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10 with Ben

10 With Tom
10 questions in 10 minutes 

Ben and his kids
at the Metrorail
I interviewed Ben Kalstone as my next 10 With Tom subject, I'm sure you've seen Ben around the Grove, he works for Colliers, the real estate firm (used to be The PointeGroup). Ben's been my friend and neighbor for almost 15 years. I thought you would enjoy getting to know him.

TOM: What is it that you do at Colliers? 
BEN: I am a broker specializing in retail tenant and landlord representation. In addition to working throughout Dade and Broward counties, we have brokered several recent deals here in center Grove.

TOM: What would you change about Coconut Grove if you could? 
BEN: Let me start by saying, I love the Grove the way it is. I think the most important changes we need to undergo are a transformation along Grand Avenue (west) that activates the area while preserving its original Bahamian identity, and it would be nice to see the playhouse restored and thriving.

TOM: What do you like about Coconut Grove? 
BEN: Sounds funny, but I like being a local in Coconut Grove. I like to see people I’ve known my entire life walking down the street, I like riding my bike or walking into center Grove with my children just like I used to do as a child with my friends and Family, and I like watching the non-locals enjoying our paradise.

TOM: Favorite restaurant in Coconut Grove? 
BEN: That is a tough question, if I have to limit it to three, I will go with Lokal, Bombay Darbar and Farinelli 1937. (that answer is very unfair to 33, LuLu’s, Sapore di Mare, Spillover, Jaguar and Harry’s; each of these places has many great menu items!  I’ve also been enjoying the Juicense juices lately).

TOM: What is one thing you would suggest a first time visitor to go see or do? 
BEN: The Grove is all about atmosphere, I always feel the best way to soak in the energy of the Grove is by sitting on a sidewalk, having a meal, and watching the world go by. Eventually people are always taken back by the laid back vibe.  Our family often enjoys a post meal nature walk out to The Barnacle, it is relaxing, secluded and a great way to walk off your meal!

TOM: If you could live anywhere in the world for a year with your family, where would that be? 
BEN: Tel Aviv!  People don’t realize it but Tel Aviv is a lot like Miami. It is a crowded international city with awesome beaches, great restaurants and laid back people (except the crazy drivers).

TOM: What do you usually order at Starbucks?
BEN: Double espresso, but I refuse to conform to their jargon by saying “doppio”.

TOM: They like serving doppio's there because I ordered a Mocha the other day and they heard "doppio," and gave me that.

TOM: What did you have for breakfast today? BEN: Scrambled Eggs with Salsa at Greenstreet Cafe, lately I’ve been addicted to that breakfast.

TOM: when you head out on your boat, where do you like to end up? 
BEN: I like to keep it old school and have a family day at Elliott Key. The Stiltsville sandbar can also be good family fun if you beat the riff raff and get in and out early. For me it’s all about the tide and making sure we go somewhere shallow enough for my kids (and I) to stand. But to answer your question, I like to end up back at the dock!

TOM: What is the last tv show you binge watched? 
BEN: I would never admit to a couple of the shows I watch (and critique) through osmosis with my wife.  I don’t think I’ve binge watched anything since 24.

Thanks Ben! Good sport.

This post first appeared on Coconut Grove Grapevine, please read the originial post: here

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