January 2008 - Biscayne Times



January 2008 - Biscayne Times
January 2008
Serving the communities along the Biscayne Boulevard Corridor, including Arch Creek East, Baypoint, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle
Meade, Buena Vista, Davis Harbor, Design District, Edgewater, El Portal, Keystone Point, Magnolia Park, Miami Shores, Morningside,
North Bay Island, North Miami, Oakland Grove, Omni, Palm Grove, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Wynwood, and Venetian Islands
Volume 5, Issue 11
Here’s What We
Should Do
Bebop Hits the
In the words of residents, this is what our
neighborhoods need in 2008
Like good restaurants and smart people, jazz
is crossing the causeway
bery at gunpoint. Police presence
increased recently, but Bayside and adjacent neighborhoods are continually tars 2007 was drawing to a close,
geted. Alarms, security bars, hedges, and
the BT asked a select group of
weapons are all solutions, but it’s a discivic activists for a report on
turbing image — barricading yourself
what they wanted to see happen in their
inside with a pistol because your orchids
respective communities
during 2008. The responsReal Estate: The elephant
“Michelle Spence- in the living room, along
es were so thorough and
Jones came to me with the insurance lion, the
thoughtful that we didn’t
have room for all of them.
hurricane hyena, and the tax
for votes, but she
To read these contributions
tiger. Their collective effect
has neglected
in their unabridged form,
has left most homeowners
Wynwood, and
visit us online at
Mayor Diaz did too. angry the state hasn’t produced real relief, worried
We need new
that assessments will
leaders in 2008.”
increase yet again, and conBy Christopher Harty
fused by contrary reports
about the housing market.
Harty has lived in
ongoing sewer project
Morningside and Bayside for the past
and more to
seven years. He is a dealer in 20th-cenBayside,
tury design and art, an aspiring writer,
and according to his friends, an opinion- Let’s hope they wrap it in a timely way,
ated, obstreperous social critic.
and that it works as planned. Wilma
showed me what a sunken living room
Bayside is a fine place to live, so when really means; it would be nice to avoid a
I asked friends and neighbors their
repeat. And please, put our [bayfront]
thoughts on fixing problems in the compark back the way you found it.
The Park: Or not. I live near the park,
ing year, I did it with a smile. Here’s
walk my dogs that way most days, and
what they (and I) had to say:
long for some type of water access. Not
Security: In the past year, we’ve had
numerous burglaries and at least one robContinued on page 12
Compiled by Christian Cipriani
Special to BT
Park Patrol
Park’s paved
Page 40
Our Correspondents
New Year’s
Don’t feed
the animals.
Page 24
By Nina Korman
Special to BT
ate on a Thursday evening in
December, ceiling fans twirl lazily
and music blares loudly Upstairs at
the Van Dyke. A young man and woman,
seemingly on a date, sit on cushiony
chairs at a marble café table. About six
other patrons stand or sit at the mosaic tile
and onyx bar, the top of which glows
ethereally in the dimly lit room. A flashy
bartender spins bottles behind his back as
he makes fancy cocktails. Those who
arrive hoping to hear some jazz will leave
disappointed. The dance tunes drowning
Dining Guide
out conversation are emanating not from a
live band but from two turntables placed
on the shiny black grand piano in the
room’s northwest corner. Three DJs —
Chilly, Chris, and Sela V — are taking
turns spinning records during the evening
now dubbed Residence Lounge. Live jazz
music Upstairs at the Van Dyke had
become history just two days earlier.
Less than a week before that, an e-mail,
with the words “New Year’s Eve” in the
subject line popped into inboxes all over
Miami. The beginning of the note from
Don Wilner, bass player and long-time
musical director for Upstairs at the Van
Continued on page 14
Art and Culture
Great Spanish
wines you
can afford.
Carol Jazzar’s
gallery is also
her home.
Page 48
Page 34
7222 Biscayne Boulevard > $
reat renovated
renovated storefront
storefront in
in the
the heart
heart of
he Upper
Upper Eastside.
Eastside. Building
Building has
has parking
n rear
rear and
and front.
front. Please
Please do
do not
not disturb
disturb the
Offered ffor
2426 NE 2 Avenue REDUCED > Offered
sale at
at $1,050,000.
$1,050,000. Cozy
Cozy neighborhood
cafe serving
serving breakfast
breakfast and
and lunch
lunch with
with W
Indoor and outdoor seating. Electric kitchen.
Segafredo coffee. Cafe does not occupy
total sspace.
pace. R
oom ffor
or g
allery, m
agazine a
or used bookstore. Located in Wynwood,
Miami’s emerging Arts District.
Irene Dakota
Irene Dakota
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
697 N. Miami Avenue RED
between $18-28psf NNN. 10k
k sf of prime retail/
restaurant/nightclub space w/4 COP license
in the CBD. Asking $28NNNpsf.
$28NNNpsf. Second story
4 2500sf
2500sf sspaces.
paces. A
sking $
18NNN p
sf. LLocated
blocks from Bayfront Park, State & Federal
courthouses, Miami Arena,, AA Arena and
Alvaro Giraldo
[email protected]
[email protected]
20201 NE 16th Place > Asking $1.149M. An
i i
i the Aventura/Sunny Isles
corridor, includes contemporary
contemporary buildout
in a safe & secure complex. Also available
for lease at $15 p.s.f NNN.
924 Belle Meade Island Drive > Offered
for $1.59M. 4BD/3BA tropical wa
home with
open spaces, large rooms,
most rooms opening to the wate
Backyard offers pool, spa, shower,
er, large
yard and deck. A must see! Will no
ot last!
76 NE 49 Street REDUCED
D > O
ffered for
99,000. 3
BD/2BA home
home w/a
w/a 1
cottage on an 11,300sff lot.. The main
i home
offers an updated kitchen
chen w/granite
ountertops in
in addition
addition to
to the
the spacious
iving and
and Florida
Florida rooms.
rooms. An
An incredible
ppurtunity as
as there
there are
are very
very few
few homes
homes in
he surrounding
surrounding area
area that
that o
ffers a sseperate
O 1 MA
Tony Cho
Tony Cho
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
etro 1 is seekin
se ng city savvy,
c mm
m rc
r al sales
ales direc
with a m
m off 2 y
ce Inquire
e today
out this
t exciting
ng opportunity
p o
or submit your
yourr resume to
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
@ etro1
1 o
perti s.co
utside space
space 3
0 sseats
eats w
/wine a
nd b
icense. W
ynwood a
rea. P
rice $
and lease at $30sf NNN.
‡ &
way to get into your own business.
‡ *
area. Turnkey business $99,000.
M i a m i ,
3 3 1 3 7
[email protected]
[email protected]
268-270 NE 68th Street > O
ffered ffor
or ssale
ale a
724,999. 6290sf
6290sf warehouse
warehouse with
with a 20
20 foot
high ceiling with two street height doors.
for Sale
3223 NW 5 Avenue > Offered
at $1.95M. 10,708 sf warehouse or
an oversized 31,645 sf lot
in desirable
area, centrally located
d next to 195
zoning can
investment opportunity.
opportunity. The
accommodate a variety of
o development
strategies. It is c
urrently a w
arehouse b
the zoning of the property is
i R-3 multi-family
medium densi
ity residential.
1 20 N E 27
7tt h Str e
e t , Bay
ay 200
Irene Dakota
Irene Dakota
Irene Dakota
[email protected]
[email protected]
[email protected]
Zach White
[email protected]
[email protected]
3 5.571.9991
.571.9991 I 305.571.9
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
C O M M E N TA R Y : P U B L I S H E R ’ S L E T T E R
PO Box 370566
Miami, FL 33137
Member of the
Florida Press Association
w w w. B i s c a y n e Ti m e s . c o m
Jim Mullin
[email protected]
Victor Barrenchea, Pamela Robin Brandt,
Yahaira Cespedes, Christian Cipriani, Bill
Citara, Wendy Doscher-Smith, Kathy
Glasgow, Jim W. Harper,
Lisa Hartman, Jen Karetnick, Jack King,
Derek McCann, Lynn Roberson, Jeff
Cedric Reeves
[email protected]
Priscilla Arias
[email protected]
The Sebring Group
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The Biscayne Times is published the first
week of each month. We are hand delivered
to all the homes along both sides of
Biscayne Boulevard from downtown and the
Venetian Islands to Arch Creek.
The neighborhoods we serve include: Arch
Creek East, Bayside, Biscayne Park, Belle
Meade, Buena Vista, Davis Harbor, Design
District, Edgewater, El Portal, Keystone Point,
Magnolia Park, Miami Shores, Morningside,
North Miami, Oakland Grove, Omni, Palm
Grove, Sans Souci, Shorecrest, Wynwood,
and Venetian Islands. In addition we are distributed to select businesses in Buena Vista
West, Little River Business District, Design
District and Wynwood.
The Imperial Mayor and His Henchman
he hyperbole that greeted a complicated public-works scheme
announced last month was, to put
it mildly, way over the top. It didn’t just
get in our faces; it shrieked at us. Miami
Mayor Manny Diaz invoked turbocharged rhetoric to sell us on the unprecedented scale and profound significance of
his plan to “transform” Miami. It would
be an “incredible legacy,” he crowed to
the Herald. It would “create a milestone
agreement that transforms the future of
the region.”
He even sought divine intervention,
trusting the Supreme One to reach down
smite potential opponents. “God willing,”
he intoned, “we will approve possibly the
most exciting — largest, certainly —
package of projects in city history.”
These days, being smitten by the Lord
is just about the last thing the Herald
needs. Which may help explain its zeal for
joining with Diaz in employing flamboyant language to describe the mayor’s
“dream plan.” Make that his “last-minute
bombshell,” which was poised to grace us
with a “holiday bounty of projects.”
According to the Herald, the “massive
rejuvenation plan” would “change the
face” of Miami forever. If not forever,
then at least temporarily. Miami would
be getting a “massive face-lift,” a kind of
civic Botox injection.
In helping us grasp the magnitude of
Diaz’s masterstroke, the paper initially
was cautious, prudence being the better
part of editorial judgment: The deal
“could transform downtown Miami,” we
were informed. But it didn’t take long for
prudence to be shoved aside by prescience: The deal “would transform downtown,” the Herald insisted.
Picking up on Mayor Diaz’s enthusiasm
for this “mega deal,” the Herald reminded
us that such a “huge,” “global” undertaking wasn’t just “ambitious,” it was actually an “historic multibillion-dollar deal to
transform downtown,” “spur a downtown
revival,” and “jump-start a handful of
legacy-building projects.” But what else
would you expect from a “multibilliondollar public-works bonanza”?
Though the paper practically swooned
over the mayor’s visionary genius, in
which a “new Miami glittered with billions of dollars’ worth of projects,” it was
sobered by Diaz’s dark warning that time
was short, that all could be lost in an
instant. Thus we came to understand the
paramount importance of the deal coming
together with “rare speed,” and racing
through normally sluggish public hearings
in a “lightning-quick march.” Even explanations of the financial intricacies reflected the mayor’s sense of urgency. For
example, expanding the boundaries of the
two downtown community redevelopment
agencies “suddenly freed up tourist tax
money once needed to pay off the PAC’s
debt. A quick reallocation of the tax
money would mean no more funding
shortfall for a Marlins stadium.”
If it all seemed like some kind of fiduciary magic, well, it was. Or is. Or surely
will be. Here’s how the Herald reassuringly put it: “As property values in those
[downtown CRA] neighborhoods increase
— spurred by gleaming new condominium towers — the property-tax revenue
would fund a metropolitan smorgasbord
of projects.” A smorgasbord. So much
money! Like stuffing yourself at one of
those Jumbo Buffet food troughs. And that
doesn’t even count what the Herald
described as a “small bonanza that would
be created for the construction industry.”
If all this now seems like it might be a
betrayal of the beneficence underlying the
concept of community redevelopment
agencies, and if it seems to be a form of
governance by decree, and if the financial
structure supporting it seems to be not
much more than wishful thinking, and if
you’re now getting the uncomfortable
feeling that Manny Diaz, aided and abetted by Miami’s only daily, may have
pulled a fast one on you — well, you’re
not alone.
— Jim Mullin
Here’s What We Should Do . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .1
Bebop Hits the Boulevard . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . ..1
Biscayne Crime Beat . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . 31
Publisher’s Letter . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .4
Feedback . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .6
Miami’s King . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Word on the Street . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
One for the Books . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .18
Bullets and Bounty . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .20
Housing Is an Answer, but Not Housing Alone . . . . . . . . . . . . . .22
New Year’s Resolutions for Dummies . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .24
More People, More Cars, More Headaches . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Please Wait To Be Seated . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Hot New Plan Gets Frigid Reception . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Two Dogs + Three Cats = Busted! . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Legal Eagle . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .32
. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .33
The Art House . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .34
Art Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .36
Culture Briefs . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .39
Bayfront’s Squandered Enchantment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Tech Talk . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
Your Garden . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .43
Harper’s Enviroment . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .44
Kids in the City . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .45
Pawsitively Pets . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .47
The Food of Love, Made Fresh for You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Restaurant Listings . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .48
Red, White, and You . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .50
January 2008
live the revolution
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
826 WEST
900 Park Centre Blvd. Suite 476
Miami Gardens, FL 33169
P 305-627-4277
F 305-627-4295
Email [email protected]
167 ST. EAST
bright kitchen ideas
We have long suffered horrible design and poor quality
with high prices ... we are putting an end to it.
C O M M E N TA R Y : F E E D B A C K
Bad Traffic Lights? Well, I
Remember the Days
After reading your article “Traffic
Signals from Hell” (December 2007), I
was reminded that, once upon a time,
motorcycle policemen had a key, and
when they saw a traffic light out of sync,
they could adjust it. Also, and this was a
while back, Miami-Dade County said we
had a new control system and we’d
never have to worry about traffic-light
sync again.
Burnham S. Neill
Bad Traffic Lights? We’ll
Fix Them If You’ll Just...
It was a pleasure speaking with
Biscayne Times about traffic signals and
reading the entertaining article “Traffic
Signals from Hell.” We’ll do the best we
can to address the roughly 15 traffic-signal reports published in the article, along
with any more you send our way.
Unfortunately, critical details are missing from some of the reports. Whenever
possible, we need the following information to enable us to investigate with maximum effectiveness and efficiency: location, direction, time of day, day of week,
age of the problem, and e-mail address
of the originator. If there is any way to
forward the missing information to us,
we will have a greater chance of successfully addressing the problems.
Thanks for publishing the article,
which is very useful and informative for
the public.
Robert Williams, signal system and
operations manager
Miami-Dade Public Works
305-592-8925 ext. 247
[email protected]
Commissioner to BT: We
Need More Resources and
Fewer Cheap Shots
It is regrettable that Biscayne Times
goes out of its way to avoid providing any
positive statements about Miami’s District
2. I suppose that does not sell papers, and
it’s good sport for someone like writer
Bill Cooke to nail your commissioner for
everything that goes wrong, from the
price of butter to crime (“Boulevard of
Broken Glass,” December 2007).
There is a distinction between the
commissioner and city manager, who literally runs the city and makes hiring and
firing decisions. Most of the complaints
for our district concern policing. Crime
in District 2 is up all over. This commissioner spearheaded efforts to provide the
funding to place more than 70 uniformed
police officers on the street in 2008. That
is our primary duty — to provide the
resources to allow the police to function
at respectable levels.
We are making arrests. However, those
arrested are out on the street faster than
the police who arrested them. [Editor’s
note: For more on the criminal-court
revolving door, see “Legal Eagle,” page
29.] There is a need for a more comprehensive solution that will involve not just
the city but the county and the state.
Still, we need a short-term solution that
involves heavy patrol by bike and by
horse, proper deployment of Public Service
Aids in the neighborhoods, and enforcing
the time-honored policy “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
Safe streets are our primary duty, and I
will continue to support the resources for
safe streets. My recent investiture speech
clearly expressed this policy.
Commissioner Marc Sarnoff
District 2
Book to Rollason: On the
Homeless Issue, You’re (At
Best) Misinformed
I read with great interest the article by
Frank Rollason, a Biscayne Times contributing writer, titled “How to Solve the
Homeless Problem” (November 2007).
By way of background, I am writing in
my capacity as chairman of the MiamiDade County Homeless Trust. I am the
current chairman and the longest continuously sitting member of the Trust, having
served continuously for 14 years, and
having either chaired the finance committee or the full Trust during that entire
period. I am in a position to speak knowledgeably about homelessness and the
homeless programs in Miami-Dade.
I respect several points Mr. Rollason
made. He is an analytical person and he
understands the Upper Eastside of the
City of Miami, but that may be where
our agreements end. Mr. Rollason, unfortunately, does not appear to be as well
informed on this issue as he has been on
issues in general during his career in
public service.
When we started 14 years ago, there
were 8000 people living on our streets.
Today there are just over 1380. I would
concede that some of our current homeless
street population does fall into the chronic
category, and that population is more difficult to engage in housing and services. But
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
that number is a small subset of our homeless population. The number of chronically
homeless people (those experiencing longterm homelessness decreased from 1007
in 2004 to just 274 in 2007.
For Mr. Rollason to imply that we don’t
have a plan to solve the chronic homeless
problem is ludicrous. The Miami-Dade
County program and its success have
been trumpeted throughout America and
the world. In fact just a few weeks ago
the Secretary of the U.S. Department of
Housing and Urban Development singled
out our program out as the most successful urban homeless program in America
because of our continuum-of-care model.
Mr. Rollason clearly has no clue as to
the number of people on the street today,
or at the time we started. And his understanding of the mental health, drug, and
alcohol issues is, at best, lacking. Several
of our newer programs offer low-demand
treatment, which provides scattered-site
housing where services come to the individual, and people can remain indefinitely as they engage in treatment at their
own pace. These programs have a longterm success rate of 89 percent. The
Homeless Trust does not “refuse” to recognize the need to provide different
treatment models, as Mr. Rollason wrote.
It appears that Mr. Rollason made
inappropriate and wrong assumptions.
He is mistaken and wrong. His conclusion — providing a warehousing solution
for the homeless without services — was
rejected by this community a decade
ago. It does not solve the problem of
homelessness, it merely hides it!
Ronald L. Book
Feedback: [email protected]
January 2008
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
C O M M E N TA R Y : M I A M I ’ S K I N G
Look What Miami Found: Free Money!
Like a municipal black hole, this boondoggle will swallow in every dollar in sight
By Jack King
BT Contributor
number of years ago I was working on a story that was taking off
in more directions than an octopus has tentacles. It was driving me
crazy because I couldn’t find the connections among all the different angles. I
spoke about my conundrum with a friend
who was well connected at city hall. He
smiled and said, “When you’re investigating public officials, there’s one basic
rule: Follow the money.” I have never
forgotten that advice, and it always
comes in to play when doing stories
about government. Today is no different.
The City of Miami and Miami-Dade
County are often at odds with each other.
Sometimes it’s about control, sometimes
money and sometimes ego. But last
month the city and county took a different tack. They banded together and
changed their old ways. Rather than
nickel-and-dime the public out of their
money, they decided to come up with a
grandiose plan and take all the money at
one time. Obviously they bought into the
old salesman’s adage: It takes the same
amount of time and effort to sell one
deal for a dollar as it does to sell one for
$100 million. Or in this case, $3 billion
and counting.
I’m talking about the new “global”
plan to put most all of downtown Miami
and Watson Island under a communityredevelopment-agency umbrella, stand
back, and let the money flow in. The
plan will pay for everything — science
museum, tunnel to the port, art museum,
construction costs for the performing arts
center, trolley system, baseball stadium,
and just about anything else you can
to spend as they wish, and little accounta- success. And a bloated new Bicentennial
imagine. Listening to county and city
bility to worry about as they spend it.
Park was pitched to the voters of Miami
commissions, and our two great mayors,
There is one component all these projin a bond proposal titled “homeland
Diaz and Alvarez, you would think this
ects, save the port tunnel, have in comdefense.” Not exactly truth in advertising.
is free money with no strings attached.
mon: None of them utilizes public transAnd so here comes Mayor Concrete
All we have to do is spend it. Somehow
portation. You would think that would be
Manny Diaz one more time. His legacy
I don’t think it works like that. Every
the first issue to be resolved in a major
as Miami’s “green” mayor is in tatters,
dollar that government spends usually
metropolitan area. Not in Miami, where
and he figures the last thing he can do as
involves with a three-dollar payback.
it’s all about money. Look at the airport. I mayor is reward the people who put him
Never mind that this scheme is rife
could never figure out why former airport in office and kept him there: the develwith problems that will drive up costs
director Dick Judy fought so hard to keep opers and the construction companies.
even more. Take the port tunnel. Is it a
Metrorail away from MIA until it dawned Housing starts are way down owing to
good idea to build an underwater
an enormous backlog of residential
tunnel with its entrances at sea level
units, plus the county’s biggest conRather than nickel-and-dime the public
and the open ocean within sight?
struction project ever, Miami
out of their money, they decided to
Are there potential storm-surge
International Airport, is finally
come up with a grandiose plan and
issues that maybe have been glossed
winding down. That leaves nothing
take all the money at one time.
over? How about the science museon the construction radar, so why
um and the art museum? They’re
not throw them a $3 billion bone
supposed to be constructed with
from the public coffers until the
funds raised by both groups. Right now
on me: It’s all about parking and the reveconomy gets better?
they don’t have enough money to build
enue it generates. Forget good public polSome of these ideas do have merit, but
anything, and that after fundraising for
icy. Take the money instead. Money is
they haven’t been fully thought through.
three years. I’ll bet they’ll soon expect
power, and Judy had lots of both.
No surprise. Who has time to do the job
you and me to pay for their buildings.
And so it goes with the Marlins’ stadi- right when there’s public money to be
Certainly the Marlins expect us to pay um. Parking is a huge revenue generator. had? Sadly, the two areas that this pile of
for their stadium, so we then can pay to
Why mess it up by having people come
money is supposed to come from,
see them play, or more correctly, to
by train for $1.25 when you can nick
Overtown redevelopment funds and
trade their players. The biggest problem
them for $20 to park their car? Silly you, tourist tax dollars, are not even included
I can see with the Marlins’ part of this
thinking that public money should be
in the plans. There is always lip service
deal is that no one really knows how
used in the best interests of the public.
paid to the black community, but it ends
much the stadium will actually cost.
It’s all about cash for the owners.
up being little more than spreading
Who pays for the cost overruns? You
When challenged by numerous people
around a few dollars to local commissionguessed it — you and me.
as to why the public had so little input
ers. And tourism, which is the economic
And why is the county only now trying into this gargantuan boondoggle, Diaz
engine of South Florida, gets exactly zero
to find a way to pay for the performing
made the comment that all the parts had
— improvements to the Miami Beach
arts center? Didn’t they know how they
been vetted and they were only packagConvention Center? Forget it.
were going to pay for it before they built
ing them together. That’s a bunch of crap.
Not a very good way to run a busiit? Sounds like pretty bad business to me. The stadium has been floating around for ness, but obviously the way to run a
But then, government is generally pretty
seven years and has been shot down
bad at business. They have what they
every time. The port tunnel idea has been
believe is an unlimited stream of revenue kicking around for some 20 years with no
Feedback: [email protected]
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
C O M M E N TA R Y : W O R D
Have you ever wanted to be the opposite sex? Does the opposite sex have it easier?
Compiled by Victor Barrenechea - BT Contributor
Frank Ricigliano
Upper Eastside
Nobody has it easier. I think
each sex has its own way of
experiencing the world. It’s
the result of many different
factors. I think now, especially, the world has changed a
lot. Thirty years ago, this
question would’ve been a hotter topic. Society has changed,
people’s roles have changed.
My generation is from the
1970s and we watched our
mothers become emancipated.
Women’s roles have been
much more empowered.
Linda Barrocas
Bay Point
I think that men have it more
difficult now, especially
younger men from 25 to 35.
Women now have gotten to
a point where they’re multitasking, juggling their family
and businesses. Now I think
men are a little bit behind in
that area. Young men are
often intimidated by young
professional women. In the
last 20 years, there was a lot
of emphasis on strong
women and maybe boys
were somewhat neglected.
Josefina Perez
Body-waxing Specialist
Upper Eastside
Women have become family
providers. We need to be
wives, moms, and still have
time for ourselves.
Sometimes we don’t take
care of ourselves because we
have too many duties. It’s not
like before, when you got
married and that’s it. Today
men don’t want to take
responsibility for women, so
we are at a disadvantage.
Before it wasn’t a big deal if
we didn’t have jobs, but now
it is.
Nicole Becker
Upper Eastside
Hell yeah, men have it easier. We’re in a world where
men are conditioned to reign
supreme. When it comes to
careers, they have a stronger
opportunity. We have to
work a lot harder for it. I’ve
said many times I would
want to switch places, but
when I think about it — no,
I love being a woman. I pray
for everything to be equal.
We are racing to catch up to
them and I think in my lifetime we will.
Keith Kimmel
We all have it the same.
Everyone is dealt a hand of
cards and everyone’s playing. It’s not easier or harder.
The amount of light and
darkness one experiences is
all relative and all the same.
It’s not necessarily based on
differences — gender, race.
Each person has the potential
to experience as much light
and darkness as they wish.
Everyone has the ability to
transcend the limitations
they’re given in life.
Neyl Sotolongo
Design District
Actually I think we have it
easier. We always get what
we want, no matter what —
at least some women. When
it comes to a job, though,
men have it easier because
men discriminate on the
women. In my old job, they
used to discriminate against
women; they didn’t let
women become waitresses.
Why? Because they had big
serving trays? We can still
pick them up. Nowadays we
don’t need men.
IN G !
Upper Eastside
Green Market
Biscayne Boulevard @ 66th Street
Saturday, January 12
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.
More than 20 vendors selling fresh fruits and vegetables,
cut flowers, orchids, plants and trees, local honey, imported
ethnic products, fresh baked bread, handmade soaps,
potpourri, tropical jams and preserves.
Cooking demonstrations and horticultural highlights.
January 19, January 26, February 2, February 9, February 16,
February 23, March 1, March 8, March 15
Vendor information 305-775-2166
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
/ COLLISION / Photography by Jefferson Stevens
Above the earth is where Jefferson Stevens draws his inspiration, a self-described “urban
satellite” focusing on life below. “Collision” is a series of works that challenge viewers
on many levels. On view at Gallery 3850_The Marcy Building_3850 North Miami Avenue
/ BROSIA MIAMI / A Mosaic of Mediterranean Cuisine. Be one of the first to experience
the culinary work of Chef Arthur Artiles at what is sure to become a Design District landmark.
Dinner served from 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Brosia Miami_163 N.E. 39 Street
/ FRENCH KISSIN’ IN THE U.S.A. / Taking its title from a 1986 hit song by Blondie,
“French Kissin’ in the U.S.A.” presents 18 contemporary artists belonging to the emerging
art scene in France. This exhibition highlights a selection of artists in parallel projects,
more in a laboratory fashion than as a concept or style-driven exhibition. On view
at The Moore Space_The Moore Building_4040 N.E. 2nd Avenue_2nd floor
+ Urban Roots, by Christopher J. Michel / c-print, 30” x 40”(Detail). On view at Gallery 3850.
Barefoot Sneaker, by okat / acrylic on canvas shoe. On view at Gallery 3850.
T / 305.573.8116
N.E. 2nd avenue [ between 39th & 40th streets ]
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Should Do
Continued from page 1
a huge boat ramp, just a small one for
kayaks and canoes. Why not require it
from whoever develops the adjacent
lots? All Miamians need more access to
the bay.
NE 10th Avenue Lots: It’s too late to
save the Prescott mansion, so what’s the
Christopher Harty
Dorothy Quintana
best use for all those waterfront properties? I enjoy the breezes and views that
emptiness makes possible, but I’d like
them to have a future as well as a past. It’s
probably a forlorn hope, but adding them
to the existing park would be ideal.
Biscayne Boulevard: Now that the street
is back, let’s try to keep the bistro-boutique character going. Many small business owners went under during the reconstruction. The city needs to help suitable
businesses move in and the remaining
rogues, rascals, and assorted vice mongers
move out.
By Dorothy Quintana
At 98 years young, Quintana seems to
grow more potent with age. She continues
to fight for improvements in Wynwood,
where she’s lived in the same house since
1957. Both residents and politicians turn
to her when it’s time to get things done.
Roberto Clemente Park: The building
named for me in Roberto Clemente Park
has spent years in disrepair, filled with termites, with the mayor and commissioners
continually failing on promises to fix it.
I’m ashamed to have my name on it. The
park needs proper restrooms, better lighting, and for the police to stop drug use and
prostitution at night.
Crime Prevention: The area is growing
less safe. For the first time in my life I
spent money on cameras and security systems; I can’t take chances at my age.
There’s a lot of drug dealing, prostitution,
break-ins, and muggings in Wynwood,
and criminals operating here from other
neighborhoods. We need support from
Commander Gomez and his officers. A
clinic on NW 29th Street, between 1st and
2nd avenues, got 100 bikes for cops to
patrol our streets. We don’t even see squad
cars let alone bike patrols — day or night.
What we do see are groups of uniformed
officers sitting around the NET Office and
cafés. Police don’t properly respond to
Patrick McCoy
Litter: No trash left behind! Make our
city beautiful! The Upper Eastside needs a
comprehensive code enforcement program
with follow-up and ticketing.
Public Transportation: Bus drivers who
stop at red lights and follow traffic rules!
Covered bus benches would also be nice.
Streetscape: Sidewalk, curb, gutter,
and paving improvements to all Upper
Richard Strell
emergency calls and crime reports, that’s
why you never read about our crimes in
the papers. The Miami police need to listen better to NET leaders like Albert
Zamorano and do a better job protecting
Political Support: District 5
Commissioner Michelle Spence-Jones
came to me for votes, and I got her votes.
But she has neglected Wynwood, and
Mayor Diaz did too. They’ve both lost
Wynwood’s faith. We need new leaders
in 2008.
Blight: Wynwood is filled with abandoned and decaying houses, and no one is
renting the ones that have been refurbished. Homeless squat in and around
empty houses, and empty lots are used for
illegal dumping. If you ask me if all the
art galleries and Midtown Miami made
Wynwood better, I say, “Better for what?”
By Patrick McCoy
McCoy is a 15-year resident of
Morningside, past president of the
Morningside Civic Association, founding
president of the Morningside Historical
Education Society, and currently runs his
own business as a Realtor with Fortune
If wishes did come true, this is what the
Upper Eastside would ask for:
Police: Fairly paid and motivated rankand-file police officers who respond
quickly to 911 calls, being led by a chief
who is beyond reproach.
Parking: Simply put — parking for the
MiMo District.
Pradel Denis
Eastside neighborhoods is now long
Miami 21: Will someone please tell us
what this is?
Homelessness: We need a major solution to the homeless situation. It increasingly appears to be out of control and does
not help the “City Beautiful” image that
our leaders continue to talk about.
Traffic: It’s becoming gridlock out
there. I wish for an effective mass transit
plan to ease inner-city congestion. We
would like to see NE 82nd Street revert to
two-way traffic and 79th Street converted
into a business-friendly corridor, with
slowed traffic and street beautification.
By Richard Strell
Strell is an eight-year resident of
Edgewater who works in the real estate
industry. He’s long been involved with
local issues, most recently as president of
the Neighborhood of Edgewater Area
Residents (NEAR).
Edgewater’s population is growing
fast. Neighboring Wynwood is also
emerging as an important arts center, and
Midtown Miami complements the
growth of both areas. But Edgewater’s
gentrification has brought new — and
renewed — challenges.
Environment: Residents aren’t waiting
for our “green” mayor to fund neighborhood initiatives over giant public-works
projects. We’ve got our own point people
to address problems exacerbated by the
many the empty lots.
The Homeless: A large percentage of
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Edgewater’s homeless couldn’t hold down
a job in the best of circumstances, but they
have very limited housing and social-service options. This is not to excuse the
crimes they generate on our streets, but it’s
a problem that needs compassionate solutions in 2008.
Crime: Many 911 operators lack
patience and basic communication skills.
And local cops aren’t easily able to cull
information and connect the dots when it
comes to researching crime patterns from
recent reports. These are very fixable
problems we hope will change in 2008.
Miami 21: The city’s planning department has been unable to explain Miami
21, millions of dollars and years after
starting the process. For Edgewater, illustrations show the waterfront looking like
Ocean Drive, but reality will mimic what
we’re used to — 48-story monoliths with
cyclone-fenced alleyways shut at night.
Social Fabric: Edgewater is a natural
urban mix of people of all economic
backgrounds — new and old businesses,
large and small buildings. It’s what
makes the community great. New and
old Edgewater residents are working to
make it an increasingly desirable place to
live and work. They don’t want to just
drive past their security gate, take the
elevator, and order take-out. They want
to feel safe walking around outside at
night, to shop at local stores, and visit
parks and local events.
By Pradel Denis
For the past year, Denis has served as
president of the Buena Vista East Historic
Neighborhood Association. A trained civil
engineer, among other things, Pradel is
the president of Land, Home and Beyond,
a contracting firm.
The Little Haiti/Buena Vista area would
like to see the following improvements
and initiatives happen during 2008:
Derelict Properties: Having the Miami
City Commission pass the abandoned-andderelict-properties ordinance, introduced
by the Little Haiti NET office and Buena
Vista East Historic Neighborhood
Code Enforcement: Stricter code
enforcement of ordinances that pertain to
the aesthetics of commercial and residential properties in the City of Miami.
Revitalization: The creation of a partnership between the City of Miami and
business owners in Little Haiti/Model City
Continued on page 16
January 2008
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
est cover charge. A seat at the bar
A variety of venues in which to
only required ordering a drink.
hear live music is an integral part of
Dyke, didn’t mention any New Year’s cel- Wilner, who a few years earlier had
any vibrant city. However, over the
ebration. In fact a couple of sentences
often played at the Music Room,
past decade, Miami has barely had
enthusiastically announced, “Live Jazz!
part of Soyka’s News Café on Ocean
more than one club showcasing live
New Time: Monday & Tuesday, 8 to
Drive, began performing upstairs
jazz, and not much live music of any
Midnight.” Scrolling down, readers found
with flamboyant vocalist Toni
type in general. It wasn’t always that
a personal note from Wilner, thanking the
Bishop. By the spring of 1995,
way, along the Biscayne Corridor in
Van Dyke’s owner, Mark Soyka, and all
Soyka trusted Wilner to both play
who had attended performances there for
and book acts.
Beginning in the 1940s, Biscayne
more than a dozen years for their support.
Soyka’s trust was well placed.
Boulevard became home to many
Wilner went on to explain that part of the
Seven nights a week high-caliber
gathering places and became quite
Van Dyke business had been sold recently. jazz artists crowded onto the tiny
the hotspot. Open-air entertainment
The second-floor room had been renovatstage, while the room often filled so
under the stars was a regular feature
ed by the new owners, and new styles of
beyond capacity that patrons overof the Merry Go Round, which was
music would soon reign there. Jazz would
flowed onto the stairway. Among the
located on the Boulevard at 87th
move to Soyka restaurant on Biscayne
many local musicians Wilner hired
Street. The club boasted the largest
Boulevard, at least for New Year’s Eve.
were vocalists Beverly Barkley,
wooden dance floor in the South,
After that, it seemed anyone’s guess.
Wendy Pedersen, Nicole Henry, and
able to accommodate 2000 people,
LeNard Rutledge; the musical
who could also dine and enjoy a
Orta brothers, pianist Mike and
floor show. Boulevard restaurants
It was apparent that things
bassist Nicky; and saxophonist
usually contained a cozy bar where
had changed at the Van Dyke.
Jesse Jones, Jr., and his brother
a combo or solo pianist would perGraziano Sbroggio, of Segafredo
the trumpeter Melton Mustafa.
form. “Some were very sexy
After 13 years at the Van Dyke, Don Wilner
Café, bought into the operation
Wilner also put together and
places,” says local historian Seth
hopes to bring jazz to the Biscayne
at the beginning of 2007.
led well-received bands like
Bramson, who in the early 1980s
one specializing in hard-bop
was general manager of another
jazz and others devoted to Brazilian
Segafredo Café and Spris, Tiramesu, and
sexy spot, the Playboy Club, located just
In 1994 Mark Soyka opened the Van
jazz. An all-star roster of greats also
Le Bon restaurants also on Lincoln Road
off Biscayne Boulevard on the Little
Dyke Café on the southeast corner of
graced the Van Dyke, including James
— bought into the operation at the beginRiver. Motels like the Vagabond, the
Lincoln Road and Jefferson Avenue. Once Moody, Cedar Walton, Mose Allison,
ning of 2007. By June the upstairs space
Admiral Vee, and the Apache often had
the real estate office of Miami Beach coMark Murphy, John Hicks, Bill Charlap,
was getting a facelift. In August the new
excellent eateries or smoky lounges that
founder Carl Fisher, the seven-story, 1924 Grady Tate, and Toots Thielemans. Since
room (sans stage) and a revised musical
would host local musical luminaries and
building had been transformed by Soyka
2000, each May the JVC Jazz Festival
program highlighting DJs spinning
nationally recognized entertainers. As
and now had a ground-floor café with
Miami Beach has programmed several
loungey sounds were unveiled. Wilner’s
succulent steaks were being served at the
indoor/outdoor seating and a full bar. A
shows featuring major players there too.
jazz would be limited to just twice per
Shalimar restaurant, comedian Shecky
second-floor music room featured an
During the past few months, it was
week: Monday and Tuesday, traditionally
Greene would be coaxing laughs from
abbreviated bar, café tables, delicate bent- apparent that things had changed at the
slow nights. In late November, he learned
the crowd at the Playboy Club, and saxowood chairs, and a small stage. People
Van Dyke. Graziano Sbroggio — masterthat December 2007 would be the last
phonist Jet Nero would be mesmerizing
enjoying the music at a table paid a modmind behind the highly successful
month for jazz.
the audience at the Gold Dust Lounge
“I’m not complaining,” Wilner says.
across the street. Bramson fondly recalls
“How many local musicians can say they
the Boulevard’s motels as also having
had a steady 13-year gig?” For New
“coffee shops, with their own followYear’s Eve, Wilner, Rutledge, and Mike
ings.” When not catering to a vacationing
Orta performed on the mainland at Soyka, family seeking flapjacks or a grilledbut that was one night only. Jazz at Soyka
cheese sandwich, those lunch counters
is something Wilner would love to see as a served a jolt of caffeine to lounge lizards
fixture, much the same way it was on
sobering up after a long night of listening
Miami Beach. And Mark Soyka’s execuand imbibing.
tive assistant, Ryan York, confirms that his
Nightlife action, at least of the legal
boss is considering devoting a portion of
sort, died out along the Biscayne
Friday and Saturday evenings at the
Corridor over the last three decades. And
restaurant to jazz, a move that heartens
at the moment, it seems there’s more live
locals who regularly used to trek across
music off the Boulevard than on. In
the causeway.
downtown Miami, on First Street, the
“I think it would be great idea,” says
Italian restaurant Soya & Pomodoro
Miami Shores resident and jazz fan Luis
offers Latin jazz, straight-ahead jazz, and
Alvarez, himself a former dance-music
bossa nova on Thursday, Friday, and
DJ. “I’m a regular at Soyka now, and I’d
Saturday nights respectively. Churchill’s,
probably go even more if there was jazz.
on NE Second Avenue and 55th Street,
Mark Soyka may or may not make jazz a regular feature at his nameWe need more live-music places on this
known mostly as a rock-and-roll club,
sake restaurant.
side of the causeway.”
Continued on page 17
Continued from page 1
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Should Do
Continued from page 14
Street and maybe NW 7th Avenue to ask
business owners their opinions, and to ride
the bus. Here are some of the initial comments I received while riding the bus:
“The world seems to be going mad.”
“It’s about the rich getting richer, and
the poor getting poorer.”
“My family can’t even afford a doctor
“Nothing seems like its gotten better
this year.”
“Everything seems to be going faster
port and stimulate business. They feel that
North Miami tries to make it difficult to
get anything done. Number three on their
list was the general state of the city. As one
businessman phrased it: “The city needs to
get organized and clean itself up.”
Speaking with homeowners, it’s clear
that crime and the need for more police is
a top concern, followed by code-enforcement issues, or the lack thereof. Residents
also feel the city needs a clear vision, and
that things like branding workshops were
just window dressing.
As one resident put it:
“We need to figure
out who we are as a
city, where we want to
go, and instill pride
once again in our citizens.” And last but
not least, North
Miami needs more
recreational facilities
Slade Cole
and parks.
and Buena Vista to oversee needed infill
projects and coordinate the revitalization
of existing buildings along major corridors
— NE 2nd Avenue and N. Miami Avenue
from 54th to 79th streets.
Architecture: Make façade improvement
grants accessible to property owners along
the aforementioned major corridors, and
encourage the use of Caribbean and
Britannia Bay gingerbread architecture.
Streetscape: The implementation of a streetscape
project for NE 2nd Avenue
and N. Miami Avenue —
new infrastructure, new
drainage system, new curbs
and sidewalks, new medians with irrigation systems
and lights, new street lights,
lots of trees.
Pedestrians: Realization
Mike McDearmaid
Mark Sell
of pedestrian-friendly sidewalk market structures
along NE 2nd Avenue and N. Miami
and faster, like being on a bicycle that’s
Avenue from 54th to 79th streets.
out of control and you can’t get off.”
Utility lines: The replacement of all
Yet one thought on everyone’s mind —
overhead utilities along the aforemenand North Miami’s first wish for the New
tioned routes; all wires need to be buried
Year — was: “It’s so violent and crazy
out there, everyone needs to come to
Community Center: Secure funding for
their senses.”
a state-of-the-art community center in
When pinning down what North Miami
Little Haiti, where licensed carpenters,
families want for 2008, I was surprised to
electricians, plumbers, contractors, prohear — overwhelmingly — a desire for
grammers, and AUTOCAD drafters can
homeownership. As one bus-rider told me:
give our children hands-on experience
“We’ve been hearing about affordable
using projects within the community itself. housing for many years now, and I keep
Empowerment Zone: Including Little
getting on waiting lists, but nobody is getHaiti in the next empowerment zone.
ting a place to live.”
Police: Having our own police comThe next big thing on people’s minds is
mander to oversee the Little Haiti NET
the need for more police officers. Crime
area, thus prompting more officers to serve is out of control in North Miami, espeas roving patrols within our community.
cially, as several people noted, the gang
situation. This topic even got the bus stoNORTH MIAMI
ics talking. Some described how they are
By Mike McDearmaid
always fearful for their safety. Others
The term “civic activist” was coined with chimed in with accounts of how crime
someone like McDearmaid in mind. Aside and violence had affected them, their
from serving as president of the Central
family, and their friends.
Homeowners Association, he has devoted
Third on everyone’s wish list: educahimself to the North Miami Jaycees, the
tion. And although I mentioned our brandCommunity Redevelopment Agency’s
new schools, people said the quality of
advisory committee, the North Miami
education in the schools is lacking.
Police Department’s strategic planning
Quality daycare is, too. North Miamians
committee, and the national youth and
have been hearing about jobs coming to
elderly support group NANAY, among
the city for years. Well, many people were
other organizations.
riding the bus because they still have to
travel to other cities for work.
When thinking about how to address
The number-one need expressed by
North Miami’s wishes for the New Year,
business owners was police protection, folsomeone suggested I walk along NE 125th lowed by more city initiatives to help sup16
By Mark Sell
Sell has lived with his family in Miami
Shores since 1989. A veteran editor, writer,
and public-relations consultant, he has
served on various community boards. He
is director of client services for Wragg &
Casas Public Relations.
If composing a Miami Shores “wish
list” for 2008 is a fool’s errand, here is one
anyway, most of it — despite appearances
— beyond the control of elected or
appointed municipal officials.
Sewers: We need them, along 2nd
Avenue and throughout Miami Shores,
Biscayne Park, and El Portal. This won’t
the roadwork is done in spring 2009.
Bookstores: A thriving independent
bookstore and intellectual center near
Barry University. A bookstore might need
a lock on textbooks as a profit center, as
margins are brutal in the independent
bookstore and nonblockbuster publishing
business. South Florida could use a real
university district, but doesn’t have one
— not near the University of Miami,
Barry, nor the region’s various Brutalistarchitecture campuses.
Underground Utility Cables: Weston’s
got them and its power was out 45 minutes during Wilma. We were out 15 days
— the price of relative historic charm.
Good luck paying for this one.
Public Transportation: Light-rail system along FEC tracks and Metrorail up
Biscayne Boulevard. The former is a distinct possibility by 2020; the latter a bit
farther away. This need will only grow
more apparent. Once again, Miami-Dade
is true to form, ensuring that development outpaces infrastructure.
Informed Residents: We must build a
caring, independent-thinking citizenry
looking beyond their backyards to their
neighbors, and to people in other neighborhoods and stations in life. The
obverse of Shores community spirit is an
occasional smug, beady-eyed “Not In
My Back Yard” streak. The village’s
motto — Viventes En Sole (“To Live in
the Sun”) — is not exactly a bracing call
to civic action, but “Not In My Back
Yard” isn’t either.
By Slade Cole
Cole has lived in the Miami area for
14 years and currently resides on the
Little River in El Portal, where he
likes to canoe and walk his dogs.
“A vibrant downtown Miami
In addition to civic leadership in
Shores, cafés with interesting
such neighborhoods as Oakland
food, thriving professional offices,
Grove and El Portal, he’s a
and galleries, boutiques and
Realtor with Keller Williams and
specialty stores.”
also runs a residential painting
happen, as North Miami is not accepting
new connectionsjor unable to pay, and NE
2nd Avenue is already chopped up —
without sewer lines.
Downtown: A vibrant downtown, outdoor and indoor cafés with interesting
food, thriving professional offices, and
galleries, boutiques and specialty stores
sprinkled among the Starbucks,
Quiznos, and Subways. We love the
notion but must shelve this thought until
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
If the Village of El Portal could have its
wishes fulfilled in 2008, they would be the
Taxes: The community needs to support of the proposed 1.35 percent property tax-cap amendment, and the village
council should be resourceful in still
providing essential services without
having new residents pay an unfair
amount. Residents should visit this
Continued on page 17
January 2008
Continued from page 14
has featured jazz regularly on Monday
nights for the past seven five years. On
that evening, the place undergoes an
almost genteel transformation: Patrons
young and old sip drinks quietly at tables
and listen intently as the band plays. At
One Ninety, on NE 54th Street near N.
Miami Avenue, owner/chef/former musician Alan Hughes occasionally picks up
his guitar on a weeknight, and hosts local
jazz and international musicians on
weekend evenings. At the venerable
Magnum Lounge, on NE 79th Street and
7th Avenue, co-owner Kurt Schmidt
notes that live music is featured “every
night we’re open.” That would be six
Should Do
Continued from page 16
www.CutPropertyTaxesNow.com and
submit the petition.
The Seawall: El Portal needs an alternative to the village council’s current plan to
erect an industrial seawall along the Little
River. Among other things, a seawall
would destroy the backyards of most resi-
January 2008
evenings per week (closed Mondays). If a
vocal duo isn’t belting out everything
“from Broadway tunes to the Beatles,” he
says, then a pianist is inspiring diners and
drinkers to join him in singing rousing
songs from their seats.
On Biscayne Boulevard itself, at 69th
Street, the restaurant Uva 69, which coowner Sinuhé Vega says has gone from
sandwiches and salads to fine dining, goes
the DJ route on Fridays and Saturdays but
has recently presented live jazz-funk from
the Cleveland Jones band on late Sunday
afternoons. At 77th Street and Biscayne,
acclaimed chef Kris Wessel will open Red
Light Regional Dining Lounge on
January 8 in Motel Blu, the former Gold
Dust Motel. He’s also renovating the for-
mer lounge downstairs for an April opening. A New Orleans native, Wessel grew
up surrounded by great live music and
hopes to present jazz and R&B regularly.
“This is a musical desert for me,” he says
with a laugh, referring to the Biscayne
Corridor. “I have to go to Tobacco Road
every three months to feel like there’s culture around here!”
While Mark Soyka ponders presenting
live jazz at his namesake restaurant, more
music will come from his newest venture
opening in the 55th Street Station complex’s courtyard. The News Lounge, Bar,
and Café, slated to fully debut by
Valentine’s Day, in Ryan York’s words
will “primarily be a bar and a lounge, with
a small European-style café attached to it.”
Light fare and drinks served late into the
night will be on the menu, as will music
nearly every day of the week. The program, a mix of DJs and live tunes, has not
been finalized, but jazzman Don Wilner
has been promised six Wednesdays, beginning on January 23, to book as he sees fit.
For live music fans, it’s all a hopeful
sign that the Biscayne Corridor will once
again offer the high-quality entertainment
for which it was once so celebrated. “With
all the changes and the beautification to
the area,” says York, “it’s time has come
— finally.” If you agree, send an e-mail to
York: [email protected] to express
your support for live music.
dences along the river.
Crime: We need to reduce the number
of burglaries and break-ins, in part by better securing chronic hotspots for crime,
like the footbridge at NW 2nd Avenue and
86th Street.
Conservation: The Little River area
should be designated historic and its
wildlife better protected.
Informed Citizenry: It would be great if
more El Portal residents took time to
become aware and engaged in village issues.
Environment: El Portal needs to continue to expand and protect its tree canopy
and vegetation. Continue planting oak
trees along roads and funding projects like
the native landscaping recently installed at
village hall. We could also use medians
along N. Miami Avenue and NE 2nd
Avenue, with royal palms or oaks trees.
Speeding: Implementing a few speed
bumps or other speed-reducing devices
on several key streets in El Portal would
deter speeding drivers from using them
as shortcuts and make our village safer.
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Feedback: [email protected]
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One for the Books
courtesy Myra and Seth Bramson Collection
Who would have thought — a night of culture, shopping, and dining in Miami Shores
By Jen Karetnick
BT Contributor
uthor Seth H. Bramson is in his
element, happily signing copies of
his latest book, Boulevard of
Dreams: A Pictorial History of El Portal,
Biscayne Park, Miami Shores and North
Miami, (released in July) in Casa
Chameleon, a tiny home-and-design shop
that is determined to exist despite the burgeoning construction on the corner of NE
2nd Avenue and 96th Street in Miami
Shores. He trades historical witticisms with
friends, fields questions people have about
their own properties, shares memories with
old-timers, and is eager to get to know new
faces. In fact his curiosity seems insatiable,
as is his effort to find common ground.
His patter follows a similar route for
both friends and strangers. “Who should I
make the book out to?” he asks.
“Jen,” I reply.
“And is there a Mr. Jen?” he wants to
“There is, but he’d kill me if I referred
to him that way. His name is Jon.”
“And your last name?” He likes to
inscribe the books to full monikers.
“We have two different ones.” This, of
course, leads to a discussion about why
some women take their husband’s names
and others don’t, as Bramson’s daughter
has also retained her maiden name. (I was
already published under my own name,
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
and besides, Karetnick is so much more
memorable than Cross.) In the course of
conversation, I also reveal that during my
wedding, I insisted on mutually breaking
the glass — a Jewish tradition that technically belongs to the groom alone.
“And Jen, do you live in the Shores?”
Now pegged as a resident and a “member of the club,” Bramson turns to a photograph of the Miami Shores Country
Club. “You’ll appreciate this,” he nods.
“The village manager back around then,
Elly Johnson?” He sniffs. “He was an
Indeed, such is Bramson’s disdain for
the man that he mentions his “virulent
anti-Semitism” in the second paragraph of
the book’s introduction. He then chortles
as he shows me the photo he’s included of
the Jewish twin models, Turalura and
Tondalaya Lipschitz, posing at the village-owned Miami Shores Country Club
30 years earlier. Clearly, historians have
the last say.
Continued on page 19
January 2008
Continued from page 18
But Bramson isn’t so much about righting wrongs as he is about correcting
impressions — for instance, that the first
such designated town of Miami Shores is
what we now call North Miami — and
making connections. It is through people
that collectors find their best stories and
mementos. Following those threads of
memory and gleaning what to some look
like meaningless tchotchkes and old letters
add up to compositions of history.
And his knack for forming instant associates and associations is impressive, especially given the fact that he can’t really
move from his designated space in the
cramped shop — none of us can, once we
are wedged in — surrounded as we are by
breakable items and the snake of other customers winding their way among the
tables. He’s probably accustomed to such
clutter, though: The store, crammed to the
hilt with objects ranging from purses and
soaps in the shape of poodles and pugs to
hammered Arthur Court serving ware, is
certainly less brimful than some parts of
the Miami Shores home in which Bramson
has been collecting South Florida memora-
supplied Champagne and plenty of puffpastry hors d’oeuvres for the occasion,
attracting the random local (who then, if all
goes well, becomes a holiday shopper).
And that a store employee has a very free
hand with the bubbly. It’s also convenient
that one woman has reserved ten books
beforehand; she plans to give them out as
gifts. But what’s undeniable is that there’s
a very real and keen regard for the
history of this carpetbagging, bootWhat’s undeniable is that there’s
legging place we’ve come to call
a very real and keen regard for the
the Magic City, and Bramson
history of this carpetbagging,
knows it. Boulevard of Dreams,
bootlegging place we’ve come
which depicts the rise and developto call the Magic City.
ment of what we now call the
Biscayne Corridor and the Upper
Eastside, is hardly his first book.
In fact this professor (at Barry
tional venue for a book-signing, and withUniversity, Florida International
out regard to the competition that Art
University, and Nova Southeastern
Basel is offering just a few miles away in
the Design District — quite a few interest- University) and Florida East Coast
Railroad company historian has been writed parties. Casa Chameleon has commising railroad and regional histories since
sioned 60 copies of Bramson’s book, and
1984. “When I did a signing for Coral
they are sold out 30 minutes before the
Gables,” he recalls, “I got the biggest
signing, which began at 7:00 p.m., is due
crowd at Books & Books since President
to be over at 9:00 p.m.
It no doubt helps that Côte Gourmet, the Clinton. It was because this was the first
complete history of Coral Gables ever, and
French bistro from down the street, has
bilia for more than 50 years.
It is a home, and a collection, to which
he encourages any reader who professes
an interest in the subject to view. (His wife
of 31 years, whom he points out more
than once as she roams around the boutique, seems resigned to these impromptu
invitations.) And there are — despite the
fact that Casa Chameleon is not a tradi-
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people were excited by it. The same thing
happened again when I first published
From Sandbar to Sophistication: The
Story of Sunny Isles Beach this February
— 1600 copies gone like that.”
Bramson has two more pictorial histories due out this December: Historic
Photos of Palm Beach County (a companion to Historic Photos of Greater Miami)
and 33154: The Story of Bal Harbour, Bay
Harbor Islands, Indian Creek Village, and
Surfside. Certainly he must be the only
Florida author to publish five volumes in
one year.
So now he’s making history in his own
right. But as I pay for the baby gifts I’ve
picked out in Casa Chameleon and head
across the street to the Village Café for a
glass of wine and a light dinner, I realize
that, despite the road and sidewalk construction that is destined to become a significant part of our lives for the next few
years, something else momentous is happening here tonight: I am having a night
out, complete with shopping and a cultural
excursion, in downtown Miami Shores.
I can only hope history repeats itself.
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Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Bullets and Bounty
A senseless death sparks a tender Thanksgiving memory
By Kathy Glasgow
BT Contributor
t was just something that happened in
the neighborhood, another violent
death for no good reason. Aside from
the fact that this death played out seven
blocks from where my husband and I live,
in venues we frequent, I didn’t want to
know any more about it. I can’t be letting
this place get under my skin.
But last month, more than a year after a
man named Walter White died, long after
all physical traces of the incident had disappeared, some degree of that separation
I’d maintained fell away.
In a conversation prompted by Miami’s
most recent run of police shootings, a
friend told me his own brother had been
killed by police bullets. His brother was
Walter White, a 48-year-old Liberty City
native who had been in and out of work
and jail for the past decade or more.
My friend, whom I call Jack and don’t
want to identify further, allowed that he’d
not been close to his older
brother (one of several siblings) and still keeps his distance from some members of
his extended Liberty City family. Jack’s reasons for detaching
from the Liberty City Zeitgeist,
like mine, come down to selfpreservation, self-development.
He, however, will never be
able to (or want to) uproot
himself entirely.
“I’ve had to stay away from
a lot of places to keep from
getting into something I might
not be able to get out of,” Jack says in his
typically elliptical way. “When people die,
it’s usually because they’re in the wrong
place at the right time.” He lowers his
eyes, shakes his head slowly, looks up
blankly. “None of us could figure out —
what could my brother have been thinking? It was stupid. The police said they
were stealing snack food. The day after
Thanksgiving. He’d just had Thanksgiving
dinner at his mother’s house.”
At about 1:30 a.m. on November 24,
2006, White and another man were interrupted while loading the contents of a gas
station’s storage container into a stolen
Econoline van. A customer filling up at the
all-night Shell on NW 79th Street and
22nd Avenue had called 911. Attempting a
hasty getaway, with no time to close the
van’s side or back doors, the burglars
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
encountered a Miami-Dade police
officer blocking their escape route
and yelling at them to stop.
White was at the wheel; his
accomplice, 43-year-old Daniel
Coleman, was crouched in the
back amid a pile of stolen snacks
and cigarettes. Both had long,
though mostly petty, arrest
records. They weren’t about to
give themselves up over a botched
heist of Newports and Nip-Chees.
But couldn’t they have seen how
much worse the consequences
would be if they kept driving
straight at an armed cop?
White accelerated, provoking the officer
to fire his Smith & Wesson. One .38-caliber bullet hit White in the left shoulder, a
second tore into the carotid artery in his
neck. The van careened north across 79th
Street’s six traffic lanes and crashed into
the side of a 24-hour laundromat. Which is
my laundromat, where we wash our
Continued on page 21
January 2008
Continued from page 20
clothes two or three times a month to the
sounds of Shirley Caesar, Yolanda Adams,
Luther Vandross, and R. Kelly on the big
old jukebox.
Upon impact the van burst into flames,
quickly extinguished as a slew of police
and emergency vehicles converged on the
scene. They found White dead, slumped
across the front bucket seats, his No. 99
Dolphins jersey wet with blood spurting
from the hole in his neck. He died only a
dozen blocks from the house where he had
lived for the past few years with his mother and two siblings.
Coleman, a graduate of Carol City
Senior High with an address in Opa-locka,
was arrested and promptly charged with
the second-degree murder of his friend
(the usual practice even if the suspect didn’t directly cause his cohort’s death).
The police report observes that once
seated in the homicide bureau’s interview
room, Coleman refused to accept a soft
drink, use the bathroom, or speak without
a lawyer present, except to say, “I know
my rights, and all I know that happened is
that after jumping [in] the van, Walter told
January 2008
me to get down!” More than a year later
Coleman is still awaiting trial at Turner
Guilford Knight Correctional Center (a
court hearing is scheduled for January 28).
Coleman’s booking photos show bloody
lacerations on the left side of his face and
neck, suffered in the laundromat crash.
The images register nothing so much as
disgusted disbelief — the fed-up, deadtired face of a man looking at years in
prison for a half-baked scheme that netted
nothing and went irrevocably wrong.
Jack didn’t know Coleman. He doesn’t
know anything about the police officer
who shot his brother, doesn’t want to, but
he believes he would probably shoot, too,
under the same circumstances. He has
replayed and rethought what he knows
about that night and he is finished trying
to make sense of it. “Our oldest brother
told me he wanted Walter to get together
with him and some friends after dinner,”
Jack remembers, “but Walter just said he
had something to do that night. He left,
and nobody saw him after that.”
Walter had 11 children. His eldest son
had been shot to death about a year earlier
than Walter. The son’s killer, Jack explains
wearily, wasn’t a cop but an acquaintance
It was on Thanksgiving night, 2004, or
more likely the cold early morning after
Thanksgiving. My husband and I were
driving east on NW 79th Street after
enjoying a lavish Cuban feast at a home
in Hialeah. We had made off with heavy
plastic plates of roast pork, yuca, and
congri, and we were tipsy from many
toasts. My husband suddenly grew
determined to share our
The son is shot to death and then
Thanksgiving bounty. And what
the father is gone, both for no
better beneficiary than that old
good reason, nothing that minimal
man, bundled in a blanket between
forethought and self-control
a shopping cart and a Dumpster
couldn’t have prevented.
under the fluorescent lights of that
Shell station? I swerved into the
parking lot just before the stoplight at
And then the father is gone, both for
NW 22nd Avenue. The man, a wiry, wizno good reason, nothing that minimal
ened, iron-black Cuban who reminded
forethought and self-control couldn’t
me of my father-in-law in his appearance
have prevented.
and strong odor of marijuana, was
The Shell station that White and
thrilled to receive the food and to share it
Coleman burglarized has been closed and
with two other homeless men who had
deserted for several months now, though
shuffled up.
the pumps and the minimart and storage
We got back in the car and drove home
buildings remain intact. The tragedy there
brought back a momentary but memorable to our little apartment overlooking
Biscayne Bay, laughing all the way.
encounter I once had at that very station,
well before I could have imagined moving
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into the neighborhood.
who owed him money. “[The acquaintance] owed him a few hundred dollars. I
told [the son], don’t be pushing him, take
it a little bit easier. But he went over and
kept tripping, kept bugging the guy for the
money, and he wouldn’t shut up, so the
guy pulled out a gun and shot him. And
that was that.”
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Housing Is an Answer, but Not the Answer
The Crosswinds project could transform Overtown — and us
By Frank Rollason
BT Contributor
ffordable housing has become the
latest hot-bottom topic attracting
the attention of elected officials,
activist groups, and the media. It’s spoken
about in the abstract until a particular project pops up, which then provides a lightning rod to galvanize the different factions
and provide a platform for rhetoric that we
have all heard for too long.
Umoja Village, the Liberty City shantytown for the homeless, was a recent example that allowed all sides to push their
agendas — until the little makeshift village burned down as the result of a candle
left unattended. Now comes the Sawyer’s
Walk project by the Michigan developer
Crosswinds. The project has become
known simply as the Crosswinds project,
with very little attention to the Overtown
family, the Sawyers, for whom the project
is named.
So why is this subject important to the
Upper Eastside? And why should its residents care much about a project in
The answer is that affordable housing is
integral to every community’s vitality.
From Bay Point to Shorecrest, there are
residents who remain in their homes by
the luck of the draw — and by the three-
percent cap in property taxes. Many of the
long-time residents in the Upper Eastside
bought when prices were low, and the
property tax cap has allowed them to stay
up to this point.
The term “affordable housing” is a HUD
classification based on income — somewhere far below the average mean income
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
of the local community. Such housing is
typically identified with those concrete
apartment buildings featuring open balconies, built during the urban renewal era
of the 1960s. Within the walls of these
monoliths were housed the families of the
ghetto — the unemployed, the uneducated,
the poor. They were built in predominantly
impoverished areas and became the signature architecture announcing “bad place.”
For several years I rode Rescue 2 out of
the fire station on Miami Avenue and 19th
Street, and responded to calls from these
human warehouses. What was most haunting was the look of despair in the eyes of
onlookers, the children and the young
mothers who were sometimes children
themselves. I would wonder: How in the
world does anyone think this type of housing is the answer for a group of people
whose primary mission is simply survival?
People not living to advance, to improve,
for any other goals or dreams — just to
survive. Once survival becomes the only
Continued on page 23
January 2008
Continued from page 22
mission, a person is doomed. This type of
affordable housing is a social issue, and
social issues can’t be solved with an economic model.
Our country is based upon capitalism,
and capitalism is based upon money, and
money does not flow to the poor. So the
poor and their advocates trod along the
same path followed by generations, looking for programs and financial assistance
to survive. Local communities are almost
powerless to put the necessary fixes in
place because, simply, they cannot afford
it. The bulk of the local taxpayers will not
tax themselves into oblivion to support the
poor — never have and never will.
Housing is only one element in dealing
with the poor. The major question is: Why
are they poor? The answer is they have no
jobs, no income. Why no jobs? They have
no education or training. Why no education and training? You’d have to go back
to Brown v. Board of Education to tackle
this one, and it is still unresolved.
Currently I am working on a construction project at Miami Central Senior High
School on NW 95th Street and 17th
that the answer is more affordable housing
in the mold of the old concrete apartment
buildings of the 1960s, with a pretty new
face, are only doing a disservice to the
very community they claim to champion.
Power U would have us build the ghettos
for the next generation.
There has to be a mechanism for the
poor to participate in the economic model
from which they are still disenfranchised.
The Crosswinds project provides
one element to help break into this
Affordable housing was built in preeconomic sphere, and that is simply
dominantly impoverished areas and
housing shared with those who
became the signature architecture
have already entered the workforce.
For the first time in recent history,
announcing “bad place.”
some residents of Overtown will
live with others of different economic and ethnic backgrounds, who have
providing affordable housing is just one
gainful employment, with whom they will
element necessary to the equation —
be able to network and, yes, perhaps also
which brings us back to Crosswinds, a
gain meaningful employment.
mixed-income project.
The workforce housing aspect of
There are those within the community,
rallied by the activist group Power U, who Crosswinds will provide living space for
those making in the range of $40,000 to
have been against Crosswinds. They
$60,000 per year, something desperately
believe their community is being taken
needed in our community. Where are the
from them and that they rightfully belong
skilled laborers for the construction trades
where they were born and raised. But
going to live? Where are our service
Power U and their followers who believe
Avenue. When completed in 2010, the
campus will be a state-of-the-art facility.
But again, this is merely the façade. What
ultimately makes the difference is the
quality of the teachers inside. We dump
millions into brick and mortar and the
minimum into the human element, the
teacher, who ultimately has the greatest
impact on the end product, the student.
To help a community reach its potential,
providers going to live? Where are the
support personnel for our professional
employers going to live? They could, and
will, live in projects such as Crosswinds.
Crosswinds brings with it, by contract,
1050 units, of which 210 (20 percent)
are truly designated “affordable” under
HUD guidelines.
Show me any other project in Overtown
even being discussed that brings with it
210 affordable units. Crosswinds also
brings with it, by contract, jobs and job
training — not just for construction but for
the marketing and sales of the units, and
the managing and maintenance of the project once it is completed and occupied.
After it is built, other developments will
follow. Some will be more affordable, but
the economy will dictate what is to come.
Crosswinds will be good for Overtown
and good for its residents, to help reintegrate that area into our community. Miami
officials seem to agree. On December 13,
the Miami City Commission voted (for the
second time) to approve the project, after a
first vote was challenged in court by
Power U and other activists.
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New Year’s Resolutions for Dummies
Mostly they’re worthless, but here are three worth considering — really
however, is a four-lane thoroughfare.
Granted, it is divided by a median, but
there are no schools there until you get
down to Miami Country Day School. So
no wee ones to knock down. There is a little park, but nobody uses it. There are
houses on either side of the street. So
what? Those people chose to buy or rent
on a major, busy street. Real estate means
location, location, location! We all know it.
But now we are all supposed to crawl
because of their poor choices? The only
things I’ve seen around that stretch of road
are the woo-woo birds — cattle egrets —
and nobody gives two droppings about
them. Which leads me to...
By Doscher-Smith
BT Contributor
f you are reading this you are likely
alive. I’m really glad to know it. Dead
people don’t always make for loyal
readers. But the real question is: Did you
make New Year’s resolutions? Going to
lose ten pounds? Just to gain them back?
Or be kinder to your hideous mother-inlaw? That wench! Yeah, that will last for
— oh, it already ended. No more excessive drinking? Uh-huh. Better pick up a
white chip! That’s okay. Don’t feel badly.
I have saved you all the trouble of falling
off of the wagon. I have made some New
Year’s resolutions for all of you in
Biscayne Park and beyond. So go ahead.
Fall off of my wagon!
Resolution #1
In 2008 I will: Merrily speed around the
Biscayne Park perimeter
Okay, this falls into the arena of civic
news, which I usually leave to the real
journalists. However, I really have an issue
with this. And yes, I can just see the letters
to the editor now. Safety first! Noooo.
More like money first — for the local
police department. But c’mon. To assign a
30-mile-per-hour speed zone around
Biscayne Park is ludicrous. Why? First off,
NE Sixth Avenue from 125th Street head-
ing south is a major thoroughfare for many
people. People like me. And I need to get
to my MOCA Starbucks quickly, damnit!
The southern perimeter of Biscayne Park
has a 25 mph speed zone. What is that? At
least that street — NE 107th, NE 108th, or
Griffing Boulevard depending on where
you are — is two lanes. NE 6th Avenue,
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Resolution #2
In 2008 I will: leave the critters in
Elaine Gordon Park alone, and I will
teach my children to do the same
To ask that people refrain from being
idiots is too grand a request, I realize. So
I’ve narrowed it down to this: the ignorant
Continued on page 25
January 2008
Continued from page 24
animal feeders of Elaine Gordon Park on
the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and NE
135th Street.
This one really burns me up. What is
wrong with you people? Were you raised
in a barn? Clearly the answer is no, or else
you might have an inkling about how to
treat animals. How about this, then: Did
you ever take a biology class? We barely
have any Everglades left. The ecosystem
is fragile enough without you screwing it
up. But there you go — and you know
who you are. I’m talking to the geesesquirrel-turtle-iguana-bird-raccoon-horse
feeders of NoMi. Guess what, do-gooding
retards. That ibis does not benefit from
your greasy hamburger chunk or your
reduced-fat Doritos. There is a reason for
the sign that states: DO NOT FEED THE
Whoever is in charge of the park (I’ll
get to that shortly) put it there because the
animals need to rely on their regular diets
(read: not yours) to survive and thrive.
Among other problems (which I will steer
clear of, sticking to the ones most
January 2008
Miamians care about — those affecting
only them), feeding animals teaches them
to be friendly toward humans. Aw, that’s
cute, right? One planet, one love and all.
No. Allow me to paint a mental picture for
you. The day will come when you will not
have a piece of bread, a bit of bagel with
schmear, a swig of whiskey, or whatever
you’re offering these animals, and the animals will expect it from you. Why?
Because you have trained them to do so.
And maybe they didn’t get their bit of
worm or nut or fish today. And they’re
hungry. And they’re mad. Here you come.
This time, unfortunate soul, you are
empty-handed. What do they do? They
surround you. They squawk, titter, glare.
What next? Reason does not work with
animals. They do not have that ability. You
figure, “Okay, maybe I’ll pet them to
make them feel better.” Guess what, silly
human? They don’t want your petty panderings. They want to eat. And so they are
going to bite you. This means you! This
means your kids! And, by God, ignorant
Park Parents, deserve it. Why?
Here comes mental picture, part two:
The kid is traumatized. The animal is traumatized. And then the kid grows up with a
Gordon Park. We used to get a kick out of
the wildlife there. Now we get a kick out
of the Stupid Humans. Sometimes the
Stupid Humans prove to be more entertaining, and often infinitely more upsetting. The other day a guy was there with
his son. They were near the horse ring, the
pony-rides area. There was a barn
cat there. The father proceeded to
To ask that people refrain from
harass the cat — first petting it, but
being idiots is too grand, I realize.
then poking at it, then encouraging
So I’ve narrowed it down to this:
his son to do the same. The kitty
the ignorant animal feeders of
quickly grew sick of this crap and
Elaine Gordon Park.
tried to get away. They pursued her.
Then she started swiping. At this
point I raised my coffee cup to her.
Collective head scratching ensues. Little
Kitty walked away and, unbelievably,
Billy or José or Susie looks down at his or
her hands and shrugs, mumbles something they followed her. She sat down and they
started poking her again. Then kitty began
about the “bad bird in the park.” The Park
really swatting and the little boy pulled his
Parents, of course, are stumped.
arm back and looked scared. Dad just
laughed and put out his hand again. Got
Resolution # 3
swatted again. Laughed. A wide, openIn 2008 I will not taunt the animals in
mouthed, I’m-higher-up-the-food-chain
Elaine Gordon Park, and I will teach
kind of laugh. He encouraged his little boy
my children to do the same
to “pet” the cat. And on it went until kitty
The following is a true story: My husband Jeremy and I go every Saturday (and ran under a truck.
sometimes Sunday), armed with our
Feedback: [email protected]
breakfast sandwiches and coffee, to Elaine
hatred toward animals. This unattributed
hatred evolves. Eventually Park Parents
wonder why their kid has a mysterious,
evil glint in his eye. They can’t figure why
their precious kid is running over kittens
with the lawn mower. They take the kid to
the esteemed child psychologist.
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
More People, More Cars, More Headaches
By Jim Mullin
BT Editor
omeday Miami will have a sophisticated, fully functioning mass-transit
system. Just not in our lifetimes.
Which means that for another generation
or more we’ll be battling clogged roadways and increasingly frequent gridlock,
especially in and around Miami’s central
business district. Parking all those cars
presents a major challenge, especially in
the burgeoning neighborhoods along the
Biscayne Corridor, from downtown
through Edgewater, Midtown, and the
Upper Eastside.
Meeting that challenge is the responsibility of XX-year-old Art Noriega, executive director of Miami’s Department of
Off-Street Parking, better known as the
Miami Parking Authority. The self-sustaining agency manages more than 30,000
parking spaces throughout the city, spread
over nearly 80 surface lots and 11 garages,
with more under construction.
After recently being trapped in a massive traffic snarl between the Triple-A
and the Carnival Center, and after fielding one too many complaints about park-
Photo by Binsen Gonzalez
That’s what Art Noriega, Miami’s parking czar, grapples with every day
ing problems in the MiMo District, we
decided it was time to visit Noriega and
ask a few questions, which he amiably
and adroitly answered in his windowless
tomb of an office beneath a downtown
parking garage.
Suppose you said, “Certified carpoolers
park free downtown”?
Traffic congestion in the Miami area is
among worst in the nation. In terms of lost
productivity and gas consumption alone
the figures are staggering. By building
more parking facilities, is the Miami
Parking Authority actually contributing to
traffic congestion?
Wow, this is a question I get asked a lot.
I’ll tell you that parking is a function of
the options available to the commuter.
Unfortunately, as a community we don’t
have what I would call an incredibly
robust mass-transit infrastructure, and so
we’ve become a “vehicle-friendly” commuting environment. Because of that, we
need somewhere to put those cars. I’m a
huge proponent of mass transit; I think it’s
incredibly important. We still have a lot of
opportunities with park-and-ride components along the transit lines. I’m not in the
transit business so I’m not going to speak
There are already incentives for carpoolers. Commuter Services does a great program that promotes carpooling. The only
option we have is maybe providing some
sort of incentive that relates to the actual
parking fee.
Art Noriega on downtown Miami:
“The traffic congestion is going
to be almost impossible.”
for them, but it would be beneficial to do a
really comprehensive park-and-ride promotion. We haven’t done enough of that
here. The problem is that people aren‘t
giving up their vehicles because they don’t
have a reasonable alternative.
What could MPA do to encourage a
reduction in the reliance on private vehicles? Offer incentives for carpoolers?
You could do that, I guess, and there
may be some real legitimate need, especially now in the [downtown] core, partially because the parking inventory is getting
squeezed a bit. So it would make a lot of
sense to try and promote that now. That’s
a great suggestion.
What about the idea of promoting clean
You’re right. In terms of clean vehicles,
that’s actually another excellent suggestion
— to do something that really incentivizes
that sort of transition. Those are things we
just haven’t focused on yet. [Editor’s note:
Miami Beach recently instituted parking
measures that reward owners of hybrid
Continued on page 28
Please Wait To Be Seated
After almost nine months of wrangling with the Village of Miami Shores, a local gourmet shop gets to add chairs
By Stephanie Rodriguez
Special to BT
ho says you can’t fight village
hall? After numerous unsuccessful attempts to add seating to
her Miami Shores gourmet shop, Casa
Toscana Fine Foods and Wines, owner
Sandra Stefani has finally prevailed.
Readers of the BT may recall that
Stefani’s struggle began last spring, when
she approached the Village of Miami
Shores with a proposal to add a limited
number of chairs (between 8 and 12) and
some tables to her establishment at 9848
NE 2nd Ave. Her customers told her they
wanted the option of eating there instead of
carrying lunch back to their offices. After
viewing her plans (the village compelled
her to hire an architect), the Miami Shores
Planning and Zoning Board ruled that the
proposed changes would result in a reclassification of the business, from retail estab-
lishment to restaurant, even though the
shop offered only sandwiches, salads, and
other light fare and has no stove, grease
trap, or other equipment typically involved
in food preparation.
The village code also requires that a
restaurant have a minimum of five dedicated parking spaces. Stefani only had four
spaces, in a lot adjacent to her store. The
business owner subsequently sought a variance. Her request was denied in a 3-1 vote
this past August — despite numerous letters of support from village residents and
the fact that metered parking outside
Stefani’s shop has always been plentiful.
After five months of having to turn away
customers looking for a sit-down lunch,
the village and Stefani, who also own Casa
Toscana Ristorante at 7001 Biscayne
Blvd., have fashioned a creative solution.
With the support of Councilman Stephen
Loffredo, Stefani will be able to rent a
parking space from Catholic Charities,
Sandra Stefani’s customers soon
may be able to take a load off
their feet.
located next door to her shop. The space
will cost Stefani only one dollar per year.
“I think that it was just such a big controversy and they probably read about it and
wanted to help me,” says Stefani, speaking
of the church organization.
Stefani’s lease of the space was approved
at a December meeting of the planning and
zoning board. Even this supposedly final
chapter, however, was not free of the acri-
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
mony that has marked much of Stefani’s
dealings with the village. While the meeting lasted a couple of hours, the fifteen or
so minutes devoted to Stefani’s petition was
the only portion tape-recorded by the board.
Following the vote, the board directed
Stefani to put up a reserved sign to indicate
that the leased parking space belongs to her.
Erecting a sign, of course, requires a village
permit, and obtaining a permit requires an
application fee. “That’s more money I have
to dish out,” she says, recalling that the village’s previous stubbornness on the issue
forced her to retain the services of a lawyer.
Once village officials grant her a new
certificate of occupancy as a “restaurant”
(by no means a sure thing), Stefani will be
able to put the episode behind her and turn
her attention back to the day-to-day operation of her shop. “I hope I can reclaim the
business I had to turn away,” she says.
Feedback: [email protected]
January 2008
Hot New Plan Gets Frigid Reception
A nasty letter from Mayor Kevin Burns indicates that relations between North Miami
and Biscayne Landing may have turned toxic
n Wednesday evening, December
12, Biscayne Landing threw a
party. Developers of the massive
mixed-use project located just off
Biscayne Boulevard and 151st Street in
North Miami wanted to unveil their next
phase: “Town Center.” The center, an
attractively designed commercial hub,
would join the two residential towers that
have already been built atop the cityowned, 193-acre former toxic landfill.
Billed as a “community open house,”
the festive gathering included a disproportionate number of representatives from
Boca Developers, the company behind
Biscayne Landing, and others directly or
indirectly connected to the project. The
spotlight was on world-renowned architect
Bernardo Fort-Brescia, of famed Miami
firm Arquitectonica, which will be designing the new phase. His presentation
stressed the development’s goal of going
green in a big way.
One notable no-show at the event:
North Miami Mayor Kevin Burns, who
has long been a vocal proponent of
courtesy of Boca Developers
By Robyn Linn Weinstein
Special to BT
One problem with Arquitectonica’s great-looking design: It wasn’t part
of the deal.
Biscayne Landing. (Indeed his support for
the project played a crucial role in his rise
to the mayor’s office.) Burns’s conspicuous absence might be explained by a
somewhat awkward incident that occurred
at the North Miami City Council meeting
the previous night.
At the meeting, Councilman Jacques
Despinosse produced a copy of a blistering letter Burns had recently sent to Boca
Developers. Despinosse wanted to know
why the mayor had not made the letter
public, hadn’t even shared it with his
council colleagues. He wondered aloud if
there might not be something “going on”
between Burns and Boca Developers.
In the October 12 letter, Burns ripped
into the company, saying he was “amazed
at [Boca Developers’] lack of accomplishment, professionalism, and judgment.” He
even went so far as to forbid a high-ranking company executive from further contact with North Miami officials, calling
him “a persona non grata in this city.”
Given the withering verbiage of his
assault on Biscayne Landing’s development team, it was no surprise Burns decided to skip the party, which in actuality was
more like an elaborate sales pitch, with
Fort-Brescia doing the pitching. And what
was he pitching? Precisely the thing that
had set off the mayor: Boca Developers’
plan to turn Biscayne Landing into much
more of a commercial development than
had been previously agreed.
The original plan for Biscayne Landing
called for a substantial residential community with some commercial space. The
city had approved a maximum of 100,000
square feet for commercial use. Boca
Developers now wants to increase the
commercial space to approximately
450,000 square feet, including a 200-room
hotel. As a point of comparison, that’s
Continued on page 28
Two Dogs + Three Cats = Busted!
North Miami’s proposed new animal-control law has pet owners yowling
By Brandon Dane
Special to BT
or animal activists and pet owners,
the North Miami City Council meeting this past November 27 concluded
with a whimper, not a bang, as they filed
out of council chambers grumbling and disappointed. They’d been primed for a fight.
The object of their ire was a proposed new
animal-control law that would replace the
one now on the books, which has remained
virtually unchanged since 1958.
The major issues agitating animal
activists: It would become illegal to own
more than four cats or dogs (or any combination of them), to feed strays of either
species, and to feed or harbor feral cats.
The new law would also require “caregivers” of feral cat colonies to “register”
those colonies with city officials. In addition, pet owners would be required to vac-
January 2008
cinate both their dogs and cats against
rabies every year.
Animal lovers, however, were suckerpunched when a city attorney advised the
council to postpone consideration of the
new law until Miami-Dade County had finished revising its own animal-control ordinance. The city council agreed. (A city law
can be more restrictive than a similar county law, but not less restrictive. A county
spokeswoman says the anticipated revisions
are very minor and should come before the
county commission in mid-January.)
North Miami’s proposed new animalcontrol law is far more restrictive than current county regulations, which limit pet
owners to four dogs but has no restriction
on cats. Cindy Hewitt, executive director
of The Cat Network, drove up from her
Palmetto Bay home to attend the city
council meeting. She says the North
Miami law would be the most restrictive
in South Florida and would do more harm
than good by “putting more animals out
on the street,” both dogs and cats. She
adds that it would also instantly make lawbreakers of many pet owners.
Hewitt’s organization educates the public about sterilization of pets, especially
cats. Earlier in November, she had sent
letters to every North Miami elected official concerning the proposed ordinance,
volunteering her group’s services to the
community. As far as required annual
rabies vaccination, Hewitt points out that
Florida law doesn’t go to that extreme,
maintaining the standard practice of twice
in a young pet’s life. The Cat Network
also believes that requiring public registration of feral cat colonies would only make
it easier for people to abandon their pets at
such locations.
Edie Brodsky, president of Adopt-aStray, shares Hewitt’s worries about the
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
harshness of the proposed new law and the
possibility that people will be targeted for
minor violations. It is, she says, the equivalent of “Gestapo tactics.”
It’s not all doom and gloom just yet,
says Deputy City Attorney Roland Galdos:
“We’re still listening to citizens and this is
still subject to modification.”
Mark Collins, who sponsored the
revised law as director of public works,
says an update is needed after almost 50
years. “It doesn’t reflect the reality of
today,” he argues. “There are people who
are responsible for their animals and might
have more than four. We aren’t going to
look for pet owners like that. We will
respond to complaints or if owners are
neglectful and let their dogs or cats run in
the street. We can’t have that. There must
be some authority.”
Feedback: [email protected]
Legal Eagle
By Bill Cooke
Special to BT
avid Maer, a veteran prosecutor
with the State Attorney’s Office,
has on countless occasions over
the past 18 years spent a lot of time trying
to convince twelve complete strangers to
see things his way. His task wasn’t all that
different when he addressed a December 4
meeting of the MiMo Biscayne
Association at the American Legion Post
on NE 64th Street. The association is a
volunteer group that advocates for preserving the city’s “Miami Modernism”
district of historically significant 1950s
and 1960s architecture. About two dozen
residents and business people showed up
to hear Maer, a third-generation Miamian,
talk about the long and sometimes tortuous path a criminal case takes through
Miami-Dade’s overworked and understaffed court system.
Continued from page 26
vehicles, including reduced rates and
reserved spaces.]
What can you tell us about a consultant’s study of the Upper Eastside, where
parking for shoppers and diners is almost
It’s being done by Tim Haas &
Associates. There are two corridors being
assessed — Biscayne Boulevard and NE
2nd Avenue between 50th and 79th
streets. The intent is to identify the existing [parking] inventory along the corridor,
what the various uses are now, what the
potential uses could be, and then analyze
what the deficiency is now and project
what the deficiencies could be when
everything gets built out. They’re going
into the field and they literally walk site
by site — weekdays, nights, weekends,
that kind of thing.
MiMo is a long, linear district, just like
Coral Way. We’re finishing up a Coral
Way study. It’s the exact same kind of
problem, where you have a linear commercial district bounded by residential on
both sides. And what happens is that, in
specific areas, commercial parking traffic
will spill over into residential, which
brings huge problems. What makes a lot
If those attending came looking for
sugar-coated answers or quick solutions,
the prosecutor wasted no time in disappointing them.
Maer on Miami’s criminal justice system: “Sometimes the results are ugly.”
On the relationship between the State
Attorney’s Office and the police: “They
hassle us and we hassle them.”
On the proliferation of mentally ill people who commit crimes: “People who
used to be held in snake pits [mental institutions] are now walking the streets.”
On the difficulty of locating witnesses:
“Time is the worst enemy of a criminal
case,” said Maer, pointing out that judges
dismiss cases when witnesses can’t be
located or fail to show up for trial.
He explained that Florida is only one of
three states that require crime victims to
give depositions. He also addressed the
differences between robberies and burglaries and the difficulties in prosecuting a
of sense is that, if you do have a parking
problem, you don’t mass all the parking in
one or two areas; you spread it out into
small inventories throughout, and you
marry that with a small little circulator
[shuttle] that would run along the corridor.
I talked to [Miami-Dade] Transit about
maybe doing a circulator up there, and
what would it cost. I got some numbers
and shared that information with
Commissioner Sarnoff’s office. You could
literally do a park-and-ride scenario up
along that corridor.
Has MPA missed an opportunity to pick
up some property along the Boulevard at
reasonable prices?
No, I think now the opportunity may be
even better. If we had tried to buy property
when it was at its peak, we never could
have afforded it. But this isn’t just about
buying land. It might be about partnering
with existing landowners. You can’t buy
land and then expect to build a parking lot
or a parking garage. That’s never the highest and best use, which is how everybody
wants to value their land when they’re
selling it to you. So the idea in those scenarios is to partner with people who
already own property, lease from them on
a short-term or long-term basis, improve
the site, develop some parking. And then
Photo by Bill Cooke
Assistant State Attorney David Maer swooped in for a law-and-order talk to the MiMo Association
Assistant State Attorney David
Maer explained some hard truths.
crime like a simple burglary where there
are no fingerprints or DNA. “We need witnesses,” Maer said.
But MiMo vice president Bob Powers,
the victim of an armed robbery in
you deal with the long-term issues as market demand changes. So you have a shortterm solution that evolves into a long-term
solution. Part of the study is to identify
sites that would be good locations for
parking inventories.
Like the old Boulevard motels?
Some of those older motels have parking
inventory that’s way underutilized. They’re
not involved in what we call a “shared
use,” so it’s underutilized and could be outsourced to a public use. It only makes
sense to do that if you have a public
agency like ours partnering with a halfdozen different property owners to create
one parking system, so to speak, that is a
shared parking system. Then the private
operators get to benefit from that increase
in revenue. It does make a lot of sense.
What’s going on in Edgewater? Seems
like more pay-and-display and more parking meters are going up.
You know, it’s interesting. I had [auto
dealer] Norman Barman come in because
he had a huge parking problem with his
employees. His employees, along with
every construction worker in the business, have been parking on the street for
a long time.
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
November, knows firsthand how hard it is
to make a positive ID. “I can identify the
gun they used much more easily than their
faces because their gun was in my face,”
he cracked.
Maer concluded by saying that he supports a “court watch” system in which citizens show up at court to monitor a judge’s
handling of a case. “No bad can come
from people looking at what goes on in
our courts,” he said.
Meanwhile, association president Fran
Rollason was still trying to stir up interest
among Boulevard business owners in a
merchants’ crime-watch program.
Boulevard businesses have recently suffered a rash of robberies (see “Boulevard
of Broken Glass,” December, 2007). “I
know they feel they don’t have time,” she
observed, “but I would like to see someone step up to the plate.”
Feedback: [email protected]
Free of charge.
Right, free of charge, and very unregulated. So it becomes this finger-pointing
thing: Who’s right is it to get access to the
on-street space? The whole area was
unregulated, driveways were being
blocked, it’s been chaos. It had never
needed to be regulated before, but like a
lot of other areas of the city, these things
change. In a lot of cases, what we’ll do is
put meters but then offer a decal program
to allow people to park there during the
day, and the decals are always pretty lowcost. Every area is different, every halfblock is different, depending on the specific business or use that may generate traffic
or be impacted by whatever regulation we
put in an area.
Here’s one concern some of our readers
have: East of the Boulevard it’s virtually
all residential. Multifamily buildings built
years ago never ever had enough parking,
so there’s a squeeze. They have to park on
the west side, even though a lot of people
don’t like it because it’s dark and there
aren’t as many eyes on the street. Women
in particular don’t like it. And now many
of those streets are getting meters. A small
bomb could be ticking because people
don’t know where to go.
Continued on page 29
January 2008
No, what was laid out in front of me was
all the parking inventory for the whole
park. Here’s what I told them: I said,
“Look, you have some inherent advantages
with that park. First of all, you have a
Metromover stop that’s sitting on top of
the park and it’s closed right now. It could
be up and working in a matter of 30 days.”
So they said, “Yeah, Transit told us they
were going to do it once we build out the
I said, “Okay, so you have this great
transit stop, which is going to bring people
to your front door, so let’s talk about
what’ll happen to you 120 days or nights
of the year. You’ve got [events at] the
Carnival Center and the American Airlines
Arena, and you’re going to want patrons
coming into your Museum Park. How are
they physically going to get to your parking? It’s located on the east side of
Biscayne Boulevard — the hardest side to
get to. You think they’re going make that
trip after the second time they try it? No,
they’re not. What they’re going to want to
do is find a way around all that traffic.
And the first option is going to be
Metromover. And to get on the
Metromover, they’ll have to know they
have access to it later than ten o‘clock at
night, and that it’s going to be safe, and
that the homeless are not going to be riding it all night, and that it’s an environment that’s extremely friendly and inviting
to them. Because if you think you’re
going to drive all those cars into this park,
you’re kidding yourself. You’re just going
to frustrate people.”
What I told them to do was save money
on parking, build a lot less. In fact I even
told them: “You should have no employee
parking at the park. Every one of your
employees ought to have a pass and they
all ought to be commuting into the park
— that’s just a prerequisite. You want to
work at the park? Okay, we’re going to
give you a pass and you’re going to take
the Metromover. We’re not giving you
any parking.”
The biggest complaints I get about
Metromover are that the cars are dirty,
they’re old, the homeless ride them all
day, nobody feels safe, and they don’t run
often enough. One thing we could do is go
back to charging for the Metromover, reinstitute a quarter rate or a monthly pass or
whatever — get the homeless off of it.
The Carnival Center is another example.
You have a Metromover stop a half-block
from the center, but nobody wants to ride it,
in part because it’s not connected to the
building. You have to walk literally half a
block. All you have to do is build a canopy,
a covered walkway. That’s got to cost less
than that bridge they built over Biscayne
Boulevard. To get people out of their cars,
you have to create a perfect environment.
From an infrastructure standpoint,
downtowns aren’t ever built to accommodate so much vehicular traffic, and we
have all of our businesses, all of our destinations pushed all the way to the east side
of downtown. You have to get people
from the highway to the destinations
through a lot of small little two-lane roads.
The traffic congestion is going to be
almost impossible. So to answer the question, Museum Park is not the same kind of
problem they’re having at the performing
arts center. It’s still in the planning stages,
so there’s a lot of room to get that right.
of place and to allow the city to grow as
a respectable community with a population increase which would place us as a
major Miami-Dade city, which in turn
would lead to more local, state, and federal government aid and support,” Burns
wrote in his letter. “It is totally unacceptable to consider your plans to turn the
city’s most valuable land asset into a
shopping center.”
Burns, though, appears to be unhappy
with more than an increase in commercial
space. “As to the development itself,” he
wrote, “the City of North Miami entered
into an agreement for a high-end residential community to be built, which would
put us on a par with Aventura, Bay Harbor
Islands, and Bal Harbour. Thus far, almost
five years after the agreement was signed,
all we have to show for our efforts is two
rather plain buildings, which are the subject of litigation over claims that the buildings and the amenities were misrepresented to buyers. And news reports have suggested that a block of units would be sold
to a group of speculators.”
Fueling Boca Developers’ desire for
more commercial space, of course, is the
seemingly bottomless downturn in the
South Florida housing market. Despite that,
the mayor doesn’t appear ready to abandon
the original vision for the project. Nor is he
apparently worried about alienating Boca
Developers. “The rush to convert from residential to commercial development shows
how unplanned and fickle your development scheme is,” he scolded them in his
letter, “as none of us knows whether residential or commercial development will
pan out over the next few years.” Then the
kicker: “And please don’t try to cajole or
threaten the city with any statements that if
increased commercial development is not
granted, the land will lie fallow for years. If
the project is going to fail, then the city will
simply have the land available to offer to
another developer.”
If Biscayne Landing developers were
still smarting from the mayor’s tirade,
they weren’t showing it at the December
12 meeting. Fort-Brescia’s presentation
was as sleek as his designer suit. The
“starchitect” declared that his vision for
the new development “will make life a
very sustainable life for anyone that lives
in Biscayne Landing,” but he was short
on details. He was, however, preaching to
the choir, which looked more like an
after-hours meet-up for employees of
Boca Developers and a bevy of publicrelations account reps, who were flitting
One subject that did come up at the
meeting was Boca Developers’ contractual
commitment to provide affordable housing
as part of the development package. Under
the terms of its agreement with the city,
the firm was supposed to provide one new
or refurbished unit of affordable housing
for every condo unit built. As the mayor
pointed out in his letter: “Over the past
five years, not one unit of affordable housing has been built or renovated, and this
has turned the city’s efforts to being a
leading community and model of affordable housing into a laughingstock in the
county.” Boca Developers, in partnership
with the city’s Community
Redevelopment Agency, also promised to
erect a school and library. That hasn’t happened either.
When the subject of affordable housing
was raised at the meeting, the company’s
reaction went something like this:
“Affordable housing? Well, some of the
revenues and taxes that come from
Biscayne Landing will go to the city.” As
is on cue, two of the PR women held up
folders, smiled, and said, “It’s all in the
press kit!”
All of it, that is, except Burns’s letter.
the exception of a small surface area.
Continued from page 28
That’s an interesting point. Maybe we
can look into creating a residential parking
program for that area, where we make it
time-restricted like we do in downtown —
night and weekend use. That actually hadn’t been brought to my attention.
What does MPA envision for the future
Museum Park and its surrounding area,
which will try to accommodate two museums, a new park, nearly a dozen high-rise
condo buildings, and crowds drawn simultaneously to the American Airlines Arena,
the performing arts center, and maybe
Bayfront Park?
There’s a little humor in this, so take it
for what it’s worth. I had one meeting with
the city and the science museum, about
two years ago. Then I didn’t have meetings with anybody until very recently. The
museum has added some additional uses -an aquarium, things along those lines. So
they came to us and said, “Here’s the
parking we’re currently planning. What do
you think, and what do you think it would
cost?” It’s all underground parking, with
Biscayne Landing
Continued from page 27
only slightly smaller than the Bal Harbour
Shops (500,000 square feet), and not at all
what Burns envisioned when he championed the project. In fact it’s just the opposite. “The city,” Burns wrote, “did not bargain for a new Aventura Mall; it bargained
for a residential community with a modicum of commercial/office space to merely
accommodate its residents.”
The striking increase in commercial
space, and a new emphasis on rental apartments instead of condominiums and townhouses, represents such a dramatic change
in Biscayne Landing’s original conception
that it would require approval by the city
council. If Burns’s letter is any indication,
that approval may be difficult for Boca
Developers to secure.
Biscayne Landing was supposed to
include nearly 6000 residential units,
which would house somewhere between
10,000 and 15,000 people. Under the
new plan, the total number of residential
units would be cut to 1771 — 1400 new
units in addition to the 371 contained in
the two existing condo towers. Burns’s
position on the proposal is unequivocal.
“The city negotiated for an upscale residential community to give people a sense
January 2008
This is just the science museum?
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Feedback: [email protected]
Feedback: [email protected]
At Flower Bar, You’ll Find Much All That Glitters at Seo’s Jewelry
im Coe, the well-known and wellMore Than Flowers
liked proprietor of Kim’s Valet
ain Street, Miami Shores
(better known as NE 2nd
Avenue), can add another
attractive business to a roster that is
growing slowly but surely. Flower
Bar, which opened last month, set up
shop in a former U.S. Immigration
and Naturalization Service office.
You’d never know government
bureaucrats once occupied the place.
Owner Alex Rodriguez has transformed the space into a series of small
rooms, each with its own theme. In addition to the main room, filled with bouquets and orchids and bonsai and candles
and incense, there is the Red Tea Room,
which features Parisian teas for sale. Stop
in, relax on the comfortably cushioned
chairs, and sample the beverages.
The Chocolate Room, naturally, offers a
variety of boutique chocolates. The
Drawing Room showcases the work of
local artists (at surprisingly reasonable
prices). Even the store’s restroom is a special experience.
Of course, Flower Bar specializes in
floral arrangements, always creative,
often cutting-edge in design. One attractive service is called the Flower Cantina,
in which the store will create and deliver
a unique flower arrangement to your
home, four times per month, for $125.
But don’t get too lazy. Come by the
shop, even if you’re not in the market
for flowers.
There is much more to see.
Flower Bar is located at 9612 NE 2nd
Ave., Miami Shores. For operating hours
and more information call 305-759-2217.
Cleaners, opened Seo’s Jewelry
this past June in the Shops at Midtown
Miami. Managed by and named after her
sister, Juliana Seo, the store is yet another
expression of the family’s entrepreneurial
spirit. That spirit was grandly manifest in
Kim Coe herself, a South Korean immigrant who arrived in the United States
more than 30 years ago with her tenmonth-old daughter and not much else —
other than abundant inner strength and
perseverance. Eventually she would buy
and operate three dry-cleaning businesses,
guiding them to a success that continues
today. A long-time resident of the
Midtown/Edgewater neighborhood, she
divides her time between Kim’s Valet
Cleaners and the jewelry store.
Seo’s Jewelry is a discerning shopper’s
delight, offering affordable rings, earrings,
and jewelry, primarily in silver and set
with semi-precious stones. Also available
are neck chains and bracelets for men, and
watches for both sexes. On-site watch battery replacement is provided as well.
In addition to jewelry, Seo’s carries a
wide array of hair accessories, bags,
scarves, and belts. On display in the glass
counter are their Mido Italian leather
evening bags. Exclusively available at this
South Florida location, Mido bags are
manufactured by the Coe family. Kim and
Juliana cater to all ages and budgets, with
merchandise priced from $35 to $400.
Seo’s Jewelry is located in the Shops at
Midtown Miami on Buena Vista Avenue
(off NE 36th Street), just a few doors
south of Target and Marshalls. Hours of
operation are Monday through Saturday,
10:00 a.m. to 9:00 p.m., and Sunday from
noon to 6:30 p.m. For more information
call 305-722-2889.
New Kid? Searching for Organics? Sport Clips, Where Haircuts Are
Call Mama’s Earth Baby Now!
Just Part of the Game
ongratulations on that little bundle
of joy. Like most new parents,
you’re now obsessing over how far
you and your spouse should go to bring up
baby in a eco-friendly, all-natural environment. If it’s starting to look like a big hassle, you need to meet Mama’s Earth Baby.
As owner and Biscayne Park resident
Stephanie Scher puts it, Mama’s Earth
Baby is kind of like Babies-R-Us, except
that everything is certified organic, nontoxic, and healthy for your baby and the
environment. Mama’s Earth Baby is
unusual in another way: Scher, herself a
mother of two, comes to your home and
bring her goods with her. Here are a few
of the things she carries: organic clothing
with nontoxic dyes, pure-wool mattress
pads, toys made of wood (not plastic),
teething rings fashioned from malleable
rubber trees, and old-fashioned Waldorf
dolls made exclusively of cloth and wool
— just like grandma used to have.
Scher has explored far and wide to find
a surprising range of organic products,
from blankets and bedding to shampoos
and toiletries. Even her house-cleaning
ext door to Seo’s Jewelry is Sport
Clips, which also opened this past
June. This is a guy-friendly,
sports-themed hair cuttery where clients
can come in and treat themselves to a
relaxing shampoo and expert haircut while
watching endless sporting events on
numerous flat-screen televisions.
Compulsive workaholic? Can’t really
relax? Don’t worry — Sport Clips is also
a WiFi hotspot, so you can continue
thumbing that Blackberry.
Sport Clips can now boast about being
the official haircutters for the Florida
Panthers. They’ve also formed a partnership with the University of Miami basketball team. On Fan Appreciation Day,
UM fanatics will find something special waiting for them. Always ready to
mix it up, Sport Clips frequently comes
up with other surprises. Recently they
held a drawing among walk-in clients
for tickets to the NASCAR circuit
finale in Homestead.
The current on-site staff includes four
stylists, all of whom are all licensed cosmetologists or barbers. Options range
products are all pure and vegetable-based.
And of course there is the matter of diapers (a lively debate subject these days).
Mama’s Earth Baby carries cloth diapers
with rice-paper lining that you can, with a
clean conscience, flush down the toilet.
Time-strapped parents don’t have to
roam the Internet trying to learn about safe,
organic baby products. Scher has done the
research for you. She also saves you the
annoyance of online shipping costs and
frustrating return policies. With Mama’s
Earth Baby, it all comes hassle-free,
straight to your door. You can reach
Mama’s Earth Baby at 305-892-0412, or
shoot her an e-mail at
[email protected]
Feedback: [email protected]
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
from the MVP package (haircut, shampoo, steam towel application, deep conditioning, and neck-treatment massage) to
the simple Varsity (a precision haircut)
and the Junior Varsity for children ten and
under. While services are unisex, Sport
Clips is truly a barbershop — no coloring
or perm services. Discounted prices are
available to veterans of foreign wars.
Sport Clips, like neighbor Seo’s
Jewelry, is located in the Shops at
Midtown Miami on Buena Vista Avenue
(off NE 36th Street), just a few doors
south of Target and Marshalls. They are
open from 11:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Monday through Friday, Saturdays from
11:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., and Sunday
from noon to 6:30 p.m. For more information call 305-576-2532
January 2008
Compiled by Derek McCann
But for some reason, he left his bike outside the store — unsecured and unattended! Likely assuming the homeless chap
was not an athletic sort, the cyclist was
flabbergasted when he saw the vagrant
riding down Biscayne Boulevard — on
his bike. Boulevard residents, be forewarned: Miami derelicts, drunk or not,
will outrun and outride the best bums
any other city has to offer.
Heartless Crook Steals from
Area Cats and Dogs
7400 Biscayne Blvd.
Police responded to a burglary report from
a local veterinary hospital. The owner had
received a call from his alarm company
during the wee hours of the morning, and
when they responded, they found the front
door had been pried open. For whatever
reason, this crook was looking for a big
payday at an animal hospital and he
seemed to have found it: ten bucks from
the homeless-pets donation jar.
New Breed of Entrepreneur?
Another Plaintive Call —
Secure Your AC Units
500 Block NE 71st Street
As the BT has noted in the past, criminals will find a way to get in. Many of
you have listened, and it has been awhile
since a report of this nature has popped
up. However, this poor woman had taken
her son to school only to return and find
her AC unit yanked from the wall,
inside, and her personal belongings
strewn all around the apartment. Many
items were stolen. Boulevard residents,
we implore you to secure your wall units
or get central air!
Not Your Typical
8200 Block of NE 3rd Court
Woman was inside her home tending to
domestic chores. She was washing dishes in the kitchen when she noticed a
man trying to get in through her back
door. Did she recoil in fright and run
out the front door? No! She grabbed her
gun and chased the man, firing two
rounds in his direction. Victim is a
January 2008
retired Miami-Dade police officer. In
Miami — Dodge City — be very careful who you mess with.
Final Slap in the Face
200 Block NE 34th Street
Tenant was being evicted and the county
law enforcement officers had come to
remove him. While this was occurring,
the landlord, in one last act of pettiness,
damaged his former tenant’s furniture for
no apparent reason. On a table, the victim
had left a box filled with valuables —
cash, jewelry, and other items. This box
went missing by the time the unruly landlord left in his BMW. Report was issued,
but no arrests have been made.
Don’t Put Off for Tomorrow
What You Can Do Today
Former employee was in possession of a
key to this commercial lodging. Repeated
calls from management to the former
employee were met with assurances that
“I’ll return the key next week.” Finally,
upon inspection of a safe where the former employee was to have deposited a
sum of money, more than $200 was discovered to be missing. Police were summoned. They located the former employee, who told them: “I told my boss that I
was sorry and it was wrong, but I will
return the money next week.” Maybe, but
he won’t have access to it while he
remains in the county jail.
Yes, Stupidity Is a Crime,
but We Should Be Proud of
Our Bums
6800 Block of Biscayne Boulevard
Victim was at the BP station to buy some
items, having arrived on his bicycle. The
ubiquitous Miami panhandler was there
asking him for money. The cyclist
ignored him and entered the food mart.
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
3600 Block of Biscayne Boulevard
Gas station employee had noticed that a
customer was pumping gas for an inordinately long period of time. The car was a
gas-guzzling SUV, but after a half-hour it
was getting to be a bit ridiculous. When
the man finished pumping, the employee
went to inspect the pump and found that
the face plate had been removed, as had
387 gallons of gas!
Gotta Have It
Parents feel compelled to get that special, elusive gift for their child. Whether
it’s a Cabbage Patch doll or Tickle Me
Elmo, there is always a particular toy
that will prove their (consumer) love for
their precious ones. This parent was
busted scaling a wall after cutting
through a glass sliding door at a residence. He was stopped by a neighbor
and held for police. Inside his backpack
was the popular Nintendo Wii System, a
virtual-reality gizmo that allows you to
use your hands and feet to manipulate
action on the television. This father’s virtual reality was a long, cold night in jail.
Feedback: [email protected]
Village Hall (Log Cabin) 640 NE 114th St. .................................305-899-8000
Mayor: John R. Hornbuckle ........................................................305-899-8000
Commissioner: Robert “Bob” Anderson......................................305-899-8000
Commissioner: Kelly C. Mallette ................................................305-899-8000
Commissioner: Dr. Chester H. “Doc” Morris...............................305-899-8000
Commissioner: Steve Bernard ..................................................305-899-8000
Attorney: John Hearn..................................................................305-899-8000
Building/Zoning Official: Salvatore Annese................................786-306-9510
Clerk: Ann Harper .......................................................................305-899-8000
Manager: Frank Spence .............................................................305-899-8000
Code Enforcement Officer: Sira Ramos .....................................305-899-8000
Police Chief: Mitch Glansberg ....................................................305-899-8000
Police Main Office: .....................................................................305-893-7490
Police Non-Emergency Dispatch:...............................................305-595-6263
Public Works Director: Joseph “Joe” Fisher ...............................305 893 4346
Recreation Director: Elisa Tankersley.........................................305-893-3711
Village Hall 500 NE 87th St. .......................................................305-795-7880
Mayor: Mariette SanitVil .............................................................305-795-7880
Vice Mayor: Joyce Davis ............................................................305-795-7880
Councilman: Ruben Jean ...........................................................305-795-7880
Councilman: Harold E. Mathis, Jr. ..............................................305-795-7880
Councilwoman: Linda Marcus ....................................................305-795-7880
Building Official: Raul Rodriguez ................................................305-795-7880
Clerk: Albertha Patterson............................................................305-795-7880
Code Enforcement Officer ..........................................................305-795-7880
Manager: Jason Walker..............................................................305-795-7880
Manager Assistant: Carol Aubrun ...............................................305-795-7880
Police Chief: Aubry Johnson ......................................................305-795-7880
City Hall 3500 Pan American Dr.
One-Stop Call Center: 311
Mayor: Manuel A. Diaz ...............................................................305-250-5300
District 1 Commissioner: Angel Gonzalez ..................................305-250-5430
District 2 Commissioner: Marc Sarnoff.......................................305-250-5333
District 3 Commissioner: Joe M. Sanchez .................................305-250-5380
District 4 Commissioner: Tomas P. Regalado ............................305-250-5420
District 5 Commissioner: Michelle Spence-Jones ......................305-250-5390
Independent Auditor General: Victor I. Igwe...............................305-416-2044
City Attorney: Jorge L. Fernandez..............................................305-416-1810
Communications Director: Kelly Penton .....................................305-416-1440
Building Department Director: Hector Lima ................................305-416-1102
City Clerk: Priscilla A. Thompson ...............................................305-250-5360
City Clerk Assistant: Pamela E. Burns .......................................305-250-5367
Civilian Investigative Panel Executive Director:
Shirley Richardson .....................................................................305-579-2444
Code Enforcement Director:
Mariano Loret de Mola ...............................................................305-416-2039
Code Enforcement Chief: Sergio Guadix ...................................305-416-2089
Interim Community Development Director:
Hector Mirabile ..........................................................................305-416-1978
Community Relations Office Coordinator:
Ada Rojas ...................................................................................305-416-1351
Finance Director: Diana M. Gomez ............................................305-416-1324
Fire-Rescue Chief: William W. Bryson .......................................305-416-5401
Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief: Maurice Kemp.................................305-416-5403
Fire-Rescue Deputy Chief: Loran Dougherty .............................305-416-5407
City Manager: Pedro G. Hernandez ...........................................305-250-5400
City Manager's Office Chief Financial Officer:
Larry M. Spring ...........................................................................305-416-1011
Neighborhood Enhancement Teams (NET)
NET Director:
David A. Rosemond ..........................................................305-416-2091
Downtown Administrator:
Eddie Padilla-Morales .......................................................305-579-6007
(10 NE 9th Street)
Little Haiti Administrator:
Rasha Soray-Cameau ......................................................305-960-4660
(6421 NE 2nd Ave.)
Upper Eastside Administrator:
Maria T. Mascarenas ........................................................305-795-2330
(6599 Biscayne Blvd.)
Wynwood/Edgewater Administrator:
Alberto Zamorano .............................................................305-579-6931
(101 NW 34th St.)
Parks and Recreation Director:
Ernest Burkeen ...........................................................................305-416-1320
Parks Operations ........................................................................305-250-5373
Buena Vista Park ..............................................................305-795-2334
Ichimura Miami-Japan Garden .........................................305-960-4639
Legion Park.......................................................................305-758-9027
Lemon City Park ...............................................................305-759-3512
Margaret Pace Park..........................................................305-350-7938
Morningside Park ..............................................................305-754-1242
Municipal Cemetery ..........................................................305-579-6938
Planning Director: Ana Gelabert-Sanchez..................................305-416-1470
Planning Assistant Director: Carmen Sanchez...........................305-416-1417
Police Chief: John Timoney ........................................................305-603-6100
Police Deputy Chief: Frank G. Fernandez .................................305-603-6120
Police Internal Affairs Division: ..................................................305-835-2000
Police Non-Emergency: .............................................................305-579-6640
Public Works Director: Stephanie N. Grindell.............................305-416-1200
Zoning Administrator: Lourdes Slazyk ........................................305-416-1405
Zoning Information Supervisor: Aldo Reyes ...............................305-416-1493
Village Hall 10050 NE 2nd Ave. .................................................305-795-2207
Mayor: Herta Holly......................................................................305-757-4679
(residence) 305-835-1934 (office)
Vice Mayor: Stephen K. Loffredo ............................305-754-8620 (residence)
........................................................................................305-757-8115 (office)
Councilman: Hunt Davis ..........................................305-751-1300 (residence)
........................................................................................305-691-9090 (office)
Councilman: Prospero Herrera................................305-757-2473 (residence)
Councilman: JC Rodriguez......................................305-754-3891 (residence)
Attorney: Richard Sarafan .........................................................305-349-2300
Building Director: Claudio Grande ..............................................305-795-2204
Clerk: Barbara Estep .................................................................305-795-2207
Finance Director: Vacant
Fire Department
(Miami-Dade County Station #30,
9500 NE 2nd Ave.) .....................................................................305-513-7930
Library Director: Elizabeth Esper................................................305-758-8107
Manager: Tom Benton ................................................................305-795-2207
Planning and Zoning Director:
David Dacquisto .........................................................................305-795-2207
Police Chief: Kevin Lystad..........................................................305-759-2468
Police Crime Watch/Mobile Patrol ..............................................305-756-5767
Police Department Non-Emergency ...........................................305-759-2468
Public Works Director: Scott Davis.............................................305-795-2210
Recreation Director: Jerry Estep ................................................305-758-8103
City Hall 776 NE 125th St. .........................................................305-893-6511
Information line ..........................................................................305-891-4636
Mayor: Kevin A. Burns ................................................................305-895-9815
District 1 Councilman: Scott Galvin ............................................305-895-9815
District 2 Councilman: Michael Blynn .........................................305-895-9815
District 3 Councilman: Jacques Despinosse ..............................305-895-9815
District 4 Councilwoman: Marie Erlande Steril ...........................305-895-9815
Animal Control: Tami Fox, Sr. Code Enforcement Officer .........305-895-9876
Attorney: V. Lynn Whitfield..........................................................305-895-9810
Attorney Deputy: Roland Galdos ................................................305-895-9810
Budget Director: Keith Kleiman ..................................................305-895-9893
Building and Zoning Director: Jacqueline Gonzalez ..................305-895-9820
Building and Zoning Department ...............................................305-895-9820
Clerk: Frank Wolland ..................................................................305-895-9817
Clerk Deputy: Jacquie Vieira ......................................................305-895-9817
Code Enforcement Director: Mike Ferrucci ................................305-895-9832
Community Planning and Development Director:
Maxine Calloway ........................................................................305-895-9825
Community Redevelopment Agency Executive Director:
Tony E. Crapp, Sr. ......................................................................305-899-0272
Finance Director: Carlos Perez ..................................................305-895-9885
Information Technology Director:
Hortensia Machado ....................................................................305-895-9850
Library Director: Joyce Pernicone .............................................305-891-5535
Manager: Clarance Patterson.....................................................305-895-9888
Manager Deputy: Dennis Kelly ..................................................305-895-9888
MoCA Director and Chief Curator:
Bonnie Clearwater ......................................................................305-893-6211
NoMi Express Community Bus Service......................................305-267-6661
Parks and Recreation Director: Terry Lytle.................................305-895-9840
Parks Operation Center:.............................................................305-891-9334
Police Chief: Clinton Shannon ....................................................305-891-8111
Police Department Non-Emergency Service ..............................305-891-8111
Public Information Officer: Pam Solomon ..................................305-895-9891
Public Works Director: Mark E. Collins.......................................305-895-9830
Sanitation Division: .....................................................................305-895-9870
Sewer Backup: ...........................................................................305-895-9838
Stormwater/Flooding: ................................................................305-895-9878
Streets Division: .........................................................................305-895-9878
Utility Billing: ..............................................................................305-895-9880
Mayor: Carlos Alvarez ................................................................305-375-5071
District 2 Commissioner: Dorrin D. Rolle....................................305-375-4833
District 3 Commissioner: Audrey M. Edmonson .........................305-375-5393
District 4 Commissioner: Sally A. Heyman .................................305-375-5128
Manager: George M. Burgess ....................................................305-375-5311
Commission on Ethics and Public Trust .....................................305-579-2594
Dept. of Environmental Resources Management.......................305-372-6789
Director’s office ......................................................................305-372-6754
24-hour pollution hotline ........................................................305-372-6955
Inspector General: Christopher R. Mazzella ..............................305-375-1946
Fraud hotline..........................................................................305-579-2593
Main Library ................................................................................305-375-2665
TDD (Telecommunication Device for Deaf) ................................305-375-2878
Culmer/Overtown Branch ......................................................305-579-5322
Golden Glades Branch ..........................................................305-787-1544
Lemon City Branch ................................................................305-757-0662
Little River Branch .................................................................305-751-8689
Water and Sewer Department ....................................................305-665-7477
Complaints .............................................................................786-552-8970
Water quality ..........................................................................305-520-4738
Superintendent: Dr. Rudolph F. Crew.........................................305-995-1430
District 1: Dr. Robert Bernard Ingram .........................................305-995-1334
District 2: Dr. Solomon C. Stinson ..............................................305-995-1334
District 3: Dr. Martin Karp ...........................................................305-995-1334
School Police Chief: Gerald L. Darling ..........................305-995-COPS(2677)
Governor: Charlie Crist...............................................................850-488-7146
State Attorney: Katherine Fernandez Rundle.............................305-547-0100
State Senators:
District 33: Frederica S. Wilson (D) ....................305-654-7150 (district office)
....................................................................850-487-5116 (Tallahassee office)
District 35: Gwen Margolis (D)............................305-993-3632 (district office)
....................................................................850-487-5121 (Tallahassee office)
District 36: Alex Diaz de la Portilla (R)................305-643-7200 (district office)
....................................................................850-487-5109 (Tallahassee office)
State Representatives:
District 104: Yolly Roberson (D)..........................305-650-0022 (district office)
....................................................................850-488-7088 (Tallahassee office)
District 106: Dan Gelber (D) ...............................305-531-7831 (district office)
....................................................................850-488-0690 (Tallahassee office)
District 108: Ronald A. Brisé (D) .........................305-623-3600 (district office)
....................................................................850-488-4233 (Tallahassee office)
District 109: Dorothy Bendross-Mindingall (D)....305-694-2958 (district office)
....................................................................850-488-0625 (Tallahassee office)
Dept. of Environmental Services: citizen services......................850-245-2118
Department of Transportation ..........................850-414-4100; 866-374-FDOT
District 6 Public Information:
Miami-Dade and Monroe.........................................................1-800-435-2368
Interim Secretary of Transportation:
Stephanie Kopelousos................................................................850-414-5205
Mel Martinez (R).......................................................202-224-3041 (DC office)
.............................................................................305-444-8332 (Miami office)
Bill Nelson (D)...................................202-224-5274 (DC office) 305-536-5999
District 17: Kendrick B. Meek (D) ...............................................305-690-5905
District 18: Ileana Ros-Lehtinen (R) ...........................................202-225-3931
District 20: Debbie Wasserman Schultz (D)..............202-225-7931(DC office)
........................................................................305-936-5724 (Aventura office)
DEA (Miami Field Office) ............................................................305-994-4870
FBI (Miami Field Office)..............................................................305-944-9101
For e-mail information on these officials, please visit biscaynetimes.com and click on our Community Contacts link
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
Bayside Residents Association
Louis Bourdeau
[email protected]
Belle Meade Homeowners
Margret Tynan, president
[email protected]
Buena Vista Heights
Evelyn Andre, president
[email protected]
Buena Vista East Historic
Neighborhood Association
Pradel Denis, president
[email protected]
Communities United
Hattie Willis, president
[email protected]
Palm Bay Condominium Inc.
Bill Mathisen, president
[email protected]
Little River Neighborhood
Lavon Williams, president
[email protected]
Palm Bay Towers
Bob Flanders, vice president
[email protected]
Magnolia Park
Geoffrey Bash
[email protected]
Morningside Civic Association
William Hopper, president
[email protected]
Buena Vista West
Julia Colas, president
[email protected]
Neighborhood of Edgewater Area of
Richard Strell, president
[email protected]
Citizens on Patrol
Fred St. Amand, chairman
[email protected]
Neighbors of Oakland Grove
Agusto L. Newell, president
[email protected]
Palm Bay Yacht Club
Gary Shacni, president
[email protected]
Palm Grove Neighborhood
Bob Powers, president
b[email protected]
Shorecrest Homeowners
Jean Longchamps, president
[email protected]
Upper Eastside Miami
Allyson Warren, president
[email protected]
Venetian Causeway Neighborhood
Barbara K. Bisno, president
[email protected]
305-374-2566 / 786-390-4134
El Portal Homeowners Association
Ana Moré, president
[email protected]
Miami Shores Property Owners
Bekky Leonard, president
[email protected]
Keystone Point
Steven Bass, president
[email protected]
[email protected]
Community Calendar
January 14, 6:30 p.m.
Planning & Zoning Board Meeting
Recreation Center
11400 NE 9th Ct.
January 28, 6:30 p.m.
Planning & Zoning Board Meeting
Recreation Center
11400 NE 9 Ct.
January 22 7 p.m.
Regular Council Meeting
El Portal Village Hall
500 NE 87th St.
January 3, 5 p.m.
Code Enforcement Meeting - Special
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 9, 5 p.m.
Code Enforcement Meeting - Regular
Agenda Meeting
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 10, 9 a.m.
Commission Meeting - Regular
Agenda Meeting
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 15, 5 p.m.
Civilian Investigative Panel Meeting Policies and Procedures
Miami City Hall Staff Room
3500 Pan American Dr.
Liaison: Don March Jr., 305-579-2444
ext. 227
January 16, 7 p.m.
Planning Advisory Meeting
Miami City Hall-Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 4, 3 p.m.
Historic & Environmental Preservation
Board Meeting
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 17, 9 a.m.
Code Enforcement Meeting - Special
Master Meeting
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 7, 9 a.m.
Code Enforcement Meeting - Special
Master Meeting
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 23, 5 p.m.
Code Enforcement Meeting - Regular
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 2008
January 24, 9 a.m.
Planning and Zoning Meeting
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 29, 6:30 p.m.
Nuisance Abatement Meeting
Miami City Hall Commission Chambers
3500 Pan American Dr.
January 15, 7:30 p.m.
Village Council Meeting
Miami Shores Village Hall
10050 NE 2nd Ave.
January 24, 7:00 p.m.
Planning and Zoning Meeting
Miami Shores Village Hall
10050 NE 2nd Ave.
Sunkist Grove
Joyce Mumford, president
[email protected]
Michael McDearmaid, president
[email protected]
Arch Creek East
Ilana Burdick, president
[email protected]
Westside Neighborhood Association
Clarence Merke, president
Alhambra Heights
Beverly Hilton, president
[email protected]
Sans Souci Homeowner Association
Dr Hal Richman, president
[email protected]
Enchanted Place
Ken Di Genova, president
[email protected]
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 8, 7 p.m.
City Council Meeting
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 22, 5:30 p.m.
North Miami CRA Meeting, 5:30 p.m.
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 9, 12 p.m.
Business Development Board Meeting
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 22, 5:30 p.m.
CRA Meeting
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 10, 7 p.m.
Planning Commission Meeting
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 22, 7 p.m.
City Council Meeting
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 2, 7 p.m.
Code Enforcement Meeting
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 15, 7 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting - Property Tax
Hosted by Councilman Jacques
North Miami Senior High School
800 NE 137th St.
305-893-6511 ext. 12183
January 3, 7 p.m.
Parks and Recreation Commission
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 16, 6:30 p.m.
Board of Adjustment Meeting
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 8, 5:30 p.m.
North Miami CRA Meeting
January 17, 7 p.m.
Community Relations Board Meeting
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 24, 7 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting on Landlord/Tenant
Hosted by Councilman Scott Galvin
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
January 30, 6:30 p.m.
Town Hall Meeting on Biscayne
Hosted by Mayor Kevin A. Burns
North Miami City Hall Council
776 NE 125th St.
A R T & C U LT U R E
The Art House
Photo by DiamondImages.com
Carol Jazzar’s Miami Shores home doubles as a serious gallery
Lilian Garcia-Roig’s jungle landscape show enveloped gallery visitors.
ome art shows are not as common
as they once were in Miami. Let’s
not forget that Brook Dorsch, now
owner of the successful Dorsch Gallery in
Wynwood, got his start hosting exhibitions
at his home. And for a while there was
The House, home to local artists Bhakti
Baxter, Martin Oppel, Tao Rey, and later
Daniel Arsham, which regularly showcased interesting work. Local artist
Eugenia Vargas also routinely hosted
shows at her home. Today there appears to
be only one gallerist running an exciting
alternative art space out of a home —
Carol Jazzar.
You can find the home/gallery, Carol
Jazzar Contemporary Art, in suburban
Miami Shores. Artwork is put on display
in the garage, a 26-by-30-foot building at
the end of a long driveway. The adjacent
back yard, with its lush foliage and swimming pool (dramatically illuminated at
night), is where receptions are held. On a
typical opening night, visitors wander the
property, taking in not only the artwork in
the garage, but strolling into the main
house to see what other interesting works
Jazzar may have there. For Jazzar, art truly
is all encompassing. “I see it as less of a
business and more of a lifestyle,” she says.
The Paris-born Jazzar came to the
United States from France some 15 years
ago. She first settled in Miami Beach,
renting a guest cottage behind the house
of the late art dealer Alexander Trudell.
At the time, her landlord was her only
As her success grew, she began to
appreciate the disadvantages of not owning a gallery. “It was hard to go from one
spot to another to curate one show here,
one show there,” she recounts. The
obstacles were numerous. All
Jazzar describes her first garage
preparations were up to her. She
show as a success — nearly
would rent an empty space, but that
100 people drove up to her Miami
didn’t mean it was necessarily set
Shores residence based on
up for viewing art, and she’d have
word-of-mouth alone.
to install walls or otherwise renovate the place to make it suitable.
ning to blossom. She quickly developed a And this would all be for a single show.
Jazzar needed her own space, so in
roster of local artists that included Brad
early 2006 she began renovations on the
Kuhl, Monique Leyton, and Samantha
garage of her home in Miami Shores. “I
Salzinger, but she still didn’t have a permanent space.
had the garage, and I thought it would be
convenient to have shows here,” she says.
The first group show was held later that
year, with various local artists exhibiting.
Jazzar describes it as being very
impromptu, but nevertheless a success, as
nearly 100 people drove up to her Miami
Shores residence based on word-of-mouth
alone. “Definitely that show encouraged
me to keep going,” she remembers.
Obstacles, though, persist. “It’s harder
for me than [the] galleries in Wynwood,”
Jazzar notes. People might drive to
Wynwood and the Design District to see
art, but they generally will not go to the
suburbs. And Jazzar is well off the beaten
path of “Second Saturday” art walks.
Word-of-mouth — and a reputation for
mounting good exhibits — are all she has
to get people into her back yard. “People
who come here have to know of me,” she
says. To compete, Jazzar usually schedA glimpse of Tom Scicluna’s gazebo show.
Continued on page 35
link to the art world. “His lifestyle
intrigued me,” Jazzar recalls. “He gave
me the passion for art.”
At the time, Jazzar had her own fashion
line, Chain’s Addiction, which featured
unusual clothing made from chain mail
(woven metal). Selling her line to boutiques around the U.S., Jazzar developed
many contacts in the fashion world — contacts with lots of money. Trudell believed
they were potential clients for his art. Over
time Jazzar became Trudell’s assistant,
serving as a liaison between the art dealer
and his clients in the fashion world.
Jazzar immersed herself in Miami’s
burgeoning art scene, going to museums,
frequenting galleries, and scoping out art
shows. By 2001 she was curating her
own shows in Miami Beach, later moving
to the Design District and Wynwood,
where the gallery scene was just begin-
Photo courtesy of the artist
By Victor Barrenechea
BT Contributor
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
Art House
Continued from page 34
ules her openings on the second or third
Friday of the month, the Friday after
gallery districts hold their Second
Saturday events.
Because of the unusual nature of her
space, Jazzar can do things the average
gallery can’t. When French artist Matthias
Saillard came down for his show in
February 2007, Jazzar’s home doubled as
his hotel. Saillard stayed there for ten
days. This past November, she put up
Tallahassee-based artist Lilian GarciaRoig for similar stretch.
Another thing Jazzar will do from
time to time is radically alter the interior
of the garage in order to accommodate
the artist on display. For Tom Scicluna’s
show in October 2007, the garage was
stripped down to its bare bones in order
to display a gigantic gazebo installation,
while the more recent Garcia-Roig
exhibit called for Jazzar to install a
brand-new wall to limit the space.
People had to crowd in through a small
door, and were immediately surrounded
by Garcia-Roig’s dense jungle landscape
paintings. The arrangement made view-
January 2008
BT photo by Priscilla Arias
A R T & C U LT U R E
Carol Jazzar at her gallery/home: “When people come here, it’s like an
ers feel as though they were actually in
middle of a tropical forest. (Jazzar’s
neighbors, incidentally, have been very
supportive of her artistic endeavors.
They have never complained and sometimes even attend the shows.)
For this month Jazzar plans a show
organized by Hugo Montoya and featuring
15 to 20 local male artists. In March
there’ll be a solo show by another local
luminary, Jen Stark, demonstrating
Jazzar’s continuing appreciation for
Miami’s homegrown scene.
“You know, Miami is a young city,”
she says. “Metaphorically, it’s like a
blank canvas. You feel the freshness.
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Everything has to be created here. There
are more galleries coming up, more
artists coming up, more collectors coming up. Everything is new and fresh.”
She compares it to the Wild West —
there are no rules, so everyone makes
them up as they go.
Maybe 20 years from now, Miami’s art
scene — and the snootiness that comes
with any serious art scene — will have
become entrenched to the point that operating a legitimate gallery out of the garage
behind your home may seem like a absurd
idea. Jazzar ponders this. “Something like
this might not be able to happen,” she
says. Then again: “I would definitely
always keep [the garage] because it’s special. It’s not a gallery-type feeling; it’s different. When people come here, it’s like
an experience.”
Carol Jazzar Contemporary Art is
located at 158 NW 91st St., Miami
Shores. For operating hours and information call 305-490-6906, e-mail
[email protected], or visit www.cjazzart.com.
Feedback: [email protected]
A R T & C U LT U R E
1st and 21st STUDIOS
2045 NW 1st Ave., Miami
Through January 12:
Solo show by Gerry Stecca
Reception January 12, 6 to 11 p.m.
233 NW 36th St., Miami
Through January 31:
“BASEL DICE” with Anna Barten,
Nicholas Bergery, Arlene Berrie,
Emanuele Cacciatore, Tony Caltabiano,
Emmy Cho, Debra Holt, David McConnell,
and Louis Ulman
190 NW 36 St., Miami
Through January 31:
“More Than Red Carpet” with Kris Steffner,
Magda Audifred, Greg Morgan, Michael
Campina, Daniel Fiorda, and J. Carson Case
Reception January 12, 5 to midnight
2134 NW Miami Ct., Miami
Through January 5:
“Glass” by Danilo Dueñas
January 12 through March 1
“i missed the Abstract Expressionists and i
wasn’t here for the beginning of Pop” by
Juan Raul Hoyos
Reception January 12, 7 to 10 p.m.
2033 NW 1st Pl., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
2628 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 31:
“Hydra: Veiled Labors in the New
Territories” site-specific installation by
Aristides Logothetis
Installation location: 769 NE 125th St.,
North Miami
2043 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through February 2:
“Line, Form + Color” with Shirley
Kaneda, Pia Fries, Robert
Rauschenberg, Karina Wisniewska,
Daniel Verbis, Melvin Martinez, Jonathan
Callan, Ernst F. Drewes, Dario Basso,
and Michael Scoggins; and “City Limits:
Miami” with Michael Loveland, Carlos
Betancourt, Felice Grodin, Luis AlonzoBarkigia, Manny Prieres, and Vicenta
Casan; and “Show Me the Munny” with
Nina Ferre, Laura Kina, Marcello
Mortarotti, Federico Nessi, Alejandra
Padilla, Silvia Rivas, Graciela Sacco,
Nicole Soden, Guillermo Srodek-Hart,
Karina Wisniewska, and more
169 NW 36th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
1 NE 40th St., Miami
January 4 through March 27:
“Embracing the World” with various artists
Opening reception January 4, 7 to
10 p.m.
Second reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
111 NW 1st St., Suite 625, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
130 NE 40th St. #2, Miami
Through January 5:
“Exposed!” with various South Florida
January 12 through February 29:
“To Die Dreaming” with various artists
Opening reception January 12, 7 to 10
561 NW 32nd St., Miami
Through January 4:
“Cosmos: Un Petite Rétrospective” by
Edouard Duval Carrié
Jordan Massengale, Sorority, at Leonard Tachmes Gallery.
4141 NE 2nd Ave. #202, Miami
Through January 26:
“Head to Head” with Barton Benes, Rune
Olsen, Judith Page, Scott Richter, Jenny
Scobel, Robert Thiele, and Charles Yuen
Reception January 12, 6 to 10 p.m.
180 NE 39th St., #210, Miami
By appointment: [email protected]
Call gallery for exhibition information.
3550 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through January 5:
Solo show by Peter Sarkisian
January 12 through February 2:
“ELEVATION” curated by Juan Griego with
Leo “Space” Borgneth, R.F. Buckley, Gary
Fonseca, Courtney Johnson, Marc
Osterman, Michel Rives, Stian Roenning,
John Sanchez, Peter Santa-Maria,
Michelle Weinberg, Valeria Yamamoto, and
Juan Griego
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
Elevation Ritual/Performance by Juan
Griego, 8:30 p.m.
158 NW 91st St., Miami Shores
By appointment: [email protected]
Through January 12:
“Cumulative Nature” by Lilian Garcia-Roig
January 18 through February 1:
Group show curated by Hugo Montoya
Reception January 18, 7 to 10 p.m.
Richard Höglund, CEM LXXIII, at Gallery Diet.
and Scott McKinley
Reception January 12, 7 to 10 p.m.
2441 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Through January 9:
“Barely Legal: Chelsea Galleria Turns 21”
with Francisco Olazabal, Eduardo del
Valle and Mirta Gomez, Kaarina
Kaikkonen, Yasmin Spiro, Scherer and
Ouporov, Kelly Flynn, Kate Kretz, Carlos
Gonzalez, Tina Spiro, and Billy Grace
Through February 6:
“Rollover Minutes” with Eduardo del Valle
and Mirta Gomez, Francisco Olazabal,
Kaarina Kaikkonen, Kelly Flynn, Carlos
Gonzalez and Justin Namon
282 NW 36th St., Miami
Through February 4:
“Modern Urban Expressionism” by Marcus
Antonius Jansen
2234 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 5:
“Milk Crown and Mushroom Cloud” with
Tatsuya Higuchi, Takako Kimura, and
Yuken Teruya; and “Gallery Projects” with
Andrew Guenther, Aramis Gutierrez,
Quisqueya Henriquez, Nayef Homsi,
Pepe Mar, Leyden Rodriguez-Casanova,
Adam Shecter, Frances Trombly, and
Wendy Wischer
January 12 through February 2:
Solo show by Aramis Gutierrez
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
2085 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 15:
“Tropical Relations” with Ricardo Raphael,
Perry Tortorelli, Marcelle C. Zanetti, Nelson
Viera, Adam Schrimmer, Robyn Reichek,
3938 NE 39th St., Miami
Through January 25:
“Safety Zones” with Deborah Jack, Jean
Chiang, John Cox, Erman, Danny
Ramirez, Luisa Mesa, Gail Ruiz, Rodney
Jackson, Tere Pastoriza, Holly Parotti,
Natalia Vasquez, Natalia Schonowski and
Aurora Molina, Carolina Vasquez,
Dinorah de Jesus Rodriguez, Gerardo
Gonzalez-Quevedo, Ian Colon and
William Thomas Porter, Alejandro
Contreras, and Lynn Parotti
151 NW 24th St., Miami
January 5 through February 2:
“Put You on a Pedestal” group exhibition
with various artists
Opening reception January 5, 7 to
10 p.m.
51 NW 36th St., Miami
Through January 20:
“Definitions” by Lionel Matheu
Reception January 12, 7 to 10 p.m.
2214 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Ongoing exhibitions: “The Serendipity of
Memories” by Kacey Westall, and solo
exhibitions by Edgar P. Jimenez, David
Gefen, Hope Conner, Izlia Fernandez,
Sue Irion, Ignacio Garcia Alias, Samuel
Gualtieri, Mel and Dorothy Tanner, Lauren
Garber Lake and Margaret Ross Tolbert
Reception January 12, 8 to 11 p.m.
10 NE 40th St., Miami
January 12 through January 31:
Solo show by Mario Velez
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
61 NE 40th St., Miami
Through January 20:
Solo shows by Irmaly and Elmer Hund
Reception January 12, 7 to 10 p.m.
January 2008
A R T & C U LT U R E
Art Listings
Continued from page 35
2247 NW 1st Pl., Miami
Though January 5:
“First Hand” by José Bédia
January 12 through February 2:
“Burning Bridges” by Diego Singh
Opening reception January 12, 7:30 to
10 p.m.
194 NW 30th St., Miami
Through January 26:
“Model of the Universe” by Peter Coffin
and “Time Snares” by Tatiana Trouve
174 NW 23rd St., Miami
January 12 through February 2:
“C.E.M.” by Richard Hoglund
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
62 NE 27th St., Miami
Through January 31:
Solo shows by Frank Stella and Guillermo
Muñoz Vera
2238 NW 1st Pl., Miami
January 2008
Call gallery for exhibition information.
3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through February 1:
“Objecthood” with various artists
2921 NW 6th Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
125 NW 23rd St., Miami
Through January 5:
“Purrfect” by Yui Kugimiya and “Slippage”
group show curated by Gean Moreno
January 12 through February 2:
“Up Against the Wall” by Ilka Hartmann
January 12 through March 1:
“casa de carton” with William Cordova,
George Smith, Derrick Adams, Carlos
Sandoval de Leon, Rashawn Griffin,
Gean Moreno, Jorge Pantoja, and
Robert Thiele
Reception January 12, 7:30 to 10 p.m.
147 NW 36th St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
1929 NW 1st Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
2249 NW 1st Pl., Miami
Through February 1:
“One Man’s Treasure Is Another Man’s
Trash” by Jason Middlebrook
3312 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through January 30:
“The Real Story of the Superheroes” by
Dulce Pinzon
6900 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
3930 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 5:
“Space Command” curated by Erika
Morales with Julian Martin, Jeroen
Nelemans, Carlos Rigau, Nick Ruiz, and
Juan Tapia
January 12 through March 1:
“Inside/Out” by Jordan Massengale
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
105 NW 23rd St., Miami
January 12 through February 29:
Solo shows by Graham Hudson and Aili
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
11 p.m.
98 NW 29th St., Miami
Through February 4:
“Vice” with Aggtelek, Aldo Zhaparro, Carlos
Huffmann, Diego Bianchi, Marcos Castro,
Miguel Rael, Nacho Magra, Bayrol
Jimenez, Ruben Gurrero, and Richard
3900 NE 1st Ave., Miami
Through January 5:
“Homage to Art Basel Miami 2007” with
Javier de Aubeyson, John Lahuis, and
Luciana Abait
January 12 through February 2:
“Past Continuance” with Oriano Galloni,
Carlos Ciriza, James Tyler, Leslie Lusardi,
and Alejandro Vigilante
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
126 NE 40th St., Miami
January 12 through February 1:
“Myth and Metaphor” by James Kitchens
Opening reception January 12, 8 to
10 p.m.
300 NE 2nd Ave.,
Bldg. 1, Room 1365, Miami
Through January 25:
“In Search of Magic” by Wendy Wischer
and “South Pole Installations” by
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Xavier Cortada
Through January 31:
“The Surface - Beneath and Beyond” with
Luis Garcia Nerey, Nina Surel, Donna Lee
Stiffens, Francisco Olazabal, Luisa Maria
Mesa,and more
1501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
4040 NE 2nd Ave., 2nd floor, Miami
Though March 8:
“French Kissin’ in the U.S.A.” with various
artists and “Faces” by Carlos Amorales
2450 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 8:
Group show with Rusty Scruby, Kazuya
Sakai, Leon Ferrari, Joe Ramiro Garcia,
and Daniel Joglar
January 12 through February 23:
Group show with Carolina Sardi, Jorge
Luis Santos, and Tomas Espina
Opening reception January 12, 6 to
9 p.m.
2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 8:
Dual show with Carlos Enriquez and
Ruben Torres-Llorca
Continued on page 38
A R T & C U LT U R E
Art Listings
Continued from page 37
January 12 through February 2:
Solo show by Veronica Viranoro
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10 p.m.
6444 Biscayne Blvd., Miami
Through January 26:
“Once Upon a Time There Was Venice” by
Maurizio Pellegrin
3326 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through January 5:
“alFresco” by Odalis Valdivieso
January 12 through February 9:
“Stillness” by Gladys Triana and “Concrete
Links” by Mariu Beyro
Reception January 12, 7 to 10 p.m.
2294 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Through January 5:
“Littlest Sister 07” curated by Claire Breukel
and Anthony Spinello with Blackbooks,
Timothy Berg, Sandra Bermudez, Ryan
Brennan, Paul Butler, Susan Lee-Chun,
Adriana Farmiga, Thomas Hollingworth, Lou
Laurita, Lee Materazzi, Tracy Nakayama,
Federico Nessi, Jonathan Peck, Job Piston,
Kerry Phillips, Santiago Rubino, Samantha
Salzinger, Reinaldo Sanguino, Tom
Scicluna, Tawnie Silva, Jen Stark, Pedro
Varela, Michelle Weinberg, Agustina
Woodgate, and more
January 12 through February 2:
“This May Be the Last Time, I Don’t Know”
by Christina Pettersson
Opening reception January 12, 7 to 10 p.m.
66 NE 40th St., Miami
January 12 through January 31:
Solo show by Matias Longoria
Opening reception January 12, 6 to
10 p.m.
195 NE 43 Street, Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
2020 NW Miami Ct., Miami
January 12 through January 31:
Solo show by Kevin Medal
Opening reception January 12, 7 to midnight
2200 NW 2nd Ave., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information
2563 N. Miami Ave., Miami
January 12 through February 23:
“Personal Jesus” with Hilary White and
Alejandro Medoza
Opening reception January 12, 7 to
10:30 p.m.
10 NE 3rd St., Miami
Call gallery for exhibition information.
7160 NW 2nd Ct., Miami
Through June 15:
“Maze” by Skip Van Cel
Installation location: 290
NW 72nd Terr., Miami
and “Afro-Cuban Works on Paper, 19682003” with various artists
101 W. Flagler St., Miami
Through January 20:
“The Killing Machine and Other Stories” with
Janet Cardiff and George Bures Miller
CIFO (Cisneros Fontanels
Art Foundation)
1018 N. Miami Ave., Miami
Through February 17:
“Fortunate Objects: Selections
from the Ella FontanalsCisneros Collection” with various artists
Christina Pettersson, Jack Kerouac's
House, at Spinello Gallery.
11200 SW 8th St., Miami
Through January 20:
“BFA Fall 2007 Exhibition” with various
1301 Stanford Dr., Coral Gables
Through February 3:
“Art Students League of New York:
Highlights from the Permanent Collection”
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Through January 13:
“Nomad” by Enrique Martínez Celaya
Through April 6:
“Work in Progress: Herzog and de Meuron’s
Miami Art Museum” by Herzog and de
770 NE 125th St., North Miami
Through March 2:
“House” by Jorge Pardo
404 NW 26th St., Miami
Through March 22:
Solo show by Enoc Perez
591 NW 27th St., Miami
Through April 28:
“Sculpture: Selections from the Private
Collection of Martin Z. Margulies” including
works by Isamu Noguchi, Donald Judd,
Willem de Kooning, Ernesto
Netto, Miro, Olafur Eliasson,
Richard Long, Richard Serra,
Tony Smith, George Segal,
Michael Heizer, Sol LeWitt, and
95 NW 29th St., Miami
Call for operating hours and exhibit
Through November 28:
“Hernan Bas: Works from the Rubell
Family Collection” by Hernan Bas, “John
Stezaker: Works from the Rubell Family
Collection” by John Stezaker; and “EuroCentric, Part 1: New European Art from the
Rubell Family Collection” with various artists
Debra and Dennis Scholl Collection
170 NW 23rd St., Miami
Appointment only: [email protected]
Through January 31:
“Training Ground” by Aernout Mik and
“Untitled Portrait” by Adam Helms
Compiled by Victor Barrenechea
Send listings, jpeg images, and events information to [email protected]
January 2008
A R T & C U LT U R E
Something Special Under
the Big Top
For a few hours on a single day, January
5, the intimate Studio Theater at the
Carnival Center for the Performing Arts
will be transformed into a fantastical circus -just for kids. That’s when the
Spanish-language El Circo de Enriqueta y
Agapito (Enriqueta and Agapito’s Circus)
parts the curtain on a fantasy world filled
with jugglers, clowns, puppets, and magic,
all of it orchestrated and delightfully performed by two of Argentina’s most
accomplished theater professionals,
Jessica Alvarez Diéguez and Alejandro
Vales. The program begins at 2:00 p.m.
and tickets (general admission) are just
$10. For more information call 305-9496722 or visit www.carnivalcenter.org.
singing: “Transcendental listening,” says
The New York Post. Souza, a three-time
Grammy nominee, brings her sultry voice
and distinctive musicality to the Carnival
Center’s Studio Theater on January 12
for two performances, at 7:00 and 9:00
p.m. Tickets are $25. For more information call the center’s box office at 305949-6722 or visit www.carnivalcenter.org.
Natural High
Pry your children away from their iPods
and Game Boys and show them they can
still find enjoyment in the South Florida
great outdoors. Whisk them away to the
Redland Festival this January 12 and 13
at the Fruit and Spice Park in South MiamiDade from 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. The festival features local arts and crafts exhibits, a
vast selection of tropical plants, and food.
While they nibble on treats, kids can also
enjoy a petting zoo, pony rides, interactive
puppet and magic shows, and even a reptile
show. The Fruit and Spice Park is located at
24801 SW 187th Ave., Homestead. For
more information call 305-247-5727 or
visit www.fruitandspicepark.org.
Remembering Athalie
Bossa Nova Beach Boys
Brazilian singer-songwriter Luciana Souza
has lived in the U.S. for many years, but
her homeland is never far away. Her latest
CD, The New Bossa Nova, is a testament
to that. On it she takes some of her
favorite American pop songs — from Joni
Mitchell, James Taylor, the Beach Boys,
Sting, even Randy Newman — and reinterprets them in a bossa nova setting. The
results have had critics doing their own
Celebrate Black History Month a few
weeks early by heading out to a free picnic in honor of one of Miami’s most
beloved and respected civic leaders, the
late Athalie Range. Those present will
enjoy live gospel music, family games, a
softball tournament, arts and crafts, food,
and more, all presented by the Dr. Martin
Luther King Jr. Economic Development
Corporation. The event will be held on
January 15 at Athalie Range Park, 525
NW 62nd St., Miami. For more information call 305-250-5327.
Haitian Independence
Celebrate Haitian independence at the
Haitian Fest in the Bayfront Park
Amphitheater located at 301 N. Biscayne
Blvd. in downtown Miami on January
20. The musical event, which takes place
from 4:00 p.m. to midnight, will have
locals grooving to performances by
Djakout, Carimi, T-Vice, Krezi, Zin, NuLook, Zenglen, System, Ram, and
Hangout. For tickets and information call
305-893-8020 or 305-895-8006.
Concert Hall. For more information call
the center’s box office at 305-949-6722 or
visit www.carnivalcenter.org.
Orchid Freaks, Rejoice!
Orchid lovers the world over are counting
down the days to the 19th World Orchid
Conference, to be held January 23
through the 27 at the Sheraton Miami
Mart Hotel and Exhibition Center located
at 777 NW 72nd Ave., Miami. (Think
we’re kidding about them counting down
the days? Check out the website.) If
you’ve never been to this event, imagine a
Star Trek convention, but with, you know,
flowers. Hmmm, think they’ll have a
Cyprideum calceolus there? We can’t wait
to find out. Tickets range from $20 general
admission price to $300 for full conference access. For more information call
786-621-9962 or go to www.19woc.com.
Living la Vida MOCA
A Man in Full
Female-to-male transgendered performer
Scott Turner Schofield brings his autobiographical show, Becoming a Man in 127
Easy Steps, to Miami. Named a “Young
Trans Hero of 2006” by The Advocate
magazine, Schofield has been hailed as a
rising light in queer theater. He performs
at the Carnival Center January 25 and 28
at 8:00 p.m. (Note: The show contains
brief nudity.) Tickets are $25. On January
22 there will be a free panel discussion
titled “Bending Gender in the New
Millennium,” featuring Schofield and others and moderated by Lydia Martin of the
Miami Herald. The discussion will be held
at 7:00 p.m. at the Carnival Center Knight
Culture is a lot like cigarettes and beer —
hook the kids early and you’ll have them
for life. At least that must be the thinking
behind MOCA FRESH 2008, a celebration of design, dance, and education aimed
at teens and college students. On Saturday,
January 26, from noon to 4:00 p.m.,
young adults will enjoy free interactive
workshops, art, live music, dance performances, and more. Tours of the current exhibition, “Jorge Pardo: House,” will be led
by MOCA’s Junior Docents throughout
the afternoon. It’s all happening at the
Museum of Contemporary Art, 770 NE
125th St. in North Miami. For additional
information, or to reserve a spot in a
workshop, call 305-893-6211 or visit
Feedback: [email protected]
Specializing in Children 3-years-old through adult level.
Mon - Fri 5:30 pm - 9:00 pm
Sat 9:00 am - 8:00 pm
645 N . E . 125th Street, North Miami
Parking in FRONT and REAR
$5.00 OFF
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
(New Students Only).
$5.00 OFF
of Mandatory
(New Students Only).
Bayfront’s Squandered Enchantment
This Cinderella of a park has lost much more than her glass slipper
Since this photo was taken, high-rise, high-priced condos have lined
the Boulevard.
she could be. Only her location is royal.
What stands out is the park’s beautiful,
centralized location, making it the undisputed “central” park of Miami. Its waterfront gazes out at the world’s busiest
cruise port and is visited by real Miami
dolphins. Its main entrance is from
Flagler Street, which in a fairy tale
would be a “Fifth Avenue” of the
Americas. But everyone knows that
downtown Miami is far from Wall Street
or Disney’s Main Street.
Park Rating
NE 2nd Ave.
NE 1st Ave.
Biscayne Blvd.
301 N. Biscayne Blvd.
Hours: Sunrise to sunset
Picnic tables: No
Barbecues: No
Picnic pavilions: No
Tennis courts: No
Athletic fields: No
Night lighting: Yes
Swimming pool: No
Special features:
Amphitheater, covered
stage, rock garden,
Memorials stand to the victims of the
Challenger shuttle, World War II, Cuban
despotism, and to John F. Kennedy. Next
to the JFK “Torch of Friendship” along
Biscayne Boulevard is another half-circle
tribute to our friends in Latin America,
but you must comprehend Spanish to
appreciate the engravings. The smallest
but most significant plaque, near the central War Memorial, is to Chicago Mayor
Anton Cermack, who was fatally shot
here in 1933 during as assassination
attempt on President-elect Franklin D.
Roosevelt. The importance of this failed
assassination was cited last year in the
New York Times article “Ten Days That
Changed History.”
Today, fortunately for the befuddled
Cinderella, the park has a benefactor
and a few treasure maps to help her
realize her potential. The unique
Bayfront Park Management Trust, led
today by Miami Commissioner Joe
Sanchez, has managed this park and the
disastrous Bicentennial Park since 1987.
The city directs trustees and staff to
provide “maximum community utilization and enjoyment.” The trust holds
monthly public meetings in the underground Bayfront Park offices. Yes, I
said underground, but more accurately
At one point Cinderella thought she
was turning Japanese. She got a $40 million makeover in the 1980s from famed
Japanese-American designer Isamu
Noguchi, who made it pleasing from a
bird’s viewpoint. In the same decade she
sold half of herself to Bayside
Marketplace, which is heavily visited in
comparison to the remaining 32 acres of
Continued on page 41
park. While seemingly successful, this sale must be mourned in
a city with the nation’s lowest per
capita park acreage.
Bayfront Park should be where
the royal ball is, not where the
white ball is. This is the place
where we should hear the sounds
of salsa pulsing, the shouts of
protestors flying, and the murmurs of business people wheeling
and dealing. Instead we‘re more
likely to hear homeless people
snoring and a few puzzled
tourists asking, “Where are we?”
The park does have a collection of fine and quixotic sculpture. The strangest and most
playful is the 2007 sculpture for
children, near the Lee and Tina
Hills Playground, of a big, blue
wave bisected by a life-size dolphin, sea turtle, and manatee.
The Skylift balloon sails above a helix
From the back, it looks like
that honors the victims of the
you’re being mooned by the cast
Challenger shuttle disaster.
from Finding Nemo.
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
BT photo by Jim W. Harper
inderella has an identity crisis,
and she can’t quite make it to the
ball. She can’t decide if she’s a
marketplace called Bayside, or a park
called Bayfront. She bats her eyes at
downtown’s central business district, but
then puts up an uninviting wall. She tries
to be too many things at once and winds
up soulless and lonely.
This Cinderella is deeply in denial.
Her official name is “Mildred and
Claude Pepper Bayfront Park,” but she
hides the statue of Congressman Pepper
in a distant corner and confounds him
with statues of Columbus, Ponce de
Leon, and Flipper. This year she even
dethroned the massive “Mildred and
Claude Pepper Fountain” and covered it
with a white balloon, as if that might lift
her to a celestial ball. She harbors a dysfunctional rock garden, laser tower, and
seating disks, but there is not a functional picnic table in sight.
Today she lies by Biscayne Bay, a
dismembered beauty, singing drunkenly
to herself: “Up, up and away, in my
beautiful, my beautiful balloon!”
Although not a debacle like
Bicentennial Park, her fugly stepsister
to the north who earned a one-tree
review (“Miami’s Waterfront Muddle,”
December 2007), she is not the princess
Photo courtesy Faroy Aerial Projects
By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor
Website: http://bayfrontparkmiami.com.
The City of Miami has an even newer
master plan, which calls for a downthey are inside a hill. Good luck trying
town “Park of Parks” that would conto find them.
nect miles of waterfront into pedestriAs for utilization and enjoyment, the
an-friendly “Baywalk” and
park now offers free yoga classes (6:00
“Riverwalk.” Great ideas.
p.m. Monday and Wednesday, and 9:00
To become reality, these ideas need
a.m. Saturday). You can also take trapeze
benefactors — namely, every
classes from the Flying Trapeze School.
and condo along this stretch of
The newest attraction is the big bubble
Boulevard. A world-class
called Miami Sky Lift, but it dislikes
these places worth the
windy days.
astronomical prices their tenants
are paying.
This is where we should hear the
As the BRV report points out,
sounds of salsa, the shouts of
Bayfront Park needs a few major
protestors. Instead we’re more likely
adjustments, although many parts
to hear puzzled tourists asking,
of its infrastructure are solid. The
“Where are we?”
first recommendation is a nobrainer: Reduce the pavement.
This mantra is what every park in
needs to chant. Okay, so you
In 2003 the trust commissioned an
Now unpave it. The
excellent report from the BRV
Corporation called “Managing Bayfront offending heat-trap in Bayfront is mainly
the monstrous walkway from Flagler
Park to Greatness.” That report, and a
Street that glares like a mirror and feels
fascinating history of the park (which
like a sauna in the desert. The extra-wide
sits on land dredged from the bay botsidewalk along the bay is also uninvittom) by Miami historian Paul S.
ing, especially around Bayside, which
George can be found at the park’s
Continued from page 40
January 2008
BT photo by Jim W. Harper
Art in the park: Delightful sea creatures in a perpetual wave.
has turned the waterfront into a driveway. (Designers in the 1980s must have
been distracted by all the big hair.)
While some changes may be costly,
the park could be invigorated for about
$5000. Buy 20 picnic tables and put one
under every tree near the Boulevard. Let
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
the people eat their sandwich cubano in
the park.
And if you see Cinderella staggering
around Bayfront, give her a café con
leche and tell her to sober up.
Feedback: [email protected]
C O L U M N I S T S : T E C H TA L K
You Have Mail — Way Too Much of It
Not all e-mail services are created equal
By Marc Stephens
BT Contributor
n the hyper-reality time of the computer age, new advancements
become old fast, and the initial purpose of a particular technology is often
eclipsed by newer functions and applications almost overnight. But networked
electronic mail constitutes the grand
exception to this rule: e-mail was born
as the first and best-devised application
of computer networking technology, and
30-odd years later, it remains so.
Oh, we may complain about the
added work and overactive CYA supervision it brings, as well as the avalanche
of spam most of us contend with on a
daily basis (a challenge the major
providers are still struggling to vanquish). And many of you reading this
may wish you could send every one of
your accursed e-mail accounts the way
of Ishmael’s beloved captain.
But electronic mail also symbolizes
the ideal use of networked resources,
whether at the corporate level or on the
Internet, and much like the telephone, it
has revolutionized the way we communicate, both for business and for pleasure.
In fact, e-mail is such a vital component of our daily lives that the Big Four
“online portal” companies —
Microsoft, America Online, Yahoo!,
and Google — regard it as one of their
twin broad-access flagship applications
(the other being proprietary searchengine technology). Accordingly these
firms are constantly tweaking their
interfaces and software to compete for
new users, while at the same time
improving storage capacity and the
overall mail experience.
And boy, do they compete! When I
first signed up for a charter Hotmail
account ten years ago, total available
mailbox storage was capped at two
megabytes; most services now offer
their subscribers virtually unlimited
storage, meaning that as long as you
don’t unduly abuse their servers, they’ll
pretty much let you do whatever you
want (five gigabytes and up).
The permitted size per individual
message has also skyrocketed, from a
few thousand kilobytes to 20 megabytes
or more, and these mind-boggling numbers are increasing all the time.
So how to differentiate among these
free commercial mail services, to
decide which to trust with your primary
e-mail account?
While storage and general features
may indeed be robust for all the major
providers, there are still significant differences to be reckoned with, particularly in terms of spam control, message
filtering, and POP3 (Post Office
Protocol) compatibility via a third-party
client such as Outlook Express. This
last element has lately become essential:
When you maintain as many e-mail
identities as I do (personal, business,
volume, and so on), it really helps to be
able to view and manage all your mail
in one place. Outlook and Outlook
Express have this capability, merging
all of your e-mail accounts onto one
secure Microsoft-supported screen, and
with no in-your-face advertising or
tracking cookies either.
Such service is not always free, however. Of the four providers, only AOL
and Google’s Gmail furnish POP3
access free of charge, while using
Outlook with Hotmail or Yahoo Mail
requires signing up for Premium or
Plus service (usually around $20 per
year). From what I understand, Bill
Gates has had plenty of success convincing people to pay for premium
Outlook Express access to Hotmail.
Since Outlook Express is available
free with Windows, I recommend
using it or another mail aggregator
wherever possible (Hotmail or not),
with direct browser access serving as
your backup interface.
Also critical in terms of privacy are
the mail provider’s spam-control and
blocked-sender capabilities.
Unfortunately it’s usually necessary to
log in via the Web to manage these
spam and sender lists, because Outlook
can’t do this on its own.
However, given the preponderance of
spam in today’s world, such self-protection is well worth the effort. When it
comes to intercepting unwanted mail,
Hotmail is the best and Gmail the
worst, with the others somewhere in
between: Hotmail, AOL, and Yahoo! all
allow you to block individual addresses
or even entire domains, while Hotmail
and AOL also feature a special “permitted sender” list, which will deposit all
This is largely because, like all things
unrecognized e-mail into your spam
Microsoft, Outlook Express is designed folder automatically.
to be fully compatible with your online
Aside from the local filtering capaHotmail account, allowing live-time
bilities listed above, Microsoft has also
folder synchronization, contact lists,
vastly improved its internal spam conand message management.
trols, meaning that I have a lot less
Outlook is also preferable to general
garbage saturating my inbox today than
Web-based browser access as a means
I did even two years ago. At Gmail, on
to avoid viruses, spyware, and the
the other hand, it may as well be the
accompanying onslaught of tracking
Wild West: The site has no blocksender feature, and as far as I
can tell it pretty much grants
My first choice would be Hotmail via
every single Cialis and Rolex
purveyor on the planet free reign
Outlook Express at the top, then
to flood your inbox with juvenile
Yahoo! Mail second, with AOL and
sales pitches. An acquaintance of
Gmail bringing up the rear.
mine recently sent a “test” email to my Gmail volume
account, as did about 500 of his
cookies and related advertising. While
closest friends; before I knew it the
these Web interfaces might feature plen- mailbox was rendered virtually inoperaty of sexy scripting and interactive bells ble as a result, forcing me to discontinand whistles, advertising overload can
ue the account and create a new one.
be a serious detriment to the overall
In the end, if forced to rank the
user experience.
providers, my first choice would be
Of the four main services, AOL is eas- Hotmail via Outlook Express at the top,
ily the worst offender in this department, then Yahoo! Mail second, with AOL
with nearly a dozen advertising cookies
and Gmail bringing up the rear. But
blocked from each loaded page. I don’t
remember that you’re at liberty to creknow about you, but I prefer that the
ate accounts on all four of these servicentire marketing world not know when
es if you wish, and try each of them out
and where I’m doing my surfing; using
for yourself.
a POP3-based mail retrieval program
eliminates this concern.
Feedback: [email protected]
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
Nature’s Control Issues
By Jeff Shimonski
BT Contributor
oes anyone remember when the
palm disease called lethal yellowing first showed up in South
Florida in the early 1970s? This is a disease that is found almost exclusively in
palms, is transmitted by a bug that lives in
grass (our lawns), and is always fatal to
the tree. There were an estimated 100,000
coconut palms and thousands of other
species of palms killed in the early 1970s
by the disease in South Florida alone.
(One other plant species outside of the
palm family, the screw pine, or Pandanus
utilis, is also known to be susceptible.)
At Parrot Jungle we cut down more
than 100 mature dead coconut and other
palms. I remember the effort that was
undertaken to find a chemical control for
this outbreak. Experts suggested many
different pesticides and various combinations to eliminate the scourge. It was
finally found that only modest control of
the disease could be accomplished chemically, and this eventually consisted of an
injection into the palm trunk of the antibiotic oxytetracycline. This method, of
course, had to be repeated every few
months, with a new puncture wound that
would never heal inflicted on the trunk
upon each application.
So what has happened since lethal yellowing became a permanent resident of
South Florida? Most municipalities and
property owners have realized that trunk
injection is impractical and expensive.
And while it has been acknowledged that
virtually no palm species is immune to
lethal yellowing, for some reason many
palms that we thought would be wiped out
BT photo by Jeff Shimonski
Chemicals aren’t the long-term solution to infestations
have made a comeback. Why?
realized the mites first colonized
The likely answer to that is the
the lowest leaves on palms,
susceptible species and varieties
bananas, and other similar plants.
of palms have died out while the
They do this because as a leaf
resistant or tolerant ones have
begins to senesce (die), the plant
thrived and propagated. Lethal
starts to mobilize nutrients to move
yellowing still exists in our area;
to new plant growth. In order to
Jungle Island loses one or two
migrate, the nutrients turn into a
palms a year, but with a large
soluble form that the plant’s vascuvariety of coconut and other palm
lar system can then relocate. When
species planted there, the loss
the nutrients are in a soluble form,
becomes insignificant.
they are more readily available and
I bring up this episode of local
nutritious to mites and insects.
history and the attempt to control
So I started cutting off the lowlethal yellowing chemically
est leaves of palms, bananas, helibecause of its relevance today
conias, and other similar species
concerning a couple of outbreaks:
of plants just as they started to
that of the fig whitefly and, most
senesce. I never cut above the 90The fruit of Ficus auriculata, a species of ficus
recently, the red palm mite.
degree angle, and once you begin
not colonized by the fig whitefly.
Last month I wrote here how
to understand your plants’ cycles,
the fig whitefly might be dueling
you won’t have to cut off leaves
with natural predators, in Jungle Island
A glitch could occur, however, if chemi- all the time. This may work for the red
and other areas of Miami, bringing the
cals are being used to control the whitefly; palm mite.
infestation under control organically. Quite it is likely that their insect predators will
Natural insect controls take time to
often now I will pick up a fallen ficus leaf
also be vulnerable to these chemicals.
become established, and nonsusceptible
at the park or around the City of Miami
Since predatory populations of any animal plants take time to repopulate a given
and count the number of parasitized
or insect species are smaller than the poplocation. Be patient. The use of chemical
immature whiteflies, or nymphs. At times
ulations of their prey, they can be killed
controls may temporarily control an insect
the number of nymphs being parasitized
off much faster and will take much longer
population, but will never conquer it pernears 100 percent. When I first started
to become re-established.
manently — ask anyone who has been in
watching the parasitism rate a couple of
The red palm mite will likely follow
the pest-control business for a few years
months ago, the rate was sometimes only
the same scenario: infestation, insect
about resistance issues.
up to 20 percent.
predator control, fluctuation in populaBut there will be a “crash.” The predations of the mites and their predators —
Jeff Shimonski is an ISA-certified
tors will run out of food and start to die
and eventually it becomes just another
municipal arborist, director of horticulout. The whitefly will make a comeback
spider mite among us. This mite, as with
ture at Jungle Island, and principal of
temporarily until the predators rebuild
many other species of mites found localTropical Designs of Florida. Contact him
their own populations. Eventually the natly, thrives not only on palm foliage but
by e-mail at [email protected],
ural controls will take over, and perhaps
on the foliage of bananas, heliconias, and or log on to his Website, www.tropicaldesome species of ficus will be reduced. But many other plants.
remember what happened with palms and
I stopped spraying acaracides, or pestilethal yellowing.
cides that kill mites, years ago when I
Feedback: [email protected]
For more information, visit
or call 305-490-8117
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Ditch the Suit, Save the Earth
Definition of insanity: Wearing a coat and tie in a freezing Miami office building
By Jim W. Harper
BT Contributor
ake a look at the “Google Earth”
around you. Miami is surrounded
on all sides by the tropics. To the
west is a swamp, to the south are the
Florida Keys, and to the east are the
Bahamas. Technically it is a subtropical
region, but our brief cool spells at this
time of year will soon return to the tropical norm.
Florida is located at the same latitude as
Egypt, Saudi Arabia, and India. What
clothes would you pack to visit those
countries? In the subtropics, people do not
wear suits and ties. In the Bahamas,
women might sport a flowing muumuu.
People in the Keys do not wear ties; they
wear bathing suits. People in the swamp
wear mosquito netting. Even 1000 miles
to the north, the island of Bermuda is
known for shorts.
Still further away latitudinally and culturally, Japan has abandoned the business
suit. They call it “Cool Biz,” and since
2005 the campaign has required government offices to adapt thermostats and
clothing patterns to the outside temperature. During the warm months, “cool”
businesses keep the inside temperature at
82 degrees Fahrenheit. Even the Prime
Minister of Japan shows up in Parliament
in an open-necked shirt with no tie. The
primary motivation for the movement is to
combat global warming, and the government is practicing what it preaches.
The Japanese fashion for coolness got a
little “Project Runway” treatment when
someone invented the short-sleeved suit.
Thankfully, it did not catch on. The campaign has been adopted by Japanese banks
that find it good for business. Not
only does it save on the A/C bill, but it
also attracts customers who appreciate
the bank’s sense of responsibility. Too
much cooling is considered wasteful
and shameful. What a concept.
Here in South Florida we live by
the opposite principle. To avoid the
stigma of Third World heat, we
crank up the A/C in our cars, homes,
and businesses. Oftentimes we face
polar indoor temperatures, whereas it
is usually balmy outside. We actually
wear sweaters indoors! Why do we
fight our climate, the very thing that
most people north of us envy?
We cling to air-conditioning like a
life raft. We can’t even imagine life
without it. It is, after all, the invention that allowed Florida to flourish,
and we are addicted to it. When was
the last time you walked into an
office building or retail outlet and did not
feel a blast of cold air? Now we’re confronted with the distasteful prospect that
we are destroying our children’s future so
we can feel cool today. The cool temperature itself is not the problem - the problem
is the amount of energy it requires to get
there. That energy production produces
huge amounts of greenhouse gases.
So how can we change our A/C habits
without sweltering? Let’s face it, no
Miami office is voluntarily going to set
its thermostat at 82 degrees during the
day. Public buildings might set an example of being comfortable at 78 degrees
instead of the typical low 70s, but government is likely to balk. Private businesses can take the lead and start their
own “Cool Biz” campaign. Surely some
enterprising Miami entrepreneur could
find a way to spin it as a marketing
advantage, drawing customers who support efforts to go green.
The dress code should fit the climate
outside, not an artificial micro climate
inside. Imagine needing only one set of
clothes for both the street and the office.
Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos
Alvarez plays it both ways, sometimes
seen wearing a guayabera or other shortsleeved shirt, but often sporting the blue
suit and tie. Most business leaders in
Miami conform to the suit-and-tie concept,
although a few will don the Cuban-style
guayabera in deference to the city’s cultural heritage and its proximity to the island,
where the weather is identical to ours.
Public officials can lead the way. If
Gov. Charlie Crist wears short sleeves to a
meeting, it allows others to follow. When
Mayor Alvarez puts on the guayabera,
business people can lose the ties.
Already the “casual Friday” custom
has altered office fashion, but most
places still battle the perception that
lighter clothing is less professional. In
reality, heavy clothing in South
Florida is insane, and insane is not
very professional. So let’s stop the
insanity. Miami is not New York, or
Chicago, or even Atlanta. We are the
gateway to the Americas, and we
should start dressing like it. Leave the
ties to the tourists.
Oh, wait a minute. Tourists don’t
wear ties. They seem to be aware that
they are in Florida, and they pack
While changing our clothing may
help to change our mindset, it will
not entirely eliminate the need for
air conditioning. So follow common-sense principles in its use, and get
a programmable thermostat for your
home. As for your A/C maintenance,
the blog greenerMiami recommends the
•Clean or change air-conditioning filters
regularly. Typically every one to two
months, which improves efficiency by five
to ten percent.
•Get your air-conditioning unit
checked by a professional at least every
three years.
•Set the A/C thermostat at 78 degrees,
or as warm as you can stand it. Each
degree increase results in a cost savings of
between five and eight percent.
And next holiday season, don’t buy
your boss another tie. Buy a muumuu.
Feedback: [email protected]
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and Treatment
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January 2008
Gunshots in the Night
Fear and safety in our transitional neighborhoods
By Jenni Person
BT Contributor
ecently I was robbed in broad
daylight on a Friday afternoon, in
front of my own house. Stupidly,
I was changing Izzi’s diaper in the car
before heading off to Publix. My purse
was slung over my back when I felt a
tugging. I turned around, a bit confused,
staring at a stranger square in the eye.
He yanked harder, pulling me down to
the ground. I surrendered my bag as
soon as I could, not wanting to see a
weapon anywhere near my child.
I screamed, hoping someone would see
him as he ran (and because I was in
shock and didn’t know what else to do),
and luckily for me a neighbor saw what
was happening. Selflessly he ran after the
guy, who then jumped in a car and took
off. My neighbor was able to provide a
description of the robber, his car, and the
tag number. He called 911 as I stood
clutching a shrieking Izzi, shaking,
phoneless, keyless, with no identification,
feeling violated and totally freaked out
about my child’s safety and well-being.
Even though the guy will probably
never will be caught, and I, of course,
will never get my stuff back, I’m grateful
that someone was there to witness the
incident. I am forever grateful to my
neighbor, a father of three, for risking his
own life on my behalf and for being
there for me. I keep thinking: What
would he have done if he had caught the
The poor soul who robbed me and
traumatized Izzi got about 20 bucks and
a Blackberry he could only sell for a lot
less than I paid. Meanwhile it’s cost us
well over $2000 to replace house and car
locks, the Blackberry (retail without a
contract), plus the loss of the little cash
and a bunch of gift cards probably valued at less than $100. Additionally there
is the stress of canceling and replacing
everything, dealing with bureaucracy
beating on you when you are already
down, changing all the automatic debits
connected to the canceled cards, from
Website hosting renewals to SunPass.
Not to mention that I don’t think I will
feel comfortable getting my kids in and
out of the car for a while.
But I can only assume that the
increased anxiety my family and I are
experiencing on top of our normal stress
is the temporary version of the more permanent acute condition that triggers such
acts of crime. Okay, I get it — but I still
would like my neighborhood to be
cleared of crack houses, both the official
and the unofficial ones.
Oddly, I had recently been thinking
about how amazing it is that I had gotten
to the ripe old age of 40 with a seemingly
Continued on page 46
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January 2008
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Continued from page 45
constant rash of crime surrounding my
current home without ever being mugged.
(Identifying my neighborhood in this column might embarrass cops and lawmakers into doing more, but I’m also worried
about my area a bad reputation, which
could make the situation worse. So let’s
just say it’s a Biscayne Corridor neighborhood that has been “in transition” too
long.) Growing up in a Brooklyn neighborhood similarly transitioning with gentrification, I heard about kids being
mugged every day on the way to school.
Crime was just a given in New York City
in the 1970s — houses were robbed, cars
were broken into, people were attacked.
Almost every night I was kept awake by
crowds of people hanging out, drinking
and drugging in the park across the street
from my house, with huge, loud boom
boxes (or less offensively on occasion,
bongos), yelling and laughing and breaking bottles into the wee hours.
And yet I played street ball, kick-thecan, and roller-skated there. Likewise, I
walked the ten blocks to school unaccompanied by an adult during fourth
grade, and rode the subway without
grownups from fifth grade.
I imagine I was sharpened by the crime
around me; maybe it made me less trusting of strangers, or anyone on the street.
Maybe it kept me streetwise enough to be
free of such violations until I was 40.
Maybe it made me prepared enough to
be able to look at it from the other
side and somehow, on some level,
have empathy, but not excuses, for the
But now, as neighbors’ reports of
armed robberies, car thefts, break-ins,
gun shots, and home invasions flood
the neighborhood e-mail list, I can’t help
but wonder if I have picked the right
place to raise my own kids. I feel like all
they are going to learn is fear and danger.
Poor Izzi is still traumatized — for
more than a week afterward he was
afraid of men who to him looked like our
offender, which basically means Izzi was
afraid of all men he didn’t immediately
recognize as friends or family. And he
has become clingy for the first time in
his little life.
I actually understood at a young age
— even though I was part of it — that
gentrification hurts as it pushes people
out of affordable (although often dilapidated) homes. That was explained to me
early on, when the animosity toward my
family and our neighbors manifested in
those intentionally loud and boisterous
Reports of armed robberies,
car thefts, and break-ins —
I can’t help but wonder if I have
picked the right place to
raise my kids.
nights in the park, or in rocks sailing
through our windows or graffiti scribbled
on the door. My parents, seemingly
unnerved by it all, installed an alarm,
kept the precinct’s number close at hand,
and relied on friends stopping by during
long absences.
And now I’m raising my kids in apparently worse conditions. We are all so
happy in our reclaimed Biscayne
Corridor neighborhood homes, wrangling with the preservation department
and the city as we restore their former
architectural glory and try to build a
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
community together through neighborhood associations. But what are the
implications for our kids?
A friend and neighbor of mine was
held up at gunpoint in her own driveway
with her then-infant daughter. What if
the gun had been fired? Recently there
were gunshots on my street and again
one street over. What if my kids had
been innocently playing in the line of
fire? Another friend and neighbor witnessed a break-in in her own home, coming upon the burglar as her alarm blared
at six in the morning. What if her kids
had gotten there first? The crime in our
area is so seemingly uncontrollable that
our neighborhood association’s crimewatch committee is considering requesting federal intervention.
Obviously we need to do everything we
can to keep our kids and ourselves safe.
But it seems we also need to find the right
words and tools to raise confident, selfassured kids who feel safe, with an appreciation for caution, but not constantly
afraid in ways that will bleed into other
aspects of their development and lives.
Feedback: [email protected]
January 2008
C O L U M N I S T S : P A W S I T I V E LY P E T S
A Dog’s Life
Here’s what you can expect in the first 12 months
By Lisa Hartman
BT Contributor
o you’re a new puppy owner —
congratulations! Your dog’s puppyhood is a fun and exciting time of
bonding, learning, and spending time
with each other. But for some new owners, it’s also a time of worry. As they
watch and listen to their tiny bundle of
white fluff — who looks like a cotton
ball but acts like Cujo — growl, snap,
and bite like Mike Tyson, they wonder if
something is wrong. Is their pup is normal? Maybe, maybe not. He’s probably a
normal, healthy dog. But understanding
how your dog may change during the
course of his first year of life can help
you roll with the punches and raise him
to adulthood successfully.
Infancy to two months: Toothless,
blind, and deaf, the newborn puppy is
completely dependent on his mother. He
does have his sense of smell, which helps
him find the nipples for feeding. Around
four weeks, he starts to develop teeth, and
can hear and see with more clarity. From
five to eight weeks is a critical socialization period in which puppies learn to play
with other pups in their litter. The allimportant “bite inhibition” takes place
now as well; the biting puppy learns how
much jaw pressure will hurt another dog,
and how to hold back or inhibit a hard
bite. Other pups will yelp in pain and stop
playing with the hard-mouthed pup until
he changes his behavior.
It’s for this reason that quality breeders
will not give up a puppy to a new home
until it is at least seven weeks old, usually
eight weeks. Five to eight weeks is also a
critical socialization period for pups to
January 2008
learn about and meet people of all ages
and sizes, to walk on different surfaces
(grass, linoleum), play with different toys,
and gently be exposed to other sights and
sounds, such as car horns, vacuums, televisions, and so on. If you’re buying a dog
from a breeder, look for one who raises
the dogs inside the home and has a comprehensive socialization plan in place.
Most breeders also have a whelping box
where the pups stay with mom and try to
keep clean, giving them a head start on
housebreaking. (For all these reasons, it is
a better idea to seek out a quality breeder
rather than buy a puppy at a pet store.)
Three to four months: This is the age
when most of us get our puppy. They look
like little dogs now and seem sweet and
goofy simultaneously. Your most important job is to continue the socialization
process. Gradually introduce the puppy to
friendly dogs and people of all ages, especially children and babies. Take him with
you in the car to pick up the kids or the
dry cleaning. Enroll him in a positivepuppy class so he can play with pups his
own age and start learning basic manners.
Pups still may be teething and play-biting,
and a good teacher will help you modify
this behavior and channel it into an appropriate toy.
Five to seven months: Bigger, energetic, and strong now, some dogs in this
age group may still be nipping at you,
having fun watching you yell and loose
your cool. Resist the urge to punish him
harshly as this behavior is still considered
normal and will fade away if you consistently stop playing with him or redirect
his mouthing and chewing. This is also
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
the age when most puppies are neutered,
if they haven’t been already. Make sure
their exercise and play needs are met as
well. Start dog-friendly training.
Seven to nine months: By now he’s
old enough and capable enough to learn
many behaviors, but not always able to
remember the rules. Consistently and fairly remind this wiseguy what the law is.
He is growing fast, his hormones are raging, and he is realizing there is more to
his world than you. Smells in the yard
have new meaning, and his reactions to
other dogs may change. Almost everything in life interests him now, and he
may seem to develop selective deafness
when you call him. Continue socializing
him and showing him that you are the
most wonderful thing in his life.
Ten to twelve months: He’s getting to
know a lot things, but he still may not
have mastered commands. Not quite a
pup and not yet an adult, “tweens” like
him are young and cocky. Continue to
remind him of the rules and be consistent
with your demands.
Throughout the stages of your
puppy’s young life, consistency is key
in helping him to learn the rules and
how to behave in public. Make training
fun with toys, treats, and games so he
will want to participate. With a strong
early foundation, you are on your way
to living with a happy, friendly, adult
dog for years to come.
Lisa Hartman is head dog trainer for
Pawsitively Pets! Positive Dog Training.
You can reach her at pawsitivelypetsonline.com or 786-942-PETS.
Feedback: [email protected]
BT photo by Priscilla Arias
A family of chocolatiers is hands-on in the kitchen and the community — and it’s all kosher
By Lynn Roberson
BT Contributor
t begins as a small, fragile, pale
yellow flower, stemming incongruously from the trunk of the cacao
tree. If the blossom is pollinated, and
survives pounding tropical rainfall,
fungal infection, and the appetites of
any number of hungry forest herbivores, a rough, brown, gourd-like pod
develops. Inside the pods, seeds rich
in cocoa solids and cocoa fats mature.
All chocolate is born this way — from
Hershey’s Kisses to Godiva truffles.
At Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden,
cacao trees in the tropical fruits section are in bloom right now. It is wonderful to part their leaves in search of
the tiny blossoms.
The cacao tree is native to New
World rainforests. In about 1400 B.C.,
pre-Mayan Hondurans not only harvested cacao pods from the jungle and
mixed up a drink using cacao seeds, but
Eric Newman and some of the family’s handmade delicacies.
also created special pottery vessels to
ferment the white pulp surrounding the
seeds. The aged pulp became a source
of sugar for ceremonial alcoholic brews.
Residue from the inside of a 400
A.D. Mayan pot indicates that within a
Restaurant listings for the BT Dining
Guide are written by Pamela Robin
Brandt. Every effort has been made to
ensure accuracy, but restaurants
frequently change menus, chefs, and
operating hours, so please call ahead to
confirm information. Icons ($$$)
represent estimates for a typical meal
without wine, tax, or tip. Hyphenated
icons ($-$$$) indicate a significant range
in prices between lunch and dinner
menus, or among individual items on
those menus.
$= $10 and under
$$= $20
$$$= $30
$$$$= $40
$$$$$= $50 and over
Brickell / Downtown
1435 Brickell Ave., Four Seasons Hotel, 305-381-3190
Originally an Italian/Mediterranean restaurant, this comfortably elegant, upscale spot switched chefs in 2006
(to Patrick Duff, formerly at the Sukhothai in Bangkok),
resulting in a complete menu renovation. Thailand’s
famed sense of culinary balance is now evident throughout the global (though primarily Asian or Latin Americaninspired) menu, in dishes like yuzu/white soya-dressed
salad of shrimp tempura (with watercress, Vidalia onion,
avocado, pomegranate), a tender pork shank glazed
with spicy Szechuan citrus sauce (accompanied by a
chorizo-flecked plantain mash), or lunchtime’s rare tuna
burger with lively wasabi aioli and wakame salad. For
dessert few chocoholics can resist a buttery-crusted tart
filled with sinfully rich warm chocolate custard. $$$$$
500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8254
Floor-to-ceiling picture windows showcase Biscayne Bay.
But diners are more likely to focus on the sparkling raw
bar and open kitchen, where chef Clay Conley crafts
imaginative global creations – many of them combinations, to satisfy those who want it all. One offering, “A
Study in Tuna,” includes tuna sashimi, Maine crab, avocado tempura, and caviar, with several Asian sauces.
Moroccan lamb is three preparations (grilled chop, harissa-marinated loin, and bastilla, the famed savory-sweet
Middle Eastern pastry, stuffed with braised shank), plus
feta and smoked eggplant. Finish with a vanilla soufflé
your way, a choice of toppings: chocolate, raspberry, or
crème anglaise. $$$$$
Café Sambal
500 Brickell Key Dr., 305-913-8358
Though the Mandarin Oriental Hotel describes this
space as its “casual hotel restaurant,” many consider it
a more spectacular dining setting than the upscale Azul,
upstairs, owing to the option of dining outdoors on a
covered terrace directly on the waterfront. The food is
Asian-inspired, with a few Latin and Mediterranean
accents (sushi, plus creative fusion dishes like tangerine-anise spiced short ribs with scallion pancake, or a
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
millennium, Guatemalans had discarded the heady joys of cacao pulp and
focused on the bean itself. They created the world’s first chocolate drink and
named it xocoatl. By all accounts,
Mayan chocolate was a bitter, spicy
treat. Sometimes the Mayans mixed
their chocolate with chili peppers,
achiote, fruit, and honey. They added
cornstarch as a thickener. Elite Mayans
adorned with colorful tattoos, with
gold in their noses and ears, savored
the finished product. Isn’t it ironic that
the warlike Maya were the world’s first
chocolatiers? Aren’t they so like us?
Although Mayans take premier place
in the history of chocolate, North
Miami Beach has a bit to boast about
itself, with a family of chocolatiers
who maintain a 25-year community
tradition. The Sweet Tooth is celebrating a quarter-century of chocolate in
the neighborhood, and its confections
are like a collection of royal jewels.
Continued on page 62
tempura-battered snapper sandwich with lemon aioli).
For the health-conscious, the menu includes low-cal
choices. For hedonists there’s a big selection of artisan
sakes. $$$-$$$$$
Caribbean Delight
236 NE 1st Ave., 305-381-9254
Originally from Jamaica, proprietor Miss Pat has been
serving her traditional homemade island specialties to
downtown office workers and college students since the
early 1990s. Most popular item here might be the weekday lunch special of jerk chicken with festival (sweetfried cornmeal bread patties), but even vegetarians are
well served with dishes like a tofu, carrot, and chayote
curry. All entrées come with rice and peas, fried plantains, and salad, so no one leaves hungry – doubly true
thanks to the home-baked Jamaican desserts. $
Fresco California Bistro
1744 SW 3rd Ave., 305-858-0608
This festively decorated indoor/outdoor bistro packs a
lot of party spirit into a small space, a large variety of
Continued on page 50
January 2008
Coming soon
Fresh Flowers
European Clothing Boutique
Men’s & Women's Jean's Boutique
one short block west of Biscayne Boulevard between NE 54th & 56th Streets on NE 4th Court 305 776 0920
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 48
food onto its menu, and a very large amount of informal
retro California-style fusion food onto its plates. To the
familiar Latin American/Italian equation, the owners
add a touch of Cal-Mex (like Tex-Mex but more health
conscious). Menu offerings range from designer pizzas
and pastas to custardy tamales, but the bistro’s especially known for imaginative meal-size salads, like one
featuring mandarin oranges, avocado, apple, blue
cheese, raisins, candied pecans, and chicken on a
mesclun bed. $$
Garcia’s Seafood Grille and Fish Market
398 NW N. River Dr., 305-375-0765
Run by a fishing family for a couple of generations,
this venerable Florida fish shack is the real thing. No
worries about the seafood’s freshness; on their way to
the rustic outside dining deck overlooking the Miami
River, diners can view the retail fish market to see
what looks freshest. Best preparations, as always
when fish is this fresh, are the simplest. When stone
crabs are in season, Garcia’s claws are as good as
Joe’s but considerably cheaper. The local fish sandwich is most popular – grouper, yellowtail snapper, or
mahi mahi, fried, grilled, or blackened. The place is
also famous for its zesty smoked-fish dip and its sides
of hushpuppies. $-$$
638 S. Miami Ave., 305-379-1525
Indochine has succeeded by morphing from mere
restaurant into hip hangout. Copious special events (art
openings, happy hours with DJs, classic movie or
karaoke nights, wine or sake tastings) draw everyone
from downtown business types to the counterculture
crowd. Not that there’s anything “mere” about the range
of food served from three Asian nations. Light eaters
can snack on Vietnamese summer rolls or Japanese
sushi rolls, including an imaginative masago-coated
model with mango, spicy tuna, and cilantro. For bigger
appetites, there are Thai curries and Vietnamese specialties like pho, richly flavored beef soup with meatballs, steak slices, rice noodles, and add-in Asian herbs
and sprouts. $$-$$$
La Loggia Ristorante and Lounge
68 W. Flagler St., 305-373-4800, www.laloggia.org
This luxuriantly neo-classical yet warm-feeling Italian
restaurant was unquestionably a pioneer in revitalizing
downtown; when it first opened, eating options in the
courthouse area were basically a variety of hot dog
wagons. With alternatives like amaretto-tinged pumpkin agnolloti in sage butter sauce, cilantro-spiced white
bean/vegetable salad dressed with truffle oil, and
soufflé di granchi (crabmeat soufflé atop arugula
dressed with honey-mustard vinaigrette), proprietors
Jennifer Porciello and Horatio Oliveira continue to draw
a lunch crowd that returns for dinner, or perhaps just
stays on through the afternoon, fueled by the Lawyer’s
Liquid Lunch, a vodka martini spiked with sweetened
espresso. $$$
1414 Brickell Ave., 305-403-0900
For those who think “Argentine cuisine” is a synonym for
“beef and more beef,” this popular eatery’s wide range
of more cosmopolitan contemporary Argentine fare will
be a revelation. Classic parrilla-grilled steaks are here for
traditionalists, but the menu is dominated by creative
Nuevo Latino items like a new-style ceviche de chernia
(lightly lime-marinated grouper with jalapeños, basil, and
the refreshing sweet counterpoint of watermelon), or
crab ravioli with creamy saffron sauce. Especially
notable are entrée salads like the signature Ensalada
Novecento: skirt steak slices (cooked to order) atop
mixed greens coated in rich mustard vinaigrette with a
side of housemade fries. $$-$$$
Oceanaire Seafood Room
900 S. Miami Ave., 305-372-8862
With a dozen branches nationwide, Oceanaire may
seem more All-American seafood empire than Florida
fish shack. But while many dishes (including popular
sides like bacon-enriched hash browns and fried green
tomatoes) are identical at all Oceanaires, menus vary
Red, White, and You
Agreeable wine for $12 or less
By Bill Citara
BT Contributor
or all too many years the only
recognition Spain received in
this country was for the rain
that fell mainly on its plains. Well,
screw that.
Today Spain is known as perhaps the most exciting place in the
world for cutting-edge food and
superlative wine. From the esoteric
“molecular gastronomy” of Ferrán
Adrià (badly imitated by chefs with
neither his skill nor vision) to the
world-class wines of such pioneering vintners as Alvaro Palacios,
Spain is kicking a whole lot of
French, American, Italian, and
Australian butt.
Of course, butt-kicking the rest of the
wine world doesn’t come cheap. And
when wines such as Palacios’s super-ultramega-premium L’Ermita can cost upward
of $1300 a bottle, all the rest of us can do
is sit back and drool.
Or you can check out some of these
terrific Spanish wines that cost a whole
lot less. How whole lot, you ask? Look at
it this way: You could buy more than 100
bottles of the most expensive wine here
for the price of one bottle of L’Ermita.
And you won’t have to worry about any
drool, either.
Of all the great wines coming out of
Spain these days, many of my favorites
are made with Grenache, a varietal that
elsewhere is mainly used for blending. It
typically makes for a fruity, refreshing,
medium-bodied wine, but Spanish vintners have coaxed out more subtle and
interesting flavors — like in the 2005
San Alejandro Las Rocas, where the taste
of fresh cherries and raspberries gives
way to nuances of green olives, smoke,
and eucalyptus. This puppy is an excellent value and would partner well with
significantly according to regional tastes and fish. Here
in Miami, chef Sean Bernal (formerly at Merrick Park’s
Pescado) supplements signature starters like lump crab
cakes with his own lightly marinated, Peruvian-style
grouper ceviche. The daily-changing, 15-20 specimen
seafood selection includes local fish seldom seen on
local menus: pompano, parrot fish, amberjack. But even
flown-in fish (and the raw bar’s cold-water oysters) are
ultra-fresh. $$$$
1414 Brickell Ave., 305-416-5116
The original branch on Miami Beach’s Lincoln Road
chicken, veal, grilled fish, and lighter
pasta dishes.
Another medium-bodied wine with
the taste of Grenache (even though it’s
only ten percent of the blend, along
with Tempranillo, Cabernet
Sauvignon, and Merlot) is the 2004
Castell del Remei Gotim Bru. The
flavors here are tart plums and
cherries, with a good hit of oak and
some grassy-earthy components. It
too is a good chicken-fish-pasta
That earthy character is pretty
common to Spanish wines, one of
the elements that, even when heady
with ripe fruit, keeps them from
becoming fat, sweet, stupid fruit
bombs. (Can you hear me,
California?) You’ll need to give the
2005 Bodegas Castano Yecla Monastrell a
hour or so of aerating to mellow that earthiness, but when you do, the flavors of
plums and blackberries, mushrooms, and
black olives come through. Patience, after
all, is a virtue.
And if you really want to drink with the
big boys, unscrew (right, unscrew) a bottle
of 2006 Toro. It’s a bull — literally — of a
Tempranillo, tasting of ripe, juicy plums
and blackberries, with a ton of Spanish
earth, diesel, and black olives. So forget
Spanish rain. When it comes to wine,
Spain reigns.
Feedback: [email protected]
The San Alejandro ($10.99), Castell
del Remei ($11.99), Bodegas
Castano ($8.99), and Toro ($8.99)
are all available at Total Wine in
North Miami (14750 Biscayne
Blvd., 305-354-3270). The Bodegas
Castano can also be found at
Cellars Wine & Spirits Warehouse
($8.99) in Aventura (21055
Biscayne Blvd, 305-936-9433).
was instantly popular, and the same healthy Middle
Eastern fast food – made with no trans fats or other
nutritional nasties – is served at the three newer outlets. The prices are low enough that one might suspect Pasha’s was conceived as a tax write-off rather
than a Harvard Business School project, which it was
by founders Antonio Ellek and Nicolas Cortes. Dishes
range from common classics like falafel and gyros to
more unusual items like muhammara (tangy walnut
spread), silky labneh yogurt cheese, and chicken
adana kebabs with grilled veggies and aioli sauce.
Everything from pitas to lemonade is made fresh,
from scratch, daily. $-$$
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Peoples Bar-B-Que
360 NW 8th St., 305-373-8080
Oak-smoked, falling-off-the-bone tender barbecued ribs
(enhanced with a secret sauce whose recipe goes back
several generations) are the main draw at this Overtown
institution. But the chicken is also a winner, plus there’s
a full menu of soul food entrées, including what many
aficionados consider our town’s tastiest souse. Sides
include collards, yams, and soft mac and cheese. And
it would be unthinkable to call it quits without homemade sweet potato pie or banana pudding, plus a bracing flop – half iced tea, half lemonade. $-$$
15 SE 10th St., 305-374-9449, www.perricones.com
Housed in a Revolutionary-era barn (moved from
Vermont), this market/café was one of the Brickell
area’s first gentrified amenities. At lunch chicken
salad (with pignolias, raisins, apples, and basil) is a
favorite; dinner’s strong suit is the pasta list, ranging
from Grandma Jennie’s old-fashioned lasagna to
chichi fiocchi purses filled with fresh pear and gorgonzola. And Sunday’s $15.95 brunch buffet ($9.95
for kids) – featuring an omelet station, waffles,
smoked salmon and bagels, salads, and more –
remains one of our town’s most civilized all-you-caneat deals. $$
Prime Blue Grille
315 S. Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-358-5901
This truly 21st-century steakhouse targets today’s
health-minded gourmets by serving only certifiedorganic Brandt beef – antibiotic- and hormone-free, as
well as dry-aged, butchered in-house, and smokeseared by Prime Blue’s intense wood-burning grills
and ovens. For noncarnivores, the menu gives equal
time to fish, all caught wild, and offers dozens of
cooked vegetable and salad options, including buildyour-own. There’s also a raw bar and a small
steak/seafood retail counter. The décor is as modern
as the menu. Instead of the stuffy men’s club look,
you have a soaring, light-hued, open-plan, indoor/outdoor space, with panoramic Miami River view. $$$$
Provence Gril
1001 S. Miami Ave., 305-373-1940
The cozy, terracotta-tiled dining room (and even more
charming outdoor dining terrace) indeed evoke the
south of France. But the menu of French bistro classics covers all regions, a Greatest Hits of French comfort food: country-style pâté maison with onion jam,
roasted peppers and cornichons; steak/frites (grilled
rib-eye with peppercorn cream sauce, fries, and
salad); four preparations of mussels; a tarte tatin
(French apple tart with roasted walnuts, served à la
mode). Deal alert: An early-bird prix-fixe menu (5:307:30 p.m.) offers soup or salad, entrée, dessert, and a
carafe of wine for $44 per couple. $$$-$$$$
The River Oyster Bar
650 S. Miami Ave., 305-530-1915
This casually cool Miami River-area jewel is a full-service seafood spot, as evidenced by tempting menu
selections like soft-shell crabs with grilled vegetables,
corn relish, and remoulade. There are even a few dishes to please meat-and-potatoes diners, like short ribs
with macaroni and cheese. But oyster fans will still
find it difficult to resist stuffing themselves silly on the
unusually large selection of bivalves (often ten varieties per night), especially since oysters are served
both raw and cooked – fire-roasted with sofrito butter,
chorizo, and manchego. To accompany these delights,
there’s a thoughtful wine list and numerous artisan
beers on tap. $$$
Rosa Mexicano
900 S. Miami Ave., 786-425-1001
A branch of the original Rosa Mexicano that introduced New Yorkers to real Mexican food (not Tex-Mex)
in 1984, this expansive indoor/outdoor space offers a
dining experience that’s haute in everything but price.
Few entrées top $20. The décor is both date-worthy
and family-friendly – festive but not kitschy. And nonContinued on page 51
January 2008
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 50
sophisticates needn’t fear; though nachos aren’t available, there is nothing scary about zarape de pato
(roast duck between freshly made, soft corn tortillas,
topped with yellow-and-habanero-pepper cream
sauce), or Rosa’s signature guacamole en molcajete,
made tableside. A few pomegranate margaritas
ensure no worries. $$$
Soya & Pomodoro
120 NE 1st St., 305-381-9511
Life is complicated. Food should be simple. That’s
owner Armando Alfano’s philosophy, which is stated
above the entry to his atmospheric downtown eatery.
And since it’s also the formula for the truest traditional Italian food (Alfano hails from Pompeii), it’s fitting
that the menu is dominated by authentically straightforward yet sophisticated Italian entrées such as
spinach- and ricotta-stuffed crêpes with béchamel and
tomato sauces. There are salads and sandwiches, too,
including one soy burger to justify the other half of the
place’s name. The most enjoyable place to dine is the
secret, open-air courtyard, completely hidden from the
street. Alfano serves dinner on Thursdays only to
accompany his “Thursday Night Live” events featuring
local musicians and artists. $-$$
Tobacco Road
626 S. Miami Ave., 305-374-1198
Prohibition-era speakeasy (reputedly a fave of Al
Capone), gay bar, strip club. Previously all these, this
gritty spot has been best known since 1982 as a
venue for live music, primarily blues. But it also offers
food from lunchtime to late night (on weekends till
4:00 a.m.). The kitchen is especially known for its
chili, budget-priced steaks, and burgers, including the
mega-mega burger, a trucker-style monster topped
with said chili plus cheddar, mushrooms, bacon, and
a fried egg. There’s also surprisingly elegant fare,
though, like a Norwegian salmon club with lemon
aioli. A meat-smoker in back turns out tasty ribs, perfect accompaniment to the blues. $$
Midtown / Design District
Adelita’s Café
2699 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-1262
From the street (which is actually NE 26th, not
Biscayne) this Honduran restaurant seems unpromising, but inside it’s bigger, better, and busier than it
looks. Unlike many Latin American eateries, which
serve a multinational mélange, this one sticks close to
the source and proves a crowd-pleaser. On weekends
especially, the two casual dining rooms are packed with
families enjoying authentic fare like baleadas (thick
corn tacos), tajadas (Honduras’s take on tostones), rich
meal-in-a-bowl soups packed with seafood or meat and
veggies, and more. To spend ten bucks on a meal here,
one would have to be a sumo wrestler. $
Bin No. 18
1800 Biscayne Blvd., 786-235-7575
At this wine bar/café, located on the ground floor of
one of midtown’s new mixed-use condo buildings, the
décor is a stylish mix of contemporary cool (high loft
ceilings) and Old World warmth (tables made from old
wine barrels). Cuisine is similarly geared to the area’s
new smart, upscale residents: creative sandwiches
and salads at lunch, tapas and larger internationally
themed Spanish, Italian, or French charcuterie platters at night. Though the place is small and family-run
friendly, Venezuelan-born chef Alfredo Patino’s former
executive chef gigs at Bizcaya (at the Ritz-Carlton
Coconut Grove) and other high-profile venues are evident in sophisticated snacks like the figciutto, a salad
of arugula, gorgonzola dolce, caramelized onions,
pine nuts, fresh figs, and prosciutto. Free parking in a
fenced lot behind the building. $$
3612 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7877
This Design District old-timer has hung on for close to
20 years as the District has gone through its mood
swings. But it’s no worse for the wear. The
upstairs/downstairs space looks good as new, and is
still almost impossibly cute. The menu, chalked daily
on a blackboard, still features well more than a dozen
typical French bistro specials like chicken Dijonaise or
almond-crusted trout in creamy, lemony beurre blanc.
And the salads, soups, and sandwiches are still,
invariably, evocative. Rough-cut pâté de campagne,
topped with cornichons on a crusty buttered baguette
is an instant trip to Paris. Though weekend nighttime
hours were instituted several years ago, dinner is an
on-again, off-again thing, so call first. $$-$$$
The Daily Creative Food Co.
2001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-4535
While the food formula of this contemporary café is
familiar – sandwiches, salads, soups, breakfast food,
and pastries, plus coffee and fruit drinks – a creative
concept differentiates the place. Signature sandwiches are named after national and local newspapers
(like the Biscayne Times: tuna salad with hummus,
cucumber, roasted peppers, arugula, and sprouts on
multigrain bread), giving diners something to chat
about. For those who’d rather Have It Their Own Way,
both sandwiches and salads can be do-it-yourself projects, with an unusually wide choice of main ingredients, garnishes, breads, and condiments for the creatively minded. $
18th Street Café
210 NE 18th St., 305-381-8006
Most of the seating in this cool little
breakfast/lunch room is in a sort of giant bay window, backed with banquettes, that makes the space
feel expansively light-filled, and quite nicely gentrifies its whole evolving Midtown block. This pioneering place deserves to survive, even if just considering the roast beef sandwich with creamy horseradish
– an inspired classic combination that makes one
wonder why more places in this town don’t serve it.
(We’ll debate later.) Other culinary highlights of the
classic “Six S” repertoire (soups, sandwiches, sal-
ads, sweets, smoothies, specials) might include a
turkey/pear/cheddar melt sandwich, and really sinful marshmallow-topped brownies. $
3930 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-0444
To the relief of lunchers who loved chef Lorena
Garcia’s former Design District restaurant, Food Café
(which lost its lease around the time of Hurricane
Wilma), this new venture is only about a block away
and, despite the new name, serves many old favorites.
These include the signature, slightly rechristened
Food Elements Salad: baby greens with Granny Smith
apples, seasonal berries, gorgonzola, and addictive
candied walnuts, dressed with a raspberry vinaigrette.
But there are new dishes too, such as a panko-crusted fish burger with spicy remoulade sauce. $$
28 NE 40th St., 305-573-3355
After a couple of years in hiatus, this Design District
restolounge has reopened in the same outdoor
courtyard space. What’s new: “MediterAsian” chef
Michael Jacobs and a menu that travels beyond panAsian and Mediterranean influences into the
Americas. Entrées range from lowbrow comfort food
(cunningly reinvented mini pot pies) to high-status
extravagance (stone-seared, authentic Kobe steak).
For healthy grazers, raw-bar selections include
ceviches and a large seafood platter (lobster, shrimp,
and lump crab with housemade dipping sauces).
There’s also a snack menu (pristine coldwater oysters, a crab salad timbale, parmesan-truffle shoestring fries, mini-Kobe burgers) served till the wee
hours, providing a welcome alternative to the
Boulevard’s fast food chains. $$-$$$$$
Karu & Y
71 NW 14th St., 305-403-7850, www.karu-y.com
When this $20 million entertainment complex
opened, the aim of its restaurant, Karu, according to
Continued on page 52
Two Large Projection Screens - Inside & Outside • Lounge Seating • WiFi connection
Now under the Management of Frank Crupi
of Frankie’s Big City Grill
Now serving his famous Philly Cheese Steak Sandwiches
(305) 762-5751
5600 Biscayne Boulevard
January 2008
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 51
press releases, was to be deliberately atypical of
South Florida – and indeed many Miamians couldn’t
make heads or tails of the experimental New Spanish
food. Since then, though, dramatic menu changes
have introduced new dishes utilizing seasonal ingredients, like Florida stone crabs highlighted in an aioli
soup with lemon chive ice, cilantro micro greens, and
aji Amarillo pepper caviar. And while much of the fare
remains cutting edge, there’s now also a steak menu
(ranging from a dry-aged cowboy steak to a Wagyu
skirt cut, with à la carte sides like creamy rice with
Idiazábal cheese). Closed Aug. 28 -Sept. 17. $$$$$
Latin Café 2000
2501 Biscayne Blvd., 305-576-3838
The menu is similar to that at many of our town’s
Latin cafés, largely classic Cuban entrées and sandwiches, with a smattering of touches from elsewhere
in Latin America, such as a Peruvian jalea mixta (marinated mixed seafood), or paella Valenciana from
Spain, which many Miami eateries consider a Latin
country. What justifies the new millennium moniker is
the more modern, yuppified/yucafied ambiance,
encouraged by an expansive, rustic wooden deck.
Delivery is now available. $$
Lost & Found Saloon
185 NW 36th St., 305-576-1008
There’s an artsy/alternative feel to this casual and
friendly Wynwood eatery, which, since opening as a
weekday-only breakfast and lunch joint in 2005, has
grown with its neighborhood. It’s now open for dinner
six nights a week, serving Southwestern-style fare at
rock-bottom prices. Dishes like piñon and pepita-crusted salmon, chipotle-drizzled endive stuffed with lump
crab, or customizable tacos average $5-$8. Also available: big breakfasts and salads, hearty soups, housemade pastries like lemon-crusted wild berry pie, and a
hip beer and wine list. $
Michael’s Genuine Food and Drink
130 NE 40th St., 305-573-5550
Long-awaited and an instant smash hit, this truly neighborhood-oriented restaurant from Michael Schwartz,
founding chef of Nemo’s in South Beach, offers down-toearth fun food in a comfortable, casually stylish
indoor/outdoor setting. Fresh, organic ingredients are
emphasized, but dishes range from cutting-edge (crispy
beef cheeks with whipped celeriac, celery salad, and
chocolate reduction) to simple comfort food: deviled
eggs, homemade potato chips with pan-fried onion dip,
or a whole wood-roasted chicken. There’s also a broad
range of prices and portion sizes ($4-$8 for snacks and
small plates to $24-$39 for extra-large plates) to encourage frequent visits from light-bite as well as pig-out diners. Michael’s Genuine also features an eclectic and
affordable wine list, and a full bar, with cut-rate weekday
happy hour cocktails. $$-$$$
um (large), large (huge), and extra-large (think truck tire).
And with fully loaded pizzas like the Supreme Meat
Lover priced only a few bucks more than a basic tomato/cheese, it pays to think big about toppings too. Other
Italian-American fare is also available, notably pastas
and subs. $-$$
Orange Café + Art
2 NE 40th St., 305-571-4070
The paintings hanging in this tiny, glass-enclosed café
are for sale. And for those who don’t have thousands of
dollars to shell out for the local art on the walls, less
than ten bucks will get you art on a plate, including a
Picasso: chorizo, prosciutto, manchego cheese, baby
spinach, and basil on a crusty baguette. Other artfully
named and crafted edibles include salads, daily soups,
several pastas (like the Matisse, fiocchi pouches filled
with pears and cheese), and house-baked pastries. $
Mike’s at Venetia
Out of the Blue Café
555 NE 15th St., 9th floor, 305-374-5731
There’s no sign out front, but this family-owned Irish
pub, on the pool deck of a waterfront condo building
across from the Miami Herald, for more than 15 years
has been a popular lunch and dinner hang-out for local
journalists – and others who appreciate honest cheap
eats and drinks (not to mention a billiard table and 17
TV screens). Regulars know daily specials are the way to
go. Depending on the day, fish, churrasco, or roast
turkey with all the trimmings are all prepared fresh. Big
burgers and steak dinners are always good, and happy
hour appetizers (like meaty Buffalo wings) are always
half-price. Additionally, a limited late-night menu provides pizza, wings, ribs, and salad till 3:00 a.m. $-$$
2426 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-3800
Forget impersonal chain coffeehouses. This artist-friendly, independent neighborhood café serves a full selection of coffee drinks made with the award-winning beans
of Intelligentsia, a roasting company that works directly
with artisan growers to encourage sustainable agriculture – and one helluva good cup of java. Also served:
breakfast and lunch sandwiches, imaginative salads,
soups, homemade pastries (including a “cupcake of the
month”), and creamy fresh-fruit smoothies. With tables,
sofas, and lounge chairs inside an old Midtown house
(and on a protected outdoor patio), plus free wireless
Internet access, the space is also just a pleasant place
to hang out. Owner Carmen Miranda (real name) says
beer and wine will soon be available. $
2905 NE 2nd Ave., 305-573-0900
Those seeking dainty designer pizzas can fuhgeddaboudit here. At this New York-style pizzeria (which has roughly the same menu as North Beach’s original Pizzafiore,
but independent ownership), it’s all about heftiness. A
special slice/soda deal features two pizza triangles bigger than most Miami mini-skirts. Whole pies come medi-
3801 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-0201
(See Brickell/Downtown listing)
The Secret Sandwich Co.
3918 N. Miami Ave., 305-571-9990
The spy theme applies to menu items (the Mata Hari,
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Double Agent, French Connection, Bay of Pig), but it
could also refer to the hard-to-spot storefront housing
this take-out (and delivery) lunch spot, which, for it’s
small size, offers a big selection of hot and cold sandwiches, varying from char-grilled burgers to more exotic
specialty items like grilled or blackened mahi mahi with
mixed greens, tomato, and creamy garlic dressing. There
are also daily soups, and salads with “secret vinaigrette.” But the best-kept secret is the rich, smooth,
homemade flan, hidden in the chilled display case. $
4029 N. Miami Ave., 305-573-1819
Combining contemporary Design District chic with traditional African craft (from its adjacent art gallery),
Sheba’s spacious setting is a soothing place to discover the exotic offerings of Miami’s only Ethiopian
eatery. Once diners adjust to eating with their hands
(using inerja, the sourdough crepes accompanying
entrées, as a utensil), the food is quite accessible.
Both wats (meat and poultry stews) and tibs (sautéed
dishes incorporating the familiar multicultural “holy
trinity” of onions, tomatoes, and peppers) tend, like
Cuban cuisine, to be spiced with complexity, not fire. A
Best of the Best platter for two enables diners to sample most of the menu. $$$
S & S Diner
1757 NE 2nd Ave., 305-373-4291
Some things never change, or so it seems at this
diner, which is so classic it verges on cliché. Open
since 1938, it’s still popular enough that people line
up on Saturday morning, waiting for a seat at the
horseshoe-shaped counter (there are no tables) and
enormous breakfasts: corned beef hash or crab cakes
and eggs with grits; fluffy pancakes; homemade biscuits with gravy and Georgia sausage – everything
from oatmeal to eggs Benedict, all in mountainous
portions. The lunch menu is a roll call of the usual
suspects, but most regulars ignore the menu and go
for the daily blackboard specials. $-$$
Continued on page 53
January 2008
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 52
Tony Chan’s Water Club
1717 N. Bayshore Dr., 305-374-8888
The décor at this upscale place, located in the Grand, a
huge bayside condo/resort hotel, looks far too glitzy to
serve anything but politely Americanized Chinese food.
The presentation is indeed elegant, but the American
dumbing-down is minimal. Many dishes are far more
authentic and skillfully prepared than those found elsewhere in Miami, like delicate but flavorful yu pan quail
(minced with mushrooms in lettuce cups). Moist sea
bass fillet has a beautifully balanced topping of scallion,
ginger, cilantro, and subtly sweet/salty sauce. And
Peking duck is served as three traditional courses:
crêpe-wrapped crispy skin, meat sautéed with crisp veggies, savory soup to finish. $$$-$$$$
W Wine Bistro
3622 NE 2nd Ave., 305-576-7775
Both bistro and retail wine shop, this Design District
spot is run by Florent Blanchet, an energetic young
Frenchman who was previously a wine distributor. His
former gig led to connections that mean if wine lovers
don’t find the bottle they want in W’s selection of
roughly 200-labels (which emphasizes boutique and
organic growers), Blanchet can probably get it within
24 hours. Food is sophisticated light bites like a
shrimp club sandwich with pancetta and sun-dried
tomato aioli; smoked duck salad with goat cheese
croutons and a poached egg; and chocolate fondant.
At night there are tapas. $-$$
Zuperpollo Biztro Reztocafe
3050 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-8485
Occasionally there’s a sign out front of the office building
housing this bistro, indicating that a branch of the popular
Uruguayan eatery Zuperpollo (on Coral Way, since 1986)
is within. Otherwise, since the restaurant opened in 2006,
locals have basically had to intuit its presence – way in
January 2008
back, past a guard desk and an elevator bank, behind an
unmarked door. Once there, diners discover an extensive
pan-Latin menu of breakfast food, salads, substantial
meat and fish entrées, homemade pastas and soups,
desserts, and sandwiches, including Uruguay’s famed
chivito, sometimes called “a heart attack on a bun”: beef,
bacon, ham, eggs, mozzarella, plus sautéed mushrooms
and red peppers. And naturally, from the rotisserie, there’s
the zignature zuper chicken. $-$$
Upper Eastside
Amate Tea Lounge
811 NE 79th St., 305-759-8777
“Tea” (as a nickname for marijuana) was always widely
available in this neighborhood, but who’d have guessed
the area would become tea-central for the more genteel,
drinkable, with-scones kind? Barely a mile from
Pineapple Blossom Tea Room (and barely a year
younger), this New Age oasis, which opened in spring
2007, offers normal Ceylon teas plus exotica like
coconut truffle; locally made pastries (including cupcakes from Sticky Fingers Cupcakes, located upstairs);
poetry readings, full-moon drumming, and meditation
gatherings in the enclosed back patio; informal matchmaking (the owner has a date book for singles); and a
free parking lot. $
5600 Biscayne Blvd., 305-762-5751
Sharing a building with a long-established Morningside
car wash, Andiamo is also part of Mark Soyka’s 55th
Street Station – which means ditching the car (in the
complex’s free lot across the road on NE 4th Court) is no
problem even if you’re not getting your vehicle cleaned
while consuming the brick-oven pies (from a flaming
open oven) that are this popular pizzeria’s specialty.
Choices range from the simple namesake Andiamo
(actually a Margherita) to the Godfather, a major meat
monster. Extra toppings like arugula and goat cheese
enable diners to create their own designer pies. Also
available are salads and panini plus reasonably priced
wines and beers (including a few unusually sophisticated selections like Belgium’s Hoegaarden). $$
ultra-creamy croquetas (ham, cheese, chicken, spinach,
or bacalao), grilled asparagus with aioli, and habit-forming Brazilian cheese bread. $-$$$
Captain Crab’s Take-Away
916 NE 79th St., 305-757-7735
This strip of 79th Street, formerly known for its live bait
and auto repair shops, is rapidly becoming a cool alt-culture enclave thanks to inviting hangouts like this rustic
indoor/outdoor Brazilian restaurant and bar. Especially
bustling on nights featuring live music, it’s even more
fun on Sundays, when the fenced backyard hosts an
informal fair and the menu includes Brazil’s national
dish, feijoada, a savory stew of beans plus fresh and
cured meats. But the everyday menu, ranging from
unique, tapas-like pasteis (shrimp and hearts of palmstuffed turnovers) to hefty Brazilian entrées, is also
appealing – and budget-priced. $$
1100 NE 79th St., 305-754-2722
The drive-through window says “fast food,” and so do this
long-lived seafood shack’s low prices. And indeed there
are three Captain Crab’s Take-Aways (the others are in
Carol City and Fort Lauderdale), all related to the sit-down
Crab House restaurants. But there the resemblance to
McFauxFood ends. For about the price of a bucket of the
Colonel’s chicken you can get a bucket of the Captain’s
savory garlic crabs. The King’s burger meal or the
Captain’s similarly priced fried (or garlic boiled or New
Orleans-spiced) shrimp meal? No contest. Also popular:
crab cakes and conch (fried or in fritters and chowder).
For fish haters, spicy or garlic chicken wings are an
option; for kids, cut-price “first mate” meals. $-$$
Café Le Glacier
7295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-6551
For anyone who can’t get over thinking of French food as
intimidating or pretentious, this cute café with a warm
welcome, and family-friendly French home cooking, is
the antidote. No fancy food (or fancy prices) here, just
classic comfort food like onion soup, boeuf bourguignon
(think Ultimate Pot Roast), moist, tender chicken
Dijonaise, Nicoise salad, quiche, and homemade crème
brûlée. And the kids can get hot dogs or grilled cheese.
Top price for grown-up entrées is about $12. $-$$
5132 Biscayne Blvd., 305-756-3930
When this atmospheric little neighborhood oasis opened,
the formula was Cuban cooking at lunch, Catalan tapas
at night. The menu is now more uniform: contemporary
Spanish and pan-Latin tapas, sandwiches, salads, sides,
and entrées at all hours, just a far more elaborate selection at night. The tapas list is especially impressive, with
all the usual Hispanic meat and cheese favorites but also
an unusually large selection of seafood and vegetarian
items such as espinaca à la catalaña (spinach sautéed
with pine nuts and raisins). Must-not-miss items include
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Casa Toscana
7001 Biscayne Blvd., 305-758-3353
Tuscan-born chef/owner Sandra Stefani cooked at
Norman’s (and briefly ran the Indian Creek Hotel’s
restaurant) before opening this Upper Eastside neighborhood jewel, a wine market/eatery whose 30 original
seats have been supplemented by a wine room/garden
for tasting events and private dining. Stefani travels regularly to Italy to find exciting, limited-production wines
and inspiration for truly Tuscan-tasting daily special dishes with honest, authentic flavors, such as grilled wild
boar sausages with lentil croquettes. Favorites that show
up often on the menu include pear and ricotta raviolini
with sage butter sauce, grilled eggplant slices rolled
around herbed goat cheese and sun-dried tomatoes,
and a light ricotta tart with lemon and rosemary. $$$
Che Sopranos
7251 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8282
This branch of a Miami Beach Italian/Argentine pizzeria,
housed in a charming bungalow and featuring a breezy
Continued on page 54
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 53
patio, covers multicultural bases. If the Old World Rucola
pizza (a classic Margherita topped with arugula, prosciutto, and shredded parmesan) doesn’t do the trick,
the New World Especial (a Latin pie with hearts of palm
and boiled eggs) just might. Also available are pastas,
salads, sandwiches, dinner entrées (eggplant parmigiana with spaghetti, lomito steak with Argentinean potato salad), and desserts (tiramisu or flan). $
Chef Creole
200 NW 54th St., 305-754-2223
Sparkling fresh Creole-style food is the star at
chef/owner Wilkinson Sejour’s two tiny but wildly popular establishments. While some meatier Haitian classics
like griot (fried pork chunks) and oxtail stew are also
available – and a $3.99 roast chicken special is a hard
deal to resist – the glistening fish display that greets diners as they walk in makes it clear that seafood is the
specialty here: crevette en sauce (steamed shrimp with
Creole butter sauce), lambi fri (a mountain of perfectly
tenderized fried conch), poisson gros sel (local snapper
in a spicy butter sauce), garlic or Creole crabs. Note for
ambiance-seekers: The Miami branch has outdoor tikihut dining; North Miami’s outlet, a former Carvel, has
the same food but lacks the tropical charm. $-$$
Chez Rosie
5961 NW 2nd Ave., 305-756-9881
In its former Biscayne Boulevard location, Chez Rosie
(named after the mom of Haitian-born, Johnson &
Wales-trained chef Ernest Martial) was beloved by
knowledgeable locals as the source of the Boulevard’s
biggest bargain lunch. In its new location, the Creole
spot still serves astonishingly hefty specials (which
change daily) for four bucks or less. Few regular dishes
break double digits. As in French cooking, spicing is subtly balanced in this chef’s rendition of Haitian dishes like
juicy griot (fried marinated pork chunks), batterless fried
chicken, stuffing-topped breaded butterflied shrimp, and
accra (fluffy fritters made from black-eyed peas and
malanga). An especially nice touch: All condiments, from
salad dressings to fiery pikliz slaw, even tartar sauce,
are housemade. $
Dogma Grill
7030 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3433
What could induce downtown businessmen to drive to
the Upper Eastside to eat at a few outdoor-only tables
just feet from the busy Boulevard? From the day it
opened, people have been lining up, even in summer’s
sweltering heat, for this stand’s sauce-garnished, allbeef, soy veggie, turkey, and chicken hot dogs. The 22
varieties range from simple (the Classic, with ketchup,
relish, and chopped onion) to the elaborate (the
Athens, topped with a Greek salad, including extra-virgin olive oil dressing) to near-unbelievable combinations like the VIP, which includes parmesan cheese
and crushed pineapple. $
East Side Pizza
731 NE 79th St., 305-758-5351
Minestrone, sure. But a pizzeria menu with carrot ginger
soup? Similarly many Italian-American pizzerias offer
entrées like spaghetti and meatballs, but East Side also
has pumpkin ravioli in brown butter/sage sauce, wild
mushroom ravioli, and other surprisingly upscale choices. The East Side Salad includes goat cheese, walnuts,
and cranberries; quaffs include imported Peroni beer. As
for the pizza, they are classic pies, available whole or by
the slice, made with fresh plum tomato sauce and
Grande mozzarella (considered the top American pizza
cheese). Best seating for eating is at the sheltered outdoor picnic tables. $
Garden of Eatin’
136 NW 62nd St., 305-754-8050
Low profile would be an understatement for this place.
Housed in a yellow building that’s tucked in back of a
parking lot behind a small grocery store, it’s nearly invisible from the street. Inside, though, it has the comfortable feel of a beach bar, and generous servings of inexpensive Afro-Caribbean vegan food. Rastafari owner
Immanuel Tafari cooks up meat and dairy-free specials,
like Jamaican pumpkin/chayote stew in coconut milk,
that depend on what looks good at that morning’s produce market. Large or small plates, with salad and fried
sweet plantains (plus free soup for eat-in lunchers), are
served for five or seven bucks. Also available are snacks
like vegetarian blue corn tacos, desserts like sweet potato pie, and a breakfast menu featuring organic blueberry
waffles with soy sausage patties. $
Good Eats Deli
645 NE 79th St., 305-757-2731
After years of working for chichi celebrity chefs (Robbin
Haas and Michelle Bernstein, among others) and catering for movie stars internationally, this place’s
chef/owner decided to downsize and open a simple deli
in his own neighborhood. Of course diners can get a
classic grilled cheese, but many specialty items do have
fun chichi-chef touches, like Cinnamon Apple Chicken
Salad, or a “Godfather” sandwich, basically a Caprese
combo of buffalo mozzarella, tomato, and basil, except
dressed with a vanilla bean/balsamic glaze. Fortunately
the prices are not at all chichi.$-$$
Gourmet Station
7601 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-762-7229
Home-meal replacement, geared to workaholics with no
time to cook, has been trendy for years. But the
Gourmet Station has outlasted most of the competition.
Main reason: deceptive healthiness. These are meals
that are good for you, yet taste good enough to be bad
for you. Favorite items include precision-grilled salmon
with lemon-dill yogurt sauce, and lean turkey meatloaf
with homemade BBQ sauce – sin-free comfort food. For
lighter eaters, there are wraps and salads with a large,
interesting choice of dressings. Food is available à la
carte or grouped in multimeal plans customized for individual diner’s nutritional needs. $$
Hiro’s Sushi Express
5140 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-0914
(See North Miami Beach listing}
Hoagie Hut Café
8650 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-0910
Located in Antiques Mall, this cute hut (whose
wrought-iron and wicker furniture actually give it more
the ambiance of an old-time soda shop) is open during
weekday 9-to-5 business hours and now Saturday 10to-4. The leftovers from one of the place’s mammoth
salads, whether simple garden or mega-combo (tuna,
crab, chicken) will feed you through the weekend. The
signature foot-long Grand Combo stuffed “hoagie submarines,” or even the relatively wee eight-inchers,
might indeed feed most of a ship’s crew. Also available: big bargain breakfasts, expresso, cappuccino,
and fresh fruit smoothies. Hoagie prices start at $2.99
for a twelve-inch bologna; nothing on the menu breaks
nine bucks. $
Jimmy’s East Side Diner
7201 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3692
Open for more than 30 years, Jimmy’s respects the
most important American diner tradition: Breakfast
at any hour. Admittedly the place closes at 4:00
p.m., but still. There are blueberry hot cakes and
pecan waffles for sweet-tooth eaters; eggs any style,
including omelets and open-face frittatas for those
preferring savories; and a full range of sides: biscuits
and sausage gravy, grits, hash, hash browns, even
hot oatmeal. Also available are traditional diner
entrées (meat loaf, roast turkey, liver and onions),
plus burgers, salad platters, and homemade chicken
soup. $-$$
7010 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-1392
A real car wash with meticulous detailing takes time.
But killing an hour is a pleasure at this stylish car
wash/tapas bar, where the elegant light fare occasionally even outshines the hand-washed automobiles. Vegetarians do especially well, with crusty
baguette sandwich combos like brie, walnuts, and
honey, or another featuring grilled artichokes and
buttery St. Andre cheese. Lower carb items range
from an imported olive assortment to an antipasto
platter with Spanish Cantimpalo chorizo, manchego
cheese, and garbanzos. There are breakfast and
Continued on page 55
Mention “HOT BUNS 899” for
10% OFF your meal
at North Miami location.
Limited Offer 1/08
7030 Biscayne Blvd.
“Best Bang for the Buck”
– Zagat 2007
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Fort Lauderdale
900 S. Federal Hwy.
January 2008
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 54
dessert pastries too. Beverages include organic coffee and soy chai lattes, as well as wines and an
extensive beer list featuring Belgian brewskis. On
Thursday nights the car wash transforms into a chic
lounge until 2:00 a.m. $-$$
6708 Biscayne Blvd., 305-757-0074
This newly renovated, indoor/outdoor sports bar
serves low-priced but high-quality steaks, plus more
typical bar food that’s actually far from the usual premade, processed stuff. Philly cheese steak sandwiches, big enough for two, are made from hand-sliced rib
eye; sides include fries and beer-battered onion rings,
but also lightly lemony sautéed spinach. And the burgers rule, particularly the Doomsday, a cheese/
bacon/mushroom-topped two-pound monster that
turns dinner into a competitive sport. But even the
smallest Queenburger (a half-pounder that’s no sissy)
is a perfectly seasoned contender. No hard liquor, but
the beer list makes up for it. $$
Luna Café
4770 Biscayne Blvd., 305-573-5862
The ground floor of the Wachovia Bank building may
not seem a particularly evocative locale for an Italian
eatery, but once inside, the charming décor and the
staff’s ebullient welcome indeed are reminiscent of a
café in Italy. The kitchen’s outstanding feature is a
brick oven, which turns out designer pizzas (greater in
variety, lesser in cost on the lunch menu, in effect till
4:30 p.m.) and crisp-skinned roast chickens.
Otherwise the menu holds few surprises – except the
prices, surprisingly low for such a stylish place. No
dish exceeds $22. $$-$$$
The Lunch Room
7957 NE 2nd Ave., 305-722-0759
Hidden in Little Haiti, this Thai/Japanese spot, which
opened in 2005, remains one of the Upper Eastside’s
January 2008
best-kept secrets. But chef Michelle Bernstein (of
Michy’s) and other knowledgeable diners wander over
from the Boulevard for simple but perfect pad Thai,
chili grouper (lightly battered fillets in a mouthwatering
tangy/sweet/hot sauce), silky Asian eggplant slices in
Thai basil sauce, and other remarkably low-priced specialties of Matilda Apirukpinyo, who operated a critically acclaimed South Beach Thai eatery in the
1990s. Though the casually cute indoor/outdoor
place is only open for weekday lunches, “cantina” dinners can be ordered and picked up after hours. $
Mario the Baker
2590 Biscayne Blvd., 305-438-0228
(See North Miami listing)
6927 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-2001
Don’t even ask why Michele Bernstein, with a résumé
that includes top-chef gigs at upscale eateries like
Azul, not to mention regular Food Network appearances, opened a homey restaurant in an emerging
(but far from fully gentrified) neighborhood. Just be
glad she did, as you dine on white almond gazpacho
or impossibly creamy ham and blue cheese croquetas. Though most full entrées also come in half-size
portions (at almost halved prices), the tab can add up
fast. Table-to-table conversations about the food are
common, something that only happens at exciting, if
not flawless, restaurants. And at this one, the star herself is usually in the kitchen. Parking in the rear off
69th Street. $$$-$$$$
7100 Biscayne Blvd., 305-759-3999
Like its Brickell-area older sibling Indochine, this friendly indoor/outdoor Asian bistro serves stylish fare from
three nations: Japan, Thailand, and Vietnam. Menus
are also similar, split between traditional dishes like
pad Thai and East/West fusion creations like the
Vampire sushi roll (shrimp tempura, tomato, cilantro,
roasted garlic). But the café also carves out its own
identity with original creations, including yellow curryspiced Moonchine fried rice or Popeye’s Salad (spicy
tuna, avocado, spinach, masago roe, sesame seeds,
and a scrumptious sweet/hot kimchee dressing).
Nearly everything is low in sodium, fat, and calories –
except desserts (notably the chocolate bomb). There’s
also an impressive sake list, too. Coming soon: a large
rear patio for dining and entertainment. $$-$$$
One Ninety
26 NE 54th St., 305-758-7085
When the original One Ninety, a hip Nuevo Hippie
hangout in residential Buena Vista, closed because of
rent increases in 2004, loyal patrons from all walks of
life mourned the loss. In its new Little Haiti location,
the space is much smaller but the loose vibe is the
same, as are the eclectic live bands and some old
food favorites: bacalao cake with onion, cuke, and
tomato salad with lemony aioli sauce; ricotta-walnut
agnolotti with butter and sage; and chef Alan
Hughes’s unique black-pepper-spiked white chocolate
mousse (now presented as one of a five-item chocolate medley). $$-$$$
Pineapple Blossom Tea Room
8214 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-8328
The interior of this pineapple-yellow building is a
soothing oasis offering traditional full English tea service – or a more zingy tropical fruit-flavored Caribbean
variation. Whether your chosen brew is steaming Earl
Grey or pineapple-mint iced tea, the scones (with thick
cream and jam), tea cakes, cookies, and desserts, are
hometown treats. Owner Frances Brown is a pastry
chef. There’s more substantial fare, too. Innovative
wraps like Caribbean shrimp salad with tropical fruit
salsa; salads such as warm goat cheese with fresh
greens, tomatoes, dried cranberries, and candied
cashews. Also offered are tempting take-out baskets
like the Tea for Two (with tea, jam, scones, and cookies), great for gifts or for at-home teas. $-$$
Royal Bavarian Schnitzel Haus
1085 NE 79th St., 305-754-8002
With Christmas lights perpetually twinkling and party
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
noises emanating from a new outdoor biergarten, this
German restaurant is owner Alex Richter’s one-man
gentrification project, transforming a formerly uninviting
stretch of 79th Street one pils at a time. The fare
includes housemade sausages (mild veal bratwurst,
hearty mixed beef/pork bauernwurst, spicy garlicwurst)
with homemade mustard and catsup; savory yet neargreaseless potato pancakes; and, naturally, schnitzels,
a choice of delicate pounded pork, chicken, or veal patties served with a half-dozen different sauces. $$-$$$
5556 NE 4th Court, 305-759-3117
This expansive, contemporary hangout was often credited with almost single-handedly sparking the revitalization of the Biscayne Corridor’s Upper Eastside. Now
that the hype has calmed down, Soyka remains a
solid neighborhood restaurant that, like restaurateur
Mark Soyka’s previous ventures (notably Ocean
Drive’s pioneering News Café and the Van Dyke on
Lincoln Road) is a perfect fit for its area. Comfortably
priced yuppie comfort food like meatloaf with mashed
potatoes, crab cakes with spicy-sweet slaw, a wild
mushroom/smoked mozzarella pizza, or a Cobb salad
may not be revolutionary fare, but Soyka continues to
thrive while more ambitious, nationally publicized
restaurants like OLA have come and gone. $$-$$$
Sushi Siam
5582 NE 4th Court, 305-751-7818
On the fairly standard menu of sushi bar specialties
plus a small selection of Thai and Japanese cooked
dishes there are a few surprises, such as a unique lobster maki that’s admittedly huge in price ($25.95), but
also in size: six ounces of crisp-fried lobster chunks,
plus asparagus, avocado, lettuce, tobiko (flying fish),
masago (smelt) roes, and special sauces. Also popular
are red and orange dragon rolls, similarly sauced
makis of fried shrimp plus veggies topped with, respectively, raw tuna and salmon. Thai dishes are served
with a choice of more than a dozen sauces, ranging
Continued on page 56
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 55
from traditional red or green curries to the inventive,
such as an unconventional honey sauce. $$$
Sushi Square
7244 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-3100
At this tiny, trendy place, you won’t find a menu dominated by the kinds of makis offered by most Miami
sushi houses: Americanized, cream-cheese-stuffed,
tempura-flake-covered. Instead numerous sushi rolls
are filled with Japanese ingredients: the gobo shiso
(Japanese mountain burdock root and shiso leaf); the
shitake maki (sweet soy-simmered shitake mushroom). And many others are uniquely imaginative, like
the Key West (key lime-marinated salmon, chives,
cilantro pesto, and pear). There are equally unusual
soups, salads, and starters, too. But if nothing
appeals, the chef enjoys a challenge. Tell him, as
Diaghilev instructed Sartre, to astonish you. $$-$$$
UVA 69
6900 Biscayne Blvd., 305-754-9022
Owned by the Vega brothers (chef Michael and artist
Sinuhé) of Cane á Sucre – now defunct, but one of
Midtown Miami’s first cool, contemporary cafés – this
more ambitious yet casual outdoor/indoor Euro-café
serves the same purpose on the Upper Eastside, helping to transform a commuter strip into a hip place to
hang out. Food includes fresh-baked breakfast pastries and a nighttime tapas menu. But there’s also
more substantial lunch and dinner fare, ranging from
elegant sandwiches, salads, and small plates (tempura-battered Gulf shrimp with chili dipping sauce and
chayote slaw) to full entrées like sake-marinated
grouper with jasmine rice, shrimp/black bean sauce,
and crispy spinach. $$-$$$
Ver-Daddys Taco Shop
7501 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-303-9755
At this soulful new taco shop, the menu descriptions
are in common English (“cinnamon puffs” drizzled with
honey and lime, not “buñuelos”). But taco fillings
range from the commonplace (ground beef, shredded
chicken) to more unusual pork in chili verde, fried potato, or Baja battered fish (authentically garnished with
Mexican crema and cilantro-spiked cabbage). And all
offerings can be loaded with other garnishes from the
kitchen (refried beans, cheese, crema) or less perishable offerings from a salsa bar. For the heath-minded,
oils are nonhydrogenated, and sauces/seasonings are
all housemade and free of preservatives. $
Barchetta on the Bay
1601 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-2228
Location, location, location. The truth of the old real
estate cliché could not be better illustrated than at
this reasonably priced Italian restaurant. While pastas
like lobster ravioli in tomato/cream vodka sauce are
under $20, and no meat or seafood entrée exceeds
$30, the spectacular setting on Biscayne Bay is priceless. Floor to ceiling picture windows serve as the
expansive indoor dining space’s rear wall, but the
primo seats are outdoors, in sheltered banquettes
and patio tables where the water view, and carefree
tropical party feel, is unimpeded. $$-$$$$
Japanese Market and Sushi Deli
1412 79th St. Causeway, 305-861-0143
Inside a small market that is, nevertheless, widely considered Miami’s premier source of Japanese foodstuffs,
the “Sushi Deli” restaurant component is nothing more
than a lunch counter to the left of the entrance. But
chef Michio Kushi, who worked for years at the Sushin,
Miami’s first full-service Japanese restaurant, serves up
some sushi found nowhere else in town. Example: traditional Osaka-style sushi – layers of rice, seasoned seaweed, more rice, and marinated fresh mackerel,
pressed into a square box, then cut into lovely one-bite
sandwich squares. While raw fish is always impeccable
here, some unusual vegetarian sushi creations also
tempt, as do daily entrées, like curried beef stew, that
typify Japanese home cooking. $
Oggi Caffe
1666 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1238
This cozy, romantic spot started back in 1989 as a
pasta factory (supplying numerous high-profile restaurants) as well as a neighborhood eatery. And the wide
range of budget-friendly, homemade pastas, made daily,
remains the main draw for its large and loyal clientele.
Choices range from homey, meaty lasagna to luxuriant
crab ravioli with creamy lobster sauce, with occasional
forays into creative exotica such as seaweed spaghettini
(with sea scallops, shitakes, and fresh tomatoes). For
those tempted by too much, ultra-accommodating
servers have been known to allow half orders of two
pastas. $$-$$$
Shuckers Bar & Grill
1819 79th St. Causeway, 305-866-1570
“Cheap eats and a million-dollar view” is the sound bite
manager Philip Conklin uses to describe this outdoor
beach bar, hidden in back of a bayfront motel. The joint
dates from South Beach’s late 1980s revival, but the
kick-off-your-shoes vibe – not to mention the pool tables
and jukebox – couldn’t be farther from SoBe glitz. The
food ranges from classic bar favorites (char-grilled
wings, conch fritters, raw or steamed shellfish) to full
dinners featuring steak, homemade pasta, or fresh, not
frozen, fish. And since about half of the establishment
is sheltered, the bites and bay view rock even when the
weather sucks. $-$$
Sushi Siam
1524 NE 79th St. Causeway, 305-864-7638
(See Miami listing)
There’s an official Village Hall a few blocks up the road,
but a popular vote would probably proclaim Village Café
the community center of Miami Shores. Few residents
can resist starting the workday with unique breakfast
treats like a pressed panini of ham, Brie, and
caramelized apples. Later locals gather over a balsamicdressed cranberry blue chicken salad (a grilled breast
on romaine with gorgonzola, walnuts, and dried cranberries), pan-fried blue crab cakes with beurre blanc and
crisp cayenne-fried onions, wonton-topped salmon
Oriental, or homemade pasta. As for dessert, the pastry
case speaks for village residents: Let them eat (freshbaked) cake! $-$$
Côte Gourmet
9999 NE 2nd Ave., #112, 305-754-9012
If every Miami neighborhood had a neighborhood
restaurant like this low-priced little French jewel, it’d
be one fantastic food town. The menu is mostly simple stuff: breakfast croissants, crêpe, soups, sandwiches, salads, sweets, and a few more substantial
specials like a Tunisian-style brik (buttery phyllo pastry
stuffed with tuna, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes)
with a mesclun side salad. But everything is homemade, including all breads, and prepared with impeccable ingredients, classic French technique, and
meticulous attention to detail, down to the stylish
plaid ribbons that hold together the café’s baguette
sandwiches. $-$$
Los Antojos
11099 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-1411
If it’s Sunday, it must be sancocho de gallina,
Colombia’s national dish. If it’s Saturday, it must be
ajiaco. Both are thick chicken soups, full meals in a
bowl. But veggies and garnishes vary, and this modest
Colombian eatery is a handy spot to comparison-test
such typical stews. Adventuresome eaters may want
to try another Saturday special, mondongo (tripe
Village Café
9540 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-6453
Continued on page 57
hstr 381.8006
ph: 305
HOURS: Mon - Fri 7 am - 6 pm / Sat- Sun 9 am - 4 pm
210 NE 18 th street, miami, fl 33132
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 56
soup, similar to Mexico’s menudo). For Colombian-cuisine novices, a Bandeja Paisa (sampler including rice,
beans, carne asada, chicharron, eggs, sautéed sweet
plantains, and an arepa corn cake) is available every
day, as are antojitos – “little whims,” smaller snacks
like chorizo con arepa (a corn cake with Colombian
sausage). And for noncarnivores there are several
hefty seafood platters, made to order. $$
Bagels & Co.
11064 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2435
While this place is often referred to as Guns & Bagels,
one can’t actually buy a gun here. The nickname
refers to its location next to a firearms shop. But
there’s a lot of other stuff aside from bagels here,
including a full range of sandwiches and wraps.
Breakfast time is busy time, with banana-walnut pancakes especially popular. But what’s most important
is that this is one of the area’s few sources of the
real, New York-style water bagel: crunchy outside,
challengingly chewy inside. Those puffy half-donuts
most places pass off as bagels aren’t even contenders. $
13408 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6339
Buried in a strip mall perpendicular to the Boulevard,
Bamboche is worth the hunt on one of those headsplitting Saturdays, for a Haitian specialty not found in
many area restaurants: bouillon tet cabrit, a soup
packed with greens (like spinach, cabbage, cress,
string beans) and root veggies that is reputed to be a
miraculous hangover remedy. Along with bouillon,
weekend specials include more unusual dishes like
fritay, fried street snacks. Haitian standards (griot, tassot) are available daily, as are fresh-squeezed juices,
lattes, and almost two dozen desserts. $
Canton Café
12749 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-2882
January 2008
Easily overlooked, this strip-mall spot serves mostly
Cantonese-based dishes, ranging from all the old
Chinese-American classics (chop suey, moo goo gai
pan, pu pu platters) through newer Americanized
fusion favorites like honey garlic chicken, teriyaki beef,
and crab Rangoon. But there are also about two
dozen spicier, Szechuan-style standards like kung po
shrimp, ma po tofu, and General Tso’s chicken. And
there are a few imaginative new items, like the intriguingly christened “Shrimp Lost in the Forest,”
Singapore curried rice noodles, crispy shrimp with
honey-glazed walnuts, and Mongolian beef (with raw
chilis and fresh Oriental basil). Delivery is available for
both lunch and dinner. $$
Captain Jim’s Seafood
12950 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-2812
This market/restaurant was garnering critical acclaim
even when eat-in dining was confined to a few
Formica tables in front of the fish counter, owing to
the freshness of its seafood (much of it from Capt. Jim
Hanson’s own fishing boats, which supply many of
Miami’s most upscale eateries). Now there’s a casual
but pleasantly nautical side dining room with booths,
and more recently added, a sushi bar stocked largely
with flown-in Japanese fish just as pristine as the
local catch. Whether it’s garlicky scampi (made with
sweet Key West shrimp), housemade smoked fish dip,
grilled yellowtail (or some more exotic local snapper,
like hog or mutton), perfectly tenderized cracked
conch, or conch fritters (with just enough batter to
bind the big chunks of Bahamian shellfish), everything
is deftly prepared and bargain-priced. $$
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-956-2808
Diners can get some of the usual Tex-Mex dishes at
this cute spot, if they must. But the specialty is
Mayan-rooted Yucatan cuisine. So why blow bucks on
burritos when one can sample Caribbean Mexico’s
most typical dish: cochinita pibil? It’s currently LA’s
trendiest taco filling (and morning-after hangover remedy). But that city couldn’t have a more authentically
succulent version of the pickle-onion-topped marinated pork dish than Chéen’s – earthily aromatic from
achiote, tangy from bitter oranges, meltingly tender
from slow cooking in a banana leaf wrap. To accompany, try a lime/soy/chili-spiced michelada, also authentically Mexican, and possibly the best thing that ever
happened to dark beer. $$-$$$
informal one, and still mostly take-out), she began
offering numerous traditional Haitian dishes, including
jerked beef or goat tassot and an impressive poisson
gros sel (a whole fish rubbed with salt before poaching
with various veggies and spices). But the dish that still
packs the place is the griot: marinated pork chunks
simmered and then fried till they’re moistly tender
inside, crisp and intensely flavored outside. $
Chef Creole
13105 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-893-4246
(See Miami listing)
D.J.’s Diner
12210 Biscayne Blvd., 305-893-5250
Located in a Best Western motel, this place, run by a
Chinese-American family, serves mostly basic
American diner fare – burgers, sandwiches, about a
dozen dinner entrées, fresh-baked apple pie, and,
oddly, a whole section of Caesar salad variations. But
it’s also a secret source for Chinese food, mostly chow
mien/chop suey-type dishes, but also a few dishes
such as eggplant with garlic sauce and ma po tofu
that are a step up in authenticity. $-$$
Hanna’s Gourmet Diner
13951 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2255
When Sia and Nicole Hemmati bought the Gourmet
Diner from retiring original owner Jean-Pierre Lejeune
in the late 1990s, they added “Hanna’s” to the name,
but changed little else about this retro-looking
French/American diner, a north Miami-Dade institution since 1983. Customers can get a cheeseburger
or garlicky escargots, meatloaf in tomato sauce or
boeuf bourguignon in red wine sauce, iceberg lettuce
and tomatoes, or a mushroom and squid salad with
garlic dressing. For oysters Rockefeller/tuna-melt couples from Venus and Mars, it remains the ideal dinner
date destination. $$-$$$
Le Griot de Madame John
975 NE 125th St., 305-892-9333
When Madame moved her base of operations from her
Little Haiti home to a real restaurant (though a very
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Here Comes the Sun
2188 NE 123rd St., 305-893-5711
At this friendly natural foods establishment, one of
Miami’s first, there’s a full stock of vitamins and nutritional supplements. But the place’s hearty soups,
large variety of entrées (including fresh fish and chicken as well as vegetarian selections), lighter bites like
miso burgers with secret “sun sauce” (which would
probably make old sneakers taste good), and daily
specials are a tastier way to get healthy. An under-tenbuck early-bird dinner is popular with the former longhair, now blue-hair, crowd. Frozen yogurt, fresh juices,
and smoothies complete the menu. $-$$
13488 Biscayne Blvd., 305-944-9334
Half sushi/sashimi, half cooked Japanese dishes, the
menu is relatively small but covers most of the traditional favorites and a few surprises. Popular makis
include the Dream (shrimp tempura, avocado,
Japanese mayo, and masago), the vegetarian Popeye
spicy spinach roll, and the deep-fried Crispy, a riceless
salmon and veggie roll. Among cooked items, there’s
a large list of teriyakis, and a few dishes prepared
with a different twist – panko-breaded pork or chicken
katsu cutlets, for instance, that eschew the standard
sweet sauce for curry. $$
Jerusalem Market and Deli
16275 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-9080
Specialties like shawarma, spinach pies, kebabs,
hummus, and kibbeh (a savory mix of ground lamb
Continued on page 58
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 57
and bulgur, arguably the world’s most interesting
meatball) are native to many Middle East countries,
but when a Lebanese chef/owner, like this eatery’s
Sam Elzoor, is at the helm, you can expect extraordinary refinement. There are elaborate daily specials
here, like lemon chicken or stuffed cabbage with a variety of sides, but even a common falafel sandwich is special when the pita is also stuffed with housemade cabbage and onion salads, plus unusually rich and tart tahina. For home cooks, there’s also a limited selection of
imported spices and staples. $-$$
Kingston Bar & Grill
12108 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-0074
Making a quick run for photocopy toner can lead to a
pleasant surprise if your destination is the Office
Depot next door to this humble eatery. The storefront looks more like a derelict Laundromat than a
source for authentic Jamaican fare (plus a few
Haitian specialties). But the changing $3.99 lunch
specials, and even cheaper Tuesday and Thursday
chicken special (curry, brown jerk, fried, or stew
chicken for an unbelievable $2.50), can’t be beat on
the Boulevard. Breakfast, served 7:00 a.m. to 11:00
p.m., includes specialties like ackee and salt fish,
callaloo, and fried or boiled dumplings. On Fridays
look for goat-head soup. $
Lime Fresh Mexican Grill
14831 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-8800
Like its South Beach predecessor, this Lime was an
instant hit, as much for being a hip hangout as for its
carefully crafted Tex-Mex food. Though Lime is now
franchising, the chain’s concept is “fast casual”
rather than fast food – meaning nice enough for a
night out. It also means ingredients aren’t cannedtype crapola. Seafood tacos are about as exotic as
the standard menu gets, but the mahi mahi for fish
tacos comes fresh, never frozen, from a local supplier, and salsas are housemade daily. Niceties include
low-carb tortillas for dieters and many Mexican beers
for partiers. $
read it? There’s a coal-fired brick oven, so order pizza,
which comes out of the ultra-hot enclosure with a perfect crust – beautifully blistered, crisp outside, chewy
inside. Appealing toppings include the Calabrese
(Italian sausage, caramelized onions, kalamata olives,
mozzarella, tomato sauce) and a more modern mix of
mozzarella, tomato sauce, onion, thin-sliced prosciutto, and arugula drizzled with olive oil. For those craving more crunch than the latter pie’s arugula salad,
there are flavorful veggies from a hardwood-fired grill.
Wings from the brick oven (spiced with roasted garlic
and Italian herbs, topped with grilled onions) are a
smokin’ starter. $$-$$$
places to eat and run, this café is also a bakery, gelateria, gourmet mini-grocery, informal gallery of local
artwork, occasional live jazz club, and at night a full
Italian restaurant. Since the Venezuelan-born
chef/owner trained and worked in Italy as a pastry
chef, it’s not surprising that the place’s strong suit is
baked goods, such as the elegant pastry shells encasing Milan Scrambled Eggs (with ham, cheese, and
spinach); ultra-thin-crusted designer pizzas; the crisp
crostini accompanying a sweet miso-dressed ahi tuna
salad; or a tart of crisp apple slices atop a slightly
nutty cheesecake-style filling, enclosed by tender
crust. $-$$$
Mama Jennie’s
North One 10
11720 NE 2nd Ave., 305-757-3627
For more than 35 years this beloved red-sauce joint
has been drawing students and other starvation-budget diners with prodigious portions of lasagna,
spaghetti and meatballs (the latter savory yet light-textured), veal marsala topped with a mountain of mushrooms, and other Italian-American belly-busters. All
pasta or meat entrées come with oil-drenched garlic
rolls and either soup (hearty minestrone) or a salad
(mixed greens, tomatoes, cukes, brined olives, and
pickled peppers) that’s a dinner in itself. Rustic roadhouse ambiance, notably the red leatherette booths,
add to Mama’s charm. $-$$
11052 Biscayne Blvd., 305-893-4211
For most chefs a Miami-to-Manhattan move is generally considered one of those offers you can’t refuse. But
after helming several NYC restaurants for China Grill
Management, the homegrown married team of chef
Dewey and sommelier Dale LoSasso returned to do
their own thing in their own neighborhood. The menu
is “creative comfort food”: a shrimp waffle with basil
butter; “steak and eggs” (a grilled NY strip with truffled goat cheese frittata, herb demiglace, and hash
browns); a stone crab hot dog the chef invented for a
Super Bowl party. The award-winning wine list inspires
playfully themed pairing events like an Italian
food/wine “Godfather” dinner. But it’s not South
Beach, so prices are reasonable, and parking is free.
Mario the Baker
13695 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-891-7641
At this North Miami institution (opened in 1969) food
is Italian-American, not Italian-Italian: spaghetti and
meatballs, lasagna, eggplant parmigiana, and hot or
cold subs. No imported buffala, arugula, or other
chichi stuff on the New York-style medium-thin-crusted
pizzas; the top topping here is the savory housemade
sausage. And no one leaves without garlic rolls, awash
in warm parsley oil and smashed garlic ($4 a dozen,
$3 per half-dozen, which won’t even last the ride
home). A new branch is now open in Miami’s Midtown
neighborhood. $
The Melting Pot
12727 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-9069
In addition to white-tablecoth ambiance that’s several
steps up in elegance from the majority of neighborhood eateries, this place features live Latin entertainment and dancing, making it a good choice when diners want a night out, not just a meal. It’s also a good
choice for diners who don’t speak Spanish, but don’t
worry about authenticity. Classic Cuban home-style
dishes like mojo-marinated lechon asado, topped with
onions, and juicy ropa vieja are translated on the
menu, not the plate, and fancier creations like pork
filet in tangy tamarind sauce seem universal crowdpleasers. $$$
15700 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-2228
For 1950s and 1960s college students, fondue pots
were standard dorm accessories. These days, however, branches of this chain (originating in Maitland,
Florida, in 1975) are generally the only places to go
for this blast-from-the-past eating experience. Fondues
are available à la carte or as full dip-it-yourself meals.
Start with a wine-enriched four-cheese fondue; proceed to an entrée with choice of meat or seafood,
plus choice of cooking potion – herbed wine, bouillon,
or oil; finish with fruits and cakes dipped in your
favorite melted chocolate. Fondue etiquette dictates
that diners who drop a skewer in the pot must kiss all
other table companions, so go with those you love.
Louie’s Brick Oven
Michele Caffe
15979 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-3330
A pocket flashlight isn’t a bad idea if you want to read
the menu in this mood-lit room. But who needs to
16121 Biscayne Blvd., 305-948-0224
Inspired by Europe’s classic cafés, which are so
relaxed they’re practically second homes, rather than
Little Havana
Nuvo Kafe
13152 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-892-1441
Though the neighborhood is decidedly ungentrified,
the interior of this café is an oasis of cultivated
Caribbean cool and subtly sophisticated global fare.
Haitian-born, Montreal-schooled chef Ivan Dorval formerly cooked at the Oasis Café in Miami Beach, as
well as the Delano, and the varied background is
reflected in cuisine that’s chiefly creative Caribbean
but with influences from the Middle East, Asia,
Greece, and Italy. Homemade, health-oriented dishes
include velvety ginger pumpkin bisque, unusually
refined conch fritters (light batter, monster chunks of
conch), West Indies crab cakes with citrus aioli, and a
signature lavish, but only slightly sinful, Citadel Raw
Fruit Pie. $$-$$$
La Paloma
10999 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0505
Step into La Paloma and you’ll be stepping back in
time, circa 1957. Adorned with antiques (some even
real) and chandeliers, the over-the-top plush décor
was the American fine-dining ideal – half a century
ago (though actually the place only dates from the
1970s). Cuisine is similarly retro-luxe: old-fashioned
upscale steaks, chops, and lobster, plus fancier
Continental fare. If you have a yen for
chateaubriand, duck a l’orange, oysters Rockefeller,
French onion soup, trout almondine, wiener
schnitzel, and peach Melba, it’s the only place in
town that can deliver them all. A huge wine list fuels
the fantasy. $$$$
16265 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-5027
From the outside, this strip-mall Mexican eatery couldn’t be easier to overlook. Inside, however, its festivity
is impossible to resist. Every inch of wall space seems
to be covered with South of the Border knickknacks.
And if the kitschy décor alone doesn’t cheer you, the
quickly arriving basket of fresh (not packaged) taco
chips, or the mariachi band, or the knockout margaritas will. Food ranges from Tex-Mex burritos and a
party-size fajita platter to authentic Mexican moles
and harder-to-find traditional preparations like
albóndigas – spicy, ultra-savory meatballs. $$-$$$
14871 Biscayne Blvd., 786-923-2323
(See Miami: Brickell / Downtown listing)
Paul Bakery Café
14861 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-4443
From one rural shop in 1889, the French bakery
known simply as Paul has grown to a worldwide
chain, which fortunately chose to open its first U.S.
outlet in our town. One bite of the crusty peasant
loaf, the olive-studded fougasse, or another of the
signature artisan breads transports you right back to
France. As authentic as the boulangerie breads are,
the patisserie items like flan normande (a butterycrusted, almond-topped apple-and-custard tart) are
just as evocative. For eat-in diners, quite continental
soups, salads, and sandwiches are equally and
dependably French. $$
Oishi Thai
14841 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-4338
At this stylish, dramatically minimalist Thai/sushi spot,
the regular Thai and Japanese dishes are as good as
anywhere in town. But the way to go is the menu of
specials, many of which clearly reflect the young
chef’s fanatic devotion to fresh fish, as well as the
time he spent in the kitchen of Knob: broiled misomarinated black cod; rock shrimp tempura with
creamy sauce; even Nobu Matsuhisa’s “new style
sashimi” (slightly surface-seared by drizzles of hot
olive and sesame oil). Formerly all Japanese-influenced, the specials menu now includes some Thaiinspired creations, too, such as veal massaman curry,
Chilean sea bass curry, and sizzling filet mignon with
basil sauce. $$$-$$$$
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
Plein Sud
12409 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-2355
The Boulevard may not be the Champs-Elysées, but
diners could be fooled once inside this evocative
French bistro. The ambiance is Old World, and the
menu is solid and well executed. Starters range from
country comfort (Lyonnaise sausage with warm, vinegary potato salad; a charcuterie platter with homemade pâté) to urban sophistication (Maine lobster
tail with celery remoulade). Entrées include longstewed, creamy blanquette de veau, or a precisioncooked steak-frites (rib eye with crisp shoestring
fries). For dessert there is the ubiquitous tarte tatin,
caramelized apples atop puff-pastry crust. $$-$$$
Continued on page 59
January 2008
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 58
2214 NE 123rd St., 305-891-3312
While this mainly vegetarian kosher place is best
known for its pizza (New York-style medium crust or
thick-crusted Sicilian, topped with veggies and/or
“meat buster” imitation meats), it’s also offers a full
range of breakfast/lunch/dinner vegetarian cuisine
of all nations, with many dairy and seafood items
too. Admittedly the cutesie names of many items –
baygels, bergerrbite, Cezarrrr salad, hammm, meata-ball, schmopperrr – may cause queasiness. But
the schmopperrr itself is one helluva high-octane
veggie burger. $-$$
Scorch Grillhouse and Wine Bar
13750 Biscayne Blvd., 305-949-5588
Though some food folks were initially exasperated
when yet another Latin-influenced grill replaced one
of our area’s few Vietnamese restaurants, it’s hard to
bear a grudge at a friendly, casual neighborhood
place that offers monster ten-ounce char-grilled burgers, with potatoes or salad, for $8.50; steaks, plus a
side and a sauce or veg topper, for nine bucks at
lunch, $15 to $18.75 (the menu’s top price) at night;
and three-dollar glasses of decent house wine. Many
other grilled meat and seafood items are also offered,
plus pastas, salads, gooey desserts, and specials
(events as well as food). $-$$
Steve’s Pizza
12101 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-0202
At the end of a debauched night of excess, some
paper-thin designer pizza with wisps of smoked
salmon (or similar fluff) doesn’t do the trick. Open
till 3:00 or 4:00 a.m., Steve’s has, since 1974, been
serving the kind of comforting, retro pizzas people
crave at that hour. As in Brooklyn, tomato sauce is
sweet, with strong oregano flavor. Mozzarella is
applied with abandon. Toppings are stuff that give
strength: pepperoni, sausage, meatballs, onions,
and peppers. $
eel tempura, plus avocado, jalapeños, and cilantro,
topped with not one but three sauces: wasabi, teriyaki,
and spicy mayo); the Volcano, topped with a mountain
of tempura flakes; the spicy/sweet sauce-drenched
Hawaiian King Crab, containing unprecedented ingredients like tomatoes, green peppers, and pineapple. To
drink there are boutique wines, artisan sakes, and
cocktails as exotic as the cuisine. $$$-$$$$
Twenty-One Toppings
14480 Biscayne Blvd., #105, North Miami
A shoo-in to top many future “Best Burger” polls, this
little joint serves sirloin, chicken, turkey, and white
bean patties, topped with your choice of one cheese
from a list of seven, one sauce from a list of twelve,
and three toppings from a list of 21. And since the
chef/co-owner is a culinary school grad who has
trained in several cutting-edge kitchens (including
David Bouley Evolution), the garnishes ain’t just
ketchup. There’s Asian vinaigrette, gorgonzola, grilled
portobellos, much more. If choosing is too confusing,
try the chef-designed combos.
Tokyo Bowl
12295 Biscayne Blvd., 305-892-9400
This fast-food drive-thru (unexpectedly serene inside)
is named for its feature item, big budget-priced
bowls of rice or noodles topped with cooked
Japanese-style items like teriyaki fish (fresh fish
sautéed with vegetables), curried chicken and veggies, spicy shrimp, or gyoza dumplings in tangy
sauce. There’s also an all-you-can-eat deal – sushi
(individual nigiri or maki rolls) plus tempura, teriyaki,
and other cooked items for $14; three bucks more
for sashimi instead of sushi. $-$$
Venezia Pizza and Café
13452 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-1808
No frozen pizza crusts or watery mozzarella here. No
imported designer ingredients either. The pies are
New York-style, but the dough is made fresh daily, and
the cheese is Grande (from Wisconsin, considered
America’s finest pizza topper). Also on the menu are
Italian-American pastas, a large selection of hot an
cold subs, simple salads, and a few new protein adds
– grilled chicken breast, fried fish, or a steak. $-$$
Sun City Café
15400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-940-6955
Super-stuffed crêpes, made to order from scratch, are
the main specialty here – some sweet (the Banana
Split: fresh strawberries, sliced bananas, candied walnuts, ice cream, and Nutella or dulce de leche), some
savory (the Sun City Steak: beef, mushrooms, onions,
red peppers, Swiss cheese, and A1 sauce). But
there’s also a smaller selection of custom-crafted
wraps, salads, sandwiches, and sides, plus smoothies, coffee drinks, even beer or wine. Free Wi-Fi
encourages long, lingering lunches. $
Sushi House
15911 Biscayne Blvd., 305-947-6002
In terms of décor drama, this sushi spot seems to
have taken its cue from Philippe Starck: Delano-like
sheer floor-to-ceiling drapes, for starters. The sushi list,
too, is over the top, featuring monster makis: the
Cubbie Comfort (spicy tuna, soft-shell crab, shrimp and
January 2008
Wong’s Chinese Restaurant
12420 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-4313
This old-timer’s menu reads like a textbook on how to
please everyone, with food ranging from traditional
Chinese to Chinese-American to just plain American.
Appetizers include honey garlic chicken wings or
Buffalo wings. A crab-claw starter comes with choice
of pork fried rice or French fries. Seafood lovers can
get shrimp chop suey, or salty pepper shrimp
(authentically shell-on). And snowbirds will be
pleased to find a number of dishes that are mainstays of Manhattan Szechuan menus but not common in Miami: cold sesame noodles, Hunan chicken,
twice-cooked pork, Lake Tung Ting shrimp, and peppery kung po squid. $$
Woody’s Famous Steak Sandwich
13105 Biscayne Blvd., 305-891-1451
The griddle has been fired up since 1954 at this indie
fast-food joint, and new owners have done little to
change the time-tested formula except to stretch operating hours into the night and expand its classic griddled-or-fried-things menu to include a few health-conscious touches like Caesar salad, plus a note proclaiming their oils are free of trans fats. Otherwise the
famous steak sandwich is still a traditional Philly –
thin-sliced beef, cheese, and onions on a buttered
Italian roll (with tasty housemade sour cream/horseradish sauce served on the side so as not to offend
purists). Extras like mushrooms are possible, not
imposed. Drippin’ good burgers, too. And unlike
MacChain addicts, patrons here can order a cold beer
with the good grease. $-$$
14316 Biscayne Blvd., 305-919-8844
It’s appropriate that the name of this small strip-mall
sushi spot refers to Japan’s first and only sparkling
sake – something most Americans have never heard
of, making the reference pretty much an insider’s
joke. Since opening several years ago, the restaurant
itself has been one of our town’s best-kept secrets.
But the perfectionist chef/owner’s concentration on
quality and freshness of ingredients has made Zipang
the pick of sushi cognoscenti like Loews’s executive
chef Marc Ehrler, who has named the unpretentious
place his favorite Miami eatery, while admitting the
obvious: “Nobody knows it.” $$-$$$
Bamboo Garden
1232 NE 163rd St., 305-945-1722
Big enough for a banquet (up to 300 guests), this veteran is many diners’ favorite on the 163rd/167th
Street “Chinatown” strip because of its superior décor.
But the menu also offers well-prepared, authentic
dishes like peppery black bean clams, sautéed mustard greens, and steamed whole fish with ginger and
scallions, plus Chinese-American egg foo young.
Default spicing is mild even in Szechuan dishes
marked with red-chili icons, but don’t worry; realizing
some like it hot, the chefs will customize spiciness to
heroic heat levels upon request. $$
China Restaurant
178 NE 167th St., 305-947-6549
When you have a yen for the Americanized Chinese
fusion dishes you grew up with, all the purist regional
Chinese cuisine in the world won’t scratch the itch. So
the menu here, containing every authentically inauthentic Chinese-American classic you could name, is
just the ticket when nostalgia strikes – from simple
egg rolls to pressed almond duck (majorly breaded
boneless chunks, with comfortingly thick gravy). $-$$
Christine’s Roti Shop
16721 NE 6th Ave., 305-770-0434
Wraps are for wimps. At this small shop run by
Christine Gouvela, originally from British Guyana, the
wrapper is a far more substantial and tasty roti, a
Caribbean mega-crepe made from chickpea flour.
Most popular filling for the flatbread is probably jerk
chicken, bone-in pieces in a spiced stew of potatoes,
cabbage, carrots, onions, and more chickpeas. But
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
there are about a dozen other curries to choose
from, including beef, goat, conch, shrimp, trout, and
duck. Take-out packages of plain roti are also available; they transform myriad leftovers into tasty,
portable lunches. $
Hiro Japanese Restaurant
3007 NE 163rd St., 305-948-3687
One of Miami’s first sushi restaurants, Hiro retains an
amusing retro-glam feel, an extensive menu of both
sushi and cooked Japanese food, and late hours that
make it a perennially popular snack stop after a hard
night at the area’s movie multiplexes (or strip clubs).
The sushi menu has few surprises, but quality is reliable. Most exceptional are the nicely priced yakitori,
skewers of succulently soy-glazed and grilled meat,
fish, and vegetables; the unusually large variety available of the last makes this place a good choice for
vegetarians. $$
Hiro’s Sushi Express
17048 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-949-0776
Tiny, true, but there’s more than just sushi at this
mostly take-out spin-off of the pioneering Hiro. Makis
are the mainstay (standard stuff like California rolls,
more complex creations like multi-veg futomaki, and a
few unexpected treats like a spicy Crunch & Caliente
maki), available à la carte or in value-priced individual
and party combo platters. But there are also bento
boxes featuring tempura, yakitori skewers, teriyaki,
stir-fried veggies, and udon noodles. Another branch
is now open in Miami’s Upper Eastside. $
Hiro’s Yakko-San
17040 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-947-0064
After sushi chefs close up their own restaurants for
the night, many come here for a bite of something different. The specialty is Japanese home cooking,
served in grazing portions so diners can enjoy a wide
variety of the unusual dishes offered. Standard sushi
isn’t missed when glistening-fresh strips of raw tuna
can be had in maguro nuta – mixed with scallions and
dressed with habit-forming honey-miso mustard
sauce. Dishes depend on the market, but other
favorites include goma ae (wilted spinach, chilled and
dressed in sesame sauce), garlic stem and beef (mild
young shoots flash-fried with tender steak bits), or perhaps just-caught grouper with hot/sweet/tangy chili
sauce. Open till around 3:00 a.m. $$
1550 NE 164th St., 305-919-8393,
If unusual Bangladeshi dishes like fiery pumpkin
patey (cooked with onion, green pepper, and pickled
mango) or Heelsha curry (succulently spiced hilsa,
Bangladesh’s sweet-fleshed national fish) seem familiar, it’s because chef/owner Bithi Begum and her husband Tipu Raman once served such fare at the critically acclaimed Renaisa. Their new menu’s mix-andmatch option also allows diners to pair their choice of
meat, poultry, fish, or vegetable with more than a
dozen regional sauces, from familiar Indian styles to
exotica like satkara, flavored with a Bangladeshi citrus
reminiscent of sour orange. Early-bird dinners (5:00 to
Continued on page 60
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 59
6:30 p.m.) are a bargain, as some dishes are almost
half-price. Lunch is served weekends only except by
reservation, so call ahead. $$-$$$
Jumbo Chinese Restaurant
1242 NE 163rd St., 305-956-5677
Jumbo’s regular menu offers a large percentage of
hard-to-find traditional Chinese home-cooking specialties (many using fresh and preserved Asian vegetables): pork with bitter melon, beef with sour cabbage,
chicken with mustard green, cellophane noodle with
mixed-vegetable casserole. Still, most diners come for
dim sum, a huge selection served at all hours. These
small plates include chewy rice noodle rolls filled with
shrimp or beef, leek dumplings, crisp-fried stuffed taro
balls, savory pork-studded turnip cake, pork/peanut
congee, custard croissants, and for the brave,
steamed chicken feet. $$
to Korean-style barbecue, which is really not barbecued but quickly grilled after long marination in a mix
of soy sauce, sesame, sugar, garlic, and more. Lovers
of fiery food can customize with dipping sauces, or
the eatery’s many little banchan (included side dishes, some mild, others mouth-searing). Pa jun, a crispy
egg/scallion-based pancake, is a crowd-pleasing
starter. And if the unfamiliarity seems too scary altogether, there’s a selection of Chinese food. $$-$$$
Kebab Indian Restaurant
514 NE 167th St., 305-940-6309
Since the 1980s this restaurant, located in an
unatmospheric mini strip mall but surprisingly romantic inside (especially if you grab one of the exotically
draped booths) has been a popular destination for
reasonably priced north Indian fare. Kormas are properly soothing and vindaloos are satisfactorily searing,
but the kitchen will adjust seasonings upon request.
They aim to please. Food arrives unusually fast for an
Indian eatery, too. $$
Kola Nut Café
King Buffet
250 NE 183rd St., 305-249-3097
The fare is creative Caribbean, mainly Jamaican, but
served in a setting more upscale than the average
jerk joint – more like a casual island nightclub. Live
jazz, comedy, or poetry readings enhance the hip
ambiance on some nights. At all times there’s food
ranging from classic jerks (chicken, beef, or shrimp) to
fancier dishes like curried crab cakes served on avocado/pineapple/pico de gallo salad, or calabaza soup
topped with nutmeg cream and toasted pepitas. Sides
include pickled star fruit and bammy fries (grated
yucca/coconut milk). A children’s menu encourages
young ethnic gourmets, but best keep them out of the
rum-drenched Jamaican black cake. $$-$$$
316 NE 167th St., 305-940-8668
In this restaurant’s parking lot, midday on Sundays,
the colorful display of vivid pinks, greens, and blues
worn by myriad families arriving for dinner in matching
going-to-church outfits is equaled only by the eye-poppingly dyed shrimp chips and desserts displayed
inside on the buffet table. Though there’s an à la
carte menu, the draw here is the 100-item (according
to advertisements) all-you-can-eat spread of dishes
that are mostly Chinese, with some American input.
It’s steam-table stuff, but the price is right and then
some: $6-$7 for lunch, $9-$11 for dinner. $-$$
Kyung Ju
400 NE 167th St., 305-947-3838
Star of the show at this long-lived Korean restaurant
(one of only a handful in Miami-Dade County) is bulgogi. The name translates as “fire meat,” but isn’t a reference to Koreans’ love of hot chilis. Rather it refers
sonal Chinese veggies. The menu is extensive, but the
best ordering strategy, since the place is usually
packed with Asians, is to see what looks good on
nearby tables, and point. Servers will also steer you to
the good stuff, once you convince them you’re not a
chop suey kinda person. $$
Laurenzo’s Market Café
16385 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-6381
It’s just a small area blocked off by grocery shelves,
buried between the wines and the fridge counters –
no potted palms, and next-to-no service in this cafeteria-style snack space. But when negotiating this international gourmet market’s packed shelves and
crowds has depleted your energies, it’s a handy place
to refuel with eggplant parmesan and similar ItalianAmerican classics, steam-tabled but housemade from
old family recipes. Just a few spoonfuls of
Wednesday’s hearty pasta fagiole, one of the daily
soup specials, could keep a person shopping for
hours. $-$$
Little Saigon
16752 N. Miami Ave., 305-653-3377
This is Miami’s oldest traditional Vietnamese restaurant, but it’s still packed most weekend nights. So
even the place’s biggest negative – its hole-in-the-wall
atmosphere, not encouraging of lingering visits –
becomes a plus since it ensures fast turnover.
Chef/owner Lily Tao is typically in the kitchen, crafting green papaya salad, flavorful beef noodle pho
(served with greens, herbs, and condiments that
make it not just a soup but a whole ceremony), and
many other Vietnamese classics. The menu is
humongous. $-$$
King Palace
330 NE 167th St., 305-949-2339
The specialties here are authentic Chinatown-style
barbecue (whole ducks, roast pork strips, and more,
displayed in a glass case by the door), and fresh
seafood dishes, the best made with the live fish swimming in two tanks by the dining room entrance.
There’s also a better-than-average selection of sea-
Mary Ann Bakery
1284 NE 163rd St., 305-945-0333
Don’t be unduly alarmed by the American birthday
cakes in the window. At this small Chinese bakery the
real finds are the Chinatown-style baked buns and
other savory pastries, filled with roast pork, bean
sauce, and curried ground beef. Prices are under a
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buck, making them an exotic alternative to fast-food
dollar meals. There’s one table for eat-in snackers. $
Matador Argentinean Steakhouse
3207 NE 163rd St., 305-944-6001
With Latin parilla places spreading here as fast as
kudzu, it’s hard to get excited about yet another allyou-can-eat meat spread. But Matador offers far more
for the money than most. One dinner price ($24.95,
$27.95 weekends) includes a salad bar of more than
30 items, unlimited grilled proteins (many cuts of
beef, sausages, chicken, pork, assorted veggies, and
even fish upon request), crunchy steak fries, a dessert
(typically charged extra elsewhere), and even more
fun, a bottle of quite quaffable wine per person. $$$
Panya Thai
520 NE 167th St., 305-945-8566
Unlike authentic Chinese cuisine, there’s no shortage
of genuine Thai food in and around Miami. But
Panya’s chef/owner, a Bangkok native, offers numerous regional and/or rare dishes not found elsewhere.
Plus he doesn’t automatically curtail the heat or
sweetness levels to please Americans. Among the
most intriguing: moo khem phad wan (chewy deepfried seasoned pork strips with fiery tamarind dip,
accompanied by crisp green papaya salad, a study in
sour/sweet/savory balance); broad rice noodles stirfried with eye-opening chili/garlic sauce and fresh
Thai basil; and chili-topped Diamond Duck in tangy
tamarind sauce. $$-$$$
PK Oriental Mart
255 NE 167th St., 305-654-9646
While there are three other sizable Asian markets on
this strip between I-95 and Biscayne Boulevard, PK
has the only prepared-food counter, serving authentic Chinatown barbecue, with appropriate dipping
sauces included. Weekends bring the biggest selection, including barbecued ribs and pa pei duck
(roasted, then deep-fried till extra crisp and nearly
free of subcutaneous fat). Available every day are
Continued on page 61
January 2008
Restaurant Listings
Continued from page 60
juicy, soy-marinated roast chickens, roast pork strips,
crispy pork, and whole roast ducks – hanging, as tradition dictates, beaks and all. But no worries; a
counterperson will chop your purchase into bite-size,
beakless pieces. $
Sang’s Chinese Restaurant
1925 NE 163rd St., 305-947-7076
Open late (1:30 a.m. most nights) since 1990,
Sang’s has an owner who previously cooked in NYC’s
Chinatown, and three menus. The pink menu is
Americanized Chinese food, from chop suey to honey
garlic chicken. The white menu permits the chef to
show off his authentic Chinese fare: salt and pepper
prawns, rich beef/turnip casserole, tender saltbaked chicken, even esoterica like abalone with sea
cucumber. The extensive third menu offers dim sum,
served until 4:00 p.m. A limited live tank allows seasonal seafood dishes like lobster with ginger and
scallion. More recently installed: a Chinese barbecue
case, displaying savory items like crispy pork with
crackling attached. $$$
Siam Square
54 NE 167th St., 305-944-9697
Open until 1:00 a.m. every day except Sunday (when
is closes at midnight), this relatively new addition to
North Miami Beach’s “Chinatown” strip has become
a popular late-night gathering spot for chefs from
other Asian restaurants. And why not? The food is
fresh, nicely presented, and reasonably priced. The
kitchen staff is willing to customize dishes upon
request, and the serving staff is reliably fast. Perhaps
most important, karaoke equipment is in place when
the mood strikes. $-$$
237 NE 167th St., 305-654-9494
Since food historians estimate that 80 percent of
Philippine cuisine is rooted in Spain, it’s strange that
Miami has so few Filipino eateries. But the islands’
January 2008
typical long-cooked, highly-spiced (but not spicy)
stews are authentically represented at this diminutive, mostly take-out restaurant/bakery/market.
Specialties include piquant, vinegar-marinated chicken adobo, beef kare-kare in a subtle Thai-type thin
peanut sauce, and crispy pata, tender pork hock
chunks with garlicky mojo. The menu rotates regularly, so pick up one to track which entrées are available
each day, in individual orders or on combo plates of
two dishes plus rice or pancit (sautéed rice noodles
and veggies). $
Tuna’s Garden Grille
17850 W. Dixie Hwy., 305-945-2567
When Tuna’s moved in 2006 from the marina space
it had occupied for almost two decades, it lost its
waterfront location, its old-fashioned fish-house
ambiance, and its outdoor deck. But it has gained a
garden setting, and retained its menu of fresh (and
sometimes locally caught) seafood – some fancified,
some simple (the wiser choice). Also continuing are
Tuna’s signature seasonal specials, like a Maine lobster dinner for a bargain $15. Open daily till 2:00
a.m., the place can sometimes feel like a singles bar
during the two post-midnight happy hours, but since
the kitchen is open till closing, it draws a serious latenight dining crowd, too. $$
Bella Luna
19575 Biscayne Blvd. Aventura Mall, 305-792-9330
If the menu here looks familiar, it should. It’s identical
to that at the Upper Eastside’s Luna Café and, with
minor variations, at all the rest of Tom Billante’s eateries (Rosalia, Villaggio, Carpaccio), right down to the
typeface. But no argument from here. In a mall – a
setting more accustomed to food court, steam-tabled
stuff – dishes like carpaccio al salmone (crudo, with
portobellos, capers, parmesan slices, and
lemon/tomato dressing) and linguine carbonara (in
creamy sauce with pancetta and shallots) are a
breath of fresh, albeit familiar, air. $$-$$$
Chef Allen’s
19088 NE 29th Ave., 305-935-2900
After 20 years of success in the same location, many
chefs would coast on their backlog of tried-and-true
dishes. And it’s doubtful that kindly Allen Susser
would freak out his many regulars by eliminating from
the menu the Bahamian lobster and crab cakes (with
tropical fruit chutney and vanilla beurre blanc). But
lobster-lovers will find that the 20th anniversary
menus also offer new excitements like tandoori-spiced
rock lobster, along with what might be the ultimate
mac’n’cheese: lobster crab macaroni in a Fris vodka
sauce with mushrooms, scallions, and parmesan. The
famous dessert soufflé’s flavor changes daily, but it
always did. $$$$$
Fish Joint
2570 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-936-8333
Unless one’s mind is already made up before getting
here – and stuck on steak, pasta, or some other landbased dish – loyal repeat customers know to ignore
the small printed menu and wait for the tableside
presentation of about ten catches-of-the-day, arrayed
on a tray. Servers identify each fish, explain how it’s to
be prepared, and take your order. Whether it’s a simple sautéed fillet or a slightly more complex preparation like shrimp/crab-crusted grouper, the kitchen’s
veterans know precisely how to cook fish. All entrées
come with suitable starch and green-type vegetable,
plus various other complementary freebies, so
starters, salads, and sides aren’t necessary. $$$
Il Migliore
2576 NE Miami Gardens Dr., 305-792-2902
Reminiscent of an intimate Tuscan villa, chef Neal
Cooper’s attractive trattoria gets the food right, as
well as the ambiance. As in Italy, dishes rely on
impeccable ingredients and straightforward recipes
that don’t overcomplicate, cover up, or otherwise
muck about with that perfection. Fresh fettuccine
with white truffle oil and mixed wild mushrooms
needs nothing else. Neither does the signature Pollo
Al Mattone, marinated in herbs and cooked under a
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brick, require pretentious fancification. And even lowcarb dieters happily go to hell in a hand basket when
faced with a mound of potatoes alla Toscana, fried
herb-sprinkled French fries. Located west of Biscayne
Boulevard in the Davis Plaza shopping mall, across
from Ojus Elementary School. $$-$$$
20475 Biscayne Blvd., 305-937-2777
Chef/owner Scott Fredel previously worked for
Norman Van Aken and Mark Militello. He has been
executive chef at Rumi, and cooked at NYC’s James
Beard House. Armed with those impressive credentials, Fredel and his partners launched Pilar (named
for Hemingway’s boat) aiming to prove that top restaurants can be affordable. Consider it now proven.
Floribbean-style seafood is the specialty, dishes like
fried Bahamian cracked conch with fresh hearts of
palm slaw and Caribbean curry sauce, rock shrimp
spring rolls with sweet soy glaze, and yellowtail snapper with tomato-herb vinaigrette and a potato/leek
croqueta. Don’t let the strip-mall location fool you. The
restaurant itself is elegant. $$-$$$
The Soup Man
20475 Biscayne Blvd. #G-8, 305-466-9033
The real soup man behind this franchise is Al
Yeganeh, an antisocial Manhattan restaurant proprietor made notorious, on a Seinfeld episode, as “the
soup Nazi.” On the menu: ten different premium
soups each day (from a rotating list of about 50). The
selection is carefully balanced among meat/poultrybased and vegetarian; clear and creamy (like the
eatery’s signature shellfish-packed lobster bisque);
chilled and hot; familiar (chicken noodle) and exotic
(mulligatawny). All soups come with gourmet bread,
fruit, and imported chocolate. Also available are salads, sandwiches, and wraps, à la carte or in soupplus combos. $-$$
Sushi Siam
19575 Biscayne Blvd. 305-932-8955
(See Miami Listing)
Continued from page 48
Seven years ago the Newman family
purchased the Sweet Tooth, a kosher
chocolate business that is not only a
store but also an immaculate and efficient factory. Why? Because, says son
Eric Newman, “We love chocolate —
it’s so much fun.”
The Sweet Tooth is certainly a joy to
visit. The chocolate aromas are intoxicating. The presentations are dazzling —
baskets and mugs and boxes of handmade chocolate festooned with a rainbow of ribbons and gilt bows. There are
minute baskets crafted like walnut shells
and glittering wheelbarrows filled with
chocolates molded like stars and snowmen, menorahs and sleds.
Every item in the Sweet Tooth is
made by hand, from the slice of candied ginger tipped with dark chocolate
and the stemmed, three-color chocolate
rose to the blue, foil-covered dreidel.
Father Phil mixes the fillings — the
nougats, caramels, fruits, crèmes, and
marshmallows — and runs the enrober,
a machine that coats the fillings with
chocolate. Mother Marilyn greets and
serves customers during holiday rushes. Son Eric acts as ringmaster: “I
make sure everyone is doing what
they’re supposed to do,” he says. And
son Arthur tends to the Sweet Tooth’s
national and international business
from a vantage point in Manhattan.
During holiday seasons, the company
employs up to 60 artisans who mold,
Unlike the Mayans, the Newmans do
not grow and process their own chocolate. Most of the world’s chocolate
now comes from forest regions in West
Africa, mainly the Côte d’Ivoire.
Europeans, mad for a quick chocolate
fix, transported the cacao tree there
centuries ago. In Africa, women and
children are kidnapped to work as
slaves in remote jungle cacao groves.
All farming, harvesting, and initial processing of chocolate must be
done by hand. It is grueling,
There are minute baskets crafted
unpleasant labor that is costly,
like walnut shells and glittering
if fairly compensated. The
wheelbarrows filled with chocolates
ancient Mayans sent their capmolded like stars and snowmen,
tives to work on the old cocoa
menorahs and sleds.
plantation, too. Literal slaves
to the food of love.
But not to worry! Eric buys
the Sweet Tooth’s chocolate from
paint, sprinkle, and bake cookies and
domestic and European firms that guarrugelach, assemble baskets, ship and
deliver. “We have a lady who comes in antee their goods are produced legitimately. This former accountant for
June to start making our bows,” Eric
Revlon has the certifications to prove
says. He shows off boxes of custom
it. And the Sweet Tooth prominently
molds, from baby bottles to soccer
displays their rabbinical credentials as
balls. “For a single sweet, there are
a kosher establishment. (The store is
often four or five steps.”
Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
closed on Saturday, Shabbat, by religious law.)
What Eric will not reveal, however,
are the family’s secret blends and
recipes, the proportions of cocoa, cocoa
butter, milk, cream, sugar, vanilla, and
spice that make Sweet Tooth chocolate
delicious even to someone who is usually indifferent to its seductions.
Giving back to the community is
also part of the Newmans’ fun with
chocolate. Each year Eric visits MiamiDade schools as part of Career Day. “I
take the enrober, and the kids get to
make their own chocolates — it’s
great! For Make-a-Wish, we just delivered an entire Cinderella castle to a
sick boy who yearned for Disney.”
Note: Archaeologists have yet to discover that the Mayans did anything
quite like this.
The Sweet Tooth, 18435 NE 19th
Ave., North Miami Beach, 305-6821022. Open Tuesday through Thursday,
10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m., and Sunday
10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Feedback: [email protected]
January 2008
$100 PP
10PM TO 3AM for the partiers
$150 bottles of Grey Goose, Kettle One,
Johhny Walker Black, Dewers and
Patron Light
January 2008
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Biscayne Times • www.BiscayneTimes.com
January 2008

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