Transforming today’s Miami

Craig Robins is truly transforming the landscape of Miami. Through his firm, Dacra, the legendary Chief Executive Officer has taken the real estate in Miami to a whole new level. He can create collaborative communities in the area through his innovations in the real estate sector. Through his work, Miami has been transformed into a culturally-driven city which has become a global icon. Dacra played a critical role in the transformation of South Beach more than twenty years ago. Its ambitions did not end there. It has directed its energies to Miami’s Design District. The CEO gives useful insights on how he has transformed the city to march its peers such as New York and Los Angeles.

Innovations are driving the city. With the changing items and technology, Miami has not been left behind. According to Craig, Miami is a host of culturally recognized facilities such as the Frost Science Museum. These attraction sites put the city high as a favorite site. That is not all. The town has strong ties with the Latin community making it unique from other American cities.

Miami has been transformed into a place of art and creativity. The overall effect is the inflow of international artists and designers into the city. They showcase and launch their latest innovations in this area. Miami Design district takes pride in having a lot of collections from the world’s leading artists. The center has collaborated with most of these artists who are seeing the value the center brings to them. It is one of the core mandates of this design center to build its place in America and the rest of the world.

Craig has that burning desire to create creative communities in art and design to radically uplift the urban life. Innovative public art programs serve to bring these communities together and create a city with its own unique identity. The overall effect is that designers of high-end watches and other exciting public art are finding this to be the perfect destination. The Miami Design District has redefined the artwork. It is the center of performances, design works, programs and public lectures from industry experts who inspire members of the community. According to Craig, his firm is in negotiations with Fondation de la Haute Horlogerie (FHH) to visit Miami and host its trade fair for its luxury watches in this destination. It will be an exciting opportunity to host such a powerhouse which will cement Miami’s place a world-class luxury destination.

Taking to the sea and sky for new opportunities

In March of 2018 EnTrustPermal announced an expansion of their blue Ocean maritime investment branch as well as the introduction of Blue Sky, an aviation division to match Blue Ocean. With $300,000,000 already invested in Blue Wave and an estimated $500,000,000 going in to Blue Wave in 2018 these sources of investment are poised to make waves.

Blue Ocean began in 2017 after two investment firms, EnTrust (founded in 1997) and Permal (founded in 1073), merged to form EnTrustPermal in 2016. For Blue Ocean they tapped longtime CTI Group expert Svein Engh who has over thirty years’ experience in investing in maritime businesses and founded CTI Groups’ maritime division as well as founding CTI Group’s Commercial Aircraft Leasing and Lending Platform as well as most recently being the Head of Financial Institutions at CTI Group. Blue Wave will be run by another former CTI Group expert, John Morabito, who has worked in aviation investment for nearly 20 years. They are supported by an experienced and knowledgeable staff in both endeavors.
The company aims to provide debt and capital through non-bank loans and investments in aviation and maritime industries including shipping.

They felt that there was a lack of capital in these areas and are seeking to turn a profit by stepping in to these industries and bring some capital with them. These industries offer low-risk returns and tend to be stable despite the apparent lack of large investors.

EnTrustPermal’s CEO Gregg Hymowitz says these news strategies and the people tapped to run will “provide a constant flow of relevant and proprietary ideas to our investors who seek new and attractive sources of return.” These investment strategies are designed to play a large role in EnTrustPermal’s future growth as an investment firm who can provide alternative strategies for their investors.

The Art Appreciator’s Guide to the United Arab Emirates

So, you’re thinking of a good spot to vacation and experience the fine arts. But, where to go? There are many great places with fine art exhibitions. and one of the best is in the United Arab Emirates (UAE). There are many places to visit in the UAE that are unique to the Emirates and will give you a one-of-a-kind look into UAE and Emirati culture and history.

One such places is Abu Dhabi, the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Within the city of Abu Dhabi is the Heritage Village, which displays how life was in the Middle East prior to the discovery of oil.

Another is the Jebel Hafeet, the highest peak in Abu Dhabi and home to over five hundred discovered tombs. There is also the Emirates National Auto Museum, wherein lies Sheikh Hamad Bin Hamdan Al Nahyan’s personal collection of automotive vehicles (some tanks included!!!) to feast your eyes upon. Another exhibition of note is the Abu Dhabi Falcon Hospital. Dedicated to the health and well-being of these majestic birds and highlighting their roles throughout the Emirates’ history.

And then there is the Formula Rossa, also known as, the world’s fastest roller coaster having a top speed of 149 mph which translates to 240 kph. Count me in!

Last, but certainly not least, is Abu Dhabi’s Yas Marina Circuit where you can actually drive on the race track. The cars are even equipped with onboard cameras to capture your driving skills. And, oh yeah, you get a copy of the video to show off to all your friends and family!!!

Abu Dhabi is also planning on building the Guggenheim Abu Dhabi museum. Though there is no set completion date, the Guggenheim Museum is to be built on Saadiyat Island and the scale of the museum is supposed to be 320,000 square feet (30,000 square meters). It is to feature all types of Middle Eastern exhibits including Islamic, UAE and Emirati culture.

This is just one example of what you can experience in the United Arab Emirates. Many others await you, traveler … are you ready for an experience of a lifetime?

How Washington, D.C. Is Getting into the Hamilton Spirit


As the Kennedy Center prepares for a 14-week run of T&C cover star Lin-Manuel Miranda’s Hamilton beginning June 12, the nation’s capital is already getting into the spirit. Here’s how you can take part.

1. The Jefferson Hotel is organizing “Feud of the Founding Fathers,” a summer-long series of events and promotions that pit Thomas Jefferson against Alexander Hamilton.

There’s an itinerary in which guests get to choose a side, talks by in-house historian and Georgetown professor Susan Sullivan Lagon on the differences between Jefferson and Hamilton, and rival cocktails in Quill, which features North America’s only fully glass bar.

2. Have a Hamilton-themed cocktail or dessert for $10 at Kennedy Center’s Roof Terrace Restaurant.

The “Ten Dollar Menu,” whose price references the currency graced by the first Secretary of the Treasury, includes both drinks and dessert. According to Eater, there’s a “Raise a Glass to Freedom” beer cocktail made Port City porter, Captain Morgan spiced rum, lime, and brown sugar syrup along with a chocolate crunch choux puff with vanilla ice cream, which Hamilton is said to have enjoyed when he dined at Thomas Jefferson’s home, Monticello.

3. Go to Mount Vernon for a Hamilton sing-along and an interactive exhibit where you can act out scenes from George Washington’s battles.

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Islamic Relief USA Plans Ramadan Food Boxes for Communities Around the U.S.

Islamic Relief USA is planning its annual food box packing event to prepare for Ramadan. The organization is hosting four food packing events. The events are planned to take place in Illinois, Virginia, Texas and New Jersey.

Volunteers will be packing boxes with nonperishable foods and then giving them out to those in need in the surrounding community. The stated goal is to create 5,000 packaged meals for the needy and the hungry right here in the United States.

This event is part of being Muslim and closely connected to the holiday of Ramadan. Yes, the holiday is about fasting from sunrise to sunset, but there is a component of giving back to the needy and the community. It is also a time to reflect on those in need and what can be done to alleviate their suffering.

Volunteers are needed to help package the food and put it into boxes. Some boxes will need to be broken down and others filled, sealed and then delivered. For each session there will be two shifts of volunteers to help package the food and get it ready to deliver to the community.

The food will be delivered to various food pantries, houses of worship and other locations that provide food for the poor and the hungry. Those interested in helping can check out Islamic Relief USA and find a location nearby. All are welcome to come and help and, of course, if you have nonperishable food items that can become part of the food packages, they are welcome, too.

This year marks the 25 anniversary of IRUSA and all of the good it does for communities across the country. Visit for more information about times, volunteering and other services offered.

How Miami’s Design District Brings Art, Design, and Culture Together

The Miami Design District is a neighborhood in Miami, Florida that is hailed as one of the most influential and swanky spots to visit. You’ll get a taste of the latest interior designs, art, and of course plenty of culture while there. You may even see some of your favorite celebrities. Here are the top attractions in each category to get you started if you’re planning a trip to Miami, and you want to take in this amazing neighborhood and all it has to offer.

Institute of Contemporary Art – ICA

The ICA is peppered with fine arts for you to explore that are contemporary and cutting edge. Anyone seeking design inspiration will be more than tickled when perusing the galleries. Exhibits and programs are like nothing you’ve experienced before and allow you to exchange ideas with like and unlike minded thinkers to fuel your creativity.


Whether you’re looking for home decor or wearable fashions, Craig Robins’s well designed Miami Design District has plenty to offer. Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana and Louis Vitton are just a few brands that attract tourists year-round. You can also find the perfect, iconic piece to place in your digs from shops like Kartell and Luminaire and Jonathan Adler to name just a couple favorites. You’ll be in awe at the well-known and original shops featured and can easily spend an entire day browsing.

Famous Dining Options

Estefan Kitchen offers delicious Cuban fare, Harry’s Pizzeria offers wood-fired options, and Sugarcane offers small plates and an artistic flair on their food choices to include the cocktails.

Buena Vista Deli featuring salads, sandwiches and amazing dessert is one of the most famous and affordable options in Miami and a favorite for many including celebrities. In fact, many celebrity sightings make this district a fun place to hang out. Kate Hudson during Art Basel, George Clooney, and even Beyonce have been spotted here simply walking the streets. Who will you see?

Truly the only way to understand how amazing this district is would be to visit. Stay nearby and take a day or three to take it all in as there is so much more to experience than what is listed here, even public art. You won’t regret one moment in this popular Miami neighborhood.

Panel appointed to help with hurricane relief

The devastating effects brought about by the recent Hurricanes Irma and Maria in Virginia Islands has prompted Governor Kenneth E. to constitute an expert advisory committee which will spearhead the reconstruction process. The advisory committee which will be operating under the office of the Governor comprises of local officials, business, and environmental experts as well as community members. The announcement of the formation of the committee came on Monday from the office of the governor.

The group will have a clear-cut objective of assessing the damage brought about by the Hurricane and also point out future risks which face the USVI as a result of natural hazards with a vision spanning to over 30 years. The risks among others will include those that will come about due to climate change. Besides that, the committee will also be mandated with the task of coming up a roadmap for USV’s long-term recovery plan regarding economy and security. The team has a daunting task considering the damage which the two Hurricanes left behind. Most people were left homeless without basic need such as shelter.

The committee which has 18 members will specifically focus on the following issues.
Ø Development of and implement an economic recovery plan mainly focusing on tourism and other economic generating activities.
Ø Monitoring and tracking expenditure as well as the distribution of federal disaster aid funds
Ø The group will also be expected to come up with long-term mitigation measures that will shield USVI from future natural disasters such as the Hurricane.
Ø The Committee is also ensure that all those affected by the hurricane are provided with basic needs such as shelter, clothing, and food.

“We have brought together experts from different sectors to assist U.S Virgin Island to get back on its feet as soon as possible. The committee under my leadership of my office will ensure that the entire objective we have set is achieved” said Mapp.

Some of the members working with the committee include; Basil Ottley: a director at the office of Insular affairs in the Interior Department, Andrew Farkas: who serves as Chairman, CEO and President of Resource America, Inc., Anthony Hurley: who is an associate managing director at Witt O’Brien’s (an emergency and risk management company), Darryl Griffith: who is an acting executive director at V.I Housing Finance among others experts and professionals.

There is no doubt that the committee comprises of heavyweights from across different sectors of the economy and will live up to the set objectives.

Miami Design District Draws Celebrities

What do these famous icons have in common? Each one, entourage intact, have been spotted at the internationally acclaimed Design District of Miami. If those names aren’t magnanimous enough, how about these?

  • Drew Barrymore
  • Cindy Crawford
  • Ben Stiller
  • Julianne Moore
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Adam Levine
  • Ellen Degeneres
  • Zooey Deschanel
  • Keri Russell
  • Diana Keaton

These celebrities use Design District addresses as home base. With culture, beauty, and luxury retailers surrounding the area, why would one live anywhere else in the world? Beyond its glamorous surroundings, there is a rich heritage that makes Design District even more lovable.

Buena Vista mothers the Design District along the southern edge of Miami’s Upper East Side. While the area is located centrally, it’s near enough to the bay to offer a quality destination stop for travelers, tourists, and celebrities alike. The area is an 18 square block surrounded on the south by US 27 and North 43rd Street along the North edge. West First Avenue and Biscayne Boulevard border the West and East sides, respectively.


The district, once plagued by urban decay, was converted at the start of 2000’s to become an iconic and flagship area marked with fashion, art, and luxury retail. Low-rise warehouses were initially converted into retail spaces with cafes and art galleries.

Current Culture

After the birth of Design Miami and Miami Art Week, the area became an attraction for investors, architects, and real estate developers. Craig Robins is rumored to instigate the rebirth, followed by designers like Christian Louboutin and Yohji Yamamoto. Upgrades from that point have included increased shaded walkways, community areas, and accessible outdoor seating. Combined with renowned retailers and community events like live music and farmers markets, the area is now considered both fashionable and family-friendly.

Iconic Institutions

Celebrities are not alone in making the area home. Iconic institutions have also made Miami’s Buena Vista Design District not only well traveled, but a hot spot for art. Consider some of these stellar institutions that have either permanent installations or designated galleries.

  • John Baldessari
  • Zaha Hadid
  • Xavier Veilhan
  • The Buckminster Fuller Institute
  • Konstantin Grcic
  • Marc Newson

Review of New York City’s Iconic Skyscrapers

Empire State Building

1,250 feet tall

This United States National Landmark was built in 1931 and probably the most famous skyscraper in the world.

The top of the ESRT Empire State Building is home to most of New York City’s broadcast FM radio and commercial TV stations. Inside it houses a great number of well-known businesses such as Shutterstock, LinkedIn, Skanska and Global Brands Group. It’s also a popular site for countless celebrities to visit and many various images could be found of famous people admiring the Empire State Building.
Hilary Duff, Taylor Swift, Alan Ruck, Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, Abigail Breslin, Alberto Del Rio, Ashanti, Ariana Grande, Blink 182 and too many others to count.

One World Trade Center AKA the Freedom Tower

1,776 feet tall with its spire included.

The One World Trade Center was rebuilt in 2014 to replace the original that was struck down on 9/11 back in 2001.
The famous skyscraper gives visitors a 360-degree perspective and also has three restaurants, an exhibit about its construction called Voices and a Sky Portal. The Sky Portal is an arrange of 14-foot wide circular high definition display that shows real-time striking footage at their guest’s feet. It also has attracted celebrities including Priyanka Chopra, Barack Obama, Bruce Willis, Olivia Wilde, Janet Jackson, Jessica Alba, Coco Rocha and others.

40 Wall Street

927 Feet

It first opened in 1930, originally being called the Bank of Manhattan and for a brief period of time, it was celebrated as being the tallest before the title was taken away by the Chrysler Building’s spire.
Similar to what happened to the Empire State Building, The Crown Jewel of Wall Street was hit by a Coast Guard plan in 1946 in the midst of a fog which killed 4 people. The Trump company acquired the building in 1995 and Donald Trump renovated it in 1996.

Woolworth Building

792 feet tall

Once called the Cathedral of Commerce, this agrotechnical beauty was designed by Cass Gilbert and built in 1913. For years it has been admired for its stunning neo-Goth details such as marble floors and stairs, gargoyle heads, and a stunning mezzanine which is definitely worth a quick tour. The green coper castle-like skyscraper is the National Historic Landmark and masterpiece and has been featured in various films like Cloverfield, Enchanted and the Great Gatsby.

The Chrysler Building

1,046 feet tall

Renowned for stealing the title for the tallest building from under the noses of 40 Wall Street, by raising their height with its steel spire inside the building’s crown just several weeks after 40 Wall Street debut.
the American automotive executive Walter Chrysler had it built back in 1930 by William Van Alen to show the City and the world the grandeur of his company. New York’s most famous Art Deco style building is free to visitors but can only be granted access to the lobby where guest often come to appreciate the decoration.

Military Dream Week Gives Back to Those Who Deserve The Most

Everything that we do each and every day is because of military service members now and in the past, that have risked their lives for our many freedoms. It takes a very special type of person to put their life on the line in a foreign nation in order to protect hundreds of thousands of people back home that they don’t even know. That’s why so many people who haven’t personally served feel it their own responsibility to take care of our soldiers in any way that they can once they return home.

From November 20th to November 24th, a news organization in Norfolk, VA – 13 News Now in partnership with Operation Once in a Lifetime hosted Military Dream Week. During this special week, Operation Once in A Lifetime reached out to service members in need of a helping hand in some way.

Military dream week helped aid active duty soldiers, veterans, and their families with small things like a basic car repair all the way to throwing a to-be-mom the baby shower of their dreams. In some cases, the program even gives a well-deserved trip to a military family who might not be able to afford the trip otherwise.

Even though they have already given so much to their country, the service members could not be more grateful of these kind acts and the generosity of the sponsors who make this program possible. One of the sponsors of this event is Virginia Based ADS, Inc – – a company that provides equipment for the military, first responders, and government contractors. They heard of Military Dream Week and very quickly knew they wanted to be a sponsor of such a special cause. Other sponsors included the Virginia Ship Repair Association, the City of Norfolk’s Naval Station Norfolk Centennial Commission, and Cavalier Ford Lincoln.

These generous sponsors helped provide the gifts, trips, and vehicles for the servicemen and women who were the luck recipients. Overall it was a spectacular success and hopefully in 2018 the tradition will continue!