Be prepared — Friday’s Critical Mass bike ride will cross Dade Boulevard, Venetian Way

Critical Mass, the massive monthly bike ride, happens Friday night and is sure to shutdown traffic around our islands.

The ride starts at 7:15 p.m. on the mainland, and is expected to reach North Beach (over the 79th Street Causeway) at about 7:45 p.m.

From there, riders will head east to Collins Avenue, south to 23rd Street, and then west on Dade Boulevard to Venetian Way and across the islands to mainland Miami.

Plan on being home before the bike traffic, or travel on foot — or get caught in gridlock.

Tonight’s the night Venetian toll booth converts to SunPass

Starting tonight at 10 p.m., the Venetian toll booths (and the Rickenbacker) finally convert to no-cash, Sun Pass-only tolls.

If you don’t have a Sun Pass, you’ll be charged toll-by-plate for passing through the plaza.

The change has been planned for more than two years, and delayed several times.

Venetian Island residents who pay $24 a year for C-Pass are required to have a Sun Pass and provide the Miami-Dade Causeways Division with their Sun Pass number so it can be activated for Venetian use. Otherwise, they will be charged the usual toll.

You may not want to see the rat on Belle Isle

Mrs. Blog and I have been arguing all afternoon about this post.

Belle Isle rat

Belle Isle rat

There’s a big dead rat on the pink sidewalk in front of Costa Brava and Belle Towers — really, right on the border between the two properties.

It’s big, gross and dead. Too gross to post? Certainly too intimidating to put up or clean up. Who’s responsibility is this? The city? Animal Services?

You may not want to enlarge this photo. If you do, be prepared.

 

 

Miami-Dade restores South Beach Local bus service to Belle Isle

Miami-Dade Transit just announced that the Belle Isle stop on the South Beach Local bus route is back in service, as of 6 p.m. today.

Service was restored after the Florida Department of Transportation increase the weight allowed on the bridge between Sunset Harbour and Belle Isle.

The county stopped South Beach Local service to Belle Isle in April, due to structural issues with the bridge. The South Beach Local connects Belle Isle with Sunset Harbour, Collins Park, and the rest of South Beach along Washington Avenue, Alton Road and West Avenue.

Is Google’s former boss bulding a house on San Marino Island?

Curbed Miami, a website that specializes in real estate and architecture, has an interesting post on elaborate home plans submitted for a 12,700 square foot home on San Marino that reporter Sean McCaughan tracks back to ex-Google CEO Eric Schmidt.

Curbed says the plans, submitted to Miami Beach’s Design Review Board for a hearing today, is a series of cubes designed by Leroy Street Studio.

Flash from the past on Dade Boulevard

IMG_3766We photographed this throwback Friday truck at 6:45 a.m. at the corner of Meridian and Dade Boulevard.

Tell the truth. Don’t you miss Burdines?

New restaurant opens in Costa Brava, and Belle Isle residents get a break

We have a new restaurant on Belle Isle.

It’s in the Costa Brava condominium, 11 Island Ave., and it’s open to the public.

It’s open Tuesday through Sunday to eat in and take out, and features a Bistro-style menu. Lunch hours are 11 a.m. to 3 p.m., and dinner is 6-10 p.m. It offers Sunday brunch from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.

For lunch there are salads, crepes, Panini sandwiches, tacosĀ  as well as pasta, fish and meat dishes in the $6-$10 range. Dinners run $12-$28. Take a look at the menu.

Costa Brava community association manager Maria Mijares says it is run by Thierry Bossa, a French chef who previously owned La Cigale restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard.

Mijares says Belle Isle residents will get a 10 percent discount if they mention they learned about the restaurant in the Belle Isle Blog. (we are blushing in Blogland).

There are two other dining options on Belle Isle: the fine waterfront restaurant at the Standard, and the House Cafe at 9 Island Avenue (open Tuesday-Saturday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. and 5-9 p.m. for dinner). The House Cafe is open for dining to 9 Island residents, and delivers throughout Belle Isle.