It's been a while since I've done my end-of-the-year Coconut Grove review. Now, in words and pictures, I am catching up for the last couple of years. Yesterday I published the first half (the previous entry) and the rest is just below. Hmm, let's start today's 2012 In Review rant with ugly, the useless edifice where Jim Morrison was once arrested for exposing himself...
2012's Most Deserving of Destruction- The Grove's former convention center has been cluttering our waterfront for years. Tear it down, now!
Saddest Way to End a Story- The Bookstore In The Grove is the only bookstore in the City of Miami. Last month the landlord told the owners he would not be renewing their lease.
Yesterday co-owner Felice told me they have not been able to find a new home. When they move out in two weeks once again Miami will not have a book store. Update: Felice & Co. were able to lease another location on the east end of Mayfair. They are open for business again.
The 2012 Hangin' In There Award goes to The Last Carrot, our village's oldest eatery. Mike the healthy hippie started it forty years ago. Now his daughter (Erin, also a healthy hippie) runs the joint. She's great and so is her Grand Avenue restaurant. Stop in for a hit of wheat grass, sprout sandwich, and a vibe that says, "This is what the Grove used to be".
And now let me present the Coconut Grove building that makes us smile, even as creeps cover it with graffiti. It is the Grove's most ancient barber shop sitting lonely and abandoned on the west end of Grand Avenue. The Grove Guy now proclaims it to be 2012's Building Most Deserving of Historical Preservation....
2012's It's About Time Award goes to the Coconut Grove Bike Path. For ten years its potholes, broken lights and overgrown shrubbery led to accidents and muggings. After promising for ten years the county finally fixed it up.
Its one of the nicest things in Coconut Grove.
The 2012 Greenest Building Award goes to
the Zen Center on Main Highway.
The Best Restaurant Accessory Award goes to the scooter parked at Greenstreet's. The place was a dump until Sylvano started parking his red Vespa out front.
He said that God told him, "Park it there and they will come".
Now he is the proud owner of the Grove's most popular restaurant (and Lulu's across the street!).
2012's Sometimes the Good Guys Win Award goes to the Coconut Grove Sailing Club. For years the City of Miami threatened to end their lease. Why they wanted to get rid of the club, despite its long, successful history -and being the only public "yacht club"- made no sense. Sadly, that's what we often expect from City Hall.
Happily, the club now has a new, long lease and a bright future.
Anyone can join. Stop by and check it out.
City Hall's Saddest Joke- Four years ago the City of Miami took the King Mango Strut Parade permit away from its originators . The annual procession hasn't been the same since.
2012's Coolest Cars- Miami (and the Grove)
got a mini-fleet of mini-rental cars this year, "Car2Go". Flash you credit card at one of these Smart Cars and you've got yourself some mini-wheels.
Nicest Walk- Along the bay from Peacock Park to Monty's. Yes, it does take weird detours and you might have to dodge a 40-ton boat lift but, hey, between the yachts you can see
the sea that connects us all...and, you can pass by the,
Best Place to Take Out of Towners- Scotty's Landing on beautiful Biscayne Bay. Unfortunately, the restaurant's owner is getting the same treatment that the sailing club got. The City is doing its best to end Scotty's lease so it can give the property to someone else. How sad it would be to lose the Grove's Groveiest restaurant.
Let's Save Scotty's!
The Coming Year's Most Anticipated Event- The three seconds when dynamite reduces the former the Grand Bay Hotel to rubble.
Where we see concrete we'll soon see sky again.
Make haste to enjoy it the view. The space will soon be filled with two new twisting condos.
2012's Best Kept Secret- The Barnacle State Park. Seven beautiful acres and one historic house on Biscayne Bay. It's on Main Highway, across from the red Vespa.
That's my take on 2012 (again, the first half is just below). Let's hope there's more good news than bad in the coming year.
The Grove Guy, Glenn