Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Is shopping really a pleasure?

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As I sit here and munch on my last bag of microwave popcorn, I realize it has become official:

I have nothing to eat in my apartment!

I guess it’s time to go to Publix.

I get in my car and am forced to make a decision… which Publix should I go to? In case you don’t know, Brickell residents have 3 Publix locations within .6 miles of each other. Yes, I mapquested it! So which one should I choose? I weigh my options carefully…

The Publix on the Miami River that's on 7th Street is definitely out. They never have any items in stock and I don’t like going there by myself. This location is known to be a little sketchy and I don’t want to deal with that.

So my other two choices are the Publix in Mary Brickell Village that just opened last year or the location on 13th Street near Blockbuster. Each has their positives and negatives. The Publix in Mary Brickell is nice and clean, has convenient parking in the garage, and is within walking distance to my apartment. The negatives? It’s really small in Publix standards, has zero cell phone reception and I was once sold some bad scallops from the seafood counter. Then there is the location on 13th. It’s pretty old, the parking lot is a death trap and the aisles are narrow and cramped. Plus, it’s always super crowded for some reason, even in the middle of the day which is when I like to shop. I must admit, their deli is much better than any of the alternative choices and they are constantly refilling the cooked food section.

The reality is that shopping at any of the Publix locations in Brickell is not always a pleasure. I decided to go to the Publix in Mary Brickell Village because it’s much quieter and quite frankly, I’m a girl that likes to shop in peace.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

What's eating you?

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I love living in Brickell but I must admit, the lack of casual dining options is a problem. I dream of the day when a Panera Bread, Chipotle or even a Dunkin Donuts open their doors.

I know I can’t be alone on this one. Yes, it’s wonderful to have so many fine dining restaurants right outside my door but sometimes I don’t want to spend $75 to go to dinner with my boyfriend. Especially in this economy!

One of my favorite restaurants, The Beer and Burger Joint recently announced that they will be opening their second location right in Mary Brickell Village. This is great news for those of us looking for a casual dining option that won’t break the bank. If you haven’t been, the original Beer and Burger Joint is located in South Beach on Bay Road and 18th Street. B&B is set to open this summer, just in time for football season. Finally, Brickell will have a decent sports bar for Dolphins season!!

What is everyone up to this weekend? Make sure you get outdoors, the weather is supposed to be gorgeous!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Brickell on the cheap...

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These days, there is nothing that gives me greater pleasure then getting a fabulous deal. I am definitely what one would refer to as a “Recessionista.” Whether its clothes, food, vacations or services I love to find ways to save. Luckily for you, I love to share my secrets. As we all know, Brickell is not a cheap place to live. However, with a little planning and by doing your homework there are sooo many great deals out there. Here are my favorite tips:

1. Before you head out to dinner, make sure to check websites like Restaurant.com or DiningHalfOff.com. The trick to these websites: Join the mailing lists. For example, Restaurant.com offers a $25 gift certificate to Grimpa Steakhouse for $10. But when you join the mailing list, they send out weekly promotion codes for additional discounts ranging from 60-80% off. So that $25 certificate at Grimpa only cost $2!! It’s a great way to save if you are a foodie like me. Just make sure you read the small print for restrictions at certain restaurants.

2. Have a favorite restaurant or boutique? Make sure you “Like” them on Facebook or follow them on Twitter. Most places will post promo codes for discounts or special offers on their pages and will offer deals just for fans. My favorite cupcake place, Misha’s Cupcakes, gives a daily secret password on their facebook page for a free mini cupcake. OK, so maybe they aren’t in Brickell but those red velvet cupcakes are sooo good!!

3. Check out Saveso.com. They offer special promotions for local businesses in the area and can either text or e-mail them to you once you sign up. This is perfect for those of you who don’t plan in advance. Sign up for texts to your phone and just show them when in the store to receive your deal. They even had promos for 75% off denim at Studio LX in Mary Brickell Village.

Hope this helps you save a buck or two! I would love to hear of any tips you have on ways to save.

Monday, May 10, 2010

One day you're in, and the next day you're out...

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Last April I was in the Hospital for an appendectomy (ouch!) when I received a phone call from the front desk at my apartment building.

“Brickell Bitch, we have a process server here to see you.”

Oh shit. As it turned out, my landlord had stopped paying his mortgage in November 2008, about 3 months after my roommate and I had moved in. Suffice to say, we stopped paying him immediately in order to recoup our losses for the last month rent and security deposit that we had pre-paid upon move-in.

Fast forward to a year later… today, May 10, 2010. My roommate and I are still living in our apartment but at a VERY good rent. That’s the foreclosure process for you. The courts are so backed up with hundreds of foreclosures that they are not holding a sale for our apartment until the end of May. Hopefully I won’t be homeless!

Unfortunately, this is a very common story these days, especially in the Brickell area. Has this happened to you?

The silver lining in the housing situation is the great deals you can get now on condo purchases. Prices have dropped dramatically from $300 a sq. ft. at this time last year to $200 a sq. ft. in the Brickell area. Now is the time to buy.

On another note… I hope everyone had a wonderful Mother’s Day! Check out this picture of my proud Nonny reading her favorite granddaughters blog (and no, that’s not her beer)

Friday, May 7, 2010

Big Boobs and Brickell

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Recently I was watching the new season of “The Hills” in which Heidi Montag revealed her new face, tits and ass that she spent a whopping $30K on. Montag, who went under the knife for a total of 10 procedures at one time, came out looking like Barbie on crack. 

This got me thinking about makeovers. The biggest facelift I’ve seen lately is the one that’s going on right outside my door on Brickell Avenue. 

As a Miami native, if you would have asked me 10 years ago if I would ever live in the Brickell area, the answer would have been "Hell no!" Brickell is the area north of the Rickenbacker Causeway and south of the Miami River that is east of I-95. Growing up in Miami, Brickell was considered the real estate equivalent to the "Wall Street of the South" that would become desolate after the close of the business day on Friday. Thanks to some overzealous developers and a housing boom, Brickell has flourished and continues to thrive as the casual yet hip alternative to the fast-paced South Beach lifestyle.

So here I am. About two years ago I, like many other young professionals at the time, flocked to the Brickell area just when the real estate bubble was really beginning to pop. We took advantage of an overbuilt housing market that was begging for tenants to fill the thousands of empty apartments that sat on Brickell Avenue. As a result, we were able to afford brand new ultra-luxury apartments without the South Beach prices. In recent years Brickell has transformed and is still ever-changing with new dining, shopping and entertainment options opening constantly. 

So who is Brickell Bitch? I'm your go-to girl for everything happening in the Brickell area! Whether it's a new restaurant opening, a cool event, or great shopping deals, BrickellBitch.com is your all access pass to everything you need to know about the Brickell area.  Visit the page often as I plan to update frequently.

I would love to hear your comments/ideas/suggestions. Please feel free to contact Brickell Bitch at BrickellBtch@gmail.com (yes, without the I!) or post your comment below.