In Miami

From the Editor: Brewing moments of quiet amid all the noise

Pool view at The Breakers in Palm Beach.
Pool view at The Breakers in Palm Beach.

I wish I could meditate. People who do it — and you know who they are; like vegans and those who have cut their TV cord, they’re quick to tell you about their lifestyle choices — seem to have a heightened sense of chill. Me? I sometimes feel stuck in a permanent un-chill mode. You know that type, too, the kind who responds to your earnest How are you? with a deep sigh and an eye-roll: “Busy.”

We were busy this month at INDULGE. On the heels of our best-ever Fashion issue in October, this Holiday Gifts & Givers issue came fast. It will be on your coffee table for only four short weeks before our biggest issue of the year — Art Basel — barks for your attention.

These days, there’s always something barking for our attention. Cable news tickers. Emails. Instagram posts. White House tweets. The latest scandal du jour and the myriad hot takes it inspires on Facebook.


It may not be meditation, but there is something decidedly comforting — luxurious, even — about having a magazine like INDULGE to read, put down, and come back to during a slow moment (ha!) in your week.

We’ve loaded this issue with plenty of moments of zen for you to contemplate. Our Gifts & Givers theme is designed to inspire you in two ways. First, expert seasonal gift picks from local gurus (like cover star Dejha Carrington of YoungArts) will inspire you to smartly shop for friends and loved ones.

And second, we hope that by showcasing people who are genuinely invested in giving back to Miami, you’ll be inspired to follow suit. You can’t help but feel motivated when you read about someone like Virginia Jacko, who turned a degenerative eye disease into a call to help others as CEO of Miami Lighthouse for the Blind. She’s not busy being busy; she’s busy improving Miami.

Few cultures embrace thoughtful reflection like the Japanese. Writer Eric Barton traveled to Tokyo and Kobe to bring us this month’s Escape, an hour-by-hour guide to the very best of these incredible cities. (Turns out, Kobe locals are more obsessed with the healing properties of hot springs than they are with their famed beer-fed beef.)

Nina Lincoff makes her INDULGE debut with this month’s Pour column on JoJo Tea. Her writing inspired me to visit JoJo’s serene, by-appointment-only tea room near Coral Gables. Being a non-meditative type who definitely drinks more coffee than the recommended daily allowance, let’s just say I was skeptical that I’d wholly embrace the tea experience. But founder Mike Ortiz — passionate, knowledgeable and enviably chill — didn’t just conquer my skepticism, he converted me. I immediately signed up for JoJo’s mail-order tea club.

The club membership was a gift to myself. I’m now carving out time at the end of every day to boil water, brew tea and breathe deeply as I savor the warmth and complexity of JoJo’s hand-picked leaves.

Is that what meditation is like? Perhaps. What I know is, it makes me slow down, shut out some of the noise and — for a few precious moments — feel a little less busy. Some days, that’s the greatest gift of all.

Evan Benn
Evan Benn. Photograph by Nick Garcia.

INDULGE Editorial Masthead

President and Publisher: Alexandra Villoch

Editor in Chief: Evan S. Benn

Contributing Design Director: John Michael Coto

Miami Herald Special Publications Manager: Roberto Hernández-Alende

Contributing Style Editor: Claudia Miyar

Contributing Beauty Editor: Jennifer Scruby

Contributing Editorial Assistant: Christiana Lilly

Contributing Writers: Stephanie Sayfie Aagaard, Jennifer Agress, Eric Barton, Shayne Benowitz, Ashley Brozic, Lauren Comander, Christie Galeano-DeMott, Rebecca Kleinman, Christiana Lilly, Nina Lincoff, Nicole Martinez, Marcia Morgado, Christian Portilla, Jana Soeldner-Danger

Contributing Photographers: Felipe Cuevas, Alexia Fodere, Nick Garcia, Manny Hernandez, Carina Mask, Christina Mendenhall

Contributing Hair and Makeup Artists: Sofia Gänsdorfer, Rory Lee

Color Correction: Wilbert MooYoung

If you had $1 million to donate, where would you send it? 

“Chef José Andrés’ World Central Kitchen, which did extraordinary work in Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria.” – Marcia Morgado, which fights poverty in part by ensuring girls’ education.” – Jennifer Scruby

St. Jude, to help children with cancer.” – Claudia Miyar

“I’m a Teach for America alum, and I believe in their mission that all kids are entitled to a quality education.” – Shayne Benowitz

Animal Welfare Institute. Set on helping to end animal cruelty across the globe. It’s so important to get involved!” – John Michael Coto