Saturday, April 23, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for New Food Finds - Antica Mare

Did you know on iPhone you can give other iPhone users access to your location? Well, you can and during a recent road trip to Key Largo we gave our best friend Morgan indefinite access to our location so she could find us in the mass of cars stuck on the Dolphin. Since that weekend, she's been tracking us as we travel from home, to work, to the gym, and back home. Sometimes she's radio silent re: our location. Other times she reminds us she's watching by texting things like "Why are you at Panther Coffee again?" or sending us a panicked "What are you doing in Little Haiti?! Are you okay?", during which times we're held accountable for explaining to her that we're caffeine addicts or on our way to check out a new Italian restaurant, respectively.

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

#ThankYouMiami Answers 10 Miami Questions with Borrowed & Blue

Can you believe we’ve been saying #ThankYouMiami for more than five years? We can’t either! As a fun way of looking at our past, present and future, we let Borrowed & Blue, the online resource for planning Miami weddings, ask us 10 questions about the #ThankYouMiami movement and life in Miami. Esperamos que lo disfruten.

“#ThankYouMiami is the ultimate guide for where to eat, drink, and hang out in the Magic City. Margarita, Brad, and Celeste are locals who know all about the ups and downs of living in a major tourist mecca. They write about the week’s events, share awesome resources for how to get around in Miami, and offer neighborhood-by-neighborhood rundowns of what makes each area distinct. Borrowed & Blue readers, whether they’re Miami locals or tourists themselves, are going to love getting to know the city better through the eyes of savvy locals. I’m so grateful that Margarita was able to answer my questions about all things Magic City.” - Helen, Borrowed & Blue’s Miami Market Specialist
1. How did #ThankYouMiami come to exist?
#ThankYouMiami was born from the realization that locals, distracted by the daily annoyances of city life in a tourist destination, often take Miami for granted. Yes, we are blessed by a gorgeous setting, surrounded by talented people, and exposed to unique opportunities—but, after living here for some time, we get accustomed to these perks and they start to seem less special. Not to mention, they are often overshadowed by the trade-offs that come with living in such a popular destination. We created #ThankYouMiami to laugh and commiserate about those things that drive us mad about Miami life and to remind locals that the good of Miami far outweighs the bad. On our blog and our social media channels, we help Miami enthusiast discover the city and thank it for the joy it brings us.

2. What sets Miami apart from other places you’ve lived or visited?
Miami is a place where you can be whoever you want to be, no judgements. As we recently said, Miami let’s you do you boo boo. And, few other places are magical like that...

3. As a Miami expert, what are some of your favorite places to bring out-of-town guests?
Our favorite places to bring guests are all outdoors, like The Broken Shaker, Lagniappe, Monty’s Sunset, and the back terrace of Ball and Chain. After all, our beautiful year-round weather is the main reason why people love Miami.

4. Any great restaurants that you’d like to share with us?
Miami’s all about the hot restaurant du jour, which is great because we have continuous access to incredible culinary talent and cutting edge cuisine. While we love checking out what’s new in town, there’s something to be said about tried-and-true local establishments such as Hy Vong, Joe’s Take Away, Lung Yai Thai Tapas, and Toni’s Sushi.

5. Describe your ideal day in Miami.
Our perfect day starts with a run or bike ride along the beachwalk in Miami Beach. (There’s something to be said about getting some fresh air and our blood pumping.) Next, we would take a class at Green Monkey or FlyWheel in Miami Beach’s Sunset Harbour neighborhood.

6. What is the must-explore neighborhood in Miami?
Miami’s Homestead neighborhood is approximately a one-hour drive from our downtown area and beaches, but it has a lot of classic Miami landmarks like Robert Is Here Fruit Stand with its mouthwatering milkshakes, the Redlands Farmer’s Market with its authentic Mexican food and products, and Knaus Berry Farm with its famous cinnamon rolls.

7. Where are you traveling to next?
Our next planned trip is a road trip throughout NorCal over the summer, but we suffer from constant wanderlust so we’re hoping we’ll get to go on an impromptu trip before then!

8. What countries are on your travel bucket list?
We want to go summer skiing in Chile, backpacking across Europe, scuba diving in Australia, and hiking in New Zealand.

9. What upcoming Miami events are you the most excited about?
Aside from the neighborhood events, which we love, we’re excited for the return of Miami Swim Week this summer. Because we can wear bikinis year-round, the designs that make their way down our runways are more important than those that make it down the runways in New York, Paris, and London. Plus, ‘tis the season for legendary pool parties.

10. Any advice for readers looking to vacation in Miami? How do we avoid acting like conspicuous tourists?
Make sure you leave our beaches as pristine as you found them. Don’t forget to press the pedestrian cross button so you’re not waiting indefinitely for the crosswalk signal to turn green. And, drive in the right lane if you want to slowly cruise through our streets and sightsee. Yes, you’re on vacation but the locals live, work, and play here and we depend on you to help us maintain our good quality of life.

We hope reading our answers was as fun for you as it was for us to reflect on each of these questions. Was there anything you want to know about us that we missed? Oh, and make sure you check out Borrowed & Blue, a great guide for finding Miami wedding venues!

Tuesday, April 19, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for New Food Finds - French 27

Miami's culinary scene is constantly undergoing a renaissance. Each week without fail we're learning of or checking out new restaurants with big dreams of becoming our new "it" and/or staple food spot. We don't know how our restaurateurs do it, bro. It's such a make-or-break business, made all the harder in the 305 by our seasonality, the rent being too damn high, and how capricious we are as locals. (We're always searching for that next new and shiny thing—and, can you blame us?) So, when a new spot that is worth checking out opens, we like to give them props for doing things right and bring them to your attention so you too can experience their magic, such as our latest food find in our very own South of Fifth 'hood: French 27.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for Local Insiders - Local Love: Miami, FL Vs. New Orleans, LA

The best perk of #ThankYouMiami is being a local insider who is often asked to speak about or represent our city. We're talking about opportunities like writing for Localeur, The New Tropic, or Hometown Tourist through which we get to share the real Miami with others. Or, projects such as the biggest one on which we're currently working (more details to come - we promise!) through which we get to unravel this beautiful city through our personal Miami story. We work hard for these opportunities—after all, we started this blog to share the joy our city brings us and these platforms help us share that joy with more people.

Most recently Trulia engaged us and our friends from Miami Food Pug, Foodie Tribe, The New Tropic, and The Food-E to share what makes Miami extraordinary for their Local Love series. Read the excerpt below and click on the photo for the full feature. Why do you think Miami is extraordinary?


Friday, April 8, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for Teamwork - Gyu-Kaku Brickell Blogger Grill-Off

Earlier this week #ThankYouMiami contributors Brad and Celeste stepped up on our behalf to battle four other Miami food blogging teams from Miami Food Pug, Mitch + Mel Take Miami, The South Florida Sage, and Foody Fetish at Gyu-Kaku Brickell. The twosome arrived with the mission to sample and document the uniquely interactive Japanese BBQ experience. Little did they know their meal would yield an unexpected lesson: the importance of teamwork. Yes, Brad and Celeste already know the value of teamwork through their respective roles in Alpha Current; however, they've never worked together in this capacity. I mean, food blogging is unexpectedly hard work (can't you see them almost breaking a sweat in that photo above?) especially while you're simultaneously managing a flaming fire pit and trying to cook your own food.

Wednesday, April 6, 2016

#ThankYouMiami Talks The Best Millennial Neighborhoods in Miami with Trulia

We're incredibly lucky to live in Miami at an incredibly well-situated apartment with affordable rent and stunning views of the ocean. But, not everyone has it as good as we do. There are people out there—maybe you—who are stuck living in a so-so apartment, on a noisy street, with a sloppy roommate, in not Miami (gasp!). If that is you, or you're in a less dire situation but still looking to move around the Miami area, our friend Hannah Goodman of Trulia has your back. We asked her to share with us, and you, the status of Miami's real estate and to weigh in on the best millennial neighborhoods in Miami. Check out what she had to say below.

Image via Laura Swanson

Hot weather, beautiful beaches, one of a kind nightlife and delicious cultural cuisine are just a few of the things you may experience when moving to Miami, Florida. Believe it or not, Miami is also home to a hot real estate and job market. 

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate in the Miami Metropolitan area has dropped from 8 percent in January 2013 to 5.2 of January of 2016. While real estate market trends paint Miami as a great investment opportunity with a 4 percent increase year-over-year rise, with a median sales price of $242,000 across the city. For these reasons and many more, the Miami metropolitan area has become an increasingly popular place for the millennial generation. 

Are you a millennial interested in nabbing a piece of valuable Miami real estate for yourself? The following three neighborhoods offer great amenities, a wide range of for sale and rental options, and a short commute to Downtown Miami’s many job opportunities. 

1. North Beach
North Beach is not only home to a wide variety of delicious restaurants and eateries, it is one of the more affordable areas within Miami and is only a short commute from the many businesses and companies of Downtown Miami. Regarded by many as the city’s top shopping destination, North Beach is host to your standard fare of nationwide chains stores but also many unique boutiques.  Looking for a great place to spend the evening after a long day of shopping? Check out The Tuck Room’s deliciously unique selection of cocktails and appetizers. Homes for sale in North Beach are affordable and a great investment with a median sale price of $170,000, a 13 percent year-over-year rise, while the average rent in North Beach is currently $2,000. 

2. Wynwood-Edgewater
Known by some as “The Arts District” Miami’s Wynwood-Edgewater neighborhood is an extremely popular place for young people seeking to buy a home in Miami. Built upon what used to be a warehouse and manufacturing district in Miami, the area has transformed into a renaissance community. Home to over 70 art galleries, and a monthly art walk, Wynwood is Miami’s go to destination for arts and culture. According to Trulia, the area has a median sale price of $341,000 and a median rental price of $2,200

3. Brickell
Known as the Manhattan of the South, Brickell has been touted as the trendiest spots in south Florida. Fortunately, you can still find a condo in the area priced as low as $270,000 or a rental for as low as $1,350. Brickell’s proximity to nearby Downtown Miami’s many businesses and companies and walkable access to some of the city’s famous nightclubs and bars make it a popular choice for relocating millennials. In fact, most of the available properties for sale and rent in Brickell, are located along Brickell Avenue, which also happens to be home to Blackbird Ordinary and Sidebar, two of the city’s most popular nightlife destinations. 

Miami’s diverse neighborhoods and amenities have made it a popular destination for potential residents of all ages. However, if you are a millennial seeking a real estate in an area that offers access to amenities, a short commute and affordable real estate prices, North Miami Beach, Wynwood-Edgewater and Downtown Miami offer something for even the most particular potential resident.

Sunday, April 3, 2016

#ThankYouMiami for Date Nights at Villa Castelli

As lovers of love, we are huge fans of a solid, romantic date night. (We're talking Lady and the Tramp style with twinkling lights, white table cloths, classic Italian food and live music.) Our most memorable date night recently took place at Surfside newcomer, Villa Castelli Ristorante. There—surrounded by the holiday lighting-clad palm trees of Harding Avenue, serenaded by singer Normand Meilleur—we were whisked away into an evening of romance starring course-after-course of delicious homemade Italian.
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