Q&A: O, Miami's P. Scott Cunningham
The festival leader talks can’t-miss events and one very special guest.
March 26, 2013
O, Miami executive director and co-founder P. Scott Cunningham
Biennial poetry festival O, Miami makes its anticipated return on Monday, April 1, bringing with it a host of events that mix poetry with music, dance, and even a few films. One of the festival’s most anticipated special guests is poet and Miami-native Richard Blanco, who was recently honored as president Obama’s inaugural poet, reading his “One Today” at the inauguration ceremony. Other headliners include Sonic Youth frontman Thurston Moore, Megan Amram (who writes for Parks & Recreation), and Frank Báez, among others.
In addition to nodding great poets of the present and past, O, Miami, produced by the University of Wynwood with support from the Knight Foundation, is creating a full-sensory cultural experience, recruiting the likes of New World Symphony, the Borscht Film Fest, and the Rhythm Foundation. Events will take place at multiple venues, including Books & Books Coral Gables, Lester's, The Freehand Miami, and O, Miami's host hotel, The Betsy South Beach. Here, we talk to O, Miami executive director and co-founder P. Scott Cunningham about what to expect.
What would you say is O, Miami's anchoring event this year?
P. SCOTT CUNNINGHAM: I'd say Sunday, April 28 is the anchor, and specifically two events that happen that day. The first is the Poetry is Dead Parade at noon in Lummus Park on Miami Beach. Local students and cultural organizations will be ‘reanimating’ dead poets through performances at various stops on the parade route, and we're also inviting the public to come dressed as your favorite dead poet. You can also just show up in your regular clothes, though. Then at 7 p.m., we're hosting an evening of readings and performances at the New World Center Symphony hall. Inaugural poet Richard Blanco will read with Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore and Megan Amram.
How and when did Richard Blanco come onboard for this year’s festival?
PSC: I've known Richard since about 2005, when I started grad school at FIU. Inside the creative writing program he was already kind of a legend, because his thesis was published like four days after he finished it, which never happens. He was still in Miami then, working as a civil engineer, so I'd see him at parties and things and he was always the nicest, most humble guy. When his new book came out in 2012 he actually emailed me and asked to read at O, Miami this April. Of course I said yes . . . And then the news about the inauguration came out and everyone thought I was a genius for booking Richard six months before.
How has his success impacted the poetry community in Miami?
PSC: Obviously, Richard representing the United States as a gay, first-generation, bilingual immigrant cannot be underestimated. In Miami though, his appointment has added significance because he's not only from Miami, he represents Miami. When Richard read at the Arsht Center, a little girl stepped up to the mic during the Q&A and said essentially, ‘I want to be a poet like you.’ We could throw a thousand O, Miami's and never have that effect, so I'm very grateful to Richard for becoming the poet that children in Miami will look up to.
Why was it important to incorporate other art forms like dance and music into O, Miami's programming?
PSC: Emphasizing the connections between poetry and other genres is very important to us, because of how poetry tends to be treated as a discipline off by itself, with nothing to say to the modern world. By bringing performers from other genres to Miami who engage with poetry I hope we're changing those assumptions.
Tell us about the That’s So Miami contest.
PSC: [It’s] a partnership between O, Miami and WLRN-Miami Herald News in which we're asking people to write short poems that begin or end with the line, ‘That's so Miami.’ You can submit online or on Twitter using the hashtag #ThatsSoMiami. You can also submit Instagram photos of Miami with a poem below the photo with the same hashtag. We'll be publishing submissions daily on thatssomiami.tumblr.com, as well as reading our favorite poems on WLRN 91.3 FM. At the end of the month, we'll be collecting the best of the best into a book that we hope will create a portrait of our home that embraces its complexity.
How do you hope the festival will resonate outside of Miami?
PSC: Outside of South Florida, I hope that O, Miami is seen as both a democratizing force in poetry and a platform for poets who are willing to push the limits of their genre.
United Colors of Benetton Fêtes Spring
Celebrate the launch of Benetton’s spring/summer line this Thursday night.
March 25, 2013
South Beach style setters will be among the first to shop the latest spring/summer collection from United Colors of Benetton when the store opens its doors this Thursday. The brand’s South Beach boutique will be the first worldwide locale to receive the lively new collection in its entirety. Among the highlights are soft sweaters, versatile dresses and trousers, beach-ready shorts, and colorful denim. To celebrate the line's Miami launch, Benetton will host a fashion-fueled fête this Thursday night from 7 to 9 p.m. Local tastemakers Anthony Spinello, Ginger Harris, Marcela Novela, Roy Alpert, Nina Johnson, Daniel Milewski, and Rebekeh Keida will play host as DJs Ess & Emm man the decks. Browse the slideshow above for a sneak peek at the new line. 670 Collins Ave. and 7th St., Miami Beach, 305-538-3777
MOCA Marks 15 Years
The museum showcases its lasting legacy and blossoming future in “Pivot Points: 15 Years and Counting.”
March 25, 2013
Harvest by Xaviera Simmons, part of "Pivot Points: 15 Years and Counting"
The Museum of Contemporary Art North Miami (MOCA) marked its 15th anniversary last Thursday night with a festive soirée and unveiling of its commemorative collection, “Pivot Points: 15 Years and Counting” (through May 19). Many of the pieces in the show were donated to the museum by previously showcased artists, and there are a number of works by Miami artists. For example, pieces by New World School of the Arts graduate Hernan Bas, Miami-based sculptor Mark Handforth, and MOCA Trading Places participant Rick Ulysse will all be on display. MOCA’s ability to craft interactive, multidisciplinary programming, which includes film screenings, jazz nights, studio residencies, and open discussions, has made it a pillar in Miami's flourishing cultural landscape. The museum also recently made headlines when it appointed Alex Gartenfeld as curator; the writer and senior editor of Art in America and Interview online will join the team in May. 770 N.E. 125th St., North Miami, 305-893-6211
New Dinner Menu at La Côte
Nosh on tuna escabeche and Nutella beignets at the Fontainebleau’s al fresco haunt.
March 22, 2013
The nearby ocean inspired the new dinner menu at the Fontainebleau's picturesque, two-story Mediterranean meets French Riviera restaurant, La Côte. Situated between the hotel pool and beachfront, the restaurant’s new menu pulls from the very best of land and sea—king crab, foie gras, fresh favas, lobster.
The menu, put together by chef de cuisine Christina Coupet, is also perfect for spring, with starters like a seafood plateau (king crab, prawns, oysters, and more) and a steamed mussel and clam mix with pancetta and spiced citrus broth. Even dreamier is a foie gras appetizer topped with poached pears and carrot foam, or a fresh octopus confit salad with watermelon and citrus dressing. Meanwhile, pasta fans can indulge a fava bean agnolotti with fontina cheese or a tangle of pappardelle and short rib ragu. New mains hail strictly from the sea: butter poached lobster with leeks, pan-fried potatoes (pommes maxim), and beet essence; pan roasted striped bass with artichoke purée and parsley oil; and a grilled whole turbot filet with grilled fennel and oregano vinaigrette.
There are also a few new lunch dishes at La Côte, such as a pepper and jalapeño tuna escabeche and an ample heirloom tomato salad with burrata, arugula, pesto, and balsamic reduction. Coupet didn't sleep on the sweet treats either. Recently debuted desserts include a spiced rum chocolate cannelle and homemade Nutella beignet served with a milk chocolate dipping shake and chocolate marshmallows. 4441 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-4710
What We're Reading
Miami chefs score James Beard nods, local tennis star Sloane Stephens breaks out…
March 22, 2013
South Florida's Sloane Stephens is poised to be the next big tennis star
Plantation, Florida native Sloane Stephens is one to watch at the Sony Open, and perhaps in the tennis world as a whole. Not only did she best Serena Williams at the Australian Open, last month she was ranked number 16 by the Women's Tennis Association. [The Sun-Sentinel]
Jessica Alba stopped by Books & Books Coral Gables last week to promote her new book, The Honest Life: Living Naturally and True to You. She was refreshingly frank and funny about her eco-epiphany. Check out this video taken during the event’s Q&A portion. [NBC Miami]
The Miami Heat made NBA history this past Wednesday night, closing a 27-point deficit against the Cleveland Cavaliers to win their 24th straight game. But the game was not without a few wacky moments. [Miami Herald]
Architect Zaha Hadid is unveiling tentative plans for a 60-floor luxury condo tower in Downtown Miami. The tower will be her first residential project in the U.S. and requires $300 million in financing. [Wall Street Journal]
Kudos to Hedy Goldsmith and Jeff McInnis, up for best pastry chef and best chef south, respectively, in this year’s James Beard Foundation Awards. Winners will be announced on May 6. [Short Order]
Weekend Recommender: March 21-24
Much ado about Miami Music Week, Fela! opens at Arsht, and more!
March 21, 2013
Fela! comes to Adrienne Arsht Center through Sunday
Spring Equinox Dinner
Thursday, March 21, 8 p.m.
Celebrate spring's official a six course Spring Equinox Prix Fixe Dinner at The Dutch. Chef de cuisine Conor Hanlon and guest chef Brad Kilgore (formerly of Azul, Exit 1, and Route 9) are cooking a bountiful, seasonal feast. Courses include hand-rolled ricotta gnudi, roasted leg of lamb, and a surprise dessert platter. Tickets are $125 per person and an additional $60 with wine pairing. 2201 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-938-3095
Unexpected Opera in Unexpected Places
Thursday-Sunday, March 21-24, 8–11:30 p.m.
The Florida Grand Opera takes over The Stage Miami to present “Unexpected Opera in Unexpected Places.” The weekend pop-up performance will include productions of Tango, by Robert Xavier Rodriguez, and María de Buenos Aires, by Ástor Piazzolla. Doors open at 8 p.m., followed by a live band and pre-show until 9:30 p.m. Tickets are $25, general admission only. 170 N.E. 38th At., Miami; fgo.org
Thursday-Sunday, March 21-24
This exuberant and powerful musical follows the life of Afrobeat legend and Nigerian activist Fela Kuti. The show’s interactive performance celebrates Kuti’s life and influence through song and dance, riveting imagery, social commentary, and playful comedy. Produced by Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett, Jay-Z, and Questlove, the show also stars Destiny's Child alum Michelle Williams. Adrienne Arsht Center, 1300 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-949-6722
Dim Mak Pool Party
Thursday, March 21, NOON–10 p.m.
Hit the Raleigh Hotel pool for ten hours of music hosted by Dim Mak. DJs on slate include Steve Aoki, Datsik, Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike, Sidney Samson, and more. 1775 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Ultra Music Festival
Friday-Sunday, March 22-24
Ultra’s second jam-packed EDM weekend hits Bayfront Park, welcoming three days of sets by the world’s biggest DJs. Among the weekend highlights are Swedish House Mafia, David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Carl Cox, and Avicii. 301 N. Biscayne Blvd.
Bed Head Hotel
Friday-Saturday, March 22-23, 2–8 p.m.
The Gale South Beach is being converted into the bass-bumping Bed Head Hotel, complete with branded styling sessions and surprise guests. Things kick off Friday with an appearance by Tommie Sunshine & Friends. Saturday welcomes a pool party hosted by Diplo, Jillionaire, and Walshy Fire (aka Major Lazer), among others. The hotel takeover is open to the public, though online RSVP is required. 1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach
Refune Records at WALL
Friday, March 22, 10 p.m.
Refune Records, founded by Swedish House Mafia member Sebastian Ingrosso, welcomes Alesso, Otto Knows, and more to fuel the beats inside the W South Beach hot spot. Saturday night's party also marks the label's 10 year anniversary. 2201 Collins Ave., 305-938-3130
Downtown Gets an Art Walk
Miami’s urban core goes the way of Wynwood and other Art Walk-touting nabes.
March 21, 2013
Following in the footsteps of Wynwood, the Design District, Coconut Grove, and Coral Gables, Downtown Miami will host its inaugural First Fridays Art Walk event on April 5 from 6 to 10 p.m. International Fine Art Expositions has joined with the Art Miami founders and Miami International Art Fair organizers to produce the monthly event, which includes 11 venues collectively exhibiting more than 150 artists.
Spanning private galleries, artist studios, and non-profits, the stops on the walk include the Miami Dade College Museum of Art, Bas Fisher Invitational, Artisan Lounge, Eleazar Delgado Studio, and McCormick Place. The event will also debut MIA Encore, a multimedia contemporary art fair set aboard the SeaFair Bayfront.
Given the distance of between venues, the success of Downtown First Fridays will rely heavily on participants’ use of public transportation. Organizers have provided an online map keying each venue in relation to the metro mover and city trolley, guaranteeing that each location will be within two blocks from the trolley or the mover. Trolley transportation and gallery admissions will be complimentary during the event's duration.
First Fridays will take place the first Friday of the month from January to June and from October to December. Come September, the walk will be presented in tandem with DWNTWN Art Days (September 20-22).
Ingrid Hoffman’s Healthy Roast Chicken
With a healthy cookbook on the way, Hoffman shares her recipe for light roast chicken.
March 20, 2013
It’s been a busy couple of months for local chef Ingrid Hoffman. In addition to her two day jobs—hosting Simply Delicioso on The Cooking Channel and Delicioso on Univision—Hoffman was a fixture at this year’s Food Network South Beach Wine & Food Festival, and she was recently a judge on ABC’s The Taste. Oh, and she’s been working on a new healthy cookbook, too.
At the wine and food festival’s A Red Hot Night event, presented by Target, Hoffman whipped up an array of delicious Latin bites to complement the evening’s sultry Havana theme. “[It] was my grown-up quinceañera,” says Hoffman of the event. “It was finally time to have our cultural flavors represented. I've been waiting for this for a long time!”
If you missed A Red Hot Night, you can get a taste of Hoffman’s cooking style in the form of savory pork rinds and red snapper tacos on this month’s Tacos for Strength menu at Mercadito Midtown. March also marks the debut of the Latin chef's latest kitchenware collection at the Chicago Houseware Show. The line is set to hit retail stores this fall. And in April, Hoffman will launch a new bilingual cookbook, Latin D’Lite, which focuses on healthy Latin cooking. We love her signature roasted chicken recipe (below) for a casual springtime dinner party menu. Simply remove the skin for a calorie-friendly serving.
Ingrid Hoffman’s Smoked Paprika Roasted Chicken
canola oil cooking spray
1 tbsp. smoked paprika
1 tbsp. chipotle powder
1 tbsp. honey
1 tbsp. fresh lemon juice
2 tsp. olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 tsp. salt
1 four-pound whole chicken
3 celery stalks, cut into two-inch lengths
3 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch chunks
2 large white onions, quartered
1/4 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Spray a roasting pan with nonstick spray. Combine the paprika, chipotle powder, honey, lemon juice, oil, garlic, and salt in a small bowl to make a paste. Pat the chicken dry with paper towels. Gently loosen the skin from the breast and leg portions of the chicken by slipping your fingers under the skin. Rub the paste evenly under the skin and on top of the skin. Tuck the wing tips behind the chicken’s shoulders and tie the legs together with kitchen string. Make a bed for the chicken with the celery and carrots in the bottom of the pan. Place the chicken, breast side up, on top of the vegetables. Add the onions and broth to the pan. Roast until an Instant Read Thermometer inserted into the thigh (not touching the bone) registers 165 degrees, about 1 hour 10 minutes. If chicken is browning too fast, cover with aluminum foil.Transfer the chicken to a cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes. Carve and serve with roasted vegetables.
Julien Farel Styles Sony Open VIPs
The celebrity stylist is hosting an exclusive pop-up for players and celebs.
March 20, 2013
Ivanka Trump and Julien Farel
Before stepping onto one of the world’s biggest competitive stages at the Sony Open, athletes and celebrity guests will get primed and pampered at the Julien Farel Style Suite. Farel’s client list includes stars like Gwyneth Paltrow, Ivanka Trump, and Rafael Nadal. Plus, he’s been the U.S. Open’s official player stylist for the past six years. The New York-based French stylist will hold court below the Tennis Center's Stadium Court through Friday, March 29, offering facials, updos, manicures, makeup application, teeth whitening, and waxing. The pop-up caters to celebrity VIPs and players only, but its arrival follows the recent opening of the Julien Farel Salon and Spa Miami, located on the ground floor of the Southeast Financial Center (200 S. Biscayne Blvd.), where anyone (tennis phenom or otherwise) can indulge a bouncy blowout or spa treatment.
Carlos Miele Kicks Off Miami Fashion Week
Debuting exclusively in Miami, Miele’s fall show is the week’s hottest ticket.
March 19, 2013
Designer Carlos Miele's fall show will open Miami Fashion Week
After a decade of showing during New York Fashion Week, Brazilian designer Carlos Miele has opted to debut his fall 2013 collection not in the big apple, but in Miami. His exclusive runway show will be the kick off to Miami Fashion Week, opening tomorrow and running through Saturday, March 23. Tickets ($50 to $500) are still available for Miele’s Wednesday night show at the Miami Beach Convention Center. The decision to premiere the collection in Miami Beach is in part due to Miami Fashion Week organizers honoring Miele as their International Designer of the Year. Not to mention the fact that the designer’s exotic, sultry pieces are practically made for the Miami woman. At his fall show, expect elegant gowns in deep scarlet hues and classic golds, as well as separates in zigzag monochrome prints and electric blues. 1901 Convention Center Dr., Miami Beach