The countdown to Miami Spice, the two-month restaurant promotion that lets you try the city's top (and most expensive) eateries, has begun. In just a short week, you'll be able to eat your way through 150-plus restaurants, most of which have probably been on your foodie wish list far too long.
As if that weren't enough, Spice will arrive early this year, as the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has decided to bring back the Miami Spice Mash-Up series to preview the selections. The next installment will take place this Thursday at 7 p.m. at Dolce Italian (1690 Collins Ave., Miami Beach), which recently snagged the title of Best New Restaurant on Bravo's newest reality culinary competition. Chef Paolo
Tickets cost $65 (excluding tax and gratuity). Seating is limited. Call 786-975-2550 or visit resy.com.
Though it's been the norm for years, women who manage to "do it all" never cease to amaze. How mothers, wives, and driven workers continue to juggle those duties in the face of devastating loss inspires even more admiration. Author, blogger, keynote speaker, and speechwriter Nancy Sharp is one such woman.
Her latest work, Both Sides Now: A True Story of Love, Loss, and Bold Living, is the recipient of five literary awards: a National Indie Excellence Award, a Readers' Favorite International Book Award, a Living Now Book Award, an American Book Fest International Book Award, and a CIPA EVVY. Both Sides Now takes readers back to the day when Sharp delivered premature twins and learned that her husband's cancer had returned after 18 months in remission. Set in New York City, where the couple lived happily until Brett's shocking diagnosis in 1998, the story moves back in time through their courtship and marriage — and forward through Brett's death, when the twins were 2, he was nearly 40, and Nancy was 37. She begins her healing in the Rocky Mountains, finding the courage to not only move forward but also seek joy. Both Sides Now also shares the story of Sharp's second husband, Steve, a widower with two children, and the outcome of blended families touched by loss.
Sharp will present her memoir Thursday at 8 p.m. at Books & Books (265 Aragon Ave., Coral Gables). Admission is free. Call 305-442-4408 or visit booksandbooks.com.
Friday, July 24
This Friday, the Institute of Contemporary Art (4040 NE Second Ave., Miami) will welcome writer and educator Suhail Malik. Malik, a visiting faculty member at the Center for Curatorial Studies at Bard and codirector of the MFA program at Goldsmiths, is currently in residence at the Miami nonprofit Cannonball. He will discuss the state of the contemporary art market, with a focus on what today's shifting market means for those involved. But Malik's lecture is unlikely to be the dry stuff of simple market talk. Rather, his lecture will highlight the power dynamics of the art market — from the ultra-rich who control international art fairs such as Art Basel, to those whose practices are alienated by the consumer-heavy market.
This Saturday, Malik will also lead an interactive workshop that will draw on the complex issues raised in Friday's lecture and will focus on practice-oriented solutions.
Malik's Friday talk will begin at 7 p.m. His Saturday workshop will start at 2 p.m. Admission to both is free, but RSVP is required. Visit icamiami.org.
When the Atlantic Ocean becomes like bath water, boiling-hot summer temps call for more refreshing recreation, and there's no better place to escape the sizzle than Grapeland Water Park. It's an aquatic oasis, complete with an endless supply of cool, clean water and plenty of ways to get drenched.
During the summer, the park hosts Dive-In Movies, kid-friendly screenings where attendees can splish, splash, and watch simultaneously. Gates open this Friday at 5:30 p.m., when kids can get their kicks by sliding down the Pirate's Plunge or getting soaked on Shipwreck Island. At 7:30 p.m., everyone will pull up a tube and relocate to the Captain's Lagoon to watch the evening's flick: Big Hero 6, the story of a cuddly inflatable robot, his prodigy pal, and their band of adventurers. At $5 a pop, it's almost as wallet-friendly as Netflix — but much, much cooler.
The movie starts at 8 p.m. at Grapeland Water Park, 1550 NW 37 Ave., Miami. Admission is $5. Call 305-960-2950 or visit miamigov.com/grapeland.
Saturday, July 25
A broad selection of nationally known recording artists, live performers, and vendors will converge on Miami's historic district of Overtown for the Overtown Music & Arts Festival. The fest, promoting economic development and community enrichment, brings a full day of entertainment free of charge to the public. Attendees can listen to live tunes, make their way through a showcase of
The fest runs Saturday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. in the Overtown Business District (NW Third Avenue between Ninth and Tenth streets). Visit overtownmusicartsfestival.com.
South Florida is a hot mess. Humid, sticky, and often drenched by excessive rain, the region makes
In honor of all these lush edibles, local businesses and service providers invite fruit lovers of all ages to DisFruta, a celebration of South Florida's special fruits.Guests can bring their own fruits, plants, and seeds to contribute to the collective mandala and indulge in the provided raw/vegan treats by Half-Baked Vegan and Kombucha elixirs and juices by area vendors. In addition to all of the healthful munching, there will be massages, live painting by Stacey Nicole Coon, and henna tattoos by Cortney Cates, plus music by Dr. Flamenco, Master Feathers, Seizure Machine, DaleDale (performing a percussive Latin set), DJ Cloüd, and special guests.
DisFruta runs from 8 p.m. to midnight Saturday at Mihos Miami Holistic Space (4000 NW Second Ave., Miami). Admission costs $5 before 10 p.m. or $10 after and includes seeds, fruits, and plants to take home. Call 786-351-8142 or visit facebook.com/fruitymiami.
Aside from making the trek to Orlando to visit the Wizarding World of Harry Potter, there aren't many options for reveling in all things inspired by your favorite boy wizard. Sure, you can grab a broom, go to the park, and attempt to play Quidditch with your friends, but the onlookers just won't understand. You need to surround yourself with people who get it.
Thank Merlin for the folks at Madi's Tea Garden (4009 SW 152nd Ave., Miami), who put together the most magical of tea times: the Harry Potter Inspired Tea Time at Madi's Tea Garden Tea Room. This quaint shop tucked away in a shopping center on Bird Road is the sweetest of places, and they go all out for their Harry Potter tea time! All over the store are props galore, plate settings reminiscent of those from the Great Hall, and the best part: freshly brewed tea and English fare named after places or events from Harry's world. But guests will be treated to more than tasty food and drink; there will also be a trivia contest and a prize for the best costume (though it's silly to think wizard robes can be considered costumes).
Tea service begins promptly at 1 p.m. Saturday, so don't be late, or risk being turned into a pocket watch. Tickets cost $35 per person via madisteagarden.com.
As far as the seasons, Miami has but two: summer and summer-light. If you're jonesing for a more diverse landscape, The Four Seasons is coming to the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center this Saturday. This one-act ballet is both classical and contemporary, true-to-life, and fanciful. Renowned for its storytelling ability, the Chicago Repertory Ballet is the creative force behind the performance.
Set to the tune of Vivaldi's original score (reimagined by Max Richter), the show features a series of vignettes highlighting anything-but-mundane moments from the four seasons of Everyman's experience — the rebirth of spring, the thrill of summer, the serenity of autumn, and the coldness of winter.
We may not have autumn (or sweaters) to look forward to, but everyone can relate to Everyman. Showtime is 8 p.m. at the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center (10950 SW 211th St., Cutler Bay). Tickets cost $25 to $30. Visit smdcac.org or call 786-573-5300.
Sunday, July 26
Contrary to popular belief, the art of the DJ is more nuanced than waving one's hands in the air and pressing buttons. A true DJ knows how to use his catalogue of samples and hooks, mix them seamlessly into a new monster, and if he's really good, weave his own percussion into play by scratching that vinyl hard. Those seeking proper tutelage in Miami head to the Scratch Academy.
Of course, the best part of DJing isn't practice; it's the showcase. That's why the Arts & Entertainment District has teamed up with Scratch Academy, Airstream Academy, the Boxelder, and others to create the perfect Sunday afternoon. It's well-mixed beats, cocktails, and noms at Scratch & Sniff. Three DJs will hit six turntables and pair with live musicians to bring a musical experience unlike anything you'll see at any nightclub. Delectable eats will be curated by food bloggers Hedonist/Shedonist, and you can trust them, because knowing tasty vittles is their job. If aromatic cocktails aren't your thing, Beck's beer and craft beer will also be available.
The event is free for attendees 21 and older, but RSVP is required via aedistrictmiami.eventbrite.com. Visit aedistrictmiami.com.
Monday, July 27
Though South Florida audiences may not flock to the theater in droves, it's not for lack of compelling productions. Miami gets its taste of traveling Broadway tours like any other major city, but it's the plays steeped in local lore that most capture theater fiends' attention. Mangrove Collective continues to sate these stage cravings through Florida stories that share universal themes and appeal to broad audiences, including tales unafraid of the dark side — as evidenced by Mangrove's disturbing Paradise Motel, commissioned by Miami Theater Center as part of the 2013-14 Sandbox Series. In its latest production, Mangrove once again goes back to black with The Prey, an original play by Miami's Gina Montet. A tale of murder in the heart of the Everglades, The Prey is inspired by actual events and gives audiences a chilling interpretation of an infamous Florida killing.
Directed by Margaret M. Ledford, the cast includes Alex Alvarez, Clinton Archambault, Mekiel "MJ" Benjamin, Matthew William Chizever, Jim Gibbons, John Manzelli, Zack Myers, and Elizabeth Price.
Audiences can experience this chilling presentation at its first public play reading Monday at 7:30 p.m. at the Little Haiti Cultural Center Theatre (212 NE 59th Ter., Miami), preceded by a wine-and-mingle session at 7 p.m. Admission is free. Call 305-960-2969 or visit littlehaiticulturalcenter.com.
Wednesday, July 29
Every Wednesday night, a secret society meets in Miami. No, it's not some sketchy coke deal or Fight Club-style ring with alligator wrangling. But, as they say, you have to sell your soul to be in the know. Luckily, selling your soul simply involves giving your email address to the Secret Celluloid Society via a quick online form. Founded in 2013 by Nayib Estefan and Blue Starlite Drive-In owner Josh Frank, the Secret Celluloid Society aims to reintroduce revival cinema to Miami. In June, the club reinstated meetings at Shirley's, the theater inside Gramps (176 NW 24th St., Miami), and has lined up a full schedule of retro favorites through August. This Wednesday at 9 p.m., the Society will screen the Weird Al Yankovic classic comedy UHF. Of course, no movie should screen without popcorn, so the Society provides it free to members. And because Shirley's is located inside a bar, a full range of drinks is available for purchase.
Films screen every Wednesday at 9 p.m. through August. Tickets are free with registration. Visit secretcelluloidsociety.com.