Social Butterflies – Free Sundays at Fairchild Gardens

August 9, 2009 at 11:28 pm (Florida, free, Miami, networking, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Fairchild

The Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden in Coral Gables, Florida is “one of the world’s preeminent botanic gardens, with extensive collections of rare tropical plants…” The 83-acre garden has been accredited by the American Association of Museums since 1981, and now you get to experience it for free. Yes, FREE admission on Sundays for the month of August!

Almost 70 photographers from Shoot Miami descended on the historic gardens this morning. It was my first time visiting the gardens, and the mix of horticulture was quite striking – exhibits range from rainforest to arid, there is a sunken garden, butterfly garden, and even works by Chihuly are spread throughout many areas of the site.

After a few hours of wandering on our own, or in small groups, everyone met back at the Garden Café for some much needed rehydration and shade while we discussed our findings and different camera techniques. Overall it was a great day – hot, but fun.

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Obon – Get Lit

August 8, 2009 at 11:49 pm (Florida, networking, News, social event, Social Events & Networking, South Florida) (, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , )

Obon

Instead of the Miami Design District’s Art & Design Night we decided to do something a little different this month – Morikami Museum and Japanese Garden’s Bon Festival. The annual event sponsored by the Sun Sentinel is Morikami’s annual event “Inspired by Obon, Japan’s traditional three-day holiday honoring ancestors and thanking them for the quality of life enjoyed by the living.”

The four-hour event included food, free parking, and Ennichi (games for the kids). The highlights of evening were the dancers performing the Bon Odori (Bon Dance) and Taiko Drum Performances by Fushu Daiko. The evening culminated in the Toro Nagashi, or floating of the lanterns, which began “at sunset when Morikami Pond [was] transformed into a tranquil sea of lighted lanterns which, in accordance with Japanese custom, guide the departure of ancestors’ souls who have come for a brief visit among the living.” A fireworks show polished off the evening.

The event was fun, and packed – as if all of South Florida had come to join the festival. It begs the question “has the current economy fueled a resurgence in public interest in inexpensive art and cultural events?”

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