North Dade

Making Little Haiti, Miami’s Next Big Tourism Destination

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–For a group of young Haitian-Americans, Little Haiti is poised to become Miami’s next big tourist destination. 

-Each Saturday, Jean Cidelca leads dozens of people on a tap-tap bus tour around the area. 

-It’s the first of its kind in Little Haiti. 

-The tour takes visitors to historical landmarks including to the monument to Haitian Revolutionary leader Toussaint L’ouverture.

-L’Ouverture is a sort of George Washington figure to Haitians. He helped lead the slave revolt that resulted in the overthrow of French rule in 1804. 

-The bus also stops to let guests take pictures of street art produced by Haitians including Miami’s graffiti godfather Serge Toussaint.

-One of the more “wild” parts of the tour is when it stops at Earth N’ Us farms. It’s literally a hippie’s dream from the 1970s. 

-Complete with a three story tall treehouse, Earth N’ Us is a commune of sorts right in the heart of Little Haiti. 

-And there’s plenty of animals to check out while you’re there too. 

Cidelca’s tour is in partnership with the Little Haiti Cultural Complex, the centerpiece of goings-on in the neighborhood. 

-They tried to get some of the big tour bus companies to start coming to Little Haiti, but they didn’t get any takers. 

-But now, there’s a cool way to see the area with local eyes. 

IF YOU GO: 

WHEN: Every Saturday
TIME: 10am & 1pm & 3pm
DURATION: 75 Minutes
MEETING POINT: Caribbean Marketplace | 5925 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami, FL, 33137
PRICE: $10

Reserve tickets: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/little-haiti-bus-tours-tickets-49520491122?aff=ebdssbdestsearch

Call: 205-649-0787 For More Information (Not a typo- the area code is 205)

Private Bus Tours Available Upon Request.

 

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Meet The Three Frenchmen Who Are Taking Over Miami’s Culinary Scene

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Beloved Captain Jim’s Was Just Reopened By A Member Of Miami’s Seafood Royal Family

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Captain Jim’s has finally reopened after being closed for nearly a year.

The beloved restaurant and fish market has been delivering some of the best fresh seafood in South Florida since 1996. 

It was bought earlier this year by David Garcia. 

David is best known for running La Camaronera in Little Havana. He is from the famed Garcia family. 

-The family has a long history of fishing and being in the seafood business. They run Garcia’s, an historic seafood joint located on the Miami River. 

-David decided to keep Captain Jim’s name because of the near constant phone calls that he says he receives from old customers. 

-“Hopefully I meet everybody’s expectations,” David said in an interview. “I hope to be able to provide customers with fresh seafood and good service- make everybody happy and be a true, local, family restaurant.” 

IF YOU GO: 

Captain Jim’s

12950 W Dixie Hwy, North Miami, FL 33161

Monday to Thursday from 11:30 AM to 9 PM, Friday and Saturday from 11:30 AM to 10 PM, Sunday from 11:30 AM to 8 PM

(305) 892-2812

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

Meet The Three Frenchmen Who Are Taking Over Miami’s Culinary Scene

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Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to editor@risenews.net.

Inside Miami’s Only Rastafarian Church

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–Priest Douggie Smith and his team at the First Rastafari Church and Cultural Center of Florida are doing something unique. 

They are trying to get local Rastafari out of the shadows and into the center of the larger community. 

-Priest Douggie: “We didn’t create a space for Rastafari alone we created a space for the community so Rastafari and the community can interact together and build our community in a positive way.” 

-Priest Douggie’s message and style has attracted some interesting non Rastafari people to his new center for cultural events.

According to Priest Douggie, there is a large Rastafari community in South Florida, but they are scattered around the region. 

From 1993 to 2007, there was a Rastafari church in Miami but it was forced to close during the recession. 

-From that time to the opening of the new center, local Rastafari had to meet at homes and in parks to worship with each other.

 

Meet The Three Frenchmen Who Are Taking Over Miami’s Culinary Scene

What’s News In This Story?


 

–All the rage in North Miami is Cafe Creme, a French restaurant that serves breakfast, lunch and dinner. It’s the kind of place that you wouldn’t dream to find in this working class Miami suburb a few years ago.

-Cafe Creme co-founder Cory Finot and his partner Claude Postel were lured to North Miami by some grant money from the city’s community redevelopment agency.

-While additional future locations for Cafe Creme are in development, the three Frenchmen have embarked on another ambitious venture. 

-In mid 2018, they opened Sixty10, an old school place that serves classic French chicken dishes in a unpretentious way. 

-Claude owns the land it sits on in the heart of Little Haiti and the Frenchmen are betting that it becomes the Wynwood Walls of the neighborhood as it continues to experience gentrification. 

-If you think that sounds like a pipe dream, don’t be so hasty. Cory was mentored by the man who put Wynwood on the map, the late Miami developer Tony Goldman. 

 **IF YOU GO: 

Cafe Creme, North Miami- 750 NE 125th St, North Miami, FL 33161

Cafe Creme, Buena Vista- 5010 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, Fl 33137

Sixty10- 6010 NE 2nd Ave, Miami, FL 33137

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

Newly Reopened To The Public, Miami’s Iconic Freedom Tower Has Positioned Itself As An Ideas Hub

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Newly Reopened To The Public, Miami’s Iconic Freedom Tower Has Positioned Itself As An Ideas Hub

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–The Freedom Tower (600, Biscayne Boulevard) is Miami’s most historic landmark.

-Known as the Ellis Island of the South, the tower recently reopened to the public with a slew of new features.

-And with the changes, the facility is poised to be a center of action for those who want to move the Magic City forward.

–The additions to the museum include the Kislak Center- a 2,600 square foot space that includes books, manuscripts, maps, and other artifacts from both before and after Christopher Columbus’ journey to the new world. 

The museum also features the Cuban Legacy Gallery, a space that looks at the impact of Cuban’s to South Florida’s history. 

–The museum is trying to position itself as a place where Miami can come to learn about its past while also brainstorming ideas for its future. 

The museum also features the Cuban Legacy Gallery, a space that looks at the impact of Cuban’s to South Florida’s history. 

–Opened in 1926 as the original home for The Miami News, the tower became iconic after it was pressed into service as the processing center for Cuban refugees who were fleeing the rise of the Castro regime.

The building has been owned by Miami-Dade College since 2005 and in recent years the offices for the Miami Film Festival and the Miami Book Fair were moved into the tower. The building was previously owned by a number of private owners, including the Mas family, who donated it to MDC. 

 

**IF YOU GO: Open 1-6 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays; and 1-8 p.m. Saturdays.

The Museum of Art and Design at Miami Dade College- Freedom Tower (600, Biscayne Boulevard, Miami, 33132)

Admission: $12 general, $8 senior and military, $5 students, children under 12 enter free. MDC students, faculty and staff enter free. Ticketed events vary in price.

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

The TV Weatherman Who Is Trying To Save Miami From Drowning

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Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to editor@risenews.net.

Miami Vignette: The Coconut Capitalist

Miami Vignettes are very short stories about interesting aspects of life in South Florida that RISE NEWS finds in the community while reporting on other things. Sometimes little stories can have a big impact. Share yours with us: editor@risenews.net. Also be sure to sign up for our newsletter so you never miss our most important Miami stories.  

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COCONUT CAPITALISM – Isidro Carrazana is an 80 year old man who works 7 days a week cutting down coconuts from people’s properties with a 30 foot pole around the Miami area.

For the record, yes he does ask for permission first from the homeowner.

He is from Cuba and moved to South Florida 27 years ago.

He lives near North Shore Hospital and sells his coconuts to various vendors around town.

He told us that he makes $50 to $75 a day.

The work certainly hasn’t made him rich, but it has allowed him to pursue the American dream.

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

The TV Weatherman Who Is Trying To Save Miami From Drowning

RISE NEWS is South Florida’s digital TV news network. Sign up for our awesome email newsletter to make sure you never miss a story!

Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it to editor@risenews.net.

On Father’s Day This Group Made Miami’s Homeless Dads Smile

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–Valencia Gunder and her non-profit organization Make The Homeless Smile made a special effort for Miami’s homeless dad’s on Father’s Day

–Gunder, who spent nearly a month homeless in 2009, started the organization in 2014 to give back. 

–Gunder said that she knows that Father’s Day can be sad for dads who live on the streets because many of them aren’t in touch with their children. 

–25 volunteers spent a few hours feeding over 100 people under the shadow of the Freedom Tower in downtown Miami. 

–An organization from Tallahassee called Coach’s Closet brought sneakers to give to the homeless and a barber was on hand to give out free haircuts. 

–Gunder and her group do this every third Sunday of the month at the same spot on NE 1st Ave and 6th St. 

 

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

La Gringa For Miami: How A Special Election Is Changing Politics In South Florida

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Haitian Radio Host Called A Race Baiter By NoMi Councilman, After Controversial Rant The City May Have Paid For

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–North Miami Councilman Scott Galvin called popular Haitian radio host Rotschill Anderson a race baiter after the media personality went on a controversial on-air racial rant. 

-Galvin claims that the city has paid Anderson in the past to allow North Miami staff to promote the city on air. Galvin also said that it was his understanding that the city had paid for a May 1 appearance by Assistant City Manager Arthur H. Sorey III.

-Sorey was on the show to encourage residents to vote for a $120 million bond measure. But he also sat through a rant from Anderson that some found to be racist.

-Anderson strongly supported the bond and asked his listeners to vote for it because he felt it would improve the city’s heavily Haitian western section. 

-But it was the language that Anderson used that has gotten attention: “The big white guy, the big jewish guy- they are going to come into your community, says that your community is ugly and its nasty… gentrification will kick in.” 

-A quick public records search finds that North Miami has paid Anderson’s radio station at least $1,800 so far in 2018 for “public relations.” 

-But city manager Larry Spring told RISE NEWS that Galvin is wrong and that the city did not pay Anderson for the May 1 show.

-The city council has temporally suspended all payments to media outlets until they can craft a new policy to prevent a future incident. 

——Here’s Something Completely Different: ——

There’s A Secret Buddhist Temple In This El Portal House

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Little Haiti Gentrification War: Business Owners Cry Racism As New Landlord Allegedly Forces Out Haitians

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–A developer is forcing out Haitian owned businesses from two commercial strips that he recently bought near the intersection of NE 2nd Ave and 82 St in Miami.

–The developer, Thomas Conway has been accused of unfairly targeting Haitians and treating non-Haitians better. 

–Most of the businesses are on month-to-month leases and Florida law allows for landlords to end those type leases with 15 days notices.

–Some of the businesses have been open for decades, including a Haitian owned tuxedo store that has been in operation for 32 years. 

-Chronic road construction has also caused severe hardships for the businesses. One barbershop says that they have lost 60% of their customers over the last year due to the construction. 

–Haitian community activists are calling for public officials to intervene and provide support to the affected businesses. 


Little Haiti is about to get a whole lot whiter.

That’s if you believe dozens of Little Haiti business owners and community activists who are claiming that a real estate developer is forcing Haitians out of two commercial strips in a fast gentrifying area of Miami, while giving white owners better treatment.

The business strips are on the East and West side of NE 2nd Ave near the 82nd St intersection.

The buildings were recently purchased by Thomas Conway, a young real estate entrepreneur who has been active in the northern section of Little Haiti.

The buildings are full of dozens of business, ranging from a travel agency, to a bakery and a Metro PCS.

Most of the businesses are run by Haitians.

Over the past two months, local shop owners say that Conway has been trying to force them out.

Multiple owners claim that Conway has refused to accept their rent checks so he can get rid of them and court records obtained by the Miami Herald show that the new landlord has already started eviction proceedings on 13 of the 15 businesses at 8200 NE Second Ave. and 201 NE 82nd St.

Most of the businesses are on month to month leases and Florida law allows for landlords to end leases with only 15 days notice.

The situation has become so untenable that many of the business owners called a press conference on Thursday with the Haitian rights group Family Action Network Movement (FANM).

To add to to their misery, an ongoing construction project has ripped up parts of NE 2nd Ave for nearly a year and dramatically hurt business in the area.

The iconic Miami restaurant, Football Sandwich Shop has been closed for multiple months due to the same construction.

Marleine Bastien, the leader of FANM said that many business owners were angry that local authorities have not offered financial assistance to their struggling businesses.

“Some of them wonder, is this a way to get them out?,” Bastien asked during the press conference. “Because usually when businesses are impacted, they get some type of relief. But not these Haitian businesses.”

Bastien also said that Haitian businesses are facing discrimination because they were the only ones asked to leave by Conway.

Ramon Alvarez owns a barbershop on the strip of the westside of NE 2nd Ave.

Alvarez said that Conway lied to his face about what his intentions were about the future of the building and that the decision to force out his barbershop was racially motivated because of the Haitian staff he has.

“They see this as a black business,” Alvarez told RISE NEWS. “Everybody out. I don’t know, it’s scary.”

Alvarez said that Conway seemed very reasonable when the new landlord first approached him a few months ago after buying the property.

Alvarez said that Conway told him the plan was to fix up the building and put on a new roof.

Alvarez also said that Conway told him that the rent would gradually go up from the current $1,400 a month to $3,500 a month.

Alvarez said that he was ok with this new arrangement.

“I can manage it and If I can’t afford it one day I’m going to say, ‘Mr. Thomas, I got to go.'”

But Alvarez said that Conway changed his tune and even refused to accept a rent check.

Now, Alvarez said that he’s been told he is going to be evicted.

He’s not the only one.

“I’ve been eight years here,” Pierre Richard Maximillien, the owner of a travel agency said.  “The guy next door to me who sells tuxedos and marriage dresses has been there 32 years. It’s a lifetime.”

A few doors down from Alvarez’s barber shop, Lucia Garcia runs The Furtnitue Store.

Garcia attended the press conference in support of the Haitian owners and said that she felt like Conway was treating her business differently than the others.

Garcia is Hispanic.

“We have not received any threats,” Garcia told RISE NEWS. “We have not received any eviction notices. We have been given until June to leave, supposedly due to construction. But we have received very different treatment.”

Lina Hargrett, the owner of the Empty Apartment said that she just recently signed a year lease to stay in the same building where Alvarez and Garcia have their businesses.

Hargrett said that she had not been asked to leave the building and seemed unaware of the controversy that was swirling.

Hargrett has a light complexion.

Hargrett’s store and the Metro PCS are the only two businesses that seem unaffected by the moves.

Both have two year leases.

Conway refused to speak to a reporter from RISE NEWS when reached via phone on Thursday, and hung up.

“Unfortunately, I can’t take this call at the moment,” Conway said before hanging up. “I appreciate it.”

In 2015, Conway opened MADE At The Citadel, a well-known co-working space on NE 2nd Ave and 83rd St.

It was reported in 2017 that he intends to turn the building across the street from MADE At The Citadel into a food hall.

A rendering for that building, which is called The Citadel, is available online.

The Citadel used to house the Federal Reserve in Miami and got its name from, wait for it, an historic fort in Haiti.

Gary Louis has worked as a barber for over 15 years at the shop that Alvarez now owns.

He has to pay to keep his chair there and has stayed despite losing 60% of his business due to the road construction.

Louis said that he’s stayed because he was excited about the changes in the neighborhood and thought that he would prosper from them.

“The city hasn’t done anything for the Haitian community at all,” Louis said. “So now, something is brought to life where we’ve seen the city has finally taken care of the community. But now as I’m seeing it, it’s not being cleaned up for primarily the Haitian community. It’s just mainly for a new form of business that does not include the Haitian community at all.”

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There’s A Secret Buddhist Temple In This El Portal House

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Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

Meet Miami’s Hip Hop Ice Cream Shop

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–Mr Kream Wynwood has a pretty unique vibe for an ice cream place. Run by a group of Miami DJs, the shop is the perfect place for those with a serious sweet tooth and an ear for rap.

-The shop is just over a year old and has become very popular.

-Ice cream flavors are named after famous rap stars. An example?: 2 Live Blue.

-The stated goal is to give people a great desert while also teaching them about hip hop culture and history. 

 

Watch Another Story: Meet Miami’s Queen Bee And Her Backyard Insect Revolution

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Have a news tip about this topic or something completely different? Send it on in to editor@risenews.net.

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