My Interview with Emilio: How a Multi-Talented Local Artist Uses His Creativity to Promote Education and Health

29 Oct

Check out my latest published article on local talent Emilio Aponte-Sierra, who uses his gifts to help educate at-risk individuals about HIV and AIDS.

 

 

White Antler: Singapore Chic Meets the New Miami

11 Oct

I am currently obsessed with the chic, simple, and stunning pieces of Singaporean line, White Antler. All pieces are designed by founder and quirky-creative extraordinaire Linda Lim.

The elegant lines, pastel colors, and hip imagery (skulls, bunnies, and owls anyone?)  make Lim’s pieces perfect for the eclectic, artsy pads sprinkled throughout new Miami. I mean, how fantastic is Lim’s ‘Garden of Eden‘?

Singapore has been long-recognized as home to a wealth of innovative design leaders, but White Antler exemplifies the perfection of their globally-minded aesthetic by their new generation of creative entrepreneurs.

Check out White Antler’s products, and follow them on Twitter @White_Antler!

White Antler in the Singapore magazine HOME DECOR.

Hello Fall, and Hello Friends: The It’s Myami Revival

9 Oct

After a summer break I am back on the town and exploring Miami on a deeper and more diverse level.

I am approaching the half year anniversary of my move to the glamorous Magic City. I began my Miami journey knowing no more than a couple of souls in the greater Miami-Dade area. Since May, I have been chatting, connecting, meeting and interacting with some interesting characters. There is an energy and life here different to anywhere else I’ve immersed myself. I feel infinitely wiser, and a few pounds heavier, since my last post in June.

A few things I’ve experienced during my prolonged interim include:

  • Full realization of glorious Cuban cortaditos and coladas. For those of you who love coffee but aren’t familiar with this terminology, JazzHostels.com provides a brief and informative Introduction to Cuban Coffees.
  • A blown-out-of-proportion-but-still-fun Miami “hurricane” (Isaac.) (And no, I still had to go to work that day.)
  • A trip to the gorgeous and oddly-situated Ancient Spanish Monastery in North Miami Beach (photo gallery to come)
  • My first Miami’s Fashion’s Night Out, on September 7, at LMNT Gallery in midtown for the Emporio dei Giovani couture fashion show
  • A teen rave (Sunset Music Festival, whew.)

There is more, but a girl can’t divulge all of her secrets at once. I like to keep my shroud of mystery intact.

Since June I have also been hired as the Miami features writer for an awesome culture website, Monochrome Effect. On behalf of Monochrome I attend the most talked about Miami social events and interview celebrities of interest that I meet there. I am attracted to musicians and artists, and have gotten the chance to write articles on some amazing personalities (including Miami’s ‘Mr.It’ Alexander Mijares). I will be posting all of my published articles on my Portfolio page after they release on Monochrome, so keep an eye out.

Near future plans include going on (my first ever!) cruise, moving to a new apartment in an awesome Miami neighborhood, and attending live performances and interviewing a few big-named musicians.

My birthday is in October and I have some hot ideas for Fall blog posts– needless to say I am excited to get this most wonderful season underfoot.

And now I will leave you with some sizzling eye candy. I discovered this movie poster when I was writing press kit material for my good friend and independent filmmaker,  Williams Vazquez of Rocketfuel Films. This image inspires me everyday to pick up my pen, get my sh*% together, and conquer each day a-la-Ponce de Leon.

Fall is here.

In It To Win It: Trivia Nights in Miami

13 Jun

Pop quiz! Place your books under your desk and your thinking caps on your heads. Do your best to answer the following questions:

 

1. In what country was the Pez candy dispenser invented?

2. Name the inventor of the  most famous scale used for detecting the magnitude of earthquakes (first and last name required.)

3. What animal’s milk is manchego cheese made from?

4. List the five ingredients in Haagen-Dazs vanilla ice cream.

5. Name the four teams that made it to 2011’s NBA conference finals.

6. What is the English name for pimiento, a spice heavily used in Spanish cuisine?

7. Acclaimed HBO drama The Wire takes place in this US urban center:____.

 

If you answered these questions without cheating, or if the task didn’t cause traumatic middle school experiences to resurface, consider yourself qualified to participate in public trivia matches. These are the type of questions you’ll be asked to answer at your local bar trivia nights in order to prove once and for all that you are, in fact, smarter than a fifth grader.

Only recently did I discover the benefits of attending bar trivia nights: drink specials, free food, prizes (cash and bar tabs), meeting new people, learning new things, and socializing with your friends in a more relaxed bar environment. I’m not sure how I came this far in life without penciling in trivia nights on my social calendar, but I refuse to go any further.

Fortunately for me, and all you other smarty pants, Miami has fun and free trivia nights at some of its coolest hot spots. They fall on weeknights, making them a great way to blow off work steam and meet your fun quota before the weekend arrives. Get some friends together* and hightail it to one of these choice trivia events:

Tuesday is seriously in it to win it:

  • Ricochet  Bar and Lounge– Midtown; Camp Ricochet every Tuesday night offers free pizza, $3 PBR specials, free trivia with prizes, and ladies drink free from 11 p.m.-1 a.m. This arty lounge hosts the most wallet-friendly trivia night in town!
  • Elwood’s Gastropub– Downtown; Trivia Night is held every second and fourth Tuesday of the month and starts at 8 p.m.
  • Fado Irish Pub & Restaurant– Brickell; Pub Quiz with J.R. is held every Tuesday at 9 p.m.
  • Abraxas Lounge– Miami Beach; Trivia Tuesdays at this sexy MiBe wine lounge start at 9 p.m.

Wednesday comes in second place:

  • The Filling Station– Downtown; Amazing burgers and unique sandwiches complement this divey Wednesday Night trivia experience, which starts at 7 p.m.
  • 8oz. Burger Bar– Miami Beach; Wednesday nights are for Rock Band and Trivia, with beer specials and $200 in prizes.

Start Friday night right with some Q&A time:

  • Sandbar and Grill– Coconut Grove; This college hot spot extends its happy hour specials into Team Trivia time, if you arrive early enough.
  • (Dynamo Food Factory & Cafe– SoBe; This quirky cafe inside of the Wolfsonian Museum holds an alleged trivia night, but I can’t find information about it online and they aren’t open for calls today. Reviews on Yelp indicate it’s a lovely spot, and they have tons of fantastic art books for browsing as well. This one is on my to-do list for sure.)

*Disclaimer: You don’t need a team to play trivia. If you’re some kind of Ken Jennings with social skills, just show up to an event and play by yourself or ask to join another team. Even if you bring one other person, it’s highly recommended to join another team. There’s more brain power in numbers, which my friend J and I can attest to when we played alone and got 3/10 answers correct.

Airboat Rides in the Everglades: An Ultra Favorite Florida Activity

9 Jun

I visited the Everglades Safari Park on Sunday to have a nice airboat ride and get some one-on-one time in with Florida’s beloved alligators. I had taken an airboat ride once before, a couple of years ago, and knew the experience was quite enjoyable. But this was my first airboat ride on the Miami side of the Everglades and it was a positively different experience!

Everglades Safari Park camp, Miami, FL

Most of inhabitable Florida is beaches,  football, SUVs, and shopping centers, so in my mind airboating in the Glades is one of the few activities you can do that is exotic and makes you feel like somewhat of an explorer. I brought along a guest who had never done this before. I chose Everglades Safari Park because they promised 30-40 minutes of riding time, as well as their unique system of jungle walkways at the base camp. They also have a wildlife show which we unfortunately missed.

An exploration of the jungle walkways allowed us glimpses of various types of alligators, crocodiles, and exotic birds. The amount of dragonflies in the air was almost magical, and I was grateful since they eat mosquitoes. And if you have never been to the Everglades, trust me, the mosquitoes out there are guerillas. They’re relentless and swatting at them only seems to make them latch on with more zeal.

For $3 I had the opportunity to hold a baby alligator. This was a new experience and was awesome! Generally I’m not a reptile fan, so was a bit nervous, but I figured if they’re letting anyone hold the little guy he must be pretty safe. His belly felt cold and very dense, he was heavier than I anticipated.

After some exploring on foot, it was time for the ride. With nine rows of benches, our airboat was massive. Each bench could seat about 7 people. I think it’s best described as the pontoon boat of airboats. We chose the last row allowed, the eighth, and got seats on the end. There are pros and cons to riding on such a large airboat.

Cons:

-There are a lot of passengers accompanying you. This leads to a less intimate experience with the Glades, especially when some of your fellow explorers are loudmouths.

-The boat doesn’t hit the top speeds that the smaller ones can. Logistically and safety-wise it’s  not reasonable. This is, for all intents and purposes, a party boat.

-Because of its massive size, the boat can’t be maneuvered into the narrower mangrove passages. You’re forced to stay in the wider, more open, and less biologically diverse areas of the Glades.

Pros:

-Because of the lower speeds, we were able to stand up while riding on the boat. This was super fun and felt freeing.

-It’s still an airboat ride in the Everglades, therefore is intrinsically fun. Likewise, it’s a ride in a boat at fast speeds, which provides a nice breeze on a hot Florida afternoon.

Everglades Safari Park was on SW 8th Street, all the way into the heart of the Everglades. The area is home to at least four other airboat ride facilities, each with their own unique tourist attractions. I would certainly go again on another lazy Sunday, as any excuse to get out of the city is fine by me. I also find the Everglades peaceful to look at, providing a calm environment to get some peace of mind.