🌮Say goodbye to this SoBe taco spot
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🌮Say goodbye to this SoBe taco spot

The pretty parasols aren’t going away anytime soon.


If you’re on Instagram and you live in Miami, your feed is probably drowning in rows of colorful umbrellas. The Umbrella Sky project debuted in Coral Gables a few weeks ago, and if the goal was to draw thousands of people to Giralda Ave. for the perfect selfie with matching Drake lyrics in the caption, Coral Gables is succeeding.

But where did it come from, and is it, well, providing any real benefits?

HOW’D IT GET THERE? Last year, Mary Snow, the director of the Coral Gables Community Foundation, saw the same installation in Pensacola and thought it would work well in the 305.

She contacted Sextafeira, the Portugeuse company that has done the installations all over Portugal and around the world, then pitched the city. Gables commissioners approved the project back in March.

Coral Gables is only the third city in the U.S. to feature the Umbrella Sky Project, after Pensacola and Pittsburgh.

WHAT’S THE REAL BENEFIT? Other than having another pretty public art project, Mary said a main motivation for the project was because Giralda Ave. “needed some love” after a lengthy streetscape improvement project. Merchants lost millions of dollars in business after the project faced delays, but they are already seeing a boost from folks coming to check out the colorful display.

HOW MUCH DOES IT COST? It cost $80,000 to install the 720 umbrellas on heavy-duty trusses.

HOW LONG WILL IT BE AROUND? The plan is to keep the installation up through mid-September, but that could be extended if the project keeps blowing up on Instagram.

HERE’S A FUN FACT. Sextafeira translates to Friday in Portugeuse, so maybe that’s the day you should stop by to get your prime Umbrella Sky pic. 😎

If you stop by the Umbrella Sky display in the Gables be sure to tag @thenewtropic in your posts and we may share them out! We’ll give some bonus points if you manage to strike a pose we haven’t seen yet.

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Another set of wheels. While Citi Bike stations are still all over, dockless bikes, from companies like ofo and Spin, came and went pretty quickly. But dockless two-wheeled transportation isn’t leaving the 305 completely, as electric scooters are expected to move in. Coral Gables is working on regulations to allow Spin to bring scooters to the city and some officials in the City of Miami — who shut down Lime and Bird scooters earlier this year — are considering legislation to bring the scooters back. (Miami Herald)

A sad Taco Tuesday. After about four years of serving South Beach with great tacos, Taquiza is closing its doors today because of a dispute between its building’s owners. But the good news is that the North Beach location is staying open and the owners hope to find another SoBe location by the end of the year. (Miami.com)

Busload of problems. The county is super close to buying dozens of modern, electric buses to help improve our aging Metrobus fleet, but lobbyists and red tape are holding up the deal. County leaders have a $23 million contract in place with Proterra to bring the new environmentally-friendly buses to Miami but New Flyer, the company who lost out on the contract, claims that Proterra can’t actually get the job done. So while the companies argue, and the decision is delayed, commuters will continue waiting for new buses. (Miami Herald)

Big money, big money. Speaking of transportation, in addition to everything our next governor will have to tackle, they will also oversee a $10 billion transportation budget and have to decide on big proposals like high-speed rail lines and major expressway renovations. In SoFlo that’s particularly relevant as, according to a recent study, Miami drivers spent more than 60 hours stuck in congested traffic in 2017 – the highest amount in the state. (Orlando Sentinel)

Put a ring on it. Miami’s known for flashy things and the latest plan for Bayfront Park will only add to that rep. Last week, City of Miami commissioners approved a plan to bring a retractable roof and a shining ring of solar panels to the park’s amphitheater in time for when Miami plays host to the Super Bowl in 2020. FPL would fund and build the project, but the final contract hasn’t been finalized yet. Stay tuned. (Miami Herald)

Remember Zika? It’s been a few summers since the Zika virus created a panic in South Florida, but scientists continue studying it. Dozens of travel-related cases have been reported throughout the state this year, including 13 in Miami. Now, FIU scientists have patented a device that speeds up the urine sample testing process for the disease. The device could produce results in under 40 minutes, as opposed to weeks that conventional testing takes. (Miami New Times)

Things to do


🇳🇬Thursday: Get thinking at this screening about African film with filmmaker Andrew Dosunmu. (Downtown)
💡Saturday, Aug. 4: Catch a parade of lights at Vizcaya (Coconut Grove)

😌Monday, Aug. 6: Learn how to master mindfulness at Jackson Hall (Allapattah)

🗣 Friday, Aug. 10: Get an introspective look into Filmmaker Terence Nance at Art Africa (Overtown)

🎉Saturday, Aug. 11: Check out a pop-up day party for artists, social entrepreneurs, and civic engagement (Wynwood)


🎨 Talk about how to solve Miami’s “studio gap” (Allapattah)

🎨 Get your hands dirty at this paint night (Wynwood)

😂 Get on stage at Villain’s Open Mic night (Little Haiti)

🌊 Attend a town hall on sea level rise (Allapattah)

🍫 Catch a live recording of Gastropod and talk aphrodisiacs, chocolate, and taste buds (Downtown)

🙋 Discover “A Latina’s Guide to Surviving the Universe” – through Aug. 19 (Downtown)

🗳 Meet your local Republican candidates (Hialeah)

🎙 Learn how to launch your own podcast (Coral Gables)

🍵 Have a transformative tea drinking experience – ongoing (Coral Gables)

🌳 Tour the Kampong at a discount – ongoing (Coconut Grove)

🙏 Get zen at a beach party with sound bowls, yoga, and crystal healing (Surfside)

🎷 Enjoy some jazz at the Normandy Isle fountain (North Beach)

🏙 Take a walking tour of the Art Deco district (South Beach)

💪Work out and twerk out with DanceAfrica Miami (Little Haiti)

🎥Catch a laser lights show at the Frost Museum (Downtown)

🎸 Party with Lincoln’s Beard and Patrick and the Swayzees (Westchester)

😂 Celebrate three years of laughs with Villain Theater + get down at the after party (Little Haiti)

🎵Catch Kesha and Macklemore at the AmericanAirlines Arena (Downtown)

👑Gather your house for a Game of Thrones bar crawl (Brickell)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag @thenewtropic on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a New Tropic membership.


Head to our Facebook page on Thursday afternoon because we’ll be checking out FIU’s Miami Beach Urban Studios. They’ve got a bunch of interactive exhibitions there including a 3D printing lab. If you’ve got any questions about 3D printing be sure to tune in or hit reply and let us know.

– The New Tropic

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