Read about some of the most exciting new occurrences in Miami in our OPTIMAR Observer.



    New Little Haiti Trolley and Bike Rental Station


    City of Miami officials held a ribbon-cutting ceremony on Feb. 9, for a new trolley route and Citi Bike station that could potentially change how residents move around Little Haiti. Miami Mayor Francis Suarez, Commissioner Keon Hardemon, Director of Transportation Sandra Harris and Parks and Recreation Director Kevin Kirwin spoke at the ceremony, held at the Little Haiti Cultural Complex. Suarez stressed the importance of providing new transportation alternatives to the neighborhood.

    The trolley system now has 450,000 riders a month, according to Suarez. He said that with the addition of the Little Haiti route as well as future expansions, the count could rise past half a million. Suarez also commended the addition of the Citi Bike station installed last month, which added another form of transportation for those in need.





    The Herald Hunt Returns For 2018


    After a six-year hiatus, the Hunt kicks off once again at noon on March 4, 2018 at Downtown Miami’s Museum Park (formerly Bicentennial Park). This year’s Herald Hunt, the 21st time the event has been held, is sponsored by the Downtown Miami DDA. This year’s Hunt theme is “Clueless in Downtown Miami,” poking fun at all things artsy, and of course, Miami. One of South Florida’s favorite events since its inception in 1984, the Herald Hunt is a unique urban adventure in which, over the course of one memorable afternoon, players attempt to solve a series of bizarre clues. Admission is free. The first three teams to finish the Hunt will win great prizes.




    Colombian Carnival Celebration at the Koubek Center


    Miami Dade College’s (MDC) Koubek Center reignites its beloved bilingual family series, Playtime: Días de las Familias with a grand celebration from noon – 4 p.m. on Saturday, Feb. 24, presenting Carnaval de Barranquilla! This event is free and open to the public.

    The Carnival of Barranquilla—declared a UNESCO Heritage Masterpiece—is said to be the second largest carnival celebration in the world. The Koubek Center, with the help of the acclaimed folkloric ensemble Puerta de Oro de Colombia and special guests Cumbiamba Curramberos en NY, brings its revelry and splendor to Little Havana. The festivities will include music and dance performances and interactive workshops, story time, an exhibition of traditional carnival costumes, and craft-making of masks and “Congo Hats,” tall colorful headpieces that are an ode to the slaves who gathered in cabildos (slave associations that elected their own carnival queen) in the early carnivals.





    New Exhibition Premieres at the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU


    Courageous heroines and deceptive femmes fatales abound in the Old and New Testaments. From Judith to Esther, Salome to Mary Magdalene, Delilah to Lot’s Daughters and Potiphar’s wife, these women — perceived as dangerous to society — shaped biblical history. The Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum FIU presents the world premiere of Dangerous Women, the timely new exhibition that explores shifting perceptions of these historic characters, whose power to topple the strongest of male rulers made them “dangerous” but whose strength serves as an historical foundation for thinking about contemporary causes (including the “Me Too” movement). While some were portrayed as paragons of family goodness who saved their people, others were shown as harlots and hussies, purveyors of sin, deadly temptresses and seductresses. Featuring spectacular and thought-provoking Old Master paintings from the John and Mable Ringling Museum of Art, Dangerous Women showcases more than twenty paintings and etchings of women found in the Bible by 16th and 17th century artists.




    Featured Restaurant: Zuma Downtown Miami


    At Zuma in downtown Miami, weekend brunch is a mouthful. The experience, offered Saturday and Sunday from 11:30 a.m to 2:30 p.m., unites unlimited samplings of Asian-inspired food, bottomless cocktails, and live jazz performers. It comes at a sizable cost, though. Brunch is broken down into three tiers: Classic, Signature, and Premium. Each is priced between $95 and $395, without tax and tip. Included in all three is a buffet-style selection of hot and cold items such as sushi, sashimi, salads, bao buns, buttermilk fried chicken bites, and robata-cooked dishes. More than a dozen boozy beverages are also available, from mimosas, rosé, and sangria to margaritas, martinis, and sake. The only rule is that diners must finish a drink before ordering another.