Miami Beach for Cyclists: Best Buys for Beach Biking

Life in Miami Beach lends itself well to walking…along Lincoln Road, around town, or down the beach. But when you really need to get around, cycling is a great way to pick up the pace without the hassle of parking and crazy traffic we’re currently facing.

For a sport typically dominated by MAMILs (Middle Aged Men In Lycra), monthly events like Critical Mass are helping grow a legit Miami Bike Scene with a hip culture and life of its own. Since I’m based in Sunset Harbour and I work and play mostly on Miami Beach, I strongly recommend beach cruiser bikes for their stability, utility (in carrying groceries, etc.) and general cuteness. But I fully recognize my little Linus is far from “legit” in the eyes of most cyclists on Miami Beach or elsewhere in the city.

Regardless of what bike you might ride, the importance of bike safety and security can’t be understated. No, really. Here are some favorite bikes and bike accessories for Miami Beach:

  Here, a red lock adds a great pop of color!

  

And don’t forget basic bike safety: stock up on proper lights to combat treacherous Miami Beach traffic!

 

B-B-B-Breakin’ The Law: Garbage Disposals and Condo Living

Technically, in most condo and apartment environments, garbage disposals are outlawed by management and/or condo boards for the higher likelihood of serious clogging and pipe damage they cause.

…but, owing to what some might call the contradiction of “Universal Exceptionalism,” owners often see such disposals as an amenity, even in teeny tiny kitchens like mine. We’re toying with the idea of installing an “illegal” garbage disposal, and according to our contractor, we’ve learned that any enforcement of these anti-disposal rules is basically unheard-of. After a final municipal plumbing inspection, your disposal is your business.

We’re hoping this isn’t a lesson we learn the hard way…what do you think of a mini-Badger In-Sink-Erator disposal, versus their competitor “Waste King?” I’m sure WK makes viable products, but I just don’t want the brand name lining the chrome of my beautiful new sink. Irrational? Yes.

…Update: turns out “Waste King”‘s products don’t have the brand name emblazoned on the sink trim. And their user reviews far surpass those of In-Sink-Erator. Game Changer. I think we’re going with the King

Geometric Modern Kitchen Lighting: Task lighting gets a fashionable rethink

Kitchen lighting is boring. I’m hunting for options for a great little recessed alcove in my kitchen that won’t lower my ceiling, but will provide a modern look and good task lighting for kitchen work. Here are two from my shortlist. Which do you prefer?

LED Lighting Fixture: Geometric and Angular. This fixture works very well for a recess we have in our kitchen (we’re fortunate to have the space for a kitchen chandelier. Without that recess, we’d be more than happy with the Lemonbest recessed LEDs in the rest of our apartment, but we’d like to kick it up a notch).  Downside: this chandelier doesn’t come with bulbs, so we’ll need to buy 2 backs of these LED bulbs if we don’t opt for cheaper halogen lights. I’m pretty sure this photo has LEDs in place, and they look gorgeous.

Geometric Kitchen Light Fixture

I’ve also spoken out about the Moooi-esque “Dear Ingo” chandelier, which is better known as the spider chandelier. This is a perfect example of form meeting function, and this link sells the Dear Ingo for a fraction of the retail price.

Modern Kitchen Chandelier

How to Fake a Fabulous Closet: Part 2

In home remodeling, realtors and decorators will all advise to put your money in kitchen and bath amenities. For a 1 bedroom like ours in Sunset Harbour, our kitchen will never be ideal for a serious chef, and our bathrooms are well on their way to gorgeous…so I’ve set about the task of improving the #3 priority, which comes #1 to most women (if they’re like me): closets!

Lighting in a standard builder’s grade closet is some variation of a standard overhead fixture: whether a lightbulb with a string or small flushmount. Overhead lighting creates shadow, particularly under any type of shelving. So even if you invest in your tricked out solid shelving (forget that wire junk), you’re only creating darkness, and darkness means the closets are incrementally less useful because if you can’t SEE your stuff, you can’t USE your stuff.

I’m faking my way to a fabulous closet by having my electrician line the interior opening of my closet with rope lighting. Rope lighting isn’t Christmas tree lighting, so don’t confuse the issue and create a fire hazard. Rope lighting is cool, LED-based, and looks ugly, but after the jump, you can see some beautiful examples of how this strategy lights the contents of your closet at eye-level and downward, evening out the closet lighting and helping you see your stuff.

Because your stuff is gorgeous, and deserves better lighting than that sad little bulb.

This is a project you can totally do yourself if you have an electrical outlet nearby. Because I have access to an electrician right now, I’m putting him to work on integrating this with my motion-sensor, so the moment I open my closet doors, everything will be illuminated. Can’t wait!

Amazon.com Standard Rope Lighting (18′ fits more standard 80″ closet heights and 48″ openings)

Also, to create visual unity, I’m also investing in a whole bunch of the same coat hangers. This is the best bargain I’ve found for heavier-duty coats and men’s suits.

hangers

Peace of mind = Priceless. A Safe Safely Tucked Away.

I’ve been shopping for safes to keep important papers tucked away, and I’ve discovered a few great finds that can be flushmount into your wall – just like locked medicine cabinets. I’m thinking this would be great in a pantry or closet, and since they’re bolted into the studs, these are a great alternative to the standard (and SUPER heavy) safes that you need to crouch down to get into.

Safe, sound and simple. What’s not to love?

See also: My “How to Fake a Fabulous Closet” series!

How to fake a fabulous closet: Part 1

This is part of a series on closet design which will be the culmination of about 10 months of research into closet organization, closet wardrobe systems, and closet storage solutions. I’m not even kidding.

Like EVERYTHING with home design, it’s totally possible to spend ridiculous amounts of money on closets. And often with only incrementally better finishing, performance and results. When we bought this place on Miami Beach, it’s biggest issue was not only its lack of closet space, but the ineffectiveness of the closets: they didn’t maximize their use of space, making them virtually useless to my husband and I – both of whom have a Lot. Of. Clothing.

No, really, we have  a lot of clothing: him nearly as much as me, and it all needs a home!

So I’m going to let you in on these secrets I’ve found, and while closet organization begins with intelligent use of space on a macro level, the way to really fake a fabulous, high-end, luxury space is in the finest details. One thing I am absolutely investing in is motion-sensor lighting, for 3 reasons:

1. It eliminates the need to an additional light switch, keeping the wall outside the closet that much cleaner
2. Motion sensors save energy, so you’ll never forget to turn the light off
3. Motion sensor lighting says “good morning” when you open the closet in the a.m., and “time to party” when you’re getting dressed for an evening out. It feels special and personal.

Stay tuned for more on how to fake a fabulous closet…