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I found this old review of Bijan’s On The River on the forums at miamibeach411.com.

Miami River Restaurants – Bijan’s and More

Hey y'all, I wanted to add some photos and commentary here that didn't make it into my Miami River article. When I was researching the article, I went to Bijan's on the River, which is tucked away behind the Hyatt hotel and the James L. Knight Convention Center and just off the S Miami Avenue bridge (google map).

Bijan's is a casual place serving light fare ranging from caesar salads to sandwiches and fish. There's also a full bar. The restaurant is run by an Iranian family and their claim to fame is making the world's largest paella. If you ever plan on going there on the weekend, you should call ahead, since they may close the restaurant for private events.

The location is Fort Dallas Park, a historic site recalling the old military posts here during the Seminole War years in the 19th century. On site is a yellow house called the Palm Cottage, which was built by Henry Flagler around 1897. It's original location was actually SE 2nd street. The structure originally housed mechanics who were out of work after the Flagler's Royal Palm Hotel was completed. The actual restaurant is just as picturesque, housed inside what looks like a boat house, with maritime motifs. Needless to say, this all looks very quaint surrounded by those new, towering condos.

Parking around Bijan's is kind of tough. Paid lots can be super pricey but there are some meters around the corner by the Fedex building. The trouble is, you might run into a crack whore or a street bum.

I recommend that you park elsewhere downtown -- say by the Omni -- and then take the metromover all the way to the Riverwalk station, which drops you off right in front of Fort Dallas Park. Actually, it's a really nice way to see all of Downtown from the metromover. As well, you can see the "An M for Miami" sculpture by Rosario Marquardt and Roberto Behar at the Riverwalk station. Another option is to park on the other side of the river by Brickell and take the metromover from there. The view is really nice going over the river.

I really enjoyed hanging out sitting by the water's edge at Bijan's. The shaded area at the back near the dock is the best place to sit. I ate a mahi-mahi caesar salad that wasn't really out of this world, but it was totally worth it to sit by the river seeing the boats go by.

Bijan's on the River is located at 64 S.E. 4th Street. (305) 381-7778

Have you gone to Bijan's or experienced any other Miami river restaurants and fish markets? Please share.
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Like this idea?

Would a market like this work in Miami? If so, where would you put it? The Government Center area could really use a boost like this, but would people go? Or could it only work in Coconut Grove or maybe Midtown?

RiverWalk seating challenge

I’ve always wanted to see the Miami RiverWalk improved and see its full potential, I guess since the Miami River Day festival earlier this month I’ve been even more focused on the river.  And seeing two new big developments about to happen, now is the time to push for those improvements. I made an observation last week about the benches, so here are some ideas.

Seating should be single seat type with no back or armrest, allowing user to sit, lean or take a short rest, but not allow for lying down or provide long-term comfort. Top can be flat or curved, although if flat a slight slant is preferred. Placed only in open, well-lit areas, in groups of two or three and spaced far enough apart that one can’t stretch across to lay down or sleep.  Design and color should reflect a distinct Miami style attractive to residents and tourists.

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Free Space!

Great urban vibe, amazing views. Spacious covered open-air space available. Fairly new, just needs a quick power wash, some lighting, and life.  Will work well for a popup art gallery, urban hard-core workout space, starting point for a biking or jogging tour, dog grooming/training, or a classroom of any kind (history, photography, real estate development…). Bring portable outdoor lighting and a boom box and you’re set.  Easy access from either side of the S. Miami Ave Bridge.

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Great news, MetroMover’s still free!

imageThe Miami-Dade Commission voted to keep the MetroMover free. Businesses along the route benefit from the ridership that comes from the free system, ridership that would undoubtedly be cut if a fare were enacted. Word is some on the commission are considering making the MetroBus and maybe MetroRail free too. Here’s a proposal, how about offering free or discounted “resident cards” to Miami-Dade residents maybe for just a minimal annual fee?

Riverwalk benches

Hey Miami River Commission, why does Miami have the ugliest benches ever along the Riverwalk? Are there any civic-minded designers out there with ideas for better, cleaner, brighter seating, to give the Riverwalk a much-needed lift a city like Miami deserves.

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How about at least replacing them with a few of single seat types, like these found around Brickell Village.  Spaced apart a bit -like every other one, to discourage them from being used for sleeping benches.

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The river should be a showcase that we can be proud of, that residents and tourists alike will use, not an abandoned dark alley avoided by most if possible.

Riverblock, part 2

imageLast week I (prematurely) stated that the old Epic sales office along the river was being torn down. I was wrong. Looks like it’s just being remodeled, probably for use as the new sales center for the Epic II or whatever the developer will call the 70+ story tower being planned for the site.  It seems the Miami River Commission has no pull whatsoever with the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission which has allowed “temporary” sales offices to encroach on river setbacks and block public access to the Riverwalk, (the “temporary” sales center for the now cancelled Edge tower on the south side of the river west of the S. Miami Ave bridge is still there). My guess is it’ll be years now before the Epic property is built and the sales office removed restoring the river walk.

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Miami Orange

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If I had to pick an official mascot of Miami, it would probably be this character. Does anyone know the origins, and doesn’t it have a name, King Orange or something? He’s been around forever it seems, the recent removal of the Bayside Plaza building on Biscayne Blvd revealed another classic orange on the side of the Holiday Inn.

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ed update: Thanks to a reader for this link. Artist’s name is ATOMIK, still not sure about the orange or why I thought it had a name, maybe it does but I haven’t found anything yet.

Grey is the new… pastel?

Everything’s going grey in Miami, (yes you Brickell City Center!) Maybe bright colors and pastels are too 80’s, Miami Vice Miami. But I don’t think I like this new trend with everything going grey, do you?

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