Harken back to the glamour of the swinging ’60s with the newly opened ELV venue and reception space in Miami Beach. Originally designed by famed architect Morris Lapidus in 1966, who was also the mastermind behind the Fontainebleau and Eden Roc hotels, the building recently underwent a $2 million renovation to restore the property to its former glory. Features include a first-floor cocktail reception room, an expansive ballroom with original chandeliers and a 4,000-square-foot commissary for in-house catering by chef Yung Ngo-Hong, formerly of Nobu. Located in South Beach near the Fillmore and New World Symphony, the venue is a hidden gem, that can now be enjoyed by couples who appreciate chic architecture and the city’s illustrious history. Venue rental from $8,000, 1723 Washington Ave., Miami Beach, 305.407.2266, elvmiamibeach.com
The owner of Art Lexing Gallery in Miami describes her personal style and art preferences as “experimental and bold.” She believes that the more unique and irreplaceable, the better.
“Hip” and “trendy” have never been words that dripped off the tongue when discussing Oakland Park. But a mixture of ambitious plans from city hall, comparatively low rents and a handful of pioneering businesses are changing the place’s look and feel.
In one of the hottest brewery taprooms in the area, the game is on the TV sets, bartenders pull from Buddha beer tap handles, friends challenge each other to rounds of cornhole in the game room, and a crash of giant Jenga pieces crumbles to the floor.
Next door, Alberte’s Restaurant serves up authentic Caribbean cuisine. Across the street, hipsters wait their turn to play the favorite video games from their childhoods at video game bar Tenth Level Tavern. A couple blocks down the road, a server presents a plate of fried chicken at Kelvin 3200.
After a week of work, this crowd has chosen to spend their night in Oakland Park. Not Himmarshee, not Las Olas, not Beach Place.
“A couple of years ago, I was getting a lot of phone calls from different people who wanted to do stories, whether it be print or otherwise,” says Kathleen Margoles, Oakland Park’s community and economic development director. “I remember this one guy said to me, ‘When I was a kid, my dad used to take me out there on the weekends to buy hardware and parts in the warehouse in Oakland Park, and now I go and drink beer in one of the coolest places.’ To me, that really exemplified the change and it has been fast.”
If the sun is rising, odds are that Lori Royce is wide-awake, taking in all the details of the colors, textures and shades as the sky transitions from dark to bright.
“I love seeing the colors change,” she says of her favorite time of day. “I love the darks turning to light, I love the lights turning to dark, I love movement. … I love the sunlight, how it sparkles like diamonds on the water. So I try and capture that.”
Working with pastels, oil and acrylic paints, Royce recreates scenes of sunrises, the ocean, palm trees and more onto each canvas. Now, she’s also transferring her creations into wearable pieces of art.
“You can literally take one of my canvases, wrap it around you, and you’ll look beautiful,” she says.
A banana cream pie was a part of one of the most iconic moments in the gay liberation movement.
Anita Bryant, a chart-topping songstress who used her fame to fight “homosexual militants,” was speaking at a press conference in Des Moines, Iowa in 1977 when an activist, Tom Higgins, threw the pie in her face.
“Well, at least it’s a fruit pie,” she scoffed.
Her husband, Bob Green, then encouraged his wife to pray for Higgins. She prayed for him and his “deviant” lifestyle as she wiped away cream from her face, crying.
Lee Lawson, an Iowa native who was in Des Moines protesting Bryant’s visit that day, didn’t witness the incident in person, but word spread quickly.
“Some of us were excited and some of us were embarrassed,” he said of the bold move, one some felt was too bold. “One of the things you had to be aware of is there was a large anti-war movement and we were trying to keep ourselves separate from that. They were a lot bigger and a lot more active than we were. We were trying to do our own thing.”
No matter the reason, Bryant was a huge roadblock in the fight for LGBT rights.
In New Orleans’ French Quarter, countless people walk the intersection of Iberville Street and Chartres Street, perhaps to grab a drink at The Jimani, a bite at the Backspace Bar & Kitchen, or breakfast at Daisy Dukes.
But look down, and a bronze plaque is embedded in the brick sidewalk, one with a flame and the names of 32 perished souls. Beneath a neon sign reading Dixie Divas, it sits at the feet of a burgundy door that houses the story of the UpStairs Lounge.
It was June 24, 1973 — nearly four years to the day of the infamous raid at the Stonewall Inn in New York City, when a gathering of LGBT people and their allies were laughing over drinks. By the end of the night, 29 were dead and another three would later die from their injuries.
The next day, The Times-Picayune devoted its front page to the fire, headlined “29 KILLED IN QUARTER BLAZE” and printed a photo of onlookers in front of the charred building, as well as a portrait of a man in horror as he took in the damage.
“I was 11 years old and I saw the front page of the newspaper,” remembers Johnny Townsend. “There was that picture of Rusty Quinton on the front cover looking up in horror at the bar. The expression on his face really struck me deeply.”
To this day, no one has been arrested for the fire, and until recently, the tragedy disappeared into history.
The detail-oriented founder and CEO of Miami Beach investment company Mast Capital is a real-estate virtuoso with an impeccably curated look.
THE WATCH “I wear my Vacheron watch the most. I just think it’s a very elegant watch. It’s a little different, and not everybody wears rose-gold watches. My wedding ring is rose gold, too.” Vacheron Constantin, Tourneau at Merrick Park, 320 San Lorenzo Avenue, Suite 1225, Coral Gables; 305-448-6878; tourneau.com.
THE RESTAURANT “Milos is one of my favorite restaurants. I’ve never had a bad meal there. They have this dish called the Greek ceviche, and it has a little bite to it becuase it’s a little spicy. It’s one of my favorite things to eat there.” Estiatorio Milos, 730 First Street, Miami Beach; 305-604-6800; milos.ca.
THE TIE “I like the design and the silk they use to make the ties — they have so many variations, I always find something I like.” $230, Brioni at Bal Harbour Shops, 9700 Collins Avenue, Bal Harbour; 305-868-9399; brioni.com.
The fiercely philanthropic chair of the Zoo Miami Foundation won’t rest until her community provides education, healthcare and culture for all.
There are not enough hours in the day for one person to save the world, but Ana VeigaMilton perhaps has come closest — the philanthropist and wife and mother of three has sat on the boards of more organizations that we can fit in print.
“I’m very into community and into family,” she said. “I’m not at peace if anything’s not right in the community.”
Born in Cuba, VeigaMilton remembers growing up in an immigrant family in the United States, one determined to be successful and get an education, that “no matter what happens in this country, we’re going to make it.”
She graduated from the University of Miami with a degree in engineering and followed in her father’s footsteps to work at BellSouth. Then, she returned to school for a degree in law — all the while balancing a wedding to her husband, Cecil Milton, and the subsequent birth of their first child — and practiced family law, pro bono.
Driving through Fort Lauderdale, one sees familiar sights: Coconuts restaurant, Broward Health hospitals, the Museum of Discovery and Science, Boatyard restaurant. Not only are they all embedded into the city’s landscape, they’re all projects that builder Grey Marker has had a hand in over the years.
As he says, “It’s very rewarding to be a part of progress. It’s personally rewarding to drive by a building and say, ‘Wow, I was a part of that.’”
Marker is the principal of the Marker Construction Group, carrying on a family tradition of building construction that began in Philadelphia. In 1978, when he was in the fourth grade, the family moved to Fort Lauderdale. In 2001, with enough roots planted in the area, Marker started his company.
“My biggest mission is to be a big part of revitalizing and connecting the east side of Las Olas to the west side and having it be one large, kind of walkable main street of Fort Lauderdale,” Marker says.
Jamaica — it’s an island paradise, splashed across television ads, billboards and brochures, promising a vacation that one will never forget.
However, many are trying to get away from the white sand beaches, rum, and reggae tunes: LGBT people.
In May, two men were shot and killed at a home they were staying at and rumors circulated that the two were gay. In 2015, a video was released of a young gay man tied up as a crowd stoned him to death, all the while yelling homophobic slurs. In 2015, a 16-year-old transgender girl was stabbed, shot, and run over by a car after she attended a party in a dress. She was buried in a suit and tie.
Because of these horror stories, many Jamaicans make their way to the U.S. in hopes of seeking asylum. When they arrive, many of them meet Grace Gomez, a Miami immigration attorney.
“Jamaica is definitely the worst in the western hemisphere,” she said about the country’s treatment of LGBT people.