The recurring image of a pierced heart in a gallery at the NSU Museum of Art Fort Lauderdale is almost certainly coincidental. But former Miami Herald art critic Helen Kohen says for this exhibit, titled "The Miami Generation: Revisited," the motif is fitting.
"It’s an enormously strong symbol of a huge change in your life and a huge switch-over,” says Kohen. “To lose their native land. To be an exile."
This year has seen a growing chorus of polls, studies and statements calling for an overhaul of U.S. policy on communist Cuba. On Monday a new group called #CubaNow added its voice -- and signaled the growing generational shift among Cuban-Americans.
#CubaNow, based in Miami and Washington, D.C., is comprised mostly of younger Cuban-Americans who feel that a half-century of isolating Cuba has failed. They favor more open economic engagement as a way to help democratize the island.
David’s Café, an iconic South Beach haunt for locals and tourists alike, closed its doors for good this weekend.
Located the corner of 11th Street and Collins Avenue, David’s was flanked road construction that has dragged on for almost a year. The project has blocked sidewalks and increased gridlock. Adrian Gonzalez, owner, blamed the construction and the recession for sealing the café’s fate.
If you were to read the week's top stories as just one, the plotline would be a little like this: A caffeine-driven abuela is on the loose. She is wanted on multiple charges, including robbing several Key West homes, criminal mischief at the Perez Art Museum, speeding on the I-95 express lanes and forcing musician Julio Iglesias out of his home and into a party.
But they're really five different stories. Here they are:
At LAB Miami in Wynwood this past weekend, local software developers and designers formed teams to compete for the best app that would give Cubans on the island uncensored Internet access, calling it the first ever “Cuba Hackathon.”
The event was organized by Roots of Hope, a network of young professionals working to “empower Cuba’s youth.”
In Hialeah’s Power Food Supermarket, a lottery cashier named Isabel takes a pause between customers.
In nine years working at the store, she has seen many hopeful people play the different Florida lottery games. The 1 in 10,000 chances of winning big with a Play 4 ticket might seem disheartening, but Isabel knows about a Cuban lottery superstition that ignores the statistics.
“I used to live in the apartments on 49th Street and a white dove stood by my window all night,” she recalls. “Because I knew about the dove, I played 0024 on Play 4 that day and I won $10,000.”
Bruno Poso was only seven when he was initiated into his family’s domino clique.
“I didn’t even know what I was doing, but it was the best thing I had ever known,” said Poso, who learned how to play dominoes by watching his father and grandfather. “To be there with the men and being a boy, it was amazing.”
At 29, Poso has his own clique. He drives two to three times a week from his home in Coral Gables to Havana Cuba Cigar Company in Miami Lakes to play dominoes with other guys who enjoy the game.
It was the summer of 1990. I was home, living with my parents, working part-time at a Miami television station as a production assistant. I made an aspiring journalist’s wage, $6 an hour.
A multiracial group of students back at my Washington, D.C., college had staged sit-ins calling for the school to divest from South Africa. I remember campus-wide "reverse apartheid" protest days. We were learning about modern-day, systemic racial segregation.
But in 1990, Nelson Mandela, who'd spent 27 years as a political prisoner, was released.
Cuban coffee -- in white styrofoam containers, its brown liquid leaking through the lid, accompanied by tall stacks of thimble-like cups -- is everywhere in Miami.
If you talk to the drinkers at small cafeteria windows called "ventanitas," the older Cubans will say you’re not Cuban if you don’t drink the coffee. To round out the traditional Cuban look, they pair a cup with a white guayabera button-down shirt.
Although, today you'll also find young non-Cubans who are equally devoted to the drink, such as Caylee Otto, a 26-year-old from Pittsburgh.