Monthly Archives: October 2016

Fritas with style

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By mimorg33

Even though the days when black tie, haute jewelry and frequent Frank Sinatra sightings are gone, the glitzy quality infused in Morris Lapidus’ signature style can still be appreciated when one crosses the glass doors of his landmark design. The Fontainebleau Hotel, built in 1953, continues to reflect the glamour of Miami Beach’s past in the details that were carefully kept during the 2008 renovations such as the original bow tie stamped marble floor and the perforated outer walls of the sickle-shaped original building now called the Chalet Tower to which Miami architect John Nichols added two residential towers visible from the raised oceanfront walkway that overlooks the property.
Down the marble stairs at the Chateau Tower’s lobby where the dramatic chandeliers by internationally recognized Chinese dissident artist AiWeiWei reign one finds a welcome contrast to the other more formal dining spaces. Pizza and Burger by Michael Mina, a concept inspired in the chef’s own backyard kitchen by his two sons love for each item. It debuted during the summer as a pop up but its consistent popularity made it a permanent fixture among the property’s restaurants. Helming the family style fun eatery is Chef de Cuisine Timothy Elmore who comes to Pizza and Burger from Michael Mina’s Bourbon Steak at the Turnberry Isle Resort in Aventura. He is not only gracious but reflects great pride in the delectable made from scratch menu he has put together with farm-fresh products. It is comprised of tried and true favorites: a variety of pizzas and burgers with salads and side dishes loved by most.

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Among the tempting appetizers I was sent to gustatory heaven with The Meatball ($12) on a thick marinara sauce and grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; the sumptuous blue crab stuffing filling The Mushrooms ($14) was topped with garlic butter and parmesan breadcrumbs. My pizza of choice The Parmigiano ($21) combines perfectly fried chunks of eggplant and halved meatballs balanced with an unforgettable Sunday sauce, basil and whole milk mozzarella. Although The MM74 $22) is quite a delicious dry-aged steak burger with double-smoked bacon, American cheese sauce, lettuce and secret sauce when it comes to burgers the winner for me was The Cuban Frita ($22): the perfect balance of beef, chorizo and smoked paprika with an unexpected touch of aïoli sauce and incredibly crispy potato wisps sent me into a journey back to one my childhood myths, not letting down one bit all the sublimation one injects into them. The yummy coconut cream frosting made the Carrot Cake (11) the perfect end. Add to it the charming, attentive and well-informed service provided by Marvin.
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Put together it means repeat business for this Miami Beach secluded spot: a perfect after work refuge where to enjoy excellent drinks from an endless selection of locally beer brewers, daily wine specials as well as new versions of mixed cocktails such as Hair Trigger ($13) a sexy combination of Bulleit Bourbon, Drambuie, mint, ginger beer served over ice in a copper mug.
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Pizza and Burger is also a place where the kids feel quite welcome and comfortable with different games to keep busy. The music is easy enough that you can hold a conversation without straining your vocal chords.

Pizza & Burger by Michael Mina
Mon. – Thurs. / 5 pm – late
Fri. – Sun. | 12 pm – late
Social hour: daily 5 – 7
Fontainebleau Hotel
4441 Collins Avenue Miami Beach
Miami, FL 33140

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KYU: gastronomy with social conscience

KYUBar

By mimorg33

The rhythms of Wynwood with its graffiti-covered façades, kids moving in and out on their skate boards or bikes and art spaces popping up, express an urban language about this area of Miami that speaks of possibilities no other community in the county does. In the midst of this hipster environment one arrives to an open concrete area flanked by a “green wall” covered with ferns and other plants across another with a mural by artists Andrew Antonaccio and Filio Galvez. The minimalist mix of concrete, wood and metal interior is the setting for the Asian fusion food space with a wood-burning grill open kitchen.

KYUDesign
A graduate of the prestigious Culinary Institute of America (CIA), chef Michael Lewis trained with chefs David Bouley at Bouley Bakery and Market and Eric Ripert of Le Bernadin to later work under Jean-Georges at the Michelin three star Central Park West. Together with general manager Steven Haigh culinary excitement is infused at Kyu for local and visiting foodies. With affability Haigh balances his many duties keeping an overall view from the inviting bar with its tempting offerings such as the lovely Smoke & Mirrors ($16): Gracias a Dios mezcal combined with Aperol, Campari and fresh grapefruit juice. Like a missing piece of a puzzle Kyu fits perfectly in this area of urban possibilities.

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The term Kyu has multiple meanings given the rich diversity of the Asian world most of us are not versed in. It mainly refers to the ranking system in modern martial arts where you are awarded another kyu for each level achieved. The accuracy with which karate movements are performed can be associated with the way each dish is carefully conceived, crafted and executed. Starting with the simple snacks: the elegant and crunchy kale siting on nam prik
 sauce ($7), crispy pork belly steamed bun
 ($12), fun to eat crispy-spicy hamachi tartare ($18) and the refreshing and delicate tuna tartare sitting on bib lettuce with a touch of yuzu sabayon ($16); one of the most popular veggie dishes is the roasted cauliflower and goat cheese with a shishito-herb vinaigrette ($14). Pairing the appetizers with the delicate Junmai Ginjo’s Rihaku Wandering Poet sake ($11) was a perfect decision. El Niño del Campilo, a 2013 tempranillo ($14) was the choice for an addictive, mouthwatering and flawlessly cooked butter braised chicory Korean fried chicken ($18) and the unforgettably melt-in-you-mouth black shichimi pepper wagyu beef brisket ($36).

Aside from their insistence on sustainable products, I appreciate how Lewis and Haigh live their social consciousness “for every tree we burn we replant 5”. Before opening in February, the restaurant partnered with Trees for the Future to donate 10,000 trees to be planted in Senegal, this was their way of compensating for the wood they would be burning; they also use an Orca composter to reduce the amount of waste going to landfill and diminishing Co2 emissions.

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KYU Miami in Wynwood Chef Michael Lewis Steven Haigh

I enjoyed Kyu so much that I returned the following Sunday for brunch and tried the yummy soft shell crab on a steamed bun ($12) and the gorgeously stacked beef short rib cooked with a perfectly delectable sweet soy and garlic sauce ($38). On both occasions the ideal complement for me was the Thai fried rice ($20) finished table side on a heated stone pot so that a crust that balances the glutinous short grained rice regularly associated with sushi. On Sunday we tried it with crab meat ($24) but either ways this fragrant dish is worth coming back for time and time again. Yet the grand finale was mom’s scrumptious not-to-be-missed KYU coconut cake ($8).

KYU by Lucky Frog Studios

As I walked out into the blazing hot Miami afternoon I immediately reminisced about the Raging Geisha ($17) I had enjoyed earlier. For a moment I felt inclined to run back for the coolness of the cucumber-basil topped concoction with IWAI Japanese whisky, St. Germain and yuzu. But in a zen-like moment I breathed deeply: one has to be patient and wait for future visits.

Kyu is open for lunch and dinner Tuesday to Sundays; closed on Mondays. For reservations: 786-577-0150 or kyumiami.com
251 Northwest 25th Street
Miami, Florida 33127

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Perigean Spring Tides

By mimorg33

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It’s a cyclical worldwide occurrence. This year it took place on the new moons of April 7 and May 8, during the full moon of October 16 and it will happen again on November 14. It comes as the result of the Sun, Earth and Moon being in alignment, bringing the two shining planets closest to ours. As their gravitational pull increases the sea levels rises. Some immediate consequences are cyclones, floods and storms; it also gives us a glimpse of what they might potentially be like in the future; not on particular lunar cycles but on any given day. This October the tidal strength came across under the sign of Aries; the warrior moon helped propel what is popularly known as King Tides. As its white light beamed across the water behind my home I read about out troops courageously supporting the Iraqi forces attempt to liberate the city of Mosul from ISIL’s stronghold.

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As the moon reappeared behind its veil of clouds similar to abstract brushstrokes and shined her motherly light on Earth some of us sent a prayer for our men and women to return home safe, for the Iraqi troops to achieve their goal and free Mosul from the yoke asphyxiating it. For the King Tides to be benevolent as they intrude on the US coastal areas in California, Florida, Maine, Maryland, South Carolina and Washington as well as in Australia and New Zealand.

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In the future some of us might take advantage of the opportunity to learn more about the devastating impact of climate change through programs such as the King Tides Project.

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Alan Turing Speaks

By mimorg33

An especially poignant tribute to mathematician computer pioneer and WWII code-breaker Alan Turing is now permanently installed under Bishop’s Bridge Road in London. It is located near Sheldon Square and the Paddington station in the city of Westminster near the residential district of Maida Vale where he was born in 1912.
Turing who served with distinction during the war was one of hundreds of victims of the homophobia running rampant in Great Britain during the Fifties; as a result of which he was prosecuted, and found guilty of three counts of “gross indecency” in 1952 under what is known as the Labouchere Amendment of 1885. The first well-known victim of this nefarious statute was the writer Oscar Wilde back in 1895. Upon being found guilty Turing was given the choice of either prison or the “organo-therapy” he opted for. The treatment employed by the doctors at the Manchester Royal Infirmary consisted on the consumption of estrogen pills that not only caused him to grow breasts and left him impotent but also profoundly depressed him: he committed suicide on June 7, 1954 by eating a cyanide-laced apple; he was 41. The United Kingdom only decriminalized homosexual acts in 1967, a rather strong manifestation of atavistic thinking in that otherwise mostly forward moving nation.
Message From the Unseen World the Bishop’s Bridge Road permanent installation, is a collaboration between United Visual Artists, the group founded in 2003 by Matthew Clark, Chris Bird and Ash Nehru that specializes in large-scale temporary and permanent installations together with poet Nick Drake. The work was curated by Futurecity on behalf of Bristish Land, one of Europe’s largest publicly listed real estate companies. The piece consists of aluminum panels punctuated with holes that allow LED lights to shine through forming words from the poem that is Drake’s interpretation of Turing speaking about his life opening with the line: This is Alan Turing speaking… A Turing-inspired algorithm shuffles through the poem to form new versions of it that is unless you step back far enough to see it in its totality.

MESSAGE FROM THE UNSEEN WORLD
By Nick Drake

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This is Alan speaking
to you who pass by this bridge
in the enchantment of time
under the echoing arch
over the mirror of water
on your way to work or home
and to other places in the infinity
held in the secret dream cave
of your wonderful minds

This is Alan speaking
through this interface with time and space
I am the ghost in the universal machine
the one I dreamed as I lay on the grass
that grew in the green of lost time
of a meadow in Grantchester alone
thinking about whoever I was in love with at the time
and the unchanging truth of numbers
in their beautiful equations
and the enigma of human beings
in their infinite possible configurations –
I was puzzling the problem of the apple
of the knowledge of good and evil –
For on that day you eat of it
you shall surely die
but the winding snake
the only creature coded as a question
looked me in the eye and asked
in his intelligent high voice –

What’s wrong with this picture?
Why do starfish have five arms
and why are they fish not stars?
What connects stars and grains of sand?
What is the secret ciphered in a fir cone?
Why is the heart always on the left?
Natural wonders every child should know…

He smiled like the flickering pages of a book –
Christopher, my first true love, appeared
his beautiful fingers blue with ink
holding his telescope and the star globe
I made him as a present –
We lay side by side
looking through the window at the stars
naming the constellations
as they wheeled across the night
The maths brain lies often awake in his bed
Doing logs to ten places and trig in his head
When I woke in the shock of light
he was gone
and nothing was ever the same again

What happens to the dead
when spirit separates from matter?
Is time a river ever giving birth
in an endless wheel?
Why is loss always incalculable?
What is the heart’s square root,
its point and infinite recurrences?

This is Alan speaking
perhaps you wish to hear about the task
of deciphering the Enigma messages?
It was the impossible before breakfast
to imagine the unimaginable
the day after war was declared –
but a logical theorem says
you can deduce everything from a contradiction
so we imagined a cryptanalytic machine
an electric brain ticking away
to solve the insoluble
to sort the irrelevant from the essential
to discover the heart of the mystery
in thousands of meaningless signals every day
enciphered and sent by the enemy
in billions of different possible combinations –
like reading a poem written in random static
in wind and rain and dark
threaded with the dot and dash of Morse
encrypted transmitted transcribed
but there was one clue –
a letter was never enciphered as itself
so that was the starting point
to find the letters that made the only word
that helped to save ships and lives
in the middle of the Atlantic
and some say win the war –
We kept hush hush but I wondered

Could a machine be intelligent and if so how?
Could a machine be fascinated by another machine?
Could machines talk to each other?
Could a machine experience delight
and suffer fear and jealousy?
If a machine could dream what would it dream
in the forest of the night?
Could a machine fall sick or fall in love?
Could a machine imagine the future?

This is Alan speaking
we devised the Automatic Computing Engine
capable of calculating anything
quantified in an algorithm
and that was the basis of the future –
But how is it I found myself
a stranger in a room alone
a sequence of contradictory instructions
coded into my criminal heart?
Of gross indecency accused
I replied truthfully
Englishman atheist mathematician
Order of the British Empire
Recreations listed in Who’s Who
chess long-distance running gardening
(the last a kind of lie, I like wild flowers) –
Homosexual cryptographer
noble in reason or traitor in his bones?
Unable to say a word of what I knew
unable to speak the unspeakable
secret within the secret
I felt no guilt –
They offered me a choice
Prison or probation
with hormonal emasculation –
I made my decision
and emerged a different man

Why does nothing happen for a long time
Then everything suddenly changes?
Why does the rational give rise to the irrational?
Who is this man kissing me on the mouth?
Is he telling truth or lies?

This is Alan speaking
now as I could not speak before
to you who were unborn when I died –
Oh beautiful people of tomorrow
we are not fallen creatures
life is the only garden
the apple is love
two Adams, two Eves
in open celebration hand in hand
So I delight to watch you dance
in the enchantment of time
like angels in a forest of mirrors
but in the age of shopping
festivals and information consumption
the sign of the bitten apple is everywhere
and your lives are held in the beautiful devices
familiar in your hands –
So revel in your liberty
but read between the lines
you are becoming information
touch screen to touch screen
connected but alone
the algorithm of desires and dreams
end to end encryption held
in the infinite memory of the great ghost server

How did the zebra get its stripes
and the leopard its disguise of spots?
Why does a snail have a spiral shell?
Why do sunflowers follow not just the sun
but the Fibonacci sequence
in the structure of their beautiful faces?
How does a bud of cells generate your seeing eyes
and beating heart?

This is Alan speaking
I have been waiting a long time
puzzling everything and nothing –
I leave no note of explanation
but a mystery story
it is an ordinary summer evening
by the side of my bed is found
a half-eaten slice of apple
Dip the apple in the brew
let the sleeping death seep through –
I lie alone for the last time
at the edge of reality
my arms at my sides
like a badly-dressed figure on a tomb
looking out of the window at the sun
setting for the final night
a golden apple in the black branches
of a tree of shadows where the birds quibble –
until it disappears into the dark

This is Alan speaking
to you who pass by this bridge.

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Diamonds and flowers on my skin

By mimorg33

 

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Diamond Extreme Night Dual Treatment by the high-end skin care company Natura Bissé was not enecessarily what Marilyn Monroe’s Lorelei Lee had in mind when in the 1953 film Gentlemen Prefer Blondes, she sang:

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A kiss on the hand
May be quite continental
But diamonds are a girl’s best friend
The concept behind Natura Bissé’s latest skincare innovation ish a technology they are calling chronocosmetic. Innovative skincare is intrinsic to the DNA of this company founded in Barcelona, Spain in 1979; and in 1995 it took its first step towards globalization by opening a subsidiary in Dallas, Texas.
According to Natura Bissé their most recent dual treatment consists in fusing the pioneering technology with the most delicate human touch to counteract the natural aging process. Despite how complicated this might sound, I can tell you that after a stressful day at the office when I massage my face with the fast-absorbing Extreme Oil ($160.00) using the cool High Definition Massage Tool that improves microcirculation and penetration of active agents, a slight lavender fragrance impregnates my epidermis and I feel transported to a quieter place. The first step of the nightly ritual is then followed by applying a thin layer of the clear, silky and delightfully light Extreme Mask ($110.00). Voila! My skin feels healthy and supple as I head to bed allowing the nourishing ingredients to lovingly combine forces to make me glow when I arise. So much so that some folks have asked: “Chica, what are you doing, you look luminous? Is there a new love interest in your life?” At this juncture I attempted to sing a couple of lines from Marilyn’s ever so cute rendition of Diamonds are a girl’s best friend; mine is completely off key. Given that most of us are not exposing our skin to the elements at night our most extensive and protective organ is more open to being renewed. The formula comprised of retinol works on this aspect; niacinamide for hydration; copper peptides to increase suppleness; marine concentrates to act as a dermal shield; hyaluronic acid is a powerful moisturizer and Edelweiss, that beautiful white flower related to daisies and sunflowers that in its original habitat grows high in the Alps thus making it a bit risky to be picked, effective in slowing some aging signs.

Edelweiss on a rock and an approaching thunderstorm in the background

Edelweiss remits us to The Sound of Music  where Captain von Trapp sang about the national Austrian flower: Edelweiss, Edelweiss, Ev’ry morning you greet me, Small and white, clean and bright, You look happy to meet me… Exactly like my skin as it awakens after a whole night exposed to this superb treatment.

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