Category Archives: Events

Rainbow off Belle Isle

7:30 a.m., looking south from 9 Island venue.

7:30 a.m., looking south from 9 Island venue.

Not a bad way to start Monday morning…..

Two new restaurants coming to Sunset Harbour

La Moderna is opening soon

La Moderna is opening soon

NaiYaRa will be an Asian street food concept restaurant.

NaiYaRa will be an Asian street food concept restaurant.

Belle Isle neighbor David Leeds wanted an update on the two largest remaining spaces in the Sunset Harbour Shoppes, which will be filled in the next couple of months with restaurants.

The first is La Moderna, and Wendy Chernin of the Scott Robins Companies tells us it’s expected to open by the end of June along the breezeway facing east behind Panther Coffee. It’s a sibling of Fratelli la Bufala at 437 Washington Ave.

The  second space is behind Ice Box, and Chernin says it will be called NaiYaRa, an Asian street food concept from chef Piyarat Arreeratn, aka Chef Bee, of Oishi Thai in North Miami, and formerly of Khong River House in Miami Beach.

That space is supposed to open at the end of the summer. As always, this being Miami Beach, timetables can slip.

The Venetian Causeway is closed

IMG_4647We walked the length of Venetian Way and back from Belle Isle between 6 and 7 a.m.

IMG_4645IMG_4648It’s never seemed quieter. For residents, detour aside, enjoy the tranquility. The bridges belong to biker, runners, walkers and residents now — as long as you don’t want to cross to Miami.

Venetian Causeway closes at midnight; nine months of detours to begin

Workers race to open 17th Street to West Avenue lanes on Saturday

Workers race to open 17th Street to West Avenue lanes on Saturday.

After more than a year of dread and delay, the Venetian Causeway link between the Venetian Islands and downtown Miami closes tonight — for at least nine months.

The $12.4 million job means no Miami Beach to Miami access for Art Basel (December) and the Miami Marathon (February), Art Deco Weekend (January), the Boat Show (February), South Beach Food and Wine (February) and possibly Winter Music Conference and Ultra (March).

It’s inconvenient for drivers, and a nightmare for bikes and scooterswho know the Venetian to be the quickest and safest path for them across Biscayne Bay.

March 15, 2014. That’s the day when a chunk of the westernmost Venetian Causeway bridge gave way under the tire of Miami-Dade Transit bus.

A month later, Miami-Dade County announced the structural deficiencies in the bridge were so severe that the span would have to be closed and rebuilt. At the time, Miami-Dade said the closure would begin in four to six months, and work would take nine months.

Could some of the event impact have been avoided if the county moved closer to its original timetable? Maybe.  But with nine months of construction, it’s hard not to impact a major attraction in an event-laden area like ours.

There’s an interesting story by the Miami Herald’s Joey Flechas today that reveals that the contractor could get the work done before Art Basel — for $4.7 million more than the $12.4 million construction contract. It’s money Miami-Dade says it’s not willing to pay.

Meanwhile, island residents prepared Sunday for their longer commutes, contractors worked all weekend on the 17th Street connectiion to West Avenue, trying to get it ready so drivers heading south to the MacArthur Causeway could avoid the detour to Alton Road.

 

When Venetian-to-Miami link closes, at least we’ll be able to turn right on West Avenue

We’re all bracing for the months of inconvenience that start Monday when the westernmost span on Venetian Way closes for reconstruction.

But we heard some decent news today from the Florida Department of Transportation: They plan to partially open the 17th Street bridge on Monday, so Venetian Isle residents can turn right on to West Avenue as we make our way south to the MacArthur Causeway.

According to FDOT spokeswoman Heather Leslie, “one eastbound and one westbound lane will reopen on 17 Street between Dade Boulevard and West Avenue.

“The contractor will continue underground drainage, water main and sanitary sewer operations within the existing work zone on West Avenue between Lincoln Road and 17 Street. 17 between Alton Court and West Avenue will be closed for all pedestrian traffic.”

The Venetian closure is expected to last about nine months.

 

 

Friday night bike ride will cross Venetian, snarl traffic

Route for Friday night's ride

Route for Friday night’s ride

Plan for a Venetian Way traffic mess Friday night.

Critical Mass — the last-Friday-of-the-month bicycling event — is using its last chance before Venetian bridge construction closes the west span on June 1 to make the Miami Beach to mainland Miami crossing.

And that means at minimum, hundreds of bikes crossing the causeway starting around 7:45 p.m.

Friday’s ride starts at 7:15 p.m. on the mainland, riders will cross to Miami Beach over the 79th Street Causeway.

According to Miami Beach police, the cyclists will then continue east along 71 Street, then south at Indian Creek Drive towards 63 Street. They will continue south along Collins Avenue to Dade Boulevard.

At Dade Boulevard, cyclists will head west to the Venetian Causeway, where they will exit Miami Beach and continue into the city of Miami.

Our advice: Plan your Venetian travel before 7:30 p.m. or after 9 p.m. — and just to be careful. And if you get caught in the traffic, be patient!

 

A great way to start a weekend

Sunset over Miami, from Belle Isle

Sunset over Miami, from Belle Isle (Herb Frank photo)