culture

Miami New Drama

In Jewish folklore, a golem is a creature fashioned of clay and animated by magic.  To Michel Hausmann, the golem is less a Yiddisha Frankenstein's monster than a dark knight.

“It’s a Jewish Superman,” says Hausmann. “It’s the ancestor of all superheroes.  When you don’t have the strength to fight your enemies, you create this creature to do the fighting for you.”

But what happens after it defeats your enemies?

“Then YOU become the enemy,” posits Hausmann.

The standard, highbrow obituary of Pierre Boulez would highlight the obvious facts and benchmarks of his life. 

They'd mention that he was born in France in 1925. That he conducted, sans baton, many of the world's leading orchestras. And that Boulez was known as an avant-garde composer. 

But I want to hightlight his collaboration with someone you may not expect: Frank Zappa. 

Yeah, that Frank Zappa. Leader of Mothers of Inventions. Freak Out! And the song with that all important message — "Don't Eat the Yellow Snow."

Luis Hernandez: It's not like any of us ever mention where we're from unless we're asked. I don't go around saying, hello, I'm Luis Hernandez and I'm from Puerto Rico. And until recently, the last few years or so, I haven't much thought about my origins. That's because I was raised in the mainland United States, in Florida. If anything, I consider myself more American than Puerto Rican.

You may be asking, wait, aren't Puerto Ricans Americans? Well, we're U.S. citizens. But, do they, I mean we, consider themselves, again I mean ourselves, Americans?

Joan-Ellen Deck

For the rest of this year, we're bringing you holiday scenes from South Florida homes during the holidays. The snippets of international culture are little homages to our hometowns' diverse ways of celebrating the end of another year and all the holidays that heralds.

As I write this, there are just two shopping days left before Christmas. That is plenty of time to grab armfuls of Publix-brand eggnog, if that happens to be the tradition in your house.

The Book Concierge is back and all new for 2015! Explore more than 260 standout titles picked by NPR staff and critics.

Open the app now!

Copyright 2016 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

Kenya Downs / For WLRN

The island nation of Trinidad and Tobago boasts one of the world's largest carnivals. Dating back to 1783, the pre-Lenten celebration blends French, African and Indian cultures, all leading up to two days of masquerading, also called “playing mas.”

And unlike its South American counterpart in Brazil, anyone can take to the streets in a glitzy, colorful costume, dancing through Port of Spain to the sounds of sweet soca music.

State Archives of Florida

What does Cyrus Teed have in common with people like Marjorie Rawlings, Ernest Hemingway, Henry Flagler and Juan Ponce de Leon? 

He was not from Florida. But he came to Florida, like the names listed above, and left an indelible mark on the state's history. 

The first thing you should know about Teed is that he was likely a lunatic. Or so thought many of the people who challenged him in the 19th and early 20th century. And by challenging, I mean people who wanted to fight, sue or even kill Teed.

James Profetto / WLRN

  Pompano Beach has a new cultural center, in a home that has had roots in the city since the 1920s.

The Ali house was once a welcoming place to many African-American performers and musicians during segregation.

Laura Rawlings, daughter of the late Florence and Frank Ali, mentioned times when her mother’s room would be occupied by Ella Fitzgerald or Louis Armstrong.

“It just brings back memories of my mom and how I used to be sneaking in here — her room,” says Rawlings.

The future is, literally, now, at least in the Back to the Future universe: Oct. 21, 2015.

The sequel of the 1985 classic has time-traveling Marty McFly ogling at all kinds of cool things that the creators imagined we'd have by now.

Adiós, Sábado Gigante. Yours, South Florida.

Sep 18, 2015
Chabeli Herrera (illustration)

By the time Don Francisco holds his final on-air singing contest this last Sábado Gigante, on Sept. 19, many a Spanish-speaking household in the U.S. -- and most of Latin America -- will have at some point noted the longevity of his show.

Generations of Latinos have laughed and cried with Mario Kreutzberger in character as host of the 53-year-old variety show.

Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year, begins at sunset Sunday night, and in symbolic hope for a sweet year to come, many American Jews will eat a slice of honey cake. But while honey cake is sentimental, it's not always beloved.

Marcy Goldman is the author of several baking books, including one on Jewish baking, and she's heard all the complaints: Honey cake is too dense, too dry and too heavily spiced.

Courtesy / Fringe Projects Miami

When Emile Milgrim left Miami for Oregon in 2003, she recalls a different kind of city.

“There weren’t a lot of people living in downtown Miami, Midtown, Little Haiti, North Miami, MiMo, whatever you want to call that stuff,” she says. “And then now there are, so it looks and sounds different.”

Take the single word – sacrifice – and turn it into a three-dimensional sculpture that represents veterans, military service members and first responders like police and firefighters.

It’s a tall order. But a challenge that more than 50 Polk County high school art students took on for this year’s Platform Art competition. 

This is the second year of the three-year Platform Art project. The prize, besides bragging rights, is having the top sculpture each year, produced and permanently placed in the Lakeland's Veterans’ Memorial Park.

If you want to get a sense of how complex racial identity is in Brazil, you should meet sisters Francine and Fernanda Gravina. Both have the same mother and father. Francine, 28, is blond with green eyes and white skin. She wouldn't look out of place in Iceland. But Fernanda, 23, has milk chocolate skin with coffee colored eyes and hair. Francine describes herself as white, whereas Fernanda says she's morena, or brown-skinned.

Courtesy

The Miami Book Fair International has announced some of the names in its lineup of authors. 

Punk poet Patti Smith will kick off the fair’s 32nd edition, which runs from Nov. 15-22 at Miami Dade College’s Wolfson Campus. Smith will discuss her latest memoir “M Train” on Nov. 15 in MDC’s Chapman Conference Center.

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