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Coconut Grove Info History
Several waves of immigration established Coconut Grove, the first in 1825, when the Cape Florida lighthouse went into operation and was manned by John Dubose. Dr. Horace P. Porter is credited for coming up with the name when in 1873 he rented a home from Edmond D. Beasley’s widow, who homesteaded 160 acres bay front property. He lived there for only a year but during that time he established a post office which he named Coconut Grove. Around the same time the area saw an influx of Americans from the Northeastern US, as well as British and white Bahamian immigrants. The first hotel on the South Florida mainland was located in Coconut Grove. Called the Bay View Inn (later known as the Peacock Inn), it was built in 1882, on the site of present-day Peacock Park, by English immigrants Isabella and Charles Peacock, who had been the owner of a wholesale meat business in London. Coconut Grove's first black settlement, in the 1880s, was established by Bahamian laborers who worked at the Peacock Inn. The Barnacle Historic State Park is the oldest house in Miami-Dade County still standing in its original location. It was built in 1891 and was home to Ralph Middleton Munroe, also known as "The Commodore" for being the first commodore and founder of the Biscayne Bay Yacht Club, an American yacht designer and early resident of Coconut Grove.
Formerly an independent city, Coconut Grove was annexed by the city of Miami in 1925. In the 1960s, bay-shore Coconut Grove served as the center of South Florida's youth countercultural movement, notably hosting several love-ins and concerts (including a now-infamous Doors concert on Dinner Key) during the latter part of the decade.
In popular culture [edit source | editbeta]
CocoWalkThe movie Where the Pavement Ends was filmed in Coconut Grove in 1923. It was directed by Rex Ingram and starred Ramón Navarro.
Pioneer Folk rock musician Fred Neil resided in, and wrote songs about Coconut Grove, notably on the song "Bleecker & MacDougal".
"Coconut Grove" is a song written by John Sebastian and recorded by The Lovin' Spoonful in 1967. It later was covered by David Lee Roth. Smiths guitarist Johnny Marr has expressed a fondness for the song.
In the film Scarface, Manny lives in an upscale home in the Grove.
In the TV series Dexter, Dexter Morgan, lives in Coconut Grove, based on the book series by Jeff Lindsay.
In the video for the song "Careless Whisper" George Michael can be seen looking out at sea from a hotel balcony in Coconut Grove as a seaplane flies by.
In the 1980 song "American Dream" by the (Nitty Gritty) Dirt Band, Coconut Grove is mentioned prominently in the chorus as a vacation destination.
In the movie Bad Boys, Martin Lawrence and Will Smith follow a suspect through Coconut Grove.
In Big Trouble, by Dave Barry, the main setting is Coconut Grove.
The set for the TV series Burn Notice is in Coconut Grove, in what was once the City of Miami's Convention Center.
Coconut Grove is the setting for the movie, Meet The Fockers.
Coconut Grove has been a location on the show The First 48.
Coconut Grove is a location in the 1985 Burt Reynolds film Stick. A stunt man falls off hi-rise condo building.
The 2008 film Marley & Me with Jennifer Aniston and Owen Wilson was filmed on location in Coconut Grove, based on John Grogan's book.
CSI: Miami season 4 episode 10 ("Shattered") is set in Coconut Grove.
In the first episode of The Golden Girls, "The Engagement", at the end of the episode, Rose asks Dorothy and Blanche if they would like to go to Coconut Grove for lunch, her treat, to celebrate their friendship.
Notable residents[edit source | editbeta]Former and current residents include:
Hervey Allen, author of Anthony Adverse Leo Baekeland, inventor of Bakelite William Jennings Bryan, Secretary of State Neal Colzie, NFL cornerback Marjory Stoneman Douglas, environmentalist Frank Gore, San Francisco 49ers running back Gilbert Grosvenor, president of the National Geographic Society LeBron James, basketball player, Miami Heat. Peter Lewis, businessman Madonna, 1992–2000 Mia Michaels, television star Kirk Munroe, author of children's books Ralph Middleton Munroe, American yacht designer, builder of the oldest house in Miami, Florida, now The Barnacle Historic State Park; 1886–1933 Fred Neil, American folk recording artist. Ric O'Barry, Dolphin Activist; star of movie/documentary The Cove Steven Raichlen, noted grill chef and author Winston E. Scott, (Captain, USN, Ret.); NASA Astronaut (former) Sylvester Stallone 1993–1999 Sepy Dobronyi, 1963–2010, sculptor, movie producer, jeweler
Not too far from Dinner Key, is La Brisa, the waterfront estate where Howard Hughes once lived. It is a few steps from The Grove Garden Trilogy of Restaurants that include La Bottega by Carmen Trigueros, Calamari Italian Restaurant, and Taurus, the Grove’s most legendary bar. The cottage that is now Taurus is a designated landmark that was once the teahouse of Alice Munroe, the daughter of Grove pioneer Commodore Ralph Munroe. It was part of the large estate The Barnacle, just down the street, and now nationally recognized, award-winning state park.
A bit of name-dropping: The Grove in the Arts
Early on, the Grove became a magnet to the talented and the interesting throughout its history. John Singer Sergeant was a frequent guest of James Deering’s at Vizcaya. Robert Frost and Tennesee Williams wintered in the Grove as well. Renowned humorist and author, Dave Barry wrote an entire chapter about Coconut Grove (where he also lived before defecting to Coral Gables), in "Naked Came the Manatee" the madcap mystery thriller with different chapters authored by writers associated with Miami such as Elmore Leonard and Carl Hiaasen. The winner of the Miami Herald’s contest to write the last chapter of the book was Coconut Grove veterinarian, Dr. Michael Marmesh, now an author (Top of the Heap) in his own right. Among the most venerated famous authors of Coconut Grove is Marjory Stoneman Douglas, the environmentalist and author of "River of Grass," who made the Grove her home until she passed away at the age of 108.
A block away from La Bottega is the old Coconut Grove Playhouse, where Broadway-bound plays were first previewed. The curtain first lifted on Becket’s “Waiting for Godot” here, and it is rumored that Eugene O’Neill’s favorite watering hole was the Taurus, which later also became a favorite hangout of 60s folk legend Fred Neil. The Grove itself was quite the bastion of counterculture musical luminaries of the 60s including David Crosby, Jimmy Buffet and the Lovin’ Spoonful, the lead singer of which, John Sebastian, immortalized the Grove with its own theme song, “Coconut Grove”. One of the inspirations for Joni Mitchell’s “Ladies of the Canyon” was Estrella, Circus Girl whom she actually met while living in Coconut Grove and performing at The Gaslight South. The memorable lines “I'm goin' where the sun keeps shinin' through the pourin' rain. Goin' where the weather suits my clothes. Bankin' off of the northeast winds, sailin' on summer breeze, and skippin' over the ocean like a stone,” in the hit song from the Oscar-winning movie, Midnight Cowboy, starring Dustin Hoffman and Jon Voight are often attributed to singer Harry Nilson, were indeed Fred Neil’s words, undoubtedly about his beloved home, Coconut Grove.
No mentioning of the Grove in the 60s is complete without reference to the famous Doors concert at Dinner Key Auditorium, and what Jim Morrison allegedly did (or did not do, as the case now is) during the performance. Grovites are amused that in an apparent Freudian slip, the city renamed the auditorium/ convention center “The Expo Center.”
Till August 2013, The Expo Center was actually a film set, and the home of the hit USA Cable series, Burn Notice filmed on location in south Florida with its main set based in Coconut Grove. It is not unusual to come upon a film shoot involving stars Jeffrey Donovan, Gabrielle Anwar, Bruce Campbell and Sharon Gless. Also frequently seen in the Grove are VH1’s Basketball Wives, who in one episode wined away at La Bottega.
Coconut Grove has always been a sought-after location for the film industry, starting as early as 1923 when director Rex Ingram filmed Ramon Novarro in “Where the Pavement Ends” (aptly named since part of the Grove’s charm is that many of winding streets indeed have no sidewalks.) The Grove also served as location for scenes in “Scarface” “Absence of Malice,” “Something about Mary, ” and “Marley and Me, ” It was a featured location in “Meet the Fokers,” the home of Ben Stiller’s character’s artist parents, played by Dustin Hoffman and Barbara Streisand.
Today, the Grove is home to a diversity of people, some famous, and some, as the T-Shirt sold in the CoconutGroveGrapevine.com (named among the “boggiest blogs in the country” it is a favorite online local source for happenings, gossip and news), says “I’M FAMOUS IN THE GROVE”. -- contributed by Liliana Do
National Geographic Traveler – Interested in more walking through Coconut Grove?
An old seafaring settlement, the Grove is a village within Miami proud of its glorious vegetation, wild peacocks, and reputation for artsy, eccentric behavior. Chain stores, restaurants, and McMansions have encroached, but it still remains a local hangout. The tony neighborhood, ten minutes south of downtown Miami, has an upbeat street life, thanks to outdoor cafés, some clothing and jewelry boutiques, and clubs.
Start at (1) Peacock Park, a small, grassy area along Biscayne Bay with a baseball field, tiny playground, and walking bridge from which stingrays and manatees can be spotted on clear days. Bay View Inn (later known as Peacock Inn), the first hotel on the South Florida mainland, was built here in 1882 by English immigrants Isabella and Charles Peacock. In the 1960s and early '70s, the park was a prime hangout for hippies. Across from the park is the (2) Coconut Grove Sailing Club.
Walk in front of the club, heading north on South Bayshore Drive. Take the first left and walk up Mary Street. One block up, merge slightly to the left to get onto Grand Avenue. You'll pass (3) Mayfair in the Grove shops on your right, where you'll find outdoor kiosks selling sunglasses, T-shirts, and beach wraps, as well as Out of Africa, a store selling African statues, clothing, and jewelry, and Cuban Pete's cigar store. There also are chains like Ann Taylor Loft and United Colors of Benetton.
Continue up Grand until you reach a three-way traffic light. This is the heart of the Grove, where you can catch Johnny Rockets waiters singing and dancing to the Bee Gees in the median if the mood hits them. On your right is (4) CocoWalk, a three-story complex of shoes, and clothing shops and restaurants (Gap, Victoria's Secret, The Cheesecake Factory,). Continue down Grand Avenue one block and stop at (5) Jaguar Ceviche Spoon Bar & Latam (as in Latin American) Grill on the right to try the sampler ceviche, with six varieties on large white ceramic spoons.
Afterward, run across the street to (6) The Maya Hatcha (www.mayahatcha.com), a Grove fixture since 1968. Filled with incense, Indonesian dance masks, Madagascar straw hats, glass bead necklaces from India, embroidered Indian shirts, leather sandals, and cotton bedspreads from India, the store has changed little in the past 35 years.
Continue down Grand, past the bikini and condom shops, then turn left to head up (7) Commodore Plaza, a quaint block of restaurants and shops. Stop into IOS for designer clothes that draw the models over from South Beach, then duck into The Fashionista, a consignment boutique across the street where you can get cast-off Jimmy Choo heels and Fendi bags at a discount.
Stop for a jolt of caffeine at the outdoor Cuban coffee counter at (8) Coco's, on the corner of Commodore Plaza and Main Highway. Or, if you're willing to linger, sit at one of the outdoor tables for a cappuccino across the street at (9) Greenstreet, the local favorite place to be seen.
Cross Main Highway and head south for a block to get to (10) The Barnacle Historic State Park (www.floridastateparks.org/thebarnacle). Built in 1891, it's the former home and boathouse of Commodore Ralph Middleton Munroe and one of the oldest houses in Miami-Dade County. Walk down a wooded path to get to the unique house, with its period furniture and wide porch offering a magnificent view of Biscayne Bay. Tours are provided Friday through Monday by park rangers (group tours are available Tuesday through Thursday by reservation). The forest surrounding the house is a tropical hardwood hammock—the last of its kind in the area. Outdoor concerts are held here every full moon night, except in the summer, when the mosquitoes can carry you away.
You'll want a refresher at the end. After leaving the park, head further south down Main Highway to end your walk at (11) Cefalo's in the Grove (www.cefaloswine.com), a wine bar on the former site of the 76-year-old Taurus tavern, now owned by former Miami Dolphins player turned TV sports anchor Jimmy Cefalo.