Plus, the Miami Heat call foul and a questionable anti-drug campaign for college students.
The New Tropic
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😷 Is this the final chapter for mask mandates in Miami-Dade schools?

Plus, the Miami Heat call foul and a questionable anti-drug campaign for college students.

By Zach Schlein

It’s Wednesday.

Which means it’s as good a day as any to read Miami’s favorite newsletter. 😍 

Once you’re done rubbing the sleep out of your eyes in the ongoing struggle to recalibrate to the end of daylight saving time (seriously, can someone please put an end to this disorienting practice 😩), be sure to scroll on for all the latest Magic City news that’s fit for print along with some tasty recipes courtesy of this year’s Miami Book Fair...

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☀️ SPF’21: Small Press Fair Fort Lauderdale returns!

SPF is back for an epic day of print, book and zine fun in Ft Lauderdale with an exhibitor market, giant steamroller, live demos and more.

Info, directions and schedule at

💧 What Miami is talking about

Clear skies, full hearts, can’t lose. 💪 | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸:

🎰 Online sports betting has arrived in Florida. Despite legal challenges, the Seminole Tribe moved forward with unveiling its digital sportsbook at the start of the month. (Orlando Weekly)

😷 Miami-Dade County Public Schools’ mask requirements have been relaxed for students of all ages. During a press conference yesterday, Superintendent Alberto Carvalho announced that parents will be able to opt their child out of having to wear a mask regardless of grade. This policy change was implemented last week for middle and high school students, but as of today, it now extends to elementary school students as well. (NBC 6 South Florida)

🚫 A cheeky — or should that be nasally? — anti-drug campaign at the University of Miami seems to have been scuttled. Posts by the university’s Sandler Center for Alcohol and Other Drug Education went viral over the weekend for promoting No Coke November, an initiative that… wait, you live here, do we really have to spell it out for you? Whether it was an issue of questionable messaging or unauthorized use of trademarked characters (there was a promised giveaway of t-shirts featuring Garfield spouting slogans like "UNPRESCRIBED ADDERALL USE HURTS GPA" and "I HATE DRUGS AND MONDAYS"), all traces of No Coke November have since been deleted from social media. (Miami New Times)

🔥 The Miami Heat are, erm, heated, following an aggressive exchange during Monday night’s game. A war of words broke out both on and off the court after the Denver Nuggets’ Nikola Jokić blindsided Markieff Morris during the fourth quarter. As of writing, reports say Jokić is likely facing a suspension and possible fine by the NBA. The Heat, who lost the match 113-96, are returning to the court tonight to square off against the Los Angeles Lakers. (Yahoo Sports! / ESPN)

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Don’t forget to “Make Your Mark” at the opening of The Shops at Midtown Miami’s M Park during a colorful afternoon of play on Saturday, Nov. 13 from 12 p.m. to 5 p.m. at the center, 3401 North Miami Avenue.

Giveaway ends this Friday, Nov. 12 at noon.

Enter the giveaway on The New Tropic’s site

🍳 Cooking up something good with Miami Book Fair

Vietnamese cuisine is one of the many nourishing offerings being served up by Miami Book Fair this year. (📸: Courtesy photo)

📚 Last week marked the start of The New Tropic’s series spotlighting Miami Book Fair’s 2021 itinerary. Miami Dade College’s annual celebration of the written word is returning on Sunday, Nov. 14, and will run for a week through Sunday, Nov. 21.

If you’ve already read through last Wednesday’s entry detailing Hear Us: Writing from the Inside During the Time of Covid and its accompanying panel taking place on Sunday, Nov. 21, be sure to scroll on for something special and savory. 

Mango and Peppercorns: A Memoir of Food, and Unlikely Family shares the story of the award-winning and much-missed Hy Vong Vietnamese restaurant in Miami. Fortunately for readers, it also details some of the delicious recipes that made the spot such a success. ⬇️

Ahead of the Miami Book Fair panel featuring Katherine Manning, Tung Nguyen and Lyn Nguyen on Sunday, Nov. 21, we’re cracking open the Mango and Peppercorns cookbook to share the goods with you, our dear readers. If this doesn’t work up your appetite for literary celebrations, we don’t know what will…

Fish with Mango Sauce

This mango sauce-flavored dish can be served with fried snapper or grouper, but it’s flexible enough for any kind of fish prepared any sort of way, whether that be steamed, baked, or broiled. Feel free to add more peppercorns, mango or nuóc chám to suit your taste. Green peppercorns in brine can be found at some grocery stores and online.

Serves 4

3 T unsalted butter

1 ½ ripe mangoes, peeled and very thinly sliced

1 ½ t green peppercorns in brine, drained

1 1/s T fish sauce

3 T heavy cream

 Vegetable oil for frying

2 lb (910 g ) white fish fillets, such as snapper, or grouper, skin removed

¾ C (180 ml) Nu’óc Chám (gently warmed, if it has been refrigerated)

2 green onions, thinly sliced, for garnish

In a small pot, melt the butter over low heat. (You can also do this in a small bowl in the microwave.) Add the mango, peppercorns and fish sauce, gently mix together, and let cool. Add the heavy cream, gently mix, and set aside. 

In a large heavy skillet, add 1 inch (2.5 cm) of oil over medium-high heat until almost smoking — cook at about 350 degrees °F (180 °C) Carefully add the fillets to the pan, then immediately push a spatula under each fillet so the fish does not stick to the bottom of the pan. Cook, flipping once, until cooked through, 2 to 4 minutes per side, depending on the fillets’ size. Transfer the fillets to plates or one large platter, draining any excess oil first, if needed. Top with the reserved mango sauce, the nuóc chám, and green onions.

Nu’óc Chám

The Classic Vietnamese dipping sauce incorporates savory, tart and sweet flavors. Tung choose to highlight savory and tart: her version uses far less sugar than you may find in other recipes. Nu’óc chám is essential for Tunh’s Spring Rolls (Chá Gió) and Fish with Mango Sauce.

Make 3 cups (720 ML)

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

½ C + 1T (135 ml) fish sauce

2 T + ½ t sugar

¼ c (60 ml) lime juice

In a medium bowl, stir together the garlic, fish sauce, sugar and 2 °C of water until the sugar is dissolved. Add the lime juice and stir again. The sauce will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks. Stir before using.

Katherine Manning, Tung Nguyen and Lyn Nguyen will discuss Mango and Peppercorns: A Memoir of Food, and Unlikely Family and the American Dream at 5 p.m. on Sunday, Nov. 21 in Room 2106 at Miami Dade College, Wolfson Campus. The event will also be livestreamed at

You can find even more information and cool events by checking out @miamibookfair on Twitter and Instagram as well as the official website.

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🕯 Cozy up to candlelight in the historic Trinity Cathedral while listening to live world music, walking the Via Sacra, and embarking on a thoughtful meditation (Miami)

💻 Connect with Miami Tech at Freehold (Wynwood)

🍽 Enjoy a special one-night-only dinner at Orno with seven chefs from Food & Wine Best New Chef's Class of 2020 (Coral Gables)


🍻 Raise a glass to cleaner coral reefs at Veza Sur’s Charity of the Month event supporting the Coral Restoration Foundation (Wynwood)

🎉 Share stories of finding grace in the face of failure during the sixth edition of "F*@!up Nights Miami" (Doral)


🎸 Join local act Towers of Babel in celebrating the release of their newest EP, "On a Tuesday," at Tea & Poets (South Miami)

🌇 Embark on a sunset boat tour in Biscayne Bay and learn about the Indigenous and ecological histories of Miami's legendary body of water (Key Biscayne)

📽 Swing by Wynwood Walls for a movie night and fashion show by Claudia La Bianca (Wynwood)

🍿 Grab some popcorn for the 20th edition of the Miami Short Film Festival at the Deering Estate — takes place Friday, Nov. 12 through Sunday, Nov. 14 (Palmetto Bay)


🤘 Rock out during live performances by Dion Lunadon [ex-A Place To Bury Strangers] and MOLD! plus a warm-up DJ set by Ale Campos of Las Nubes (Wynwood)

🍾 Celebrate the 8th Anniversary of IlluminArts with cocktails, hors d'oeuvres, and a special musical performance by the award-winning soprano Melissa Wimbish (Brickell Key)

🌎 Help neaten up Julia Tuttle Causeway heading eastbound toward Miami Beach during an afternoon volunteer cleanup sponsored by Florida Sea Turtle Company, Lloyd Jones and Bonefly (Miami)

🎉 Take in the unique sights, sounds, and flavors that make Miami so special during HistoryMiami's free festival, CultureFest 305 (Downtown)

🎵Put some skip in your step with a concert featuring old-time, folk, and gypsy-swing music in a cozy Kendall home (Kendall)

🌇 Take a free Saturday morning yoga class on the scenic Paseo of the THesis Hotel (Coral Gables)


🍂 Learn the science behind scenic seasonal change during "Mini-Me Science: Autumn Leaves" at Frost Science (Downtown)


✏️ Hone your figure drawing abilities skills during a class offered by Oolite Arts (Miami Beach


🗑️ Be part of the solution by volunteering during the latest Trashy Tuesday sunset cleanup (Downtown)

👋 That’s all for today

Be sure to step out and catch some sunlight while you still can (yes, there are still some sore feelings about this whole daylight saving time ordeal 😤).

Take care,

Zach at The New Tropic

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