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Plus, Miami’s sports teams speak out and the COVID-19 curfew ends.
The New Tropic

🌊 Florida is fighting off a wastewater flood

Plus, Miami’s sports teams speak out and the COVID-19 curfew ends.

Welcome to Tuesday, Miami.

The week is now in full swing, and so too are the state’s vaccination efforts. As of yesterday, all Floridians aged 18 and older are now eligible to receive the COVID-19 vaccine, no strings or doctor’s notes attached. 💪 For folks in the 16 and 17 set, you’ll still need documentation and consent from a parent, and only the Pfizer vaccine is available.

But hey, still — really good news! Footage captured by NBC 6 South Florida showed folks lining up in droves to get their shot at Miami Dade College bright and early yesterday. It was a heartening sight to start the week on, and dare we say it, we’re hopeful about the future. 🙏 

Now, for some non-needle news…

💧 What Miami is talking about

Siri, play “Crockett’s Theme” by Jan Hammer. 😎 | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @studioei8htzero)

👀 Tampa may be some ways away from the 305, but the quality of our state’s waters ought to concern all Floridians. You may have heard over the weekend about a leak at Piney Point, an out-of-commission phosphate mine in Manatee County. Officials are concerned that the breach could cause millions of gallons of contaminated wastewater to flood into nearby homes, prompting Gov. Ron DeSantis to declare a state of emergency for Manatee, Hillsborough, and Pinellas counties. More than 300 nearby homes and businesses have been evacuated.

In order to stave off a complete breach and uncontrolled flooding, the Army Corps of Engineers is assisting state and local crews with pumping millions of gallons of wastewater into Tampa Bay. Needless to say this is also not ideal, since the influx of nutrients could cause algae blooms and harm the water’s wildlife. Tampa Bay Waterkeeper is keeping close eyes on the situation, and given Miamians’ own familiarity with threatened bodies of water, so should we.

In other news… 

🗣 The Miami Heat have joined the chorus of voices speaking out against a state bill that would ban transgender youth from participating in organized sports. A statement shared by a team spokesperson yesterday said “We believe sports are at their best when they bring people together to work, to play and to create a sense of belonging for all.” Florida’s controversial proposal is one of many similar bills currently winding through state legislatures across the country. Basketball legend and ex-Heat player Dwyane Wade, himself the father of a transgender daughter, recently shared a viral video of a Missouri dad speaking out against that state’s iteration of the bill. (Florida Politics / The Independent)

⚾️ Speaking of local sports and discriminatory legislation, Miami Marlins CEO Derek Jeter has commended the MLB’s decision to relocate this year’s all-star game out of Georgia. The move followed an outcry over our northern neighbors’ enactment of new voting restrictions and ban on distributing food and drinks at the polls. The Marlins happened to spearhead a local Feed the Polls initiative during November’s election. (WPLG Local 10)

🕑 Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava announced yesterday that the countywide curfew is ending next week. The rule was implemented in response to the pandemic and mandated that restaurants, bars, and other non-essential businesses had to shut down shop by midnight. Starting Monday, April 12, that will no longer be the case. (CBS Miami)

✏️ O, Miami beams Star Trek into the 305

Khhhaaaaaaaaan…. loves O, Miami and its celebration of the written word. 🤗 (🎨: Beatriz Monteavaro)

Since 2011, O, Miami has spent the month of April encouraging Miamians to get creative about their relationship to the written word. The annual celebration of all things poetry, literature, and language invites locals to rethink everything they thought they knew about writing. 

2021 may be a very different world from the one O, Miami emerged in, but the festival’s mission remains the same. Each Tuesday this April, The New Tropic will be spotlighting the programs, workshops, and creatives behind this year’s iteration. Today we’re sharing a Q-and-A with poet Emma Trelles and artist Beatriz Monteavaro. Their online workshop, the Star Trek-themed “For the Love of Khan: Poems for the Future,” takes place on Thursday, April 8, and invites participants to write poems in response to Monteavaro’s original illustrations inspired by the beloved sci-fi series.

What inspired the creation of “For the Love of Khan” for O, Miami 2021? How did it come about? Is there a particular purpose behind sharing such a specific idea with the community?

Emma Trelles: I’ve been working with Letras Latinas, the literary initiative of the Institute for Latino Studies at Notre Dame, for a decade, pretty much since my book Tropicalia won their Andrés Montoya Poetry Prize. Letras Latinas’ director Francisco Aragón saw that O, Miami was rolling out its 10th-year anniversary program, and he suggested I come up with a proposal for it. I loved the idea since I actually read at the inaugural festival and because, even though I live in California now, and I love it here, Miami will always be my hometown. I wanted to pitch something that would combine poetry and visual art, a cross-pollination I’ve been working with since my days as an art critic at the Sun-Sentinel. I’d been following Beatriz on Instagram, but I’ve admired her work for a long time — she has such a unique way of combining playfulness with intellect so that her work not only communicates emotion, it does so in a way that’s enticing. I reached out to her, and we brainstormed together and came up with the Khan workshop because of her super cool Star Trek illustrations (and also because we are both sci-fi nerds).

Beatriz Monteavaro: I started working on a series of Star Trek drawings at the beginning of the pandemic as a way to remind myself that humanity would get through this, and we would end up in the future. I shared them on social media as soon as I'd finished one, with the hopes of cheering other people up too. Emma saw these drawings on IG and hit me up about doing this project. I suggested I had started working on a Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan zine, and perhaps we could go in that direction. By sharing this meditation on Star Trek with the community, we hope to bring feelings of hopefulness, equity, fun, and the future.

How will this workshop work?

ET: We’re going to open up with a chat about why we’re inspired by sci-fi movies and shows, and we’re hoping that participants will share their own connections to them as well. Then we’ll do a quick creative writing prompt that places us in the world of Star Trek and the specific characters and scenarios that Beatriz has drawn. After that, I’ll show an example of ekphrasis, poetry responding to visual art, by Latinx poets from Miami, and then we’ll get to writing our own poems. Really what I hope is that people respond to the art by writing in ways that feel imaginative and fun. I’m also excited about the digital and print zine we’ll make afterward. It will include everyone’s poems and be designed by Rebekah Monson and Andrea Vigil, both of whom I’ve worked with in the past and who are dear friends. We’ll spread those zines around Miami and virtually like space seeds, a simile I’ve stolen from the original Star Trek episode where Khan first appears! 

BM: All 12 of the drawings I produced for this will be available as poetry prompts. We'll be talking about Star Trek, and spaceships, aliens, sci-fi. I envision a two-hour-long nerd party with poetry production.

What would you like people to take away from your workshop experience?

ET: That Ricardo Montalbán was a badass Latinx actor who deserves a lot more credit than he gets. That any subject can fuel art as long as you’re passionate about it. I also hope we can make our own little community of sci-fi fans or maybe just people who love art and language. We want everyone to have a good time. Even when the story becomes dire or dystopian, science fiction is also about courage and hope, and this project is about creating that too. 

You can learn more about Emma Trelles and Beatriz Monteavaro by visiting their respective hyperlinked websites. “For the Love of Khan: Poems for the Future” starts at 7:30 on Thursday, April 8; tickets are available here and you can learn more about O, Miami by visiting the festival’s websitesocial media channels.

Promotion from Baptist Health

🍍 COVID-19 FAQ with Baptist Health

While we all love a good this or that question, coffee or tea, dog or cat, Britney or Christina, this is not one of those times.  

The vaccine that is provided to Baptist Health, along with all other vaccine administration locations, will depend on the supply that is allotted.

See the FAQs on their COVID-19 resource page

From Italy with ❤️

Seize some of Seasy's delicious seafood menu by entering The New Tropic's giveaway with the fresh-faced Mediterranean restaurant on Miracle Mile. (📸: @seasycoralgables)

The new Mediterranean restaurant Seasy is the vision of owner Giovanni Maglione and happens to be the first US-based restaurant endeavor for the Made in Napoli Hospitality Group.

Hailing from Naples, Italy, Maglione and his partners sought a venue where they could recreate the atmosphere of a Mediterranean seaport right here in Miami. Seasy strives to make diners feel right at home by serving affordable yet delicious selections of Mediterranean regional dishes like fish, pasta, tapas, and more.

Ready to taste it for yourself? Enter here for your chance to win a $100 gift card to dine at Seasy. 

Today

🐊 Learn just how crucial the Everglades is to Florida's ecosystem during the Families For Everglades virtual event (Online)

Tomorrow

🌲 Meet like-minded conservationists, sip on cocktails and learn how you can get involved during The Young Everglades Patrons inaugural event (Online)

🌊 Hear all about climate resilience in South Florida and the Caribbean during the University of Miami's inaugural Coastal Resilience Symposium (Online)

Thursday

🍝 Savor tasty pink pasta sauce and snag IG-worthy pics by reserving a table at Alla Vodka Pop-Up Shop between April 8-10 (Wynwood)

😂 Crack a smile and share some chuckles with comedian Kaycee Conlee during the latest Laughter in the Gardens (Pinecrest)

🎻 Check out free live music by Trio Wolfe — an all-female violin, cello, and percussion ensemble — at Bal Harbour Shops presented by Arsht Center Performances (Bal Harbour)

👛 Join The Women's Fund Miami-Dade for its annual fundraiser Power of the Purse featuring speakers Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, Jane Fonda, Aja Monet, and others (Online)

🗣 Get educated on the Sunshine State's history of racial violence during "Strange Fruit in Florida," the latest episode of The Black Florida & Voices of Change webinar series (Online)

Friday

⚖️ Join the Dade County Bar Association along with keynote speaker Mayor Francis Suarez at the 11th Annual Bench and Bar Conference (Online)

📸 Take a virtual tour of downtown Miami with curator Carl Juste and photographer C.W. Griffin as part of the exhibition "Urban Tranquility: Photographs by C.W. Griffin" (Online)

Saturday

✏️ Immerse yourself in a comprehensive one-day boot camp detailing tech design work during BrainStation’s Intro Day (Online)

💙 Celebrate Autism Awareness Month with the Miami Children's Museum during this drive-thru event — up to 200 families will receive free sensory goody bags on a first-come, first-serve basis (Watson Island)

Sunday

🎹 Enjoy an afternoon of swinging piano, sultry vocals, and sassy humor with Grammy-nominated artist Judy Carmichael (Cutler Bay)

Tuesday, April 13

🌴 Take a psychedelic sonic voyage with Tropico Virgo's monthly residency at Melinda's (Downtown)

😂 Have a laugh with Dana Mauro, the guest on this week's edition of "Random Questions with Larry Fields" (Online)

☝️ One more thing…

If you watched 60 Minutes on Sunday you may have seen reporter Sharyn Alfonsi compare Florida’s early vaccine rollout plan to The Hunger Games. In case you need a refresher, The Hunger Games was a popular 2010s series of young adult novels and films depicting a society organized around the sadistic whims of the wealthy. 🙃

Alfonsi pointed out that Florida originally set up mobile vaccination sites in the most affluent parts of the state like Palm Beach. The social media response has been predictably polarizing, either supporting The Hunger Games comparison or calling it outright malarkey. You can read a rundown from the Orlando Sentinel here

Besos,

Zach at The New Tropic

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