Art Brut at Margaret Pace Park

Review by A. Bundren

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The approximate location of the incident reviewed. Image courtesy of HGTV

I like to jog the oval length of sidewalk surrounding Margaret Pace Park, taking in the early evening’s sights and sounds as I sweat out the various mental and physical toxoids of the day.

Situated off the usually still waters of Biscayne Bay, the park is largely a place of and for the neighborhood’s bourgeoisie, whose children in Burberry soccer gear and whose dogs, ranging from pharaoh hounds to salukis to the ever-stoic Löchens, I have to zigzag around.

Besides the urban male professionals and moms in yoga pants, there are other schizophrenics that move throughout the park: the ones that talk to themselves but who do so out-loud, instead of projecting the guise of a calm, internal silence. Also, they’re dirty on the outside insofar as we all are, on the inside.

Of late I was turning the northeast corner when I saw a woman laid out on a large blanket amongst an assortment of vendibles and curious wares, an incomplete compendium of which would include at least several picnic baskets, a short-wave radio, and a mess of acrylics and watercolors across easels and various canvases. I slowed and stopped when I saw the most beautiful painting I have ever seen, framed in gold and resting against a nearby palm tree.

I approached the woman, who was clad in a beige hoody and matching corduroy bottoms, and saw that she was repeatedly air-quoting with her right hand. I said, not without some hesitance, “Excuse me ma’am?”

She looked up, her eyes yellow pools of terror circumferenced by lines of deeply-etched, keenly grave insight, and said, “The name you have is not your own.”

I reeled back. “Sorry?”

She grabbed and raised the Elle magazine sitting near her, convulsing with rage and violently motioning the periodical at me even though she wasn’t looking in my direction. The woman proceeded to yell repeatedly what I later googled to find to be my horoscope from the week of that very issue: “The library is a hospital of the mind!”

Every day since then, I’ve woken with this inexplicable loop-de-loop of a thought, pulsing in my head: One Day More, One Day Less.

And I think for a long time about which of these are worse. But this just makes the morning go on detaching itself from the rest of my day at an increasing rate of slowness, until the sun is a bright yellow gob in the sky. 

Churchill’s Pub, 1979-2014 A.D.

Review by E. Fudd

On the south-facing outside wall of Churchill’s in Little Haiti, there’s some signage that quips, “Under Old Management—Again.”

As of 1:30 AM this morning, this charming, hokey truism is now moot. Dave Daniels—the white-maned, 73 year old from Stoke, England who opened the historic music venue in 1979—has accepted an offer to buy from a yet-to-be-revealed party.

Mr. C, the beloved guardian of the front door and general enforcer of the place referred to as “our beloved shithole,” has delivered the news via phone vid.

After much gossipy rumor and rumory gossip following the revelation of the offer in February, the deal is sealed now that a legal period of due diligence is past. The new owners will reportedly need to make some improvements (the much maligned bathrooms and parking lot among them), before reopening sometime in June.

Locals and visitors from around the world have been vocal about their dismay over the sale, and have expressed their hopes that it will remain true to its storied development, while making some essential improvements.

Churchill’s, truly a dive for its share of disrepute (and an almost-honest pub since Daniels physically lives on the property), has possibly had more live concerts than any other venue in the United States. There has been a show every night of the week, if not multiple shows, going on 34 years now. Whatever.