culture

Latin America
5:22 pm
Fri October 31, 2014

Newsflash: Honduras Is Not A Completely Terrible Place

Valle de Angeles, a town outside Hondura's capital, is a quaint tourist haven nestled in green mountains.
Credit Maria Murriel / WLRN

I admit I was scared the first time I went to Honduras, which was just last month. All I really knew of the place, aside from a little about the food, were this year's painful stories of Honduran children escaping to the United States because crippling poverty and gang violence have made their country the world's deadliest.

But my good friend was getting married, and I'd found a cheap plane ticket.

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Halloween
6:11 pm
Thu October 30, 2014

A History Of The Biltmore, Miami's Best Known Creepy Hotel

Looking east over the golf course at the Miami Biltmore Hotel.
State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory, http://floridamemory.com/items/show/24482

The Biltmore Hotel in Coral Gables wasn't always a hotel. 

It was built in 1926 by a young developer named George Merrick, who's known as the founder of Coral Gables. 

The hotel became a place to host glamorous fashion shows, galas, golf tournaments and water shows in what was then the largest pool in the world.

At a loud party on the 13th floor of the hotel, a gangster named Thomas "Fatty" Walsh was shot and killed by another gangster. That murder yielded a lot of ghost rumors over the years.

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Miami History
4:18 am
Thu October 30, 2014

Saying Goodbye To Tobacco Road, Miami's Oldest Liquor License

The iconic neon sign above the entrance reads, "Tobacco Road Liquor Bar 'til 5 AM"
Credit Michael Scott Sheerin

This past Saturday, close to 4,000 people flocked to Tobacco Road, the bar and restaurant with the oldest liquor license in Miami. The venue hosted its "Last Call" party, closing its doors after 102 years. 

A line formed outside of the front door. You had to get your ID past Eugene Remy, bouncer there for the last 22 years, who calls this place his "house."

Standing in line the view was a glowing neon sign above the entrance that read, "Tobacco Road Liquor Bar 'Til 5 A.M."

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Arts
6:23 pm
Wed October 29, 2014

Chris Brown Paints Mural For Overtown Children

Entertainer Chris Brown and local visual artist Ron Bass unveiled Monday a mural near the entrance of Overtown's House of Wings restaurant.
Credit Pattrik Simmons

Singer Chris Brown and local artist Ron Bass have collaborated on a mural painted in Overtown on the wall of a restaurant called House of Wings.

It was unveiled Monday -- thanks to the help of Headliner Market Group -- to a crowd of schoolchildren eager to meet Brown, said Nikki Williams, the restaurant owner's sister. City of Miami Commissioner Keon Hardemon was also in attendance.

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Culture
3:10 pm
Thu October 23, 2014

Broward College Arts Program Seeks Audience Of "Artivists"

BSOCA Cultural Director Lamar Lovelace, left, working with performance artist Roberto 'Simply Rob' Vassilarakis.
Credit Christine DiMattei / WLRN

Until about 18 months ago, the auditorium at Broward College’s Pembroke Pines campus was largely unused.

“They’ve done graduations for kindergarten through fifth grade,” laughs Lamar Lovelace, director of the Broward College South Campus Office of Cultural Affairs. “A few film festivals here and there, but no concerted effort to program around arts and culture.”

But now, the 352-seat theater has been re-branded as BSOCA. And Lovelace is hoping its audiences get fired up enough to change the world. 

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#LastCall
12:23 am
Thu October 23, 2014

Tobacco Road Announces New Location

Tobacco Road's outdoor bar.
Credit Jessica Meszaros / WLRN

Tobacco Road, the bar with the oldest liquor license in Miami, is closing this week after 102 years of live music, food and drinks.

But don’t despair just yet -- at a press conference Thursday, representatives of the company announced a new location is in the works.

Patrick Gleber is the president of Tobacco Road. He’s been with the company for 32 years. He says five years ago, developers approached him offering to buy the property.

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Southern Seasons
6:29 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Five Reasons To Love Fall In South Florida

Art Festival in Coconut Grove courtesy of Bob B. Brown
Credit Flickr Creative Commons

Leaves change colors up north but for South Floridians, fall is full of other colorful treats to relish.

1. Sauna time switches to indoor venues as humidity and temperatures fall out of the summer stratosphere. This means the full outdoor scene revs up with fall festivals and art shows, boating, biking and other activities.

Plus, the end of both election and hurricane season is fast approaching. Soon, those omnipresent campaign ads and ominous circulation patterns will fall off our radar.

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Locals And Visitors
5:56 pm
Wed October 22, 2014

Is Key West's Fantasy Fest Too Raunchy?

Michael Blades and his wife Kathy Kilroy used to work on elaborate floats for Fantasy Fest's big parade. Now they're putting their efforts into newer events that are not part of the official festival roster, like the Zombie Bike Ride.
Credit Nancy Klingener / WLRN

Fantasy Fest started 35 years ago as a way to bring visitors to Key West during what had been the slowest time of the year. But locals have always been a big part of it -- the 10 days of street fairs and costume parties, and the culminating parade, for which 60,000 crowd the island's downtown.

"I was on a float for, like, 19 straight years," says Key Wester Michael Blades. He and his friends built elaborate parade entries and won the grand prize three times. But they're not entering this year.

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Arts
6:35 pm
Mon October 20, 2014

North Miami's MOCA Museum Reintroduces Itself

A view of the Third Space: Inventing the Possible exhibit at the Museum of Contemporary Art in North Miami. The exhibit is the first for the museum while under the direction of Babacar M’Bow.
Credit Daniel Bock / Miami Herald

North Miami’s Museum of Contemporary Art is recognized internationally in the art world.

It’s been called the “jewel of the city” and the anchor for a growing downtown district.

But during the past year, legal disputes and fighting between former board members and the city have left some questions about the future of the museum.

MOCA is embroiled in a public battle over who owns the 600-piece permanent art collection.

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Culture
9:18 am
Wed October 15, 2014

Get To Know The Finalists For The 2014 National Book Award

NPR

Originally published on Wed November 19, 2014 5:57 pm

The National Book Awards shortlists — for fiction, nonfiction, poetry and young people's literature — were announced October 15 on Morning Edition by Mitchell Kaplan, co-founder of Miami Book Fair International and former president of the American Booksellers Association. On November 18, finalists for the National Book Awards read from their nominated works at The New School in New York City. The National Book Foundation will announce the winners Wednesday night. Read more about each of the finalists — and hear the authors read from their works — below.

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Music
4:12 pm
Thu October 9, 2014

III Points Festival In Wynwood Offers Ultra Relief, But Similar Artists

Credit Laura (of Miami) / Courtesy

A massive cloud of dark beats, nu disco and experimental, indie electronica is poised over Miami's Wynwood neighborhood this week.

Come Friday night, the bass will start thundering down, first with simultaneous 7 p.m. sets by locals JPort, Gooddroid and DJ Laura (of Miami).

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News
11:13 am
Tue October 7, 2014

'Blood Moon' Eclipse To Be Visible Throughout U.S.

A "blood moon" captured on the night of Jan. 20, 2000.
Fred Espenak NASA

Originally published on Tue October 7, 2014 12:59 pm

If you missed the total eclipse of the moon in April, you might have another chance: On Wednesday morning, the second of four lunar eclipses this year and next will occur.

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Culture
5:09 pm
Fri October 3, 2014

PAMM Hosts Miami Broward Carnival Kick-Off Where It All Started

Credit Diego Saldana-Rojas / WLRN

On a rainy and humid afternoon, a steel drum band played on the outer terrace of the Perez Art Museum Miami. The distinct Caribbean sounds celebrated the launching of the 30th Miami Broward Carnival.

South Florida's version of Carnival takes place in October, whereas Brazil and the Caribbean celebrate in February and March.

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Film
5:57 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Latin American Icon Simon Bolivar Gets Biopic Treatment In 'Liberator'

Unlike actor Edgar Ramirez, the real Simon Bolivar was a physically slight man.
Courtesy of Cohen Media Group

Originally published on Fri October 3, 2014 1:09 pm

The new film The Liberator is an attempt to bring the epic story of Simon Bolivar, the George Washington of Latin America, to international audiences. Directed by Venezuelan filmmaker Alberto Arvelo, it's one of the most expensive Latin American productions to date and features epic battle scenes, rousing speeches and stunning landscapes in the spirit of historical epics like Braveheart.

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Arts
5:46 pm
Thu October 2, 2014

Norton Museum Plays Up A History Of Toys

A look through Barbie commercials over the decades.
Credit Norton Museum Wheels and Heels Exhibit

The Norton Museum owns masterpieces from Picasso to Jackson Pollock to Paul Gauguin. But throughout October the Norton will also exhibit works by many unknown artists.

Although these artists may forever remain nameless, their works won't. The Norton will exhibit toys like Barbie, Hot Wheels and Matchbox cars.

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