Be still. Watch the star crossed lovers in graceful boats gliding into the
canals flecked with moonbeams. The fabled magical moon is rising across
star decked heavens. Is this Venice, Italy? No, it is Coconut Grove in the
Our lush marshy hammock setting,
covered in thick tropical foliage, nestled on the curved and twisted banks
of Biscayne Bay, has long been a haven for couples looking for a quiet
secluded setting to steal a few forbidden moments.
bustling McFarland Road in the 1930's. It was a tangled growth of jungle.
No buildings, just a dirt path to the bay. Perfect for stolen moments to
enjoy the balmy tropical nights, arm in arm with that special someone.
very special few of these brave souls shared their historical secret
Deering Estate, then reminiscent of Venice, Italy, was
created in Coconut
Grove with gracious canals, grassy fields, and lush gardens interwoven
through what is now Viscaya, LaSalle School, St Kierans, and Mercy
Hospital. It offered heavenly hideaways for enchanted evenings watching
the mystical moonrise across infinite star studded skies. Lovers coasted
into the canals by boat or slipped onto the estate by land. Toward the
with wild and loud green tomato fights. Tomatoes were plentiful in the
nearby fields. Couples
wanting privacy would then retreat into the boathouse, away from the
tomatoes. While most of the land has been filled and developed, one of the
canals, just north of La Salle next to Viscaya, still exists today.
Another frequently mentioned preferred hangout was near Dinner Key docks
on the Bay in Coconut Grove. In the 1950's, where the Chart House and
Scotty's Landing now stand, there was the abandoned land from Pan Am,
owned by the city, but not yet developed. It had only Australian Pines,
rocks, some grass, and gorgeous unobstructed moon rises. Under the
shimmering light of the moon, local lovers would gather to watch the
submarine races. Wonder if the subs were left over from World War II? Were
they lost from Japan or Germany, and still looking for home?
prominent local lady, and her girl friends, strayed south from the Grove
down to the old Arthur Vining Davis Estate, now the Gables Estates enclave
of multi-million dollar mansions. A dirt road strewn with coral rock
meandered through the swamps. This wild lady and her girl friends would go
down to surprise the "parkers". Lovers looking for privacy would brave the
mangroves, mosquitoes, and sand flies, only to be caught unaware by this
indomitable lady and her entourage!
Tucker Gibbs, our beloved activist,
and leading local attorney, recalls growing up in one of Miami's most
romantic spots. In South Grove at the end of Poinciana where it becomes
Bayside Court, his home was surrounded on three sides by water. He could
watch manatees and porpoises in the Moorings canal, or sit on the seawall
across the street and catch red snapper. In the dark of night, on the
vacant lots across the street at the edge of Biscayne Bay, he could catch
all his friends, and other loving couples looking for a secret setting to
watch the mystical Miami moon rise, while listening to the silken lap of
the bay water against the sea wall. Wow, I bet Tucker could tell tales
about who was with who when!
Levinson, long time top producer recalls late night adventures across the old
bridge to Fair Isle (now the exclusive Luxury Grove Isle Condominium) .The
island was completely vacant. No "parkers" there because the only access
was to crawl over the barricades and walk. It was only for the stout of
heart, mind and foot. According to Tom, worth the trip!
When not in the
mood to scale fences and climb over bridges, Tom and his buddies
discovered another hideaway. They would take their best ladies, and big
blankets, and settle down into the sand traps on the Granada Golf Course!
Look out for early morning golfers!
One of my favorite sensuous and
romantic places was on a near deserted island just off Brickell Avenue
south of downtown Miami. In the mid 1970's before Claughton began
development, it was a bare bit of land, where a friend of mine lived in
one little rail road car (I believe moved from Key Biscayne). Having just
recently arrived in Miami myself, I could hardly believe anything this
quiet and peaceful could exist in the shadow of the hustle and bustle of
the high rise city. Now it is a high rise city of it's own! Multiple
lovers from all over the world can now join us, and enjoy another of our
Look for additional bits about our early pioneers on this page in my
Website in the next months.