Japan Miami, Miami Beach Botanical Garden, MiamiCurated

More events not to miss this weekend, a top of the line knife sharpening service, free art tour, update on shops at Dadeland including a leading Italian lingerie brand, and more in Karen’s Kudos for March.

This coming Sunday think Japan Miami —- you’ll not want to miss the Japanese Spring Festival at the Miami Beach Botanical Garden. Happenings include a kimono fashion show,   Taiko drumming performances by Fushu Daiko, Ikebana floral design workshops, authentic Japanese tea ceremonies, origami lessons, Japanese face painting, anime and more.The Japanese Spring Festival celebrates the rich culture of Japan and the friendship between Florida and Japan. A highlight of this year’s festival is the kimono fashion show, which will begin at 1 p.m. Sponsored by the Consulate-General of Japan in Miami, the wedding-themed fashion show will feature a variety of kimonos including a Hikifurisode and an Uchikake, formal bridal kimonos worn by a woman on her wedding day. Admission to the Japanese Spring Festival is free though tickets are required.  The Ikebana workshop is $15. Bento lunch boxes and snacks available for purchase.Kimono and Japanese inspired attire recommended for all! Sunday, March 25, 10 AM to 4 PM.
knife sharpening Miami, Sin Rival Cutlery, MiamiCurated
Father and son owners of Sin Rival Cutlery

Need your knives sharpened? I just discovered a “go to” place, Sin Rival Cutlery, at 1140 W.Flagler St. (T.305-545-5577). Three generations dating first from Cuba have been sharpening the knives and scissors of chefs, butchers, and barbers — hundreds a month. Took my knives there and in 48 hours they were ready for prime time. They charge $5 to $7 per knife, depening on the length of the blade. They also sell knives from Switzerland and Brazil (Mundial brand).  They also imparted some wisdom along the way: yes, it’s ok to put your knives in the dishwasher provided they don’t have wooden handles. How do you know a knife is sharp? It should cut a fresh tomato with ease. Between professional sharpening they recommend using a steel blade to keep them sharp.


The annual Gourmet Garage Sale from culinary society Les Dames d’Escoffier Miami is here again, Saturday, March 24. Look for a marketplace of gourmet and professional kitchen, bar and entertaining items, from pots and pans to dishes, small appliances,  and more. All are gently used and donated by  members . Plus, it’s for a very good cause. Want some cookbooks? Not only will you find a good assortment, but also,  some signed by the authors. Mystery boxes, too, from $5 to $10. On average, items are 50-75% less than retail price. Admission to this, the most unusual of the garage sales Miami  is free. The Dames take cash and credit cards. Place: 500 Alhambra Circle in Coral Gables, 8 a.m. to 2 p.m.


art tours Miami, ICA Miami, MiamiCurated
Free tour at ICA daily

If you haven’t been to ICA, the Institute of Contemporary Art Miami, 61 N.E. 41st Street, put a visit on your “to do” list. And even if you have been, if you haven’t taken a tour, the visit doesn’t count. Often conceptual, contemporary art needs professional explanations, and that’s what you get in their daily tour. The 45 minute tour is at 1 p.m. and it’s free (as is the museum admission). The collection has first rate works by leading artists worldwide which vary by exhibit — from Roy Lichtenstein, and Philip Guston to George Segal, Donald Judd and Sol LeWitt. Open Tuesday through Sunday, 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., until 10 pm. on Friday; closed Mondays.

Intimissimi Miami, Dadeland shops, MiamiCurated
Italian lingerie Intimissimi, now open at Dadeland Mall


Lots has been happening at Dadeland Mall since the end of last year, and it’s worth a visit to check out the new shops, eateries, and there’s another really good reason: Microsoft and Apple. Unlike other locations around town, they are usually less busy. I used to take classes at Apple there on Sunday morning at 11. It was a breeze to get there, plenty of parking, and the class wasn’t jam packed. Appointments for support at both are also easier to snare. The Mall offers free yoga on Sunday mornings and get this — first timers get a free yoga mat. Love that touch. But back to the retail and restaurants. By spring, ten new spots will have opened. These include Shushop, an affordable shoe store where the emphasis is on fashion and appeal to 20 to 30 year olds; Garota, a clothing store for the same demographic. It’s the dream of  popular Venezuelan fashion blogger, Carolina Silva’s; Minoti children’s fashion apparel from the UK; and finally, my favorite that I know from Europe, Intimissimi women’s lingerie from Italy. It’s contemporary, sophisticated and affordable — panties from $11, bras from $15.


Have you checked out Ask Karen lately? You’ll find my answers to questions ranging from places to visit around Milan, best day tours in Shanghai, and where to eat well and  have a conversation, to where to take one’s son and friend from New York to dinner. And remember you can ask any question about Miami, as well as world travel and I’ll get back to you within 24 hours! It’s as easy as clicking on the bar at the top of the blog where it says Ask Karen.




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