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Tuesday, January 15, 2019

Fairchild's Chocolate Festival is back

 The 13th Annual International Chocolate Festival is back at Fairchild Garden from Friday, January 25 through Sunday, January 27.

Indulge in chocolate delicacies during the season's most delicious event. Enjoy fine chocolate samples from artisan chocolatiers, lectures on chocolate making and demonstrations from Miami's master chefs and chocolatiers. Take the ChocoWalk to learn about the life cycle of a cacao plant, with stops in the Rainforest and more. 


Find out everything you ever needed to know about chocolate from the experts.

Free for Fairchild Members
Adults: $25
Seniors (age 65 and up): $18
Children (ages 6-17): $12
Free for children 5 and younger

Get tickets and see the events and schedule here.


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Veg speed date Miami at Choices Cafe

Choices Cafe is holding a speed dating event, a week from today on Saturday, January 19 from 6 to 8 pm.

This is a Veg Speed Dating (for vegans) for ages 21 and up.

If you don't make a dating or friendship match your first try, your second event is half price.

They claim to help people find veg love, creating life-changing matches and love stories in the veg community. Veg Speed Date is exclusively for vegan and vegetarian singles. They have thought through every detail to make sure people have a great time, don’t need to worry about feeling rejected, and have the best chance of making that special connection. Since February 2017 they’ve been successfully running events in cities all over North America. The events have generated over 1000 veg love connections.

Expect a fun, friendly and new way to meet veg singles. Think of it like mini-chats, just getting to know someone, face-to-face, for a few minutes. Spots are limited to 30 participants, because they’ve found that an intimate, get-to-really-know-you setting works the best for making real connections. They also make sure there’s an equal gender ratio – or very close to it.

The chats/dates are five minutes each, you secretly choose who you like and then get your matches at midnight!

Get tickets here. Cost is $34.99 per ticket, plus a $2.22 service fee.


You can sign up here for a chance to win a free ticket to the event.

Choices Cafe is at 2895 McFarlane Road.

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Monday, January 14, 2019

Replacing history with replicas

The new Stirrup House

The new bed and breakfast at the former Stirrup House site on Charles Street is getting ready to open. I say former because the original Stirrup House was replaced with a duplicate. An excellent duplicate, but none the less, a duplicate. 

The EWF Stirrup House at 3242 Charles Avenue was built in 1897, it is/was the oldest house in Coconut Grove, other than the Barnacle, across the way, which was built in 1891. And while the Barnacle is revered and protected and used and appreciated, the Stirrup house sat and rotted for many years in the hands of the Stirrup family. 

Ebenezer Woodbury Franklin Stirrup, a Bahamian immigrant who settled in the Grove, built the two story house. Mr. Stirrup ended up being one of the largest land owners in the Grove, he lived in the house until his death in 1957, at the age of 84.

The shape of the original house a couple of years ago

It's sad that the original house was neglected so much that it had to be destroyed and rebuilt. Should the house be taken as being historic or just the ground it stands on? It was left to rot. Of course, right across the street is the Coconut Grove Playhouse, which is in the same situation. For over 12 years, it has been left to rot and what is its fate?

Charles Street is the most historic street in the Grove and yet it has the most problems.


Future site of new hotel?

Behind the playhouse there is a big empty lot. There are plans to put a hotel there. The one issue with neighbors is the zoning, will Charles Avenue now go from residential to commercial zoning? Will the hotel affect the neighborhood and will quiet Charles Avenue have to deal with excessive traffic?

It's interesting that no one has mentioned the proposed hotel yet. It's also interesting that neighbors never have a say in their own neighborhoods. It's all about developers and development in Miami and sadly, Coconut Grove, too.


Historic Charles Avenue, will this sign be the only thing remaining?

The new Stirrup House Bed & Breakfast.

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Sunday, January 13, 2019

Collecting used bikes for South Africa

Garth Friesen
In rural South Africa, many students walk up to 70 miles per week to get back and forth to school. Healthcare workers with no access to transportation see a limited number of patients a day. Productivity for entrepreneurs and farmers is limited to the goods they can carry to markets. A bicycle can address these needs.

On January 17, Cypress Creek Rotarian Garth Friesen will address the Coconut Grove Rotary about his club’s initiative to collect used bikes and ship them to South Africa. The club has sent 800 bikes in the last two years and another shipment is scheduled for this month.

Friesen is CEO at III Capital an investment management firm. A native of Canada, he has been in the finance industry for 25 years in London and New York, and he has lived in South Florida for the past 18 years.

The Rotary Club of Coconut Grove meets every Thursday at the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, 2990 South Bayshore Drive at 12:30 pm. The cost of the meeting is $25 with lunch or $10 without lunch. Open to the public.

Even if you don't get to the luncheon and have a bicycle or two you would like to donate, you can do that by contacting the Rotary at RotaryClubofCoconutGrove@gmail.com.

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Beaux Arts Festival is so enjoyable

It's a beautiful weekend for the Beaux Arts Festival at the University of Miami - sunny and perfect temps. A few of us went on Saturday and may go back Sunday, it's open from 10 am to 5 pm.
The great part about the Beaux Arts Festival is that it's free to enter - so bring the whole family! And the food and drink is a fraction of the cost of other arts festivals.
My favorites have to be the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen's Art Show but Beaux Arts is a favorite too, and it's not going to make you go broke when you eat and drink. I got a pincho for $6.00 at Beaux which was $15 last year at the Grove Festival! I also got a fresh lemonade for $3.00, which is usually $5.00 and up in the Grove. Also, the ice cream guy is $6.00 at Beaux and much higher in the Grove. Parking is free at Beaux, too.


The City of Miami has so many restrictions and fees and police that it's impossible to have a free show with low prices. I don't blame the organizers, I blame the location. At UM, it's on private property so there are no city fees to be paid, also the police all seemed to be UM Police, not City of Coral Gables Police who would be paid overtime.
Anyway if you get a chance to go it's worth the trip across US1. It makes for a very enjoyable day.




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Saturday, January 12, 2019

His incredible sculptures are made of car parts

The St. Stephen's Art Show and  Coconut Grove Arts Festival are February 16-18, 2019. We'll be profiling some of the artists who are participating this year. 


Kyle and one of his fish creations.

Meet sculptor Kyle Pearce from Tarpon Springs, Florida, right on the Anclote River. 

"Matter of fact, I was living on a sailboat for a year before I got my house. I'm single, but have three great sons who don't live with me," says Kyle.

Kyle will be showing his work at the St. Stephen's Art Show. He's been doing the St. Stephen's show for about five years. He likes the show because, "they treat the artists great and I usually sell pretty well there also. I also bring my fishing rod and catch a boat trip each night after the show so it's a fun trip."

What is so cool about Kyle's sculptures is that they are made mostly from car parts including bumpers, hoods and fenders, and some mechanical parts. He gets a lot of his supplies from junkyards and body shops. Kyle says, "Repurposing stuff is great, plus I believe there is a spirit, or energy in everything, and stuff from accidents has a story to tell."

He tries to keep his art small enough so he can move it around by himself.

Kyle travels the country and does shows in New York, Los Angeles, Chicago plus a few local shows. "I love road trips so it's a good fit; I love fishing and motorcycles so Florida is a good fit also."


One of Kyle's motorcycle works.
He made the first biker sculpture from bumpers, the second from car hoods and bicycle parts and a third from raw steel. They are in a Harley dealership in New York, a Wheels Through Time Museum in North Carolina, and Long Beach Island, New jersey respectively.

Kyle says, "I like to work primitively, eschewing electric tools and welders for gas torches and a hammer. I make most of my bends with an English knee."

I asked Kyle if he could have his portrait painted by any artist, who would it be, he said, "I love old expressionist art and Henri Matisse. If I could have Matisse do a portrait of me it would be way cool, but with him being dead, I would have to go with Stephen Palladino. He's a great upcoming artist with a cool street style. Plus he's not dead."

I also asked Kyle how he goes about creating each piece, "I usually do a rough sketch to begin, then seldom look at it again as the piece starts to take on a life of it's own."

His customers include businesses such as Dale Jarrett Ford, museums, and collectors. Plus a lot of lawyers for some reason.

Kyle's work is unique and interesting and stands out among the other art at the St. Stephen's Art Show. Look for him this February. In the meantime, check his work out at his Instagram page here: instagram.com/kylepearcesculpture

Another Kyle creation.
A closeup of one of the pieces. Notice the detail.

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Friday, January 11, 2019

Join the first Women's Happy Hour of the year

The first Women's Happy Hour networker of the year is Monday, January 28, the last Monday of the month, which is the standing date for women from all professional backgrounds to meet, network, share ideas, promote their businesses and endeavors,

Learn from featured speakers who are part of the monthly event and enjoy happy hour cocktails and complimentary small bites in a relaxing, casual atmosphere.

Men are welcome, too!

The event is at the Mayfair Hotel & Spa (3000 Florida Avenue) from 5:30 to 8 pm, at the Lobby Bar.

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Saturday will be full of wine, music and food

Saturday, January 12 will be a busy event day in Coconut Grove. From the Moonlight concert to the Uncorked Wine Festival, there is something for everyone.

Grove Groove
Grove Groove is the second Saturday of the month where local restaurants will offer specials for happy hour, date night or a trip out with the family and there will be live music acts along the streets of Coconut Grove. This event will run from now through January from 6 to 9:30 pm.

Moonlight Concert
Andro Baudelaire Bring a picnic, blanket and lawn chairs, and enjoy an evening of Brazilian Guitarrada music under the moonlight. Gates open at 6 pm. No pets, please. \$10 Adults. \$8 Members of The Barnacle Society. \$3 ages 6-9. Under 6 free. 7-9 pm The Barnacle Historic State Park. 3485 Main Highway.

Coconut Grove Culinary Tour
Coconut Grove Culinary Tour visits various restaurants around the village each Saturday starting at 12:30 pm. Tickets are \$79 for adults and \$59 for children. No charge for children if they are not eating. All tastings are included in the price. Book here .

Uncorked Wine Festival
Enjoy over 100 wines from across the globe, bubbly bar, gourmet food trucks, live DJ, lawn games and more from 2 to 5 pm. VIP admission (\$70) is at 1 pm and includes an extra hour of tasting plus some special wines during that first hour from select wineries. General admission (\$60) is at 2 pm and the event ends at 5 pm. Both tickets include unlimited wine tasting with food sold separately. Tickets may be purchased here.  Regatta Park is at 2700 South Bayshore Drive.

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Thursday, January 10, 2019

Woman's Club is holding 128th anniversary gala

The Coconut Grove Woman's Club is holding their 128th Anniversary Gala on Friday, Feb. 22.

The event from 7 to 11 pm will offer dinner, a cocktail hour, an open bar, live music and dancing. Formal attire is required.

Cost is $150 per person. They may be purchased here.

The club was originally called the Coconut Grove Housekeepers Club founded in 1891 by Flora McFarlane and other pioneers of the time.

The Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove was established five years before Miami became a city. It is the oldest community service organization in South Florida and its clubhouse is listed on the National Register of Historic Places. As a nonprofit organization it is dedicated to enriching the Miami community through the promotion of public welfare, education, civic improvement, historic preservation and the advancement of the arts and culture while fostering good fellowship among its members.  

The Peacock family, who owned the Peacock Inn, across the street from the club gave a few acres of land to Commodore Ralph Munroe when he arrived in 1891, the Commodore gave part of the land to the library and the other part to the Woman's Club. Commodore Munroe of course ended up at The Barnacle site where he built his home.

The Woman's Club is at 2985 South Bayshore Drive.

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Wednesday, January 09, 2019

Tuesday night at the Snail Social

It's great seeing the town come out to support Books & Books, as they did Tuesday night.

The Tuesday night party, Snail Social passed through Books & Books to present an evening with one of Miami's leaders in the farm-to-table movement, Chef Allen Susser. Here are Pascal Van Kipnis of Slow Food Board of Directors with Mitchell Kaplan

This Barcelona Board featured Prociutto, manchego cheese, brie, green apples and almonds, that's White Bean Kale dip behind it. Attendees enjoyed a complimentary glass of wine and tasting of the cafe menu featuring fresh, local ingredients.

Snail Socials are happy hours that roam from place to place, hosted at various locations on the second Tuesday of every month. The support chefs and businesses that support the slow food movement. Slow food is food that is good, clean and fair to all. It protects natural resources and it's local and seasonal. Slow food is part of a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members in over 150 countries, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

Above: Virginia Perez, Margret de Oliveira, Chef Allen Susser, Tanya Pergola.


Chamber president Lili Dones, shown here with Chef Susser, had a chance to speak with Chef Susser, "I told him that I used to make reservations at his restaurant, Chef Allen. Chef Allen closed the restaurant about five years ago to retire, although he is not fully retired, he is doing a lot of consulting work, and is very involved with No Kid Hungry. In the 8 years it has been around, the Miami Chapter has raise over 8 million dollars," said Lili.

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Moonlight Concert at The Barnacle

Enjoy a performance by Brazilian singer, Andro Baudelaire (shown here) on Saturday, January 12 at The Barnacle. Influenced by the Guitarrada music style of his hometown of Belém, Baudelaire adds pop elements and catchy choruses to his intrinsic combination of rhythms for a fun and powerful live performance from 7 to 9 pm.

Enjoy evenings of live entertainment by beautiful Biscayne Bay during The Barnacle under Moonlight Concert Series the second Saturday of each month, September through May. Park nearby and stroll or take a Freebee shuttle over to The Barnacle Historic State Park at 3485 Main Highway, Coconut Grove, Florida. 

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for members of The Barnacle Society, $3 for children ages 6 to 9, and free for children 5 and under. Arrive early to get the best spot to spread out a picnic blanket on the spacious front lawn and enjoy your own treats and beverages. Low lawn chairs, rolling coolers, and flashlights welcome. No pets, please. 

Purchase tickets at the gate beginning at 6 pm. 

The Barnacle is at 3485 Main Highway.





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Tuesday, January 08, 2019

All-Grove Crime Watch meeting is Wednesday

All-Grove Crime Watch meets on Wednesday, January 9, at 7:00 pm at St. Stephen's Episcopal Church, 2750 McFarlane Road. The meeting room is at the rear of the church property. 

On-site parking is available in the church's lot, there is no charge for those attending the meeting. Inform the parking attendant.

The meetings are open to all residents and topics of discussion are presented by the Miami Police Department, (Commander Butler), an Assistant State Attorney from the Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office; a representative from the Grove’s BID, (Business Improvement District); and, a representative from the District 2 commissioner’s office.

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Navigating towards a plastic free ocean

Ocean advocate Emily Penn will be speaking at Coral Reef Yacht Club about marine plastic pollution. 

This event is Saturday, January 12 at 5 pm. It is open to any current US Sailing members. food and drinks are available.


Emily,, a skipper who has spent a decade at sea, has seen plastic polution from the tropics to the Arctic. She'll share her adventures from her latest expedition to the Great Pacific Garbage Patch.


She'll discuss her insights to developing upstream solutions on land and will help us think about our role we play in solving this global problem of marine plastic pollution.


Please RSVP here.


The Coral Reef Yacht Club is at 2484 S. Bayshore Drive.


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Art season is starting; first up Beaux Arts Festival

The Beaux Arts Festival of Art is back on Saturday and Sunday, January 12 and 13. It's right across the highway, a hop, skip and a jump away, at the University of Miami.

The yearly event benefits the Lowe Art Museum on campus. The festival runs from 10 am to 5 pm each day. Started in 1952, this is the area's oldest juried art show. Along with the art there is lots of food, drink and character. It was originally called, the "Clothesline Sale."

Over 200 participating artists show off and sell their best creations, including a Student Art Showcase where middle school and high school students enter their work. 

125 Beaux Arts volunteers and over 300 Beaux Arts Associate members work together throughout the year to execute events and to make a difference. 

During the past 68 years, Beaux Arts has raised over $6 million dollars, which places the organization in the highest donor category for the University of Miami.

Live entertainment this year includes Alexander Montessori Rocks, Keith Johns and Three Sheets to the Wind on Saturday, and Funk Pedal, Community Arts All-Star Jazz Ensemble and Three Sheets to the Wind again, on Sunday.

For the whole program and more, please visit beauxartsmiami.org.

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Monday, January 07, 2019

Sad news about Bailey

Bailey at right, with Paisley.

Sad news from the Coconut Grove Gallery on Bird Avenue. According to their Facebook page, Bailey passed away last night.

From the page: "It is with sadness that we let our friends know that Bailey passed away last night. She lived an amazing, full life, and went peacefully at home, in her sleep. We know that she has touched the hearts of many of you. Paisley will be here in the gallery to provide puppy snuggles for all 😊"

Bailey was so sweet, she greeted everyone at the front door. She will be missed. Bailey was 13.

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That big blank box in the emails

We know there is a problem with our email that goes out at 4 pm every day.

There's a photo missing at the top and it's making a big blank box where our logo used to be.

We are working on it, please be patient. All of that day's stories are there, they are just below that big blank box. If you scroll down, you'll see the stories.


If you don't subscribe, but would like to receive the Grapevine every day in your email, you can do that here:

Subscribe to the Grapevine and receive it daily in your email.
  ==> Use this link.

Thank you.

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Yoga at The Kampong

Come to the Kampong on Saturday, January 12 for a morning of yoga and coffee. 

From 10:30 am to 11:45 am, rise and shine with yoga in the garden. This gentle morning vinyasa class with Sam Reynolds combines movement, relaxation, and meditation. Leave feeling refreshed and rejuvenated. Explore the Kampong gardens after or just relax on the lawn and connect with the community. All levels welcome.

Come early and enjoy complimentary coffee and tea from XOL Coffee and Tea Company. Coffee and lite bites will be available before and after class.

Fifty percent of ticket sales directly benefit the National Tropical Botanical Garden (NTBG), a not-for-profit dedicated to conservation.

Cost is $25 per person and $10 for Kampong Members. Pay by credit card in advance or cash on arrival. RSVP or pay by emailing sam@journeysforthesoul.com. For info: 305-442-7169.

The Kampong is located at 4013 Douglas Road.

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Wine lovers looking forward to Uncorked Wine Fest

The Uncorked Wine Festival is coming to Regatta Park this month. Enjoy over 100 wines from across the globe, bubbly bar, gourmet food trucks, live DJ, lawn games and more on Saturday, January 12 from 2 to 5 pm.

VIP admission ($70) is at 1 pm and includes an extra hour of tasting plus some special wines during that first hour from select wineries. General admission ($60) is at 2 pm and the event ends at 5 pm. Both tickets include unlimited wine tasting with food sold separately. 

Some of the popular wineries that will be present are Blake's Family Wines, Bass Note Sangria, Tropical Moscato, Riboli Family Wine Estates, Blue Nun, Napa Cellars and so many more.

Food trucks include Latin Fixins, The Lobsta Guy, Vibe 305, Monkeilicious and Pizza Zilla.

This event benefits Empowered Youth USA. 21 and over only (that includes babies and infants). No pets allowed. The event is rain or shine.

Uncorked Wine Festivals are the complete experience for wine lovers. These events bring together beautiful venues, music, gourmet food trucks and, of course, lots of wine. Whether you are an avid wine aficionado or someone who enjoys a glass from time to time, there’s something for every attendee to enjoy. 

Tickets may be purchased here

Regatta Park is at 2700 South Bayshore Drive.

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Sunday, January 06, 2019

Snow Miami Parade

Captain Kush
On January 19, 1977, it snowed in Miami. Remember? If not, or you weren't born yet, you can honor the event on Friday, January 18 by taking part in the inaugural Snow Miami Parade by marching down the streets of Coconut Grove, banging pots and pans and chanting to the Snow Gods to let it snow again!

Dress in your festive snow attire, you know, sweaters, jackets, gloves, goggles, or anything you would like to part with and donate to the Miami Rescue Mission to help keep our homeless population warm through the winter. 

Best dressed will win a prize basket.

Please arrive at Vicky's House, the shake shop at 3190 Commodore Plaza by 6:00 pm to enjoy a free Hot Chocolate and a free Stone Xocoveza Imperial Stout before the march.

At 6:30 pm journey begins alongside Kaptain Kush 305, Miami's first and only superhero, banging the pots and pans.

The parade will arrive at Spillover at the Mayfair and we you'll enjoy a free sneak preview of the bar bites menu that will soon be launching at La Cocina in Hialeah. Plus, more free beer!

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Snail Social comes to Books & Books

Books & Books in the Grove is going Slow Foodie-style with Snail Social on Tuesday January 8. Stop by from 6 to 8 pm and enjoy an evening with one of Miami's leaders in the farm-to-table movement, Chef Allen Susser.

Snail Socials are happy hours that roam from place to place, hosted at various locations on the second Tuesday of every month. The support chefs and businesses that support the slow food movement. Slow food is food that is good, clean and fair to all. It protects natural resources and it's local and seasonal. Slow food is part of a global, grassroots movement with thousands of members in over 150 countries, which links the pleasure of food with a commitment to community and the environment.

Snail Social attendees will enjoy a complimentary glass of wine and tasting of the cafe menu featuring fresh, local ingredients.

Suggested minimum donation is $15 per person (that's about the cost of a glass of wine). Your donation will directly impact local farm operations in times of agricultural need to grow slow food.

CAFÉ TASTING MENU
Meze board
Barcelona board
Mini tartines
One complimentary glass of organic or bio dynamic wine

Enjoy Happy Hour pricing on all wines. Snail Social guests that stay for dinner will receive 20% off the menu.

Books & Books is located at 3409 Main Highway.

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