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Plus, Dixie Highway’s getting an overdue name change and there’s heated talk around big tech in Miami.
The New Tropic
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Plus, Dixie Highway’s getting an overdue name change and there’s heated talk around big tech in Miami.

By Zach Schlein

Welcome to Friday, Miami.

Hope everyone had a wonderful week and has a safe, enjoyable Memorial Day weekend lined up ahead. 

Just a reminder, The New Tropic will be observing the holiday and taking a break from your inboxes this coming Monday and Tuesday. With that said, I — hi, Zach here 👋 — happen to be quite proud of this week’s newsletters, so if you find yourself missing your daily roundup of 305 life, you’re welcome to revisit my fond remembrances of Ultra Music Festivals past, Little Haiti Book Festival Online organizer and author M.J. Fievre’s tribute to the storytelling traditions of the Caribbean, and the latest edition of the Hy-Lo News takeover

And if that wasn’t enough, you can also check out my Instagram Live interview with ICA Miami curator Gean Moreno and Knight Foundation arts program officer Koven Smith exploring the art museum’s new Digital Commissions series.

The New Tropic might be a little quieter over the next few days, but let it never be said that I left you empty-handed. 😉 Thanks for the opportunity to share each day with you, Miami — I appreciate you. 💖

With that said, let’s try to end May on a strong note...

💧 What Miami is talking about 

Have a very scenic weekend, Miami. 🤗 | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @27thhgraphics)

🗣 ICYMI, there was a lot of talk this week about the influx of big tech and capital currently flooding Miami. Jack Abraham — an entrepreneur and investor who relocated here last year — was singled out as a subject of scorn after he fired off a series of tweets detailing his experience in the 305. His account of a “well run and very safe” city defined by its “happiness and optimism,” to say nothing of its abundance of $600 a month apartments complete with “balconies, water views and pools,” seemed less befitting of a sober, accurate assessment of reality and more akin to an optimistic-to-the-point-of-derangement marketing pitch.

Documentarian and dedicated Miamian Billy Corben was among the many who dragged Abraham, calling his tweets “a great work of science fiction.” But it may have been said best by Miami New Times staff writer Alexi C. Cardona in her piece about the inciting remarks and how they reflect larger, troubling trends:

“Miami is home to people of all backgrounds, you may say, so why are we hating on the tech bros? Maybe it's because they're adopting the language and entitled attitudes of colonizers. They're leaving places that no longer serve them and acting as if they're the first to discover the superficially magical, beautiful places that will become playgrounds for them and their wealthy peers.

These newcomers have the privilege of seeing happiness and optimism everywhere, even when the locals don't. They have the good fortune of eating prized meats and taking in sun-drenched, waterfront views in a county that has experienced unprecedented need, hunger, and housing insecurity during a pandemic. They can display how little they know about their new home on social media and then delete the post as though it never happened.”

Needless to say, there’s a lot to unpack here. And if the continuous, radical changes of Miami’s past are anything to go by — not to mention the sheer determination of new arrivals to make Miami the next San Francisco, because they did such a great job there — this tech boom isn’t going anywhere, and there’s going to be a lot to reckon with down the line.

In other news...

📝 On a slightly more positive note regarding the above, O, Miami founder and director P. Scott Cunningham put together a comprehensive list of Miami cultural institutions and things to know for aforementioned new arrivals. He was even nice enough to include The New Tropic among his shoutouts — thank you, we do our best to be of service 😊. (P. Scott Cunningham via Twitter)

🌈 With Pride Month just a few days away, Wynwood Pride officially announced yesterday that it’s returning with in-person events for 2021. The kick-off celebration taking place on Friday, June 18 is teeming with talent, spotlighting a who’s who of local drag legends like Miss Toto along with recent RuPaul's Drag Race runner-up Kandy Muse and — deep breath, this is the big one — international pop superstar Charli XCX 😍! Tickets to the show at The Oasis are available right here. Be warned: They’re moving fast, so you might want to vroom vroom on securing yours today. (Wynwood Pride via Instagram)

🛣 Introducing the Harriet Tubman Highway: The City of Coral Gables voted to rename its stretch of South Dixie Highway to a much more respectable title earlier this week. According to a city memo, the change is meant to honor “the matchless legacy of a warrior” who fought for freedom and do away with a name that “represents a troubling time in our nation’s past, marred by the inhuman celebration and unconscionable profit of the perils of racism, segregation, and the atrocities of slavery.” The proposal was previously put up to a vote in January when it was voted down by a 2-3 margin; one of the no votes came from Vince Lago, who has since become the city’s mayor. (Local 10)

🛥 Today in extremely Miami headlines: A large fire consumed two proportionately sized yachts in Little Havana. According to reports, the boats were resting along the Miami River near Northwest 22nd Avenue and 14th Street when the fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. As of writing, no injuries have been reported. (NBC 6 South Florida)

Today

💃 Live it up with DJ Jackie Danza during Latin-Ish Fridays at Time Out Market(Miami Beach)

🍔 Celebrate National Burger Day at Time Out Market Miami with boozy strawberry milkshakes from Kush along with discounts and a special secret menu item honoring the hamburger holiday(Miami Beach)

🎵 Jam out to the genre-bending tunes of Haitian Twoubadou group Khalbass at the Center for Subtropical Affairs (Little River)

🎧 Settle in with a drink and the carefully chosen DJ selections of Yung Algebra and Diego Andrés during Dream Vacation's weekly takeover at Over Under (Downtown)

🇺🇸 Enjoy live performances by the United States Army Band at Espanola Way on Friday, May 28 from 6-8 pm(Miami Beach)

🤗 Apply to the CreARTE Grant Program & help make Miami a global hub for the arts(Online)

Tomorrow

🍰 Stop by Bunnie Cakes and join the Stars, Stripes, and Sweets Cupcake Decorating Class to bake a burger-shaped cupcake, cookie fries, and more tasty Memorial Day treats(Doral)

🍔 Taste your way around Downtown Doral eateries one patty at a time during the Burger & Bao Hop starting at The Doral Yard (Doral)

🎸 Rock out with Seafoam Walls and more during The Black Market at The Anderson (Upper Eastside)

🎶 Sip on a Polynesian-style cocktail and sway to the sounds of Afrobeta at Casa Tiki (Little Havana)

Sunday

💃 Freak out on the dance floor with some of Miami's best DJs along with international masters of mixing DJ Harvey, Moodymann, and Soul Clap during Where Are My Keys? (Miami)

🕊️ Honor those we've lost during the Interfaith Concert of Hope and join the South Florida musicians coming together to raise money for a good cause (Allapattah)

🛍️Peruse the best local artisans and chefs at The Tropical Flea (Little River)

Tuesday

📖 Join HistoryMiami Museum's resident historian, Dr. Paul S. George, as he embarks on a weekly series detailing defining moments in South Florida history (Online)

🎙️ Tune in to the latest edition of Fantasy Theatre Factory's online show "Random Questions with Larry Fields" (Online)

Thursday

💅 Witness the fierce Athena Dion reinvent the game night wheel while DJ Mike Trotter provides the soundtrack at Time Out Market Miami's weekly Drag Bingo (Miami Beach)

🚨 Hear from Melba Pearson, Miami Herald reporter C. Isaiah Smalls II, and more distinguished guests during the local ACLU chapter's virtual event "Police Practices and Racial Justice - Florida 2021”(Online)

✨ Be amazed by one-of-a-kind fashion sculptural pieces made with industrial and recycled materials during an outdoor event hosted by Doral Contemporary Art Museum (Doral)

Friday, June 4

🎨 Get lost in Aṣẹ: Afro Frequencies, artist Vince Fraser's new multi-sensory visual experience at ARTECHOUSE (South Beach)

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☝️ One more thing… 

Whether you live in Miami Beach or plan on swinging by this weekend, the city is going to have several restrictive measures in place — you can brush up on them right here

Thanks for reading along as always; have a safe and enjoyable holiday weekend; we’ll see you back here on Wednesday.

Besos,

Zach at The New Tropic

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