The Biscayne Times

Aug 10th
BizBuzz: December 2019 PDF Print E-mail
Written by Margaret Griffis, BT Contributor   
December 2019

Sales, special events, and more from the people who make Biscayne Times possible

Gbigstock-Four-Christmas-Multicolored-De-265383997arland and green grass. Kwanzaa and kayaks. Menorahs and mojitos. Poinsettias and performance art. The holidays in Miami are a unique experience that can be enjoyed by all. Here are a few year-end deals and experiences that will make the transition to 2020 easier and fun.

Enjoy traditional kosher Christmas cookies with Grammy winner Nestor Torres at the annual Holiday Concert presented by Martha/Mary Concerts (305-458-0111, Torres will grace the audience on December 8 with a set of Latin jazz and holiday tunes that will knock a little extra jingle into your cascabels. Daniella Mass, an America’s Got Talent favorite, will open the show with versions of holiday music and more. Tickets are a steal at $15 and $25. The 3:00 p.m. concert takes place at the Corpus Christi Church (3220 NW 7th Ave.). Free onsite parking is available. The adjacent baroque Chapel of La Merced will be open before and after the show so you can enjoy the extensive collection of Spanish Colonial art.

At the Aventura Arts and Cultural Center (3385 NE 188th St., 877-311-7469), you’ll find a number of shows dedicated to time-honored holiday fare. The king of them all is, of course, Tchaikovsky’s Nutcracker. The Arts Ballet Theatre of Florida performs this classic on Friday, December 6, and Saturday, December 7, at 7:00 p.m. and again on Sunday, December 8, at 3:00 p.m. Tickets are $40. A children’s matinee is presented both December 5 and 6 at 10:30 a.m. and costs only $10.

In a less traditional mood? Saunter over to the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami (61 NE 41st St., 305-901-5272) on Friday, December 6, at 6:00 p.m. for Lesbiennale 2019, a night of live performances and club edits presented by Boiler Room and curated by Nadine Ahmad (Pxssy Palace) and Naeem Davis (BBZ). Highlights include live performances from Philadelphia’s Moor Mother (artist, poet, and musician Camae Ayewa) and Toronto's Victoria Sin, a performance artist who focuses on gender identity.

Soon you might find yourself on a shopping expedition where you will mutter, in Chief Martin Brody deadpan, “I’m gonna need a bigger cup.” Enter Alaska Coffee Roasters (13130 Biscayne Blvd., 786-332-4254) for some of the best coffee in the world as a quick pick-me-up. If it’s lunchtime, order yourself a house-made soup and salad lunch for only $6! Or start the day with a traditional breakfast. And enjoy the wood-fired pizzas, signature sandwiches, or vegetarian dishes at any time. The Game Night Fridays (7:00-9:00 p.m.) trivia contest is a fun way to win the prizes while enjoying happy-hour specials.

Make your tree shopping easy with a stop at KB’s Real Christmas Trees (11400 Biscayne Blvd., 305-899-1955). For over 40 years, former North Miami mayor Kevin Burns has been filling Miami homes with Fraser fir, blue spruce, and concolor fir trees shipped directly from his farms up north. Whether you want a 40-foot giant or a small wreath to fill your home with a warm forest scent, KB’s has something that will fit your needs. Delivery and set-up is available.

If your favorite gift recipient spent Miami Art Week fawning over the artworks, consider commissioning a piece from local sculptress and new advertiser Jenny Barnette, who is accepting orders for portraits and sculpture. Jenny studied at the Florence Academy of Art, where she developed her style by learning the techniques of the Old Masters, particularly those of the Italian Renaissance. Or, perhaps, you were the one summoned by a muse at one of the art fairs. Expand your skills and learn to creature your own objets d’art with Jenny’s detailed instruction. Schedule a class, group or private, at Jenn’s Sculpture Atelier (7115 N Miami Ave. 305-364-5048, Clip the ad in the BT, and get $50 off tuition.

Congratulations go out to longtime advertiser Hannah Lasky (305-772-8426), who will be part of a group show at the Paseo Wynwood art fair (3000 N. Miami Ave.) during Art Week. The reception is on Tuesday, December 3, from 7:00 to 10:00 p.m. Stop by and say hi. Although she’s focusing more intently on her paintings these days, Hannah is still taking appointments if you need a cut or color, or just to commission an artwork. Her pieces and her haircuts grace many homes in the Biscayne Corridor.

Some of your gift recipients aren’t in the Corridor or even in South Florida, so you’ll need to ship. Barbara and Nancy at Private Postal Systems (12555 Biscayne Blvd., 305-895-6974) have 39 years of experience packing parcels and sending them via DHL, FedEx, UPS, or even USPS. You can count on them to wrap your gifts securely and advise you on the best shipping options for your precious items. Ship early!

Returning to the topic of local artists for a moment, last summer Biscayne Times encouraged everyone to participate in the 2019 Knight Arts Challenge sponsored by the Knight Foundation. The program selects winning entrants to receive matching funds for their cultural projects. The 44 winners of this year’s challenge will be announced this month and receive a share of $1.85 million. No, we can’t tell you ahead of time who the victors are, but we can suggest you start thinking about what ideas you’ll enter in the 2021 challenge. Visit

Whether it’s Miami Art Week, New Year’s Eve, or one of many events in between, you’ll need to dress to impress. Swish Boutique (771 NE 125th St. North Miami, 786-482-8780) has a store full of fun fashions that are sure to make you stand out among your peers wherever you wander. If your calendar is really full this month but you’re low on cash, make use of the store’s trade-in policy to get a new outfit for each event. Trade-ins receive 50 percent of the resale value in store credit. And students get a 15 percent discount on Saturdays with current school ID.

Need a place to wear that outfit on New Year’s Eve? Bayside Marketplace (401 Biscayne Blvd., 305-577-3344) is ringing in the New Year with a host of fun and family-friendly activities. Besides the free fireworks, you’ll be joining Mayor Francis Suarez, city commissioners, Bill Talbert with the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau, the Big Orange Committee, and Monty Trainer at the 36th annual celebration of the Big Orange. The Bayside Marina Stage will feature local bands from 11:00 a.m. until 1:00 a.m. The big stage will be set alongside Biscayne Bay at Bayside Marketplace near Lombardi’s Restaurant and Hard Rock Café. Another stage near Hard Rock Café will be featuring a really great DJ!

Are you anxious about your less-than-perfect teeth at the height of party season? José J. Alvarez & Associates (3483 NE 163rd St., North Miami Beach, 305-224-6714) is offering one-day makeovers and two-visit handcrafted, signature veneers that will give you a great reason to smile by New Year’s Day, but only if you call soon. Dr. José J. Alvarez is an award-winning graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and a board-certified implantologist.

What will take a little longer to resolve, if you are significantly overweight, is changing your body shape. Fret not. You can do it, with help from the staff at Jackson North Medical Center (160 NW 170th St., North Miami Beach, 305-585-TRIM). Sign up for a free gastric-sleeve and weight-loss seminar held Thursday, December 12, at 6:30 p.m., and you’ll be on your way to better health.

Here’s great news from Art Friedrich at the Urban Oasis Project. The project received $5,524 during Give Miami Day, which will fund the organization’s garden build project for a whole year. A big round of applause if you were one of those donors. Of course, you can learn more about making fresh, local food accessible to all from Art himself at the Legion Park Farmers Market (6601 Biscayne Blvd.). It’s open from 9:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. every Saturday. The Pallets in the Park program, where you can enjoy performances from local poets and musicians, will be held December 28.

Over in the Shores? Welcome back Miami Shores Farmers Market, which has reopened for the season. Run by the indefatigable Claire Tomlin, the market’s vendors feature fresh produce, baked goods, prepared foods, juices, and more every Sunday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at Miami Shores Optimist Park (9301 NE 2nd Ave.). On the first Sunday of the month, the market is also host to a community bazaar, where patrons can sell their antiques and other collectibles. Call 305-531-0038 to reserve a spot.

Alumni from Monsignor Edward Pace High School (15600 NW 32nd Ave., 305-623-PACE) are invited to join students, faculty, and a special guest to celebrate the $1.5 million project to renovate Spartan Stadium. The upgrades to the football field and track course will include new polyurethane turf and serve Pace’s football, soccer, track, cross country, cheerleading, and girls’ flag football teams. Cheers to athletic director and 1985 alumnus Tom Duffin, who will be leading the troops on to victory, we’re sure. The groundbreaking ceremony will be held Thursday, December 5, at 1:00 p.m. on campus. Go Spartans!

This time of year, it often seems that our guestrooms (and couches) were secretly listed on Airbnb to be filled with out-of-towners seeking refuge from the cold wastes north of Lake Okeechobee. You have to take them somewhere to eat, but how many appearances can you make at your favorite feedbag before you get bored with it? Here are new choices to add to your list.

Try Sins Gastrobar (9835 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores, 786-801-0955) which makes its first appearance in the BT this month. Venezuelan siblings Carlos and Adriana Oropeza opened this adventure in “sinfulness” recently. The menu is divided into various circles of “hell” that Dante would have loved to sample. From the “not yet a sinner” to “no regrets” to “guilty pleasures,” it’s all good and very rich. Rack of lamb, truffled sweet corn brûlée, and s’mores with a twist will tempt even hardcore ascetics. If your halo is only slightly tarnished, you can choose from the lighter dishes, such as kale and quinoa salad, cornbelly soup, or wild mushroom risotto. The theme continues into the cocktails menu with Sinarita on 2nd, Forbidden Sour, and Lying Tongue among the selections. Dante would also like the deals featured in this month’s ad.

Also welcome new advertiser Mizumi Buffet & Sushi (3207 NE 163rd St., 305-705-2059) to North Miami Beach and the pages of Biscayne Times. Besides offering an extensive assortment of fresh sushi, you can also treat yourself and your companions to other innovative or traditional Japanese and Chinese dishes and desserts. Clip the coupon in this issue’s ad to receive a 10 percent discount off the already reasonable prices. Weekday lunches are only $13.95; on the weekend, they’re $15.95. The dinner buffet is $22.95 on weekdays, and $24.95 on weekends. Call to ask about the prices for children.

Amaranthine Mediterranean Bistro (9801 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Shores, 786-907-4924) is another recent addition to the blossoming Miami Shores business district. Enjoy traditional dishes, such as moussaka, galaktoboureko, and skopelos, or expand your range to include the huevos fritos, croque madame, and even a succulent ribeye.

And, thankfully, there’s Mark Soyka’s Café Roval (5808 NE 4th Ct., 786-953-7850), a popular destination for locals wanting to impress their out-of-town friends and family. The unique coral rock architecture ensconced in a tropical garden catches everyone’s eye and lift spirits. But happy hour, with $7 cocktails, could be the perfect medicine for holiday burnout.

If coffee just isn’t perking you up enough to go out and fight the crowds, you may be fatigued from over-shopping or you may actually be coming down with something. Schedule a visit to Medi-Station Urgent Care (9600 NE 2nd Ave., Miami Shores, 305-603-7650), where you can be quickly treated if you’re sick and also receive a wellness I.V. that can deliver nutrients for energy, immunity, detox, or even a little holiday indulgence. Most insurance plans are accepted.

Consider taking a break from all the family arguments, broken toys, and burnt dishes by visiting the Islands of the Bahamas for a relaxing and restorative trip. By restorative, we not only mean your spirit, but also the economy of our wonderful neighbors who suffered great misery this hurricane season. The ministry of tourism tells us that the vast majority of tourist destinations are still operating, and a trip anywhere else in the chain will help with the long economic recovery ahead. Visit for ideas, tips, and help with booking a visit.

Happy Holidays from BizBuzz and Biscayne Times.


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