the view from Sunday: that’s so Miami

I’m on a roll! Came back to the office to get some writing done, so I brought my camera along for some fun. Now, every Miamian knows there’s no sense going anywhere near the Miami Beach/bay area over the holiday weekend, so this is about as close as I’m going to get.

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Donkey Show – Disco time!

“The Donkey Show” has to be the most inventive, colorful, disco-licious adaptation of A Midsummer Night’s Dream ever! I had so much fun at this event!

I also didn’t notice the bchan recording sneaky videos while I was dancing… ♥

Last night…

My Miami Spice outing was wonderful! I think Miami Spice is one of the best ideas the Chamber of Commerce has come up with to promote top restaurants, as there is no way I could afford to eat in such splendor on a regular date night (poor, lowly student and all).

We chose The Capital Grille for our outing after debating the merits of the menus on offer. It was a great choice, and the place was delightfully jazzy and made me feel like I was in Chicago in the ’40s. I had the spring onion soup, lamb chops, and shared a creme brulee and a chocolate bread pudding with chocolate ice cream (we got one of each dessert on offer). Of course, there was the requisite glass of wine.

My b-chan claims that we were celebrating our almost-two-year anniversary, and I’ll have to take his word for it. I conveniently settled on January 1st as our official anniversary, though we really started dating around Christmas and didn’t make it official until the 2nd. Odd though it may seem, I’m not the kind of girl who generally remembers things like these, so choosing a major holiday as our anniversary seemed like the easiest option. It was a nice gesture, even if I am hopelessly absentminded about such things.

But where have the books gone?

I am more than a little peeved to find that since they closed the Waldenbooks at our local mall, there is not a single bookstore for miles ’round. None at all. Not even a simple paperback shop where I can get something light and frothy. It’s a given that the book industry is not what it once was, but there are dozens of schools in the area… where do the kiddies go to find books for their English classes (or “Language Arts” as they like to call them around here)? That Waldenbooks was the nearest place to find required readings. I should know; I had to go there often enough when I was in middle and high school. That little shop was there forever. The selection was small, but you were always bound to find something interesting.

Instead, I had to drag myself to white bread Pembroke Pines, a good 20-30 minute drive, to pick up a copy of Blameless (I needs it!). The thing is, it would have been a 20-30 minute drive in any direction… there are plenty of Borders, B&Ns and indie bookshops in Miami, they are just nowhere near my area. Does no one read around here? I am sure I cannot be the only one? Even if it’s just a copy of To Kill a Mockingbird, there must be a place where local students can go to get a book (and don’t say Amazon, the people in my area aren’t the most web savvy)? Surely, I am not the only one who finds this absolutely ridiculous?

In which I am a proper citizen

Performed my civic duty today and served my time… jury duty time that is. I am always selected to serve on these things; the first time, it was kind of exciting, now that I have other obligations, etc… not so much. The Judge was quite nice though and she was a female judge, which is always a positive thing in such a male-dominated arena. Oh well… got to finish Changeless while I waited outside the courtroom and had a very well-made latte for my mid-morning snack; however, I have yet to have a cup of tea and it’s already 6pm–it’s an outrage! 😛 Tea forthwith!

On another note–

My BookDrum profile on Robin McKinley’s Beauty was published Sunday evening and I’m a bit fluttery about it. It’s one of my favorites but after spending far too much time reading/writing about/and analyzing it for my thesis, I still feel I can’t quite do it justice. So here is a screengrab of my 15 minutes (for posterity)

I was at a loss as to which picture to send when they emailed me for an image, so my night at the opera one had to do.

One Sweet Day

Went to check out the Sweetness Bake Shop & Cafe on SW 95th and Sunset Drive and was very pleased with the cupcakes and the fun atmosphere. Sweetness is a lovely, whimsical confectionery, coffee, and tea shop that serves a range of homemade cupcakes, gourmet deserts, gelato, bonbons, and a variety of drinks. The shop is inviting and decorated with a charming melange of sweet treat inspired art.

Today was the shops’s Grand Opening and the place was bustling; fresh cupcake trays just kept coming as the treats on display quickly ran out. The bchan and I picked four of the tasty looking treats–he chose Thrilla in Vanilla and Key Lime Pie, while I chose the Borracha and the Guayabera (my Cuban is showing). These were the mini size, which was just right for a quick treat. I especially liked that they do not pile on an overwhelming mound of cream on their cupcakes; I prefer to taste my cake and this was a nice balance. The cake itself was moist and flavorful, my bchan’s first comment was on how lemony the key lime tasted. My Borracha (rum-infused pound cake with meringue) and Guayabera (guava-filled guava cake topped with cream) cupcakes were a great combination and the guava on the inside was a pleasant surprise, bringing out the guava flavor of the cake. All in all, I loved my sweet shop experience 🙂

A Royal Affair

My b-chan found out that a special exhibit was going to be held this weekend at Aventura Mall in North Miami, so we made a date of it and went off to see the “Royal Crowns of the World” display. It was mostly a marketing ploy for Lakeview Home Accessories, purveyors of fine silverware and porcelain so far as I could tell. Most of the crowns were obvious reproductions, with a few exceptions. Lovely to look at, nevertheless.

These are a few of the ones I liked the most:

And because we were in the area, we took a quick trip to the Krispy Kreme factory to have some piping hot doughnuts. I haven’t been to this place since high school; it never changes. The doughnuts are still sinfully delicious.

Grand ol’ Opera

I went to my very first opera on Friday night 🙂 . I’ve been to musicals, plays, ballets, concerts, even magic shows, but never an opera. My b-chan surprised me with a pair of tickets on Valentine’s day and I was very excited to get a chance to finally see one live (thank you PBS for my introduction to opera). We went to see The Barber of Seville, which I have been wanting to see for years, ever since they built the opera house in Downtown Miami. It was a wonderfully whimsical production. The cast was incredible and the costumes made me want to dress-up in 18th century finery. The set was minimalistic, but featured an animated background that served as a comic backdrop for the story. A great first opera experience. Next year, it will be my goal to snag tickets to Carmen.

St. Sophia Greek Festival

I love festivals! I love Greek pastries! The St. Sophia Greek Festival (Miami) was made for indulging in all things rich and delicious. Lots of great food and a great atmosphere 🙂 .

I had to work and forgot to pack my camera, but my b-chan had his on hand and snapped some pictures of the food and festivities.

Greek pastries

Even more Greek pastries

Dancing at the Greek Festival

a chill breeze

It is so cold here! I just wiped down my windows and the towel was soaked through. There have even been reports of snow in some areas–yes, it’s that cold. Yesterday, I braved the constant drizzle to go to Target and I was surprised that the thin spray wasn’t turning into flakes. My mom is in a state about the poor cats outside–we’ve set up covered boxes for them to take shelter. We’ve thought of letting them stay in our bath, but though they come in to eat, they are strays and don’t like to stay indoors for very long. We’re doing our best to help them weather this, er… weather.

We tried turning on our heater, but the air vents are near the fire alarms and it’s been so long since we’ve turned the heat up, that the smell of burning keeps making the alarms go off in an uproar of mad ear-splitting beeping. At least we know they still work.

I can’t wait for this front to pass. I like mild weather, nice cool breezes, not near freezing winds and rain.