Around the turn of the 20th Century, black people coming to Miami to work on Henry Flagler’s railroad were relegated to live in “Colored Town.” They faced discrimination and the wrath of Jim Crow, yet Overtown grew into a vibrant community  the Harlem of the South. When Miami’s growth encroached on Overtown, the neighborhood lost many of the places that made it shine. Like Clyde Killen’s Pool Hall, where some of the country’s top black artists performed late at night after they played shows in Miami Beach. Clyde Killen’s is being reborn into a restaurant from star chef Marcus Samuelsson. David Beckham plans to put his Major League Soccer stadium in Overtown. And talented Miami couple Jamila Ross and Akino West are about to open their Copper Door Bed & Breakfast nearby. The neighborhood recently hosted BlackTech Week, drawing innovators and entrepreneurs from around the country. Overtown is enjoying a return to its glory days.

Continue reading


The Next Hot Spots

Everybody knows Flagler Village is developing at warp speed, Wilton Drive is the place to be and Victoria Park is getting harder and harder to get into. But what are the area’s next hot neighborhoods?

When it comes to doing business in Fort Lauderdale, it doesn’t get much better than opening up shop on the water. At Shooters, boaters can come right to the dock, tie up their vessel, and take their pick between eating in the fresh air or inside in a lightly nautical-themed dining room. This Shooters, a grown-up restaurant with wine dinners, live music and community events, is a far cry from the bikini-contest-hosting venue it was for decades (remnants of this history are evident in framed black-and-white photos on the walls).

“We embrace the past, but we’re not that anymore and we’re fine with that,” says Peter Lopez, the director of operations at Shooters. “We’re not the burgers, bikinis, beers of the past. We’ve grown like everybody else.”

Continue reading

Ron Blake Was Raped in 2015; Now He’s On A Mission to Share His Story and Get on the ‘The Late Show’

It was late on Nov. 2, 2015 when Ron Blake was sitting on his couch in Phoenix, Arizona. “The Late Show With Stephen Colbert” had just started, and per usual, he opened the show with a monologue taking jabs at politics and pop culture.

Blake doesn’t remember what it was exactly, but Colbert made a joke during the monologue that had him cracking up with laughter. When he realized he was laughing — something he hadn’t done in a while — he paused the show to take in that moment.

“It’s not the fact that I laughed at that show that saved my life, it’s that I recognized that something was good . . . I went to bed with hope that night.”

Continue reading

Discovering the Youthful (and Delicious) Side of Boca Raton

Courtesy Facebook.com/TheSeedBoca

Boca Raton is famously known as a retirement community, but the city’s younger residents are carving out a culture of their own.

The words “Boca Raton” tend to instantly evoke images of retirees who spend their winters on the beach and pastel one-bedroom condos. But ask those who actually live in this South Florida city, and they’ll tell you the stereotypes about Boca don’t capture the reality of this multifaceted — and surprisingly youthful — place.

“The culture has evolved in Boca Raton,” said Shaan Dholakia, 33, who has lived in Boca Raton since he was four years old. “There’s a lot of creative people doing creative things, whether it is a hip gastropub or a ramen shop or a Korean BBQ … these were things that were unheard of in Boca Raton.”

When Dholakia and his brother were teenagers a little over a decade ago, they were eager to experience the independence a driver’s license granted them. Budding foodies, they started looking up local restaurants they could try out on their own.

The top search result? Red Lobster.

Continue reading

The Town That’s the Heart of the South Florida Rodeo Scene

Courtesy Davie Pro Rodeo

Yes, you read that right: the South Florida rodeo scene.

South Florida: it’s a place vacationers flock to every year to bask in the sun from beach towels, watch mega yachts on the Intracoastal, and explore the booming nightlife scene. But just 30 minutes west of those world-famous beaches is an unexpected gem, a place where cowboys throw on their spurs and Stetsons.

It’s the Bergeron Rodeo Grounds in Davie, Florida.

Drawing 30,000 spectators a year, the grounds had its first rodeo in 1946, back when it was known as the Davie Rodeo Arena. For decades it hosted competitions and continued the town’s western tradition. However, in 1978, the rodeo was under threat from an ongoing enemy of the townspeople: development. Undeterred, hundreds of residents rode to a town council meeting on horseback to protest tearing down the arena, and they succeeded.

Continue reading

Shedding Light on Eating Disorders in the LGBT Community

Eating disorders only affect straight, white, teenage girls.

Well, that’s the stereotype that most people buy into, delaying diagnosis in males, older people, and the LGBT community.

“It’s definitely a misconception,” said Myra Hendley, a program therapist at the Eating Recovery Center of the Carolinas in Greenville, South Carolina.

“That’s not to say that body isn’t a huge part of eating disorder, but it could be anxiety driven or some kind of control mechanism … people don’t just say ‘Oh, I’d like to be skinnier’ and then develop anorexia. There’s something playing into that.”

Continue reading

8 Surprising Things About Living in Florida

From wildlife to road trips to rodeos, take it from a local: Florida is full of surprises.

As someone who was born in Florida but didn’t return to the Sunshine State until college, I’m an odd hybrid of a Florida native and transplant. Since I returned 14 years ago, I’ve traveled all over the state — from Key West to TampaJacksonvilleOrlando and more — and gotten acquainted with all the unique aspects of this incredibly diverse state.

Most people think of Florida as all white sand beaches and retirement homes. Trust me: this state is so much more than that. Here are some surprising things about Florida that most people don’t know:

Continue reading


An expert in art, Lorie Mertes is executive director of nonprofit gallery Locust Projects — and she knows how to incorporate beautiful things into her Miami lifestyle. Here are eight of her current obsessions:

1. The Gallery

“Locust Projects has some stellar exhibitions lined up by Nancy Davidson and Miami-based artist Pepe Mar, and we are also participating in NADA Miami during Art Basel.”

3852 North Miami Avenue, Miami; 305-576-8570; locustprojects.org.

2. The Clothing

“I do the delivery services like MM.LaFleur. It is a great way to see a range of things you likely would not find in one store. I go for comfortable modern pieces that have an interesting cut, and I try to make them distinctive through accessories.”


3. The Makeup

“A colleague at Locust introduced me to Fenty Beauty, and I am so happy! Real-life skin tones that cover my sensitive, heat-flushed skin and have awesome staying power.”

Foundation, $34. Sephora, 721 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach; 305-532-0904; sephora.com.

4. The Restaurant

“I’m intrigued that there are still restaurants where you can expect the unexpected and be wowed every time. My faves at KYU Miami include the roasted grouper, Thai coconut creamed spinach and coconut cake.”

251 Northwest 25th Street, Miami; 786-077-0150; kyumiami.com.

5. The Art

“Miami’s museums and galleries pull out all the stops this time of year, and locals are lucky to go check them our before or after Basel. I’m looking forward to the Dara Friedman retrospective at Pérez Art Museum Miami.”

1103 Biscayne Boulevard, Miami; 305-375-3000; pamm.org.

6. The Late Night

“The Corner is my go-to bar. They have great cocktails made by attentive bartenders, an extensive beer selection and good noshes. It’s a reliable haven to keep those great conversations going.”

1035 North Miami Avenue, Miami; 305-961-7887; thecornermiami.com.

7. The Ring

“My grandmother’s color-coded drawers of vintage costume jewelry informed my collecting obsession. I’ll mix big and bold vintage statement pieces like ’70s black chains and ’50s multistrand beads with modern touches, including my Elsa Peretti Cabochon ring that looks like a crystal ball.”

$775. Tiffany & Co. at Miami Design District, 114 Northeast 39th Street, Miami; 305-428-1390; tiffany.com.

8. The Read

“The most beautifully written book I’ve read recently is A Gentleman in Moscow by Amor Towles. Richly visual, enchanting characters. Begs to be made into a movie. Can’t wait to see who they cast as Count Rostov!”

$27. Books & Books, 265 Aragon Avenue, Coral Gables; 305-442-4408; booksandbooks.com.

Continue reading