culture

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.

Nadege Green / WLRN

With a series of twists, turns and tucks, Yasmine Abellard transforms a rectangular piece of African fabric into a pompadour-like wrap atop her head.

She pairs the black and white patterned wrap with a simple black dress.

“It makes me feel bold, fearless, fierce,” she said.

Abellard started wearing African-inspired headwraps more than 10 years ago. She said when she would travel to Haiti where she has family, some of the women disapproved of her wraps.

Classic Video Game Characters Are Taking Over Miami

Jul 21, 2015
Michael Loretta / shop.mikebusiness.com

In the upcoming action-comedy "Pixels," classic video game characters such as Pac Man and Donkey Kong attempt to take over the world.

These 1980s characters also run amok in Michael Loretta’s digital art. He inserts two-dimensional figures from similar video game titles into high-resolution photos of Miami.

 

BEACH CRUISER

Mark Stein / WLRN

This week, the Society for Crypto-Judaic Studies hosts its 25th annual conference here in Miami. The society aims to study the history of Jewish communities persecuted during the Spanish Inquisition of the 14th and 15th centuries.

How Well Do You Know Ernest Hemingway?

Jul 20, 2015
Ernest Hemingway Collection. John F. Kennedy Presidential Library and Museum, Boston

Key West was home to many famous American writers, but the most well known is Ernest Hemingway.

More than 50 years after his death, hundreds flock to the writer's old hometown near the end of July for the annual Hemingway Days festival. It begins Tuesday, July 21, on the 116th anniversary of his birthday.

Alexander Gonzalez / WLRN

The artwork at Locust Projects Gallery in the Design District plays with Miami stereotypes.

A palm tree smelling of coconut oil rests on a hammock. In the corner, the static of a television set resembles the sound of waves crashing on the shore. Opposite that lie deconstructed items taken from a strip club.

Twenty high school students made these and other works as part of the sixth-annual summer program, Locust Art Builders or LAB. LAB allows young artists from Miami-Dade County to create their own exhibition, which opened July 11.

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