Category

Art

ONE on ONE

by Mayi de la Vega

Fresh Beginnings

By | Art, Family, Florida Finds, Travel, Uncategorized, Wellness

My big and small goals for the brand-new year.

Happy new year, and hope it’s off to a good (and healthy!) start. At the beginning of every year, I like to reflect on the road ahead. Building my business, raising my family and supporting my circle from colleagues to community dominated my life for so long. When we give and give, it takes its toll on us. Self-care has received a lot of attention in the media during the pandemic. It forced people to take a break from the rat race and focus on how they were really living. Many of us weren’t happy with what we saw. I’m reassessing what makes me happy and how to grow as a person. It can be challenging, even scary, but I know from my previous accomplishments that there’s no easy way to create change. I’d like to share my to-do list for 2022 from simple, everyday fixes to once-in-a-lifetime experiences that I’ve always dreamt of doing.

 

Move More
It’s all about movement for me this year. That may mean a brisk walk outdoors with the bonuses of vitamin D and fresh air, or more rigorous workouts that keep me on my toes so I don’t get bored. Consistency is key if you really want results. I hope to discover some new fun ways to keep my weight in check, strengthen my bones and core and glow from within. Dancing is one of the best ways to burn calories and improve mental health, so I definitely would like to incorporate more dancing into my exercise routine. Though you can certainly dance solo anytime, anyway, it’s also a great way to connect with your partner and friends. I just may get my grandkids to join me in a dance-off, too.

The Great Outdoors
I’d like to spend more time outdoors regardless of the activity. I’m going to listen to our ancient ancestors and benefit from nature’s healing powers, a practice that the Japanese refer to as forest bathing. Simply by living in Florida, we’re lucky to have close contact with the ocean and healing salt air, as well as its towering trees, wildflower-filled meadows and freshwater rivers and springs. I also hope to visit more places that offer outdoor activities with a wellness component like hiking and biking. It can be somewhere in my backyard or a faraway destination.

Bucket List Trips
I would love to take my family on an unforgettable vacation this year, such as Florence and its surrounding Tuscan wine country with stops along the Italian seaside too. Exploring this rich region’s nature, culture and history with loved ones has always been a dream of mine. After a long hiatus from my initial visit to St. Barth, I’m excited to vacation again in this piece of paradise. The Bahamas are one of my greatest loves, and their waters in surreal shades of blue are a continual source of rejuvenation and wonder for me. I take this image everywhere with me.

Creative Spark & the Pursuit of Knowledge

For many people, a bright spot in the pandemic has been picking up new hobbies or rediscovering old ones. I’d like to get back to my photography. I find the whole process very calming and rewarding. It makes you see the world differently, and there’s always room for improvement and the next amazing shot. It’s something I can do as I age too. It’s important to have a mix of activities that include those you can do more long term. I’d like to make time to read and review my books about art and photography for inspiration, and listen to podcasts especially on the subjects of wellness and self-improvement.

Setting Boundaries & Me Time

I won’t feel guilty about taking time for myself and focusing on my inward journey. When I’m at my best, I benefit those around me most. It’s also important to se boundaries for myself with people who zap my energy or don’t bring me joy. It’s okay to let go and live my best life!

My Gift Guide to You

By | Art, Beauty, Family, Florida Finds, Holiday, Wellness

Don’t panic when it comes to holiday shopping. Here are some great gifts to wow them.

Like me, you have probably been busy with Art Basel fairs, holiday engagements, peak season business affairs and family life. There’s barely been a moment to think about holiday presents, let alone browse and shop for them in-person or online. I thought I could lend a hand by suggesting some beautiful and interesting gifts. Most importantly, take a moment to de-stress and enjoy this special time. Happy holidays.

Cool Books

I love to share “Ikigai: The Japanese Secret to a Long and Happy Life” with everyone in my circle since it’s helped me so much. The authors reveal the Japanese philosophy about ikigai, which means “a reason for living,” and why the Japanese never retire because they love what they do. Readers hopefully come away with discovering their ikigai.

I treated my son Daniel to a copy of “Art House: The Collaboration of Chara Schreyer and Gary Hutton” published by Assouline. A visual feast for the eyes, it chronicles their 40-year collaboration of Hutton designing Schreyer’s five homes that showcase her magnificent collection of 600 artworks.

The Perfect Handbag

Need I say more than Chanel?! The Parisian fashion maison recently opened a flagship store in the Miami Design Distict. I love its longtime architect Peter Marino’s work inspired by the brand’s iconic, black and white packaging. The location carries ready to wear, eyewear, jewelry, shoes and yes, those coveted quilted handbags.

Posh Pajamas

Campo Collection’s chic pajamas for women, men and children are made locally and sustainably with natural fibers and dyes. Its Brazilian founder, a former stylist for Armani and Marc Jacobs, moved here from New York. She also offers robes, dresses and intimates.

 

Ballet Tickets

Everyone knows and loves Miami City Ballet’s annual performances of “George Balanchine’s The Nutcracker,” but really wow them with seats to the North American premiere of Russian choreographer Alexei Ratmansky’s new version of “Swan Lake” in February. This is making big waves in the ballet world, and it’s quite a coup for our hometown company.

Uncommon Candles

Since Loewe creative director Jonathan Anderson is all about celebrating craft, it’s no wonder his candle line features uncommon scents. Loewe’s Miami boutique, which recently unveiled its new art installation, a large-scale mural by Sol LeWitt, carries the full range of fragrances more akin to kitchen gardens and yards. Some are oregano, juniper berry, coriander, black licorice, tomato, ivy and honeysuckle. Each vegetable wax candle comes in a glazed terracotta holder whose color matches the scent.

Gifts for Guys

Crémieux, the luxury menswear label from St. Tropez, opened a Bal Harbour store just in time for finding the perfect gift for your guy. I love its cashmere sweaters in Miami colors like rose pink and azure blue.

Beautiful pastries, panettone, cookies and chocolates

Who wouldn’t want to bite into a baked good that’s as pretty as delectable? Some of my favorite sources for edible works of art are Sant Ambroeus, which ships its signature panettone and holiday tins of Italian cookies; and Bachour, whose social media star pastries are available at its several bakeries around town. Another great idea is caftan queen Marie France Van Damme’s bean-to-bar collaboration with Hong Kong’s Conspiracy Chocolate. Flavors are inspired by her boutiques’ exotic locales like Dubai, Morocco, Singapore and Miami (smoked pineapple!).

Museum & Botanical Garden Memberships  

Give them an experience that lasts all year long while supporting local institutions at the same time. Think about what they love and where they live when choosing a membership to places like PAMM, the Bass, ICA Miami, NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale, Frost Science Museum, Fairchild Garden, Miami Beach Botanical Garden and more.

Jeans for Teens and Twentysomethings

Re/Done, the Malibu-born women’s and men’s brand for reconstructed Levi’s denim and other reimagined vintage apparel and accessories by heritage brands that’s all the rage with celebs from Cindy Crawford to the Hadids, opened a Miami boutique. Gen Z and Millennials love its sustainable mission and retro styles and fits from the 70s, 80s and 90s.

Jewelry with Purpose

Awe Inspired, a New York-based, feel-good jewelry collection, donates 20 to 100 percent of proceeds to partner charities like CancerCare and The Trevor Project. Its popular goddess series with signet rings and pendants is now available in solid 14K yellow and white gold. In addition to mythological and religious goddesses, pieces honor real-life goddesses throughout the ages. Choose from many including Cleopatra, Joan of Arc, Harriet Tubman, Florence Nightingale and Frida Kahlo.

Charcuterie Boards

Chaya’s Craze Boards is making a name for itself with mouthwatering, overflowing charcuterie boards. Savory and sweet options feature classic items like meat, cheese, nuts, pickles and dried fruit, as well as other less common additions like veggies, fruit, cookies and candy. They come in various sizes on handcrafted wooden charcuterie boards or in boxes.

 

Basel Bliss

By | Art, Culture, Events

Miami shines for the whole world when Art Basel comes to town.

One of the most fantastic things about living in South Florida is our annual Miami art week. What began with Art Basel Miami Beach in 2002 has grown with additional fairs and exciting exhibits and events. I look forward to it every year and am so happy that we’re returning to in-person events. Besides walking the fairs and finding new artworks, I also appreciate meeting people from around the world and learning from them. I plan to soak up the inspiration all around me.


Of course, everything centers on the main fair at the Miami Beach Convention Center. If you haven’t been to the venue recently, it’s been completely renovated for a vastly improved experience. Definitely start here during Art Basel’s invitation-only preview days and vernissage from November 30-December 1. (It opens to the public December 2-4.) Galleries is its main sector, among many, but I’m also interested to see what Museo Tamayo director and Art Basel guest curator Magalí Arriola has in store for the Meridians sector that focuses on large-scale installations. She’s getting a lot of buzz.


There are too many satellite fairs to mention all of them, but don’t miss these two if you’re staying on the beach. Located in Pride Park across from Art Basel, Design Miami introduced an app to locate booths and other news more easily. Untitled returns to its oceanside tent with guest curators who bring a different perspective like Natasha Becker, curator of African Art at San Francisco’s de Young Museum, and Peruvian writer and TEOR/éTica’s former codirector Miguel A. López. To hear more from these fresh voices, they’re featured in the fair’s new IGTV video series #UntitledUnplugged.


Untitled represents the art world’s shift to promote diversity such as artists of color. David Castillo Gallery in the Miami Design District exhibits news works by Pepe Mar, a Mexican artist who’s known for incorporating designer clothing by Versace and D&G into multimedia collages and assemblage boxes. (I also suggest visiting “Tesoro,” the group show that he guest curated for FIU’s Frost Art Museum.) Jeffrey Deitch gallery pops up with an expanded version of its hit show “Shattered Glass” that focuses on works by artists of color and premiered in Los Angeles earlier this year. To explore Latin American art, visit the Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation (CIFO) and the Pinta fair, which relocates to Midtown Miami for its 15th edition with VIP previews November 30-December 1, followed by public viewing through December 5. Divided into four sections, this year’s Pinta emphasizes solo projects including a photographic installation by Colombian artist Ruby Rumié.


The rise of NFTs is another major theme for Miami art week. Art Basel fair presents “Human + Machine: NFTs and the Ever-Evolving World of Art,” an interactive experience for viewers with leading artists in the movement. The series takes place December 2-4. The week is filled with tons of collection launches and book signings, too. Louis Vuitton premieres its latest Objets Nomades at its women’s boutique in the Miami Design District on December 1. Patricia Urquiola and Humberto Campana are among the series’ collaborators who will speak. Daniel Arsham, an artist who got his start in Miami before going on to collaborate with Dior to Tiffany & Co., signs his new “Sketchbook” at the Miami Beach Edition on December 1.
With all this running around, it’s important to recharge. Swiss beauty brand sets up its La Prairie Beach Club on December 2 for relaxing treatments and a collaboration with new media artist, choreographer and dancer Wen-Chi Su. Other great wellness retreats are Faena Hotel’s Tierra Santa Healing House and Gee Beauty for the most heavenly facials. For healthy bites, Malibu’s favorite juice bar Sunlife Organics opened a Miami Beach branch near Lincoln Road.

Forty & Fabulous

By | Art, Culture, Events, Music

Congratulations to Miami’s very special YoungArts on its big birthday!

YoungArts, one of the world’s biggest champions of the next generations of artists, is celebrating its 40th anniversary. For those of you who aren’t familiar with the Miami-based organization, it was founded by Lin and Ted Arison to foster U.S. artists aged 15-18 in various disciplines including classical music, jazz, voice, dance, theater, visual arts and film. Each year, hundreds of winners across the nation receive financial awards and a week in Miami to study and mingle with star experts, many of whom are YoungArts alumni themselves. Just to give you an idea of the talent, Viola Davis, Andrew Rannells and Tarell Alvin McCraney have participated in this program, first as teens, and then as instructors. YoungArts also has enough cachet to get famous non-alums like Mikhail Baryshnikov, Debbie Allen and Wynton Marsalis to share their insight and experiences with the kids in master classes. The nurturing doesn’t end there. Winners are eligible for nomination as a U.S. Presidential Scholar in the Arts, among many professional networking and career development opportunities and services.

The Arisons passed the baton to their granddaughter, Sarah Arison, Arison Arts Foundation’s board chair who has put her own spin on things. A major rebranding initiative shortened the original name simply to YoungArts and revamped the website and overall look, while recent hires and promotions bring vital new energy to Sarah and executive director Jewel Malone’s vision for the next chapter.

© 2018 Jason Koerner Photography

Many people are already familiar with the annual National YoungArts Week in January, when teens and teachers arrive for workshops and performances that culminate in the YoungArts Backyard Ball at its Miami campus (housed in iconic, historic buildings formerly owned by Bacardi). The 2022 week is slated for January 9-15, but they’re skipping the traditional gala in lieu of a special, earlier celebration in honor of the 40th season. Co-chairs Sarah and her husband, Thomas Wilhelm, are hosting the “40 Years for Artists” birthday bash with cocktails, a seated dinner under the stars and a performance by Queen Esther [and her orchestra], the night’s master of ceremonies who won the YoungArts Theater award in 1983. ONE Sotheby’s International Realty is a proud sponsor of this milestone event on November 20.

More festivities follow with the opening of “The Choreographers’ Scores: 2020” in December. The exhibition features works on paper by U.S.-based choreographers, including Camille A. Brown, who were commissioned to imagine a score as a love letter to the future of dance. The Lapis Press printed editions of their scores handmade in quarantine during the pandemic’s shutdown. You can be among the first to see these rare works at the YoungArts Art Basel Miami Beach VIP breakfast and curator tour on December 1.

I’d also like to recommend attending Nu Deco Ensemble’s performance at the Arsht Center on December 10. YoungArts partnered with the local modern orchestra for this concert featuring original compositions by 2007 YoungArts Classical Music award winner Chris Rogerson.

Looking ahead, the YoungArts New York Gala returns on April 11, 2022. Its inaugural event in 2016 commemorated the 35th anniversary. Here’s to many more great years ahead!

Falling for Art in NY

By | Art, Culture, Events

A look at the city’s art-filled season, which starts this week with tony fairs.

The Armory Show kicks off New York’s splendid art season. The premier fair has lots to talk about this year, beginning with new dates—September 10-12, with a private preview for VIPs on September 9—and a new venue—the Javits Convention Center, which recently underwent a $1.5 billion expansion, enabling modern and contemporary works to be displayed cohesively. There are new sections and programs, too, including Solo, which focuses on single-artist presentations from the 20th or 21st century, and Armory Off-Site, a large-scale, interactive series of public artworks exhibited at multiple sites around town. Among the latter are Swedish artist Katja Larsson’s new sculptures (titled Empire and Materially Superior) that will be on view at Hudson River Park through December 3; and American artist Josh Callaghan’s installation (titled Social Blocks) in the Flatiron Plaza through November 1. Keep in mind that some of the nearly 200 participating international galleries are only exhibiting virtually due to covid. Others will be showing in person and virtually. Armory Live, a two-day art conversations series, will also take place in person and virtually.

There are several concurrent satellite art fairs. The Future Fair will make its physical debut at the Starrett-Lehigh Building in Manhattan’s Chelsea neighborhood. (The first in-person edition was scheduled for last year but pivoted to a digital-only format.) The concept encourages diversity and transparency, as well as supports artists and galleries through year-round storytelling and authentic engagement with art audiences. Half of its participating galleries are women-owned, while a quarter are owned by people of color. Its dedication to inclusiveness marks a big step for the art fair scene.

Storytelling is also at the heart of Independent New York, a fair designed around the artist experience through inspirational settings and an intimate, rare mix of established, emerging and outsider galleries. Forty have signed on for its 11th edition from September 9-12, at the beautiful Battery Maritime Building (home of Cipriani South Street) with three halls overlooking the water and a spacious outdoor terrace for an exclusive café and restaurant serviced by Cipriani. Independent is also introducing an Online Viewing Room option from September 9-September 26. Beyond booths, the inaugural digital platform features exclusive editorial content like artist takeovers, podcasts and videos.

There are too many great exhibits to mention all of them, but one of immense scope should definitely be on your list. The Whitney in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art are collaborating on a monumental, unprecedented retrospective of Jasper Johns, who’s still working at 91 years old. The complementary exhibitions, which are concurrently on view from September 29, 2021 to February 13, 2022, required two institutions to cover his prolific, seven-decade career. Nearly 500 paintings, sculptures, drawings, and prints range from his iconic flags to recent works to selections from his personal collection that are being shown to the public for the first time. A double-entendre, its title “Jasper Johns: Mind/Mirror” references his longtime study of mirroring and doubles, as well as how the two self-contained shows mirror one another.

Aspen Summer

By | Art, Culture, Dining, Travel

It’s that time of year when my Aspen reveries turn reality. After Florida’s busy season (that seems to get longer every year!), I like to escape to the mountains with my family and fiancé Rich for some well-deserved R & R. The majestic views alone instantly relax me, though I also look forward to getting out in nature and experiencing all the shops, restaurants, culture and events. Here’s a list of new places and fun activities to explore when you’re in town.

Stay

Ideal for personal and corporate events of all kinds, the family-owned Aspen Street Lodge is available for full buyouts only. Accommodations offer a lot of variety, from a two-bedroom penthouse with a full kitchen to nine traditional hotel rooms with a mix of bunk beds, double queens and single kings. Guestrooms feature smart-tech systems and connect to at least one other guestroom for families traveling with small children and other needs. The extensive array of amenities—rooftop, heated pool and hot tub, fire pit, terraces with Aspen Mountain views, game room and outdoor grill and pizza oven—leaves nothing to desire. Sounds like heaven.

Attend

Aspen Art Museum’s annual summer gala ArtCrush takes place August 3-6. Along with AAM’s new director Nicola Lees, co-chairs Amy Phelan and Jamie Tisch, and 2021 Aspen Award for Art honoree Mary Weatherford, the benefit includes silent and live auctions by Sotheby’s. Bid on more than 45 artworks by artists such as Oscar Murillo, Rita Ackermann and Weatherford; Sotheby’s senior international contemporary art specialist Michael Macaulay conducts the live auction of eight lots during the gala at Aspen Skiing Company’s Buttermilk ski area on August 6. Panel discussions, a classical music art performance, tastings and a Pine Creek Cookhouse hike are also part of this year’s extended festivities.

Eat

New restaurants focus on several types of cuisine from the Basque Country (Joonas) to surf and turf (Catch Steak). Italian imports are also making their mark. Based in the West Village, Dante NYC returns for a second collaboration with the Surf Lodge. The partners had such a great time with their winter pop up at the Snow Lodge, that they relocated to the Chefs Club at the St. Regis Aspen Resort through next spring. While Surf Lodge books live music acts, Dante helms the menu’s seasonal fare. Items like whole grilled branzino and a peach, heirloom tomato and goat cheese salad lean to the lighter side. Complete your al fresco repast with a summery spritz within Dante’s famous cocktail collection.

I’m also delighted that a familiar name from South Florida is opening soon—hopefully by August! After running their super successful Casa D’Angelo locations in Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Aventura, restaurateurs Angelo and Denise Elia are expanding to Aspen.  The couple brightened up the space formerly occupied by Piñons with white oak interiors and Western décor. In addition to signature Italian dishes, the menu increases specialty items (caviar, bison, crudos) that appeal to the Aspen palate. Known for sourcing the finest ingredients, they also plan to celebrate Colorado’s excellent meats, dairy and produce.

Shop

Aspen is as famous for its galleries and designer boutiques as its ski slopes. Balenciaga’s year-long pop up debuted in July, while Prada’s traveling, experiential activation “Prada Outdoor” comes through town from July 29 to September 7. The interactive shop encompasses mountain-friendly gear (tents, frisbees, stainless steel water bottles) and men’s and women’s activewear and accessories (shorts, backpacks, sporty sandals).

While Peri.A devotees wait for its new Los Angeles store to premiere later this summer, they’re hitting the Aspen outpost in droves. Owner Peri Arenas stocks her pint-sized space with coveted labels for women’s fashions and fine jewelry. Her roster features Casablanca, Ikkim’o, Marni, Peter Cohen, Colville and Marie Lichtenberg, among dozens of gems. Don’t hesitate if you fancy something, since it will be gone in a flash!

After popping up in South Florida and the Hamptons during covid, international art galleries next followed their clientele to Aspen. Paris’s Almine Rech operates here through September 12. Catch its back-to-back shows “Genesis Tramaine: Worship Works” and “Wes Lang: Endless Horizons.” Los Angeles-based Honor Fraser displays a meta solo show of Richard Pettibone’s replications of Andy Warhol’s iconic soup can series. London’s White Cube pops up in a 19th-century building through September 5. Works by Tracey Emin, Magnus Plessen, Anselm Kiefer, Antony Gormley, Theaster Gates and Isamu Noguchi, among several established artists, are exhibited throughout its summer program titled “Correspondence.”

My Art Agenda

By | Art, Culture, Events

I’d like to share my list of exhibits to visit here and during your summer travels.

A clear sign that South Florida is no longer seasonal is the quality of art exhibits that continue long after Memorial Day weekend. I especially enjoy having this time to visit our many incredible museums, galleries and alternative art spaces to see a good show. Here are some of my picks in Miami and other parts of the U.S., in case your summer travels take you there.

I’m so impressed with the level of shows that the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami is curating. They’re groundbreaking and cool, including when the ICA recently exhibited Drake’s custom Rolls-Royce Cullinan x Chrome Hearts in its sculpture garden. It also organized the comprehensive survey “Chakaia Booker” The Observance,” which is on view through October 31. Though most recognized for her sculptures and large-scale installations made with deconstructed rubber tires and rubber conduit, this American artist uses many other tactile materials from bronze to plastic. The show also features two series of abstract paintings in acrylic on various surfaces like wood.

I’m always curious to see what Nina Johnson has going on at her Miami gallery. Her current show “Bhakti Baxter: Heat Transfer” presents new paintings and drawings by the native Miamian who now lives and works in Topanga State Park near Los Angeles. He continues his exploration of innovative techniques, a process that requires drawing grids in blue chalk on raw canvas, soaking the works in water and painting them en plein air. The natural elements affect their outcome, too, thus the “heat” reference in the show’s title.

Every summer, Guild Hall in East Hampton celebrates a major artist. It’s even more special this time, being the 90th anniversary of the treasured cultural institution for art, theater, music and other events. Concurrent with its summer gala, “Robert Longo: A History of the Present” will be exhibited from August 7-October 17. Taking over the entire museum, his massive charcoal drawings offer a critical investigation of history that spans the Abstract Expressionism movement to today. Held the night before the show opens to the public, the glamorous fundraiser features an exclusive preview followed by cocktails, dinner and music at a nearby private venue.

Everyone’s talking about the Alice Neel retrospective at the Met, but I’m also looking forward to “The New Woman Behind the Camera” from July 2-October 3. It’s about the rise of personal cameras in the early 20th century, which became an important outlet for women to express their artistic talents. The show features works shot by 120 photographers during the 1920s to the 1950s. It really gives a global viewpoint, too, since the selected photographers represent more than 20 countries. Subjects range from fashion advertising to portraits to street photography, while some artists are Dorothea Lange, Gerda Taro and Berenice Abbott.

Aspen Art Museum always makes sure to line up premier shows for summer art lovers, and this summer is no exception. “Cerith Wyn Evans: Aspen Drift,” which opens June 11, is the Welsh conceptual artist and film maker’s first presentation at a U.S. museum in nearly 20 years. The witty title references both the state of feeling adrift, as well as the local context, the mountain setting’s snowdrifts. See his sculptures, paintings and works on papers through October 10.

Don’t miss another show by a poet and artist located outside on the rooftop. On view June 11, 2021-September 18, 2022, “Precious Okoyomon: Every Earthly Morning the Sky’s Light touches Ur Life is Unprecedented in its Beauty” is a mixed-media installation combining sculpture and organic matter including plants, soil and water. Since it’s a garden, which the artist will maintain during her residency here, the work will evolve and grow. She’ll also collaborate with other artists and musicians for live performances and seasonal soundtracks.

Luxe Landscaping

By | Art, Florida Finds

Create the garden of your dreams with these top talents along Florida’s East Coast.

Springtime makes me think of flowering gardens and the talented visionaries who create them. We’re lucky that so many premier landscape architects and designers call Florida home. Their touch affects every facets of our lives—our residences, whether single family or high rises, our state’s famous resort culture, and our welcoming public spaces and commercial centers. Here’s a short list of some top names.

Raymond Jungles

It’s impossible to escape the prolific Raymond Jungles’s contribution to the local landscape. His signature design schemes—modern, yet lush with native plants that attract pollinators and other fauna—are ubiquitous. His firm, which launched in the early Eighties and is currently located in Coconut Grove, specializes in both residential and commercial projects. Among the latter, a few are 1111 Lincoln Road (a direct homage to his mentor, the famous Brazilian landscape architect Roberto Burle Marx), Miami Beach Botanical Garden and Pharrell Williams’s new hospitality venture. It’s always delightful to stay at one of the many Florida and Caribbean resorts whose grounds he’s designed, too, like Casa Morada in the Keys.

Fernando Wong

Panama City-born landscape designer Fernando Wong founded his namesake firm with his business and life partner Tim Johnson in 2005. Their partnership has blossomed into offices in Miami, Palm Beach and the Hamptons for numerous residential and commercial projects including Four Seasons properties in Surfside, Fort Lauderdale and Palm Beach. Town & Country recently featured Wong’s gorgeous garden makeover for a John L. Volk-designed home; among many feats, it required relocating a century-old, 90-foot kapok tree.

Enzo Enea

Landscape architect Enzo Enea’s headquarters are based in his native Switzerland, but he opened a Miami office to accommodate all the work he has here. I’m especially proud of his design for One Thousand Museum, a mindful mix of swaying grasses, palms and mangroves that links Zaha Hadid’s futuristic architecture with its natural setting along Biscayne Bay. Though he’s completed many other luxury residential towers like Park Grove, Apogee, the Setai and Oceana, Bal Harbour, he also designs landscapes for private homes. When you’re in Zurich, I suggest visiting his curated arboretum, the Enea Tree Museum.

Nievera Williams

After working solo and collaborating for years, Mario Nievera and Keith Williams went into business together as Nievera Williams in 2011. Their Palm Beach firm with offices in Miami and the Hamptons is behind luxe residential and commercials properties from Shanghai to the Caribbean to their home base like the beautifully restored Royal Poinciana Plaza shopping center. They’ve also dived into other creative areas including outdoor furniture design and garden books. Williams just published his first title, “The Graphic Garden,” which features select estates around the island. Nievera is active in nonprofits, too, including the Cultural Landscape Foundation and the Horticultural Society of New York.

Hayslip Landscape

Heathcote Botanical Gardens board member Sam Comer founded the acclaimed Hayslip Landscape in the 1970s. The recent retiree sold his firm to powerhouse landscape and irrigation company Down to Earth, whose name is often associated with golf courses. Comer’s signature elegance and attention to detail continue with the changing of the guard. For Windsor, the new urbanism, luxury residential community in Vero Beach, Hayslip created much of the common areas including its olive orchard, oak allée and new beach club vegetation, as well as landscaping for many of its private homes. The firm’s work can be seen at other exclusive enclaves such as John’s Island, among its large footprint up and down the Treasure Coast.

Raymond Jungles

https://raymondjungles.com/project_categories/cultural-educational/https://raymondjungles.com/project_categories/single-family-residential/

Fernando Wong
Enzo Enea
tree museum
Nievera Williams

Moving to Miami

By | Art, Beauty, Culture, Dining, Events, Fashion, Florida Finds, Interior Design

Here are some of my local tips for new residents.

Being in real estate, I’m often the first person someone meets when moving to Miami. It’s only natural that they want to know everything about their exciting new town and ask for local tips. Since so many people are in the process of relocating here, I thought I’d put together a quick guide to some of my favorite places, services and events. I hope you enjoy discovering them, as well as cultivating your own gems over time.

Shopping

Miami is a shopper’s paradise. I can’t get over how many incredible stores keep opening here. For a local lifestyle boutique, I recommend the Showroom. The owner has been in retail for decades and knows the market. The South Miami location is geared more toward homewares including Tina Frey’s handmade resin pieces, while Coconut Grove carries more denim. For home, I also shop the extensive collections at Luminaire and Artefacto. Both have huge showrooms in Coral Gables, among many locations, if you’re pressed for time.

For fashion, you can’t go wrong with Neiman Marcus’s two stores here. They cater to the stylish side of Miami with more runway looks and interesting designers. I can always count on their personal shoppers, too. The Miami Design District has really taken off in the last few years. It’s become a major worldwide destination for designer brands like Dior and Hermès, as well as contemporary labels. Recent openings include Alexander McQueen and Stone Island, and there are rumors that Chanel’s coming.

Beauty

I can’t say enough good things about Gee Beauty. I wrote about this family-owned spa and boutique’s 15th anniversary in my blog last year. The Gee women constantly amaze me with their knowledge and service. Their facials are the ultimate luxury, and I love loading up on skin care, cosmetics and supplements on my way out.

If you’re from New York or Los Angeles, chances are you’re already familiar with IGK Hair. The partners behind the salon’s initials actually opened their first location here. They’re also known for their inhouse line of healthy hair products like Good Behavior Blowout Balm, the perfect protection for Miami elements.

Fitness

Miami has a serious wellness scene. There are many state-of-the-art gyms like Anatomy, but I trained one-on-one with Faheem Mujahid. Beyond being a master personal trainer, whose practices extend to yoga, meditation and breathwork, he’s a licensed life coach, mental conditioning expert and mindfulness speaker who’s helped moguls to corporate teams from major brands get on the right track. Check out his podcast and website for upcoming workshops. https://www.faheemmujahid.com/about

Dining

I like to eat light without missing out on flavorful ingredients and beautiful settings. Located on the bay in Brickell, Cipriani has one of the most gorgeous dining rooms in the city. It works on so many levels from power lunches to special occasions. Old World details and authentic cuisine instantly transport me to Italy. Milos in Miami Beach offers a similar vacation vibe. I feel like I’m in the Greek Isles with its airy décor and fresh Mediterranean seafood like whole, salt-encrusted fish and charred octopus. Its homey, private dining room is often booked, and the three-course, prix-fixe lunch is super popular.

Annual Events

Miami is as famous for its nonstop events as its moonrises. Many tourists time their holidays here around them, and locals never get any rest during season. Attending the Miami International Boat Show is a must. But of all of the events, December’s Art Basel fair is tops. Not only did it permanently transform Miami in remarkable ways, but the exchange of ideas and the people you meet during art week can’t be compared to anything else here. It feeds my soul, and I learn so much. I always come away with new inspirations and friends.

 

Miami, Mi Amor

By | Art, Culture, Events, Fashion, Florida Finds, Interior Design, Real Estate, Travel

An ode to our vibrant city’s many charms and its new chapter.

Miami is my home. It’s where I grew up, received my education, discovered my career, built my business, raised my family and invested my time and energy into the community. I’m not alone. People have been seduced by its charms going back to early settlers at the turn of the 20th century. They love to vacation here, too, and attend tony events like Art Basel, but many are just discovering our best-kept secret—that it’s also a great place to live and work. Florida has been one of the fastest-growing states for years, and the pandemic has compounded the trend, especially in South Florida.

Every day I hear about a new company, celebrity or mogul relocating to Miami, or at least strongly considering it. Mayor Francis Suarez has been very vocal about collaborating with big tech and startups to establish headquarters or open satellite offices here. He even exchanged words with Elon Musk, who’s already put down roots in the Sunshine State with his SpaceX program.

Goldman Sachs is also scouting South Florida to potentially relocate its asset management arm. The firm’s openness to leaving Manhattan makes sense with the shift to WFH, which should continue post-pandemic for reasons beyond saving significant costs in leasing office space. Other factors for saying, “Yes,” to Florida are our residents’ tremendous wealth; tax incentives including no state taxes, and gorgeous weather to cater to clients on the golf course. It’s really kind of a dream situation for Goldman Sachs.

As an entrepreneur, I can also vouch that Florida offers a favorable climate for businesses of all kinds. Miami attracts a lot of people who are company founders and work for themselves. I always enjoy hearing my clients’ stories about how they worked hard and would like to enjoy the good life now but still stay in the game. The city was built on this independent spirit from visionary developers to the large population of Cubans who came here to be free and flourish.

Besides Miami’s professional opportunities, people are pleasantly surprised about how family-friendly it has become. There are numerous private schools to nurture every child’s personal needs and interests, and several of our neighborhoods offer coveted, A-rated public schools that parents strive to enroll their children.

Local institutions foster our young minds, too. In addition to the new Frost Museum of Science, our plentiful art museums, botanical gardens and even shopping districts provide regular kids’ programming. Sports and an all-around active lifestyle are very accessible to all ages. Indoor and outdoor soccer fields, skating rinks, private and public clubs for sailing, swimming, rowing, tennis and golf, and abundant parks and nature preserves are available to our kids.

Healing nature is just one key element in our growing wellness scene. New residents soon learn that Miami shed its party stereotype a while ago. They partake in yoga and meditation classes and dine on plant-based cuisine at stunningly beautiful wellness centers like The Sacred Space in Wynwood; run and bike Miami Beach’s lengthy beach path, and grab paddle boards and kayaks for a day on the water. Being outdoors is rejuvenating, especially now, and Miami excels in this advantage.

These are only some of my brief initial thoughts on why we’re a hot spot now. And I didn’t even touch on all of our incredible culture. There’s so much to love.