Ciara LaVelle

Miami, FL USA

Professional Experience

I'm a versatile writer with a broad range of interests: travel, dining, trends in pop culture, music and literature. I work as an editor at a regional alt-weekly newspaper, and I also have experience in copywriting, writing and editing custom publications, and launching and editing literary magazines.


Content Editor (online)
7 Years
7 Years
15 Years


5 Years
7 Years
14 Years


Newspaper - Local/Regional
5 Years
Magazine - Trade magazines/publications (B2B)
6 Years
Online/new media
10 Years

Total Media Industry Experience

15 Years

Media Client List (# assignments last 2 yrs)

The Storque (1-2), Recommend magazine (10+), Onboard Media (3-5), Latitudes (3-5), Frommers (1-2), Go magazine (1-2), Draft magazine (1-2), Florida Gulf Coast Weddings (1-2), Miami New Times (10+), Cayman Airways Skies (10+), Aviation Daily (10+), VegNews (1-2), (3-5)

Other Work History

Miami New Times: Arts & Culture Editor Cayman Airways Skies: Contributing Editor Recommend magazine: Caribbean editor Recommend magazine: web editor The Furnace Review: Editor

Technical Skills


Computer Skills

Word, Excel, both Mac and Windows platforms, basic HTML, Adobe InDesign, Dreamweaver, Blogger, Wordpress, Twitter, Facebook, Movable Type


Mac laptop, DSLR camera, digital video camera, audio recorder

Work Samples

Miami Arts & Culture

If you're going to promote your hotel using the name of the world's most famous street artist, you'd better be sure you've got your facts straight.
Profile of Brigid Baker, a native New Yorker who has played a major role in South Florida's fledgling dance scene since she arrived in Miami.
In a city like Miami, "Art Snob" isn't a derogatory term. It's a necessary way of life for people who are passionate about art living in a town where the culture -- in museums, in galleries, and in the street -- grows and evolves so quickly. A little jaded? A little too serious? Who cares? If it's a
Gun motifs have been prominent and popular in art, design, and fashion for years. So is it any wonder that Wynwood, Miami's cultural hub, is finally getting a taste of the real thing?
They say that absence makes the heart grow fonder. That was certainly true for Dave Chappelle last night, who opened his two-night, four-show series of Miami performances to a hyped-up, sold-out crowd at The Fillmore.
Face it: Too much time spent in Miami has the potential to change a person. It might change you for the better; you'll probably pick up some Spanish, for instance, if you weren't raised speaking it. But it might also give you a few bad habits -- and we're not talking about just hookers and yeyo.
The Sundance Institute announced its winners in short filmmaking at this year's Sundance Film Festival, and Miami filmmaker Bernardo Britto came away with a prize. Britto's short film Yearbook won the Short Film Jury Award: Animation at the awards ceremony.
Plenty of cities boast a high concentration of writers and readers (and amenities like publishing companies and bookstores to match). But only one American city is home to the country's largest literary festival, and that's the Magic City.
Rainstorms threatened Miami all day yesterday, but somebody up there must really love vintage movies in a retro, open-air setting. Blue Starlite Miami Urban Drive-In launched its soft opening week last night with Pretty in Pink and damn near perfect weather.
The spirit of Churchill's Pub's past is alive at Primary Projects. A taxidermied billfish, hung high on the first wall crowds will encounter when "Agalma" opens this Saturday, recalls artist Autumn Casey's six years behind the bar at the legendary Miami dive.
Here in Miami, Mexican culture is often overshadowed by the melting pot of Latin influences that call our city home. But there's one exception -- Cinco de Mayo -- and it's just around the corner! But don't break out that sombrero just yet. The best way to celebrate this holiday is with a glass of tequila in hand, so you have to know where to find the good stuff. Lucky for you, we were happy to do some taste-testing.
Maybe you love Miami's arts scene. Maybe you hate it. Either way, if you want to fix it, now's the time to act.
How to spend eight hours in Coral Gables
Some of Miami's biggest charitable players are its athletes.
Women get a rough deal in the art world. So "Jardim Botânico," an exhibition of work by Brazilian artist Beatriz Milhazes opening at PAMM this evening, is a big deal because the exhibit encompasses two gigantic galleries of over 40 works -- works created by a woman.
How to make the most of Miami Art Week, according to the experts.
Until recently, Miami’s MiMo District was known primarily for its once-thriving motels from the 1950s and ’60s, which languished for decades along a stretch of Biscayne Boulevard. But in recent years, MiMo–short for “Miami Modern,” itself a reference to the confluence of architectural styles that characterize the area–has undergone a makeover. Today, the stretch of Biscayne between Northeast 50th and Northeast 77th Streets is home to some of Miami’s best restaurants and unique shopping opportunities. And the motels have followed suit, rekindling their retro charm for a new generation.
Miami’s cultural scene isn’t as big or as well known as those of New York, Chicago, or even Los Angeles, where several South Florida artists have moved to further their careers in recent years. But as the arts in Miami have grown and developed, the city has become a cultural destination in its own right. Case in point: Franklin Sirmans, who left the Los Angeles County Museum of Art to join the Pérez Art Museum Miami as director in October.
Lady Gaga brings her Monster Ball tour to Miami on April 13, but the American Airlines Arena isn't the only place in the city to find her freaky, avant-garde style. From over-the-top fashion to fabulous nightclubs, there are plenty of Miami attractions with Gaga appeal. Keep an eye for The Lady herself out at these shopping, dining and nightlife spots -- not that you'd
What do Questlove, John Cleese, and Judy Blume have in common? They'll join Joyce Carol Oates, Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and John Waters -- yes, the John Waters -- among the hundreds of authors, poets, chefs, TV personalities, and others who'll present at the 2014 Miami Book Fair International.
Plenty of people move to South Florida to start a new life in the sun and on the sand. But until you've lived here a while, learned a few things, and passed a few tests, most locals won't accept you as a "real" Miamian. Here are ten telltale signs you're not from Miami.
Counting down the stories that brought Miami culture to life in 2013.
Introducing Zushi Flirt, Miami’s newest sushi spot with plenty of passion to go around.
Three letters: WMC.
Say hello to River Lounge, the new nightlife temple set to debut at the Epic Hotel.
Calling all party people, and the naughtier the better: This weekend marks 15 years since the beginning of Miami's recurring bacchanalia, also known as Back Door Bamby. Not to worry if you're feeling tame -- there's plenty else happening in Miami this weekend that won't involve a single whip or chain.
Remember the record low temperatures in Miami a few months ago? Yeah, neither do we. It's time to hit the best pool parties in the city! Though they're usually at hotels, these are far from tourist traps. Here's where (and when) to dive in.
The 2011 Miami Rum Renaissance Festival, also known as the city's best excuse to sip straight rum in the middle of the day, has sadly come to an end. If you missed the grand tasting -- or if you just want to relive the experience -- you're in luck. We've selected of our favorite cocktail recipes from the event. So read on, and you'll be mixing up your own Rum Renaissance creations at home in no time.
During one week in December every year, Miamians dress like attention-whoring art stars, we party all night, all day, and all night again, and we spend hours in causeway traffic. Welcome to Art Basel, y'all.
ArtOfficial has a unique view of Miami -- the city is a major influence in the band's hip-hop/jazzy style, and much of its denizens follows them around from gig to gig. With a new album on the way and a country-wide tour planned for the summer, we talked to the band about music, Miami and what's next.
In the fight between art and commerce, commerce has won. That's the case for Banksy, at least, whose work, Kissing Coppers, will be auctioned off at a street art exhibition presented by Fine Art Auctions Miami.
Earlier this week, New Times reported that the newly opened Riviera South Beach Hotel claimed to have commissioned street artist Banksy to design tiles that were placed around the hotel, in public areas such as its bathrooms. But that's not true, according to Banksy's publicist, Jo Brooks.


Atlanta has transformed into a haven for beer snobs, with independent microbreweries, brewpubs and a beer festival celebrating all things sudsy.
That was when I learned the tantalizing truth about Disney World's special disabled lines: Anybody can use them. And anybody -- not just "rich Manhattan moms" who can afford disabled guides -- can scam the system.
These Summer Olympics destinations provide more than just memories and medals; they provide jaw-dropping scenery, too.
Miami shines at the height of wedding season, with sandy beaches, spectacular venues, and serenity to spare.
Welcome to Austin, the cultural heart of Texas.
Vacationing takes on a family-friendly vibe in the Upper and Middle Keys.
With ideal conditions, scenic routes, and community support, Miami is a runner's paradise
For boating enthusiasts, there's never been a better time to be in Miami.
Hotel magazine for the Cayman Islands Tourism Association, outlining hotels, attractions, and eco-adventures in Grand Cayman, Little Cayman, and Cayman Brac.
Belize’s best-kept travel secret exemplifies veg-friendly serenity, with organic farms, botanical gardens, and eco-adventures galore.


The award for "strangest name for a bar" goes to Who, a tiny pub in MiMo making a soft opening this week. Set along Biscayne in Kingdom's old space, Who aims to combine the best of Miami (sunny outdoor seating; Caribbean-inspired cuisine) with the best aspects of a successful sports bar (craft beers; plenty of flat screens). Right now they're only serving non-alcoholic beverages and a limited menu, but according to their general manager, both restaurant and bar should be fully operational by next week.
The marriage of burgers and beer has proved everlasting; now, bars and restaurants are dedicating entire menus to the pair. Ciara LaVelle steers you to the nation's best, and we point out a few burger-inclined breweries along the way.
Satisfy your sweet tooth at Miami's best bakeries, ice cream parlors, and more.
Remember how much you loved food as a kid? Back before you cared about organic produce and watching your carb intake, you just ate what tasted good -- and that usually included candy, ice cream and grilled cheese sandwiches with the crusts cut off. At Angelina's Coffee and Yogurt, you can relive those days with gourmet versions of the foods you adored way back when. And even better, you can do so without feeling like an immature, unsophisticated eater.
It's National Pretzel Day -- a fake holiday, perhaps, but also an excuse to indulge in some of the city's most unique delicacies. From salty to savory to sweet and decadent, here are Miami's best places to get twisted (dough, that is).
Lessons learned during my first attempt at baking scones: 1) I totally love making scones 2) I totally suck at making scones
I was talking to Joe about this blog last night when I realized why I love baking so much. Of course it's partly about the end results--the sweet, sweet end results. But mostly, I said, the reasons I like baking are the same reasons I like writing. First, it's a love of the process, of putting ingredients (sugar, flour, verbs, adjectives) together to create something greater than the sum of its parts. And secondly, it's the rewarding feeling of sharing that something. To put a noble spin on it, I enjoy the mutual enjoyment of sharing both great writing and great food. Put more plainly, I like the attention I get when I make something awesome. Which brings me to the Baked Brownies.
I grew up in a house of sweet-toothed women, raised by a mother who insisted we finish our vegetables quickly so that she could bring out the dessert already. I can't trace all of my eating habits back to her, but when it comes to breakfast, her influence is clear: I want sugar first thing in the morning, without fail, because as a child I got used to waking up to pancakes, waffles and, yes, banana bread. Which made the Banana Cupcakes from Baked very confusing for me.
One of the most exciting discoveries at last weekend's United Way Miami Wine & Food Festival isn't even open for business yet. The Local, promising "craft food and drink," opens in Coral Gables on Saturday, and from their presentations at Taste & Toast and Brews & Bites, it'll be worth the wait.


Book review: Holidays on Ice by David Sedaris