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Monday, November 11, 2019

The rules of the road

Explaining the rules of the road

Over the weekend I was on Main Highway driving north, waiting to turn onto McFarlane, I was in the turning lane and there was another lane of traffic next to me, going north onto Grand Avenue.

A cyclist starts banging on my car window. I opened the window and he starts yelling at me that I don't know the rules of the road! I asked him what he meant and he said I needed to leave him three feet. Now picture Main Highway, where would I have three feet to give him?

He was behind me so I may have been blocking him from the rear, but so was every car on Main Highway. We didn't cut him off in traffic or anything. When I told him I knew the rules of the road, he called me a "MF" and we all rode off when the light changed.

At the next light, which was at SW 27th Avenue and S. Bayshore, he proceeded to bang on my window again! I opened the window and he started yelling more choice words. And I think we had it out again at Aviation and S. Bayshore. I didn't use any bad language with him. And I didn't lose my temper. I was writing this article in my head at the time as it was happening.

I told him I write about cyclists often. I know so many cyclists and I think I know the rules of the road,  I promote bike paths, Bike Coconut Grove the Gran Fondo racesBike Day, Bike to Work Day, promoted the weekend riders, and that in a perfect world, there would be a separate bike path for him, but he wasn't having it. He called me some more choice words and rode off. He's lucky I'm not a nut who has road rage in a one ton vehicle against his flimsy bicycle. I wonder how many times he accosts drivers, banging on their windows, trying to teach them the rules of the road and one day a nut in a car is not going to take it so calmly. Wasn't a cyclist recently shot on the Rickenbacker Causeway by a driver?

We played this game until I reached my street and turned off. He and his friend were weaving in and out of the lanes of traffic, so maybe I didn't see him and that upset him, but I often wonder why cyclists don't feel the need to follow the rules of the road, but they insist that people in vehicles must. I think we all should follow the rules of the road.

He did pose for the photo without grabbing my phone, so I'll give him credit for that. In this instance he was in the center of traffic lanes on the drivers's side of my car. The first time he approached me on Main Highway, he was on the passenger side and at 27th Avenue he was also on the passenger side. According to his methods, he personally has no rules, he can ride anywhere he pleases, weaving in and out.

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Sunday, November 10, 2019

Do you know how much a parking ticket is?

A parking ticket is now $36 in the City of Miami and Coral Gables.

Why?

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Sweet Mercy Brewing; it's just what we need

Sweet Mercy Brewing Company is the new micro-brewery that took over The Grove Spot location at 3324 Virginia Street.

Commissioner Ken Russell had his recent victory party there the other night, that's maybe where you heard the name first. We told you about it in August.

Currently they are open from 4 to 11 pm. They are still in their soft opening stages and eventually will be open for lunch, too.

Owners, Bilai and Robert Silar started brewing beer at home, over six years ago,  Sweet Mercy is the name of their most popular beer, which was sold at local beer festivals including Grovetoberfest, and it won awards. Their first brewing was at The Grove Spot in 2014 for Sud Swap, so it's really special that their bricks and mortar location is at The Grove Spot! Their slogan is "Stay True to the Brew."


Bilai Silar and some happy customers

And while the brewery inside the Virginia Street location will not be producing for another six to eight months, the bar/cafe will be open with wine and spirits and about 24 taps of craft beer for sale. They have been producing their Sweet Mercy brew and have collaborated with others like Lincoln Beard Brewing Company, Mojo Hands Collab Beer, with starfruit and pineapple from Palacio De Los Jugos.

You'll recognize the place as being a lot part Grove Spot and some part Titanic Brewery, you know the restaurant/brewery on US1, near UM.


Sweet Mercy will eventually have the large barrel brewing system set up in back, where the stage is now and the beer will work its way through a system to the front bar taps. 

Live music, cafe food and the same atmosphere that you have known at The Grove Spot will remain.





The menu is new and so far it seems that the favorite is the Sweet Tacos of the Day ($12). There is also Smoked Brisket Melt (15), Market Fish Sandwich ($16), a Hot Chicken Sandwich ($16) and a SMB Burger which has brisket, chuck and short ribs, smoked bacon and so much more ($15).

Small plates include Mushroom wraps, kale salad, Greek salad, and BLT salad, all from $10 to $13.

There are also snacks and shares like Fried Brusssel Sprouts ($6), Shishito Peppers ($6) and so much more. Sweets include Cast Iron Cookies and White Chocolate Bread Pudding $7 each).



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Saturday, November 09, 2019

'Gratitude is a Must' Happy Hour

Chef Wally Rice
The Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce is throwing a Gratitude Happy Hour called “Gratitude is a Must," on Tuesday, November 26. The event starts at 6 pm.

Chef Wally Rice will be catering, there will be delicious food along with champagne and wine.

The menu:

STATIONERY HORS D’OEUVRES

GRILLED VEGETABLE DISPLAY
Grilled Portabella Mushrooms, Eggplant, Zucchini, Squash, Artichokes, Heri Cot Vert, Peppers, Asparagus and Marinated Olives, Served w/ Assorted Breads and Crackers

FRESH FRUIT & CHEESE DISPLAY
Assorted Cheeses from Around the World W/ Seasonal Fresh Berries, Grapes, Melons & Dates Served W/ Assorted Crackers & Rustic Breads

KALE & VEGETABLE DUMPLINGS
Sautéed Kale, Peppers, Carrots & Red Onions Wrapped in Won Ton,
Steamed & Served w/ Oil Free Pesto Sauce

MINI GRILLED CHEESE SANDWICHES
Three Cheese Crust less Grilled Texas Toast
W/ Basil Tomato Soup Shooter

PAD THAI w/PEANUTS
Rice Noodles, Red Cabbage, Bok Choy, Eggs, Scallions &
Chopped Peanuts Served in Small Chinese
Food Containers w/ Chop Stick

The event is at the rooftop at: 3059 Grand Avenue. This is the office space at CocoWalk above Chase Bank.

Cost is $19.50 per person. Get your tickets here

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Friday, November 08, 2019

Friends came out to celebrate Bobby Ingram

Friends came out to celebrate Bobby Ingram on Thursday. A memorial was held at Plymouth Church and then everyone congregated at The Sailing Club to remember him. Friends performed in his honor - so many local musicians played at The Sailing Club.

Bobby has been called "Coconut Grove’s legendary troubadour." The former U.S. Navy submariner began his musical career in the 1950’s and was, at one time, David Crosby’s partner in a folk duo. Bobby first arrived in Coconut Grove in 1962.

Bobby passed away in September.


It truly was a taste of the "old Grove." 

As a friend described it, It was "A bitter sweet evening, with many old friends and memories, bright moon light night, great band with familiar tunes and a gentle breeze with a familiar scent (now legal medical marijuana)."


Photos by Harry Gottlieb




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Those pesky Metrorail sound barriers

For quite awhile now, North Grove residents have been complaining about noise from Metrorail. It seems the sound barriers are missing because they were in danger of falling while being repaired, so the county removed them. Those are those big slabs you see against the tracks.

The original plan was to repair or replace the affected barriers but they started crumbling and that's the reason they were removed - for safety reasons. Obviously they worked because people are hearing the elevated sound now (elevated sound, get it?).

Anyway, the county decided to remove the barriers to prevent them from causing injury. New panels will be replaced near Vizcaya down to the Coral Gables area.

Most of the new design drawings were received by the county. Procurement begins this month, the actual work begins July 2020. There is no completion date set by the county yet.

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Thursday, November 07, 2019

Jim Tried

This is a little bit of funny graffiti after the election. It's near Kennedy Park. Someone has a good sense of humor.

Jim suggested cutting Coconut Grove out of District 2 after the census. Why not? I think the Grove would do great as it's own commission district with a commissioner dedicated to just us. I think it would be the closest thing to be our own city.

The commission needs to be odd, the count that is, not the commissioners, although I know a couple who fit the bill, so there would have to be three districts cut into District 2. And why not? In all the five districts would be seven districts.

Brickell and the Grove could be one, you know, from the river down south. Brickell is a hybrid sort of, in that it has Grove sensibilities, about parking trees, things like that, but they don't control development and in that respect, they sort of fit in with downtown. But I think the best cut would be to make Brickell and the Grove one district, then downtown and Midtown a second and then the Upper East Side, from north of the Omni area, would be the third.

I think everyone would get better representation because one person would be focused on their needs.

In the past downtown and Midtown sort of didn't count because no one really lived there, now that the residential area has swelled, they have more population and their needs are quite different than the Grove's needs.

Just a thought.

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Wednesday, November 06, 2019

City embracing cyclists/scooters with new bike lanes

Steven Williamson, Director of the Capital Improvements Department for the City of Miami  cut the ribbon for the new green bike/scooter lanes on Monday afternoon along with District Commissioner Ken Russell and members of the public who attended the event.

The funds for this were generated by scooter rides, over one million rides in six months! So it's a scooter-funded bike lane! Atlantic Pavers is the company doing the job.

Those present heard about the roadway improvements, bike/scooter lanes and street beautification project at the corner of Bird Avenue and Alamanda Street. Above Williamson addresses those present.


Proud scooters were lined up and present for the ceremony, too.


There are those who question whether this expenditure was important and wonder whether cyclists and scooter riders will use the lanes. Time will tell, but these guys are already were making good use of the new lanes.  A guy on a scooter and avid cyclist Harry Gottlieb.


Photos by Harry Gottlieb

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Tuesday, November 05, 2019

Ken Russell wins 2nd term as District Commissioner

The election results are in for District 2 Commissioner. Ken Russell won a second term with almost 60% of the vote.

As for Distrct 1, the other Miami district having elections today, Alex Diaz de la Portilla won with 39% of the vote.


It's sad to see that so many people don't vote. The totals are minuscule.


Here are the results.



Sweet Mercy Brewing Company, the former Grove Spot, was the location for Ken's victory party Tuesday night.

Ken, celebrates with his family.

"These next four years will be filled with promise, comprised of a resident-driven agenda and focused on moving our city forward. I have a lot to learn and but plan on addressing these areas head on. Now, we can finish what we started," said Ken.

Lots of politicians take part, including Mayor Suarez and County Commissioner Daniella La Cava.



Harry Gottlieb with friend Monica.

Photos by Harry Gottlieb

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Family Salute Fun Day in Regatta Park

Monday is Veteran's Day and on that day, November 11, there is a Military and First Responders Family Salute event in Regatta Park.

It's a family day, free for everyone. There are amusement rides, a big truck experience, an obsticle course, live music and a fun day in the park.

It's from 2 to 6 pm.

Regatta Park is at 3500 Pan American Drive.

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ERIC performing at Berries on Saturday

Epic Righteous Invincible Combo (aka ERIC) will be performing at Berries on, Saturday, November 9 from 7-11 pm.

ERIC features three-time Grammy Award winner Robert “Bobby T.” Thomas, Jr., (Weather Report; Joe Zawinul) on drums, South Florida jazz legend Robert "BeBob" Grabowski on upright bass, former RCA recording artist and South Florida jazz guitarist Fred Hsai on lead guitar, and South Florida singer-songwriter Eric Wagner on vocals and rhythm guitar. 

ERIC is known for its musically dynamic and compelling live show, featuring danceable original tunes with clever lyrics and musical twists, played in a folk jazz rock jam improv style by virtuosic musicians. And just so you know, the Miami New Times ranks Bobby T. #2 among South Florida's Top Ten Jazz Musicians; BeBob is #3.

Register here, it's free.

Berries is at 2844 SW 27 Avenue.


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Monday, November 04, 2019

DeBlois is performing live at The Barnacle

Miami-born singer/songwriter, DeBlois Milledge is back at the Barnacle for a live concert on Saturday, November 9.

While growing up, DeBlois was inspired by songs steeped in the folk and blues traditions of the American South by female vocalists like Bonnie Raitt, the Indigo Girls, and Emmylou Harris. She recorded four solo EPs—Palmetto and Pine, Nobody Out, Leviathan and Velveteen—during her time in South Florida.

After living in Costa Rica for five years, DeBlois moved to Southern California and recorded four more LPs with her San Diego-based band, the Boundary Birds: While You’re Waiting, Night Painting, Gems, and The Boundary Birds. 

On Saturday, she will draw from her original material and also play popular family favorites. 

The concert is from 7 to 9 pm. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for members of The Barnacle Society, $3 for children ages 6 to 9, and free for children under 6. 

Bring folding chairs and a rolling cooler and arrive early to choose the best spot for a picnic with friends. 
Purchase tickets at the gate beginning at 6:30 pm.

The Barnacle is at 3485 Main Highway.

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Special after dark art-making at Vizcaya

Vizcaya is holding it "After Late" event, Wednesday, November 6 at 6 pm. The opportunity to explore the Vizcaya estate under cover of night comes only a handful of times each year during Vizcaya Late. Get artsy during this special art-making edition.

Explore the art form of block printing, an Eastern tradition typically done on fabric. Guests can make their own creations inspired by the intricate patterns of Vizcaya using paper, blocks, ink and the guiding hand of artist Philippa Langrish.

Guests are also welcome to explore the estate freely take a tour of art commissioned for the estate over 100 years ago, enjoy the cool evening breeze in the waterfront gardens along with live music by Va' Cabral and Ian Mann, and purchase light bites and drinks from the Cafe and Shop.

Tickets are $10 per person here.

Got questions about this program? Email: learning.programs@vizcaya.org.


Vizcaya is at 3251 S. Miami Ave.

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Sunday, November 03, 2019

Florida Health Justice Project Fundraiser

The Florida Health Justice Project is the beneficiary of an event at Miriam and Debbie's Home on Sunday, November 17.

They're describing it as food, fun, silent auction all for a good cause - access to affordable healthcare for all Floridians.

Join friends and neighbors for a casual get-together in support of the Florida Health Justice Project. Florida Health Justice Project recognizes that access to quality and affordable health care is a human right and engages in comprehensive advocacy to expand healthcare access and promote health equity for vulnerable Floridians.

* Complimentary Wine + Beer
* Lemonade for the kids
* Light Bites
* Silent Auction
* Raffle
* Daiquiris $5

4 to 6 pm at 3793 Irvington Avenue

Limited free parking on Irvington Avenue Cul-de-sac Park.

Tickets are $30 each, they may be purchased here online or at the door the day of the event. 

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Saturday, November 02, 2019

How green was my bike lane?

You may have noticed the bike lanes are being painted green around the Grove. The funds for this were generated by scooter rides, over one million rides in six months! So it's a scooter-funded bike lane! Atlantic Pavers is the company doing the job.

Someone asked me about the bike lanes and suggested the city should spend money on potholes instead. Perhaps they should do both. Potholes are a major issue these days. I assume they are caused by construction workers and machinery, since we don't have freezing snow and ice, which are the cause of the potholes up north most of the time.


I spent over $2500 just a few years ago due to one pothole which ruined my car. I should have called the insurance company at the time, but didn't think of it, so that came out of my pocket. I can't tell you how many close calls I've had since then.

I do report the potholes on the 311 app, but I've noticed it takes about three complaints to get it done, and if you add that up to other people probably reporting the same potholes, then it seems the city really needs to be nagged when it comes to filling them.




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