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Tuesday, February 20, 2018

Grand opening party at The Coconut Grove Store

The Coconut Grove Store is a new store featuring all things Coconut Grove. They offer apparel for men, women, and children, also various accessories and drinkware that is branded with the Coconut Grove name. Inspired by the village and dedicated to quality, they are proud to provide a casual style that carries a little piece of the Grove with it.

They will be holding a Grand Opening Celebration on Thursday, February 22, from 5:30-7:30 pm. Everyone is welcome to join them for champagne, live music by local artists Arlin's Acoustic Duo with Michael Gonzalez, and entertainment for the young ones by Terry's Face Painting and Balloon Twisting. Stop by for some fun.

The party is at their store at 3090 Fuller Street.

View some great examples of their merchandise via social media at Facebook and Instagram.

Photos courtesy Coconut Grove Store

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Washington's Birthday Regatta Days at The Barnacle

The Barnacle Society and The Barnacle Historic State Park invite you to
join in a whole weekend of sailing fun during Regatta Days this February 23 through 25.

Friday, February 23 • Regatta weekend kicks off with a Moonlight Concert featuring Ken and
Summer Gill. This father-daughter duo entertains with an eclectic mix of acoustic music
spanning all decades and genres and characterized by harmonies, guitar, and piano instrumentals.

The gate opens at 6 pm for a performance from 7 to 9 pm. Coolers, picnics and low lawn chairs are welcome. No pets, please. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for members of The Barnacle Society, and $3 for children ages 6-9. Children 5 and under are admitted free.

Saturday, February 24 •.The Washington’s Birthday Regatta commemorates the first yacht
race on Biscayne Bay, organized in 1887 by Ralph Middleton Munroe—architect of The
Barnacle, boat designer, Coconut Grove pioneer, and first Commodore of the Biscayne Bay
Yacht Club. 

This year’s regatta is open to small sailing craft of traditional rig, and sailors can find registration forms at www.TheBarnacle.org. The entry fee is $50 with advance registration and $75 on the day of the race. The Skippers’ Meeting and Continental Breakfast begin at The Barnacle at 10 am, and the race starts at noon. Following the regatta, participants are encouraged to come in period dress from the Era of the Bay (1821-1896) for the “Who in the Grove do you think you are?” Costume Contest during the traditional Chowder Party and Awards Ceremony. 

Festivities begin at 5:30 pm under The Barnacle’s Micco Pavilion and are free for registered sailors. Non-sailing guests may dine for $10 each.

Sunday, February 25 • The Mail Run commemorates the Commodore’s frequent trips to Fowey Rock to pick up mail packets from passing schooners. This fun sail and raft up begins at 11 am on Biscayne Bay.

The Barnacle is at 3485 Main Highway.

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One more look at this weekend's art festivals

Eileen Seitz shows off her award at the St. Stephen's Art Show this weekend. Both the St. Stephen's Show and the Coconut Grove Arts Festival were a lot of fun this weekend. It was a hot weekend, but the art, music and food were incredible.
Aliana Sofia and Travis Homer, UM running back.
Victoria Btesh and Harry Emilio Gottlieb
Tom Falco pointing to Victoria Btesh, Rafael Gutierrez, Santiago Villegas, Harry Gottlieb and Liliana Dones.

The tea and scones at St. Stephen's are always a favorite at the English tea room.





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Monday, February 19, 2018

A couple of our favorite things at St. Stephen's

The ladies from Beautiful Chaos jewelry (Teri Groce, left and Kim Cullen) had so many nice pieces at the St. Stephen's Art Show, you can catch them today, Monday, the last day of the show. That's Jordyn Ferenczi with some of their pieces. 



Gringa Flan is something special. It's available at the St. Stephen's Art Show.

Stop by and visit the ladies at their booth and try some free samples and then buy some to take home!

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Unexpected Lime performance and more



I knew Lime was performing, but didn't think we would be around to see the show. There were a lot of '80s disco groups performing during this weekend's Coconut Grove Arts Festival. But we happened to be standing near Peacock Park when we heard one of our all time favorite songs from that era, "Babe, We're Gonna Love Tonight." We were in the right place at the right time and loved every minute of it. We ran to the stage for an excellent performance, bringing us back to our youth!

Lime performed this and so many of their hits. Remember, "Guilty," "Come and Get Your Love" and "Unexpected Lovers?" Talk about visiting the old Grove - the days of Ensign Bitters, Suzanne's, The Mutiny, Faces in the Grove, etc.



And here is a little visit around the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen's Art Show.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Hot time in the old town; with lots of art

I started out with about 8 people yesterday, including my family, and then lost them around a mojito stand. I ended up alone at the art festivals on Saturday. I think this is the first time in my life that I have ever been by myself at the Coconut Grove Arts Festival or the St. Stephen's Art Show. It was a bit awkward at first, but without anyone with me talking my ear off or me talking their ear off, I was able to notice a lot around me. It was hot though. The weather was brutal.

There was was a lot of organic art this year, or so it seemed. A bunch of Grove businesses took part by putting out art on the streets in front of their stores - it felt very much like the "old Grove." So many people I spoke with (mostly the artists who had not been back for a year) were shocked and mortified by all the development in the village so this little throwback to good times was nice.


There was art being created on the spot, which is always nice.
And there were antiques and crafts, which usually aren't part of the arts festivals.
The St. Stephen's show had lots of the crafts and the Grove Arts Festival had the fine art and lots more and better food stations than previous years.
The new Coconut Grove Store, which sells Coconut Grove branded merchandise was doing a brisk business. People really liked the merchandise. They were set up at St. Stephen's but their store is on Fuller Street. They are having a grand opening celebration on February 22, more on that later in the week.


Live music was part of both festivals, it was more intimate at St. Stephen's at their Makersfest area, where the crafts and music is situated. 
But as usual, there were the tents and the art, and lots of people. It ended up being a lot of fun. I'll go back tomorrow with friends and see it in the usual light, but for the one day, it was interesting seeing it through new eyes.
Both festivals are ongoing all weekend through Monday. They are open from 10 am to 6 pm. 

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Saturday, February 17, 2018

Join Art Box for hands-on art experiences at Arts Fest

While you're out and about getting inspired by all the art at this year's Coconut Grove Arts Festival, stop by the Art Box tent in the Family Zone in Regatta Park, to create some art of your own. They will be offering complimentary workshops for adults and families every day.

Here is the schedule:

Saturday, February 17
11 am - 2:30 pm
Drawing Workshop -- Drawing the Still Life
A 360° still life will provide participants a visually compelling reference to draw from and develop their skills with the help of our instructors. Each participant will be guided throughout this process, from sketch to finalized drawing, all while learning about composition, gestures, contours, and shading.

Sunday, February 18
11 am - 2:30 pm
Sculpture Workshop -- Art & Nature
Using the natural world as inspiration participants will work with clay to mold sculptures that will appear as if nature had created them. These new forms will borrow the textures, proportions, and patterns found in the natural world while being unique in their composition. Participants will learn about principles and elements of design as they apply to three-dimensional work.

Monday, February 19
10:30 am - 2 pm
Printmaking Workshop -- Monoprinting
Unlike other forms of printmaking Monoprinting is a process which creates unique impressions, where no two prints are alike. Monoprints are painterly images full of spontaneity and dynamism. Reference materials will be provided to inspire participants to create their compositions.

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Friday, February 16, 2018

Larry's work brings back happy memories

Larry Shane is an award-winning photographer who has done various festivals and art shows around Miami and if you don't recognize his work, you will recognize the content. Larry specializes on photographing fading images and iconic structures of Miami - things like the Orange Bowl, Tobacco Road and Fox's Sherron Inn; places you will remember fondly.

Larry will be showing, and selling his work, at the St. Stephen's Art Show this weekend, February 17-19, 2018.

I asked Larry a few questions about himself and his art.

Judge Martin Zilber, left and Monty Trainer, flank Larry Shane

TOM: Larry, work consists of iconic images of South Florida, images of places that are no longer a part of the scene, what gave you the idea to do this? Take photos of places that were on their decline?

LARRY: I've always had an interest in history, old places, roadside architecture, modern ruins, demolition and the like. Over my life I've photographed many such things in my travels however it wasn't until the recent past several years that I came to realize I could utilize these images as an art form. I'm quite proud of the niche that I've developed.

TOM: What are some of the most popular images that people like according to your sales?

LARRY: Without doubt my most popular image has to be the Orange Bowl 50 yard line followed by the facade of the stadium. Everyone has a connection to it whether it's the Dolphins, the Canes, High School games, they played in the band, concerts, etc. After that it's Tobacco Road, Jimbo's, Frankie's Pizza and the Miami Marine Stadium. 


TOM: Have you thought of getting a drone to take photos? 

LARRY: I have thought about it a lot as I like to shoot either from a high or low vantage,  however it seems like everybody is a drone pilot these days (like everybody is a photographer), but again I definitely see me learning to fly in the not too distant future. 

TOM: What's your next subject? What is the next endangered place in South Florida? 

LARRY: That list is ever growing and evolving. You'd be surprised how many things are changing as we speak. And the problem is there is often little notice given that a place will be vanishing. One day you drive by and it's just closed or demolished. Almost every day I see a story or drive by something that I put on my shoot list. In fact, as I'm writing this I just saw story about a local municipality that wants to redevelop their city property from their mid century architecture. And while everything may not be 'art show worthy,' I always want to shoot it for my historical record at the very least. And you never know what people are going to like until you present it.    

TOM: Do you use film or do you shoot digitally? 

LARRY: While I have done my share of old school hands on developing in my formative years its all digital these days. 

TOM: Who are your influences? 

LARRY: I'm a bit embarrassed to say but I'm not a student of the 'great' photographers, techniques, styles, philosophies, etc. I just shoot what I like and am always humbled, touched and grateful when people are attracted to and enjoy my work. That being said, I have many photographer friends whose work I admire and I was fortunate to have been mentored by my friend Brian Trainor who I met at local art shows I attended prior to my foray into this crazy art show game.  

TOM: What is the last thing you took a photo of? 

LARRY: I've been concentrating on Farm Stores lately after my local one, that was a part of my neighborhood my entire life, just closed without notice.  

TOM: Is there a favorite time of day or light when you prefer to shoot? 

LARRY: Well the best light is early in the morning and late in the day when the sun is lower in the sky. But I like to sleep in so it's usually later in the day. However I also love shooting at sunset and after (the blue hour as it gets dark). And I enjoy shooting at night for long exposures, light trails, etc.   

TOM: How do you cultivate a collector base? 

LARRY: Due to the nature of my work it's a bit easier than for more traditional imagery as my work evokes (ideally pleasant) memories that people connect to the places I capture. I only do a handful of art shows per year and do not even have website, much to the chagrin of my friends, associates and handlers. I don't keep an email list or database. I'm just the guy who appears at a few local shows and then disappears until next season. However people can also contact me privately to inquire about acquiring my work. 

TOM: What is more important to you when shooting photos, colors? subject? angle?

LARRY: Tom.. why don't you just ask me which is my favorite photograph? Like asking a parent which is their favorite child. Ha Ha! Anyway, I'm going to have to say the angle (composition) because without that it may as well just be a snapshot as opposed to a photograph. I'm always humbled and appreciative when people say 'you've got a great eye' or 'I love the way you captured that.' 

TOM: Larry does have a great eye and just visiting his booth will bring back memories, you'll see images you had forgotten about. Stop by and say hello this weekend. 

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Thursday, February 15, 2018

Book launch party at MKTplace green market

On Saturday, February 17, taste the flavors of Coconut Grove at MKTplace’s culinary pop-up market at Goombay Plaza. Starting at 11 am, enjoy decadent eats by local vendors including offerings like BBQ ribs and chicken, conch fritters, conch salad, garlic crab, made-to-order donuts, and Caribbean-inspired sweets.

In addition to the variety of food at the gathering, local author and founder of the Christian Girls Brunch Club, Miriam Wedderburn, will host a book launch reception for her debut novel, The Christian Girl’s Manifesto: A Declaration of Faith. At 1 pm, guests can get a first look at the collection of devotional stories empowering women, while enjoying inspiring conversations and community foodie favorites. All are welcome and entrance is free.

MKTplace is at 3685 Grand Avenue, at the corner of Douglas Road.

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Affordable housing hijacked by developers?

City Commissoner’s plan for affordable housing HIJACKED by development interests? 
Stealth up-zoning in the name of urban redevelopment is being planned by our city Planning and Zoning department and being sponsored by our Commissioner. Hopefully the community will not be fooled, cajoled or coerced into another ploy for up-zoning. The Draft of proposed new Code to replace NCD-2 & NCD-3 has been placed on the NCD website http://www.miamigov.com/planning/ncd.html  The Proposal would combine the two separate NCDs located in separate areas and which have very different characteristics and hence different INTENTS into one NCD obscuring and weakening the strength of both NCD-2 and NCD-3 codes. 

It would effectively up-zone, INCREASE DENSITY in all of the dark brown T5 and light brown T4 areas to a density of 150 units per acre, the light purple areas are already at 150. For reference this is the same density allowed along the southern portion of Brickell between 15th Rd. and 25th Rd.




While some developers, and those in the construction industry like this idea the community does not want to be fooled into up-zoning, i.e., higher density. The basis justifying this “Brickellization” of Coconut Grove  is “Affordable Housing”. We all know if you increase supply and other factors remain unchanged the equilibrium price goes down; Good for renters, not good for resident owners.  The City’s acceptance, during the November City Commission meeting, of the study labeling the West Grove as a “SLUM” and a “BLIGHTED” area provides the basis for this increased density, but the city’s draft plan applies increased density primarily to areas outside of the West Grove. 

They claim the residents want “one grove” thus attempting to justify the combination and homogenization of NCD-2 and NCD-3 zoning. Many recognize and applaud the effort to create affordable housing in NCD-2, however, extending the remedy to NCD-3 is not going to help.   The last “affordable housing” project at the South East corner of Douglas and U.S. 1 did nothing to alleviate the housing problems confronted by the Bahamian descendants living in  the West Grove. On the surface,  it looks like this newest plan/scheme, with many bonuses & various incentives offered, would allow extra density on steroids, and would possibly accelerate gentrification. Most capital will flow to areas in the Center and North grove,  areas along Bird and 27th avenues, as well as the half of Grand Avenue East of  MacDonald and areas along South Bayshore, areas which have not been labeled a blighted slum. Conventional financing , insurance, and primarily marketing will favor development in those locations. 

This offers a solution which few residents desire. West Grove residents will likely see little or no low income (33K-79K) housing and even less to no very low income (15.5K) housing, as capital is invested in the Center and North Grove, while residents in the Center and North grove will see comparable property decrease in value because of the increase in supply as well as more congestion, noise, and parking. The West Grove has about 85% of residents as renters while the Center and North have a majority of owner residents.

John Snyder
Coconut Grove


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Makersfest - a new concept at St. Stephen's

I'm sure I don't have to tell you that this weekend is the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the St. Stephen's Art Show. Both shows run February 17-19, 2018.

New this year at the St. Stephen's show is an event called "Makersfest, which is Saturday and Sunday.

This includes an indie-craft or makers fair on the south side of the show. MakersFest @ St. Stephen's Art Show is a hand crafted experience of sound color and flavor. Artists, musicians and crafters are producing original works of art combining traditional techniques with modern, unconventional styles, contexts and subject matters.

Entrance is free at St. Stephen's this year.


The Center Stage of the show will have live, local, music from noon to 6 pm Saturday and Sunday, and all weekend long at the Main Highway entrance for the inaugural MakersFest @ St. Stephen's.

Check out the hands-on "Art 4 Kids" zone too, a favorite addition to last year's show. Crayon melting, spin art, cookie art and sand art! Proceeds will fund the St. Stephen's Youth Group mission trips serving our global community.

Stroll and enjoy the title MakerFest sponsor Veza Sur Brewing Co., and Art Show title sponsors Goose Island Beer, Copa Wines and Icelandic Water. Their famous Food Court features signature conch fritters and many other tasty foods. 

Performers are:

Saturday
Bob Bonnen
Doug Bates & Juy
David Khandjian
Ed Callahan
Jon I. Sullivan
David Deruelle
Phil Allen
Tom Keeton
3 Sheets to the Wind

Sunday
Robert Kayes
Zip Robertson
John Holcombe
Eric Wagner
Fred Hsia
Carlos Maya
The Iguanas

For the three days of the festivals, you can park your bicycles for free from 10 am to 6 pm each day with the Coconut Grove Bike Valet. It's free.


They will be located in the front courtyard of St. Stephen's Church. Enter from the St. Stephen's parking lot on Main Highway.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2018

Ladies in Red free happy hour

Mercy Hospital is holding a Happy Hour for Chamber members and friends.

Join the Ladies in Red free happy hour for the annual "Heart and Healthy Celebration."

Ladies wear red, please.

Mix and mingle with heart care professionals while enjoying free appetizers and wine.

There will be a Health Zone where specialists will be available to discuss women's heart health. A Screening Zone will monitor heart rates and measure your BMI and there will be blood pressure screening. Also a Cardiology, Orthopedic and General Surgery Fitness Therapy area will be set up for family medicine. 

The event is Wednesday, February 21 from 6 to 8 pm at the Havana Room at the Mayfair Hotel (3000 Florida Avenue).

Space is limited, you must RSVP to 305-860-4608 

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Commodore Plaza has a new French restaurant

La Rue is a new French restaurant opening at 3145 Commodore Plaza, the former George's in the Grove location. "La Rue," of course, means "the street" in French and by the looks of it, owner Maurizio Farinelli is taking over the street.

If  his name sounds familiar, Maurizio is owner of Farinelli 1937 and Strada in the Grove, two other Commodore Plaza restaurants.

La Rue is scheduled to open Monday night, February 19, for dinner and then will be open for dinner for the next week or so and then ease into lunch and dinner after that. They will be open seven days a week.


While Maurizio is Italian, he is very familiar with French food. When he was a child, even though he lived in Italy, it was only a few miles from France, where his father owned French restaurants, so Maurizio grew up working in French restaurants.

"Our concept for La Rue is to bring an upper-hand brasserie style French restaurant to Coconut Grove," said Maurizio.



La Rue will focus on being a neighborhood oriented restaurant for any occasion just like his other two restaurants on Commodore Plaza. Whether you are looking for a nice evening out with family and friends, or simply stopping in because you don’t want to cook at home; La Rue will be accessible to everyone.

Maurizio says, "Our menu will incorporate some of the classic dishes that people want to see in a French brasserie while also including a lighter and fresher take on French cuisine that comes from the South of France. The menu was created focused on using authentic imported French ingredients along with local produce and fish, overseen by our experienced French chef."


Like his previous restaurants, La Rue will incorporate an extensive wine list. The wine list will be made up of different boutique and small production selections representing the many regions of France.






Photos by Rafael Gutierrez 

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Tuesday, February 13, 2018

Graffiti artists win millions from developer

A New York judge has awarded $6.7 million to graffiti artists who sued a developer for destroying their art to build luxury condos. 

21 graffiti artist sued the developer, Jerry Wolkoff, of 5Pointz in Long Island City of white washing over the buildings.

It's akin to painting over Wynwood Walls here in Miami.

Just a suggestion - to save some of our history here in the Grove, maybe we can have graffiti artists paint over them, you know, like the Playhouse, and then developers would be hesitant to destroy our history. Same with the houses that are being torn down to build multi-dwellings on single lots.

Just a thought.

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Vizcaya preservation luncheon kickoff

Alexa Wolman and Bronwyn Miller at Nordstrom

On February 7, Vizcaya Museum and Gardens held its Kickoff Party for the 10th Annual Preservation Luncheon hosted by Nordstrom at the Shops of Merrick Park. This exclusive evening soiree welcomed more than 60 of Miami's most fashion-forward philanthropists in honor of the upcoming Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon, which takes place at Vizcaya on March 13 and raises funds for the continued preservation of the iconic landmark and cultural hub.

 Carroll del Rio, Veronika Guerra, & Godfrey del Rio

In anticipation of Vizcaya's iconic "hat luncheon," the evening featured champagne, h'orderves and an exclusive sneak preview of spring fashions courtesy of Nordstrom as well as a pop-up shop by Shapoh Hats. Guests also reserved their tables for the luncheon, the must-go event that attracts 300 guests from Miami, Palm Beach and New York for a beautiful, stylish day including a prosecco lunch, fashion and more.

 DJ A.K. Vybz

Presented by Nordstrom, the Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon mixes fashion with philanthropy while addressing the important issue of historic preservation - a poignant matter following the conclusion of Vizcaya's centennial year and the impact of Hurricane Irma.

The 10th Annual Vizcaya Preservation Luncheon's Co-Chairs are Eilah Campbell-Beavers, Swanee DiMare and Christy Martin. The committee includes: Lesli Ann Brown, Suzy Buckley, Daisy Casuso, Heidi Dans, Sonia Gibson, Linda Levy Goldberg, Ana Hernandez, Carol Iacovelli, Shari Liu, Marile Lopez, Nicole Lozano, Bronwyn Miller, Laura Munilla, and Alexa Wolman.

Mayra and Marianela Joli

 Leonardo Davalos, Ana Sofia Tarbay, Yumi Yazawa and Pedro Maal

Patricia Fuller, Valentina Kraver, Linda Levy Goldberg, Bronwyn Miller and Carol Iacovelli

Marsha Jouben, Veronika Guerra and Ignacio Anez

Christy Martin, Eilah Beavers, Steven Kravit, Laurence Stott, Jennifer Kennedy and Patricia Fuller

Sponsors for this event include Nordstrom as the presenting sponsor as well as Casamigos Tequila, Dall'Armellina Vineyards, DiMare Fresh, Deering Wine, Terra Group and Tito's Handmade Vodka.

Tickets can be purchased online. Friends of Vizcaya tickets are $450 and James Deering tickets are $600, which includes access to the Après Fete. Tables of 10 guests are available starting at $4,500 for a Friends of Vizcaya table. James Deering tables are $6,000 and includes premier seating, 2 bottle champagne service and complimentary entry to Après Fête following the luncheon. For more information about the Preservation Luncheon, visit vizcayapreservation.org or email cammy.richards@vizcaya.org.

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