Wednesday, January 28, 2009

R.I.P Adam

Many of you have heard of the sudden death of known talented Miami musician Adam Hernandez.
Adam was an incredible musician and a great partier. Handsome and nice, you will be missed in Miami by artist, musicians, writers and party companions. We are sadden by this and will remember you for your talent and spirit.
The Miami New Times Writes:
"Adam "Atom Xmas" Hernandez of Miami's
Dyslexic Postcards passed away sometime this past Saturday, January 24. Hernandez was a fixture in the Miami music scene for the past several years, frequently collaborating with his brother Josh. At the time of his death, he was developing a new music project called Atomic Xmas, and most recently had been bartending at the Vagabond. Hernandez was 26 years old. A memorial service is being planned by his family; the details are forthcoming."

VIP at the BMC and Heidegger

I must have had like eight glasses of wine. But, I wasn’t driving so it was all good. I really didn’t even know who was going to take me home, since the new location for The Black Mangrove Collective is so close to my house that I could really walk back if it comes to that. Although, I would rather wait until I buy the pepper spray to walk so late in Wynwood. The truth is that nothing has ever happened to me and I walk more than the average Miamian does in his neighborhood. Except for the occasional story of a tourist getting robbed, or a car window getting smashed for a radio, Wynwood is not as bad as some ignorant people of the area put it.The actual Collective has not been yet open to the public and there will be an official opening, but some of us were invited to the secret VIP party, the first one in this location. Although, it still needs a lot of work, Pat has already a sweet place. High ceilings, some gigantic art work and an abandoned blue convertible in the back. Feb. 8 will be the first official event, so keep in touch.

The “Wine and Cheese Party,” they couldn’t find a more elitist intellectual cliché name, was in honor of Yaniv, a great friend and party soldier who I met through philosophy at FIU. He is gone to New York to intern in communications and we’ll drink for him on Saturday. “I thought it was New Yorkers who were coming to Miami,” I told him. Things are not too great there, nor here, I guess. But, at least here it is not freezing, we don’t have hundreds of Wall Street people on the streets looking for jobs and there are Cuban pastelitos.

Saw J.D. and Robert Samuels, and laughed a lot with both of them. Then had more wine and talked about the play I went to see earlier that day at NOVA’s theater.

“A Report on The Banality of Love” by my former FIU Journalism Professor Mario Diament, a great playwright who has won a couple of Carbonells to mention the least. We were particularly interested in this play because it was about the love affair between Martin Heidegger and Hannah Ardent, and we consider ourselves to be some type of Heidegger groupies.

It was a bit shocking for me to see Heidegger being loving and passionate and caring and playing around in bed with a naked woman, I said to Diament during the post-play discussion: I have read Heidegger’s work but never his correspondence, and the truth is that I had never even thought of wondering how Heidegger was as a person. How did you get to create his personality?
“It is easy because brilliant people always behave stupidly in bed,” Diament said.

I told the anecdote at the party to those who know about Heidegger. Philosophical souls such as Rudo, who graduated from New College in Philosophy. He took me home with Alex who is looking as beautiful as ever. Love makes you pretty.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Where is La Saguesera?

So, I began having this heated discussion with my father about what exactly constitutes geographically the famous Saguecera.

For those lucky ignorant souls who do not know La Saguesera, it is the name given to the area South of Flagler (including Flagler) and West of, more or less, La Le Jeune, and ending in about Miller, because after that it becomes Kendall, and that is another story. At least that is my take. My father went on insisting that la Saguesera is simply the South West of Miami. I even went online to research the meaning and actually it is defined by the urban dictionary as:

1. saguesera Cuban slang for an area in Miami going from Little Havana all down the famous Calle Ocho(8th street)and into the southwest area of Miami Dade county. Populated mainly by Cubans as well as other Hispanic groups. e.g. I used to live in La Saguesera when I was a kid.
So even though, La Saguesera is really a geographic terminology—it derives from South West--Southwestcera—Saguecera—it means a lot more than that. Homestead, for example, is in the South West of Miami and I think anyone who knows Miami can agree that Homestead is not part of La Saguesera.

You know when you find yourself in La Saguecera. It definitely starts on Flagler. Get off on the Palmetto exit and drive through its traffic-over-saturated streets: where traffic signs have no meaning, and you can buy flowers and churros and mamoncillos at the light.

Turn on 107th and then really get to know traffic. Try to make it up to Calle Ocho and see how long it takes you or how many Cuban Cafeterias or strip mall you can count. Pass by Bird Road's Reys Pizza and have a traditional Banana-onion Pizza (this is actually excellent) and drive out of there aggressively or not drive at all.

I was surprised when I found Time Magazine referring to La Saguesera as the area of Little Havana only. The truth is that Little Havana is not even that much to the West, which is why I had never even considered it part of La Saguesera. Little Havana is one thing: smaller, there aren’t a million strip malls and it is pretty and cultural. La Saguesera is the chaos, where people get lost, where you don’t want to drive to. My friend Jeremy says Flagler puts a limit to where he can have friends. Once they cross the line to the West, they are lost in La Saguesera forever.
*Map provided by Webmistress Barbie

Friday, January 9, 2009

Just Got Back and Already Busy

So, if there is one thing us Miamians do is get out of the city every time there is a break.

During Christmas break the streets get filled with Russians, Italians, Venezuelans and other annoying tourists of the sort and so we get the hell out of here.

Plus, most of us Miamians come from other places and so therefore have other places to go to and visit family, friends and others one is supposed to see on Christmas.

So, I went to my native Venezuela for two weeks and spend one week in beautiful but Chavezly-destroyed Caracas and one week in the inspiring Island of Margarita.

Being in an Island for New Year's is a good Omen, I told my sister Yolanda, and really other than my encounter with the Fourth World at the ferry, comprised of huge malandros skipping the line, pushing old ladies and kids, riding on a ferry that is to say the least 50 years old in which every seat was dirtier than the last one and getting to the island at 6 a.m with the Venezuelan Hymn playing in the taxi because the ferry was 5 hours late, everything else inside the island was pretty awesome.

For the rest, I have to humbly admit that you should be very jealous of my week in this Caribbean island. The experience was not only filled with breathtaking beaches, mountains, lakes and little villages, but mostly it was filled with Delicious Food. Fried fish by the sea, after which we took a night deep, octopus, arepas, empanadas, the freshest oysters in the world brought to our tent in a bucket and almost given to us in the mouth, tostones, calamaris, shrimp, avocados, morcilla, pernil, chorizo and so much more.

Since Chavez has reduced the number of direct flights from and to the enemy U.S. on the way back, even though is less than 3 hours to get there on a direct flight, it took me the whole day to get back to my tropical paradise, which has the difference that in it I have to work and go to school. On the way back, I stopped at Puerto Rico and it brought me memories of a passed trip to this another beautiful island.

So, now I am back to my reality, but there is nothing to fear because I have already been pretty busy. After I had a day off in which I slept most of the day, ate at Andiamo and went to sleep again, on Wednesday I passed by The News Lounge (ok, can I get out of that radius) for the night that my friend Pat Walsh has been doing for a while now.

Jose El Rey was playing and that could only mean one thing: Fun.

And, it was. While i was catching up with my friend Jeremy, who did stay in Miami for good, and received the New Year with a kiss at the Forge, where they serve champagne and breakfast, I saw everybody, everybody there. Good crowd Pat.
There was reporter J.D. Kaleem, who I hadn't seen in so long i was starting to get worried, when he lived far in The Roads I saw him more than now that he is in the District with Robert Samuels. I also saw singer Oly, who invited me to an all-girls sewing party at her house. I couldn't make it but wish I had, my sewing machine has been bored on top of a desk for too long, and of course saw my crowd of intellectual activists, some from FIU some from other schools.

Thursday I passed by Katana Restaurant, which can actually get more full than what it already was. The restaurant of my childhood, since I grew up on 71st-little Buenos Aires, has won the Best of Miami New Times last year and has become more famous than what it can accommodate. They are not accepting reservation and once you get seated you have to look at all these people standing around the small place waiting for you to finish and fighting for who got there first. It was delicious as always anyway and they had some new rolls like the mango chutney one.

Today Friday the plan is Vagabond, although this is usually a Saturday's plan is Pati's bday and we shall celebrate it as she deserves it, with excesses.

See ya there fellow Miamians.