Where to Be: 2.20.15 to 2.26.15

Friday, February 20th

Misa E’ Gallo, Cubita Da Poet and 3CO @ Jazid 

10:00 pm – 5:00 am
1342 Washington Ave,
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Webpage Link
Cost: $10

3CO @ 11pm
“On tour from Puerto Rico
Misa E’ Gallo @ 12am
Cubita Da Poet @ 1AM

RSVP Here!


Hip-Hop Flavor upstairs with DJ Fiyah Vibez til 5am.

21&up. $10.


Saturday, February 21st

Arts for Learning Lewis Arts Studio Pop-Up Family Arts Days 2/21/15

A4L LAS PopUp Flyer Virrick 5x7 5x7 FINALElizabeth Virrick Park
3255 Plaza Street,
MIAMI, Florida 33133
Facebook Link
Cost: Free

Join us for Arts for Learning’s Lewis Arts Studio Pop-Up Family Arts Days!
Free Dance classes for the whole family, featuring A4L Teaching Artist, dancer & choreographer Marisol Blanco!

Dance sessions will be held every Saturday from
January 31st – March 7th from 12:30 – 2:30 pm at
Elizabeth Virrick Park (3255 Plaza Street, Miami, FL 33133).


Elevate – A day of workshops and activities for being Nicer

9:00 am – 5:00 pm
ELEVATEFBadMiami Beach Botanical Garden
831 Ninth Street,
Miami BEach, Florida 33139
Webpage Link
Cost: $30 in advance.

A day of Lifting your mind, body, spirit and social well-being.
Being A Better Person – through what we eat, how we take care of ourselves, how we treat ourselves and how we treat others. Many of us find some, most or all of these topics difficult to follow in our daily lives. Add the pressures of family, peers, ageing, economy and surroundings, and it often becomes overwhelming.
Join Unity Coalition|Coalicion Unida, the first and only organization for the Latino|Hispanic|LGBTQ Community since 2002, for a Day Of Being Nicer.

Attendees may choose from a variety of 1 and 2 hour workshops and activities throughout the day, including:
Guest Speaker: John J. McNeill | Father John McNeill was expelled from the Jesuit order for being openly gay, was a prisoner of war during WWII, co-founder of SAGE and with partner for 49 years. Sharing excerpts of Taking a Chance on God (a documentary about his life).
Welcome breakfast and healthy lunch, courtesy of Whole Foods
– Yoga and Meditation in the Garden with Joseph Armstrong
– Health and Wellness Fair | Agencies, organizations and vendors will have tables in main room to promote their services.
– Nutrition and You, sponsored by Care Resource, with nutritionist Rogoberto Ng
– Choose Your Life Choices – Quantumly with and Gus Briand
– Tools For Being Happier and Less Toxic with life coach Thea Sommer
– Painting in the Garden with David Sexton
– Personal Growth Through Poetry with Caridad Moro
– Socializing and Dating 101 with David Kessler, LCSW
– Trans Understanding and Support with Aryah Lester and Arianna Lint
– Annie Appleseed Project | Healthy ways to reduce Cancer risk, reduce recurrences, toxicities of conventional therapies and to introduce alternative treatments
– Spirituality, Faith and being LGBT with Harold Sloan-Marrero (Miami Beach Community Church), Rabbi Tom Heyn (Temple Israel) Lazarus Miles (olorisha) ordained Lukumi priest, and other faith leaders discuss what different faiths say, and don’t say, about homosexuality.
– Reiki and Kigong with Tony Salvetti
– Urban Habitat | Learning and caring for native plants with Howard Tonkin
– Creating Cocktails from the Garden with Hiro
– Elevate Tea Dance with DJ Miik – 8o’s music – easy listening, socializing)

Monday, February 23rd


JAN 23 2015 – FEB 27 2015
Art of Black

6161 NW 22ND AVE.
MIAMI, FL 33142


The Black Life Experience is part of “Sankofa: Looking Back, Going Forward,” a year-long series of events and performances that bring alumni back to the African Heritage Cultural Arts Center to inspire the next generation of talent, in celebration of the Center’s fortieth anniversary with funding support from The John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, as part of its Knight Arts Challenge.

Call the phone number or visit the website for more information.

Over the past century, African American life, history and culture have become major forces in the United States and the world. African Americans have influenced music, art, literature and politics and continue to evolve. Miami-Dade County residents and visitors are invited to take part in the events planned throughout the destination.

The City of Miami Gardens 2nd Annual Heritage Bowl

heritagebowlFlorida Memorial University Lou Rawls Auditorium
15800 NW 42nd Avenue,,
Miami Gardens, Florida 33056
Webpage Link
Cost: Free

Miami-Dade senior high and middle school students demonstrate their
mastery of Black History facts in efforts to win monetary prizes and the coveted Carter G. Woodson Achievement Award. The structure of the Bowl is an academic quiz style tournament designed to increase and test student’s knowledge of Black History. Schools have the opportunity to form teams of 6 students who will compete in a round-robin tournament against neighboring schools.

Wednesday, February 25th

Pleasure & Intimacy

pleasureintimacybanner1Your Big Picture Cafe
5935 South University Drive,
Davie, Florida 33328
Eventbrite Link
Cost: 95

If surrender, and being fully present in your body during sex and intimacy, and being able to ask for what you want and receive a man, and being able to tune into and know a woman’s body like a magician is of supreme value to you, this is a unique and intimate experience that will cultivate your skills and richen your real-world experiences.

Thursday, February 26th

Alexis Caputo: “Afro-Diaries” 

Alexis-Caputo-Original-Sent-to-Lamar-LovelaceBroward College South Campus – Performing Cultural Arts Theatre
7200 Pines Boulevard,
Pembroke Pines, Florida 33024
Webpage Link
Cost: Free for students with valid ID; $10 for general public

“Afro-Diaries” identifies and embraces the stories of women, with excerpts from Caputo’s portfolio of solo and collaborative performances, which include “Spit Boxing,” “The Waiting Room,” “The Lynching Eye,” “Raw Footage,” “Souled-Out,” “Truths Carved from the Belly,” “Women of the Drum,” “The Proud Pilgrim”, and “Deconstruction & Deliverance.” The production is a powerful exploration of women, politics, issues of gender, race, equity and equality in society. Visit alexiscaputo.com.

Civic Engagement Thursday: Election & Voting Jump Start

Hey Everyone we thought we would start the conversation early about voting a early because in truth its never to early to register to vote. We pulled the information below from Rock the Vote’s website. Check them out and find out how you can be more involved.


Information below last updated in Fall 2014. Please check back soon for 2015 registration dates and election information.

Information provided by Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights



Pass along this information:

OR TEXT “ROCK” TO 788683
 Conducting a Voter Registration Drive in your state? Here are some resources.

– See more at: http://www.rockthevote.com/get-informed/elections/state/florida.html#sthash.hK4IPMFk.dpuf

Music Monday: Cuba’s Los Van Van on the go, coming to once-hostile Miami

This article was posted two weeks ago by the AP. 

In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Samuel Formell, a musician with the Cuban band Los Van Van, poses for a photograph following an interview in Miami Beach, Fla. The group is returning to a less polarized Miami as part of its fifth U.S. tour, just as the Obama administration is easing a half-century of restrictions on Cuba, making travel to and from the Communist-governed island easier. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)In this Thursday, Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Samuel Formell, a musician with the Cuban band Los Van Van, poses for a photograph following an interview in Miami Beach, Fla. The group is returning to a less polarized Miami as part of its fifth U.S. tour, just as the Obama administration is easing a half-century of restrictions on Cuba, making travel to and from the Communist-governed island easier. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

MIAMI BEACH, Florida (AP) — Los Van Van, one of Cuba’s greatest dance bands, once made history of a sort just by playing in Miami, overcoming city attempts to ban the concert and braving thousands of enraged protesters to put on a concert in the heart of anti-Castro activism.

Now the group is returning to a different, less polarized Miami as part of its fifth U.S. tour, just as the Obama administration is easing a half-century of restrictions on Cuba, making travel to and from the island easier.

“Times have changed a lot,” said Samuel Formell, the group’s leader, during an interview with The Associated Press.

Formell’s father, Juan, created an exciting new style of Cuban dance music that has influenced generations of musicians, even as he was widely reviled among Cuban exiles who saw him as close to the Communist government and circulated videos showing him shouting “Viva Fidel!” Both Fidel and Raul Castro sent floral offerings to his funeral when he died last year at age 71.

Anti-Castro exiles and city officials battled to keep the group from performing in Miami in 1999.

Then-Mayor Joe Carollo referred to the group as “the official Communist band of Fidel Castro” and some 4,000 anti-Castro activists turned out to protest their appearance, hurling eggs, batteries and insults at concert-goers.

In this Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Samuel Formell, a musician with the Cuban band Los Van Van, responds to a question during an interview in Miami Beach, Fla. Los Van Van, one of Cuba’s greatest dance bands, once made history of a sort just by playing in Miami, overcoming city attempts to ban the concert and braving thousands of enraged protesters to put on a concert in the heart of anti-Castro activism. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)In this Jan. 22, 2015 photo, Samuel Formell, a musician with the Cuban band Los Van Van, responds to a question during an interview in Miami Beach, Fla. Los Van Van, one of Cuba’s greatest dance bands, once made history of a sort just by playing in Miami, overcoming city attempts to ban the concert and braving thousands of enraged protesters to put on a concert in the heart of anti-Castro activism. (AP Photo/Lynne Sladky)

That atmosphere has eased as the generation torn from Cuba for political reasons has gradually been joined by children and grandchildren curious about the island, and by new waves of Cuban immigrants who have come for economic rather than ideological reasons.

Things have changed for Los Van Van as well.

The group’s new leader said Cuba needs “an urgent change, an urgent change to save that country.”

The first change, he said, should be fully ending the U.S. embargo. And after that, he’d like to see changes that the Castros have vowed never to make: “that there could one day be another party, that there could finally be free elections and whoever wins the elections stays.

“That things open a little more, that there is freedom of the press too, and of communications in general … all those things that work normally in the world and are not normal in Cuba.”

Still, he said the band has never been about ideology.

“Juan Formell worked to make music. He never got into politics,” the son said.

“I don’t think we’ll make political lyrics, something that speaks of tensions … We’ll continue being the same: Van Van to enjoy.”

The 47-year-old percussionist said his father’s inspiration remains strong, nothing that he authored several of the songs on the group’s new album, “La Fantasia.”

“What we want,” he said, “is for the music of Los Van Van and of my father to reach places it’s never reached.”

Where to Be: 2.13.15 to 2.19.15

Friday, February 13th

Valentine’s Day Dinner at Macchialina 

6:00 pm – 12:00 am
Screen-Shot-2015-01-21-at-4.55.12-PMMaccialina Taverna Rustiva
820 Alton Rd,
Miami Beach, Florida 33139
Webpage Link
Cost: varies

Enjoy Valentine’s Day (weekend) at Macchialina Taverna Rustica in Miami Beach starting Friday, Feb. 13th – Sunday, Feb. 15th. In addition to his regular menu, Chef Michael Pirolo will also have specials such as truffle risotto, whole orata and vitello tonnato. Specials can be ordered a la carte or included in the Chef’s tasting menu for an additional charge.

Mixologist Will Rivas is also including a special La Vie en Rose cocktail to the menu with Dillon’s Rose Gin, strawberry balsamic syrup, thyme and lemon.

Saturday, February 14th

Wynwood ArtWalk Valentine’s Edition

5:00 pm – 12:00 am
Art-Walk-Valentine-LogoWynwood Arts District
2250 NW 2 AVE,
Miami, Florida 33127
Webpage Link
Cost: FREE

Singles rejoice! This Valentine’s Day is all about them. ArtWalk, the center of Second Saturday Art Walk, is hosting the largest, free Valentine’s Day party this February 14th in the heart of Wynwood.

There’s a good chance that people will spot the love of their lives dancing to live music or roaming The Big Tent, while perusing live art displays. No worries if they’re shy and can’t break the ice? A street artist will get them involved in a titillating art lesson that will unleash their hidden creativity and keep the conversation going.

This Valentine’s Day, why bother with over-priced restaurants and over-flowing movie theaters?! ArtWalk will have 30 food trucks, several bars fully equipped with liquid courage, and a live video DJ to turn the heat up. This Valentine’s Day, singles unite at ArtWalk — where hook ups are free!

February 14, 2015
5:00 PM and goes ALL night

In the heart of Wynwood right on the main artery, NW 2nd Avenue.
(For GPS, use 2250 NW 2 AVE, Miami, Fl 33127)

No tickets needed. The event is FREE. ArtWalk is brought to you by the folks behind Wynwood Life and Basel House. For updates and information, follow them on Twitter and Instagram at WynwoodLife.

Sunday, February 15th

The Get Together Miami


#ThankYouMiami for Fashion – West Coast Roadtrippin’


Last week we spent time on Florida’s west coast and explored some cool spots that as Miami residents we rarely get to visit. Our road trip took us to three distinctively different venues and they were all awesome. Check out our fashion travel diary for the scoop on where to go and, more importantly, what to wear when you go west coast roadtrippin’.

1. Smallwood Store
This historic trading post was established in 1906 by Ted Smallwood on the coast of Chokoloskee Island. Its remote and isolated location established the store as the go-to purveyor of goods and mail services for the area’s settlers. Thanks to its critical role in the daily life of pioneers, it was also a center for political activity for some time. Today the Florida Heritage Site is a museum that provides insight into Florida Pioneer History. For $5, you can view the original goods that have been at the store since it closed for business in 1982 and learn about the store’s past.




2. Camellia Street Grille
We have to confess that our trip to the Everglades City area was primarily driven by food – Camellia Street Grille’s food to be exact. We had heard fabulous feedback on the Florida and seafood-inspired comfort food being served at this quirky local joint and had to try it for ourselves. The food was incredible. We enjoyed a quarter pound of boiled shrimp, a homemade crab cake sandwich, an herb salad, and a key lime pie milkshake. The herb salad was especially delicious, maybe it was the fact that most of the ingredients were grown on the property. And the shake? It. Was. Phenomenal. We talked about how good it was (“like key lime pie in a cup”) for about 30 minutes on the ride home.




3. Clearwater Beach
During our trip, we also stopped to take a peek at the sandy pastures of our western neighbors. To be honest, we’re partial to our white, sandy beaches and our Art Deco life guard stands. But there’s something to be said about watching the sun set on the ocean and enjoying the quiet, empty beaches of Clearwater. After all, a beach is a beach.




Smallwood Store & Camillia Street Cafe Outfit
Grey Draped Sweater - H&M (similar here and here)
Grey Short Sleeve T-shirtForever 21 (similar here)
Grey Jeggings – American Eagle (similar here)
ShoesAldo Gimello Sneakers

Clearwater Beach Outfit
Black and Gold Sweater – American Eagle (similar here)
JoggersBullhead Denim Co. Knit Jean Jogger Pants via PacSun
Shoes – Aldo Gimello Sneakers

Public Art Wednesday: Best Public Art Miami 2014 – Bhakti Baxter’s Coral Reef City  


(This article was pulled from the New Miami Times)

David Beckham is smitten with the idea of constructing a new Major League Soccer Stadium at PortMiami and calls the site perfect because it reflects a city that “is all about the water, all about the culture.” Becks is right. For evidence, simply visit the planet’s most popular port to discover Coral Reef City, Bhakti Baxter’s first large-scale public artwork in Miami.

For his eye-popping project, part of Miami-Dade County’s Art in Public Places program, the homegrown artist created site-specific designs for the port’s toll collection booths that reference the site’s unique role as gateway to the tropics. Baxter collaborated with Coral Morphologic, a Miami-based scientific art endeavor led by marine biologist Colin Foord and musician Jared McKay to create the 18 unique designs that wrap each individual toll booth.

Each delivers a stunning vision of our vibrant local sea life. To accomplish the feat, Baxter and his collaborators enlarged macro photographs of corals that inhabit the waters in and around Miami, creating a striking synergy between nature and art that captures our town’s appeal as a pulsating paradise. The resulting explosion of the brilliant, rainbow-hued colors of the soft corals (technically known as zoanthids) delights not only the likes of Beckham and the millions of other visitors passing through on cruise ships, but also locals, who rarely get a chance to behold the mystery and beauty of the creatures populating our coastline.

Check out the video on the installation: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=G2cWivEuS2I

Talk About It Tuesday: After backing a Cuban museum, Miami-Dade commissioner says it’s time for a black museum too

Just to revisit the discussion about the black museum that we were having last year at  via the Miami Hearld. 

We are wondering what happened to this conversation…



There would have been no official black support when the Miami-Dade County Commission endorsed putting a Cuban exile museum on prime county waterfront land if Dennis Moss hadn’t voted yes — with a caveat: Moss, the senior African-American commissioner, said he would vote for the museum celebrating Cuban heritage but that he expected support once he proposed a black history museum.

Recently, Moss took the first step toward that backing when the commission’s Cultural Affairs committee voted unanimously last week to recommend a county study on how to bring a black history museum to the Miami waterfront. But the particulars of Moss’ proposal — instructing Mayor Carlos Gimenez to explore using tax dollars for construction — promises to inject more tension into the already delicate task of prioritizing Miami-Dade’s cultural institutions.

Organizers of the Cuban exile museum made a point of insisting they would never seek public dollars for their proposed $125 million facility on county-owned land behind AmericanAirlines Arena, saying they could raise enough money from people of Cuban heritage around the world, particularly those with significant fortunes.

In rejecting that approach, Moss is pointing to both the prosperity divide between the Cuban and black communities, and the tax support Miami-Dade gives to local museums backed by two of Miami’s wealthiest citizens. Moss noted commissioners already approved more than $200 million to build the Pérez Art Museum Miami and Frost science museum named for, respectively, condo developer Jorge Pérez and Phillip Frost, a medical-research mogul, and his wife, Patricia.

“There is significant county support for those museums,” Moss, a five-term commissioner, said in an interview. “I don’t see a black history museum being treated any differently.”

Last week, Pérez led a delegation to County Hall seeking the additional $1.4 million for PAMM that Gimenez initially put in his proposed 2015 budget, but later dropped in order to shift the funds to the police budget. The group met with Rebeca Sosa, the commission’s chairwoman and an opponent of the plan to increase PAMM’s funding beyond the annual $2.5 million in hotel taxes it already receives. Sosa said she told the group she couldn’t support the request “when I’m trying to find funding for police and other county services.” A PAMM spokeswoman declined to comment.

The PAMM funding question should come to a head this month, with the commission’s first budget hearing scheduled for 5 p.m. Thursday and a final vote on the $6.2 billion budget needed before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30. And while it will likely be weeks before commissioners take up the issue of a black history museum, the PAMM debate adds another wrinkle to the Moss request.

The concept of a black history museum received strong encouragement from fellow commissioners on July 17 when Moss linked his Cuban museum support to the commission also endorsing a black history museum. But with county funding now in the equation, Moss can’t count on an easy win.

“If he’s exploring public dollars to build, that’s not what the Cuban museum did,” said Commissioner Esteban “Steve” Bovo, the sponsor of the exile museum ordinance. “I’m going to hold everyone to the same standard.”

The Moss resolution heading to the full County Commission this fall only calls for exploring the use of tax dollars for the black history museum, and recommends having voters first endorse borrowing the money to build it.

Moss listed three possible sites: Miami’s Museum Park, near the planned location of the exile museum; Watson Island, home to the Miami Children’s Museum; and the southwest corner of Port Miami, where David Beckham wanted to build a soccer stadium until commissioners voted to block it. Of the three sites, Miami-Dade County controls only the port.

The Moss-sponsored resolution that the four-member Cultural Affairs panel passed unanimously Thursday echoed comments Moss made during the exile museum vote: black immigrants played a central role in Miami-Dade’s history and deserve as much celebration as any community.

According to the resolution, “this County was developed by black people who, while dreamers, made up the bulk of the pioneer labor force that helped make this County into the thriving metropolis it is today.” It noted that black residents provided labor for Henry Flagler’s railroad, construction of Miami Beach hotels, the Vizcaya mansion and the original Dade County Courthouse.

Moss’ resolution came less than two months after the commission finally agreed to the concept of a Cuban exile museum on county-owned waterfront land. On July 17, the full commission voted 8-3 to endorse a home for the Cuban exile museum. That decision followed years of debate and false starts, including a similar route of commissioners asking Gimenez to study the issue. The vote didn’t divide the commission by race or ethnicity: Xavier Suarez, who served as Miami’s first Cuban-born mayor before winning a county seat, joined two black commissioners, Audrey Edmonson and Barbara Jordan, in voting against it.

And while commissioners instructed Gimenez to negotiate a deal with exile museum organizers, the commission would still need to approve any plan to actually build the museum on the county-owned land known as Parcel B. Nicolás Gutiérrez, an organizer of the exile museum, said last week his group welcomes the Moss effort.

“To the extent we can be supportive in any way, we’re happy to do so. We agree they deserve their own museum, and we wish them the best,” he said. “They’re obviously free to use whatever approach they think is best.”

Moss said it’s not fair to hold a black history museum to the financial pledge made by the exile museum, given the economic disparity between the two. “You’re looking at an African-American community that doesn’t have the resources of the Cuban community,” Moss said. “They’re better positioned to do the museum themselves.”

His resolution calls for the Black Archives, a Miami-based research and heritage nonprofit, to develop the new museum, which would house the archives’ extensive collection of historical memorabilia and materials. The organization owns and operates some of Miami’s top historic sites related to black history, including the Lyric Theater, once a magnet for the nation’s top black performers, and the Dr. Samuel Johnson X-Ray Clinic, which opened in 1939 to treat black residents denied treatment in Miami’s segregated hospital system.

Timothy Barber, director of the archives, said he was asked to get involved with Ross’ effort after the exile museum vote. He sees the museum as a way to showcase Miami’s black heritage in a high-profile location popular with tourists.

“It would allow us to serve as a gateway for this community,” he said from the archives office in the Joseph Caleb center near Brownsville.

“It’s difficult to get people to come to these communities, particularly with the negative stigma the media has put some of these neighborhoods, like Overtown. That’s why you have the Pérez and the Frost and the AmericanAirlines Arena there,” he continued. “The arena was in Overtown, but it closed to move to the waterfront.”

Miami-Dade County budget hearing

Read more here: http://www.miamiherald.com/news/local/community/miami-dade/article1986181.html#storylink=cpy