Many have taken the recent closing of Barnes and Noble in Aventura and the general dearth of bookstores in Miami as an omen, a portentous sign that the city is somehow culturally headed in the wrong direction.
And the easy takedown of South Florida, both nationally and from locals, is that a lack of bookstores is representative of a stupid populace, or an uncultured mass mostly focused on booze and partying.
But bemoaning the death of the bookstore is missing the point. It’s happening everywhere. And it’s not just a South Florida issue.
In 1887 Marcus Weinkle’s loving parents buried him alive. That act likely saved the 13-year-old’s life and certainly set in motion an odyssey that took him from his native Russia to, eventually, Central Florida.
His story – and that of countless other Jewish immigrants with a Florida connection – comes alive in the Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU on Miami Beach.
Humans aren't the only species facing an uncertain future in South Florida should current sea level rise predictions prove accurate. Migratory and resident shore birds also would feel the pinch of encroaching salt water, beach erosion, and shore line and habitat loss.
When examining current land modeling and other scientific data, in addition to physical evidence, "It becomes clear what a substantial threat sea level rise will be," said Julie Wraithmell, director of Wildlife Conservation, Florida, for the National Audubon Society.
The roseate spoonbill -- often mistaken by confused tourists for the non-native flamingo -- is one of Florida's great iconic species. Dubbed "one of the most breathtaking of the world's weirdest birds" by naturalist Roger Tory Peterson, the gangly creatures are an increasingly rare sight in South Florida.
According to a feature in the May-June issue of Audubon Magazine, spoonbills have been vacating South Florida in droves, heading north to more hospitable (read: often less developed) lands.
As one of the key players behind the up-and-coming Boynton Beach Art District (BBAD), artist and gallery owner Rolando Chang Barrero is getting no down time during South Florida's "off season." Barrero is among the region's year-round residents who stick it out during the slow, sultry months to ensure his pet projects make it through to grow another season.
"It's time to get the community to really step it up if we're going to become a year-round arts scene," said Barrero, who owns ActivistArtistA, which serves as something of a launching pad for many of the BBAD projects.
The last time I spoke with former Guatemalan strongman Efraín Ríos Montt, in 2003, he was running (unsuccessfully, thank God) for President—and he was delusional as ever.
Every bit as unhinged from reality as he’d been two decades before, during the darkest days of Guatemala’s 36-year-long civil war, when as military dictator from 1982-83, he led a “scorched earth” campaign that killed thousands of mostly indigenous Maya peasants.
The Miami Theater Center is growing. IFrom the annual contemporary performance SandBox Series to being the new home for Mad Cat Theater Company, MTC has redefined itself as a vibrant center of culture in sleepy Miami Shores.
From world famous beaches to international trade flows, South Florida has become one of the world's most vibrant and diverse economies.
Through a series of one-hour radio programs, special correspondent Tom Hudson will host a weekly series on Mondays in May and June exploring The Sunshine Economy, a fresh take on the key industries driving growth across South Florida.