Month: July 2012

The Art Deco Welcome Center Blogs Prt. 1

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Take A VIP Tour!!!10/25/2011
I’ve got another amazing tour for all you animal lovers visiting our beautiful city, The Jungle Island VIP Tour. Have you ever had the pleasure of meeting a baby Kangaroo, a lemur, a tortoise over 150lbs? Now, I can say I have. Well, you can do all of that and more on the VIP tour, and lunch is included too. Did you know that lemurs squeak like a dog’s chew toys when rubbed or that they are a matriarchal society meaning ‘King Julian’ from the children’s movie Madagascar should have been ‘Queen Juliet’? Well, turns out neither did I!

My day started with a drive to Jungle Island, were I had a 10 am appointment with Ana, our go to lady for all our Jungle Island material. Not long after she introduced me to our tour guide, Ryan, son to linda Jacobs. Many of you might remember them for their debut on Simple Life, alongside Peanut and Pumpkin, the two baby orangutans. I got to meet them! While I did not get up close and personal with the now grown Peanut and Pumpkin, I did learn a bit about how those beauties communicate, and let me say the experience was nothing less than magical.

Ryan continued our tour by taking us to one of the shows available, where we had the options to hold a baby alligator (which of course I did) and an extremely long albino burmese python. The tour was absolutely amazing, from start to finish, the baby joeys were adorable as well, standing as tall as an adult male when on their hind legs or as short as a 3 year old child. The Castleberry (Australia’s most dangerous animal was not only beautiful and fascinating but absolutely terrifying. I happily got a once in a lifetime experience when I was able to touch the fluffy collar of a condor, as legend has it, it brings you luck and great fortune (let’s just hope that’s true!)

I’d have to say my favorite part was definitely the lemur encounter, which is an unforgettable experience on its own. (priced at $45 + tax per person) it can be done on its own after entrance to the park is purchased. Those cute little furry beady eyed sweethearts were definitely my most memorable experience at the park. They literally jump all over you for some cuddly love.

My suggestion, don’t do much to your hair before hand, because those little guys are big fans of jumping and sitting on heads.

The VIP price is $240 per adult (ages 11+) and $120 per child (ages 3-11) and while that may seem a bit pricey, I’d say not really, compared to everything you gain and experience on this tour. So start saving those pennies and come on over to the Art Deco Welcome Center to take your VIP Tour today.

-Tiffany M. Oharriz
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A Segway Tour Update!08/09/2011
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So here’s the update I promised you on all things Segway! The Segway invented by Dean Kamen launched in 2001, this product now has 300 dealers and 1,000 tours worldwide, including the ones right here in Miami Beach. A month has passed since you last heard anything segway and now this tour finally kicked off at the price of $59, with a summer and a winter schedule. As of now (summer) the tour leaves at 11am, 2 pm and 5pm and during the winter the tour leaves at 10am, 1pm and 4pm.

The tour is first and foremost all about YOUR SAFETY not their wallets, which is a breath of fresh air. The mantra is “safety first” and they prove it with a series of steps to ensure customer safety. The first step to good safe fun is a quick video explaining the ins and outs of your Segway PT rental, the second step is a hands on demonstration of the Segway which includes execution, emergency stop, key Segway features such as the shake, emergency shutdown, signs of speeding and so on. But the most important feature to these segways in the InfoKey, Don’t take an unnecessary risk, please make sure whatever Segway you choose to rent, that it does in fact have one! Just to be clear, you wouldn’t drive your car without a fuel gauge or your speedometer right? Well riding a Segway without and InfoKey is doing just that. An InfoKey is a small circular piece that attaches to the middle of your segway handle bars. It shows your speed and the amount of juice the battery has on your segway.

Seriously though, the safety specs are great and the fact that they take the time to show you the ins and outs of this machine is incredible. It is hassle and worry free!

So get over here to The Art Deco Welcome Center and book your segway tour today!
Happy Safe Riding!!!

-Tiffany M. Oharriz
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Calling all foodies!!! Five star dining on a beer budget, it’s a gastronomic feast!08/04/2011
Calling all foodies, near and far…. Spice Month is here! You know what that means, yummy food, and The Spice Kick Off Party. The kick off was 7/28/11 and of course one of us Welcome Center Foodies had to go. While I (please note my head, is in fact hanging in shame) had no idea this event was launching it’s 2nd kick off, my boss certainly did. Now even though I was one of the sad few who missed this amazing event, I still get the pleasure of introducing you all to this yummy and fab deal. Let’s start with the basics, according to my boss it was awesome and pictures do speak a thousand words, so I wasn’t surprised that she had invited our amazing photographer and The Welcome Center’s very own 7 language girl, Monika Zdziebkowska. The price for the kick off was $50.00 for general admission and $125.00 for VIP ($75 GA at that door and $150 VIP) and those who went left stuffed to their noses.

Anyway, I hope you didn’t think that was the end of Miami Spice… cause that was only the beginning. This month, about 136 restaurants are participating and the price couldn’t get better. For Lunch you pay $22 and for Dinner you pay $35, included in this price is a 3 course meal at one of the participating restaurants, drinks are not included. The event lasts August thru September so you better get your “grub” on while you can!

-Tiffany M. Oharriz
Five star dining on a beer budget, it’s a gastronomic feast!

Didn’t you hear me, Spice Month is HERE!

For More Information including a list of venues participating come visit us at
The Art Deco Welcome Center
1001 Ocean Drive
Miami Beach, FL 33139

I know all you foodies are hungry now so what are you waiting for 🙂

P.S. Check out the pictures by Monika Zdziebkowska below

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WEAM (World Erotic Art Museum) The Naomi Wilzig Collection07/20/2011
While it looks as if it’s tiny, this museum located on the corner of 12th and Washington right above the Starbuck is truthfully 12000 sq ft with 20 different rooms with art ranging from biblical to contemporary, Pompeii to Picasso. There are 4000 pieces in total, 1000 painting all valued at 12 million dollars. Because some of the pieces are more graphic then others the museum only admits visitor 18 years old and up, at $15 a pop.

Contrary to what many think Erotic art does not equate to anything pornographic. Each rooms center around a particular theme, or era. And the art exhibited in The Weam, date back to some of the earliest works of art; a lot of the sculptures and art work have been around for centuries!

The first piece I was shown on the tour was the first erotic piece Naomi Wilzig collected. The quick summary of the story I was told was that her son asked her to find a ‘racy’ piece for his apartment so that his friends and himself included had something interesting to look at. While it turns out he didn’t really like the piece, she loved it, and thus began her collection of Erotic Art. One of my favorite rooms was the African Treasures room, which focused on the fertility aspect of erotic art, with pieces such as a sculpture of a pregnant woman’s stomach. And ironically enough some of my favorite pieces were based of her favorite theme, Leda and the Swan from Greek Mythology. As the story goes Zeus fell in love with a beautiful woman named Leda and impersonated a swan to seduce or rape Leda on the same night she laid with her husband King Tyndareus a result of their coupling Leda laid to eggs and Helen( later known as the famous and beautiful Helen of Troy)was born.

In my personal opinion the pieces were both beautiful and amazing, and well worth the $15 you’ll spend to get in. I was in art heaven, and I’m sure one visit or tour of The Weam will change any if not all of your preconceived notions of erotic art. And please remember Erotic does not mean Pornographic, erotic art definitely leave a lot to the imagination (it’s simple to tell the difference, erotic art makes you question what you’re seeing)

So come see us at the Art Deco Welcome Center find out more! 🙂

The Art Deco Welcome Center Blogs Prt. 2

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The Design, Midtown, Wynwood Experience

So Art Lovers, planning a trip to Wynwood, Midtown, the Design District? Want to visit local art galleries? At the risk of sounding like a cheesy jingle or commercial… Well we finally have a cost efficient solution for you. It’s our Art District/Food tour known as DMW (Design, Midtown, Wynwood Experience). It’s my absolute favorite as of yet. (I’m a bit bias since it has my 2 favorite things, food and art and all for a seriously kick butt price) The tour basically consists of a walk through 1 to 2 private collections, a 3 course meal either for lunch or dinner and a tour through some curated galleries. And best of all, that kick butt price I mentioned before (drum roll please) is only $69.

When I did the tour, I got to meet with gallery owner Bernice Steinbaum , a pixie sized woman in heels with impeccable fashion sense who said “ I should have been born 6ft tall” her noticeable love and knowledge of art was infectious; and Rosa de la Cruz, a Cuban woman who uses her private collection both in the gallery located just over the bridge and her private collection at home in Key Biscayne to reach out to the youth. Admission to the gallery is free of charge. The art in these 2 galleries alone go above and beyond the norm and even some of the more traditional art is breathtaking.

For $69 you’ll definitely get more than you bargained for. So if you have time on your next vacation or you’re a local art lover you need to get over here and book your ‘Art District & Food Tour’ now… and I do mean now!

-Tiffany M. Oharriz

Segway Tour

Let me just begin by saying what a wonderful experience this was; completely different than what I expected. I have to admit, I used to watch the people on segways ride by and laugh at how ridiculous they looked with the helmets and I swore I’d never in my right mind ride one. So understandably when my boss told me she was sending me on this new tour so I could write about it, I got excited. Then my metaphoric bubble was burst when she said the dreaded ‘S’ word, Segway. I was being sent on a 2 hour segway tour, my excitement dwindled immediately and was replace with fear, because I’m so clumsy I can trip on air and well, embarrassment, I definitely can’t rock the helmet look.

But anyhow, the tour itself is a work in progress. The guys conducting the tour were pretty awesome and genuinely nice. The tour lets you experience firsthand the beauty of South Beach. The guys start the tour with a half hour or so of prepping and safety tips. Then the fun really starts. You drive down to the Beach boardwalk in Lummus Park, then through the Art Deco District. Along the way you’ll see Art Deco buildings, restaurants, cool hotspots and get some very cool info on the history of South Beach. But my absolute favorite part was the stop at South Pointe Park right by the pier, where the scenery was absolutely breathtaking.

My only complaint, other than helmet hair and small shoulder sunburn, was the quiet ride back. The first part of the tour was jam packed with info but the second half was a little quiet for me. While that was my only complaint, I know some people like that time to recoup, process the information, or just cruise on the segway. All in all the tour was a great experience. While I can no longer rock the helmet hair of segway riders I’ll occupy my time by keeping you posted on any segway tour updates. But for now pack a couple of comfy shoes, sunscreen, bug repellent, stay hydrated and book your next tour with us. We’d love to help you plan your next trip so stop by.

-Tiffany M. Oharriz 🙂

(Be sure to read the Gallery Update posted on the blog below…. it’s this Saturday!)

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Second Saturday Gallery Walk Update

Ok Ok, so I had two awesome events to get out in one day. Here’s another goodie for you, every second Saturday of the every month (that means tomorrow) there will be a 4:45pm shuttle from the Art Deco Welcome Center just over the bridge to the Design District, Midtown and Wynwood and its only $20 dollars! So stop reading this and come over to The Art Welcome Center and pick up your ticket now! It’s totally worth it

-Tiffany M. Oharriz

Culture Shock Miami!

If you missed Miami Museum Month in May, you missed an amazing deal! But fear not art lovers across the globe (Miami Beach locals this means you too!) Culture Shock has graced us with its presence once again. Students ages 13-22 pay only $5 to attend Miami Dade’s top cultural event. (Does the name make any sense yet?) Literally it’s $5 dollars for performances and this one’s my favorite 2 for $5 museum tickets. Want more info, stop by pick up the flyer or visit their website.

So what are you waiting for, start getting cultural!

-Tiffany M. Oharriz

Memorial Day Weekend

So Miamians, Miami Beach locals and visitors, we have a slight change of schedule this glorious weekend…. Our hours this weekend have changed!

Saturday 9:30am – 3:00pm
Sunday 9:30am – 3:00pm
Monday we are closed

So make sure to visit us today and tomorrow during our buisness hours to book your tours and get info!

On Tuesday May 31st we will resume with our normal hours of operation! 9:30am – 5:00pm

Enjoy your weekend and Be Safe! 😀


Sister Cities Art Show

The First Annual Sister Cities International Artist Showcase was a complete success, and has officially come to a close. I must say I felt a small pang of sadness as the artists filed in to whisk away their pieces. But enough about my personal turmoil, lets tell you a bit about the exhibit.
Artist from Brazil, Canada, Mexico, Peru, Colombia, Miami Beach, Israel, Italy and Spain came together and supplied the art featured in the showcase. And let me just say the art was amazing. The “Young Artist Showcase” award winning pieces created by children were jaw dropping.

I made a mad dash on Monday through the exhibit hall to peruse the pieces on display, hoping to see something that made me feel the lovely tingles you get when you see BEAUTIFUL art, and I can’t say it enough, the art work was amazing. Every piece made me get those tingles and before I knew it…. the 20 minutes I had set aside had become a good 45 minutes extra!

If you didn’t get a chance to stop by The Art Deco Welcome Center, you sure did miss an absolutely lovely Art Show Case.

My advice, the next time you hear about art exhibits in The Art Deco Welcome Center; mosey on over a check it out ofcourse 😉 Pop in and they’ll fill you in on what is happening next! Now if you have the time click the Read More link located on the bottom right to see a slideshow of some of the art!

-Tiffany M. Oharriz

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Look at me! I was featured on a website :D

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The Miami Design Preservation League safeguards and interprets the history of Miami Beach’s Art Deco District through tours, lectures, films, exhibits, and other events. Drop by the Official Art Deco Gift Shop at 1001 Ocean Drive, where you can find unique books, posters, vintage collectibles, and souvenirs from the area. Guided walking tours of the Art Deco District depart daily from the Art Deco Welcome Center at 10:30 AM, with the exception of Thursdays, when the tour gets underway at 6:30 PM. The cost is $20 for adults and $15 for seniors and students. A self-guided audio tour is available daily for $15, according to Tiffany Oharriz of the Art Deco Welcome Center. “I love South Beach and I think the Miami Design Preservation League is doing a great thing for the community,” Oharriz says. Private tours are also available.