Category Archives: People

Belle Isle personalities and celebrity sightings

Miami Beach United launches speaker series

The civic group Miami Beach United is starting a speaker series on what makes a great American city with a debate.

Former Miami Beach Mayor Neisen Kasdin, a prominent land-use lawyer, will debate Adam Kravitz, of counsel with the law firm Becker and Poliakoff. Kravitz is president of the Alton Road Residents Associaton.

The topic: Changing the way we vote on Miami Beach.

It happens at 6 p.m. Oct. 27 at the Miami Beach Community Church, at the corner of Lincoln Road and Drexel Avenue. To RSVP, call 305-609-4288

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, tacos  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.


Murder, dead body dumping and Belle Isle

So, file this post under “know your neighbors,” and “interesting people who live on Belle Isle.”

Twenty years ago, a woman was murdered, allegedly by her husband, and her body was dumped in Biscayne Bay.

Yesterday in Miami-Dade criminal court, 9 Island Avenue resident Alan M. Gold revealed how he helped dump the body with the accused murderer, Cliff Friend.

He said they put her body, stuffed into a bag, on a boat at the marina docked behind Gold’s Belle Isle condo and motored out to sea.

We don’t want to spoil the rest of Miami Herald reporter David Ovalle’s amazing story. There more to it, for sure.

We live in an interesting place.

Miami-Dade Transit offers a South Beach Local workaround for Belle Isle

Among the multiple impacts from the deterioration of the Venetian Causeway bridges, new weight limits for the bridge between Belle Isle and Sunset Harbour led Miami-Dade Transit to halt South Beach Local service to Belle Isle.

That’s in addition to curtailing the route and service hours of Route A on Venetian Way.

The South Beach Local is the 25 cent bus ride that connects Belle Isle to Sunset Harbour and rest of South Beach via West Avenue and Washington Avenue. If you don’t have a car and can’t walk long distances, it’s your essential link off the island.

Route A connected Lincoln Road with mainland Miami and the Omni area, but didn’t go into Sunset Harbour. When the bridge emergency surfaced, the county first stopped Route A service, and then restored a truncated route that goes no further west than San Marco Island.

The end result: You can’t bus from Belle Isle to Publix.

So Barbara Cowen got fired up.

Cowen lives in Terrace Tower, 3 Island Ave. She depends on the South Beach Local for trips to Publix and other key points east. The decision to simply cross out the SBL stops on Belle Isle made no sense to her.

She gathered signatures more than 500 signatures from residents and employees of Belle Isle and other affected areas  and presented them to the county. And she got results.

Let her tell the story:

“As a result of 500-plus Belle Isle residents’ and employees’ request for the restoration of low-cost public transportation to Belle Isle, Miami-Dade Transit has reorganized the A bus route that runs along Venetian Way every half hour between 7 and 10 a.m. and between 2 and 6 p.m. to include a stop at Publix eastbound on the way to Meridian Avenue and 17th Street, and westbound from Meridian to San Marco Island. The stop for the A bus going from Belle Isle to Publix is at the bus shelter on the south side of Venetian Way, by the park (and the DecoBike kiosk). The bus stop on the return from Publix is at the bus shelter on the north side of Venetian Way.”

Riders can pick up the South Beach Local at Publix. This isn’t perfect, but it’s an improvement over no service from Belle Isle to Publix. For now, you can take the A bus for free.

And, of course, the work isn’t done, Cowan says. The Route A schedule is limited. The A bus used to run until midnight.

The action moves to Miami Beach City Hall on Wednesday.

Cowan: “The mayor and the commissioners will be discussing the restoration of local transportation services to Belle Isle at the commission meeting on Wednesday, April 30, at 5 p.m. This item has been placed on the agenda in response to the request of 500-plus Belle Isle residents for the pressing need for the return of local, affordable and reliable transportation. Belle Isle residents are urged to attend the meeting.”

Thanks, Barbara!

Belle Isle boil water advisory ends

Make that pot of coffee.

The city of Miami Beach says the boil water advisory for Belle Isle has ended. Testing shows our tap water is safe for drinking and cooking.

The advisory was put in place Monday evening, after a water main break stopped water service to Belle Isle residents.

Belle Isle resident leads the fight against Miami Beach water pollution

Dave Doebler

Dave Doebler

There’s a great profile in today’s Miami Herald of Belle Isle resident David Doebler, who has devoted amazing energy to cleaning debris from Miami Beach’s waterways to keep them — and the city drainage system — clean.

Doebler already has received the key to the city from Miami Beach, and his pesonal crusade has led the Beach to look into cleaning the drains more frequently.

He also put together two Slide Share presentations on all the bad stuff he found in Beach waterways.

Take a look.

Sunset from Belle Isle

These are beautiful, from the Grand Venetian, by Herb Frank. IMAG0784IMAG0786