Miami just celebrated her 125th anniversary last July, 2021.
We decided to drive over and enjoy the anniversary festivities in Coconut Grove. A couple of decades ago the Grove was exploding with fun, music and food. It was reminiscent of The Village in New York City back in the 70’s, 80’s and 90’s, only hotter.
Today, also like The Village, many things have changed. The first sign of change… I found a parking space EASILY! In fact, there were many available spaces on a Saturday afternoon. Not such a good sign. Presently, there are a vast amount of expensive Condos sprouting up here and there and not so many avantgarde, funky places such as before. However, resiliency is bountiful, and I’m convinced funkiness will soon return.
We arrived at Commodore Plaza where public animation seriously started to pick up. A group of actors dressed in traditional outfits worn by historical pioneers such as Julia Tuttle and Marjorie Stoneman Douglas, etc., were wooing the crowds at Peacock Park and MacFarlane Road. Outdoor restaurants were busy. Artists were sharing their works at the Vendor Village and much like the old Village in NY City it was a clothes-line art show. There was an iconic car exhibition, festive junkanoo dancers, stilt walkers, trivia questions where winners could win gift cards to local restaurants and the CG bike club making the rounds. There was also a notable panel discussion with a host of dedicated local movers and shakers sharing their visions.
We strolled into the gardens of the Barnacle Historic State Park where talented musicians were performing. Chairs and tables were available for sitting and blissfully relaxing.
Our last stop was at the Woman’s Club of Coconut Grove. The house is architecturally stunning and charming. Guests enjoyed a cocktail party beverage while some of the ladies sang to selections on the piano.
The Grove is a unique precious oasis, morphing with the times. Will it ever be like it was before? No. It will be more daring, innovative always welcoming and you probably won’t be able to find a parking space easily. Now that’s a good sign.