One of the most contentious aspects of the plan to redevelop the Miami Beach Convention Center has been settled: The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater will stay.
The theater had been slated for demolition by Portman-CMC, one of the two teams still in the running for the massive overhaul project. But with music and history lovers lined up in support of saving the theater, the team said that its plan has changed.
“We listened to the community,” said Jack Portman, vice chairman of Portman Holdings and John Portman & Associates.
04/16/13 - Tuesday's Topical Currents looks at the saga of the famed Miami Beach Fontainebleau Hotel, and the events which ended the lives of its “matriarch” and her son. Ben Novack, Junior, was raised in sumptuous Fontainebleau suites. When the family lost the hotel, he took a second wife: Narcy. She was an exotic dancer who performed in Hialeah. Years later, Narcy Novack executed a plot to kill her widowed mother-in-law and husband to gain their estates.
Miami Beach is usually pretty colorful. Art Deco buildings boast vivid shades of pink and turquoise. Bright green palm trees line the streets year-round.
But this weekend the city is awash in every color of the rainbow in celebration of Miami Beach Gay Pride, and if last year is any indication, that means a massive throng of at least 60,000 people could flood Ocean Drive.
The Miami Beach Commission is finally going to let investors, developers and architects renovate the Beach's old and frumpy looking convention center.
The convention has been the site for some big events in the city. For example, Art Basel has been hosted at the center for the past few years. But even though some hot events are hosted there, the convention center has maintained its old and outdated look.
One of the great things about Art Basel week in South Florida is you get to see a lot of strange things in the form of both art and people. After a few Basels, you may start to feel like you’ve seen and done it all.
But I’ll bet you’ve never had your fortune told by a gigantic, smoke-breathing dog named Gypsy.
Artist Desi Santigo has created an epic-sized installation at the Lords Hotel on South Beach. Called “The Black Lords,” it is a giant, inflated black dog with glowing red eyes wrapped around the outside of the hotel.
The UNTITLED art fair is the new kid on the Basel block. It's the event’s first year.
The fair itself has a distinctly South Florida feel to it. The large, airy white tent has soft, filtered lighting and looks out over the ocean. Adding to the Miami vibe are the girls wandering around promoting various kinds of alcohol by handing out freebies.
Among them were the Hendricks gin girls, Jacqueline Sanabia and Kezia Linden, who, I thought, were wearing some pretty snazzy little hats.
There is a lot to do in Miami during Art Basel so you may not want another item added to your list of “must sees.” Nevertheless, consider including this fair: Aqua Art Miami at the Aqua Hotel on Collins and 15th Street in Miami Beach.
The fair has a laid-back vibe, lots of art and a good-sized crowd that feels happening without being claustrophobic.
During presidential debate nights, people in Miami may not congregate around giant screens at restaurants and bars, Super Bowl-style, as they do in Washington, D.C.
However, there are some places in Miami where you can watch the debates, whether you prefer watching the event with a group, want a steady flow of cocktails, or just wish to escape your abuelo's or your sister's running commentary at home (list of watch parties and restaurants/bars follows).