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Wynwood too popular for its own good, Miami superlatives to cheer and groan about…

April 12, 2013

Is Wynwood too popular for its own good?

Locals have been grumbling about Wynwood’s growing polarities for some time now. Rising rents and community conflicts are causing many residents to ship out. According to one writer, the neighborhood’s popularity is its biggest handicap. [The Atlantic Cities]

Miami has been named one the top ten “Tastiest Towns” in the south by Southern Living. Restaurants noted include Pubbelly, Yardbird, Bloom, and Michael Schwartz’s stable of hot spots. [Southern Living]

And in decidedly less uplifting Miami superlative news, our city is apparently the foreclosure capital of Florida, which in turn leads the country in foreclosure stats. [The Miami Herald]

As the sun crept up on April 7, thousands of athletes flocked to Ocean Drive for the sixth annual Nautica South Beach Triathlon. E! News correspondent Jason Kennedy and actor James Marsden were among those up for the challenge. [World Red Eye]

A group of college students on a fishing trip off the Fort Lauderdale coast were shocked when they hooked a rarely seen great white shark earlier this week.

Cooler than normal waters and migrating fish attracted a great white shark to our shores earlier this week. A group of college kids fishing off the Fort Lauderdale coast spotted the shark. [NBCMiami]

photography by Alesh Houdek VIA


3 Refreshing Rum Cocktails

Rum Renaissance Festival frontrunners share crisp spring cocktail recipes.

April 11, 2013

The Miami Rum Renaissance Festival takes place April 15-21



Weekend Recommender: April 12-14

Sander van Doorn at Story, Splat Hair Chalk’s South Florida debut, and more!

April 11, 2013


Dutch DJ Sander van Doorn will spin at Story this Friday night

The Drunken Botanist
Friday, April 12, 8 p.m.
Explore the relationship between botany and booze with New York Times bestseller Amy Stewart at Books & Books Coral Gables. Stewart will be discussing her latest book, The Drunken Botanist: The Plants That Create the World's Great Drinks, which explores the science behind spirit making and also boasts drink recipes and gardening tips. 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables, 305-442-4408

Sander van Doorn
Friday, April 12, 11 p.m.
Missing the music and revelry of last month's Ultra Music Festival? Head to Story Nightclub and catch DJ Sander van Doorn. The Dutchman just signed with Roc Nation and his new track, Ten, is making waves on the electronic dance music circuit. 136 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-538-2424

Splat Hair Chalk South Florida Launch Party
Saturday, April 13, 9-11 p.m.
Speaking of Ultra, the look du jour was pastel and neon colored hair, as oft seen on pop stars like Katy Perry and Christina Aguilera. You can experiment with the trend at the SoFla launch of Splat Hair Chalk at Shore Club South Beach, where there will be hair stations to get your locks dyed, Chambord Vodka cocktails to quench your thirst, and an Instagram photo booth to share your new look with all of your friends. 1901 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-695-3100; RSVP online

Classic Sundays
Sunday, April 14, 8 p.m.
Bianca at the Delano is offering Sunday night diners a special three-course menu for $65 per person. The alfresco supper can be coupled with unlimited prosecco sips for an additional $35. Bianca's sumptuous Italian eats recently got an upgrade when Luciano Sautto was promoted to chef de cuisine in early April. 1685 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 305-674-5752



Train Like the Heat with Ed Downs

The Miami Heat trainer talks about his signature Proterf program and famous clients.

April 10, 2013

Dwyane Wade performs a "lock and load" exercise with trainer Ed Downs

Now a pro sports trainer and Miami Heat training consultant, it’s hard to believe that Ed Downs’ first career choice was engineering. But he’s certainly made use of his knack for math and science, developing his signature, Air Force-engineered “Down Disc” core training device to help clients prevent and recover from injuries. To boot, Downs earned a Medal of Honor from the 7th Special Forces Group for sharing his training methods with the Navy Seals. He’s also a U.S. Martial Arts Hall of Fame inductee.

Downs’ current baby is his Proterf fitness program and TERF Athletic Facility (6808 S.W. 81st St., Miami), which he co-founded in 2011. Proterf invites everyone to “train like an athlete,” emphasizing individual core development and multi-directional movement, and TERF acts as a one-stop fitness shop, featuring an on-site nutritionist, physical therapist, and mental testing machinery. With the NBA Playoffs just around the corner, we sat down with Downs to talk sports, fitness, and his star-studded client list. 

How does martial arts help improve athletic performance?
ED DOWNS: One thing that is a fact is that if you improve your flexibility, especially dynamic flexibility, it increases speed and performance, and for athletes, it is all about quickness and performance. Martial arts does that for them, through the kicks and movement, so I incorporate those types of stretching methods into my training methods. I'm also incorporating rehab and prehab elements into the workouts in order to prevent injury.

Is lack of flexibility a common problem?
ED: It is common that most athletes are pretty tight, but that can help with their explosive power. It's a give and a take. I don't want an athlete to be hyper-flexible like a gymnast because that can actually slow them down. You'd be surprised, some of those big linemen, first basemen, and hockey players can actually do a split. It's quite the sight.

How can the everyday gym-goer benefit from Proterf?
ED: The beauty of it is it that it doesn't just improve your skill related parameters, like speed, quickness, and agility, but you're also improving your health related parameters. And it's fun to do. You are losing weight and getting lean while doing things that a professional athlete does.

What aspect of your program do athletes find most challenging?
ED: The balance and coordination development, which is a major part in being able to improve your performance. When you see a guy like Dwyane Wade jump in the air and control his body like an acrobat, he's harnessing those factors. Then the women come in here with experience in yoga or pilates and they make these guys look bad.

Do your Heat clients have any favorite exercises?
ED: Wade's favorite is the lock and load. For Bosh, probably lunging with extension. He's 6'11, but he needs to be long. In order to get rebounds he needs to be strong when he's up in that long pattern and contend with those other big dudes.

And who has stood out most to you, in terms of athleticism?
ED: Jennifer Capriati was probably one of the most athletic people I worked with. She had all those parameters we talked about—speed, coordination, reaction time, agility, power, and balance—she had all six, like LeBron James. She had like a ten in all those levels. A female LeBron James with a racket! 



15 Years of Locust Projects

We look back at some of the organization’s most memorable projects.

April 10, 2013

Nonprofit contemporary arts organization Locust Projects will celebrate its 15th anniversary this year with a series of exhibitions, interactive lectures, and special projects. Programming kicks off next Thursday, April 18, as Locust hosts Lauri Firstenberg, director and chief curator of LAX Art, for a discussion on building solid art communities. To honor Locust's milestone year, we've stitched together a slideshow of works featured and supported by Locust Projects’ groundbreaking initiatives. 



Oz Garcia Teams with James Royal Palm

The nutritionist lends his expertise to the hotel’s spa, restaurants, and Wellness Weekends.

April 09, 2013

Oz Garcia, Ph.D. at The James Royal Palm

With help from nutritionist Oz Garcia, Ph.D, The James Royal Palm's Renew the Spa has set itself apart from the dozens of spas that line Miami Beach. A leading voice in “healthy aging,” Garcia has authored best sellers like Look and Feel Fabulous Forever and The Balance. At The James, his meticulously designed nutritional programming utilizes one-on-one counseling sessions, all-natural spa treatments, healthy menu items, branded in-room products, and soon to launch Wellness Weekends.

Kicking off on May 17, the first Wellness Weekend will pack yoga, fitness classes, meditation, private meetings with Garcia, spa treatments, and themed lunches into a two and a half day stay at the hotel. Most exclusive are the private meetings, where Garcia helps clients understand the science of eating. “When it comes to eating and integration, I recommend strategies in terms of a bigger context that is lifestyle. I want anyone who is working with me to walk away understanding that they need to eat in a functional manner, so that food gives them energy, helps their metabolism, slows down the aging process, functions to help appearance, prevents disease, and aids in stress management. There are foods that work for you and against you,” says Garcia.  

Even if you’re not taking in a day at the spa or participating in one of Garcia’s Wellness Weekends, you can still eat nutritiously at The James Royal Palms’ restaurants and coffee bar. Garcia worked with the hotel on providing healthy options like a granola parfait, green drinks, fresh fish, and organic chicken. “Many restaurants strive only to entertain you. They are not focused on the quality of food they are serving—non-GMO, organic, and so on. We have learned that people want to be entertained with their food, but if we can give them something that is actually good for them at the same time, that is what makes somewhere like the James so outstanding,” says Garcia. 1545 Collins Ave., Miami Beach, 786-276-0291



First Look: Biscayne Tavern

Opening next week, the gastropub promises clever comfort food and craft brews.

April 09, 2013

China Grill Management restaurateur Jeffrey Chodorow will open a new Downtown Miami gastropub, Biscayne Tavern, inside the recently unveiled B2 hotel on April 17. The 90-seat spot was designed with low lighting and rustic wood accents to be a casual hangout with HD TVs, chalkboard beer specials, and a kitchen stocked with plenty of organic, local, and sustainable ingredients. Manning that last effort is executive chef Will Biscoe, who last worked for Starwood Hotels & Resorts.

Open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, the restaurant will focus on comfort food, with sandwiches like a Florida grass fed beef burger and a pastrami bacon Reuben on grilled rye bread, and mains like duck shepherd’s pie in a twice-baked potato. Other menu highlights include fried oysters with Rockefeller dip; a selection of sliders filled with everything from braised short rib to blue crab cakes; and a dressed up meatloaf with blue cheese smashed potatoes and mushroom gravy, as well as daily specials like veal and duck foie gras schnitzel on Thursdays and rigatoni with Sunday gravy on Sundays.

And in addition to a solid selection of craft brews, more than a few of which are sourced from Florida breweries, like Ft. Lauderdale’s Native Brewing, the tavern will offer daily beer specials, too. Just look for the chalkboard menu. 146 Biscayne Blvd., Miami, 305-358-4555



Birks Collection Debuts in Miami

Preview the glittering new jewelry collection before it hits stores this May.

April 08, 2013

A premier purveyor of luxury jewelry since 1910, Mayors Jewelers’ Miami area boutiques will be among the first in the U.S. to carry its new Birks Collection, an original jewelry series created by Mayors’ Canadian umbrella brand, Birks. Pieces will begin arriving in stores this May, with three exquisite collections to choose from. Made to accommodate bespoke engravings, pieces in the Birks Muse range take design notes from the brand’s first boutique in Old Montreal, while the other two lines, Birks Rosée Du Matin and Birks Snowflake, are inspired by the region’s wintry landscape. Local style setters invited to the brand’s unveiling party and Champagne lunch at the Four Seasons Miami will be the first to eye the collection in person, but you can get a sneak peek in the slideshow above. 



Radio Bar Pop-Up Goes Permanent

Now backed by Menin Hotels, South of Fifth’s Radio Bar is here to stay.

April 08, 2013

Menin Hotels has taken the reins at South of Fifth’s Radio Bar, transitioning it from a tucked away pop-up to a permanent neighborhood fixture. The owner of local hotels like Gale South Beach, the Regent Hotel, and Shelborne South Beach, among others, Menin will maintain Radio’s shabby-chic décor and radio tower marquee, while adding new elements such as an upgraded cocktail menu, snack options, happy hour specials, and Menin's own Pizza Bar. New cocktails by James Beard nominee Craig Schoettler, beverage director for Menin Hotels, include shareable punch bowls and house-made syrups. “The new beverage program complements the inviting atmosphere,” says Schoettler. “One would feel just as comfortable in flip flops or a business suit when sipping on a great rum or bourbon.” The newly improved and permanent Radio Bar is open seven days a week from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. 814 1st St., Miami Beach, 305-397-8382



New Brunch at Oak Tavern

Tuck into fresh oysters, a Middle Eastern comfort dish, and house-made sticky buns.

April 05, 2013

Oysters on the half-shell, in a shooter, or as part of a platter are a highlight of Oak Tavern's new Sunday brunch  

Oak Tavern’s recently launched Sunday brunch does midday comfort food with a kick. Chef and owner David Bracha's à la carte menu boasts familiar favorites with updated and interesting flavor profiles. French toast gets a coconut crust, shrimp and grits is served with tomato-chile gravy, and eggs Benedict pack pork belly and kale. Not quite a brunch standard but wholly satisfying is the Shakshuka, a traditional Middle East dish of poached eggs and tomato sauce served with bread for mopping. And speaking of bread, the restaurant bakes its own country rye and jalapeño cornbread, as well as sticky buns and warm upside down pineapple cake. But for a light start to your Sunday brunch, order up a selection of oysters—available on ice, in a lemon-thyme vodka shooter, or as part of a seafood plateau. (10:30 a.m.–2:30 p.m.) 35 N.E. 40th St., 786-391-1818


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