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Coconut Grove’s Bohemian Allure and Artsy Vibe

 

colorful bar 

            Coconut Grove  (originally Miami’s bohemian art hub, luring the free-spirited and artistically inclined)  has a rich history and artsy-vibe.  Capturing on canvas the essence of the Grove,  sidewalks were dotted with easels … with artisans displaying their wares. Potters set up shop in artist’s coops:  Grove House … and in what’s now the charming sidewalk cafe and local hang-out, Greenstreet Cafe.  Today the Grove is often used for TV, film and photo shoots, including those shot here… on Main Highway and on Loquat Avenue… courtesy of Redbook… as well as the  scenes depicted  here by local artists on canvas…. courtesy of Federico Carosio III.

main-highway-Federico-Carosio-III

Once home to thriving art galleries,  The Grove hosts the annual Coconut Grove Arts Festival (each February), as well as the King Mango Strut (a parody on the Orange Bowl),  and the Goombay Festival (reminiscent of Bahamian and Caribbean origins).

poinciana in bloom-Federico-Carosio-III

Although many galleries have closed  (rental space having become scarce and increasingly more expensive), the rich artistic history as well as the artists themselves have remained (and the lifestyle and culture they created are still very much a part of what is today’s Grove). Local artists such as Federico Carosio III capture the essence of the Grove … with works of art  recognizeable the world over.

Grove origins centered around the Lighthouse, with early settlers arriving by boat… into what was previously home to Native Americans. 

cafe pastis

Around the turn of the century pioneers, lured to the rich farmlands of South Dade,  arrived through what was then the “Little Hunting Ground”…  and today known as Coconut Grove.   

Coconut Grove is 10 minutes from Downtown Miami. Situated directly on the bay, it is home to Coral Reef Yacht Club, Dinner Key Marina, the Coconut Grove Sailing Club, and several waterfront parks. Peacock Park is haven for some of Florida’s wildlife…  and  the manatee.

The Miami Museum of Science and Planetarium are culturally significant, as are the Grove’s historically designated treasures; Kampong, The Barnacle, and Vizcaya.  Once home  to David Fairchild, Kampong is a spectacular seven-acre Botanical Garden, it’s name originating from the Malay word meaning “cluster.”

Created by yacht designer (and wreckage salvager of boats running aground in Biscayne Bay), Commodore Ralph Middleton Monroe, The Barnacle is the oldest home in Miami. Historic site, turned museum, The Barnacle was so named, supposedly, for the shape of her roof. (Somehow, I’m rather inclined to believe the name originates more from the marine life attached to the boat hulls.)

Now a museum hosting cultural and social events, Vizcaya was built as  James Deering’s personal residence. Listed among the Register of Historic Sites since 1970, the  Renaissance style Italian Villa with her ten acres of formal gardens, took 1,000 artisans and craftsmen two years to build.  Architect F. Burrell Hoffman began construction in 1914, four years after Deering acquired the land, using construction materials from castles and palaces in Italy and Spain. The raw materials were shipped to Miami from Europe by boat,  to be re-assembled and used in the construction of Villa Vizcaya.  Scouring Europe for furnishings and art,  tapestries and murals, Vizcaya was a veritable museum from day one. Every  luxury available at the time was incorporated … including elevators.  Today you can visit the museum, it’s cafe, and gift shop. Vizcaya, for years, provided the backdrop for the annual Renaissance Festival, which spilled out through the grounds each spring, drawing visitors from far and wide. ( As of January 2010, the  site for the Renaissance Festival will instead be on historic Virgina Key.

tree rootsvizcayaThe mere name, Coconut Grove (as well as the image Miami conjures up) is known the world over. Tree canopy and verdant landscape, whether captured on canvas or photographed, are easily recognizable. 

The Grove is renown for her banyans, casual outdoor dining, sidewalk cafes, nightlife and culture.

To this day, the Grove has a Caribbean flair. Situated next to Biscayne Bay, the lush tree canopy and great outdoor space lure locals and tourists alike.

CocoWalk brims with shops, dining, clubs, movies and live music. Site of the Coconut Grove Arts Festival and the King Mango Strut Parade, the Grove is a vibrant community with activities, art festivals, cultural events, music year round, and  offers a bohemian lifestyle like no other.

If you are considering buying or selling property in Coconut Grove, or elsewhere in Miami, please give me a call at (305) 793-1365 or send me a note.

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