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Sunday, May 24, 2015

Quiet weekend mornings

The Center Grove, 7:15 am today.
I went out extra early this morning, Sunday; I had a meeting at 8 am, but at 7 am, I went to CocoWalk to meet up with a bunch of bikers who meet there and then take off for their long rides. I visit with them sometimes before they leave for the day. We talk politics, news, personal stuff, whatever. It's quiet in town, yet there are people around that early. Every once in a while, large groups of bikers pass by on Main Highway, going up or down McFarlane Road. Many bikers, hardly any cars at that hour.

As I was standing on the sidewalk awaiting my biker friends, my attorney of all people, drove up in his golf cart with a white mug of coffee in his hand, he is usually with the biking group but wasn't riding today, too sore from yesterday's ride he said. He is one of these guys who I was suspicious of with when I first met him years ago, I thought he was one of the political shady guys in the Grove that I had to be aware of, but he is quite the opposite. He's helped me over the years and is very generous and an honest easy-going guy.

When he got off the golf cart this morning, he hugged me and wished me happy birthday, he knew it was my birthday last week, he said, because he had it on his calendar at work. He reminds me what Coconut Grove is all about.

After the bikers took off for their 7:45 am ride, my friend headed home on his golf cart, and I headed to the Bookstore, where I had a meeting at 8 am. After that, I went to the gym, and then had breakfast back at the Bookstore. It was still a very quiet Sunday morning, but people were out and about, so there seems to be someone around at all hours in the Grove which is nice.

I didn't make a stop at the Starbucks by Monty's which I sometimes do on the way home. Interestingly enough, one of the girls who works at Starbucks is sisters with one of the girls who works at the Bookstore cafe. When Panther Coffee opens in the morning (yup, bright and early Monday morning, on Main Highway), I may have another stop to make daily, we'll see. About Monty's, I know it sold this week, I think the deal was in the works for about  a month. I'm not sure why so many people have felt the need to mention the sale to me. Maybe they expect better food in the future with new owners. Hope so. 
There's just something special about weekend mornings when it's quiet and not many people are around yet. It's going to get hot today and lots of people will be milling around, but the village is a special place early on weekend mornings. You should check it out some time. While South Beach has all the Memorial Day madness, we are the anti-South Beach.

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Anonymous Anonymous said...


May 24, 2015 5:32 PM  
Anonymous Juliet, Grove Native said...

In the early 80s, in my first own place on Matilda after leaving home, early mornings were my favorite, I'd walk to the French bakery and have a cafe and chocolate croissant and read the NYT, and felt like quite the urban sophisticate. But of course I had grown up in the grove on Tigertail, but I felt like I'd moved from the 'burbs to the city.
All this current chatter about the rumination of the grove gives me a sad chuckle. How many endless hours I spent in city council meetings with Jose Ferre (sp?) about the permitting of such atrocities as Cocowalk, Mayfair and Fair Isle (now called Grove Isle). The Grove was half lost long ago, and now I see there are forces at work to finish it off. The pharmacy shuttered? A disgrace! Coconut Grove Bank torn down, along with the Miami Herald Building, a huge loss of Mid a Century modern tropical architecture.
Anybody remember the I Ching? The roller skate store in the gas station? Angela's Restaurant? I'm just glad I got to experience tha tail end of the real funky, boho,hippie style before it is consumed by money grabbers who won't be satisfied until the real Grove is obliterated and resembles and urban putdoor mall anywhere.

May 24, 2015 11:00 PM  
Anonymous Juliet, Grove Native said...

Damn that auto fill! I meant ruination.

May 25, 2015 4:34 AM  
Blogger Jamie said...

It is Fall and my heart seems to be longing for the Grove.I found this site quite by accident and have wandered thru it for over 2 days now.We all have our "own " Grove that we knew, mine was from Fall of 1969 thru winter of 1976.The only folks I recognized in the pictures here, are oddly enough , Monty Trainer, Jeff Ingram and David Crosby. The Winn-Dixie, Florida Pharmacy, Coconut Grove Bank, Grove Library, Feedbag Resturant, Tee shirt shop next door, Grove Pub, Pamplemousse, Taurus Steak House with the beautiful Salt Water Tanks, Grove Playhouse, saw Hair/Jesus Christ Superstar, all seem to be talked about as tho they are gone, perhaps for a long time now.And yes the Park across from the library had lots of palm trees, and you could see the bay from there.The view was wonderful. There were "Lovein's" with spontaneous music, Chico and his Conga also Daryl and his guitar.Hare Krishnas, real hippies, wannabe hippies, high school kids lookin for pot, college kids smokin it, lots of incense burning to try to throw the police on horseback patrol off. The Mutiny was regarded as being quite plastic.If one were a student at Miami-Dade South Campus it was possible to take sailing as an elective and the class was taught on the docks near where Monty's was originally. I had an instructor named Kai Swenson, young, good lookin...I owned a car but rarely used it other than to get to my classes at Miami-Dade Junior College South Campus as it was known then, instead choosing to ride my bike back and forth on Main Hwy from my apartment above a garage on the SW side of St. Gaudens Road. My neighbor just 2 doors to the North was known to me only as Tee, tall handsome blonde guy.There was an amazing photographer named Tony who lived in the house in between, tall, slender, dark hair with orangish tinted skin from drinking lots of carrot juice I was told. The DuPonts had a place on my street right down at the end of the bay.One of the Ryders lived close by, saw him in his purple Ferrari time to time.There was a laundromat in town where you could always run into someone you knew, near Winn-Dixie I believe.The Grove Art Festival started then and was small, but well attended.Too many memories and some rather faded. Folks who left there after me have warned me not to return to just ride my bike around. I know the old craftsman house in front of the garage apartment where I had such great times has been torn down and replaced by what appears to be a zero lotline McMansion. I am sure it is just one of hundreds now.Each one that goes up removing just a little of what made the Grove so special then. The woman I rented from spent May thru October up in North Carolina.My apartment had no A/C, just filled the tub up each day and took a dip when it got too hot.Had no heat either, just piled on the blankets when it got down in the 50's at night, January thru March. Didn't matter too much, I was young and incredibly happy to be living in such a beautiful area for $100 a month.Those were the days of some amazing musicians visiting the Grove when performing at Dinner Key Auditorium, or over on Miami Beach.Davis Crosby had his sailboat docked near Monty's and his friends also came to visit. Jerry Jeff Walker and his old Packard, Jimmy Buffet showing up to visit Jerry, then heading down to Key West. Fred Neil, the Dolphin Project out on Key Biscayne in a small natural bay across from Bebe Rebozo's place.All of the Secret Service freaking out at us hanging with the young male and female Dolphins when Richard Nixon was there visiting...a very different time...maybe only one condo built, and no bridge over to Grove Isle yet.A simpler time, quieter I suppose, fun for those of us who got to be a part of it all.Memories to treasure.

October 25, 2015 2:11 PM  

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