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Cauley square; Homestead’s secret garden

Cauley Square-slide0
Courtesy of Cauley Square

Miami locals consider Homestead uncharted territory, and widespread land, crops and horses are the images that dance in the Miamian mind when they think of this area. But for the special local looking beyond South Beach and explorers waiting to bite into this city’s every nook and cranny, Cauley Square in Homestead, Florida delivers.

The nature-clad pathway filled with trees and lights trickled on anything with a blade of grass, is an enchanted fern golly reminiscent of the Key West era we associate with Hemingway and his bright colored home filled with over-toed kitties. It’s an intricate mix between the set from Labyrinth and old Florida, and yes, one could easily imagine a 1986 David Bowie walk around in tights and glitter without alarm.

With 6 gardens dating back to the early 1900’s, the explorer will have quite the photo op. The lush tropical landscapes are breathtaking by day or night, and each garden features a signature piece that defines its essence. “Christ Garden”, which greets its visitors with a statue arms wide open, is reminiscent to the Jesus Christ Superstar most its inhabitants knew back in the 70’s. It is these subtle touches that give Cauley Square that slight smirk at the corner of its wholesome smile.

But beyond its undeniable aesthetic appeal and cultural innuendos, lays a community of artists and rebels who have set up shop in Miami’s wilderness and quietly make art, sell moon stones and drink beer for free once a month. The square’s artists have organized an art walk on the second Saturday of every month in response to Miami’s growing art wave. Here, painters, sculptors, poets and singers take refuge in the collaborative energy and spirit of this hippie hideaway, perhaps more animatedly so from the free beer and wine offered. For the explorer who enjoys getting gritty with the locals, this is a free event to observe some artistically flowing Florida magic, none too different than what you’d expect in the Florida Keys.

The classic sounds of 70’s rock reverberate through this sanctuary’s forest walkways every Friday and Saturday night, as the good people Cauley Square believe in bringing live music to its patrons every weekend. The genres teeter between jazz, classic rock and even classical music. Local bands like Vida, Mantrap and The Rag make frequent appearances to add some audible pizzazz to the square’s resume of activities. Visitors can enjoy this live music being one with the earth surrounded by gardens or dining at one of its charming restaurants.

The Tea Room has been around since the late 70’s and resembles the Mad Hatter’s layer, should he have had a taste for Victorian style furniture. Once you enter the restaurant, it feels again of another era and transports the explorer to a different time and place. The time: somewhere in the shadows of the late 70’s with carefully chosen touches of the early 1920’s evoking the liberating yet sophisticated vibe of the jazz era. In one room, an entire wall decorated with various styled tea pots, porcelain cats and frogs greet you, and while on its own this would seem uninviting, it adds an eclectic character working in tandem with the homemade jars of various spreads and fresh pies that sit around it. Outside, of course, there is a myriad of foliage with vibrantly colored petals to pull together the last detail of a place so charming, you cannot help but get into it. Even the manliest of explorers would melt at the coquettish hems of the Tea Room.

No journey is solidified without souvenirs and Cauley Square offers a range of shops for the explorer to bring back a small remembrance of your journey to the wilds of Miami. There are a dozen or so stores and galleries with flamboyant names and personalities, like The Surly Anvil, Island Colors and Lucid Gallery. Their designations all but introduce the characters and ambiance you will experience once entering inside each unique little world. Most shops will offer some fascinating trinket for a modest price, like a healing stone, artisan jewelry or incense. For the explorers with more padding in their wallets, there is an abundance of beautiful local art pieces available to take home and adorn your walls with the translucent hippie vibes of Cauley Square.

For more information on this groovy hideaway, please visit their web site: cauleysquare.com