Spring into SOMI!

Changes in nature are always dramatic although oftentimes subtle; in South Florida we begin to see lush colors emerging as we enjoy our seasonal changes.  At my home, butterflies are taking flight and the wildflowers are just doing what they do – being abundantly wild! Spring is the season of dramatic change and creates a renewed sense of awareness and appreciation of our surroundings.

Speaking about appreciation of our surroundings, in past issues of the magazine, we’ve taken our readers to cultural and community resources within proximity to home:: the Perez Art Museum (PAMM), to HISTORYMiami, to the gem of a park right in the middle of the city, The Barnacle, to Chihuli at Fairchild Tropical Garden, to the Adrienne Arsht Center in observance of their tenth anniversary and to Villa Vizcaya for their centenary. (These cover features are archived on www.somimag.loc).

In this issue we go to the ever evolving, ZOO Miami.

In the words of Simon & Garfunkel, “It’s all happening at the zoo, I do believe it; I do believe it’s true….”   Being raised in New York City, our family frequented both The Bronx Zoo and the Central Park Zoo.  Back then, we saw gorillas, tigers and most other animals in cages.  But that was then, and in today’s world, there’s something else happening at the zoo. It was shortly after the zoo opened in the early eighties that I first visited MetroZOO, and discovered that animals were uncaged.  MetroZOO was one of the first zoos to uncage the animals.  At the opening of the zoo in 1981, guests were given a “Piece of the Past” souvenir bag containing a piece of iron bar used to cage the animals at the former zoo to call attention that  bars will no longer be used to house the animals.

I hope you enjoy our cover feature.  I invite you to take the time to plan a visit to the zoo and learn more about animal conservancy and with the new Everglades exhibit, come away with a heightened appreciation for what needs to be done.

SOMI Magazine’s multi issue tribute on occasion of the National Park Service centenary concludes in this issue with a visit to Biscayne National Park.  Our series over the past five issues presented an overview of the National Park system and focused on national parks in Florida.  With each issue, we were pleased to showcase the stunning work of local natural photographer Paul Marcellini.  (See our archive section on the website to preview the prior issues.)

Spring is also a great time for cycling in South Florida.  There are some great cycling initiatives happening: The Underline, the development of a ten mile linear park under the Metrorail; The Ludlam Trail, a rails-to-trails project on the abandoned FEC Corridor and BIKE 305, a collaboration of Miami-Dade County municipalities, the county’s transportation, public works and parks departments and cycling groups and businesses – all who encourage healthy lifestyles and transportation alternatives through bike-friendly events that connect bikeways, trails and greenways, as well as programs that teach safe-cycling skills to children and adults.  I’d invite you to check them out:  See SOMI Magazine’s coverage on page 35 this year’s Bike-to-Work day.

SOMIartwalk© finished up its 2016/17 season last month.  I’d like to acknowledge the businesses which have participated in the event since October, our ArtNight Ambassadors, members of the South Miami Senior HS JROTC, who assist visitors, and the visual and performing artists who have shared their talent with us.  See page 34 for more about artwalk.  Planning for next year is already underway.  Visual and performing artists and those who would like to volunteer to make SOMIartwalk© a more memorable experience, please contact us through

2017 is the ninetieth anniversary year of the founding of the City of South Miami.  Beginning with our June/July issue, SOMI Magazine will be presenting a six-part series in print and online noting the city’s passage over time.

In closing, welcome to our new businesses which have recently opened in town.  Read more about these businesses and others in our What’s New feature, found on page 40.

In our next issue we’ll be running our annual Readers’ Survey. However, you can let us know what you think about SOMI Magazine anytime you want.  And I welcome you to do that, thanks.

Enjoy the spring, and spring into SOMI.  It’s SHOP SMALL IN SOMI all year ‘round – support your locally owned businesses.






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