Miami Beach

Beach Buzz: New Northeast Branch Library to open 10 a.m. Tuesday in Aventura

The new Northeast Branch Library in Aventura.
The new Northeast Branch Library in Aventura.

The Northeast Branch Library in Aventura was forced to close after Hurricane Wilma caused severe damage to its roof, building and books back in October 2005. Almost a full decade later, a new $15 million Aventura library at 2930 Aventura Blvd. will finally celebrate its grand opening at 10 a.m. Tuesday.

The celebratory event —hosted by Miami-Dade Mayor Carlos Gimenez, Chairman Jean Monestime, Commissioner Sally Heyman and the county commission — will feature a small jazz band and refreshments. It’s free and open to the public.

Following Hurricane Wilma, it took years — and lots of bureaucratic wrangling between the city and county — for the old library’s structural damage to be accessed, the building demolished and a new facility to be developed and constructed on the same site, which is adjacent to the county fire station near Aventura Mall.

In the interim, the library “temporarily” relocated to the mezzanine level of the Aventura Government Center, which is closed on weekends and required library patrons to pass through security.

The new 26,482-square-foot structure (twice the size of the former library) features 22,260 books, 8,593 DVDs, audiobooks and CDs, multiple types of computers as well as wireless Internet access throughout its interior and exterior areas. There are also two conference rooms and a 100-seat, state-of-the-art auditorium.

Designed by Agustín Lugones of the Miami-Dade County Internal Services Department, the new branch was built using eco-friendly construction and sustainable materials, making it the county’s first “green” public library. In fact, the building is expected to obtain Gold Certification under the U.S. Green Building Council’s LEED rating system, according to Jack Varela, public affairs officer for Miami-Dade Public Library System.

Funding for the facility includes $6.89 million from the Miami-Dade taxing district; $5.61 million from the county’s Capital Asset Acquisition Bond 2007 proceeds and $2.49 million from the Building Better Communities (BBC) bond program.

“The communities and cities of Northeast Dade welcome the long-awaited reopening of a new Northeast Dade-Aventura Library. The library will again serve the community as a significant asset,” Heyman said.

The Aventura library will be open Mondays, Tuesdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Wednesdays and Thursdays from noon to 8 p.m. and closed on Fridays. For information, call 305-931-5512 or visit

Speaking of libraries

Bass Museum of Art is teaming up with the Miami Beach Public Library to present the museum’s IDEA@thebass education programs beginning in September. With its galleries and classrooms under renovation, the Bass will take up temporary residence as bassX at the Library, which is located across the street from the museum at 227 22nd Street in Miami Beach.

Classes will include: Bass Babies (for 2 to 4 year olds and their caregivers); Portfolio Class (for 7 to 18 year olds); Art Club for adults and Family Days. For a complete listing of class dates and times, visit

While Bass classes at the library will be free, space is limited. Reservations are required. Call 305-673-7530 or email

Flea market to help students

The Academy of Hospitality and Tourism at Miami Beach Senior High School is seeking vendors for its upcoming flea market. The event takes place from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Aug. 29, at the school, 2231 Prairie Ave. in Miami Beach.

Items to be sold include new and gently used clothing, books, tools, kitchen items, bedding, art work, back-to-school supplies, shoes and more. Cost for vendors is $30 per two tables.

The flea market will be open to the public. Free water will be available, as well as snacks for purchase.

Proceeds from the flea market will go to support student programs at Miami Beach Senior High. For details, contact Iris at 305-934-7973 or

Arroz con Amigos

KLIMA Restaurant and Bar, 210 23rd Street in Miami Beach, recently debuted a new concept: a Saturday paella brunch dubbed Arroz con Amigos (Rice with Friends).

Executive Chef David “Rusti” Rustarazo offers three interpretations of the classic Spanish dish: meat, fish and vegetable. Paella comes complete with a salad buffet and sangria for $50 per person (excluding tax and gratuity). Wine, beer, mimosas and other brunch cocktails are available at an extra charge.

“We wanted to introduce something new and classically Spanish that is the essence of Catalonian cuisine,” says Chef Rusti. “Our authentic paella recipes are rich and flavorful but light enough to enjoy as the first meal of the day for brunch.”

The chef will be on hand to serve the paella himself — from three oversized frying pans on open flames, known as “Paelleras.” There will also be live music by a Flamenco guitarist.

Arroz con Amigos is available noon to 3 p.m. Saturdays. KLIMA also serves dinner nightly from 6 p.m. For reservations, call 786.453.2779 or email

Beach Buzz appears every other Sunday, and focuses on people and businesses throughout the Beaches, Aventura and Miami. To reach Debra K. Leibowitz, call 305-531-7887 or email, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.