Tag Archives: Downtown Miami

A Musical Safari at Ultra

“Ultra is like going on safari.”

An interesting and accurate observation from will.i.am, who I got to chat with after his Friday night performance at the two day music festival in downtown Miami.

As will.i.am explained to me, on a safari you’re not sure where you’re going or what kind of animals you’re going to see.  It’s similar to Ultra Music Festival, where you’re not exactly sure what you’re going to hear or where the music is going to take you.  The DJs are in charge, controlling and channeling the emotions and energy of the crowd.

It’s something unique to electronic music.  As will.i.am put it, this doesn’t happen in pop music or in rap music because people go to those concerts to hear songs they know.  But with electronic music people come with an open mind and let the DJs be their tour guides.

will.i.am’s thoughtful analogy got me thinking.  While the DJs may be the tour guides on the safari, it’s the crowds of people that can be fun to watch.  Electronic music brings together people from all over the world, with different cultures, incomes, ages and styles of dress.  At Ultra I saw clothes ranging from polo shirts and baseball hats to goth garb and rave gear.  It’s an eclectic group that’s welcoming to everyone.  No one is there to judge — they’re just there to listen to DJs, dance and have a great time.

Certainly it’s this electricity of the crowds that made will.i.am want to return to Ultra after last year’s performance with the Black Eyed Peas.  And this year’s crowd was bigger than ever.  For the first time ever both Friday and Saturday were sold out, with about 100,000 people attending over the two days.

From the pumping bass that leaves your ears ringing, to the bright lights that flash and change colors, Ultra is sensory overload.  This year there were more than 200 DJs performing on 16 stages, which made for some tough decisions.  Too often I wanted to see two or more different artists who happened to be scheduled at the same time on different stages.

I knew I couldn’t miss Kaskade, whose song “I Remember” I love for its light and bouncy, almost ethereal sound (he included it in his high energy set).  From there I ran to the Main Stage to catch David Guetta, then The Crystal Method at the Bayfront Live Stage, then Carl Cox at the Carl Cox & Friends Arena, finally capping off the aural smorgasbord back at the Main Stage with Tiësto, who demonstrated why he’s one of the top DJs in the world.

On Saturday I really enjoyed longtime favorites Sasha & John Digweed, as well as Armin van Buuren who seemed to have a big smile on his face the entire set.  I also spent a lot of time in the UMF Brazil Arena which took over the space of last year’s Drum and Bass tent.  Their Saturday night lineup was hard to beat: Above & Beyond, then ATB, then Paul Oakenfold.

Because I was dancing all day and night I didn’t feel so bad about indulging on several not so healthy foods at the international food pavilion.  From fish and chips to burgers, pizza to arepas, gyros to shish kabobs, there was an impressive selection.  I went for the turkey legs, which were the biggest ones I’ve ever seen (and quite tasty too).

Of course I was most excited for Saturday night’s headliner, deadmau5.  It’s been neat to watch the Canadian DJ and producer’s popularity grow over the last few years.  I remember watching him at Ultra 2008 and wondering how his name was pronounced (it’s dead mouse).  Back then he performed on a small side stage, with a much more simple mouse head.  Last year his set was one of my favorite performances from Ultra 2009.  Since then it seems like all the songs he’s produced have been huge hits.  They’ve certainly been in heavy rotation on my iPod, especially “Ghosts n Stuff.”

deadmau5 got the audience revved up right away, with many fans waving their own mouse heads.  He premiered a few new songs during his set.  For one as of yet unnamed song he was joined by Tommy Lee.  I had suspected the Mötley Crüe drummer might make a surprise appearance when I saw the two hanging out a day earlier at the Belvedere Vodka Music Lounge.

The crowd went crazy when deadmau5 played the first few notes of “Ghosts N Stuff.”  It was a definite fan favorite, and I joined the tens of thousands in cheering.  deadmau5 worked the energy of the crowd all the way until the end of his set, when he (appropriately enough) played the death sound effect from “Super Mario Brothers.”

Game on for Ultra 2011.

Click here to see more photos from Ultra Music Festival 2010

Snapshots from Ultra Music Festival 2010

More than 200 DJs and a sold out crowd of about 100,000 people helped make the 2010 Ultra Music Festival the biggest and best yet.

The 12th edition of the festival rocked Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami with Tiësto headlining on Friday night and Deadmau5 on Saturday night.  Performing on 16 stages over the two days were internationally renowned DJs and artists including David Guetta, The Crystal Method, Kaskade, Paul Oakenfold and Armin van Buuren.

Here are some snapshots from Ultra 2010.  Click on photos to enlarge. 

Click here to see why will.i.am compares Ultra to going on a safari

Ultra

Ultra

Root Society Dome

Boyz Noise vs. Erol Alkan

crowds at Ultra

Ultra main stage

Carl Cox & Friends Arena

Carl Cox

Kaskade

Kaskade

UltraUltra

Armin van Buuren

The Crystal Method

The Crystal Method

ATB

Deadmau5

Deadmau5

behind the stage during Deadmau5

Snapshots from the Winter Music Conference

The Winter Music Conference is the ultimate destination for DJs and fans of electronic music.

Established in 1985, WMC is the largest music industry gathering of its kind in the world.  This year clubs throughout downtown Miami and Miami Beach will host nearly two thousand DJs and artists.  The lineup is a veritable who’s who in the electronic music scene, with superstar DJs like Paul van Dyk, David Guetta, Tiësto and Deadmau5 set to perform.

Nikki BeachThe action kicked off Wednesday night at Nikki Beach with the annual Welcome to Miami party.  It featured more than 50 DJs and performers on two stages, including Timo Maas, Audiofly, DJ Rap, Tom Novy and a special DJ set by Lil Jon.  The first DJ took the stage at noon and the music didn’t end until 5 in the morning.  Both the Nikki Beachdownstairs and upstairs of Nikki Beach were packed with people dancing and cheering on the DJs.

One of the biggest events during WMC is Ultra Music Festival, taking place Friday and Saturday at Bicentennial Park in downtown Miami.  Over the two days more than 200 DJs will perform on 16 stages for more than 100,000 people.  You can be sure the Amateur Gastronomer will be there!  Click here to read about last year’s Ultra Music Festival.

For updates from the Winter Music Conference and Ultra Music Festival follow @amgastronomer on Twitter.

Nikki Beach

Photos from the Welcome to Miami party at Nikki Beach.  Click to enlarge.

Nikki Beach

Nikki Beach

Prelude by Barton G: Delicious Dining in Three Acts

Haven’t seen the new Barton G. restaurant on Biscayne Boulevard in downtown Miami?  It’s tucked away inside the Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts.  But don’t wait until you have tickets to a show — dining at Prelude by Barton G. is an experience that is much more than an opening act.

PreludePrelude achieves the harmony that you look for in a restaurant.  There’s delicious food, a great wine list and with three courses for $39, it’s a great value.  Combine these with the chic and soothing decor (you’ll be mesmerized by the images of large jellyfish floating across flat screen TVs), and you’ll want to dine at Prelude often.

PreludePrelude is a rarity in Miami — it’s easier to get a table after 8pm than it is to dine earlier.  As it caters to the pre and post-theater crowd, Prelude gets busy around 6pm and again after 10pm.  If you’re seeing a show book your reservation right away since the restaurant will get sold out before the theater will.  And thanks to the prepaid reservations, you won’t be stuck waiting for the check when the curtain is about to go up.  Even if you’re not dining on a deadline, attentive servers keep the meal moving along efficiently.

Downtowners will want to make Prelude their new wine bar.  From Champagne to sweet and fortified wines, there are nearly 100 wines to choose from.  Best of all, every single one is available by the glass.  You can even order a tasting size or a half glass.  If you do decide to order a bottle you’ll be glad to know Prelude’s prices are lower than most other Miami restaurants.  I enjoyed a lush and complex 2005 Bordeaux for $48 a bottle.  If the wine list is a bit intimidating, just take a look at the dinner menu.  Each dish has a suggested wine pairing.

Prelude offers a three-course prix fixe menu (two courses for brunch and lunch).  If you’re not in the mood for the standard appetizer, entree and dessert you have the option of choosing any three menu items (two menu items for brunch/lunch).  If you would rather order à la carte, be sure to arrive after 8pm.

beef carpaccioFor an appetizer I recommend the Beef Carpaccio, which is sprinkled with a shallot-infused olive oil and served with coarse salt, pepper and horseradish mustard on the side so you can season it however you’d like.  Pleasing to both the palate and the eye is the Tuna and Roasted Beet Salad.  Red and yellow beets Tuna and Roasted Beet Saladare arranged to look like a checkerboard, and the tuna is topped with a sweet and spicy mix of ginger syrup and jalapeño emulsion.

For an entree I couldn’t get enough of the Duck Confit.  It’s moist and tender and served on a savory bed of braised green lentils.  Fish fans will want to try the Seared Red Snapper, which is topped with a lemon caper butter sauce and served with eggplant, zucchini, fennel and squash.  Our server raved about the Goat Cheese Tortellini, house-made and filled with chèvre, red onion and chives, topped with a red pepper cream, roasted red pepper strips and asparagus tips.

Cookies and CreamBe sure to save room for dessert — the appetizer and entree portions are fairly big but the desserts are huge.  And they’re so rich and delicious that you won’t want to stop eating though you’ll likely have to.  I loved the PB&J, which is a big scoop of grape jelly gelato between two peanut butter mousse pyramids that are topped with macadamia praline glaze and chocolate ganache.  Just as good, if not better, was the Cookies and Cream, a chocolate chip cookie bar topped with mini marshmallows, caramel, brownie pieces and glazed pecans, served with a house-made crème fraiche ice cream pop.  Just thinking about how tasty these were makes my mouth water!  I’m looking forward to my next visit to Prelude so I can try the Crazy for Chocolate, a triple chocolate cupcake with a chocolate buttercream and truffle filling, covered in chocolate ganache and topped with a cherry.

As a downtown resident, I’m thrilled to have Prelude within walking distance of my home.  It’s my new go-to place for an enjoyable multi-course meal or a nice glass of wine.  Really the only thing I can complain about is that Prelude isn’t on Open Table, which would make it easier to check the table availability between 8pm and 10pm.

Don’t let its location fool you.  Prelude by Barton G. is definitely worth a trip even if you’re not seeing a performance.  It actually may be better if you don’t have tickets — that way you won’t be tempted to miss the first act.

Prelude by Barton G. is located on the second floor of the Ziff Ballet Opera House in downtown Miami’s Arts and Entertainment District.  Lunch and brunch are offered from 11am to 2pm on matinee performance days; the dinner and bar menu is offered from 5pm to late on Tuesday through Sunday.

Reservations can be made by visiting arshtcenter.org/prelude or calling 305-357-7900.  For more information visit preludebybartong.com.

Miami's Best Brunches

You can’t beat brunch.  A great brunch is the most sumptuous meal of the week and it’s the best excuse to have all of your favorite foods at one time.

If breakfast is the most important meal of the day, just think how important brunch must be!

Looking to plan your Sunday brunch?  Here are my favorite spots in Miami:

Acqua at Four Seasons Miami
An elegant setting to enjoy brunch favorites with a Mediterranean flair.  With extensive cheese, carving, Asian food stations and more, there’s truly something for any taste.  If you’re not in the mood for a Mimosa or Bloody Mary get a mojito — all are unlimited.  Request a table by the window for nice views of Brickell and the bay.
$70 per person.  Located in the Four Seasons Miami, 1435 Brickell Avenue, Brickell. (305) 381-3190

Area 31
Chef John Critchley’s brunch is a gourmet buffet featuring caviar, paté, cold cuts and cooked dishes like roast chicken breast and steak frites.  While sipping on unlimited Mimosas or Bellinis you can enjoy live music.
$50 per person.  Located in the EPIC Hotel, 270 Biscayne Boulevard Way, Downtown Miami.  (305) 424-5234

Balans
Whether it’s breakfast or lunch, Balans has it all.  You can’t go wrong with one of the four kinds of eggs benedict or the enormous breakfast burrito, though you may be tempted by the lobster club wrap or the chili beef salad.  The à la carte menu ranges from around $8 to $15.  To get your day started there’s a full menu of cocktails for $11 each.  Just be sure to arrive early otherwise you could have a long wait (especially at the Miami Beach location).
Both Saturday & Sunday.  Two locations: 901 South Miami Avenue, Brickell and 1022 Lincoln Road, Miami Beach.  (305) 534-9191

Biltmore Hotel
It doesn’t get any more lavish than Sunday Champagne brunch at the Biltmore Hotel.  The array of selections include carving, omelet, sushi and tapas stations, plus a wall of desserts.
$75 per person.  Located in Fontana Restaurant at the Biltmore Hotel, 1200 Anastasia Avenue, Coral Gables.  (305) 913-3202

Bizcaya at the Ritz-Carlton Coconut Grove
The Ritz-Carlton always gets brunch right.  Here you’ll enjoy all the traditional favorites plus made-to-order sushi and sashimi and grilled-to-order fresh fish — all in a gorgeous setting that includes a cascading waterfall.  And of course, you’ll be able to take in the view with free-flowing Champagne.
$52 per person, $25 for kids 4 to 12 years old.  Located in the Ritz Carlton Coconut Grove, 3300 Southwest 27th Avenue, Coconut Grove.  (305) 644-4680

Cioppino at the Ritz-Carlton Key Biscayne
A buffet so big you’ll be full just looking at it.  Go easy on the pasta, salads and grilled meats so you can save room for caviar (three different types), raw oysters and sushi.  Of course there are unlimited Bloody Marys and Champagne cocktails (Mimosas, Bellinis and a few more), and an entire room just for dessert.
$72 for adults, $36 for children under 12.  Located in the Ritz Carlton Key Biscayne, 455 Grand Bay Drive, Key Biscayne.  (305) 365-4286

Eos
The à la carte menu features a variety of frittatas and egg dishes that start at $12.  Or try the buttermilk pancakes that are topped with caramelized apples and spiced candied walnuts.  Plus you get to enjoy complimentary Mimosas or Bloody Marys with your meal.  Bonus: brunch gets you free entrance to Club 50’s Sunday Refresher party where you can groove to a live DJ and enjoy light bites until 5pm (it’s normally $30).
Located in the Viceroy Hotel, 485 Brickell Avenue, Brickell. (305) 503-0373

Rusty Pelican
Go for the great view of downtown and Brickell, stay for the enormous fresh seafood spread.  If you’re not in the mood for peel and eat shrimp, raw oysters or steamed crab, there’s always the assortment of cold salads and ham or beef at the carving station.  Enjoy the view with unlimited Champagne, Mimosas or orange juice.
$33.95 per person, $13.95 for kids 5 to 10 years old, under 5 free.  3201 Rickenbacker Causeway, Key Biscayne.  (305) 361-3818

The Setai
Craving Asian cuisine?  Check out Sunday brunch at the Setai.  In addition to eggs, pancakes and traditional brunch breads, there’s a wide assortment of Indian, Chinese, Thai and Malaysian dishes.
$67 per person, $34 for kids 5 to 12 years old.  2001 Collins Avenue, Miami Beach.  (305) 520-6400

Talula
Escape the craziness of South Beach at this cozy brunch.  The buffet is set up on the restaurant’s garden patio and features a carving station, pasta, fresh local fish, breakfast favorites like waffles and pancakes and an elaborate display of homemade desserts.
$29 per person which includes juice and coffee.  210 23rd Street, Miami Beach.  (305) 672-0778

Tre Italian Bistro
A great value and a convenient spot for people who live in downtown.  A la carte items are $12 and come with a complimentary Mimosa, Bloody Mary, sangria, orange juice or cappuccino (each additional drink is $3).
270 East Flagler Street, Downtown Miami.  (305) 373-3303

Tropical Chinese Restaurant
It’s a bit of a drive from downtown and Miami Beach but it’s the best dim sum in the area.  A word of advice: don’t get too much off of the baked and fried items cart so you can load up on delicious steamed dumplings.  Dishes range between $3 and $7 so your bill can be as small or as big as your appetite.
Both Saturday & Sunday.  7991 Southwest 40th Street, Miami.  (305) 262-7576

8 oz Burger Bar
I could eat 8 oz’s juicy burgers any time of the day (my favorite is the Niman Ranch lamb), but they’re even better with Bloody Marys that you can customize at the Bloody Mary bar.  Unlimited Bloody Marys cost $20.
1080 Alton Road, Miami Beach.  (305) 397-8246

Have a favorite brunch spot that’s not on the list?  Send an email to tips@amateurgastronomer.com.

Mia at Biscayne's Grander Opening

Mia at Biscayne has been open for just about a month but it wasn’t until last night’s VIP Grand Opening that it really exploded onto the downtown Miami scene.

Mia VIP Grand OpeningIn August I got a chance to check out the restaurant, lounge and nightclub at a smaller grand opening.  The space boasts four main areas: a main dining room that can be transformed into a dance floor, a second dining room with a sushi bar, an upstairs lounge area that overlooks the main room with private tables for food and bottle service, and an outdoor area with couches.

Last night the energy of the crowd rivaled any club on South Beach.  Hundreds of people packed the inside and outside of Mia, with a long Mia VIP Grand Openingline waiting to get in.  Once inside, guests sipped on complimentary Imperia vodka cocktails and were treated to two live performances.

American Idol season 1 contestant Christina Christian took the stage first, warming up the crowd with feel-good rock and roll.  After a brief intermission of dance Jencarlos Canelamusic, award winning actor and singer Jencarlos Canela came on, charming the ladies with a mix of English and Spanish songs.

With last night’s packed party, Mia at Biscayne is now officially part of the neighborhood.  I’ll see you there on the weekends!

Mia at Biscayne is located at the corner of Flagler Street and Biscayne Boulevard.  It opens at 11am every day and closes at 2am Sunday through Wednesday and 5am Thursday through Saturday.

Good Things Come in Tre

You don’t have to head to Lincoln Road for nice al fresco dining.  Tre Italian Bistro is making Flagler Street in downtown Miami the new place for outdoor eating and people watching.

TreAs the saying goes, good things come in threes, a number that has special meaning for the restaurant.  It’s both its name (tre means three in Italian), and its location (the corner of Third and East Flagler Streets).  Tre is the third downtown restaurant from the three partners of La Loggia, an Italian restaurant across from the courthouse.

Fortunately there are more than three tables at Tre because the restaurant has been busy since opening last month.  The good news for those who have been hungry for a place like this in downtown is that the food is good — and shows potential to get better.

TreDespite its small bar area, Tre has a good mix of cocktails, all priced at $9.  There are the standard South Florida favorites like mojitos and caipirinhas, as well as more adventurous drinks like the Tre-Tini (a cucumber and honeydew vodka martini), the Per Lei (Campari and mandarin vodka with a splash of Sprite), and the rich sounding Stracciatella Martini (vanilla vodka, Godiva light and dark liqueurs and vanilla ice cream).

Though I’m not a big sangria fan I really liked Tre’s white sangria.  It’s fruity without being too sweet, and is light and refreshing on a hot day.  A glass costs $6 and a 1 liter carafe is $18.

Both the lunch and dinner menus feature a little bit of everything.  There are salads, sandwiches, burgers, pizza and classic Italian pasta dishes and entrées.

Like any good Italian restaurant, Tre has great bread.  Be sure to have some of the delicious homemade focaccia while you’re looking over the dinner menu.  Or go for lunch and have a sandwich on it.  It’s even better when dipped in olive oil that the servers pour onto your bread plate.

Tre carpaccioIf you’re a big meatball fan you may be disappointed by Vinnie’s meatballs ($7), which are a little dry and under-seasoned (it didn’t help that mine were served on the cool side).  I did like the beef carpaccio ($12), thinly sliced seared filet mignon topped with baby arugula.  The meat tasted great though the large portion of arugula needed olive oil or some sort of dressing.  I’m not sure whether this omission was intentional or accidental.  One quick fix — the servers could leave the olive oil bottles on the table after they pour it onto the bread plate.  Update: bottles of olive oil and balsamic vinegar are now left on the table.

Tre pizzaTre joins a handful of Italian restaurants in downtown that serve individual thin crust pizzas — though you can’t fault them for joining the crowd because their pizza is pretty good.  Each pizza is made in a wood oven and is big enough for two people.  The Queen Margherita ($9) keeps it simple and tasty, with tomato sauce, mozzarella cheese and basil.  If you prefer more toppings try the Fig and Prosciutto ($12), a nice balance of salty and sweet with figs, prosciutto di parma, catupiry cheese and tomato sauce.

Tre linguineIf you like seafood with some spice, I highly recommend the seafood linguine ($13).  It’s black linguine in a fra diavolo sauce with a generous serving of shrimp, scallops and calamari.  My pasta came out cooked perfectly, just slightly al dente.  Also delicious is the lobster and champagne risotto ($14).  It’s creamy without being too heavy, with big chunks of lobster.

If you’re not into pasta try the shiitake crusted mahi-mahi served with sautéed bok choy and bell peppers ($15).  The slightly sweet and tangy sauce is so good you’ll wish there was more of it.  Another good choice is the roasted chicken marinated in beer and fresh herbs served with truffle roasted potatoes ($14).

For dessert you can’t go wrong with the Tropical Tiramisu ($6), lady fingers and mascarpone layered with strawberries and peaches and topped with toasted coconut, or the Dulce de Leche Soufflé ($7), a warm caramel soufflé with vanilla ice cream and freshly ground cinnamon.  Or order the Stracciatella Martini, which has enough ice cream to double as a dessert.

Tre also offers a weekend brunch, featuring traditional breakfast fare.  Dishes cost $12 and include a Mimosa, Bloody Mary, glass of sangria, fresh orange juice or cappuccino.  Want a second or third drink?  They cost $3, of course!

Tre Italian Bistro is located at 270 East Flagler Street in downtown Miami.  It opens at 11am on weekdays and 9am on weekends, and closes at 10pm Monday through Wednesday, 11pm Thursday through Saturday, and 4pm on Sunday.  For more visit tremiami.com.

Celebrity Chef Series at the Adrienne Arsht Center

The Celebrity Chef Series is returning to Miami this fall with a BAM!

Emeril Lagasse, Anthony Bourdain and other celebrity chefs will be taking the stage at the Adrienne Arsht Center for season two of the delicious series.

Celebrity Chef SeriesEach program features intimate interviews with the chefs about their culinary journeys, live cooking demonstrations and a question and answer session with audience members.

On October 16th Ingrid Hoffmann and Daisy Martinez will be sharing their food and lifestyle secrets to sucess.

On November 13th Anthony Bourdain hosts Jacques Pepin and Eric Ripert in a cook off competition.

On January 9th Emeril Lagasse will bring his larger than life flavors and personality to the stage.

Tickets for the entire series are on sale now, starting at $69.  Individual tickets go on sale on September 12th and start at $25.  There are also VIP tickets available — these get you into a post-show cocktail party where you will get to meet the chefs and take a photo with them.

My advice: make sure you go on a full stomach!

To purchase tickets visit arshtcenter.org.

Mia at Biscayne Grand Opening

After months of anticipation, downtown Miami’s new restaurant, lounge and nightclub is finally open!

Mia at BiscayneMia at Biscayne was filled Friday night with diners and downtowners getting their first taste of what’s sure to become a hot spot.

Located at the corner of Biscayne Boulevard and Flagler Street, Mia will breathe new life into downtown, especially at night and on the weekends.

Whether it’s lunch, dinner, drinks or dancing, Mia at Biscayne has it all.

MiaMiaThe space boasts four main areas: a main dining room that can be transformed into a dance floor, a second dining room with a sushi bar, an upstairs lounge area that overlooks the main room with private tables for food and bottle service, and an outdoor area with couches.  Inside on both floors, large flat screen TVs show music videos.

MiaMiaAt the helm in the kitchen is Executive Chef Gerdy Rodriguez.  No stranger to the South Florida food scene, Chef Rodriguez was formerly the executive chef at The Regent Bal Harbour and chef de cuisine at Café Sambal at the Mandarin Oriental.  His menu is a mix of Spain, Latin America and Japan.  There is everything from sushi and cebiche to tapas and parrillada (a mixed grill of skirt steak, quail, chorizo, chicken, lamb and chimichurri).

The extensive cocktail menu is creative as well.  I tried the Thaibasil, a refreshing and slightly sweet mix of vodka, sake, sour mix, basil syrup and Thai basil leaves.  It’s a drink I will definitely be ordering again.  Though there aren’t many wines by the glass, there is a pretty good selection of wines by the bottle, all reasonably priced.  Bottles of Champagne and liquor are also fairly priced.

Mia at Biscayne opens at 11am every day and closes at 2am Sunday through Wednesday and 5am Thursday through Saturday.  With hours like these, Mia is a great place to begin or end a night out.

Click here for my more recent article on Mia at Biscayne’s VIP Grand Opening

Miami GuitarTown: Art that Rocks

Downtown Miami is getting a little bit more rock and roll with the debut of Miami GuitarTown.

Miami GuitarTownThe public art project presented by Gibson Guitar features 70 ten-foot tall guitar sculptures and regular size Epiphone Casino showcase guitars that have been designed by local and nationally acclaimed artists.

The guitars and sculptures will be on display at buildings, parks and popular spots in downtown Miami through the first week in September.  Click on the map below for the locations and artists.

Miami GuitarTownMiami GuitarTownI had the chance to check out some of the guitars last night at the Miami GuitarTown launch party.  Each has a unique and colorful look, covered in paint, jewels, studs, charms and more.  One of my favorites was a guitar sculpture decorated with mosaic tiles and signed by Gloria Estefan, one of the celebrities who lent their name and support to Miami GuitarTown.

Starting the week of September 8th, the guitars will move to Seminole Paradise at the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino for a two-week showcase.  On Saturday, September 26th the guitars will be auctioned off at Hard Rock Live, with proceeds benefiting The Miami Music & Art Fund, Miami Children’s Hospital Foundation and The Art and Culture Center of Hollywood.

For more information visit www.miamiguitartown.com.

Miami GuitarTown map