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Thursday, January 02, 2014

Adding to the Coconut Grove Gallery Walk

The first Saturday night Gallery Walk of the new year is January 4, 2014. While our galleries seem to be dwindling, the ones here really have some excellent art.

I know it's been tried before, but perhaps a few other businesses, you know, stores and restaurants, can partake of gallery walk by showing local art on each Saturday. Many places that don't have galleries operate their gallery walks this way, I did a story a few years ago about Punta Gorda, which has various stores and businesses as part of their gallery walk and they have painted sandals on the sidewalks to indicate the locations, which are permanent throughout the month.

We tried that once time with chalk. The galleries were marked temporarily this way.

Speaking of chalk, I know its been tried but really never done in a big format. I'm talking about the Chalk Festival. They have the yearly event in Lake Worth (photos here), which is in February. A closed Commodore Plaza would be perfect for this event.

I think it's time we start bringing art back to Coconut Grove in a big way. If you would like to be part of the Gallery Walk, let's see if we can make it happen. Contact me and I'll put you in touch with one of the artists or galleries who can help make it happen.

For linking to this one story, just click on the time it was posted & just this story will open for sharing - only through social media. Not copying and pasting.


Anonymous Lilia Garcia said...

Tom, we are in the process of putting together a list of artists who want to participate by exhibiting or painting on site at different venues in the Grove. restaurants are especially open to this idea. We are also looking for designers and others who also want to exhibit their work or participate in a fashion show. Thanks for helping us keep the arts in Coconut Grove. I'll work with you in placing our talented artists who are responsible, do family friendly art, and are willing to give this a try.

January 02, 2014 4:09 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello Tom,

Sorry to say but I am an anonymous coward, won’t be displaying my name, please forgive.

Anyway, I love your blog! Secondly this is a great idea, but might I make a small suggestion. Miami already has Wynwood and Design District and their art walk is pretty hard to compete with. The Grove is unique and I think it would behoove use to do things that captures that uniqueness.

Has the Grove Village Council ever thought about trying to get up and coming clothing designers to move into the grove? I don't think anywhere in Miami is doing anything like that. We have quite a bit of store front space sitting empty around the Grove. Maybe a deal could be worked out? They would need to be selective and make sure the people being invited in are truly talented and have a promising business model, but something like that could really put the Grove apart from other neighborhoods. Instead of having an art walk, could have a "boutique" walk so to speak. Where maybe clothing designers have one off items on sale during those nights.

Just a thought (and no I am not a clothing designer).

January 02, 2014 4:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

what the grove needs is its nightlife was famous for that and never will be the same till its like that again.simple as that.its the reason i moved here years ago.

January 02, 2014 5:45 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 5:45pm

Not to take the piss, but isn't the Grove more family oriented now, more than ever? I don't think anyone is clamoring for a return of the club hopping, drunken rivalry that was the Grove circa 1990s. I have heard stories of drunk university students throwing up on home owner's lawns, and urinating all over the place. How does that famous saying go, "ain't nobody got time for that"! The Grove needs to retain its historical feel while finding a new way forward. I think we haven't found that right mix yet, but with the right group in charge, things could turn around for the better.

I think instead of 50 million restaurants, Pilates shops and gyms, it would be nice to see something akin to what we have back up north (NYC); in terms of a true neighborhood. For example, we don't have a quality butcher. How about a very upscale fish market, very upscale bakery, fruit stand etc. The things that make a neighborhood useful are business that offer the residents the things they need and want. If this is supposed to be a village, well I shouldn't have to leave the Grove for much of anything. I should be able to obtain it all right here. Will that make the nightlife the talk of the town, well no; but as a family man, I am not really interested in seeing that happen.

Another example, Miami is generally big box stores, why not cater to home grown, mom and pop shops in center grove; and again, I am talking useful stores, stores that would negate the need for me to hop in my car and go to another area to obtain what I need. Why not a neighborhood supermarket like the one they have over in Edgewater, on I think 2nd avenue, I believe the name is Price Choice. What about some really cool upscale bodegas in the Grove; that stay open really late. Those, in my opinion are the things we are missing. The Grove has a sizable population, and you would get far more foot traffic from residence if we had a true village/community with appropriate businesses. Not to mention the condo units that will be coming on line soon, as well as the old homes they are tearing down and throwing up these two family Townhomes in their place. That is more population, more people with money in their pocket, which could be going to Grove businesses, IF the businesses were more than luxury item type of services.

I haven’t seen one neighborhood in Miami really capture the feel of a true walkable neighborhood yet. At least not like the ones you find in NYC, Philly, Chicago, and DC etc. We could be one of the first.

January 03, 2014 8:18 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Nah we need are nightlife back trust me or the grove will continue to suffer even more in 2014 more empty store fronts and more crime.little by little i see the grove becoming a crime infested little part of miami nobody will even want to hear abot and property values falling.mark my words without the nightlife the grove will fail badly

January 03, 2014 9:38 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Wonderful idea about a village supplying the needs of its residents! Now what can you do about getting the landlords to reduce to the rents to a more realistic 2013 amount? They're still charging boom-time rates and DO NOT CARE if a business is successful...they'll just rent it out to the next tenant brave enough to try to make a living here. What do you have to do to get rent controls?

January 06, 2014 9:29 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

@Anonymous 9:29

ALL of Miami is overpriced right now. The problem isn't necessarily because land lords are greedy in many cases. It is because these people paid boom time prices for their buildings and now have to cover that mortgage. You see the same issue with trying to buy a home in South Florida. I hate to break it to people, but they are not going to get 300,000 bucks for a tiny two bedroom home or condo for that matter, not happening any more. That was made possible because of funny loans that allowed people with lower incomes to afford absurd prices. Now that that is gone, prices need to come back down to historical income to home price rations, which is two to three time’s annual income. Example you’re making 50,000 per annum, then you can afford a home that’s 100,000 to 150,000. That’s just the way it is. BUT home owners who bought during boom times can't really afford to offer homes at historical income to home price ratios, because they are upside down. They can either rent out, or stay in their places and pay the mortgage down until they owe enough to sell it at reasonable prices, short sale or God forbid, go into foreclosure. All this "the RE market is back" psychobabble we read in the paper is just that, babble.

My point in all that is, we are still in a market correction and it’s going to take a LONG time for things to get back to normal. But, once it does, then hopefully we can find a way to persuade building owners and would be entrepreneurs to open useful businesses. And no, a ton of clubs is not useful, I’m sorry. People have South Beach, Downtown Miami and Wynwood and now S. Miami. Let’s be realistic, we cannot compete with those guys and we do not need to, that is bad business. Good business is filling a need. We have tons of people living in and around center Grove who can walk to there in minutes. You provide residents with services and goods that they normally have to leave to get, and it is comparable or higher quality and I assure you, the stores will be flush with money and the streets will be packed. Now, it doesn’t sound as cool to tell your friends you own a fresh food sea food market or a gourmet butcher as opposed to a trendy restaurant but it will put money in your pocket once you get over the ego trip that many Floridian’s seem to be plagued with.

January 06, 2014 10:02 AM  

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