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

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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Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Free Halloween concert at Conservatory of Music

The students at the Miami Conservatory of Music invite the public to a free Halloween Concert on Saturday, October 25 at 4 pm.  All the students will be dressed up in costume.  There will be tunes, treats, costumes and lot's of fun!  

The event is at the MCM Rehearsal Hall, 2911 Grand Avenue.  

For more details please visit miamiconservatoryofmusic.com/

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Halloween exhibits at Bakehouse Art Complex

The Bakehouse Art Complex has a couple of Halloween related shows going on. The exhibit "El Jardin de los Muertos Contentitos & Ofrendas," opens today, Wednesday, October 22 from 7 to 10 pm.

Celebrate the ancient Aztec tradition of Dia de los Muertos with mariachi, Latin food trucks, face painting, mask making, and beautiful costumed "Catrinas" and Day of the Dead-inspired artworks. This event is perfect for all ages. Come dressed in costume and take a selfie with the giant puppet creations, including a 16-foot-tall Frida Kahlo skeleton alongside her spider monkey sidekick. Enter the costume contest on Facebook here for the chance to win one ticket ($60 value) to Lucky You on Nov. 15.

This 3-week festival unites two Knight Arts Challenge winners, Florida Day of the Dead Celebration and Bakehouse Art Complex to bring this dynamic event to Miami-Dade County for the very first time. Beverages courtesy of Desperados.

Guests dressed in full Day of the Dead costume and makeup enter free, otherwise the suggested donation is $10.

Then on Monday, October 27, it's "Roast of the Calacas: A Puppet Slam," starting at 8 pm.

On the wilder side of the spectrum, Jim Hammond, David Goboff, President of the Puppet Guild of South Florida, and their band of creative hooligans gleefully venture deeper into a world that taps our collective fear of death and other unknowns. The Roast is an over-the-top comedic framing device that sets up each vignette, paying homage to nightmares as envisioned by our cast. Beyond puppeteers, the roster of slam performance artists includes regional Burning Man creatives, burlesque, Day of the Dead celebrants and Zombie Walk devotees. This strictly adults-only event is funded, in part, by Heather Henson, Puppet Slam Network, Puppet Guild of South Florida and the National Endowment for the Arts.

$7 (seating extremely limited; RSVP to info@bacfl.org). Adults Only.

All Day of the Dead events will take place at the Bakehouse Art Complex at 561 NW 32nd Street, Miami. For further details, please visit Dayofthedeadflorida.com or bacfl.org. For tickets, contact 305-576-2828 or info@bacfl.org.

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Mad Hatter artist; Richard Bello

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.


First up is Richard Bello, sculptor. His Medium is ceramic and fiberglass. This is Richard's First time participating in The Mad Hatter, he has only lived in Miami for two months and he is hoping to have his work seen by an upscale audience.


In the past Richard, shown here, has participated in the Downtown Art Festival. He has received the Governor's Young Artist Prize in his home of Puerto Rico and was also chosen as Gallery Guide Artist of the Month.

Much of Richard's work is done by body casting, and he gets many commissions to perpetuate the faces and forms of people's loved ones (Spouses and Children) for all time. The face casts are beautiful and quite haunting at the same time.

LAST YEAR'S MAD HATTER

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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

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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."

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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

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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

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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
.



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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

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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.

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Fancy Fangate


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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.

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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. 

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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.

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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 

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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.

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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.



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