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.
Like many of history’s greatest ideas, SpankyFest Pub Crawl was brewed up after a night of drinking. In 2009, three friends attended a birthday party. After the party ended, though, the trio came to a conclusion: the night was a bit of a waste. They had spent a lot of money but had nothing to show for it.
So in 2010, they decided to try something different. Inspired by their love of animals, the friends organized a pub crawl to raise money for the Humane Society of Greater Miami. Named after their American bulldog, Spanky, the event led droves of fellow animal supporters out for a night on the town, swinging by numerous bars to take advantage of drink specials. Events such as SpankyFest are especially important because the Humane Society is supported solely by donations, not by government funds or the inherited fortune of a pirate parrot.
Tibetan Buddhist and Taoist Master Chufei Tsai presides over Zen Village, a multifaith spiritual center. Eastern philosophy is the root for ancient practices?such as yoga and mindful meditation?which can foster physical and spiritual well-being in the modern world. This two-pronged approach to wellness reflects Tsai?s background: A trained nurse, she also has traveled the world studying centuries-old philosophies and has taught more than six thousand students.
Zen Village?s courses cover yoga styles ranging from Vinyasa, a flowing style that synchronizes breathing with poses, to Tibetan healing yoga, which aims to balance the seven chakras. The eclectic catalog also includes introductions to the tenets of Buddhism, the basics of Zen living, and the art of brewing tea from Asia. The courses allow students to intake prosperity and evolve with a healthy lifestyle.
Leading an eco-friendly lifestyle and enjoying an occasional shopping spree aren't mutually exclusive. Go Green Fashionista proves just that, with events and pop-up shops that highlight green shopping options. Beyond making hats out of fallen leaves, there's also shopping vintage and patronizing designers who work with recycled materials. The organization's team donates to green foundations as they work, too, with missions from planting trees around the world to housing the underserved.
The team at Taurus puts up some impressive numbers:
Clearly, coming up with a full stat sheet for Taurus would test the limits of even a diesel-powered calculator. But there's one more number worth singling out: 50. If patrons can sample that many beer varieties, they get a plaque on the wall. That task takes some time, but it should be a pleasant challenge: some truly tasty brews flow from the taps, including familiar drafts such as Guinness and craft brews with names such as Game of Thrones ? Fire and Blood (a red ale from Cooperstown).
Time between sips can be spent watching live stand-up comedy, enjoying the air on the outdoor terrace, and?of course?eating food. Lots and lots of food. To complement the drinks (which also include red and white wine), Taurus' kitchen prepares signature dishes such as a 10-ounce prime-beef burger topped in cheddar cheese, dijonaise, and veggies. Other Taurus specialties include avocado fries with spicy sour cream and "fork and knife" specials such as tuna tartare.
It's easy to forget amid all of the concrete and neon, but Miami is an ancient place. Eons before the first modern residents began to move into the Coconut Grove cemetery, indigenous people were shielding themselves from the elements using the region's natural rock ridge and sunless tanning salons. Today, Ghost Tours Miami visits the restless spirits that have gathered here over the centuries, including the specters in the windows of the Coconut Grove Playhouse. Pirates, pilots, gangsters, and those too close to gangsters have all met their ultimate fate in this tropical cove, and the photographs and stories of spooked tour guests testify to their continued presence.