Urban Experience

Shake It Up

Master these concoctions yourself

FRI 5/6

Amazingly enough, Arlen Gargagliano hasn't spent much time in Miami. Her book, Mambo Mixers, is chock full of recipes for delicious Latin cocktails and tapas locals crave. This author started out as an ESL textbook writer and teacher. Through her Latin American travels, Gargagliano started collecting local recipes and then trying them on her unsuspecting neighbors. "I am so popular in my neighborhood," she laughs. "I love to entertain. I walk out of my house and say, 'Okay! I need someone to try this Brazilian rum punch!'" Alas, Gargagliano can't be everyone's neighbor, but with her book, even the most ham-handed novice can whip up caipirinhas worthy of the coolest bistros. Gargagliano's favorites are her mango champagne cocktails and watermelon margaritas (above right). "For summertime, they're out of this world," she says. At tonight's book signing, Gargagliano will also be playing guest bartender. You can sip some of her signature drinks, including passion fruit champagne cocktails and pineapple mojitos, while nibbling on pepitas -- toasted pumpkin seeds with chipotle that this author describes as "totally addictive" -- and other yummy treats. Mix and mingle at 6:30 at Books & Books, 265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables. Call 305-442-4408, or visit www.booksandbooks.com. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

Protect Yourself

Ass-kicking for beginners

SAT 5/7

Few things are as attractive as a nice lady who can smash in your face. That type of grrrl power seems to be the theme of this "personal protection, fitness, and etiquette workshop" for females. The second annual Young Women Facing the Future gathering -- hosted by Anta's Fitness and Self Defense (10721 NW 58th St., Doral) -- offers speakers and presentations addressing beauty-and-beast topics. Exclusively for the distaff, and beginning at 2:00, the event will stage a modeling show (Alicia Faccio Modeling will be on hand), martial arts demonstrations and lessons, Pilates, and even fingerprinting. Girls and women can find out exactly what "good stranger/bad stranger" and "the lost art of etiquette" sessions are all about. A half-dozen speakers will talk about how to "become an empowered young lady" (while looking nice at the same time of course). It's free and will last the afternoon. Get in shape, be polite, and, if necessary, be able to kick some ass. Call 305-599-3649, or visit www.antakungfu.com. --Greg Baker

The Cristina Show Room

Talk show host does décor

THUR 5/5

Forget a fashion line. The designer furniture collection is the coolest celebrity pet project. Martha Stewart, John Elway, and Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen are all in on the suite action. Now Cristina Saralegui is throwing her ottoman in the ring, with her Euro-Mediterranean Casa Cristina furniture collection. Meet Cristina at the Palmetto Boulevard El Dorado Furniture store (4200 NW 167th St., Miami; 305-624-2400) from 11:30 to 2:30 and at the Kendall Boulevard store (13755 N. Kendall Dr., Miami; 305-752-3720) from 4:30 to 7:30. Visit www.eldoradofurniture.com. --Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik

Community Active

SAT 5/7

You know the old saying: The city that cleans together ... is a much nicer place to live. Or something along those lines. Come one, come all, and join a litter-busting army of volunteers at today's Unify to Beautify campaign. All participants will be compensated with community service hours. Registration starts at 8:00 a.m. Roll up your sleeves at North Bayshore Park, 12220 N. Bayshore Dr., North Miami. Call 305-893-6511, Ext. 2208. -- Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik


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