I began writing Beach Buzz in January 1999, which makes this the start of my 16th year.
I came up with the idea for this column during lunch with Neighbors’ then-editor Jon O’Neill. I thought there should be a column in Neighbors about interesting businesses, people and events in and around Miami Beach. Most importantly, the column would focus on positive things.
Jon loved the idea, but who would he get to write it? Half-jokingly, I said I would. I do advertising, copy writing/editing, grant writing and event planning, so I was qualified. Jon said, “OK, but what would you write about? I said I thought finding material for the column would be easy, being actively involved in the community and connecting with people who were doing good things for the right reasons.
I wrote a “test column” and faxed it to Jon (this was before email), who paged me “9-1-1” (this was before texting). The emergency? The Herald needed a photo to accompany my byline. I was an official columnist. That was 15 years ago.
Looking back, I admit it has been fun, yet more difficult than I thought at times. I have connected with so many interesting people, stories and events. I have learned so much. It is particularly rewarding to receive feedback from people who enjoy reading the column and find it interesting; it touches their hearts and has helped to promote good causes.
And so, I will keep writing and hope that my readers will keep responding positively.
CATERER GOES BACK TO MARKET
South Florida caterer Ken Lyon of Lyon + Lyon recently opened Lyon Frères Petit Marché (“small market”) at 1600 Alton Rd. in Miami Beach. He has dubbed it “The Chef-Curated Food Shop.”
“It’s like going back to my roots,” said Lyon, 57, who owned and operated Lyon Frères et Compagnie, an 8,000-square foot market café on Lincoln Road during the 1990s. It was there that he met his wife, Suzanne Litt Lyon, in 1996. The couple, longtime Beach residents, have been married for 17 years.
The new shop is smaller in scale – just 1,000 square feet, with a full offering: ILLY Espresso Bar, homemade pastries, prepared foods, estate-bottled wines, craft beers and a selection of specialty groceries.
While the catering end of his business has remained constant, Lyon previously operated restaurants including Fratelli Lyon, an Italian eatery in the Design District and The Cape Cod Room at The Bath Club in Miami Beach. He has operated the restaurant and catering for the Norton Museum of Art in Palm Beach for more than a decade.
Lyon’s new venture is small and manageable — and he says for the first time he is co-branding the catering with the shop — using one to promote the other.
Hours are expanded — 6 a.m. to midnight, seven days a week — to compete with business from nearby Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.
For info about catering or the shop, call 305-534-0600 or visit www.lyonandlyon.com
A WEEK OF YOUNGARTS
Jan. 4-11 is National YoungArts Week, hosted by Miami-based National YoungArts Foundation. It features a wide array of performances and events, topped off by the group’s annual Backyard Ball.
Monday through Thursday (Jan. 5-8) includes a series of open-to-the-public evening exhibitions at the New World Center (500 17th St.) featuring everything from music and dance to theater and film.
On Friday and Saturday (Jan. 9 and 10), events will move to the YoungArts Campus (2100 Biscayne Blvd.).
Friday night’s schedule will feature Writers’ Readings (6 p.m.), Art, Design and Photography Exhibition (7:30 p.m.) and a Jazz Concert with Nicole Henry (10 p.m.).
Saturday night will offer a “1-2-7” party (held on the first, second and seventh floors of the YoungArts campus). It will run concurrently with the 2015 Backyard Ball, which will honor renowned visual artist Jeff Koons and famed singer/songwriters Josh Groban and Chris Young.
The gala (“artistic black tie”) will feature an Alumni Performance directed by YoungArts’ Bill T. Jones, emceed by actress Zuzanna Szadkowski. Backyard Ball Co-Chairs are Tracey and Bruce Berkowitz and Elizabeth and Facundo Bacardi.
For a complete list of all event schedules, tickets and prices visit www.YoungArts.org.
FULL OF MANURE
The 2015 “Ladies of Manure” calendar was released during a Dec. 18 party at Nugbrand Pop-up Shop in Wynwood. Guests were invited to “Meet the Ladies behind the Poop.”
Event host: Fertile Earth, the Miami-based nonprofit behind the calendar (second edition). The project was launched in 2013 to spark awareness about waste and how it can be reduced and/or used as a resource.
Created with help from Terribly Girly pin-up photography, the calendar features 12 local eco-conscious women glammed up with — well, manure, accompanied by an educational description.
Fertile Earth Foundation was co-founded in 2008 by Tiana Madera and Lanette Sobel, who serves as executive director. The group’s mission is “to bring abundance, health and self-sufficiency to our community.”
To purchase a calendar ($10) or learn more, call Julia Poliadis at 786-333-9436 or visit www.fertileearth.org.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org, or become a fan of her Beach Buzz page on Facebook.