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Tuesday, March 26, 2019

Zanmi Beni Spring Fair at Ransom Middle School

The 2019 Zanmi Beni Spring Fair is coming to Ransom Middle School on Sunday, April 14.

The fair is the biggest fundraiser of the year for the Friends of Zanmi Beni, a Miami-based organization whose mission is to support Zanmi Beni, a residential home for children outside of Port-au-Prince, Haiti. The home was founded following the 2010 earthquake that destroyed much of Haiti's capital city. Zanmi Beni is now home to over 60 children who were orphaned or displaced following the earthquake, including several children with disabilities who had been living in the city's General Hospital prior to the quake.


Zanmi Beni is not an orphanage, it is these children's home. Forever. They will never "age out." The mission of the Friends of Zanmi Beni is to support the day-to-day operations of the home and to provide the children with access to quality health care, education, and opportunities for growth in a loving, stable environment.

The event is from noon to 4 pm at Ransom Middle School, and will feature classic carnival games and prizes, face painting, slime making, delicious carnival treats, an exciting auction, and much more.

Pre-sale tickets, through April 12 are $30 per person, which includes lunch and 10 tickets per child. An all-inclusive band for rides is $95 per child which includes lunch, carnival booths and activities. Tickets are the door are $40 per person and $105 per child respectively. Tickets may be purchased at friendsofzb.org.

Ransom is located at 2045 S. Bayshore Drive.

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Another beautiful mural added to the Grove

Coconut Groove, founded by Dan Travieso, hosted a Daybreaker event at The Barnacle on Saturday where there was a yoga class to help celebrate International Women's Day. This was followed by a dance party and then later in the afternoon, some of the people went over to Dan's house in the South Grove for a mural painting party.

"We're trying our best to inject some flavor and buzz back into our historically artistic neighborhood and create some more community friendly gatherings!" said Dan. 
The artist responsible for the design is Mike Halley. Mike stenciled in the designs and friends and family painted it. The youngest painter was two-years-old and the oldest was 94!



That's Dan painting the detail work.

The finished product.

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Monday, March 25, 2019

New Tigertail + Mary restaurant to open in May

James Beard Award-winning chef-restaurateur Michael Schwartz announced his newest restaurant, Tigertail + Mary, will open in May at 3321 Mary Street at Tigertail Avenue. He calls is "a lush neighborhood retreat for fresh, vegetable-forward American cooking."

Harry’s Pizzeria’s on McFarlane Road is another successful restaurant created by Schwartz.

“Coconut Grove feels good I think because it doesn’t try too hard to be something. It is consistently, 100 percent itself, full of good energy and honesty. Food should be this way, too,” explains Schwartz. “We’ve always embraced this notion as a restaurant group, and as we’ve grown, it has become an extremely important lens that defines our Genuine approach in each new space we inhabit. For us it’s about food that is unhindered in its sincerity to the ingredient and the way we want guests to feel welcome when they join us.  Being in the Grove in many ways reminds us of what we aspire to be, and creating this restaurant and the dining experience has been an affirmation of our commitment to know ourselves better and be who we are. We’re having fun making good food and making a place our neighbors can feel good calling home.”

Tigertail + Mary’s offers seating for 120, including bar, main dining room, private dining room and outdoor patio. The front lawn opens up to neighborhood streets and homes.  Textured fabrics and natural materials in the design develop the relaxed feeling of the outside environment in the dining room, and the open kitchen with hearth and charcoal grill conjures a welcoming feeling.

The restaurant opens in mid-May and will offer breakfast bakery items from its walk-up café with seating at tables in the park, lunch, dinner and brunch.

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Bingo is Thursday at the Woman's Club

Bingo is back at the Woman's Club of Coconut Grove on Thursday, March 28. They are celebrating the giving ladies of the club, the "Giving Tree Members."

Bring your family and friends, doors open at 6:30, Bingo begins at 7 pm. 

Admission is $5 for adults and free for children under 12. There is a $1 per card with minimum of five games.

Enjoy the cash bar and free snacks. Gift Certificates are part of the prices. The last game will be $1000 cash prize with full Bingo card of 46 numbers called.

All proceeds benefit the club.

Parking is available at St. Stephen's for a flat rate of $3.

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

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Freebees, trolleys and Ubers

I read this interesting article in the NY Times called "Owning a Car Will Soon Be As Quaint as Owning a Horse," about cars not being part of our future, or not being part of our possessions in the future. I've toyed with the idea, I'd like to use Freebee, the trolleys and Uber more often. 

For many years I leased my car and every three years I would have to turn it in, which I know would delight most people, you know, turning in your car and getting a new one, but I didn't like that. I would get attached to the car and not want to turn it in. I'm the same with electronics, I like my TVs and cell phones and other things, I'm not one of those people waiting in long lines to get the newest item. I get attached to mine and I guess that's why I don't like changes around the village - the new buildings and things like that, but that's another story. Back to the cars.

My last car, I purchased, and decided that I would keep it until I ran it into the ground. But since I don't put much mileage on it and service it at proper intervals, it's like new. Which is a good thing. I only put about 4500 miles a year on the car. About 20 years ago, I put maybe 100 or so miles a day on the car, that's over 36,000 miles a year - now I do that 36,000 miles in 8 years.

I have been using Freebee more often. The way parking is around the village, it seems like Freebee is the most sensible thing to do. I'm in NYC often and I take the subway there 99% of the time, I love Hoboken, NJ, which is one train stop away from Manhattan. When I go to Long Island I'll take the Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) or my cousins drive, when I go from NY to Connecticut I take AmTrak and when I spread out through New England from Boston, I take commuter rail, so I don't drive as much as I used to. When I am in Mahnahttan, I'll walk as much as 10 miles a day. I stop in between, but in a 10 hour day, according to my meter on the iphone, I'll do as much as 10 miles by foot in between the subways and ubers.

I like the concept of no car. My friends ride bikes, they do lots of long distance riding, I should get into that, but I don't. I get into Freebee and Uber instead.

I remember when digital cameras came out, I couldn't understand how we would use cameras and not have film as a backup. The same with the house phone, it took me years to finally get rid of my house phone, for 10 years, my house phone was forwarded to my cell phone, but yet, I could not in my head get rid of the house phone. Now my thing is cable tv, I want to cut the cable, but am slow at that.

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Sunday, March 24, 2019

New traffic circle is open

The new traffic circle at McDonald Street and Day Avenue is open. According to the City of Miami Capital Improvements Dept, "Finishing touches are being made to the area."

Photo by Capital Improvements

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It's Fleet Week at the Coconut Grove Rotary Club

Capt. Janik
Navy Captain Scott Janik, Commodore of Training Air Wing 6, will speak about the Navy the Nation Needs at the March 28 Rotary Club of Coconut Grove meeting. Captain Janik will include historical perspective, an overview of the service, areas of conflict where the Navy is currently engaged and the impact of the Navy on the Miami area. 

A native of Corvallis, Oregon, Captain Scott Janik was commissioned in 1995 via the Naval Reserve Officers Training Corps (ROTC) program at Villanova University and was designated a Naval Flight Officer in August 1996. He assumed command as Commodore Training Air Wing Six in July 2018.

Captain Janik has logged more than 3,000 hours and over 500 arrested landings in tactical aircraft while flying more than 120 combat missions. His decorations include the Defense Meritorious Service Medal, Meritorious Service Medals, strike flight Air Medals, Navy Commendation Medals as well as other individual, campaign and unit awards. 

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.

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Saturday, March 23, 2019

The walking bag


This video has been all over the internet this week, but I don't think anyone mentions that it's right here in the center of Coconut Grove. Singer Katy Perry even shared it with her 104 million Twitter followers.

But I guess the question is, "Is this a bag or a ghost walking across the street?"

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Keeping Seaworthy Program alive

High school and middle school students with disabilities from five Greater Miami schools will be finishing up a 26-week water orientation program at Shake-a-Leg Miami at the end of May. The program, known as “Seaworthy,” involves students from Homestead Middle School, Felix Varela High School and Jorge Mas Canosa Middle School, My Own Teacher Academy, and Project Bridge. 

Seaworthy students learn kayaking, sailing, fitness, wellness and marine/environmental science to make improvements in their levels of fitness, knowledge, water safety and boating, social skills, self-sufficiency and self-confidence. The students attend the program one day a week for 26 sessions from October through May. Although the program was funded over the last 26 weeks by the Taft Foundation, funding for the coming October 2019 – May 2020 period has not yet been achieved.    

Any person or organization wishing to contribute to the coming year’s Seaworthy Program may do so by contacting Harry Horgan, Executive Director, at Shake A Leg Miami at harryh@shakealegmiami.org or by shakealegmiami.org.

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Friday, March 22, 2019

Free concert in Regatta Park

The U.S. Navy Band Southeast will play a free sunset concert at Regatta Park on Wednesday, March 27. The event is open to the public. The family-friendly concert is part of a full lineup of Miami Navy Week special events throughout the community and will feature performances that residents of all ages can enjoy: 
Phenomenal live music from the nationally-renowned U.S. Navy Band
A U.S. Navy Drill Team performance
Interactive informational displays showcasing the U.S. Navy’s broad mission
And a thrilling drop-in aerial jump by the U.S. Navy Leap Frogs parachute team

The event starts at 6:30 pm 

Regatta Park is at 27 Avenue and S. Bayshore Drive. 



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I'm missing our street artists

You know what? I'm missing Xenz and James Brazil. They were working on that mural at Grand and Matilda for so long that they themselves were part of the scenery and the community. They stopped and cheerfully talked with everyone, they were proud of their work and happy to talk about it.

They are supposed to come back and work on another project here in the Grove, but that section of town is a bit quiet now. I really liked them.

They sort of reminded me of the time Eileen Seitz, below, was painting the info booths around town. There was always someone around visiting with her as she worked, it added a bit of liveliness to the streets.

There has been talk of adding artists to the streets, you know, on a daily basis, painting and mingling with everyone who walks by. This has been talked about for so many years, but it will add a lot of enjoyment and life to the streets, you know, one or two a few days a week - local color. Literally.


Related stories
Elegant, refined murals are a new part of the Grove
The new mural is ready for its premier
The mural light show premiered Monday night
All the color is brightening up that dark corner

Dressing up the information booth

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Thursday, March 21, 2019

Next Chamber networker is at Atchana's

The Chamber of Commerce is holding its next networker at Atchana's Homegrown Thai restaurant on Wednesday, March 27.

The event is from 5:30 to 7:30 pm

General admission is $10 and members price is $10. Members price applies to members of the Chamber and includes a complimentary drink ticket, hors d'oeuvres and happy hour prices.

Bring your business cards and enjoy!

Atchana's is at 3194 Commodore Plaza.

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Jennings & Keller to perform at The Barnacle

As we were walking through the Mad Hatter Arts Festival last weekend, a friend said, "That sounds like Joni Mitchell singing." It wasn't Joni of course, it was modern day troubadours Jennings & Keller who were on the stage. We walked over to meet them when they took a break and were excited to see that they will be back at The Barnacle for an evening of live entertainment on Saturday, April 13, as part of the Barnacle Moonlight Concert Series.

“Songwriter’s songwriter,” Dana Keller, is a veteran pedal steel, dobro, and guitar player who has spent years performing with such luminaries as Vince Gill, Ricky Skaggs, Stevie Wonder, and The Allen Brothers, to name a few. Laurie Jennings Oudin has performed for many years on the stage as a professional singer and a former Shakespearean actress. Together, the duo has released four CDs and has received accolades and airplay from radio stations from coast to coast. They have traveled the country in their motor home, bringing their fusion of many different musical elements and eclectic style to audiences at festivals, cafes, wineries and house concerts. Along with developing a large and loyal fan base, they have earned a reputation for quality musicianship and expert storytelling.

Park in the neighborhood and use the Freebee shuttle service or stroll over to the pedestrian entrance. 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. Please leave pets at home, but feel free to bring low lawn chairs and rolling coolers. Arrive early to choose the best spot to spread out a picnic blanket on the spacious front lawn and enjoy your own treats and beverages.

Purchase tickets at the gate beginning at 6 pm on and enjoy a performance from 7 to 9 pm. 

The Barnacle is located at 3485 Main Highway.

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Wednesday, March 20, 2019

Daybreaker celebrates International Women's Day

Coconut Groove, founded by Dan Travieso, will be hosting another Daybreaker at the Barnacle on Saturday, March 23.  From 10 to 11 am there will be a yoga class taught by local Grovite Virginia Ansaldi.  Come out and celebrate International Women's Day!

Women's Day began in 2011. Over one million people stood up to support equality. This month, cities around the globe, we’ll dance together as a female founded and female dominant community.

Then as always, there will be a dance party until 1 pm. Tickets start at $17, get them here. Wear something that nods to the future — intergalactic gear, metallic leggings, robo hats…

The Barnacle is at 3485 Main Highway.


As a special treat to Coconut Grove neighbors, Dan would like to extend an invitation to continue the dance party after the Barnacle and participate in a live mural painting at his and his wife's new home (the old Dharma House) at 3860 Crawford Avenue.

"We're trying our best to inject some flavor and buzz back into our historically artistic neighborhood and create some more community friendly gatherings!" says Dan. 

Mural painting will commence at 3 pm. The artist responsible for the design is Mike Halley. Mike is going to stencil it out so everyone can paint it out.

"Coconut Groove is an outlet for musical artists to create high energy moments in an intimate setting," says Dan. "We look to partner up with musical artists that play for the evolved ear.  New and fresh sounds that keep you moving and vibrating at a high frequency."




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Join the Artisan Experience at Books & Books

Chocolate courtesy of Cao Chocolate
The Café at Books & Books in Coconut Grove is partnering with select, local artisans to present a free series of talks and tastings featuring locally-produced and sustainable food and drinks called the Artisan Experience. Join the artisans themselves, learn about the philosophy behind what they are making, and sample the foods, wines, craft beers and chocolate deliciousness that is being produced. 

The talks will be Tuesday, March 26 – Friday, March 29. 

The talks will include places like Cao Chocolate, where they will have a tasting where you can learn more about the process of hand-crafted chocolates made in Venezuela from owners Ricardo Trillos and Anelith Ortega who started their Miami company in 2009. The Florida Wine Company offers an experience of wines made form grapes and other fruit grown in Florida. Zak the Baker will discuss the philosophy of bread and pastry making. And there are so many others - flower arranging, coffee tasting, tea tasting, and more.

The whole list is at Books & Books website, where you can sign up for each event separately. They are all free and open to the public.

Books & Books is located at 3409 Main Highway.

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Tuesday, March 19, 2019

Local biologist to address Rotary Club

Christine Pardo
Christine Pardo, a UM doctoral candidate, will be the speaker at the March 21 meeting of the Coconut Grove Rotary.  She has extensive research experience in Alaska, Peru and at the Harvard Forest In Massachusetts, and will be speaking about invasive plants in tropical forests. She is currently studying this phenomenon at the Las Cruces Biological Station and Wilson Botanical Garden in Costa Rica.

Pardo is the recipient of numerous awards including the prestigious Ecological Society of America’s Graduate Student Policy Award that gave her the opportunity to interact with congressional decision-makers, federal agency officials and others engaged in science and public policy.

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.

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Monday, March 18, 2019

The mural light show premiered Monday night



A few lucky Grovites who came out at sunset on Monday night were treated to the new mural at Grand and Matilda come alive. It was lit up and the electronic show did its thing. The lights react to your emotions and heartbeat. This project was funded by the Coconut Grove BID.


It was a test run and still needs to be tweeked, but those present loved the show.
Monty Trainer, who was there said, "It's beautiful. Perfect for the Grove, but we don't want to turn into Wynwood." Commissioner Ken Russell who was also present felt the same, "No, we don't want to overdo it and turn the Grove into Wynwood." AnnaMaria Windisch-Hunt called it, "The future of murals."


James Brazil, one of the artists, did an incredible Grove-like piece of work. It fits in with the Grove. It says Coconut Grove. As you remember, I interviewed the other artist, Xenz, who was concerned that he was all sweaty and messy in that video. My friend Liz Gibson walked up to him on Monday night and asked, "Aren't you the sweaty guy?" Xenz laughed and said, "Yes, that's me!"


It was a fun evening. Stop by any night after sunset to see the show.

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There is no confusion regarding the Playhouse

LETTER TO THE EDITOR

In response to the recent Letter to the Editor by Arquitectonica Principal, Laurinda Spear, that seeks to “clarify” the confusion surrounding the Coconut Grove Playhouse —

There is NO CONFUSION, despite the vast efforts of Arquitectonica, (alleged) preservation architect Jorge Hernandez, and Michael Spring to create as much confusion as possible, so they can demolish our historic Playhouse in broad daylight.

There is NO CONFUSION about the 2004 voter mandate to use our tax dollars for complete restoration of our Playhouse.

There is NO CONFUSION about the intent of the 2005 Historic & Environmental Preservation Board’s 8-0 vote to include our ENTIRE Playhouse on the designation report.


There is NO CONFUSION about the unanimous vote by the State Historic Review Board to nominate our entire Playhouse, including the interior, for the National Register of Historic Places.

There is NO CONFUSION about the recent assertion by the State that, “the significant architectural elements within the historic theater are intact and in very good condition, underneath removable layers of plywood, drywall and plaster that were installed during multiple renovations over the years” — hence the unanimous vote.

There is NO CONFUSION about the precise guidelines for complete restoration that are specifically outlined by the National Park Service for the restoration of buildings that are on the National Register, such as our Coconut Grove Playhouse.

There is NO CONFUSION about our Playhouse being a single building and NOT two buildings, as misrepresented by Arquitectonica, (alleged) preservation architect Jorge Hernandez and Michael Spring.

There is NO CONFUSION about the HEP Board’s recent 6-4 vote against demolishing our historic Playhouse.

There is NO CONFUSION about the motivation for Arquitectonica’s minimized 300-seat theater “room” designed for the property of our demolished historic 1000+ seat theater — 

To meet the Playhouse deed requirement that a theater exist on the property
To leave plenty of room on the site for a brand new, multiple phase, multistory, mixed-use mega office, retail, condo, parking garage and FIU satellite campus project, known as CocoWalk 2.0.

There is NO CONFUSION about the inappropriateness of FIU’s new bilingual MFA satellite campus on our demolished historic Playhouse site — the gateway to Miami’s first black community.

There is NO CONFUSION about the State being the responsible entity obligated to take over our Playhouse due to the County’s gross violations of their lease agreement with the State. The State will not auction off to a developer, our precious historic cultural resource that they themselves so arduously nominated for the National Register.

THERE IS NO CONFUSION. 

There is only fraud, negligence, wanton disregard, collusion, unjust enrichment, disenfranchisement and a severe lack of professional ethics, integrity, dignity and respect.

Sincerely, 
Melissa Meyer Assoc. AIA LEED AP BD+C
Adjunct Professor Miami Dade College 
School of Architecture and Interior Design

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The new mural is ready for it's premier




Xenz and his fellow artist James Brazil have been working on the mural at the cleaners building at the corner of Matilda and Grand. 

The light show will be in effect as of Monday night and the mural will be live.

Xenz explains the process in this video. He's a bit sweaty because he and his fellow artists have been working in the hot sun to get the job completed in time. The detail is magnificent, and it's all been done with spray cans!


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Sunday, March 17, 2019

It's a wild Mad Hatter weekend

The Mad Hatter is at The Barnacle this weekend, inside and outside on the sidewalk along the front gate, Sunday, March 17 is the final day, they are open from 10 am to 5 pm.  Come out to their 14th season for the juried art event, which features all sorts of media styles and plenty of neighbors. It's more than just an arts festival, it's also a vintage marketplace where the old Grove spirit, sort of like Gifford Lane, comes through. Buy art and vintage items and beer and food. That's the Mad Hatter played by Chaille Stovall and Alice in Wonderland played by Luci Moure, who you'll see wandering around the grounds all weekend.

Live music is a big part of the festival plus activities for kids of all ages, including a special “Tea Party” with fruity sips and sweets. Adult food is available — as well as ice-cold beer — found at Down the Rabbit Hole, the Festival’s biergarten sponsored by Oasis Lounge and Hookah Bar. We got delicious burgers from the Hookah Bar on Saturday.

I had a good time. I hung out with so many friends who I hadn't seen for awhile. One from Lake Worth, which is called Lake Worth Beach now, and another from Chicago and so many Grovites. It was lots of fun; one of those "real" Coconut Grove days. I got a doughnut from The Salty Donut, which was set up at Florentine Plaza and the whole Grove was very alive. We took Freebee around town, which worked out great. I looked after one friend's art booths for a bit, I didn't sell anything, but I was there and ready. She sold a lot before and after I came and went.

The Barnacle Historic State Park is located at 3485 Main Highway and as you make your way to the area, you'll see all sorts of fun and colorful art and people up and down the street leading up to the entrance.


Festival organizers Katrina Boler, The Barnacle Ranger and Teresa Sorrentino, flank Monty Trainer. Three Grove movers and shakers.


Liz Gibson is at the entrance, you can't miss her as you enter.
Two of the fun mad hats worn by participating artists. 


Eileen Seitz and Noel Garcia, with his grandchildren.
Will Thomas performed at the entrance to The Barnacle and Trish is right near him, with the best Mad Hat of the day.


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