Beach bound: Florida’s Amelia Island offers history, cuisine and community

Beach bound: Florida’s Amelia Island offers  history, cuisine and community

Bright colors and tropical plants mix with Spanish moss and Victorian facades on Amelia Island. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Amelia Island stretches just 13 miles along the coast of Northern Florida, bordering Georgia. Rich in history and boasting a thriving contemporary food scene, the island blends the Southern charm of Savannah, Georgia with the tropical scenery of a coastal community.

The island that visitors find today was forged in a fascinating history. Abraham Lincoln Lewis was the first African-American millionaire in the state of Florida and in 1935 he set his sights on Amelia Island. To combat the segregation of the Jim Crow Laws, Lewis purchased 216 acres of waterfront land on the Atlantic Ocean side of the island. Naming it American Beach, he developed the area into a thriving resort community for Black Americans.

For decades the beachfront was lit up with families experiencing the beautiful natural landscape, visiting restaurants and enjoying local nightlife. As segregation lifted Black vacationers spread across the island and the focus of American Beach became about preservation. Lewis’s great-granddaughter MaVynee Oshun Betsch, dubbed “The Beach Lady,” by locals, became a champion of the natural dunes on American Beach and spearheaded their protection and preservation under the National Parks Service.

The Fairbanks House bed and breakfast is housed in the 1885 Italianate home of George Rainsford Fairbanks. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

Though the character of American Beach has evolved with time, that strong sense of community continues to resonate throughout Amelia Island. In Historic Fernandina, a compact neighborhood in the northern half of the island, stories always circle back to the strength of local bonds.

When Marisol Triana and Chris Garcia, the first generation Cuban-American owners of Hola! Cuban Café, found themselves needing to move their restaurant in the height of the pandemic, the community came together to help them. Neighbors sent over construction supplies, art pieces, even bored teenagers with restless energy to burn. Since then, the restaurant has become a neighborhood meeting ground, where locals can be found at all hours catching up over cafecito on the outdoor patio or swapping local news between bites of empanada.

For visitors to the island, historic bed and breakfasts reign over chain hotels. The Fairbanks House is one such property. The 1885 Italianate home of George Rainsford Fairbanks has been transformed into a sprawling inn run by father-son duo Rob and Flint Batterton. In keeping with the close-knit spirit of the island, staying at The Fairbanks House feels like staying at the home of a close friend. Rob cooks up multi-course breakfasts for guests every morning and Flint offers a rich history of the property and insider recommendations for dining spots.

The Book Loft, a fixture of historic Fernandina for more than three decades. PHOTO: CELINA COLBY

The best way to get a sense of the island landscape is by the water and for that options abound. Fort Clinch State Park is an extensive waterfront fort at the northern tip of the island that provides historical context and spacious views across the water to neighboring Georgia. American Beach still boasts the pristine dunes and soft sand beaches that drew Abraham Lincoln Lewis to the region. Or you can take to the water itself on a boat tour around the Amelia River and up past Cumberland Island, where you’re likely to spot dolphins, cranes and wild horses.

In the downtown strip of Historic Fernandina Victorian buildings house local shops and restaurants and mossy trees provide shade from the Florida sunshine.

In The Book Loft, a fixture of the neighborhood for more than three decades, you can pick up a copy of “Saving American Beach,” a children’s book based on the story of MaVynee Oshun Betsch, written by Heidi Tyline King and illustrated by Roxbury native Ekua Holmes. After a day of touring, visitors can satisfy their hunger with a wide spectrum of cuisines, from innovative Asian street food at Wicked Bao to classic French cuisine at Le Clos, a restaurant housed in a former single family home.

Rooted in a powerful historic tradition of people coming together, Amelia Island offers a unique travel experience. For however brief or long a time, visitors are welcomed into a close knit community where neighbors help neighbors and it’s never too late for a trip to the beach.

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The best winter beach destinations have been named – ‘wonderful’ | Travel News | Travel

The best winter beach destinations have been named – ‘wonderful’ | Travel News | Travel – ToysMatrix

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President Joe Biden to travel by car from Rehoboth Beach to Greenville


President Joe Biden and first lady Jill Biden left their Rehoboth Beach-area home to travel by car to their Greenville home shortly before 6 p.m. Wednesday.

Both Biden’s team and Delaware State Police were mum about the route, but presumably, they would be taking Route 1 for the majority of the trip. Congestion and delays are likely, especially in Rehoboth and New Castle County.

“No roads will be closed per se, but side streets will be blocked for several minutes and traffic signals will be manipulated to minimize delays,” said Delaware Department of Transportation spokesman Robin Bryson. 

The Federal Aviation Administration has issued temporary flight restrictions throughout the state through the evening, and in the Wilmington area, through Jan. 2.

The president and his wife had been at their North Shores home, just north of Rehoboth Beach, since Monday. That afternoon, he took in a weekly economic briefing virtually.

The president’s official schedule was empty Tuesday. He and Jill Biden were spotted on the beach with their new dog, Commander.

Biden is scheduled to speak with Russian leader Vladmir Putin on Thursday, at Putin’s request and amid concerns about Russian troops gathering at the Ukraine border.

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Palm Beach Post staff’s top stories

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At the end of every year, The Palm Beach Post compiles lists of top stories and photos from the year before. But this year we decided to do something different: let our reporters and photojournalists tell you about the stories behind reported pieces and photos that stood out to them.

We hope the following descriptions give you a glimpse into just how much the journalists at the Post care about what they do.

Liz Balmaseda | Food and dining reporter — In a year when restaurants have continued to struggle, I think about the Juno Beach pub server who was surprised by two staggering tips on a random February night. On separate visits, two customers at Kirby’s pub left Kimberly Filion a total of $2,800 on checks that summed to $108. A single mother of four, Filion makes $5.40 an hour, plus tips. Her story illuminated a greatly underappreciated segment, restaurant servers. She told me how so many takeout customers leave zero tip on their orders at a time when the servers who pack the meals desperately need the gratuity. She watched one customer drive off without leaving a tip on a $178 order. But that big night in February restored her faith. She shared her windfall with her coworkers.     

Read more of Liz Balmaseda’s stories here. Subscribe to Liz’s food-and-dining newsletter, “At the Table,” here. Follow her on Twitter at @LizBalmaseda.

Frank Cerabino | News columnist — I liked this column because the already-published stories about the man who tumbled off his bicycle in a park and was bitten by an alligator tended to refer to the alligator as a “nuisance” animal, when it seemed to me that the real nuisance creature here was the human.

The alligator, I wrote, was exactly where it ought to have been when the hapless cyclist landed on it. 

“The park is surrounded by 500 acres of wetland preserves, which is prime real estate for an alligator. And the park’s name, “Halpatiokee,” comes from the Seminole language. It means ‘river of large alligators.'” I wrote. 

I was happy for the chance to stick up for the alligator.

Read more of Frank Cerabino’s columns here. Follow him on Twitter at @FranklyFlorida.

Alexandra Clough | Business reporter — Economic growth threatens Old Florida in this story about the pending sale of a beloved racetrack in Palm Beach County. A warehouse builder is buying the racetrack to build needed distribution space, possibly for use by e-commerce companies. But progress comes at a price: the property’s sale will mean the loss of an iconic destination for car lovers and their families, and a place where countless memories were made during the past 50-plus years. I loved hearing people talk about how cars are a part of their life story, especially their youth. My favorite anecdote was the man who had a speeding problem when he first started driving. A kindly police officer told him to “take it to the track.” Decades later, he’s still there.  

Read more of Alexandra Clough’s stories here. Follow her on Twitter at @acloughpbp.

Photo from Thomas Cordy

Thomas Cordy | Photo and video journalist, audio producer — Philosophy, religion, politics, technology, mass and social media are overlapping, mixing, melding, colliding, evolving at a speed society has never experienced since COVID-19 emerged. This image is a reminder and signpost for this change across America and the world.

Look at more of Thomas Cordy’s photos and videos here. 

Gerard Albert III | Crime, courts and police reporter — This story was a result of watching hours of videos and digging through records to trace the path of a man accused of killing Palm Beach Gardens teenager Ryan Rogers. The process of digging and finding more information than authorities would give is something I love about being a reporter.

Read more of Gerard Albert III’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @gerard_albert3.

Tom D’Angelo | Sports reporter and columnist — The landscape of college athletics has changed in so many ways, but none more impactful for the athletes than the NCAA’s new Name, Image and Likeness legislation that allows athletes to profit off their brand. But Amari Carter, who lives in Riviera Beach, graduated from Palm Beach Gardens High and now is pursuing a second degree at the University of Miami and starring on the football team, wasn’t thinking about himself. Carter launched his own non-profit, Survive Foundation, to help feed the hungry and homeless. And through the NIL legislation, he partnered with a company that works with athletes to promote their brand and their cause. While many athletes are using NIL to make money for themselves (some more than six figures), Carter is funneling all the money he makes through donations and selling his merchandise to organize food drives for the less fortunate.

Read more of Tom D’Angelo’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @tomdangelo44.

Tony Doris | Editorial page editor, past West Palm Beach reporter — This … just because it’s so Florida, and especially so South Florida. Based on a tip, I learned that the state’s top wildlife official had bought submerged land in the Intracoastal Waterway on the cheap and was trying to undo a 30-year-old court ruling so he could fill in acres of water and build hundreds of condos and mansions on a site teeming with wildlife.

After the article came out, environmentalists packed the next meeting of the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. Within a day or two, Chairman Rodney Barreto backed down and said he would sell the Singer Island site.

Read more of Tony Doris’ stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @TonyDorisPBP.

Antonio Fins | Politics and growth editor — A revelation occurred to me last spring while slogging through a COVID vaccine reaction: Now I can travel again. I thought about the year-plus worth of separation from family and friends. And I decided that for the rest of 2021, I would make up for lost travel time. I would see loved ones across the United States, and my family in northwestern Spain, with who I had lost contact with at one point in my life. I wrote this as a pandemic ode to travel and family — and a vow to return to my ancestral home. Which I did in December.

Read more of Antonio Fins’ stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @PBPoliticsFins.

Hal Habib | Miami Dolphins beat writer — Everyone knows Jackie Robinson. That got me wondering who was the Dolphins’ Jackie Robinson and what did he endure, playing in the South in 1966. Although it wasn’t possible to credit one man for breaking the team’s color barrier, the pioneers were grateful their story finally would be told. It’s not a pretty story, even two years after Cassius Clay/Muhammad Ali came to Miami. Black players seeking a place to stay would find “vacancy” signs suddenly disappeared. Restaurants wouldn’t serve them after practice. When players complained, they were cut. “There are those who felt just because you made the team, you ought to be grateful,” one Black player said. “Just be quiet, take your money and go home.”

Read more of Hal Habib’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @gunnerhal.

Rachida Harper Skinner | Community reporter — In May, I had the privilege of witnessing a 10-year-old’s wish come true in real-time. After recovering from high-risk leukemia, which he battled for the majority of his life, and delays caused by COVID-19, Jesus Orozco-Vasquez finally got his heart’s desire while at The Gardens Mall. During the hour that I spent with him, I learned again what it means to have a child-like joy, to not take life for granted, and to hold loved ones close.

Read more of Rachida Harper Skinner’s stories here. Follow her on Twitter at @rachida_harper.

Photo from Damon Higgins

Damon Higgins | Visual journalist — We were taking a tour of Peggy Adams Animal Rescue Leagues’ newly opened Lesly S. Smith Pet Adoption Center. One of the dogs kept barking at the top of his lungs at all the visitors passing through the hallway. He would then suddenly stop and peer through the peep hole to see who the visitors were for 5-10 seconds, and then immediately start barking again. It was the funniest thing. He did it the entire time. He couldn’t help himself. He just needed to know who he was barking at it seemed.

Look at more of Damon Higgins’ photos and videos here.

Sonja Isger | Education reporter — In March 2021, the Southern Poverty Law Center issued a report excoriating Florida public schools for their use and alleged abuse of the Baker Act. The report highlighted the problem with a case study of Palm Beach County schools. It laid out the data and quoted parents of students who suffered as a result. The anecdotes were revealing from the parent’s point of view and allowed for inferences about the mindset of the school officials behind the action. But only I was able to provide a rare, indisputable glimpse, into the behind-the-scenes effort to do just as the SPLC alleged: wield the Baker Act as punishment — with a recording. Thanks to long-held sources I was able to craft a public record request that unearthed a recording of school administrators seeking to Baker Act a 7-year-old girl and a veteran police officer who resisted the pressure. Experts in the field were stunned to hear the discussions, and eventually incorporated the recording in the suit that is in play today.

Read more of Sonja Isger’s stories here. Follow her on Twitter at @sonjaisger.

Katherine Kokal | North Palm Beach County reporter — To report this story, I accompanied the group of veterans to Washington, D.C. on the daylong Honor Flight. It was a personal look at what war means to South Florida veterans and how old wounds can be opened again. It brought a new light to Veteran’s Day for me, and hopefully for the readers, too. I keep up with the veterans I met that day. They’re considered friends now.

Read more of Katherine Kokal’s stories here. Follow her on Twitter at @katikokal.

Photo from Greg Lovett

Greg Lovett | Photojournalist — I love photographing high school sports because it reminds me of my high school days. However, it can be nerve-wracking figuring out where I need to be, who I need to focus on, and how to make a picture that tells the story.

It’s match point. Action, reaction, moment. I’m as hyped up and nervous as the players on the court. Boca Christian scores and the team goes wild.

The thrilling reward is capturing this moment of pure emotion for all of us to see. I feel like I won the match.

Look at more of Greg Lovett’s photos here. Follow him on Twitter at @GlovettGreg and on Instagram at @greglovettphotography.

Andrew Marra | Reporter — Most newspaper articles are about recent events, but it can be very satisfying to delve into events years in the past, after the passing of time has let more information percolate out and the reporter has enough critical distance to take a long view. In this case, everything that needed to tell the story clicked: a federal indictment, a long trail of public records and — not least — a trove of years-old text messages, allowing a rare glimpse into how relations between an elected official and a private vendor affected court-fee policies that touch the lives of millions of Floridians.

Read more of Andrew Marra’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @AMarranara.

Photo from Meghan McCarthy

Meghan McCarthy | Photojournalist — Bill Murray was performing Americas during a dress rehearsal at the Four Arts. First responders were invited to attend for free. He had just finished the most stunning rendition of “Smile.” I’ve never cared for the song, until I heard Murray’s version which was a lovely upwelling of regret, sorrow and good intentions. Murray immediately changed gears and launched into a hilarious clumsy version of Ricky Martin’s “She Bangs,” as an elegant dancer tangoed around him. I was thrilled to document such a fantastic performance.

Look at more of Meghan McCarthy’s photos here. 

Jorge Milian | Reporter — Like most of my colleagues, I have spent much of the past year — almost two years — writing sad stories about people succumbing to COVID-19. But not every COVID story is depressing. In May, Lake Worth Beach Mayor Betty Resch told me about a couple she knew who were just married. Juana Romero was 88. Bartolo Nogueira was 96. They met on the phone and, because of the pandemic, waited months before meeting in person. Love at first sight. I spent a couple of delightful hours with the lovebirds one afternoon. It reminded me why I love journalism — the people I meet.

Read more of Jorge Milian’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @caneswatch. 

Kimberly Miller | Weather, climate, environmental reporter — I seem to stumble on a lot of stories just by being curious about what’s going on around me, including at the beach and in the surfing community. When the sand north of the Lake Worth Inlet started piling up, extending the beach deep into the Atlantic, I asked what was going on. The answer included an incredible tale of history, resiliency and ingenuity that many people knew nothing about even though it’s something they may see every day.

Read more of Kimberly Miller’s stories here. Follow her on Twitter at @KMillerWeather.

Hannah Morse | Palm Beach County reporter — Covering county government often consists of attending long meetings, translating jargon and explaining how decisions made by local elected officials affect our readers. But it’s a joy when I can sit down with the people who work in county government and share insights as to who they are beyond their day jobs. Some of my favorite stories this year was writing about the retirements of longtime County Attorney Denise Marie Nieman and Emergency Management Director Bill Johnson, two people who had fascinating — and at times challenging — career paths and expressed different ways of getting through it all.

Read more of Hannah Morse’s stories here. Follow her on Twitter at @mannahhorse.

Chris Persaud | Data reporter — I like this story because it showed how the state is hiding vital COVID-19 data from the public. Many people want to know how bad the pandemic is in their communities. After publication, I received emails from readers grateful that we spoke up on the state’s dodginess.

Read more of Chris Persaud’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @ChrisMPersaud.

Wendy Rhodes | Investigative reporter — After spending a month in Surfside covering the collapse of Champlain Towers South, I had a strong suspicion that officials were not forthcoming with information about rescue efforts. I believed that victims’ families, as well as those who survived the collapse, deserved to know what really happened. So, I dug and dug, and ended up writing a series of stories exposing some of the heartbreaking truths that officials were trying to hide. Most tragic, undoubtedly, was the story about a teenager buried in the rubble who died after rescuers spent 10 hours trying to reach her.

Read more of Wendy Rhodes’ stories here. Follow her on Twitter at @WendyRhodesFl. 

Eddie Ritz | Staff writer — I really enjoyed this final edition of Weird News/Police Blotter (and all the police blotters I’ve written) because it showed the true craziness of our area.

It made you understand just where authors like Carl Hiaasen, Elmore Leonard, John D. MacDonald and Charles Willeford came up with the crazy characters in their books.

It was a hilarious romp through the criminal underbelly of Palm Beach County that seemed to resonate with many of our readers.

Read more of Eddie Ritz’s stories here.

Joe Schad | Miami Dolphins Reporter — When Naomi Osaka withdrew from the French Open, saying that she needed to step away from tennis to focus on her depression and anxiety, I tried to think of a way to connect the topic with the league and team I cover. I had heard that former Dolphin Isa Abdul-Quddus had dealt with similar issues after his career suddenly ended at the age of 27. Isa and I had once developed a solid locker room relationship based on casual banter about baseball, growing up in New York and day-to-day things normal people talk about. I was thankful Isa trusted me to share personal thoughts about how he, and many other professional athletes, deal with the same problems we all do. 

Read more of Joe Schad’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @schadjoe.

Wayne Washington | Reporter — I was visiting relatives out of state when news broke that the city of West Palm Beach had issued a water advisory after learning that its water supply — which also supplies residents on Palm Beach and in South Palm Beach — had been contaminated by an algal toxin, cylindrospermopsin. I knew when I got back to work that I’d be called on to pick up this coverage from colleagues. I wrote a few news-of-the-day pieces, but, because there was some question as to what city leaders knew about the contamination and when they knew it, I asked a colleague to share with me information from a public records request he submitted for emails and other documents regarding the contamination. I was able to use the information from those records to provide a detailed timeline of what city leaders knew about the contamination and how they responded. Our story showed that, while city officials reacted swiftly when they learned about the problem with the water supply, a couple of key factors — the need for re-tests to confirm contamination in the samples and the need to get state approval before issuing a public advisory — slowed public disclosure of the problem.

Read more of Wayne Washington’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @waynewashpbpost.

Eric J. Wallace | Deputy sports editor

Football in the Muck of Pahokee and Belle Glade was long the stuff of far-away tall tales during my childhood in Birmingham, Alabama. Stories of young athletes chasing rabbits in sugarcane fields were little different than the legends of basketball in Rucker Park or baseball in an Iowa cornfield. With my move to Palm Beach County in October,  I had the chance to make the drive out to Lake Okeechobee to cover my first high school game: Pahokee vs. Treasure Coast on Oct. 11, a physical affair that lasted 10 game minutes before encroaching funnel clouds scuttled the contest. While I didn’t attend the 2021 Muck Bowl, I was thrilled by Emilee Smarr and Greg Lovett’s coverage of Pahokee’s 28-0 thrashing of Glades Central. Lovett’s game photos, celebratory reaction shots and drone image of Anquan Boldin Stadium alongside Lake Okeechobee are among the best high school football photos I’ve ever seen. 

Follow Eric Wallace on Twitter at @EWall14

Photo from Lannis Waters

Lannis Waters | Senior visual journalist — This is my photo of the partially collapsed Champlain Towers South condo in Surfside on Thursday, June 24, 2021. The building partially collapsed at 1:30 a.m. Thursday, killing 98 people.

I feel the photo personalizes the disaster by allowing a glimpse into the lives of some of the victims, and the terror they must have experienced. Taken the morning of the disaster, it took me several hours to get through traffic to the scene. After photographing the pile of debris and firefighters at work from the front of the building, I walked north until access to the beach was not blocked off, then worked my way back south until I was at the building. I shot this about 9 hours after the collapse with a 300mm lens and 1.4 converter.

Look at more of Lannis Waters’ photos and videos here. Follow him on Instagram at @lvw839 and on Twitter at @LannisW.

‘I live with it every night:’ Jupiter man, author, shares memories of surviving Holocaust

Julius Whigham II | Crime and public safety reporter — Probably one of the more interesting stories I had was the profile on a Holocaust survivor from Jupiter. Before interviewing Leo Winn, I had a chance to read his book “Cry…If You Can,” in which he described his experiences leading up to World War II and through its conclusion. 

It was one of the most compelling things I have read. Hearing Winn describe those experiences in his own words was equally compelling. 

Read more of Julius Whigham II’s stories here. Follow him on Twitter at @JuliusWhigham. 

Support local journalism by getting a digital subscription to The Palm Beach Post. For a limited time, new subscribers can get full digital access for six months for only $1. Sign up here.

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Cancun beach shootout between alleged cartels sends guests scrambling, leaves 2 dead

Mike Sington, who identifies himself on Twitter as a retired executive at NBCUniversal, posted screenshots of text message alerts describing an active shooter at the Hyatt property. Sington shared video of hotel staffers directing him to take shelter in a dark room deep inside the hotel after navigating hallways lined with other guests and workers.

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What Was on Trend During Art Basel Miami Beach 2021 –

Art Basel, NADA, Untitled, high-profile parties, runway shows, concerts, gallery dinners, performance art—there’s been a whole lot to see and do this week in Miami. Although the mood may have been slightly dampened by continued travel restrictions and the prospect of continued Covid spread, activity largely progressed as planned. But what did it all mean? And what might we stand to learn about the state of the market and art world at large? Below, six trends that could be gleaned by shuttling around Miami this week.

NFTs in Hiding

NFTs, which over the past year have sold for prices rising to millions of dollars, might seem to be dominating the art market. But it is telling where NFTs have appeared this week and where they have not. Within Art Basel itself, there were some works made in the medium. Pace Gallery said it sold an NFT by the artist duo DRIFT for $550,000, and Galerie Nagel Draxler, of Cologne, Berlin, and Munich, dedicated a portion of its booth to new NFT works by Kenny Schachter. But in general there weren’t many NFTs to be seen in the confines of the fair—which makes sense, given the medium’s digital form. Instead, most NFT-related events took place outside the fair in ritzy surroundings.

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A reclining nude Black woman surrounded

The sustainable NFT initiative Aorist, for example, sold a Refik Anadol work for a whopping $851,130 at an auction held at the Faena Hotel, with the proceeds headed toward ReefLine, which will help build environmental habitats off the coast of South Beach. If the Anadol piece had sold at Art Basel, it would have been among the most expensive works at the fair. That it was bought outside Art Basel may be another sign that there is still a gap between what could be called the traditional art world and the world of NFTs. Marc Spiegler, Art Basel’s global director, seemed to speak for a lot of people in the former category when he called NFTs “confusing” at the fair’s VIP opening on Tuesday.

The Mask Comes Off, But the Covid Wristband Stays On

With the Omicron variant having now been located in the U.S., there are reasons to be worried about the spread of Covid. But pandemic anxiety seems to have been checked at the door of the fairs this week—literally. Art Basel, NADA, and Untitled all required visitors to show proof of vaccination, a recent negative Covid test, or documentation of recovery from the virus, and at Art Basel, attendees weren’t allowed in without a wristband to indicate that they had done as much. The fairs said in advance that people would still need to wear masks inside, and most people adhered. Yet as long-separated colleagues reconnected, the masks started to come off. (Florida itself does not have a state-wide mask mandate.) At certain events, such as an opening at the Rubell Collection packed with crowds that threatened to tip over a Yayoi Kusama sculpture, the situation was even more extreme—it was a rarity to see anyone with a mask at all.

Diversity Becomes a Priority at Art Basel

Art Basel Miami Beach’s selection committee relaxed its requirements for galleries this year in an attempt to allow in newer spaces and diversify the exhibitor list. Doing so brought in more Black-owned spaces, such as Housing and Kendra Jayne Patrick, as well as a few more galleries from Africa, including Zimbabwe’s First Floor Harare and Nigeria’s Rele Gallery. Generally, however, the exhibitor list looked familiar to those who follow fairs. But what many galleries brought to the fair looked different than in the past—there was a greater emphasis on work by young Black artists than ever before and strong showings of art by artists of all generations from Latin America. One could be optimistic and say that it’s good that artists of color are finally being showcased more frequently at fairs of Art Basel’s scale. One could also be cynical and consider it a market-driven attempt by blue-chip galleries to cash in on the effects of a larger systemic grappling with racism. The question is whether this diversity will continue going forward.

Virgil Abloh’s Memory Lingers Around Miami

Just before Art Basel opened, Spiegler took time during a press conference to sound an elegiac note for one of his colleagues, the fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who died at 41 at on Sunday. Spiegler recalled texting with Abloh as late as Saturday about Rammellzee, the late street artist whose work, as it happens, is featured at the booth of Jeffrey Deitch gallery, which just started representing his estate. “Then he stopped texting back,” Spiegler said with evident melancholy. As creative director of Louis Vuitton and, before that, as founder of the brand Off-White, Abloh touched the hearts and minds of many in the art world. And while his work wasn’t seen at the fair itself, it could be spotted in a Louis Vuitton runway show where models wore oversized garments in rainbow colors. Rihanna, Bella Hadid, and Joe Jonas were among those reportedly in attendance.

Galleries Bring Out Understated Art for Darker Times

At the last Art Basel Miami Beach, in 2019, Perrotin made a big bid for attention with Maurizio Cattelan’s Comedian (2019), a banana duct-taped to a wall. That piece irked those who couldn’t believe it was art and amused others who are fans of Cattelan’s pesky readymades. Cattelan returned to the fair this year, showing taxidermically preserved pigeons at Marian Goodman Gallery’s booth. Even an artist who usually resorts to shock tactics seemed to have watered down his provocations this time. And in general, there was few stunts mounted at the fair—no one seemed to be trying for the Page Six headlines that the Cattelan banana piece generated. Still, mirror pieces, which tend to act as selfie fodder at art fairs, were present. One at Galerie Frank Elbaz’s booth by Mungo Thomson resembles a Time magazine cover bearing the words “Democracy Under Attack.” When viewers stand before it, they can see themselves reflected in place of an unseen cover star. During the opening hours of the fair, it went largely ignored.

A New Sculptural Style Emerges at Art Basel

The craze for figurative painting seems to be here to stay for a while, but there also appears to be a new desire for a very specific kind of sculpture in which human bodies morph into furniture-like forms. The style is not entirely new—Sarah Lucas, who had one such work made in 2021 at Gladstone Gallery’s booth, has been crafting lumpy abstract female bodies that loll against chairs since the ’90s. But other younger artists also appear to be picking up on the trend. At Simone Subal’s booth, Cameron Clayborn is showing a sculpture featuring grey-toned, fleshy limbs that appear to sprout from a divan. At Central gallery’s showcase, Marlena Manhães has a series of floorbound works in which bodily forms are placed beneath fabrics and accompanied by light bulbs, as though they are kinky design objects. They screeched with sound, too, as though they were living.

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Sycamores Travel East for Myrtle Beach Invitational Beginning Thursday

MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. – Indiana State will play three games over the course of four days beginning Thursday at the Myrtle Beach Invitational. The Sycamores will open the bracket with a game against Old Dominion before moving on to face either Oklahoma or East Carolina Friday at a time to be determined.
Tip is set with the Monarchs for 9 p.m. ET Thursday from HTC Center in Conway, S.C. The game will air on ESPNU as well as on the radio on 105.5 The Legend in the Wabash Valley and on worldwide free-of-charge.
Coastal Carolina University is announcing a new practice effective August 18, 2021: All individuals, regardless of vaccination status, will be required to wear face coverings indoors.
Fans may remove masks while eating or drinking but should mask at all other times while in the HTC Center.
Athletes and coaches may remove masks while they are in the bench area.
In order to expedite entry and provide a safe and secure environment for fans, Coastal Carolina University has implemented a Clear Bag Policy for all events on campus. Along with numerous institutions around the country, the state of South Carolina and professional sports around the world, this policy limits the size and style of bags carried into the HTC Center. Click here for more information.
» After posting career highs across the board a year ago, junior Cooper Neese has picked up where he left off. Neese leads the team with 17.7 points and 6.7 rebounds per game while also recording 2.3 assists and 1.7 steals per contest. Neese has been lights out from the charity stripe (10-11) with a 90.9 make percent while shooting 35 percent (7-20) from distance. The Cloverdale, Indiana native has scored at least 15 points in all three contests while snagging at least six rebounds.
» Coming off a season-ending ACL tear in 2020-21, Kailex Stephens has come out strong as ever. The 6-foot-7 forward dominated the first game of the season at Green Bay and was a major contributor to ISU’s 12-point rally to win the road game. Stephens posted his first career double-double in a Sycamore uniform against the Phoenix after scoring 16 points and recording 13 rebounds. Through three games, Stephens is averaging 9.3 points and 6.7 rebounds and has turned the ball over just three times.


» Cameron Henry has been as advertised for the Sycamores as the Lincoln Memorial transfer sits second on the team with a 14.3 points per game average through three contests. Henry has scored in double-digits all three games with a season-high 18 points coming in a win over Hanover where the guard shot 4-for-9 (44.4 percent) from behind the arc. The Chesterfield, Virginia native has pulled down 14 rebounds in three games and recorded his first double-double of the season Sunday with an 18 point, 10 rebound game against the Panthers. Along with his scoring and rebounding, Henry has been consistent in the passing game, averaging three assists per contest.


» After starting the season with just eight players available at Green Bay due to injuries, ISU has now utilized 12 players through the first week of play. During a blowout win against Hanover Sunday, all 12 players that dressed saw the floor and played at least five minutes. Every player that saw action scored a point for the Sycamores in the 90-49 victory.


For the latest information on Sycamore Basketball, be sure to visit You can also find the team on social media, including TwitterFacebookInstagram and YouTube. Fans can also receive updates on Sycamore Athletics by downloading the March On App from both the App Store and the Google Play Store.


– #MarchOn –


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How To Spend A Fall Weekend In Charming Virginia Beach

Fall might not be the first season that comes to mind for a beach getaway, but the charming southern city of Virginia Beach may well change your mind.

Considering that the autumn months bring warm and sunny days, but fewer crowds on the beach and a still-lively scene on the boardwalk, the months wedged between the hot days of summer and the cool winter season could be the perfect time for a visit to Virginia Beach.

On my recent late-October trip to Virginia’s premier Atlantic Coast city, I enjoyed days in the 70-and-80-degree Fahrenheit range, lovely sunrises over the water, and a dynamic art scene. And that’s not even to mention the superb seafood restaurants and the fun bars that boast countless Orange Crush variations.

So, while summer might have a firm grasp on your beach dreams, don’t count out autumn in Virginia Beach, when you can stake out an uncrowded corner of the beach and you’re likely to score a table at popular oceanside restaurants and bars. Note that my trip was hosted by the Virginia Beach Convention and Visitors Bureau, but my opinions remain my own.

Things To Do In Virginia Beach In The Fall

Picnic on Virginia Beach
Cindy Barks

1. Picnic On The Beach

As the sun was dropping toward the horizon in the west, the east coast shoreline of Virginia Beach was putting on a sunset show of its own: the light took on a delicate pink hue, dolphins could be seen leaping in the distance, and the balmy air had just a touch of crispness.

That was the scene that welcomed my group as we settled down for a beach picnic along a secluded area of north Virginia Beach. With its miles of wide sandy oceanfront, it is the perfect spot for an alfresco meal.

And, it turned out that a fall afternoon, just as dusk was approaching, was the ideal time to sit on cushions around a low table, sample cheese and fruit, and watch the waves roll in. If you prefer to let someone else do the set-up for your beach picnic, it’s hard to beat the VB Picnic Co., a local company that specializes in curated pop-up picnics, complete with picnic fare served in a charming bohemian-chic tablescape.

Pro Tip: The First Landing State Park at the northern end of the city is known as a prime spot for a beach picnic.

Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art - Summer of Women
Cindy Barks

2. Enjoy Must-See Works Of Art

Located in a lovely, wooded area a few blocks from the beach is the Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art, a local gem featuring exhibitions that are rooted in the community but with an eye toward the larger art world.

The Virginia MOCA bills itself as an ever-changing museum where communities and cultures are invited to explore shared humanity through a series of revolving exhibitions, such as the excellent Summer of Women show that was just finishing its run when I visited in October 2021, as well as current and coming exhibitions such as the Emergence Teen Juried Exhibition, the Made in VA show, and the Agnes Grochulska: Archetypes exhibition.

Pro Tip: I found the Virginia MOCA to be a wonderful indoor activity during the one rainy afternoon I experienced during my Virginia Beach stay.

Fishing pier of Virginia Beach
Cindy Barks

3. Check Out The Views From The Fishing Pier

For the long view of Virginia Beach, there are few better spots than the cool Fishing Pier located toward the southern end of the 3-mile-long Virginia Beach Boardwalk. For a small entrance fee, you can walk the 650-foot-long wooden pier for sweeping views of the oceanfront resorts to the north and Rudee Inlet boating area to the south.

Of course, the Fishing Pier is also a popular place for anglers. I watched fishermen all along the length of the pier casting their lines into the ocean and pulling out their wriggling catches.

Pro Tip: The Fishing Pier is also the home of Ocean Eddie’s, a rustic café with an “old beach” atmosphere and a panoramic view of the Atlantic Ocean.

Sunrise over Virginia Beach
Cindy Barks

4. Watch A Sunrise And A Sunset

Owing to its location right on the east coast, Virginia Beach offers unparalleled views of the sun rising over the Atlantic Ocean. From virtually any resort or restaurant along the boardwalk, the sunrises are almost guaranteed to dazzle.

I found the balcony from my room at the Marriott Virginia Beach Oceanfront to be a splendid spot to see the sunrise. Even better was the view from the water’s edge after I hurried down to the beach to get a closer view of the rising sun.

Sunset, although more subtle in Virginia Beach, is a great time to take in the pastel colors as dusk falls over the Atlantic.

Surf and Rescue Museum at Virginia Beach
Cindy Barks

5. Learn The Surf And Rescue History

For a fascinating look into Virginia Beach’s maritime past, be sure to stop by the Virginia Beach Surf & Rescue Museum, a center dedicated to preserving the history of Virginia’s coastal communities and maritime history.

Housed in a quaint former life-saving station along the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, the museum is a treasure trove of the equipment used by the “surfmen” who once patrolled the beaches and watched for ships in trouble. Exhibits tell the stories of shipwrecks and rescues dating back to the 1700s.

King Neptune statue at Virginia Beach
Photo Credit: Laura Ray

6. Walk The Boardwalk And The Beach

No Virginia Beach visit would be complete without a stroll down the Virginia Beach Boardwalk, a 3-mile-long concrete path that runs alongside the beach and connects dozens of oceanfront hotels, resorts, restaurants, and attractions.

Along the way, you can’t miss the star of the boardwalk: the 26-foot-high sculpture of King Neptune, the mythical god of freshwater and the sea. Located at 31st Street, the statue towers over the boardwalk and can be seen from as far as a mile away. It is a treasured landmark on the boardwalk and a favorite for selfies.

Another option for traversing the oceanfront is to leave the boardwalk and head toward the ocean, where low tide brings a wide swath of packed sand that is perfect for a beachside walk. Playing children, scampering sea birds, and gentle waves make for an entertaining long walk on the beach.

Art show on the boardwalk of Virginia Beach
Art show on the boardwalk (Photo Credit: Cindy Barks)

7. Take In A Boardwalk Festival

With the ocean as a backdrop, the boardwalk frequently serves as a scenic festival venue. In late October, the boardwalk was the site of the venerable Boardwalk Art Show, a 65-year-old Virginia Museum of Contemporary Art-sponsored tradition that draws fine artists from all over the country. Although normally held in the summer, 2021’s festival was postponed until fall.

The boardwalk is also the site for the annual Virginia Beach Neptune Festival, as well as the BayPort Credit Union Holiday Lights at the Beach, a Christmas tradition that features lighted displays in the shape of festive fish, crabs, and elves — all against the moonlit Atlantic Ocean.

Restaurants In Virginia Beach

Virginia Beach boasts fresh-caught seafood, historic distilleries, and more Orange Crush than one could believe. Here’s a taste of this oceanside city’s food and drink scene.

Meal at Catch 31 Fish House and Bar
Cindy Barks

Enjoy World-Class Seafood

From crab to oysters to shrimp, Virginia Beach restaurants are known for their fresh seafood dishes. The Virginia Beach tourism website notes that the region’s salty brackish water is home to an amazing array of sea life. Local eateries play up the seafood bounty with a number of specialties, such as Lynnhaven oysters, she-crab soup, and soft-shell crab.

Restaurants Atlantic on Pacific or Tautog’s Restaurant are known for preparing super-fresh oysters how you like them, while local favorite Waterman’s Surfside Grille is famous for its rich and creamy she-crab soup. And for a sweet/salty seaside appetizer, head to Catch 31 Fish House and Bar for crispy coconut shrimp served with Thai chili sauce.

Whiskey flight at Tarnished Truth Distillery
Cindy Barks

Taste Some Tarnished Truth Bourbon

Billed as the nation’s first in-hotel distillery, Tarnished Truth Distillery Company makes the most of its setting in the charming and historic Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club.

Tarnished Truth conducts informative guided tours through its old and new distilling techniques, before providing tastings of its award-winning, locally crafted bourbon, rye whiskey, vodka, and gin.

Pro Tip: A stop at the rustic Tarnished Truth tasting room makes for a fun activity before catching happy hour in front of the fireplace at the Cavalier Hotel & Beach Club’s classic Hunt Room Tavern.

Orange Crush IPA at Waterman's Surfside Grille
Cindy Barks

Crush On An Orange Cocktail

Orange-infused cocktails are signature beverages in Virginia Beach, and an Orange Crush made of freshly squeezed orange juice, vodka, triple sec, and Sprite makes for a refreshing pick-me-up in the afternoon or evening.

I loved the Original Orange Crush at Waterman’s Surfside Grille, the spot where the drink originated, but the famous cocktails can be found all over town in places like Chix on the Beach and The Shack on 8th.

For another variation on the orange theme, try an Orange Crush IPA, a citrusy beer that goes well with a light dinner.

Pro Tip: While Virginia Beach posts average high temperatures in the 80-degree Fahrenheit range from June through September, the average-high temperatures drop to a comfortable 70-degree range in October and the 60s in November. Winter months are cool, with December through March posting average highs in the 50s, and spring warms up to the high 60s in April and the mid-70s in May.

Other Virginia Beach activities to consider:

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Little Beach in Albany WA is hailed ‘paradise’ for travellers after Covid lockdown

Travellers are raving about this ‘hidden gem’ beach that has been hailed ‘paradise on Earth’ for its pristine sand and sparkling turquoise water

  • Travel-starved Australians are flocking to a little-known beach on the tip of WA
  • Little Beach, 35km from Albany, is famed for its white sand and turquoise water
  • At one end a waterfall gushes down from the rocks and into the ocean
  • Awestruck visitors have hailed the spot a kind of ‘paradise on Earth’

Travel-starved Australians are flocking to a ‘hidden gem’ beach on the southern tip of WA.

Tucked in the heart of Two Peoples Bay National Park, 35km east of Albany, Little Beach is famed for its pristine white sand and sparkling turquoise waves. 

At the far southern end a path leads to the headland where a waterfall gushes down from the rocks and into the ocean.

Flanked by rolling hills and rows of rugged boulders, the beach has been hailed ‘paradise on Earth’ by awestruck visitors.

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Travel-starved Australians are flocking to this 'hidden gem' beach on the southern tip of WA

Travel-starved Australians are flocking to this ‘hidden gem’ beach on the southern tip of WA

Tucked in the heart of Two Peoples Bay National Park, 35km east of Albany, Little Beach (pictured) is famed for its pristine white sand and sparkling turquoise waves

Tucked in the heart of Two Peoples Bay National Park, 35km east of Albany, Little Beach (pictured) is famed for its pristine white sand and sparkling turquoise waves

Little Beach near Albany, 443km south of Perth, WA

Little Beach near Albany, 443km south of Perth, WA

Photos posted to Instagram by WA travel photographer MKZ Imagery sparked stunned responses, with many saying the beach is the first place they will travel to once the state opens its borders to the rest of the country.

‘Wow, this is incredible. The white sand. Crystal clear water. What a paradise,’ one person wrote.

Another added: ‘This looks like absolute perfection.’

On the other side of Australia, tourists are heading to a shipwreck that dates back to the darkest days of World War Two which is now a spectacular diving site off Queensland’s Capricorn Coast. 

Flanked by rolling hills and rows of rugged boulders, the beach has been hailed 'paradise on Earth' by awestruck visitors

Many say the beach is the first place they will travel to once WA opens its borders to the rest of the country

Flanked by rolling hills and rows of rugged boulders, the beach has been hailed ‘paradise on Earth’ by awestruck visitors

Tourists have called the beach (pictured) 'absolute perfection'

Tourists have called the beach (pictured) ‘absolute perfection’

After being requisitioned for service the US military in July 1943, the HMS Protector was on its way to a naval base in Papua New Guinea when it was damaged in a collision with a tug boat and abandoned off the coast of Heron Island.

Almost 70 years later, the rusted wreck is one of the state’s most breathtaking underwater attractions, inspiring visitors with its formidable size and incredible history.

Travel photographer Mark Fitz described it as one of his favourite snorkelling spots on Earth.

At low tide, the ship’s hull be reached by wading through the ocean and walking along the sparkling white sand bar. 

This shipwreck was once the HMS Protector which collided with a tug boat on its way to active service in Papua New Guinea at the height of World War Two in July 1943

This shipwreck was once the HMS Protector which collided with a tug boat on its way to active service in Papua New Guinea at the height of World War Two in July 1943

Almost 70 years later, the rusted wreck (background) is one of the state's most breathtaking underwater attractions, inspiring visitors with its formidable size and incredible history

The ship was abandoned off the coast of Heron Island, Queensland (pictured)

Almost 70 years later, the rusted wreck (left) is one of the state’s most breathtaking underwater attractions, inspiring visitors with its formidable size and incredible history

Sitting 80 kilometres north-east of Gladstone, Heron Island is a natural coral cay surrounded by 24 hectares of coral reef at the southern end of the Great Barrier Reef.

Famed for its spectacular coral reef, the island is home to an array of extraordinary animals including migrating whales and nesting turtles who glide between gaps in the wreck.

Photos of the ship have sparked stunned responses on Instagram, with many shocked that such a massive piece of WWII history can be found in Australia.

‘It looks like a dream! Going next time I’m in Australia,’ one woman wrote.

Another added: ‘Mate this is way up near the top of my bucket list.’


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