can be purchased at www.whiteparty.org. Admission to the White Party is $215. It is $250 the day of event.

The Perez Art Museum Miami is at 1103 Biscayne Blvd., downtown Miami.

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Vittorio Storaro part of Grove FAM Night

The Coconut Grove Art Festival Gallery is presenting photography by Vittorio Storaro on the next two FAM Nights, Saturday, November 1 and Saturday December 6. The event, "Writing with Light," is from 7 to 10 pm.

Vittorio, three time Academy Award winner, noted author, photographer, and master cinematographer will be making a rare U.S. and first time Miami appearance to celebrate the opening of his photography exhibition, "Writing with Light;  The Civilta Romana Collection." 

Vittorio earned Oscars for Best Cinematographer in Apocalypse Now (1979), Reds(1981) and the Last Emperor (1987), is widely hailed for his cinematographic achievements and photographic vision. He received a fourth Academy Award nomination for Dick Tracy (1990) and served as cinematographer for such other notable films as Last Tango in Paris, Tucker: The Man and His Dream, Ishtar and Bulworth.


During five years, Storaro traveled throughout Italy, Syria, Turkey, Greece and countries that belonged to the Roman Empire, to document ruins and preserve their magnificence for future generations. 

The Civilta Romana Collection showcases Storaro's use of double exposure, long before digital photography and Photoshop were available to create the same effects. By combining two or more stunning images into one, the revered artist provides a unique perspective of the Roman Civilization.

Personal photos, featuring several celebrity portraits from his award-winning film career, will also be on display.

The Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery is at the Mayfair Atrium.

There will be something to do all over the Center Grove for FAM Night -- enjoy new art exhibits, lots of live music and take advantage of the stores and shops which are featuring specials and special events like trunk shows.

Aside from all the cool new art at the Grove Gallery, The Sale Rack on Main Highway, will continue Halloween through the weekend by providing a "Scissorhands Service," - purchase a t-shirt and give it a redesign with a personal slash. On Fuller Street, Goldie Boutique will host Love & Light, who will be presenting their exclusive holiday collection. At Design Bar, on Commodore Plaza, visitors are invited to enjoy complimentary cocktails and wine as they view Peruvian Fine Artist, Natalia Bacals’, unique engravings and lithographs. Market, the Grove’s newest bohemian chic boutique, will showcase their new trendy retail space that features affordable neutral color scheme of clothing. Visitors will see the return of Jess Nolan, 21-year-old New Jersey native, who has always found a home in soulful music and is currently enrolled in her final year at the Frost School of Music at the University of Miami as part of the Bruce Hornsby Creative American Music Program. She has competed and placed in the past three Festival Miami Songwriter's Showcases and plays with her band locally in the South Florida region.

On the corner of Main Highway and Commodore Plaza, dine alfresco at GreenStreet Café and listen to Alejandro Elizondo, of the Wynwood String Band, who you can usually find playing original, ‘funky-soul-grass’ music at Vinos in the Grove every Sunday. Alejandro will perform a solo act that will showcase his eclectic mix of acoustic influences. Zack Jones, a one-man indie/folk band, will return to the plaza with his soulful and upbeat lyrical composition. Returning F.A.M. participant, Academy of Arts & Minds will perform a mix of genres and styles such as jazz and classical hits. At the Mayfair in the Grove, the Bookstore in the Grove will be hosting their Open Mic series and urge all aspiring musicians, writers, poets to share their craft.

With fashion, art, and music comes food, TK’s at the Villa Mayfair presents Chef's Tasting Table.

This monthly event connects fashion, art and music to stay true to the neighborhood’s historic artistic community. Enjoy this first Saturday in the Grove with live music in the streets, free workshops, artist exhibitions and an exclusive first look at the latest collections in fashion.

This is all free and open to the public; a perfect family night event.

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Thursday, October 30, 2014

Will Merrie Christmas Park finally be toxic-free?

One of my friends who lives next to Merrie Christmas Park is happy with the solution to their toxic soil problem. The City has finally agreed to remove all of the dangerous soil and replace it. Until there were protests, a drum circle and an attorney brought in, the City had planned to shuffle some dirt around and call it a day. Until now, property values and health issues were a big concern.

Now the job will be done correctly. All the toxic soil will be taken out of Merrie Christmas Park and replaced with "clean dirt." 

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Getting ready for the races at Get Rolling Gathering

As the Great Grove Bed Race draws near, the Get Rolling Gathering took place Wednesday night. This is where the teams meet up, talk strategies and get a feel for the event. From left are: Jesse Moris and Carlos Smith of Concrete Beach Brewery, top beer sponsor of this year's event. At right are Ed Ferenczi and Mike Page, both have beds, Ed's is with the ShowMyProperty.com team and Mike is with Cowboys & Aliens.
Court Keeley, DebtWarriors.com,  is flanked by Barbara Ferenczi, left and Daisy Holcombe, right, both of Bed Race Productions. They are at the "inches board." Teams are given an advantage of inches at the starting line based on how many people they bring to the Get Rolling Gatherings. The more people they bring, the more inches they receive on race day.


Gloria Burns, from Community Newspapers with Court Keeley from Presenting Sponsor DebtWarriors.com. At right: adding inches.

The Great Grove Bed Race is Saturday, November 8, on South Bayshore Drive between Mary Street and McFarlane Road. As we were the first to announce Tuesday, Vanilla Ice is the Grand Marshal again this year, repeating his role from the 2011 race. 

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Mad Hatter artist; Eileen Seitz

The Mad Hatter Arts Festival is November 15 and 16 at The Barnacle. We'll be profiling some of the artists who are participating this year.


Eileen with Richard Deilke 
 Eileen Seitz’s has been an artist since she's been eight years old; a desire and inspiration to draw and paint from her artistic soul blossomed after seeing the sunlight of the tropical landscapes and seascapes. "Using line and form to encompass my knowingness and clarity of colors, my images and scenes flow onto the canvas and paper, like a symphony of cascading water," says Eileen. She has been traveling the world lately and many have noticed a different style in her work, less floral and more scenic.

Eileen enjoys sharing with the world her rich traveled life, filled with vision, beauty and joy.  Eileen’s paintings have been commissioned and collected both on a national and international level. Self published since 1972, her paintings have been purchased for hospitals, resorts, hotels, restaurants, cruise ships and theater.
Us at the info booth on Grand Avenue.

You probably pass Eileen's work daily when you walk through the Grove. She designed and painted the three information booths. (Photos and progression of the booth project here). And her peacocks during our Peacock Tour (here are the photos and events for the tour) are sort of legendary now. She along with Cyndy Hill is responsible for the children's mosaic mural you see on the post office wall on McDonald Street. You can see the photos and the story and progression of the mural here.

Eileen's main medium is Watercolors / prints/ hand painted fabrics/pillows. This is what you'll see featured at the Mad Hatter, which she has been doing since 1997.

"I love this festival as it is different than all the larger street shows. Its easy to access  for the artists to set up, to mingle with the locals and out of town visitors. It's unpretentious and many unique artists participate," said Eileen, winner of 25 art awards so far.

Eileen working on the info booth in front of CocoWalk.

Grove Ambassador Louis Del Borrello popping out of the info booth in 2010, before Eileen got her hands on it. Drastic change.

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Wednesday, October 29, 2014

They found a solution

I had gone out to check the sidewalk situation on Commodore Plaza again because I was told by Ron Nelson, from the Commissioner's office that the weird island things are staying. I still don't get it.

A few of the local businesses who are right near the island told me that they have seen ladies fall and mothers with strollers and even bickers have had problems navigating the space between the islands and the sidewalk. The project isn't even done yet and lawsuits are on the horizon. And this is the solution,  "Walking the plank," I assume for now. They are either going to cement in the whole thing or put a grate, I think it will be some sort of grate. In the meantime, welcome to Tacky Town.



There is a new concept coming to the United States which started in the Netherlands. It's called "shared space" and there are no posted regulations, signs or regulations. Bicycles co-exist with pedestrians and cars. Here's the story. It almost seems as if the sidewalks would work perfectly if they were the same level as the street itself. The City likes these fake bricks so much, perhaps they can brick up all of Commodore Plaza and make it a real plaza. The tables would even come out and possibly be part of the street.


Commodore Plaza block party, July 2010.
Cars use the streets as recreational places when cars aren't around. It allows parking spaces as well as the street itself to be a community area. Reminds me a little of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where it shuts down every night for debauchery and then in the morning it's opened to traffic for the day. I know we tried something with the Saturday night block parties a few years back. Maybe with all the problems on Commodore Plaza that could be a solution in the future, for as we all know, the street will be ripped up and redone in a matter of years as is always the case here. 


Chicago, Seattle and New York City may be getting in the act, soon.

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Halloween Spooktacular at Ritz-Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is teaming up with CocoWalk for a family friendly Halloween Spooktacular Festival on Saturday, November 1.

Families can spend the day in the lush, tropical Courtyard Terrace with cascading fountain for an afternoon filled with complimentary activities such as a bounce house, face painter, Ritz-Carlton kids’ corner, arts-n-crafts provided by Art Box, Miami Marlins activity zone and more. Allow the hotel’s culinary team to serve fun, festive foods, popcorn, snow cones, and of course, delicious desserts, while all the ghouls and goblins showcase creative costumes. For parents only, sip on Wynwood Brewing Company’s local craft beer. Costumes are welcome, but not required.

The event is from 2 to 6 pm. All activities are complimentary. Food and beverages available a la carte. $3 valet parking validation.

The Ritz-Carlton is located at 3300 SW 27 Avenue. For info: 305-644-4680 or ritzcarlton.com/coconutgrove

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Annual Nic Sorrentino Softball game is Friday

The fifth Annual Nic Sorrentino Homecoming Softball Game will be held in honor of Nic on Friday, Oct.31 at Peacock Park at 4 pm. Each year, his wife, Teresa Sorrentino holds the game in Nic's honor on the Friday before the UM Homecoming game. You all know Teresa (Tee), she's one of our Coconut Grove artists, she's working on next month's Mad Hatter now, as one of the planners and she's the curator of the Boswell Mourot Gallery on Commodore Plaza.

Nic loved sports and this is one of the best ways to honor him. Come by and play or watch. Then head to one of the local bars and have a drink in Nic's honor. That's Teresa below in the green shirt, kneeling.

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TK’s Twists Traditional with “Chef’s Tasting Table”

Chef Gaynor
Beginning Saturday, November 1, TK’s at Villa Mayfair will be offering an extraordinary four-course tasting menu comprised of crowd – and chef – favorites to no more than 20 pre-registered guests at a special 7 pm seating every Tuesday and Saturday for a limited amount of time. This informational, educational and all around delicious menu is an interpretation of the classic "Chef's Tasting Table."

Diners will select one item for each of their four – well, five – courses starting with a freshly muddled classic mojito. Before even choosing between Tuna Tartare or Beef Carpaccio (first course); Roasted Baby Beets or Baby Spinach Salad (second course); Spice Rubbed Beef or Catch of the Day (third course); and Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake or Peanut Butter Mousse (final course), TK’s Bar Master, David Ungar, will engage guests, discussing the art of the mixology, demonstrating and actually making their mojitos of choice right in front of them. 

Once everyone is sipping, one of TK’s outstanding servers will take orders while head chef Maribel Gaynor takes to the podium. Unlike most Chef’ Table Meals, TK’s takes the chef out of the kitchen and into the dining room where, in between cooking each course, she will answer questions from members of her group of diners, talk about the foods she loves, the recipes she’s created, the dishes being served, the importance of fresh ingredients and much more. 

For just $49 per person (plus tax and gratuity) learn the secrets of masterful mixology, take an edible journey through TK’s most enticing menu items, and talk “turkey” (or should we say “tuna”?) with the incredible people who make the magic happen at TK’s Chef’s Tasting Table. Space is limited – so reserve today.

First Course Choice
Tuna Tartare, diced tuna in a sesame oil and soy lime dressing 
mixed with avocados and topped with crispy shallots
Beef Carpaccio, thinly sliced prime beef served with creamy
 blue cheese, capers, onions and arugula

Second Course Choice
Roasted Baby Beets Salad, cooked baby beets mixed with 
olives, quinoa, pistachios, mint, red onions and yogurt dressing
Baby Spinach Salad, raw baby spinach with warm crusted goat 
cheese, roasted port shallots, pine nuts and bacon vinaigrette

Third Course Choice
Spice Rubbed Bison Sirloin - a tender bison sirloin served with 
white cheddar grits, crisp onions and drizzled with a hot sauce
Catch of the Day – Choose from Grouper, Mahi Mahi, or Snapper

Fourth Course Choice
Vanilla Mousse Cheesecake - creamy cheesecake 
with the freshest of strawberries and raspberries
Peanut Butter Mousse – chocolate sauce, caramelized 
banana and vanilla ice cream

TK's at Villa Mayfair is at 2901 Florida Avenue. For reservations or info, please call  305-
774-1500.

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Tuesday, October 28, 2014

He's back! Vanilla Ice hosts Bed Race again

Vanilla Ice is back a the Great Grove Bed Race this year. I'm sure you remember him as the star of the 2011 race. He not only was Grand Marshal, but he stayed around for the whole day and he took over as announcer, calling each race. It was one of the best times.


“I’m back to Ice this race and be inspired by new inventions. See if these DIY beds can withstand concrete streets," said Ice.


“There is nothing politically correct about this event, and I never miss it,” said Miami Mayor Tomas Regalado.

Little Smiles is this year's beneficiary, they provide anything from toys to electronics, special event tickets and VIP outings to help kids escape their unfortunate circumstances of being sick in the hospital, even if only for a short period of time. 


When Grove events collide - King Mango Strut crew with Ice at Bed Race.

“We are thrilled to have been selected as this years cause," said Executive Director Josh Daniels. “Our ultimate goal is to brighten a child’s day and allow them to just be a kid again. The bed race is a wonderful place to play, be alive and make a difference”.

With their first public appearance, hailing from Wynwood, Concrete Beach Brewery is the newest craft beer company to hit the Miami scene, they will be part of the fun.
Festivities kick off Saturday November 8, with the Family Pajama Party and Main Stage Band (11 am), the Pit Row Parade and Celebrity Judging (noon), Green Flag Racing (1 pm) and the post-race Bed Race Block Party at the Tavern in the Grove at (5 pm). For more info: TheGreatGroveBedRace.com.       

The festival is five dollars at the door, kids 12 and under are free. A family pajama party race track and interactive area, pit row of racers and a half time show with live music sponsored by the Tavern in the Grove, food, beer garden and vendors will pave the way to the race track. The way the race works is like any other 5k or triathlon for charity; the Bed Racers raised funds all fall with a 5-man race team sending emails and encouraging attendees to sponsor and donate to their team. 

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Paddle Board clinic at Shake-A-Leg

Shake-A-Leg Miami is having a paddle board clinic on Thursday, October 30, sponsored by Boga Paddle and Surf Company. The cost is $10 per person.

Jeramie Vaine and Johnny O'Hara from Boga will lead the Stand Up Paddleboard Demo including a Yoga intro and paddle technique clinic. This is for all levels and ages.

- 4 pm Set-up, meet & greet, and paddleboard demos
- 6 pm BOGA Yoga with Jeramie Vaine
- 6 pm BOGA Paddle Technique Clinic with Johnny O'Hara
- 7:30 pm Biscayne Bay Paddle

Please register at thepaddlehouse.com

Shake-A-Leg is located at 2620 S. Bayshore Drive.

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Tent-A-Treat Halloween family event

While all the craziness goes on in the Center Grove, One Grove Foundation is presenting The Second Annual Tent-A-Treat for families, on Friday, October 31, from 6:00-10:00 pm at St. Mary Baptist Church Field, located at 136 Frow Avenue. The purpose of the Tent-A-Treat is to provide a fun and safe space for the community of Coconut Grove and surrounding areas to celebrate Halloween.

The concept is residents providing and decorating a tent in the spirit of Halloween and then from that tent, distributing wrapped candy to the neighborhood children. There will be free food and drinks, too.  Music will be provided by a DJ and there will be other various fun activities.

Everyone is invited to this fun, free event.

If you are interested in sponsoring a tent, please contact Dessire at 786-499-3659. Donations or inquires can be sent to onegrovefoundation@hotmail.com

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An accident waiting to happen

So the work on Commodore Plaza is almost completed, it's been a while, at first I thought it was going fast, but it slowed down a bit for minor things. One major thing is those extended sidewalks in the middle of the block. No one likes them. I've been stopped by merchants and residents and people have actually dragged me from one end of town to Commodore Plaza to see the new thing. I'm not sure what to call them.

First off, can you see the angle? They are not in line with the "real" sidewalk, they sort of make a V shape where the gutter is. Then there is the gutter. What's up with that and why is there a gutter there? Probably for drainage, but of course, there aren't any sewers, so not sure about any of that. Also, the extended sidewalk, which is meant to allow for easier street crossing, takes up the space of four parking spaces.

The extended sidewalks really need to be removed; mainly for safety reasons, but also because they are not needed. Commodore is a very calm street, even with traffic flowing, cars don't race through there, these devices in the name of street crossing are foolish. The V shaped angle is going to hurt someone and the gutter, which was to have been covered weeks ago, is a big accident waiting to happen. Plus we need the parking spaces.

What's ironic is that the extended sidewalk things were added supposedly to make it safer to cross the street but it's the complete opposite, and I don't remember anyone ever having problems crossing Commodore Plaza, but I do foresee a bunch of people falling because of this dangerous new sidewalk. 


The City needs to remove these things before the whole job is completed. Admit it's an error and move on. 





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Monday, October 27, 2014

Vizcaya presents, "The House on Haunted Hill"

Just in time for Halloween, Vizcaya is presenting The House on Haunted Hill (1959) on Wednesday, October 29, at 7 pm, in the courtyard.

The House on Haunted Hill stars Vincent Price as an eccentric millionaire who offers $10,000 to five strangers, if they can survive a night locked in a haunted mansion. They'll have to survive ghosts, murders and each other if they want to win. 

While Vizcaya is known as a magnificent structure of European inspiration, it also served as a place of leisure, enjoyment and relaxation for its owner, James Deering, who frequently hosted events for his friends and family. Experience firsthand what it might have been like to be one of Deering's guests and enjoy movie night in the Courtyard of the Main House, just like Deering hosted almost 100 years ago.

Tickets: $12 Members; $18 Non-Members

Tickets can be purchased onsite beginning at 6:30pm. Food and drink are not included in the ticket price. Seating is limited. To RSVP, please email rebecca.peterson@vizcaya.org.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is located at 3251 South Miami Avenue. For more information, go to vizcaya.org or call 305-250-9133.

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Village Council meeting

The Village Council is meeting tomorrow, October 28 at Coconut Grove Elementary School, in the auditorium starting at 7 pm. Everyone is welcome. The school is on the corner of Grand and Matilda.

Agenda:
1. Pledge of Allegiance
2. House Keeping
   Roll call & Approve previous months Minutes
   Opportunity for Members to add agenda items
   Treasury & Budget Update
   Discussion Items;
   Change in Meeting time 
   Grove 2030
   Officer’s Review (Chair, Secretary, and Treasurer)
   Grove Parks Committee 
3. Project updates:
   Crime Watch 
   Trolley Barn/CBA 
   Playhouse
   FPL Expansion Project
   Adjournment
*After Meeting Q/A always welcomed*

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Enjoy Halloween night at TK's at Villa Mayfair

TK's at Villa Mayfair will be celebrating Halloween with special treats for all their guests. Wear a costume and receive a free beer or the special cocktail of the night, the Candy Corn Martini.

That area of the Grove, on Florida Avenue, has always had some sort of special meaning for me. I don't know why, but it's a block from the madness and my friends and I would always hang out in that area. People in costumes would all come by from other areas, going to and from the Center madness but Florida Avenue always had a special feel. And I remember being at the News Cafe, where TK's is now, enjoying Halloween over the years.

TK's also has their special Mojito for the night, the Pumpkin Spice Mojito. And of course there are lots of things to eat including the Cheesy Bat's Nest. They also have treats for your pets, so bring them by.

Win a $50 gift certificate for the best costume in their creative costume contest. 

Mojito Madness will still be celebrated with $10 mojitos and amazing live latin music to dance the night away. Enjoy all 21 fabulous mojitos at $10 for the night. 
  
Call 305-774-1500 or email info@tksvillamayfair.com for more info.

TK's is at 2901 Florida Avenue.

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Maniac drivers in the center of town

It's like the wild west out there on Grand, McFarlane and Main Highway, that corner is where you take your life in your hands. If you stand there long enough you'll see every type of traffic violation and you might be deafened by the non-stop horn blasting.

Drivers don't seem to know how to merge from two lanes into one and they don't understand what a cross walk is. Coming from Main Highway, pedestrians are almost mowed down by speeding cars, although the other day it was a bit different when I guy stopped his car right in the middle of a turn to ask a guy on the corner for directions, I still don't know how the cars behind him, who couldn't see him until they made the turn, didn't ram into him.

It would be so nice if the police were out there once a week or so, but they are too busy picking people off at Mary and Grand, where people roll through the stop sign. I always thought one of those Bahamian police-style officers with the pith helmet would be nice out in the center of town directing traffic. What do you think? Even these bikers are all over the place, blocking cars and taking over all lanes on both sides of the street. Chaos.

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Sunday, October 26, 2014

Wonderland Night at the Movies

To help raise funds for the Mad Hatter Festival this year, Paragon Theater at CocoWalk is hosting "Wonderland Night at the Movies," on Thursday, November 6. It's a night of cocktails, a movie, silent auction and a contest and prizes for the best costume. It starts at 7:30 pm at The Backlot Wine Bar.

Do your wonderland costume or your wildest hat and join in celebrating and supporting the Mad Hatter.

RSVP to 305-442-6866. The cost is $25 per person.

The Mad Hatter Arts Festival is at The Barnacle on November 15 and 16.

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The Loft introduces new full service salon

You may know The Loft at 3190 Commodore Plaza as a unique clothing store, featuring the fashion of YR Couture, but now it is also a hair salon!

To introduce the new concept, the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce is having a cocktail mixer on Tuesday, October 28 from 5:30 to 8 pm. Come out, meet friends and check out the new concept.

The Loft Salon now offers full salon services like haircuts, color, color correction, blow-dry, manicures and pedicures for both men and women. The Loft is also a fashion boutique offering the latest clothing styles and handcrafted jewelry by Yvonne Rosemeier. They carry only the finest beauty products and pride themselves on providing excellent customer service.

Admission: 
$10 for Chamber members 
$15 for future members

Includes complimentary light bites provided by their neighbor Strada and cocktails by Miami Club Rum. There will be live music, too.

There is the usual chamber raffle, too, raffle Tickets are $5 each or 3 for $10 and may be purchased at the door.

RSVP: GroveChamber@CoconutGrove.com or 305-444-7270

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Remembering a special place




Friday night, at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, was special.  We go there most Friday nights, where we see new friends, and old friends who help to bring back great memories.  But, this drizzly, miserable evening, which started out sparsely attended, ended up being a mini-Taurus reunion.  Not the current Taurus, but, the pre-March, 2003 Taurus.  I feel sorry for anyone reading this who did not know THAT Taurus.

The current version of The Taurus is a friendly enough place, which is trying hard to have a neighborhood feeling, but it can never be anything like the original.  It will never have a shark on the ceiling, whose maw I decorated for every holiday, like with a Santa or Easter Bunny, or Leprechaun.  It will never have body bowling, ring toss, or blowgun competitions on Sunday afternoons.  It certainly will never have a big red phone booth.  How many problems were solved, or created, in that phone booth!  And I doubt it will ever have a poetry night.

We’ll never experience King Mango Strut preparations there, or the Strut after party with a couple of thousand people dancing on Main Highway.  There was backgammon in the back room, and liar’s poke in another.  And, the bands, oh, the wonderful bands we danced to Tuesdays through Saturdays.

And the characters – Sunhawk selling his ingenious wood carvings, Nassau shining shoes, Neith Neveleson selling her paintings, and Charlie Brown philosophizing.


There is so much that was so special about the Taurus.  We’ll never experience another place like it, or, another Butch Beamer Warren.

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.

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Saturday, October 25, 2014

Sunday Drum Circle

There's a drum circle in Kennedy Park on Sunday, October 26 from 3:30 TO 5:30 pm. It's near AC's Lemonade truck.

Bring drums, seating and hydration and I'm sure they have a few to share as they always do. Also, bring hula hoops and poi toys if you have them.

Parking may be an issue, if you can't get in that lot, try the lot that's a bit north and walk over.

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Strutting at Fantasy Fest

It's that time of year again, the Mangoheads took off for Key West Fantasy Fest again. They head down about 11 am and return about midnight, partying and having a good time the whole way there and sleeping the whole way back and doing all those wild Fantasy Fest things up and down Duval Street in between. Out and waiting for the bus bright and early were Ed and Atena de Jong, our two favorite mad scientists.

Louis Del Borrello, Grove Ambassador, stopped by to see the group off, that's head Mangohead, Antoinette Baldwin dressed for the fun time.
The King Mango Strut is Sunday, December 28 this year, there is still time to join in and march. The meetings are all set for the season. With so many new ad agencies and offices in the Grove these days, I'm sure there is a lot of fresh brain power out there. I would love to see SapientNitro and Sony and other new younger people in this year's parade!

The next meetings for the Strut are as follows:

Chili's in CocoWalk - Tuesday, October 28 at 7 pm
2 for 1 drinks and lots of Strut planning

Also at Chili's is the Nov. 5 meeting at 7 pm.

The Grove Spot is the spot on Tuesday, November 18, 3324 Virginia Street - happy hour prices

GreenStreet Cafe (3468 Main Highway) on Wednesday, December 3, happy hour prices and free snacks.

The Coconut Grove Sailing Club (2990 S. Bayshore Drive) on Tuesday, December 9 at 7 pm; chance for some goodies and silent auction, which is always fun. There are over 100 auction items to bid on. The drawing is at 8 pm.

The Sailing Club is the place for the next meeting on Wednesday, December 17. 

And then the actual King Mango Strut is Sunday, December 28 at 2 pm in the Center Grove.


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Mad Hatter artist; Patricia Knight

The Mad Hatter Arts Festival is November 15 and 16 at The Barnacle. We'll be profiling some of the artists who are participating this year.

Patricia Knight, of ArtCat Studio, shown here, creates  linoleum cut prints. "I got hooked on it in grad school and never looked back," she says. Patricia is a certified art teacher, originally from western New York, for over 15 years, she has been selling her art at fairs and galleries. 

Locally she has shown at the Mad Hatter, Deering Estate, Victoria Park Art and Jazz, Pompano Arts and Jazz Fest and the Boca Artist Market. At the Victoria Park show she has twice won 2nd place in the Fine Arts division with her linocuts.


A card in progress.
Patricia also makes one of a kind cut paper cards, some of which only take a few minutes while others take a few days. She has turned some of the cards into vector posters for a new line called Love The Water. She is hoping to sell enough of these so she can take the proceeds contribute to the cleanup of local coral reefs. "I dive almost every weekend and our group will compete to see who can pick up the craziest junk from the reef.  Mostly it's the usual cans and bottles but sometimes we can score great gear - like a mask or even a digital camera," says Patricia.

Ramble Beach at left; card to poster Tentacles at right.
This will be Patricia's fourth year at the Mad Hatter Arts Festival. "This is really the prettiest venue I have ever been to and the staff at the Barnacle (and for Mad Hatter) have been proactive and attentive to artists needs - they help coordinate the traffic for unloading and loading, they will help you put up your tent, bring water, check on your status - it's really wonderful," adds Patricia.

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Friday, October 24, 2014

Guilty about Katz's

At Sunday's Seafood Festival, I heard my name called out. I started looking around and realized it was coming from a microphone.  It turned out to be my friend Ronnie Brooks, left, who plays drums for the group BG Ramblers; he was up on stage performing with the band.

Oddly enough, I had just been thinking about him, because I had just come from the Bookstore where they showed a picture of
 Katz's Deli in New York, on the slide show above the cafe bar. I was supposed to go with Ronnie to Katz's last week, as we were both in New York at the same time, but we never ended up going. And there he was, calling my name a few minutes later; he in person and the image of Katz's in the Bookstore, making me feel guilty about not going for our deli date.

I had been busy with family and I was at Comic Con a few of the days, so I ended up not contacting him. Here are a couple of my Comic Con posts in the Huffington Post. Here and here.


When we first were talking about being in New York at the same time, he said, "Let's get together when we're both in up north, we can go to go to Katz's maybe" And at first I was thinking he meant the play, "Cats," which I think is closed now. So I asked, "Cats? Is that still playing?" And he laughed and told me no, it was the deli he was talking about. Unfortunately we never ended up there.

Next time.

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Armbrister Park celebrates re-opening

Armbrister Park is having a re-opening celebration on Saturday, October 25 with a special ribbon cutting ceremony by Mayor Tomas Regalado. The $1.231 million renovation includes a state of the art playing field for football, soccer, lacrosse and softball. A 50 meter track, a long jump pit and bleachers have also been added to the park. The event is from 9 am to 1 pm at the park, 236 Grand Avenue.

At 10 am, there will be a friendly softball game between the City of Miami Police, Commissioner Sarnoff and community members.  The ribbon cutting ceremony will happen at 11:00 am.

Also, the Coconut Grove Titan’s 145 lb. football team will be hosting their first home playoff game on the new field at 3:00 pm as part of the Sean Taylor Classic. Come see the award winning cheerleaders perform as well.

There will be 10 tents on site, too with promotions from the Boy Scouts, Titan's Football, One Grove Foundation, etc. 

This will be a great opportunity to meet lots of parents and kids and see what a vibrant community there is to support local youth in Coconut Grove.

If you have any questions please feel free to call 305 250 5342.

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Grove Bed Race is Nov. 8; here are some deals

Living Social is running some Bed Race Deals.
Choose from the following offers:

• $10 ($20 value) for two general admissioin adult tickets, and two Concrete Beach Brewery tasting cards (each good for a five-ounce pour of Stiltsville Pilsner and Rica Wheat IPA craft beer)
• $50 ($125 value) for one team entry
• $75 ($150 value) for one VIP ticket, including private seating with premium views, and access to full catering and bar at the finish line

Concrete Beach Brewery is part of the Bed Race this year. Concrete Beach Brewery is a Miami original and local brewery. There will be a Concrete Beach Beer Garden at the Bed Races this year.  "We are so please to support a local craft beer as they are making their grand entrance in the Miami Market," says Barbara Ferenczi, marketing guru of the Great Grove Bed Race.

RICA is a hoppy wheat ale with a piney and light grapefruit aroma that predominates in this slightly hazy, wheat forward IPA (India Pale Ale). Its clean,  sharp bitterness leads into a rich, bready body that leaves a lingering hop bite.


STILTSVILLE is Concrete Beach’s homage to the Miami village located on the waters of Biscayne Bay. It is a European-style Pilsner with a citrus hop character. Once fully open, the brewery will also have a revolving selection of other house-made liquid libations.

You will be able to purchase either beer at the event or you can purchase exclusively on Living Social, entry tickets with a tasting card that gives you a 5 oz pour of each flavor.

Returning finalist DebtWarriors.com is coming back this year as Presenting Sponsor.  Some of you may remember them from last year.  The Warrior on their bed made quite an impression with the crowd last year. They come to us from Downtown Miami, a full service law firm that focuses on Debt and Criminal Defense.

The Great Grove Bed Race is Saturday, November 8, from 11 am to 6 pm.

event schedule

11 a.m.
Festivities begin with Family Pajama Party, and continue all day with activities for families of all ages
Noon to 1 p.m.
Celebrity judging and Pit Row Parade (on Bayshore Drive between Peacock Park and Mary Street)
1 to 5 p.m. 
Racing, half-time show, and live music 
5 p.m.
Awards ceremony and after-party

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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Free SciFi films in Peacock Park


There are movies being shown in Peacock Park Friday night, October 24 at 8 pm.

The MiaSciFi Club has partnered with the parks department and they have brought the Park Outdoor Film Series to the Grove.

Bring a blanket,chair and your friends and enjoy independent films with Q&A sessions.

The event is free.  There's not much more info and they seem quite unorganized, but just show up and see what happens!

Films include:

528  

From the Ground to the Clouds or Down to the Volcano  

A Tribute to JJ Abrams  

Tech Squad  

Kill Shelter  

Olanzapine  

Project Vega 

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Health Lecture - Living Healthy in a Toxic World

How does our environment impact our health?  How can we avoid chronic disease? How can we stay younger longer? Join PATH for an upcoming Alternative Health Lecture, "Living Healthy in a Toxic World' with Dr. David Newman, D.C. (left) on Monday, October 27 at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science (3280 South Miami Avenue).  

The lecture begins at 8:00 pm. Dr. Newman will explore science-based research to find natural answers to living healthy.  He'll also help guests become better informed on environmental issues that affect your health. Dr. Newman currently teaches, serves as a corporate consultant, maintains a clinical nutrition practice in South Miami, and will be part of the first wave of physicians to complete the Masters level certification for Functional Medicine.  He currently serves as president of PATH.

Also, arrive by 7:15 for a special screening of the documentary 'Second Opinion: Laetrile at Sloan-Kettering', the story of a young science-writer at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center, who risked everything by blowing the whistle on a massive cover-up involving a promising cancer therapy.

Arrive early to mingle with like-minded health seekers, network with holistic health professionals; check out the free health literature on the information table.

$5.00 cash donation:: Members free.

For more information, visit pathusa.org.

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Fairchild Ramble celebrating 74 years

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is celebrating its Fall Garden Festival with its longest-running event – the 74th Annual Ramble from November 7 through 9. Since 1940, the celebration has brought the community together to enjoy a day full of outdoor activities in the 83-acre garden. The three dya festival will be held from 9:30 am – 4:30 pm each day.

Browse through unique items at the antiques and collectibles sale and peruse thousands of interesting titles at the old and rare books sale. The event marks one of the largest plant sales of the year with vendors showcasing everything from orchids to cacti. A farmers market, gourmet food vendors, beer garden, and chef-led cooking demos will feature fall food essentials and delicious autumn dishes. Relax at Nell’s Tea Garden, where visitors can enjoy sweet and savory snacks while sampling tea blends in a beautiful garden setting.

Exclusive to the Ramble is Design:Fairchild, an eco-friendly design and furniture show at the Lakeside Marquee Tent displaying pieces made from reclaimed and recycled materials. Many South Florida guilds will exhibit their hand-crafted woodwork, ceramics, jewelry, and embroidery.


Don’t forget to stop by the Bailey Palm Glade to see the amazing, 100-year-old Dutch Waterpoorter street organ operated by Fairchild volunteer Dr. William Murphy. This festival staple has delighted children and families for generations.

The Ramble Festival is sponsored in part by Whole Foods Market.

Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is located at 10901 Old Cutler Road, Coral Gables. Admission is free for Fairchild members and children 5 and under; $25 for adults, $18 for seniors 65 and up and $12 for children 6-17. Discounts are available for military personnel and anyone who walks, bikes or takes public transportation to the festival.

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