If you are like me, you receive around 250 emails a day, many of which announce and invite you to attend various events around our diverse community. While it would be impossible to attend all of them, especially those produced by our Chamber, it is nice to be in the know of what is happening in our community. More importantly, it reminds you that there are an endless amount of things to do in our own backyard… starting with Coral Gables.
This past week, one of these special emails came from my good friend Laura Bruney, the czarina of the Arts & Business Council.
So, I decided to come up with my own list of cultural gems in the Gables…and share it with all of you.
Gorgeous Gardens – Do you like Mangos? Butterflies? Splendor? Then, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden is the perfect setting to “get your garden on!” With their new butterfly facility now open, it is time to re-discover FTBG – one of the finest botanical gardens in the world, located right here in the City Beautiful.
Fun Festivals – In addition the myriad happenings and activities that occur yearround in the Gables, Burgerliscious! has become a must-attend event in our community, featuring more than 25 local restaurants “chomping” at the bit for your meaty admiration. Held each fall in the crisp November calm, Burgerliscious! positions the Gables as a dining destination and promotes our incredible diversity of cuisine that is the manna of more than 160 restaurants. Add to the mix St. Patrick’s Day at John Martins, Oktoberfest at Fritz & Franz, Art in the Park…and now we have a party!
Fantastic Films – Who knew that a little cinema in the basement of a parking garage would become the “IT” location for an incredible line-up of independent, foreign and first-run, feature films? The Coral Gables Art Cinema has quickly become to the go-to location for South Florida premiers and an important venue for the Miami International Film Festival, now celebrating its 30th year in Miami. If you have not caught a flick in this great space…you are missing out!
Myriad Museums – There is no finer museum that celebrates our local history, with a long view toward a greater world, than the Coral Gables Museum. With numerous permanent and traveling exhibits at your fingertips, as well as an incredible programming space that features a lunchtime jazz program, lecture series and artisan market, our Museum is a must-stop for residents and visitors alike.
Creativity Counts – There is no better place to expand your horizons and indulge your creative side than Books & Books, one of the top independent book stores in the country and a must-stop for every major author and their new works. From creating the Miami International Book Fair thirty years ago to hosting live music in the courtyard and children’s programming, Books & Books is equal parts bookstore and community gathering space. Mitchell Kaplan and his team have dreamed up an intellectual space that is both accessible and inviting – a place that gets better and more enticing by the day.
Timeless Theatre – The Gables is awash in amazingly robust live theatre, boasting some of the finest productions and actors in and around South Florida. From Actors’ Playhouse (celebrating 25 years) to GableStageto to the Jerry Herman Ring Theatre at the University of Miami, the Gables is never at a loss for excellently staged shows. In fact, most of the awards for local theatre are gobbled up by these houses… with such fine productions as August: Osage County, Hairspray, Venus in Fur, South Pacific and Hamlet…we know why!
Making Music – When Seraphic Fire was dreamed up more than 10 years ago by Patrick Dupre Quigley, few could have guessed that this Gables-based chamber choir would grow into one of the most renowned in the world, having received TWO Grammy Nominations in 2012 and recently been signed to an exclusive artist representation deal by Columbia Artists. Throw in the world championships for the Dranhoff 2 Piano Foundation Competition this May, along with musical performances around the City Beautiful any night of the week in myriad venues, and you have the makings of a live music mecca.
Art is Everywhere – Beyond our new Art in Public Places ordinance that has brought us over-sized pink snails, we have the omnipresent backdrop of the exquisite Mediterranean Architecture of the City Beautiful. Avision of George Merrick’s from the day he dreamed up Coral Gables, the Spanish influence in our planned community can be seen in every neighborhood, along every corridor, and in the heart of our business district. We place great value and take tremendous pride in the idea that the Gables is an epicenter for art…and you can see the celebration in full bloom with every single step you take.
So, you have your checklist…now is the perfect time to get to work and begin to fill your life with art and culture…and great joy! 2013 is going to be art-mazing!