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Monday, August 04, 2014

The Drum Circle incident

Seems that the old and the new had a clash on Saturday night when the Coconut Grove Drum Circle was asked to vacate the premises at the corner of Commodore Plaza and Grand Avenue. I received a couple of frantic phone calls from the ladies who run the circle and I pictured them screaming and yelling, being dragged off in handcuffs, but as I approached the circle a bit later, I could hear them drumming away. They were just a few feet from the area they were asked to vacate. Apparently the new owners of the building would like to change Grove protocol. 

Basically, new people are buying up the Grove, we all know that. For good or for bad, it's happening. The new people seem to be skittish. It's interesting to see how people who are buying the place have no knowledge of the community or history, they are treating the Grove as a portfolio investment and not a small village, a community where everyone knows everyone else, where people have grown up. The new owners are killing the charm without maybe realizing it.

In the above photo, you can see that the Drum Circle moved off of the steps in front of the salon door and were then in the parking area below that, where they drummed until about 11 pm.

The new owners of the salon building on the corner, felt that the drum circle being on their property was a liability, so they called PointeGroup Advisors , who manage the property and they called the police. The police then called the Block by Block company hired by the BID to do maintenance and security, they are the ones you see around town  in the bright green shirts. The drum circle was then asked to move to the sidewalk by someone from Block by Block. He was very apologetic. Keep in mind, the salon owners love the Drum Circle, it's the new owner of that block of buildings on the corner there who complained.

The new property owner does have a right to shoo away people from his property. No, he's not very neighborly, but he is within his rights. 

So the drum circle moved to the little brick parking area, which is where they usually meet anyway, but I spoke with Peter Gardner, head of the PointeGroup and he told me that even that area is part of the salon property, it's not public property, the sidewalk is. But they ended up doing their thing there all night with a massive crowd as they usually do.
Coconut Grove Drum Circle founder
Karen Deilke (left) with
Karina Firewalker
Peter told me that one of his long time friends from high school and now an employee of his, was across the street at Strada, the Italian restaurant, and he saw the whole thing, and there wasn't much of a fuss, as it was made out to be. They all love the drum circle says Peter. He said, "This is one of the things that makes the Grove unique, along with the Hare Krishnas out on Saturday nights. We love them."

I told Peter that everyone is afraid of the PointeGroup and they are being very mysterious, he wants to meet with me and show me their plans and he says I'll like them. He says that business owners who are fearful of them should not be, he says that he would be overjoyed at the plans if he was a business owner, or resident for that matter. But there are two sides to every story and many people just like things the way they are.

It appears that the Drum Circle may not be able to use that corner on Commodore and Grand anymore, but Peter offered them the Johnny Rockets corner, which is empty now and controlled by the PointeGroup and perhaps they can go across to the corner at the Engle Building or maybe even CocoWalk can take them in the area outside The Gap.

Peter's last words to me were, "We're trying to bring the Groove back to the Grove." We'll see, but it would be nice if he could reign in his clueless clients.

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Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

I hope the Drum Circle finds a good spot. ... I hope that Mr. Gardner is successful in bringing the groove back!

August 04, 2014 8:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Best intentions, yada yada. This is needed -away from cocowalk, as it keeps the end of the grove from seeming scary and desolate. I guess the owners who have probably never been out in front of that building on a weekend night, fail to realize that the drum circle keeps trouble away from that area. Without out, there will likely be hoodlums, addicts, and graffiti artists taking up residence around there. I hope they like the result of that better.

August 04, 2014 10:43 AM  
Anonymous Caffeine Clicks said...

On the corner of the former Johnny Rockets seems reasonable to me. Keep on trying to bring the Grove back to the Grove!

August 04, 2014 12:23 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

That is plain stupid. How could anyone boot such nice bunch of people? What are they going to replace the drum circle with, a skinheads rally?

August 04, 2014 1:54 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think outside of the Gap is much better location! More new people would see and find out about this lovely tradition. Cocowalk would be smart to invite them!

August 05, 2014 7:18 AM  
Blogger Tony Scornavacca Jr. said...

PRECISELY, Anonymous 1:54.

Well said.

August 05, 2014 8:12 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Exactly why the Grove needs to become an independent city. Just look at the Gables, although not perfect, they still enforce laws and
don't allow for this type of things.

August 05, 2014 10:24 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Drums have been used by humans & animals alike since recorded history, for communication and rituals and by armies to rally the troops going into battle. The vibrations literally pass through the body causing the brain to produce adrenaline throughout the body & science notes it's more effective than Viagra & other narcotics with no side effects. I say bring in a thousand drummers for a bar craw & pack the Grove so they can hear us on South Beach & ask our businesses if their profits didn't improve. And lets go for a TarJane night. Jobie Steppe

August 05, 2014 11:01 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jobie, first time in decades you made sense, let's bring in the drummers.

August 05, 2014 12:34 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's better to be talked about than not talked about at all, HELLO!

August 05, 2014 5:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

The corner property on Commodore is owned by Peter Gardner and is managed by Pointe Group, also owned by Peter Gardner and his family. He and affiliates also bought Moe's on Commodore and have a fixed price option to purchase the Florentine Plaza property.

August 05, 2014 8:31 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Have been offline and non-connected for a month or so now.(This had merit. More people should try it).

Just out of curiosity, who is Mr. Peter Gardner & his family? Do they have prior or long standing affiliation w/ Coconut Grove or South Florida. Are they the same group trying to peddle six blocks in West Grove the last several years?

Apart from trying to make money,do they have any social vision?

August 05, 2014 10:24 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I went to junior and senior high school in the Grove with Peter in the late 70's and early 80s. Decades later, I've had several opportunities to deal with him professionally. He is a good, man: bright, accomplished, principled, honest, inclusive, generous, thoughtful, family-oriented, and kind. He also has a solid vision for the Grove that, from what I have seen personally, is not only founded on sound business fundamentals but also contemplates creating social and economic equity for those who have been here for generations but perhaps have not yet been able to achieve the level of financial success or stability that they would otherwise want for themselves and their families. Peter is all Grove through and through and brings the perspective and the lifelong commitment of a local that one typically can only dream about in a developer. In my 35 years of paying attention to how the Grove has evolved from a built environment perspective (and, sadly, devolve from a natural environment perspective), I've seen - as I'm sure many, many of you have - plenty of developers come into the community to impose a vision, build, take, and move on. Peter's proven history is the complete opposite of that depressing model. He studies, proposes, listens, adjusts, builds, creates opportunity for others, and stays.

August 08, 2014 1:30 PM  
Blogger SaMm&TizZy said...

we are new to the grove, as we travel, me and my daughter would love to join the circle, if someone could let us know when and where the next meet will be we would love to grab our bongos and head over! thanks samm & tristin ;)

August 24, 2014 1:40 PM  

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