Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Stormhoek Wines Hosts Miami Bloggers @ 8 1/2

Last week Stormhoek Wines hosted a Miami bloggers event for the sole reason of getting a bunch of local bloggers to network, get tipsy, and then, you about it. Well, it worked. The event was held at the newly minted 8 1/2 Restuarant, a compact, stylish eatery attached to the Clinton hotel with a charming outdoor patio boasting the smallest dipping pool imaginable. The wines were very drinkable (the "Pinotage" was a big hit), the creatively prepared appetizers that the gracious wait staff brought around were delectable, and the crowd was....interesting.

Friendly bloggers networked all around with the faces behind Greener Miami, Consumable Joy, Miami Beach 411, and the infamous White Dade all in attendance. Everything went quite swimmingly, despite the organizers giving a goofy but well-intentioned presentation about the South African winery and their guerrilla-marketing technique of using bloggers to get the word out. It's very Malcom Gladwell of them - find the mavens and use them. If exploiting drunken bloggers is the new marketing trend, then, "L'chaim," I say.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Green Room Society Launch @ The Setai

The Setai (or the Setizzle as I affectionately call it) was the place to be Saturday if you love Performing Arts! Or, alternatively if you were simply interested in the free drinks and meeting droves of young, beautiful, professional-esque people. The Miami Performing Arts Center's young patrons group "The Green Room Society" hosted their first event to a 400-plus crowd of sophisticated tropical urbanites. The zen-like hotel has not had this much under-40 action since, well....ever. Blame it on the steep drink prices and lack of real party promotion, but the Setai is usually pretty quiet on any given night. Yet the Green Room Society party proves that when she puts her mind to it, the Setai can certainly throw a party that puts the Sagamore to shame. The champagne was flowing, the affable waitstaff proffered pyramids of scalding veggie spring rolls, and the crowd networked, lolled by the pool, and generally did their Miami nightlife thing. The reflecting pool courtyard overflowed with every young Miamian with an email address and there was particular traffic jams by the doors where bemused waitresses wafted trays of Bombay martinis that miraculously disappeared before they could make their way into the courtyard.

And oh was it hot! The usually breezy outdoor space held the heat of all those chatty young bodies to the point where people sought shelter by the indoor lobby bar, $17 drinks prices be damned!

Max Brenner is Covering New Yorkers in Chocolate

The first New York outpost of the popular Israeli chocolate brand Max Brenner sounds like an unbelievable shrine to all that is cocoa. This review in New York mag makes it sound a bit ridiculous with Willy Wonka-esque decor but most chocaholics aren't looking at the walls when there are things like "crunchy chocolate waffle balls," "warm chocolate soup," and something called "chocolate mess," that consists of warm chocolate cake eaten straight from the pan with spatulas and whipped cream sitting on the table in front of you.
This proves something I've always observed when I go to Israel: Israelis are obsessed with chocolate. How else to explain a sensibility whereby mothers pack their children's lunches with chocolate spread sandwiches, there are approx. 2 aisles in every supermarket devoted to chocolate products, and let's not forget this is the country that pioneered the pop-rocks-laden chocolate bars, the most disconcerting candy ever created. Well, that, and white chocolate Reese's peanut-butter cups. Icky.
[Photo via Off the Broiler]

Yoga at the Garden

Where: Miami Beach Botanical Garden, 2000 Convention Center Dr. , Miami Beach
When: Every Thursday at 9 am
Cost: $5

What better place to practice yoga than the within the fronded serenity of the lush Botanical Garden? There's usually only a few people who can make the weekday morning class so it's more like a private yoga class for $5!

Thursday, August 24, 2006

To Do This Weekend: Jazz & Video Art

7PM | Museum Opens
8PM | Music Starts
Come and enjoy some great jazz under the stars! FREE outdoor jazz concert - rain or shine! Museum is open by donation until 10PM. Call 305.893.6211 or click here for more info.


Showcasing today's most cutting edge filmmakers and video artists in South Florida, come and see who got chosen for this year's coveted film festival. | This event is sponsored by the City of Miami. RSVP is REQUIRED! Call 305.893.6211 ext. 23 to reserve.

Miami Restaurant Review: Louie's Brick Oven

Louie’s Brick Oven Grill Rotisserie Bar, 15979 Biscayne Blvd, North Miami Beach

The new developments on the Biscayne corridor of North Miami Beach are to blame for the proliferation of brand-new strip malls readying themselves for the masses of young professionals soon to populate places like Biscayne Landing and other high-rises in Aventura. These restaurants are built for volume, with ample space and fortified staff. With THE SEASON almost upon us, it remains to be seen if these eateries will succeed with the P.F. Chang's-loving crowds up north. Located in the same plaza as upscale Delano-esque Sushi House is Louie’s Brick Oven Grill Rotisserie Bar. The restaurant is a pleasant enough alternative to the overcrowded eateries at the Aventura mall, it boasts friendly servers, “well-done” pizza, and a variety of beers on tap including my Italian favorite, Moretti.

Décor: Spacious, pseudo-converted-warehouse look with ample brick walls, large exposed air- conditioning ducts, and high ceilings. Two large flat screen TV’s flank the bar for requisite game watching comfort.

Service: Earnest and attentive. The only strange moment came at the beginning when in his introduction to the restaurant the server explained that all Louie’s s Brick oven pizza come out “well done.” It seemed more like a disclaimer than an introduction. And the use of the term well done for pizza seemed odd. Note to management, worlds like “crusty, crunchy, and crisp” are more flattering and appetizing.

Prices: Moderate to Expensive. Appetizers $8-$10. Salads and Pastas $8-$20. Pizzas (good enough for two) range from $11 for basic cheese to $17 for a meat lover’s pie. Entrees $11-$29. Wide beer and wine selection.

The Food: The “individual” size portion of the Caeser salad was large enough for two and came with fresh and crunchy romaine lettuce, not too much dressing, and rudimentary croutons. Disclaimer aside, the pizzas are wondrously executed. Thin-crusted, crisp and populated with fresh toppings, these pies are the real draw. The mushroom pie came heaping with sliced portabella and button mushrooms, caramelized onions, and tangy goat cheese. The grilled vegetable pie was also satisfying with diced marinated red peppers, generous slices of eggplant, and sautéed spinach.

Adventures in Aventura Nightlife

Went to the Ivy 2- year anniversary party last night and was thoroughly disappointed. Let’s start with the crowd – skewed towards the older, graying, aggressive variety that seem to populate every Aventura party. Next, the “promotions.” The invitation stipulated that there would be an open Imperia vodka bar and passed hors d’oeuvres. The free food looked good but unfortunately each tray was attacked every time it wafted passed the noses of the unsightly hordes. The open bar consisted of the requisite blonde models passing out little shot glasses of the vodka mixed with lemon and basil, a delicious concoction, but how elegant can one feel sipping from a shot glass something that warranted a full-scale martini or cocktail vessel. The only calm moments to be had where in the Ivy’s thoughtfully decorated garden where one could almost forget that what lay beyond the Chinese lantern lights and tall hedges was the strip mall parking lot. If one got far enough away from the cigar-puffing real estate developers in oversized guyaberras, the location had a certain charm, and as the night air filled with the sounds of Tito Puente Jr. on the drums, it was clear that the Ivy was the most happening place to be in North Dade.

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

"Frrresh Orrrange Jooce!"

Meet the Zacksenberg. It is a juice press like no other. Produced by the pioneers of Kibbutz Holit in the south of Israel this little gem weighs in at approx. 20 pounds of pure unadulterated juice-producing hardware. The Zaksenberg is a staple of Israeli convenience kiosks that sell everything from cigarettes and candy to fresh-squeezed juice and pastries. It produces delicious nectar from anything squeezable including (but not limited to): oranges, grapefruits, lemons, pomegranates, and maybe kiwis? Peaches? The possibilities are endless! Not only is this juice press the sexiest juicemaker to come out of the Holy Land, but using this piece of equipment everyday will result in firmer biceps, guaranteed. Even Gilad would agree!

Tuesday, August 22, 2006

Free Yoga in Bayfront Park

There's nothing my downward-dog-loving self likes more than free yoga.
/ All classes taught by a certified yoga teacher. Classes are located at the Tina Hills Pavilion (south end of the park). In the event of rain, classes will take place in the Bayfront Park office.

Monday & Wednesday: 6:00pm-7:15pm
Saturday: 9:00am-10:15am

Beginners, intermediate and advanced welcome.
(Hat tip to Rebecca)

Friday, August 18, 2006

Sunset Over Miami @ MOCA Goldman Warehouse

The Real Estate and Allied Trade division of the Greater Miami Jewish Federation took over the Museum of Contemporary Art's Wynwood outpost Wednesday night for a few hours of frenetic networking, kosher hors d'oeuvres eating, and general Semitic mayhem. Within ten minutes the valet line snaked around two lawless Wynwood blocks as the various agents, developers, marketing people, and real estate world coterie idled in their cars, refusing to venture out into the ungentrified night.

Young real estate hopefuls rubbed shoulders with wizened local developers as "Mocatinis" (a scotch-infused cocktail with not much else besides scotch in the mix) were passed around along with kosher sushi, beef skewers, and crowd-pleasing mini hot dogs.

The setting proved an inspired choice for the fast-talking network-ready crowd since the cordoned-off art collection was a perfect place to make important phone calls and catch a break from the rabid real estate agents in the crowded and sweaty main room.

These kids are SO happy to be surrounded by Jewish realtors.

Thursday, August 17, 2006

Dispatches from the Northern Front

The rocket attacks are thankfully over today (for the time being), but the following pieces are well-written accounts of what it was like to be there on the front lines of lush Northern Israel.
Slate has a story from Rebecca Sinderbrand about dodging missiles in Tzfat:
About five minutes after I polished off the beer, as we drove down a quiet residential street, the warning blared again—louder now. Then, just moments after that—maybe 100 feet away from us, just on the other side of a row of crumbling old homes—we heard a roar like thunder on the ground. The windows of the car vibrated slightly; Keren went pale, and Yossi's hands jerked on the steering wheel. We sped down a side street and careened to a sudden stop. As we peeled out of the car and clambered into a darkened apartment stairwell for shelter, I caught a glimpse of the plumes of smoke and dust billowing behind us. Much later, I realized that I didn't remember hearing a whistle after all.
Lisa has a fantastic post on going up to the northernmost town of Metulla and encountering the various journalists, soldiers, and guesthouse owners.
And so I sat myself down at one of the tables in the shaded garden, placed my laptop on the mosaic tile surface and checked my email while Chaimke brought my coffee. It was a beautiful garden. Water tinkled quietly in a carved stone fountain, the birds twittered, the leaves rustled gently in the breeze, the sun shone, Etta James continued to sing about love and the artillery boomed every few seconds. Tweet tweet tweet, sang the birds. "At last...." sang Etta. Tinkle tinkle tinkle, chattered the water. BOOM! answered the artillery. Such a lovely, pastoral scene in wartime northern Israel.
She's also got pictures of Kibbutz Kfar Giladi in flames - something that tore me up since Kfar Giladi holds a special place in my heart, not only because it has one of the most beautiful pools in Israel.
And Michael J. Totten shares his experiences being up North in a matter-of-fact style:
NORTHERN ISRAEL – War does strange things to the mind. The first time you hear the loud BOOM, BANG, and CRASH of incoming and outgoing artillery, you will jump. You will twitch. You will want to take cover. You will want to hide. You will feel like you could die at any second, like the air around you is drenched with gasoline, like the universe is gearing up to smash you to pieces.

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Processing the Ceasefire

The New Republic's Yossi Klein Halevi sums it up adequately:
This is a nation whose heart has been broken: by our failure to uproot the jihadist threat, which will return for another and far more deadly round; by the economic devastation of the Galilee and of a neighboring land we didn't want to attack; by the heroism of our soldiers and the hesitations of our politicians; by the young men buried and crippled in a war we prevented ourselves from winning; by foreign journalists who can't tell the difference between good and evil; by European leaders who equate an army that tries to avoid civilian causalities with a terrorist group that revels in them; by a United Nations that questions Israel's right to defend itself; and by growing voices on the left who question Israel's right to exist at all.

David Mamet chalks it up to anti-semitism:

Israel wants peace, the Arabs want Israel gone (in 2000 Arafat on the eve of ending a territorial dispute which would have given him 98% of the land he desired, withdrew and went to war). Yet most of the Western Press, European and American, pictures Israel as, somehow the aggressor, and the Israelis as somehow inhuman, and delighting in blood.

There is no "cycle of violence." Israel wants peace behind the 1949 armistice borders, with some relatively minor variation. There is no indictable "disparity of force." Israeli civilians are being bombed. Hezbollah knows where the Israeli military bases are, but chooses to bomb civilians. Hezbollah murderers put their armaments exclusively in the midst of civilians. The Israeli aim is not to invade Lebanon (they left Lebanon) but to force Hezbollah to stop killing the Jews.

That the Western press characterizes the Israeli actions consistently as immoral is anti-Semitism. What state does not have the right to defend itself - it is the central tenant of statehood.

On an inspiring note, an all-Druze battalion of the Israeli army returned without a single casualty:
They hiked over 40 kilometers, killed close to 20 Hizbullah guerrillas and spent 32 days in Lebanon without a single casualty. But on Monday, soldiers from the Herev Battalion emerged from battle, sweaty, dusty and tired making history twice - as the first battalion to enter Lebanon and the one to spend the longest amount of time deep in enemy territory under Operation Change of Direction.....For Herev, the war in Lebanon was not just a war against a fierce enemy but was a war in defense of their home - not just the State of Israel, but their homes in the literal sense. All of the soldiers, without any exception, Abu Faris said, live in northern Israel and their homes came under the incessant Hizbullah Katyusha rocket attacks during the past 30 days of fighting.

Non-Jewish British journalist Julie Burchill ralis against the blatant anti-semitism prevalent in the British press and pionts out another semantic casualty that would make Bernard Henri-Levy proud:
Over at Channel 4, Jon Snow interviewed an Israeli diplomat with all the finesse and objectivity of a neo-Nazi spraying a six-foot swastika on a wall. Of the rockets which murdered Israeli civilians in the town of Sderot, he said "Rockets, pretty pathetic things - nobody gets injured." This was gleefully picked up and proclaimed by The Guardian, the newspaper I left some years ago in protest at what I saw as its vile anti-Semitism.

All across the board, Lebanese civilians are referred to as "civilians" where Israeli civilians are referred to as "Israelis" - an eerie and sinister difference pointed out by the non-Jewish stand-up comic genius Natalie Haynes, and one which very few people appear to have noticed - even me, until then.

Speaking of BHL, he continues to grow in awesomeness with this candid Q & A session in the NYTimes:

Q. 6. Do you, as an intellectual in France, feel that you are afforded more credibility in speaking out and writing in support and understanding of Israel than other Jews who seem rather too intimidated by French anti-Semitism to speak out and be visible in French society?
— Deidre Waxman, Newton, Mass.

A. I don't even understand what you are saying! For me, anti-Semitism is a form of terrorism and the very idea of letting myself be intimidated by any terrorism whatsoever completly horrifies me. Jewish or non-Jewish, intellectuals must speak out. Jewish or non-Jewish, they have a duty to truth. And, conversely, to tell them-or tell oneself-"A Jew has, because a Jew, a duty to reticence" would be to give into anti-Semitic terrorism. Not my style. I want to add that my defense of Israel is not so closely tied as you perhaps think to the fact that I am Jewish. There is an element of that, of course. But it is certainly not the essential. I defend Israel because I defend democracy. I defend Israel because I have a horror of all fascisms. I defend the Israelis in this war as in the past I have defended other peoples who have nothing to do with Judaism. Bosnia, for example. The Bosnian Muslims whom I defended, I believe, with no less ardor or passion.

Damn, he's good.

Thursday, August 10, 2006

Istanbul Romantic Hot Spots

In honor of Tu B'Av (the 15th day of the Hebrew month of Av), the Jewish holiday of love, I will recylce an article I wrote a little while ago for the Valentine's Day issue of the English version of Time Out Istanbul. Enjoy:

Though Istanbul does not have the romantic reputation of Paris or Venice it still boasts its own brand of picturesque charm. Walks by mosques dramatically lit in the moonlight, ferry rides at sunset, and dinners in ancient palaces are just a few of the romantic joys possible in this former capitol of the world. Pick a few of these hot spots to share with your significant other and you will find that you may fall head over heels for this magical city as well as your “plus one.”

1. Prince’s Islands: Long famed for their peaceful absence of cars and the general congestion of their urban neighbors, the Islands are an ideal location for a romantic getaway. Horse-drawn carriages, long bike rides, and fresh fish restaurants abound at all the islands but venturing to the less traveled and thus less touristed island of Heybeliada will prove worthwhile. There you will find lush green forests and virtually private cliffs overlooking the Bosphorus. Rent bikes and enjoy breathless glances as you crest through the sloping rode circling the island. A Raki and fish dinner at the Mavi Restaurant caps off a ruggedly romantic day. Ferries depart daily for the Islands from Sirkeci and Bostanci stations.
2. Cemberlitas Hamam: Though Hamams have yet to make couple’s night a feature of the traditional communal bathing experience, there is a certain romantic potential for a joint trip to the hamam with your special someone. Enjoy a massage as you imagine your partner’s parallel experience on the other side of the marble wall. Savor a missed-you-so-much reunion kiss after being freshly scrubbed by Cemberlitas’s famed staff. And look forward to a careful inspection of your honey’s pristine nooks and crannies in your post-hamam glow. (0212- 522-2424) Vezir Hani Caddesi 8, Beyazit.
3. Submarine in Koc Museum: Westward up the Golden Horn in the aging industrial neighborhood of Haskoy is the wonderfully outfitted Koc Industrial Museum. Among old cars, trains, boats, and diagrams of Kombi gadegts, you can take a tour of an old “Denizalti,” or submarine. The cramped quarters of the shiny ship are perfect for sneaking smooches and pretending you are the captains of your very own love boat. Afterwards you can pretend you are in Paris with a dinner at the Museum’s Café Du Levent. (0212- 256-7153) Haskoy Caddesi 27, Sutluce.
4. Walk across Galata Bridge: Sundown is the best time to walk across Istanbul’s bridge over the Golden Horn. Connecting the old and new city, the bridge will draw you two closer as you admire the buzzing skyline and brush past fishermen who line the bridge daily.
5. Camlica: The highest peak in Istanbul is perfect for those days when all you want to do is hold hands and pretend you two are the only people left in the world. The fact that there is a tea garden conveniently nearby only adds to the comfort of this gem of the Asian side.
6. Kumpirs in Ortakoy: The weekly crafts bazars in Ortakoy every Sunday are certainly something to share with someone special, however the Kumpir, or stuffed potato is even more of a treat to enjoy with your lover. Stop by Ortakoy’s Kumpir row late Sunday afternoon when the crowds have left and take your pick of a bevy of potato vendors. Take turns choosing toppings for your sumptuous treat, grab two spoons and head over to the benches by the Ortakoy Mosque so as to enjoy your delectable spud while watching the “Yakamoz,” the reflections of the moon on the water.
7. Fennerbace Park: Recently restored and manicured by the Turkish Touring Association, Fennerbace Park is the ideal place to stroll with the person with whom you are feeling amorous. Plenty of places to sit and admire the sea, the charming flora, and five separate tea and pastry gardens make this a must for people who take romance seriously.
8. Gallery Browsing: The next best thing to looking at art is staring into your lover’s eyes. On a gallery walk you do both. Head over to Asmalimescit Sokak off Istiklal Cadessi or to Tesvikiye and stroll through Istanbul’s burgeoning gallery districts. Swap pretentious comments about art while debating the merits of buying a piece for your love nest.
9. Yildiz Park: As you walk through Yildiz Park about half a kilometer up you will see a small bridge to the right. Stop there with your love. Listen to the sounds of nature and let the stillness and silence of the park be the setting for an unforgettably romantic moment.
10. Tea in Cengelkoy: Further up the road from Beylerberi palace on the Asian side of the Bosphorus sits the little neighborhood of Cengelkoy. Underneath an overgrown plane tree is a charming little café that serves tea and toast. Bring the object of your affection there for a relaxing evening of chatting, professions of love, and enjoying each other’s company. Cengelkoy is accesible by dolmus from Uskudar.

Monday, August 07, 2006

Henri-Levy Represents the Tribe

Bernard Henri-Levy’s piece in this Sunday’s NYTimes Magazine is a revelation. It is a moving, straightforward assessment of the situation from the point of view of a battered Israel. Tinged but not clouded by emotion, Henri-Levy talks with the major superstars of Israeli politics and culture – from Shimon Peres to David Grossman and shares some candid conclusions. The scope of this war, he writes, is larger and involves global dynamics that Israel has heretofore not dealt with:

Israel did not go to war because its borders had been violated. It did not send its planes over southern Lebanon for the pleasure of punishing a country that permitted Hezbollah to construct its state-within-a-state. It reacted with such vigor because the Iranian President Ahmadinejad’s call for Israel to be wiped off the map and his drive for a nuclear weapon came simultaneously with the provocations of Hamas and Hezbollah. The conjunction, for the first time, of a clearly annihilating will with the weapons to go with it created a new situation. We should listen to the Israelis when they tell us they had no other choice anymore. We should listen to Zivit Seri tell us, in front of a crushed building whose concrete slabs are balancing on tips of twisted metal, that, for Israel, it was five minutes to midnight.

He writes of the power of semantics in this war, something not many members of the media besides pro-Israel watchdogs have discussed. If psychology is one aspect of this struggle, than using powerful language may actually communicate the impact of those brutal, barbaric deeds:

The damage these rockets can do, when you see them up close, is insane. And insane, too, is the racket you hear when you’ve stopped talking and are just waiting for the sound they make to blend with the noise of the car’s engine. A rocket that falls in the distance leaves a dull thud; when it goes over your head, it creates a shrill, almost whining detonation; and when it bursts nearby, it shakes everything and leaves a long vibration, which is sustained like a bass note. Maybe we shouldn’t say “rocket” anymore. In French, at least, the word seems to belittle the thing, and implies an entire biased vision of this war. In Franglais, for example, we call a yapping dog a rocket, roquet; the word conjures a little dog whose bark is worse than his bite and who nibbles at your ankles.. . .So why not say “bomb”? Or “missile”? Why not try, using the right word, to restore the barbaric, fanatical violence to this war that was desired by Hezbollah and by it alone? The politics of words. The geopolitics of metaphor. Semantics, in this region, is now more than ever a matter of morality.

There are beautiful bittersweet moments in this piece, like when Henri-Levy chats with Grossman in a garden restaurant in an Arab village, or when he meets military commander Ephraim Sneh at Koah junction, a place he describes as a “landscape of dry stone, brought to a white heat by the sun.” Henri-Levy’s piece reads as a sort of travel essay of a stricken yet still stunning Israel, an homage to the country’s ability to balance survival and aggression.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Miami Architects Go Green

One night last week the Miami Art Museum became ground zero for A-list Miami architects and their admirers.

For a few fleeting hours attendees were privy to the creative processes and output of Oscar Glottman, Chad Oppenheim ( in a white linen suit, no less), Allan T. Shulman, Max Strang(whose house, along with Oppenheim's was featured in Miami Vice), Jacqueline Gonzalez Touzet and Carlos Prio Touzet (the team behind the gigantour Setai Condo building) as they "reimagined" Biscayne Plaza, the eyesore of a strip mall on Biscayne and 79th that features not one, but two Payless Shoesource stores. (No offense to Payless, but how many faux-designer shoe outlets doth one need in a 50 meter radius?).

The panel discussion was engrossing even as the architects fumbled with the A/V equipment ( why oh why are Powerpoint slide presentations so difficult to coordinate?). The audience sat with rapt attention hanging on to every word of our city's designers, the fabricators of our modern metropolis. There was of course an open bar before and after the presentations, just in case people needed an extra reason to look at floor plans. The event was sponsored by Flamingo South Beach (my new favorite condo-conversion) and Home Miami magazine (worth reading).

From Oppenheim's cantilevered "volumes of space," and advocacy of underground parking ("There are guys in Europe that are doing unbelievable things with underground parking.") to Shulman's pedestrian-oriented site (the best design of all four, probably because Shulman lives in the area and understands the dynamics of the site) to Touzet Studio's "environment technology campus," the major theme was GREEN, GREEN, GREEN. This is what the world is moving towards, the architects kept saying, Miami take note! Solar energy, bury the parking, expand the green canpoy, living rooms on balconies, if this is where the city could go, the feeling in the room was - if only!

Interactive Wallpaper

These snappy "Fling" wall flips are courtesy of Venice, CA -based Israeli designer Ilan Dei. The wall decals use a magnetic system that allows them to attach to walls via a small adhesive wall magnet. A package of 4 reversible flips is $45 here.

A Rasta in the Holy Land

Ziggy Marley kept his word and brought joy and music to a war-weary crowd in Israel. Coverage here in the JPost:

The younger Marley deserves credit for performing in Israel during this troubled time, having moved but not cancelled a show previously scheduled to take place on a beach near Israel's northern border. Whether music can truly change the world is open to debate, but for one evening, at least, it was easy to feel that it indeed can, if only by bringing positive vibrations to where they are needed.

The audience responded, treating the packed concert as a welldeserved vacation. But only a temporary one: one 20-year-old reveler, after expressing his amazement at the concert and his annoyance that alcohol wasn't available inside the Amphi-Park, said that he had to report back to his army unit at 6 a.m. the following day. "But every little thing will be all right," he stated with a smile, quoting a line from Bob Marley's "Three Little Birds." Hopefully he's right.

Thursday, August 03, 2006

To Do This Weekend: Shakespeare en Espaniol

Bring your blanket or beach chair to 93rd Street

SUNDAY, AUGUST 6, 2006 at 6:00 P.M.

FOOD COURT opens at 4:00 p.m. At 93rd Street on the Hardpack BEHIND THE COMMUNITY CENTER

Participating Surfside Restaurants: Bianca’s Gourmet Café - Café Ragazzi - Cine Cite Restaurant The Greek Place - Harbour Pita - Moroccan Nights - Sushi Republic The Rolling Pin Bakery - Soft Drinks/Water by the Rotary Club

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

A Tale of Two the Middle East

Lisa from On the Face has an engaging story on the two editors of Time Out Tel Aviv and Time Out Beirut. They became friends at a conference in May but that relationship has since gone the way of so many Israeli-Arab relations since this war started. She highlights the latest cover of Time Out Tel Aviv, an illustration that is both imaginative and poignant:

This is the July 20 cover of Time Out Tel Aviv, published one week after the current conflict began. It is based on a famous 1970's New Yorker cover, A View of New York from Ninth Avenue. But whereas the world beyond New York's Hudson River is portrayed as a quiet, peaceful place, the world beyond Tel Aviv's Yarkon River is one of turmoil and violence. To the right are Baghdad and Tehran; on the left are Haifa, Tiberias, Carmiel, Acre and Kiryat Shmona - areas that have been under constant bombardment since July 12. The cluster of buildings at the top is Beirut.
The rest of the post goes on to explain how the two editors are no longer friends, mostly because the Beiruti editor has become disillusioned and vitriolic against Israel (and all Israelis, it seems). Sigh. Depressing. There's also a link to a Wall Street Journal article about the fragile friendships ( and disintegrating relationships) between bloggers from the two countries.

Video Art + Free Coffee = A Good Time

The paltry summer cultural offerings leave plenty of time to partake of such playful things as video art. Save the Dates for the following caffeinated events:



Showcasing today's most cutting edge filmmakers and video artists in South Florida, come and see who got chosen for this year's coveted film festival. | This event is sponsored by STARBUCKS COFFEE COMPANY. Come enjoy complimentary drinks provided by STARBUCKS at 8PM during the Artist Roundtable. RSVP is REQUIRED! Call 305.893.6211 ext. 23 to reserve.


Showcasing today's most cutting edge filmmakers and video artists in South Florida, come and see who got chosen for this year's coveted film festival. | This event is sponsored by the City of Miami. RSVP is REQUIRED! Call 305.893.6211 ext. 23 to reserve.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Let the Tropical Gorging Commence!

Miami Spice is here! The 2-month extravaganza (August and September) will challenge you to test and taste all the pricey eateries that are normally out of reach for hungry plebians. If you're an obsessed foodie and exhaustive researcher, the website features most of the lunch and dinner menus of participating restaurants as well as dates of free wine tastings courtesy of sponsor Campo Viejo (the first one is August 9th at Bal Harbor Bistro). My personal picks for the high-qual dinners, which somehow all include some form of seared ahi tuna, are:

Blue Door at the Delano
- the dining room is always visually interesting and an appetizer of Jumbo Ravioli Filled with Taro Root Mousseline, with White Truffle Oil and Light Mushroom Foam sounds intriguing.
afterglo - if only to try "A BEAUTIFUL MIND SALAD"
Winner of “Best Salads” Best of Miami 2006, New Times
organic romaine mix, fresh blueberries, walnuts, crushed brazil nuts, himalayan sun dried goji berries & strips of fresh young thai coconut garnished with a pomegranate chia seed jelly & ground raw cacao (chocolate) tossed in our signature rosemary, gingko & gotu kola vinaigrette.
Pacific Time - because the SZECHUAN GRILLED LOCAL MAHI with Hawaiian Ginger And Tempura Sweet Potatoes sounds transcendent.
Sushi Samba - for the dessert option of a deconstructed Asian take on carrot cake, "WARM SAMBA CARROT CAKE ," consisting of cream cheese “dumpling,” farofa-cinnamon streusel & carrot-ginger gelee. Mmm. Sounds post-modern-liscious. What is "farofa," praytell?
Wish at The Hotel - what to make of a menu that offers SPICED POTATO LATKES composed of Cilantro, Mushroom Ciccarones, and Miso Tea? Are "ciccarones" the same things as "cahones" because my grandma's latkes certainly had those! Oh! And lest you accuse Wish of being uninventive, do consider their dessert of RICOTTA AND GOAT CHEESE FRITTERS with Roasted Asian Pear and Roaring Forties Blue Cheese Ice Cream.

$30.06 for a 3-course meal at these places is a steal. I also noticed that some of the restaurants overlap with's dining gift certificates. (They include: Novocento, North 110, Bal Harbor Bistro, Ola, and 510 Ocean.) One wondes if their $25 coupons will be accepted during Miami Spice time. Hmm. One can always hope.