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

Saturday, December 20, 2014

They're back . . .


Eastern Airlines returned to Miami on Friday, this video of their arrival is from their Facebook page. Their new 737-800 flew in for a big welcoming ceremony with a water canon salute at Miami International Airport.  A special dedication was made to "The Spirit of Captain Eddie Rickenbacker," Eastern's most famous CEO from 1930 to 1965. This is one of 25 planes which will start off the airline again. At first charters will be flown and by the second quarter of 2015, commercial flights will start, the routes have not been announced yet.

Brings back so many memories. I flew Eastern more than any other airline back in the day. 

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Coral Gables Festival of the Arts coming in January

The Coral Gables Festival of the Arts is coming to downtown Coral Gables on January 24 and 25, 2015 from 10 am to 6 pm both days.

Over 100 booths and 75 companies will be on hand at the inaugural 2 day-long event.  

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

Mario recently produced the Miami Fine Wine & Spirits Festival in Peacock Park.

If yo would like to exhibit, registration is now open. To learn more please visit coralgablesartfestival.com or call 786-558-5234. Tickets may be purchased at the website, too.

General Admission - Adults $10 with Coral Gables residents paying half price or $5.00 day of show only
General Admission - Child $5 anytime (Child 3-12 yrs.) Note: GA tickets allows entry into the art festival and the food area.
Premium Tickets - $25 adult only Note: Premium tickets allows entry into art, food plus wine and spirits sampling
VIP Adult Ticket only $79 one day or $95 for a two day pass Note: VIP tickets allows for full access to anywhere in the festival plus food, beer, wine and spirits within the VIP area. VIP also receives separate entrance on Ponce and Giralda, VIP only restrooms and private VIP area.  


The Coral Gables Festival of the Arts is broken up into 6 main components. The five components are:
·         Fine Art – There are 13 categories of art on hand from sculpture, to photography, 2 and 3           dimensional mixed media, glass, oil, watercolor and much more.  
·         Culinary Art – Local restaurants will be presenting along with national chefs.
·         Beer wine and spirits sampling area.
·         Performance Art
·         Audible Art – music

·         VIP area

For those looking for an “all inclusive” experience the VIP Pavilion is the place. Check out the website listed above.

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Friday, December 19, 2014

Spend New Year's at The Ritz Carlton

The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove has a special New Years planned.

It all starts with a New Year’s Eve Dinner, where Executive Chef Ramesh Kaduru creates a special Seafood buffet in the beautiful Bizcaya restaurant, surrounded by soft live music, candlelight and personalized Ritz-Carlton service. $159 per adult, $59 per child ages 5 through 12, 18 percent tax and gratuity. Reservations required by calling 305-644-4680.

Later, count down to 2015 from 8:00 pm to 2:00 am with live music, cocktails and a balloon drop at the stroke of midnight in Lazuli Lounge. No reservations required.

Recuperate the next day with their New Year’s Day Recovery Breakfast Buffet with mouthwatering morning favorites, chef-attended omelet and crepe stations and an unlimited Bloody Mary and Prosecco station! $49 per adult, $25 per child, ages 5 through 12, plus 18 percent tax and gratuity. To make a reservation for one of our three exclusive celebrations, please call 305-644-4675.

The Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove is located at 3300 SW 27th Avenue.

The are also specials at other local Ritz-Carlton hotels including Key Biscayne and Ft. Lauderdale, check out their website for all the details: ritzcarlton.com

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King Mango Strut on the radio, well sort of

Edward Bell, a former Grovite tells me that our own Deborah Crisp was to be be featured on his radio show Thursday on WLRN.

Ed produces and hosts WLRN’s South Florida Arts Beat and will feature Deborah, who will talk about the 33rd Annual King Mango Strut on 91.3, WLRN and 91.5, WKWM in the Keys.  Only the second part of his show which starts around 1 pm, will be preempted by political talk - Cuba, Sony Pictures, etc. So it's actually going to be sort of a podcast now.
The archive the interview which will not air live but will be online, will be at WLRN.org/radio/programs/south-florida-arts-beat starting Friday afternoon.

The King Mango Strut is Sunday, December 28 at 2 pm, right in the center of town. There is still room for some more so if you would like to participate, grab some friends and sign up here: kingmangostrut.org. Interestingly enough, there are always big events that come up at the end of the year and can easily be added to the Strut. So the Sony Pictures thing and Obama and Cuba can be a couple of very newsworthy subjects to parody on Strut day.

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Public Zoning Advocates



A Public Defender is offered to those that can’t afford to seek legal advice.

It is time that a Public Zoning Advocate be provided to assist neighbors with defense against a developer that desires to rezone a nearby property, that will have a negative impact on their community and quality of life.

Developers often buy a property and soon thereafter make great efforts to rezone it for the sake of instant profit. They have deep pockets, high-powered lawyers and friends at City Hall.


Neighbors are at a huge disadvantage. They are greatly concerned about the negative impact this project will have and wish to find a better course of action. With little if any knowledge of zoning codes and legal process, they must attend Planning and Zoning meetings, go on the record in front of the Municipality Commissioners and perhaps even hire an attorney to fight this costly and timely battle.

It’s time to make this fight a bit more fair. Legislation is needed to help citizens defend their rights, preserve their community and maintain their chosen quality of life.

If the courts offer Public Defenders than our municipalities should also offer Public Zoning Advocates. A pool of qualified Zoning Attorneys or Law School Professors and Students could be assembled. A modest pay scale could be established or fees could be pro bono. 

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Thursday, December 18, 2014

Chanukah at the Barnacle

The second Annual Chanukah at The Barnacle is Sunday, December 21 from 3:30 to 6:30 pm. It's free with the $2 park admission for adults. Kids are free.

This family fun day at The Barnacle State Park will offer Carnival booths, races, face painting, magic show, music, Potato Latkes and plenty of Dreidels.

The Grand Menorah will be lit at 6:30 pm at the water's edge. Free with $2 park admission, children 6 and younger free. 

This year Coconut Grove resident and artist, Josh Stone, will unveil and lead the lighting of the Grove-Norah, a handmade 10 foot metal Menorah dedicated to the memory of Josh’s late father and the village of Coconut Grove. 

The Barnacle is at 3485 Main Highway.

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Call to artists for KROMA Gallery exhibit

In honor of February's Black History Month, KROMA Gallery is presenting an exhibit called "The Beast," it's the artist confronting the daily call to action and to that end, there is a call to artists to participate in the exhibit.

The submission deadline is Monday, December 30, 2014
Event Dates: February 3 - 28, 2015
Admission: Free

RULES:
Open to all artists local artists (must live in Miami), 18 years and older, career stage.

Accepting all forms of artistic mediums, as related to the theme of the exhibition, including but not limited to: painting, drawing, sculpture, photography, video and multi-media work.

SUBMISSIONS:
For consideration, each artist must submit images of their artwork in PEG format. No more than 5 images may be submitted.

Artwork must be original and created by the artist submitting the work. Email images to: art@kromamiami.com

Artist must be available during the dates (TBD) to assist with installation of artwork as needed.

Submitted works should reference and explore the theme, "The Beast."

KROMA is a collective art space located at 3670 Grand Avenue. KROMA serves as a home for artists and exhibition, a place where emerging and established artists create work that deepens their practice and engages the diverse communities of South Florida.

For more info: 305-576-6278

HOLIDAY PARTY

The Elizabeth Virrick Park Committee, has joined in with Helen Miguel, Center Director of the Frankie Shannon Rolle Community Resource Center, Gerald Cox, Community Organizer and the Collaborative Development Corporation for a community-wide holiday party. This “Holiday Gathering” will be on Thursday, December 18, at the KROMA Art Space (3670 Grand Avenue) at 6 pm. 

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A few people I'd like to see go to Cuba

With the new Cuba-US news I can almost see the local developers smelling money. They must be seeing green. Wouldn't it be fantastic if they left us alone and took all their business over to Cuba now to help build that country? There's billions to be made guys! Hurry!!

Here are some of my favorite tweets from last night:



Greg Saunders @waltisfrozen 
Bashing Obama's Cuba deal b/c of their human rights abuses? You guys were just defending the torture and rape of detainees LAST WEEK.

Top Conservative Cat ‏@TeaPartyCat
That awkward moment when Republicans are defending torture, and then start complaining about Cuba's human rights violations.

FranK ‏@everythingfrank
Can’t wait for the mojito in #Cuba    Thanks Obama!

Businessweek ‏@BW
Why should you care about Cuba? Hint: you can now bring home cigars. http://buswk.co/1wGMBOI  

NYT Sports ‏@NYTSports
An improved relationship with Cuba is absolutely huge for Major League Baseball. http://nyti.ms/1GtPVj3  

Kenny Mayne ‏@Kenny_Mayne 
Then have Cuba play the movie.

The Daily Beast ‏@thedailybeast
Cigar Dealers Light Up Over Cuba News http://thebea.st/1sB3F3v  

CNNMoney ‏@CNNMoney
$2 billion.
That's how much Americans sent to Cuba last year despite trade being blocked http://cnnmon.ie/13zRYEA

 @CNNMoney
Welcome to the Internet, Cuba. What this means for businesses: cnnmon.ie/1r17mUH

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Wednesday, December 17, 2014

GrassRoots Festival back for 4th year

The Virginia Key GrassRoots Festival is back for its 4th year. The annual winter event is an all inclusive multi-cultural and family friendly four-day Music, Arts and Dance Festival which takes place on Virginia Key.

This year's event features Donna the Buffalo, Rubblebucket, Marco Benevento, Jim Lauderdale, Swear and Shake, Afrobeta, AJ Ghent, Big Mean Sound Machine, Telekenetic Walrus, Danay Suarez, the Spam Allstars, Suenalo, Locos Por Juana, Elastic Bond, Lanzallamas, Electric Piquete and more.

The festival will kick off with a week of workshops and camping at the "GrassRoots Culture Camp" beginning on February 14. Yoga, instrument and cooking workshops will end with a  daily family-style dinner and dance. The event will also feature the Zen Village Healing Arts attraction, a kid’s village, sustainability expo, band and instrument contests, the Beer Garden Vinyl Lounge, the Grassroots World Café, live art, craft vendors, yoga, beach camping and more.

The event runs from Thursday, February 19, 2015 through Sunday, February 22, 2015.

Tickets: VirginiaKeyGrassRoots.org/general-info/tickets

More information:  VirginiaKeyGrassRoots.org  or 786.409.5261.

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Lawsuits are holding up the waterfront project

Some pesky lawsuits seem to be getting in they way of the City's plan to sell off the Coconut Grove waterfront. There's an interesting article in Miami Today about the Grove Harbour project.

So far the city has spent $760,000 in fighting the suits. The City Commission is upset over this. Perhaps if the City Commission had let the Coconut Grove residents vote on the fate of the waterfront, none of this would have been necessary since the Grove citizens voted against the massive project that will do nothing to enhance the Grove and just add more traffic and of course destruction to the quaint area now. Since the vote was citywide, people who live miles away and probably have never set foot in Coconut Grove, had a say in what happens on our waterfront. Of course promises of lower taxes and other crap saying how the project is good for the City persuaded people to vote in favor of the project.

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New Art Gallery opening features super sale

The new EJ ALPS Studio at the Grove Art Gallery on Bird Avenue is having a holiday super sale on Thursday, December 18.

The studio features works by Austria native Peter Johann Studl, who lives in Coconut Grove. Stop by where you can find a one-of-a-kind holiday gift at great prices. Enjoy complimentary wine, soda and water, also cheese and crackers. Peter has an awesome collection at the studio; this massive 12-hour art sale is from noon to midnight on Thursday. The opening reception with goodies starts at 7 pm.

Don't let modesty and true affordability fool you, this is great art by an artist who just wants to get it on many walls. 'Tis the season to be jolly with gifts for friends and family, plus it's the artist's daughter's 9th birthday Thursday (her wonderful works are also offered), and and artist always needs paint, food and drink, "And, yes, my children are looking under the tree....wondering, praying," says Peter.


“How do you do that?” almost everyone asks.  Well, Peter never really tells all the secrets of his Bellezza Stratificato methods. He whispers that those secrets are for his children and their children after that.  

Peter says, “Sell it all. No reasonable offer refused! I'll hole up at a beautiful hidden mountain lake or in a magical forest or a decaying urban neighborhood, well, or maybe my studio, and make more art next year.  

This is the year of this gilded layered beauty.”  

I know he means what he says. He wants you to have this amazing art. Thursday is a time to say hello, enjoy a treat and leave with something very unique that will last for generations.

This is the first opening event for the gallery. Stop by and enjoy. Additional works will be released for the evening reception. Come before or after your other parties that night.

The Grove Art Gallery is located at 2809 Bird Avenue, 2nd floor, a few doors down from Flanigan's. 

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Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Boat fire

There was a boat fire on the bay Tuesday, right off the Coconut Grove shore. It was fast, too. The boat caught fire, fire rescue came out and the boat ended up sinking, all in less than half an hour. Hope no one was hurt. There was a big explosion before the fire finally took over.

The black smoke could be seen for miles on this clear winter day.

Photos by Timothy Grand

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Get in the best shape with Fitness Together

Fitness Together Coconut Grove, a nationally franchised private personal training studio, offers individualized, one-on-one training in the privacy and comfort of your own fully equipped exercise suite. 

Founded over seven years ago, Fitness Together Coconut Grove has been a staple of the Grove fitness scene. The team at Fitness Together, all holding nationally accredited and recognized personal training certifications and years of experience in the industry, help male and female clients of all ages reach their health and fitness goals. 

Fitness Together Coconut Grove believes that personal training is best experienced in a private, one-on-one experience which makes the entire program completely individualized and catered toward each client's specific needs. The training team at F.T. Coconut Grove knows that exercise is only half the battle, so all clients are provided a meal plan and in-depth nutritional guidance. 

Whether you are an experience fitness buff looking to take your exercise program to the next level or completely new to working out, please contact Fitness Together Coconut Grove to help you get in the best shape of your life. 

Fitness Together Coconut Grove is located at 3333 Rice Street, Unit 101.
Coconut Grove, FL 33133.
305-648-2202. www.fitnesstogethermiami.com 

gabelamas@fitnesstogether.com 

This is a paid advertorial

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Chamber's Golden Coconut Award nominees announced

The Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce has announced the finalists for the year. The banquet to announce the winners will be January 8, 2015 at The Kampong.

Small Business of the Year
Dharma Studio
Grove Properties
Vinos in the Grove

Business Leader of the Year
Jim Kaufman - Kaufman Rossin
Peter Gardner - PointeGroup Advisors
Jesus Guzman - Shell Lumber

Business of the Year
Bayshore Management
PointeGroup Advisors
Strada Restaurant

Non-Profit of the Year
Shake-A-Leg
Rotary Club of Coconut Grove
The Collaborative

Entrepreneur of the Year
Sylvano Bignon
Brigitte Kishlar
David Martin

Up and Comer of the Year
Jane Muir
Nikki Noya
Tony Rodriguez

Community Service Award
Dominic Lamberti
Robert Loupo
Monty Trainer

The Golden Coconut Award winner will be announced at the celebration.

You can purchase tickets for the event at CoconutGroveChamber.com 

Cost is $55 for members, $65 for non-members.

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The streets are driving us all crazy

On Monday, it seemed like everyone was out driving at the same time at midday. Traffic on South Bayshore was a mess, Tigertail and 17th Avenues were a mess and it was impossible as usual to cross 27th Avenue. I thought it might be Christmas shoppers all out at once since apparently Monday was the biggest mailing day of the year for Christmas shipments, but it turns out there was a water main break near Aviation and South Bayshore Drive.

I had mentioned it on my personal Facebook page and everyone had different ideas about the traffic, not realizing it was the water main, but it did bring up a lot of fears over future plans for Coconut Grove roadwork.

Staring after the New Year, a large section of Main Highway will be closed for repairs, of course we know about South Bayshore Drive being renovated from Mercy Way all the way down to Darwin. Bird Avenue is on the agenda after 27th Avenue gets done, if that project ever gets done and it seems like we'll all be going nowhere fast in 2015.

I am no expert, but it seems that all of these projects at once, or even one after the other is not really a great idea. It seems like years of non-stop street work are going to cripple the area. I'm not sure what the solution is, but we need one.

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Monday, December 15, 2014

Join the Magic Mondays bike ride

You've heard of Critical Mass, the wild and crazy bike ride which is the last Friday of every month. Well now there is "Magic Mondays" a tamer ride on Monday nights which goes through Coral Gables, south Miami and Coconut Grove.

The group meets up at the University Metrorail Station every Monday at 8:30 pm and the ride beings at 9 pm.

The ride is all winter, through March 2, 2015.

It's a nice ride through historical places under leafy green trees. 

The rules and all the info can be seen at Miami Bike Scene here.

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Free hour of parking from Miami Parking Authority

Starting Wednesday, December 17, the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) once again gets in the holiday spirit with the return of its popular “Holiday Parking Courtesy Citation Program” to help customers avoid parking tickets. 

From Wednesday through January 1, 2015, you will receive an extra free hour of parking on your meter. Just pay for the meter and when it expires, you receive that extra hour.

This applies to all on-street parking spaces managed by MPA. All customers who purchase parking at a single-space meter, a Pay & Display master meter, or via PayByPhone, will be eligible. Once their parking has expired, they will receive a special Holiday Courtesy Citation explaining that they have been granted up to one free hour of parking beyond their expiration time. 

“In the spirit of the holidays, the one-hour courtesy citation program is an opportunity for us to thank our customers and give back to our community,” said Arthur Noriega, CEO of MPA. “It allows parkers extra time to go about their business without the added stress of expired parking.”

Additionally, customers who use PayByPhone to park in the City of Miami no longer incur a .35 fee for the use of the service. On December 1, MPA became the only parking agency in Florida to absorb the mobile payment technology’s convenience fee. Residents of the City of Miami also receive a 20% discount when using PayByPhone.

“We are very pleased to learn that MPA continues its tradition of sharing some holiday cheer with our residents and visitors, allowing them a parking reprieve as they prepare for the celebrations,” said Francis Suárez, City of Miami commissioner. 

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The winner for best holiday decorations

Each year I think the prettiest decorated place in Coconut Grove for the holidays is H&H Jewels on Main Highway. The old building, which was the original Coconut Grove Bank from the late 1800s is always wrapped in red and always has the Christmas spirit.

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The mannequins at The Sale Rack

We stopped by The Sale Rack the other night and enjoyed some Sangria and chocolates. Above from left are Stacey, Allison, Atena and Jesse. 



We were introduced to the Man Hater Mannequin, at first I thought they said the Mad Hatter Mannequin, but it's a mannequin where women write messages about men. Some nasty, some not so much. 

Noel Garcia, owner of our "red light district" place like Grove Ink, Lucky 14 Smoke Shop and New Age Piercing, might be who they created the mannequin for.

If that's not to your liking, check out this beautiful, colorful mannequin, It took Allison five months to decoupage this. Each image is carefully cut out, she used tweezers to create some of the more delicate areas, like the fingers.

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Sunday, December 14, 2014

Winners of the Miami Short Film Festival

The Miami Short Film Festival wrapped up a week of films, most shown here in the Grove at Paragon 13 at CocoWalk.
Winners for this years Miami Short Film Festival are:
The Ramona Flower Tokyo for Best Music Video
Nashorn Im Galopp for Best Experimental Narrative
Basura o Recurso? for Best Documentary Film
The Bravest, The Boldest for Best Narrative
Virtuos Virtuell for Best Experimental Video
Rabbit & Deer for Best Animated Film
Ocean Five for Best Local Film
All's Fair for Best Comedy
And two special jury mentions given to:
37*4S
Houses With Small Windows
Our overal best of 2014's Miami Short Film Festival price went to:
Nashorn Im Galopp

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Enjoy a Holiday Evening at Vizcaya

Something really special to see would be Vizcaya at Christmas time. Now you can. Go back 100 years with a special Holiday Evening at Vizcaya on Wednesday, December 17, from 6 to 9 pm.

James Deering came to Vizcaya on Christmas Day of 1916 and celebrated his arrival with a party. Now, to honor Deering's arrival, and the holiday season, the Main House will be open at night - an opportunity that comes only once or twice a year. They're decorating for the holidays as Mr. Deering might have 100 years ago, with poinsettias lining the walk as you make your way down to the house, ivy wreaths and draping garland, a big tree full of old-world ornaments and historic holiday music playing on the organ.

With a complimentary holiday drink and treat to start the night off, you're free to wander at your own pace. Sit in the Courtyard and enjoy the music, visit the Living Room to see the tree and the custom built organ or visit the Café and Shop to take care of last minute shopping needs.

Whatever you decide to do, get your tickets here  to enjoy a perfect way to spend a night with family and friends around the holidays at the Holiday Evening at Vizcaya!

Members: $15 adults; $10 children 6-12
Non-members: $25 adults; $15 children 6-12

Vizcaya is at 3251 S. Miami Avenue.
305-250-9133.

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Party on the Pier

Neighbors at Pier 2, behind City Hall, had a holiday party last night and all the pier peers came out to celebrate.



Molly smells the jambalaya.

Randy Mullis and Tiffany Field.

The cool weather has been perfect and the lights on the boats are picture perfect.


Photos by Peter Studl

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Saturday, December 13, 2014

Christmas fun at the Merrick House

The Merrick House in Coral Gables is having their annual open house on Sunday, December 14. "Sundays on the Porch with George" will be held December 14 from 1 to 4 pm.

Holiday music will be performed on the porch by the Grove's own Solar Dogs, stroll through the historic George Merrick house, which is all decorated for the holidays, done by the Coral Gables Garden Club. There's face painting for the kids and lots of gifts for sale.

Do your shopping at the house with gifts including sleepwear, candles, table linens, clothing, unique baubles, jewelery, home accessories and so much more. Some of the vendors include Baby Love Luna, Marina Cabrera, Nadine Kremblas, LiaBella Jewelry, Little Miss Chic Boutique, POP! Boutique and NinaRo.

Food trucks will be there to offer goodies - look for our fav Ms. Cheezious and Sugar Yumy Mama, B&B Cappuccion & Coffee and there will be popcorn and snow cones.

Proceeds benefit the Merrick House, which is at 907 Coral Way, Coral Gables.

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Pop-up Disco took place at The Grove Spot

The Grove Spot hosted a PopUp Disco this past weekend. DJ's were spinning favorites from the disco era mixed with classic rock blocks and funk flashbacks - all music from the '60s, '70s and '80s.
The music played non-stop. This popular event pops up at different venues across South Florida. 
A portion of the price goes to the Miami Herald's Wish Book.

The special part about this party is that is was on the hallowed ground of the famous Biscayne Baby, a fondly remembered Grove disco from back in the day.



This is the disco ball. Not glittery and hanging from the ceiling, but it did strobe and make special effects.


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Friday, December 12, 2014

Giralda Under the Stars is back for 6th season


Whether it’s a craving for ceviche, an appetite for Mexican or even Vietnamese, Giralda Under the Stars in Coral Gables, brings dining, music and art to the streets. Over a dozen restaurants and bars on Giralda Avenue’s Restaurant Row (between Ponce de Leon Boulevard and Galiano Street) will bring culinary excellence and popular cocktails outdoors, literally under the stars. Restaurant Row will be closed to vehicular traffic so that Giralda Under the Stars’ participating restaurants and bars may fill the street with tables and chairs, live music and entertainment from 7 pm to midnight every first Friday of the month through March 2015.  

Presenting sponsor Zacapa Rum will once again invite patrons to experience the award-winning blend of their ultra-premium rums, and witness firsthand its international reputation for exceptional taste and quality. In addition, some new elements this year include, The Local Craft Food & Drink featuring Caja China Creations every month as well as a new theme to be incorporated for each series. 

Participating restaurants this year include: Castelluccio, Divino Ceviche, Ikura Sushi Lounge, La Dorada, Miss Saigon Bistro, Pete's Authentic Cooking, Spritz of Coral Gables, Talavera, The Bar, The Local Craft Food & Drink, and new comers Vicolo Italian Kitchen, GreenLife Miami, and Threefold Café. All will be open and offering locals, families and foodies alike many food options to enjoy along with live music and art, this winter.
  
“This event allows Restaurant Row to shine, coming together to offer a wide array of food from all over the world with choices to satisfy any and all palates and budgets," said Marina Foglia, Executive Director of the Business Improvement District of Coral Gables, which produces the event.

Most restaurant menus are available online and reservations are highly recommended. There is plenty of parking in the municipal parking garages and there will also be valet stationed at each end of the street. No tickets required to enjoy the festivities & ambiance. For more information visit ShopCoralGables.com.

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King Mango Strut Memories; the "Gripevine"



In 2009, the Coconut Grove Grapevine was parodied in the King Mango Strut Parade. I had no idea this was happening. For months, people planned it and got it all together at the Windisch-Hunt Gallery without me knowing. I would stop by the gallery daily, so I was amazed how they kept it such a secret but thanks to AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt, they did. The group was called the Gripevine and "anonymous" was very well represented.

Phil Brown put this video together. I ran it the first time on December 28, 2009, which happens to be the Strut date this year.

They are still looking for anyone who might be interested in joining in. They have ideas or you can come up with your own. AnnaMaria has a tribute to Fred Hunt, who passed away recently and is more than happy to add anyone to the Marching Fred's group (hopefully your name is Fred). "The tribute will be a happy one," says AnnaMaria.


The Final Strut meeting before the parade is Wednesday, December 17 at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club at 7 pm. The club is at 2990 S. Bayshore Drive. All are welcome.

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Downtown party to introduce CitiBikes

You've probably seen the CitiBike racks going up in the Grove, there are a couple of locations, the main one seems to be in front of The Grove Spot on Virginia Street.

Saturday, December 13, is the first day that the bikes will be available all over the City of Miami, to that end, there is a celebration at Bayfront Park downtown (Flagler and Biscayne Blvd.) r4om 11 am to 3 pm.


With the expansion, in addition to providing access to locations throughout Miami Beach, the CitiBike program will now provide connections to new destinations, from downtown Miami to Coconut Grove and neighborhoods in between. So nice to be a part of this group of neighborhoods. Decobike will be running the program in Miami.
At the event downtown on Saturday there will be giveaways, free memberships, food, entertainment and bike tours.


From CitiBike Miami's website: "The solar-powered bike sharing system consists of a fleet of specially designed, sturdy, very durable bikes that are locked into a network of docking stations sited at regular intervals around a city. With a thousand bikes at a hundred stations and more on the way downtown, bikes are available to use 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
There are two distinct ways to utilize the Citi Bike program, either as a Bike Share Membership or an Hourly Rental. Here's how it works.

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Thursday, December 11, 2014

Chili's gone?

Note on Chili's at CocoWalk today. Your thoughts?



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My Coconut Grove Holiday Party

The My Coconut Grove neighborhood group is having a holiday party on Thursday, December 11, at Tk's at Village Mayfair. Come out and meet your neighbors from 6 to 8 pm. The event is also a toy drive for the St. Alban's Child Enrichment Center in Village West. Please bring an unwrapped gift for a child aged 1 to 5.

Enjoy half price happy hour drinks at TK's along with half priced items on their menue. 

Please RSVP to Rafael at Rafael@MyCoconutGrove.com 

TK's is at 2901 Florida Avenue.

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Martial Arts Academy presenting holiday party

White Tiger & Drago Martial Arts Academy is hosting its annual K.I.K. (Keep it Kickin') Holiday Party and Fund raiser on Saturday, December 13. The celebration begins at 10 am with a performance by Japanese drum troupe, Fushu Daiko ((www.fushudaiko.org), and runs through 3 pm. 

There will be a kids grappling tournament, a bounce house, food, drinks, music, karate demonstrations, massage therapists and acupuncturists from Miami's own Acupuncture Massage College throughout the afternoon. All proceeds will benefit the Roland DiBenedetto Martial Arts Scholarship Fund, which has provided full and partial scholarships to students in need at White Tiger & Dragon for more than 14 years.

White Tiger & Dragon, Coconut Grove's oldest continually operated martial arts studio, is unique for its "no student turned away policy," which provides financial assistance to anyone with the desire, but perhaps not the means, to study martial arts. To date, thousands of students have learned discipline, honor and self- respect from this program, and currently 35 percent of the students are receiving partial scholarships and 20 percent are fully-funded. The dojo also provides clinics and instruction at most local Grove schools, including Coconut Grove Elementary, Montessori and Ransom Everglades.

White Tiger and Dragon is located at 2460 SW 28th Lane, down the block from Shell Lumber. For more information, contact Sensei Carol White at 305-505-4919.

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A night of art and cinematography

Academy Award winning Vittorio Storaro's "Writing with Light;  The Civilta Romana Collection," was presented at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery on Saturday during FAM Night. (Above, Mr. Storaro explains his techniques to art patrons). Last month, the exhibit had a soft opening but on Saturday, the famed cinematographer was present. This collection showcases Vittorio’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. The images on display included scenes from his many movies including "Dick Tracy" with Madonna and Warren Beatty,  "The Last Emperor," "Apocalypse Now," and "Reds."


Monty Trainer, owner of the Arts Festival Gallery with Anna Cristina Carrodeguas and Mayor Tomas Regalado.
Ronnie Brooks, left, and Dennis Patasi entertained all night. 
Raquel Berman, Lilia Garcia and Carol Coombes.
Liz Gibson, Karen Deilke and Karina Firewalker, the Drum Circle Girls.

Tom Falco and Tiffany Field.
Mr. Storaro in front of one of his pieces.


In addition to the three Academy Awards, Vittorio's many awards and accolades have included a Lifetime Achievement Award from the American Society of Cinematographers and he has also received awards from various film academies such as: David di Donatello (Italy), BAFTA (Great Britain), Goya (Spain), Emmy (US) and the European Film Award.  


The exhibit made it into the newly patented FOS (Freedom of Speech) Fashion Frame which made it's Grove debut during FAM Night.

The exhibit is open daily through the rest of the year - Monday through Friday from 10 am to 5 pm. The Coconut Grove Arts Festival Gallery is at the Mayfair Atrium (Grand Avenue and Mary Street). For info: 305-447-0401.

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