Miami Life: The Place to Be, Artist Fundraiser, Book Fair, Holiday Market

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Zachary Belil is to Miami what Ricardo Montalban was to Fantasy Island. Read my profile. After nearly 15 years of providing affordable studio space to artists, Fountainhead Studios is closing. They are hosting a fundraiser for the Fountainhead Studios artists. If you love to read, then reserve November 13 to 20 when the Miami Book Fair returns. And on November 20th, you are going to want to head to the Miami Botanical Garden for their Holiday Artisan Market.

The Power of Sunshine Thinking

Zachary Belil is to Miami what Ricardo Montalban was to Fantasy Island. The Douglas Elliman real estate agent never lets anyone forget that Miami is the tropical paradise where most people fulfill lifelong dreams. No matter what is going on in your personal life, or the world, you see it through a sunshine lens when you live in Miami. It helps accent the positive even when a lot of negative stuff is going on.

I have traveled all over the world for most of my life, said the former New Yorker. There is no place on earth like Miami. Miami used to be the place where you visited. New York, Los Angeles, or any other big city is where you wanted to live because of the action. All that changed 10 to 15 years ago when big name chefs started to open restaurants in Miami and art collectors started to take our museums and galleries seriously. There is no question about it, Art Basel making Miami its U.S. home, was a big boost as well.

Miami has the vibe that both young and successful people, of all ages, want. Its clean, the weather is fabulous at least eight plus months a year, the skyscraper condos are architecturally stunning, the beaches are the most magnificent in the world, and the people are gorgeous, Belil pointed out. What more can you want? Many young people in the workforce started asking their superiors years ago to transfer them to Miami. They want to work and play hard. Miami is one of the few places in the world where you can do that.

Belil said he was very happy a few months ago when he learned that Billionaire Ken Griffin was moving his $51 billion Citadel hedge fund, and his Citadel Securities, to Miami. The headquarters were based in Chicago since 1990. That was a big endorsement for Miami. That was a big vote of confidence for everyone who already made the transition.

Most recently Griffin topped the buyers market by purchasing Adrienne Arscht’s Coconut Grove estate for $107 million. It set a record for the priciest-ever single-family home purchase in Miami-Dade County. There is a long line of people who want to buy here. The trouble is that there is very little inventory. The pent-up demand for Miami is going to last long time. Everyone all over the world, plus our fellow Americans, saw the lifestyle we led during the pandemic. While the rest of the world was truly in lockdown, the people in Miami were outside walking/biking, dining in outdoor restaurants, and going to the beach, all under social distancing restrictions. We were free to roam because of our gorgeous weather. We just did it with care.

Belil admits that everyone who is rich now wants to live in Miami. I have never seen so many rich people. Its like they are manufacturing them. While thats great for business, its not good for a city who needs housing for the average wage earner. This is a subject that is being addressed by local real estate developers.

We want to make sure that the Magic City is welcoming everyone.

Fundraiser for the Fountainhead Studios artists

After nearly 15 years providing affordable studio space in our Little Haiti complex, Fountainhead Studios is closing. To celebrate the community, they built together and raise money for the Fountainhead Studios artists, they are hosting one last hurrah! Join them for an Open Studios and an afterparty at Low Key around the corner. We’ll be serving beer and wine from our sponsors Estrella Damm and Gerard Bertrand, with music by VAKDEVI spinning all night. Every dollar raised from ticket sales will be distributed among the Studios artists. Theartists will make artwork available for sale, so come ready to help them clean out their studios and beautify your walls! Visionary members will receive a 10% discount on all available works. Get the details

Nov. 13-20. Miami Book Fair


In 1984,a small group of individuals, including educators from Miami Dade College, independent booksellers and librarians, founded Miami Book Fair International. And now it is a huge event. For eight days in November, Miami Book Fair transforms downtown into a literary wonderland, hosting hundreds of critically acclaimed authors in three languages; talking politics, pop culture, and all manner of impactful prose. Get smart, buy books, meet authors, and bring the kids too! Look for Harvey Fierstein, Patti Smith, John Waters and Kevin Nealon on the event schedule. I will let you know some of my other favorites over the next few weeks. Check out the events calendar.

Nov. 20. Holiday Artisan Market at the Garden

Head to the Miami Beach Botanical Garden for a festive, open-air shopping at our new holiday artisan market taking place for one day only in November. Youll find a selection of handcrafted items from painting, printmaking, sculpture and ceramics to jewelry, leather working, home design products and personal accessories. Also meet the small batch food artisans who create local and sustainable brands. And if you would like to exhibit, please contact or to request an application.


In 1962 the City of Miami Beach created the Garden Center on a vacant site opposite the Miami Beach Convention Center that was built in 1957. Operated then as a City park, the Garden was situated on the historic Collins Canal, an integral part of the beginnings of Miami Beach. In the early 1900s pioneer John Collins dug the canal to transport mangos and avocados (called alligator pears) by boat to the Port of Miami from groves along what is now Pinetree Drive.

n the 1920s pioneer Carl Fisher developed Lincoln Road, luxury hotels such as the Flamingo and the Nautilus with polo fields and golf courses. The Garden site was originally a golf course. Fisher promoted tourism with the help of a baby elephant named Rosie who in 1921 served as golf caddy to vacationing President-elect Warren Harding.

By 1922 Miami Beach boasted the largest avocado and mango groves in the world, but Miamis agricultural roots wouldnt last much longer, sacrificed for the tourist trade. Tourism has long been a driving force in Miami Beach, but the city also experienced the impact of economic recessions, World Wars, and destructive hurricanes. The Garden had sadly deteriorated before the Art Deco renaissance of the 1980s and after Hurricane Andrew in 1992.

A group of residents approached the city in 1996 to create the Miami Beach Garden Conservancy as a non-profit organization with a mission to restore the Garden. Todays Miami Beach Botanical Garden is a public/private partnership, owned by the City of Miami Beach and operated by the Conservancy. The Garden has again become a dynamic venue for arts and cultural programming, environmental education and cultural tourism. Read more.


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