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Thursday, March 10, 2016

GROVE EVENTS THIS WEEK

      The best Coconut Grove events are intimate affairs. You relax, chat with friends, and no one tries to sell you a Buick (which happened to me at last month's mega-art festival).  
    This week features three such events. We enjoyed the first last Sunday.

     The Gifford Lane Art Stroll is still one of the Grove's best kept secret. The people that know about it return every year. I see them at my corner art booth and we talk. South Miami mayor, Phil Stoddard, told me as he munched on hot ribs, "It's my favorite art festival".   
        Miami Herald writer, Andres Viglucci, asked. "What makes the Gifford different?"  I glanced at the passing people and said, "It's them, there are happy people all around us. They're connecting with friends, surrounded by live music and live oaks. I think they enjoy visiting with amateur artists like me". 

       Like the King Mango Strut, the Gifford is non-commercial. It is so small it can be pulled off without the sponsorship of banks, car dealerships, or developer     (above) Art fan , Myra Wexler 
 
Volunteers, most of whom live on the forty-house street, do the leg work.  It's just five-hours long but there's plenty to do. The residents also serve the cucumber punch that adds a little (some say a lot of) buzz to the air.
        I saw my friend there, Bonnie Fen. Later she wrote,

The Gifford event was  wonderful! It reminded me of the Grove Art Festival when I was a kid. You could go and see everyone you knew. Very REFRESHING and FUN. Thanks for encouraging me to go.



     My wife, Francesca, and I didn't stop moving  for twelve hours last Sunday. By 7 pm we were home, unpacked and pooped.  Maybe its a magical day that can only happen here, a place with people crazy enough to put on a street party like this.  It's one of the reasons we love living in Coconut Grove.
 
    If you weren't there, sorry, but you can join us next time.  Join the party when Gifford comes alive again on March 5, 2017.




North Grove's Rocky Lyons gets a new look.

I took a few photos of the folks who bought my creations, 


Grove attorney, Lee Marks, rockin' his new fish helmet.
 




 
 FIU professor, Gray Read, bought her husband a birthday present.

 


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TWO CONCERTS NEXT SUNDAY
     
  We're having two more of these great little Grove events this coming weekend.  Unfortunately, the two Sunday concerts take place at the same time.

  The Barnacle State Park is presenting a couple of musicians you never heard of, "Danner and Bottari" who say they are "very much in touch with their country roots".  Who knows? They may be delightful.
As usual, its a picnic on the lawn beginning at 6:30.  Ten bucks gets you in.

    While we love the Barnacle concerts, we'll be going to The Alhambra Orchestra's event two blocks south, in the Ransom Everglades auditorium.
      Their annual event, "South Florida's Got Talent" features classical music played by fantastically talented teens (backed by the orchestra).  Every year we get blown away by these violin-wielding kids.  
      The concert (and parking) is free and it begins at 7:30 on Sunday, March 13.  The school auditorium is located at 3575 Main Highway, a block south of the formerly entertaining Coconut Grove Playhouse.
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