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By Georgetta L. Morque

I hadn’t been to Miami in years and had never visited trendy South Beach. Given the wicked weather here, a trip there seemed long overdue.

South Beach, known as SoBe and sometimes called the American Riviera, is the neighborhood in Miami between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean. A long boardwalk, which attracts a steady stream of walkers, runners and meanderers, showcases gorgeous beaches with aquamarine waters and chic hotels with balconies offering ocean views. These high rises and renovated historic and art deco treasures feature large-free form pools surrounded by inviting lounge areas plus open-air bars and restaurants that transform into a happening scene by sundown and beyond. Inside are stunning Hollywood set-worthy lobbies ideal for people watching.

A cosmopolitan city, Miami is filled with international residents and visitors, who aside from the beach, enjoy arts, culture, shopping, fine dining, and night life. We explored by Uber and headed downtown to the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), which features international modern and contemporary art in a 200,000 square-foot-facility designed by award-winning architects Herzog & de Meuron. A large veranda welcomes visitors to view Biscayne Bay while rocking on hammock-like swings designed by Konstantin Grcic, and entitled, “Netscape.” We enjoyed the sculpture garden and kinetic artist Julio Le Parc’s amazing large-scale interactive installations exploring light, movement and perceptions.

Our next stop was the not-to-be-missed Wynwood Walls, an entire block of giant outdoor murals by international street artists plus indoor studios and galleries. The Wynwood Arts District, north of downtown, is somewhat reminiscent of Manhattan’s SoHo but with a tropical feel with its small restaurants and bars offering innovative cuisine and fresh local seafood and unique boutiques tucked along the side streets.

We also explored the Art Deco District and popped in the Wolfsonian Museum to view some of its vast collection of American and European decorative and fine arts from the 1850s to the 1950s. There’s never time to do everything, but that’s a reason to return. An excursion to the Everglades and the famous Cuban Sandwich is on the list for the next visit, perhaps during the renowned art show, Art Basel.

Photos:

Miami’s long stretch of beach is a welcome oasis from the cold at home

One of many creative murals of the Wynwood Walls

 

Compiled by Robin Jovanovich With pix of Claude Lelouch, Juliette Binoche, Copyright 2016 courtesy of Alliance Française of Greenwich and Focus on French Cinema

MARCH 27

Vive le Cinéma

Be ready to be captivated all over again, Claude Lelouch is the honorary guest at the 13th annual Focus on French Cinema. Among the exciting lineup of films is the premiere of the 50th anniversary restoration of <“Un Homme et Une Femme”> (“A Man and a Woman”).

The exciting lineup of the best and latest French films includes <“Telle Mere, Telle Fille”> (“Baby Bumps”), starring Juliette Binoche; Lucien Jean-Baptiste’s hit comedy, <“Il a Déjà Tes Yeux> (“He Even Has Your Eyes”); and a special tribute to the Cinema of Québec.

 

The festival runs through April 2, with screenings at the Bow Tie Cinema in Greenwich. For tickets and a complete schedule, visit www.focusonfrenchcinema.org.

MARCH 30

Medicare for Beginners

If you are turning 65 or just plain confused about Medicare options, head to the Greenwich Library for a seminar on the subject from 6:30-8:30. The first half of the discussion will cover Medicare Supplement Plans vs. Advantage Plans. The second half will cover the many laws and programs that may be relevant to your situation. 

Presenter Lou Pelletier is a popular speaker on retirement and estate planning. He specializes in income planning for retirees with an emphasis on the transition from the asset accumulation and appreciation stage to the capital distribution stage of financial planning.

Needs a beautiful cherry blossom

APRIL 1

Cherry Blossom Time

The Japanese Cherry Blossom Festival returns to the Pelham Art Center from 2-4. Artist Shoko Iwata of the Sogetsu School of Ikebana will lead a floral design workshop, and participants will be able to take home their arrangements. A traditional Taiko drumming performance, featuring Taikoza and East Winds from New York City, will be held in the main gallery from 2-2:45.

In keeping with the spirit of the day, visitors can contribute to a community “wish tree” by writing messages of hope, which the Center will then mail to a central repository of wishes from around the world, becoming part of a project organized by Yoko Ono.

With pix of Christopher Spitzmiller

APRIL 1-2

Time-Honored Sign of Spring

The 32nd annual Bedford Spring Antiques Show will be held at the Harvey School in Katonah. The Show is open to the public on Saturday from 10-5, and Sunday, from 11-5. Admission at the door is $15. The show continues to attract both first-time buyers and seasoned collectors with an eclectic mix of furniture, fine art and prints, estate jewelry, silver, china, crystal, and decorative accessories presented by well-established dealers from across the East coast.

This year’s Honorary Design Chair is Christopher Spitzmiller, best known to design enthusiasts for his beautiful hand-thrown ceramic lamps, often featured in publications such as Architectural Digest, House Beautiful, Elle Décor, Departures, The New York Times, and The Wall Street Journal. He has had the honor of making lamps for the current Oval Office, the past two White House Administrations, as well as Blair House and other distinguished American homes.

On Saturday from 3 to 5, Mr. Spitzmiller will give a keynote lecture entitled “In and Out of the Studio.” He will discuss his artistic process as well as collaborations with designers and his passion for and inspiration he draws from his farm and garden in the Hudson Valley. There will be champagne, Q&A, and ample time to mingle.

The Bedford Spring Antiques Show is sponsored by St. Matthew’s Episcopal Church in Bedford. For additional information, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

With pix of Cara Collins

APRIL 2

Music at the Mansion

The Friends of Crawford Park will present an “Afternoon of Opera and American Classics” in their Music at the Mansion series. Join soprano Savannah Bisset, mezzo-soprano Cara Collins, and pianist Christopher Cooley for a delightful afternoon starting at 3. The program highlights will include selections from Bizet, Gounod, Mozart, Offenbach, Puccini, Saint-Säens, and Verdi. The program of America Classics will include selections from Rodgers & Hammerstein, Sondheim, and Weill.

Advance tickets are $15 for adults, $10 for seniors and students. At the door, which opens at 2, tickets are $20 for adults, $15 for seniors and students. Crawford Park is located at 122 North Ridge Street in Rye Brook. Parking is free and plentiful.

Music at the Mansion is typically held on Saturday evenings with a selection of rock, folk, and jazz performers.  Three years ago, The Friends decided to add performances of opera with American Standards, not knowing how well it would be received. They have experienced nearly sold-out performances since, delighting audiences of all ages.

For tickets and more information, visit www.musicatthemansion.org

Need an image of Jim Henson

APRIL 5

The Muppets Family

The time that Jim and Jane Henson, best known as creators of the Muppets, lived in Greenwich, was a formative period for them, personally and professionally. Through paintings, objects, puppets, photographs, and film, the upcoming exhibit at the Greenwich Historical Society, “Jim and Jane Henson: Creative Work, Creative Play,” focuses on the Henson’s family life and their contributions to the development of “Sesame Street” and the Mead School.

Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for students and seniors, free for members. The exhibit runs through October 8. For more information, visit www.greenwichhistory.org or call 203-869-6899.

Need pix of trio

APRIL 9

Musical Triumvirate

The Westchester Philharmonic welcomes the Kalichstein-Laredo-Robinson Trio at the Purchase College Performing Arts Center at 3. Since making their debut at the White House for President Carter’s Inauguration in 1977, the trio has set the standard for performance of the piano trio literature.

To honor their monumental 40-year collaboration, the orchestra will present a trio of works by monumental composers: Mozart’s Piano Quartet No. 1 in G minor, Bach’s Brandenburg No. 5, and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto.

Come at 2 for a pre-concert discussion with the artists. For tickets, which start at $40, visit westchesterphil.org.

 

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