Archive for November, 2005

Artinfo on Miami

If you are looking for the latest and up-to-the-day gossip, news, and opinions on all of the art fairs this week, you’re in luck. will be sending out daily newsletters via email recounting what their writers saw and what the heard. Just sign up on their regular newsletter and you’ll automatically get the Miami art fair news!

Hello Miami!

OK, so this is a first for me. As you might have guessed we over here at Metroblogging have officially launched this Miami branch as of this morning, but as Caryn mentioned the other day a few of us are actually in town making this is the first time I’ve ever been in a city (other than Los Angeles) when it’s metblog has come online. Since Miami is now the 37th city in the network and since Caryn and I are in town, and so is Johannes from Vienna, and so is our friend Tyler Green from DC (but still not from MBDC despite constant nagging) we figured that before the Art Fairs kick into action it might be cool to get some people together for drinks someplace in Miami Beach. Of course I haven’t bothered to confirm those details before making this post, but thougth I’d let you know the plans were in the works and the info will be posted here shortly. I’m also looking forward meeting the new metbloggers in person, and saying “Hi” and “Thanks” to some of the folks from Miamity, Critical Miami, The Next Few Hours, Artblog whose advice and support helped make this whole thing possible (and yeah, I know there’s a bunch of overlap there ).

Oh, yeah, Miami isn’t the only Metroblogging launch today – check out another new site from the other side of the world – Dubai!


Good link here for some of the Art Basel happenings – may have to sign up for NYT.

Getting a Grip on the ABMB Happenings


The image above is from the VIP room at Art Basel last year. See those people looking intently at those catalogs? No doubt they are trying to decide what to do, when to do it, and how to fit it all in. Mark my words, you will be in the same position this year too! As the events draw nearer, I’ll post some “what to do today” items but, to better prepare you for the art mania (as I like to call it), here is a run down of the main events occuring during ABMB this December 1-4th:

Art Basel Miami Beach
Hours: December 1 – December 3 from 12-8pm/December 4 from 12-6pm
(Hall A)
One Day Ticket $22 / Two Day Ticket $34 / Reduced One Day Ticket (children, students, seniors, groups of 10 and more) $12 / School Class One Day Ticket $5 / Evening Ticket (after 5 p.m.) $12 / Permanent Pass $50 / Admission is free for children under 16 when accompanied by an adult.
@ Miami Beach Convention Center :: Entrances :: Convention Center Drive (Hall D) and Washington Avenue

The international art show in Miami Beach (Florida) is the American sister event of Art Basel in Switzerland, the most important annual art show worldwide for the past 36 years. Art Basel Miami Beach is a new type of cultural event, combining an international art show with an exciting program of special exhibitions, parties and crossover events including music, film, architecture and design. Exhibition sites are located in the city’s beautiful Art Deco District, within walking distance of the beach and most hotels and restaurants.

An exclusive selection of 195 leading art galleries from North America, Latin America, Europe, Africa and Asia will exhibit 20th and 21st century art works by over 2000 artists.

To read about the rest (other ABMB sections, Aqua, Frisbee, Pulse, Nada, and Scope) click continue reading…

FPL: Spreading the Blame

Florida Power and Light, who is not my favorite utitlity entity at the moment, who oversaw the loss of power to 3.5 million customers during hurricane Wilma (a brief, expected Category 1 event), and who just sought and received permission to raise its rates 20%, has been trying to determine why so many poles failed during the storm. After careful study, they have determined the culprit: BellSouth.

Preliminary results have sparked a growing argument about who bears — or shares — responsibility for South Florida’s largest power outage ever. FPL’s reports suggest BellSouth may hold a large responsibility. [snip] …28 percent of those [poles] studied — were creosote-treated. More than half of these (52 percent) were BellSouth poles, the FPL engineers reported. ”The majority of these poles [88 percent] had some amount of weathering/deterioration but we do not know if that was the main cause of failure as some of these were next to good . . . poles that also broke,” the report said.

Check the math – FPL’s attribution of “a large responsibility” to BellSouth applies to 14% of the total poles.

There was a lot of discussion about burying power lines and whatnot to reinforce the grid, but at this point I fully expect FPL to let its customers eat cake to whatever extent they can do so without the legislature disbanding them or taking them over. There’s already talk of making the PSC board an elected body, an idea being pursued by Attorney General Charlie Crist.

Something I haven’t seen yet, though, is to subsidize efforts to get off the grid. Solar panels did very well during the storm and South Florida would seem like a natural place for them – imagine heavy rebates for purchase and installation with money from FEMA. Of course, that would bite into FPL profits. Which, to me, would make it worth doing just for sport.

Get Shorty

I was sitting in a Doctor’s waiting room the other day and I found my self over hearing two middle aged people talk, a man and a woman. They knew each other from somewhere else, and happened to be in the same waiting room and started discussing their lives, and all the sudden the conversation turned to how short men in Miami are. The women quipped “Well, when my daughter goes out to the Grove in her heels she towers over all the men”.

I’ve noticed that ever sense I’ve overheard this I’ve been paying attention the average height of men in the area now, and was disappointed to see that this information isn’t easily found on Google.

Being over 6 foot myself, It’s nothing I’ve got to personally worry about, but I find it strange how two people who have obviously lived in Miami for some time could agree that all the men in the city are vertically challenged. Maybe everyone just seems short ever since Shaq came to town.

Some pointers for visitors

Inspired by a recent New York Times list of Miami “insider” places, I’m offering up a list of things I appreciate about Miami that a visitor would benefit from knowing. I’m not really claiming insider status for the things listed. Maybe they are, maybe they aren’t. You can also bet I’m leaving some things out, but don’t worry, I’m not sending you astray.

Some things to definitely try to visit/experience:

The Bas-Fisher Invitational–an exhibition space run by artists Naomi Fisher and Hernan Bas located in the Buena Vista Building (180 NE 39 Street, 2nd Floor) in the Design District.

Locust Projects–an artist-founded not-for profit art venue in Wynwood. Awesome. Lo-Fi. They serve the beast. Milwaukee’s beast, in case you didn’t get my drift and assumed that I meant they worship Satan–though if you did think that, they wouldn’t mind.

Any art event organized by the artist Robert Chambers–frequently last minute, these events are probably the most representative and most inclusive events of our local art scene. If you hear about one, go.

Churchill’s Pub–one of local music’s last outposts. Also the mainstay venue of our spectacular “noise” bands. One advisory: if you complain about the neighborhood, you obviously deserve Mangos. Go there instead.

The walk-up window of any Cuban coffee joint–look, in Miami, we don’t really cotton to paying more than a dollar for a cup of coffee. We’ll do it, but it has to be the only thing around. When we want coffee we want a caf

Putting the F in LA


Just want to give a quick introduction to the new Miami Metblog readers – I’m Caryn from Los Angeles by way of Chicago and originally from Florida and will be guest blogging here while I’m in town for the art fairs (I’m participating in Aqua Art Miami). It’s a homecoming of sorts for me, if not seeing my life come full circle, since I was born in Tampa although I know that that technically makes me a west-sider. In Los Angeles, I’m a devoted east-sider and write the LA-based art blog, and run the art gallery sixspace.

I arrive in Florida (Tampa) tomorrow and then drive on into Miami Beach Monday afternoon where I will be preparing for the art fair and all the surrounding mania that accompanies it. I’m starting to get excited when I think of all my art world friends from all over the world will just be a few blocks away from me soon…and in Florida no less! So in my brief time on the Miami Metblog you can expect lots of art-related and, hopefully, coffee-related posts from me.

Plantastic, fantastic Miami

My brother arrived into town last night for the holiday; he hasn’t been here since the recent pummeling by the hurricanes (Katrina and Wilma). It was too dark for him to really see the transformations, but he noted that the Gables seems denuded. Today, he ought to really get a good gander at the broken, humbled trees. What my brother is keen to see today is the strangeness of the beaten landscape. Things are opened up, raw and unmanicured.

Normally, Miami is a place where the vegetation is dominant. Roots will crack sidewalks, streets, and septic tanks. Decorative vines turn into trees if you don’t prune them, and they will grow out of your reach as fast as they can. People talk about the construction boom, sure, but I think that the landscaping business is really what makes this town tick. If you have a yard larger than a living room, there’s no way you can tackle it alone and still have a social life.

You can pretty much stick anything in the ground and grow it. All those timid houseplants which are tamed in the rest of the country become monsters here, ravenous. Unless, of course, they have a problem with too much water. Or heat.

Rarer tropicals feel at home too. Things which I’ve considered weeds have been like alien plants to my visiting friends from drier climes. An older family friend once took a guest to Fairchild Tropical Garden only to have the friend demand to leave; the friend had had an anxiety attack brought on by the plants–they were too sexual and threatening. Ever since hearing that story I’ve always taken guests to Fairchild, but they’ve always responded with wonder (could be a generational thing).

Pretty soon it will be the perfect confluence of plantastic/alienesque/suggestive events: Dale Chihuly at Fairchild. All the bulbous, pointy, fecund, stalky goodness an organic form lover could ever want. Plus! Extended night viewing–illuminated Chihuly glass and garden, dreamy . . .

Miami Is The Future !

My first blog about our city will not be modest. I, by the way , am a transplanted lifelong New Yorker.

Here’s just a few points on why Miami is Great :

1. More building construction than the entire New York Metro region.

2. A rapidly growing metropolis – more than 4 million at last count.

3. MIA handles more cargo than JFK.

4 No State Income Tax. New Yorkers pay an additional 14%!

5. Latin America looks to Miami – not to Washington or New York .

6. Miami is 75% Spanish Speaking.

7. Miami is a Boom Town !

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