Tuesday, January 7, 2014

#ThankYouMiami for Making Moves - 3 Perks to Look Forward to in 2014

It's the second week of a new year and, per usual, Miami is in flux. While everyone else took time off to look back and reminisce about 2013, Miami was focused on the future, setting the stage for a fantastic 2014. These are the three perks that I am most thankful to enjoy this year:

1. #ThankYouMiami for Becoming a More Powerful Culinary Magnet
Miami's dining scene has been growing exponentially and I love it. When a craving hits, I know there are several viable and delicious options to meet my food, price, ambiance, and level of service needs. My options du jour range from tried-and-true favorites like 660 at The Anglers (related #ThankYouMiami for Miami Spice - August 2013) to recently established restos like Stephen Starr's Verde at Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM). Newest to my must-try list are my "friendly neighborhood café", Café Mistral, in SoFi and Sea Salt and Pepper Brasserie and Lounge, which is on the Miami River and the only venue on this list I have yet to visit. While I am sad to see some crowd favorites go (cough, Van Dyke Café, cough), my foodie alter-ego is hungry for what this year will bring.

In smoked salmon I trust. Cafe Mistrál is a French café with Miami roots that serves simple yet delicious food, like the smoked salmon sandwich shown above. They win extra points for serving and selling Zak the Baker bread, a locally-made artisan bread.

2. #ThankYouMiami for Becoming Fashionably Relevant
We've already established that Miami has a unique and enviable style. But, until recently, we had not been officially deemed fashionably relevant. These days, our city's fashion spotlight has grown significantly brighter and our local fashion bloggers have become common fixtures in my favorite magazines. Our most recent milestone was the January 2, 2014 launch of Racked Miami, which is an established go-to local fashion and shopping resource for fashionistas in other major U.S. cities like New York and L.A. While Racked Miami is new to our area, we Miami-ans are already unsuspecting fans of Curbed Network blogs - do Eater Miami and Curbed Miami sound familiar? I can't wait to see what editor Ashley Brozic has in store for her hometown and to be in the front row as Miami further cements its place in the fashion world.

An impromptu meeting of Miami fashion superstars.The December issue of Glam Belleza Latina prominently featured photos from two Miami fashion bloggers: Daniela Ramirez of Nany's Klozet and Annie Vazquez of The Fashion Poet. Photo credit: Annie Vazquez.

3. #ThankYouMiami for Fostering Local Creativity
The Knight Foundation is well-known in South Florida for empowering the brightest and most talented to improve their communities, most notably through financial investments which have totaled $86 million since 2006. On December 2, 2013, the Knight Arts Challenge, which first launched in 2008, awarded $2.72 million to forty-nine winning projects that will blend art and technology and will engage and celebrate the communities from which they originate. 2013 Winners from the Miami area include Art Center South Florida, Awesome New Republic, Cannon Ball Miami, The Fillmore at the Jackie Gleason Theater, and Miami Book Fair International. A full list of winning projects can be found here. I look forward to witnessing the development of these projects and watching them take our local arts scene by storm.

"Magic City, what do you mean?" Local musical talent Awesome New Republic, one of the winners of the 2013 Knight Arts Challenge, will bring together local musicians, dancers, and filmmakers to produce a multimedia theatrical work that explores Miami's past and present. Photo credit: The Knight Foundation, some rights reserved.

What Miami perks do you look forward to enjoying this year? Leave a comment below or send me a tweet @ThankYouMiami.

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