Crazy Delicious

The festival disappoints slightly, MIAMIntelligence tanks, Aquabooty continues to rock

Leaving the tasting village, The Bitch nodded to chef Norman Van Aken, who told her he and his wife Janet have purchased a house in Key West and plan to open a restaurant there. "Back where we started," Van Aken, of Norman's and the late, lamented Mundo, said. He also has tentative plans to open an eatery in Marathon.


Saved by and from Aqua
The Aquabooty crowd was mesmerized by Osunlade — the producer, composer, and DJ behind Yoruba Records — during a transcendent set lasting until 5:00 a.m. Sunday at Glass on 41st Street in Miami Beach. "He is my favorite DJ and quite an amazing person," ever-humble Tomas Ceddia of Aquabooty said of Osunlade. On Friday Ceddia used his diplomatic savvy to salvage the rained-out Belvedere vodka party at the National Hotel. Urgent negotiations by the Aquabooty team allowed DJ Miguel Migs to move his set into the lobby.


Too Smart to Survive
The Bitch was always vaguely put off by the sign on South Dixie Highway at 20th Avenue laying MIAMIntelligence's claim to "Culture in the City." Did that mean there wasn't culture in the rest of the city? No matter. After three years as a Mensa clubhouse, the nonprofit organization will shut its doors at the end of the month. The Coconut Grove-based group is best known for its weekly lecture series, which has spanned topics from alternative medicine and "white-collar Zen" to genetics research and Virginia Woolf.

Cofounder Sandra Tartonne pointed to a lack of funding and less-than-ideal attendance. Running the organization while working full-time jobs proved too much for Tartonne and her partner Adrian Lechter. "We tried to give Miami a cultural alternative," Tartonne said. "We got tired."

City grant money (about $3000 per year, according to Tartonne) and ten-dollar admission fees weren't enough to keep the lecture series afloat, and a search for corporate sponsors proved fruitless. Tartonne said she believes community interest is high, but without a stronger financial base, MIAMIntelligence can't hire staff or afford advertising to attract more attention.

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