After changing hands many times between 1882 and 1916, the property that would eventually be known as The Kampong—which means "village" in Malay—was snatched up by David Fairchild and his wife Marian, a daughter of Alexander Graham Bell. Fairchild was one of the most influential horticulturists in the United States, devoting his life to plant exploration and finding new strains of flora suitable for introduction to the states. Though he and his wife spent much of their time in Washington DC until 1928, The Kampong became an "introduction garden" for many of the plants he collected during his travels.
After constructing a house on the garden property in 1928, the Fairchilds made Miami their permanent home, and they were eventually were joined by Marian's sister and her husband on the adjoining property. Today, as part of the National Tropical Botanical Garden and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, most of the adjoining property has been absorbed to be part of The Kampong, creating more than 11 acres of verdant gardens. Inside the leafy labyrinth, many of the experimental plants still thrive, including an 80-year-old baobab tree, more than 50 mango varieties.
Splitsville explores contemporary consumption within a bowling framework, combining swankiness with three bars, and a full-service restaurant. Splitsville’s menu, developed under the guidance of one of Food & Wine magazine's Best New Chefs of 2008 Tim Cushman, stacks up and knocks down a cadre of ville plates ($5–$14) including spicy edamame and three-pepper calamari, stomach-stuffing signature plates ($14–$19) including the mahi mahi with voodoo shrimp and filet mignon, and big bowl drinks ($21) including the rum bowl and voodoo juice bowl. Diners sprinkle the restaurant with chatter as they dive into their choice of sauced steaks, generous pizzas, and rolls from the on-site sushi bar to the musical vibrations blowing from the speakers. After 8 p.m., all diners younger than 21 turn into pumpkin-shaped bowling balls and the fine hobby-sport decorum requests an evening-casual dress code as the crowd usurps the restaurant’s reins for nocturnal nourishment with energetic music.
At Happy Cruises, all the sightseeing and sunbathing takes place on a 42' yacht dubbed Happy Ours. That includes sunset cruises through Biscayne Bay, dinner cruises in a lagoon, and eight-hour day cruises that give folks their fill of the sea and increase their chances of seeing Poseidon come up for air. If you need to step away from Mother Nature for a second, the vessel features an air-conditioned interior with two bathrooms and showers. Best of all, each trip is navigated by a USCG-licensed captain.
When the University of Miami's Lowe Art Museum began in 1952, the school could comfortably display its entire collection in three unused classrooms. Those days are long past. Today, the museum stands as Miami's most comprehensive collection of western and non-western art. The permanent collections feature pieces drawn from across human history, with notable works including Claude Monet's Waterloo Bridge and a recently acquired face mask from the Dan people of Côte d'Ivoire and Liberia, forged from wood, cloth, and fur. A sizable trove of Native American artifacts includes pieces from the Southeast such as a beautifully embroidered bead shoulder bag. Other exhibits include paintings, sculpture, drawings, prints, and photographs from the Middle Ages through the present, including the Samuel H. Kress Collection of Renaissance and Baroque art, as well as pottery, sculpture, and metalwork from ancient Greece and the Roman Empire, dating from the first millennium BCE through the 4th century CE.
A few miles away, the tower of the 1939 Old Police and Fire Station rises above the street, gazing down on an unusual blend of sleek, depression-era modernism and Mediterranean revival ornateness. Founded in 2003, the Coral Gables Museum Corp. completely renovated the old municipal building. Spanish touches were added—the new Fewell wing and a 5,000-square-foot plaza—and the space was opened in 2011 as a museum dedicated to the civic arts of architecture, urban design, historic and environmental preservation, and sustainable development. Today, it holds regular art and design exhibitions, educational events, and concerts.
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Virtually unchanged since it opened in 1946, Fox's Sherron Inn is known as one of Miami's favorite dive bars. But it's more than a rough-around-the-edges place to throw back a cocktail or two. The kitchen turns out delicious pub fare, and on many a night, patrons catch stellar local music. Many press outlets agree that Fox's Sherron Inn is a rare gem?even Martha Stewart magazine, which named it one of 100 reasons to hit the road.
From the Press