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🎅 Ho-ho-hope you have time to wait in line at Santa’s Enchanted Forest
Plus, a chat with Helado Negro and the deadly Florida tree that’s the talk of the town.
By Zach Schlein
Welcome to Friday.
Hope everyone enjoyed yesterday’s takeover by Rebecca Fishman Lipsey for Give Miami Day and was able to donate to causes worth contributing toward. As of writing, more than $27,500,000 has been raised by nearly 30,000 individual donors — that’s the kind of meaningful community engagement we love to see at The New Tropic, and we feel proud to have been a part of it, even if only in our small way. A very big thank you to The Miami Foundation, Give Miami Day, all of the participating orgs, and most importantly, you, the folks who put the Magic in Magic City. ✨
Before we take a look at the headlines heading into the weekend, here’s a reminder that The New Tropic is looking to hear all about what you’re thankful for ahead of next week’s holiday. Email me what you appreciate most about living in Miami by hitting reply to this newsletter or sending them to firstname.lastname@example.org through Sunday, and we’ll share a list of local greatness next week before we take a brief Turkey Day break.
Now, let’s take a look at what’s happening around town...
💧 What Miami is talking about
Let’s toast to having a brew-tiful 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. (📸: @lincolnsbeardbrewing)
🎅 Trouble in (Christmas) paradise: Things aren’t going quite as ho-ho-hoped at Hialeah Park, the new home of Santa’s Enchanted Forest. As detailed in an on-the-ground report by Miami New Times writer Joshua Ceballos, the seasonal fair has been beset by overcrowding and hours-long lines just to gain entry. (Editor’s note: The scene described in the article reflects my own experience visiting Santa’s Enchanted Forest this year. A few friends and I attempted to go last Saturday only to wind up leaving about 20 minutes in after glimpsing just how much more of the line was left. Ya hate to see it, folks! — Zach) A spokesperson for the fest defended the long wait times to the alt-weekly, noting they’re “customary at theme parks and attractions” of this sort. (Miami New Times)
✍️ Florida officials are giving the proverbial finger to federal laws and regulations. Yesterday Gov. Ron DeSantis’ signed off on a series of bills drafted to undermine the Biden administration’s COVID-19 countermeasures. According to the Associated Press, “The new law prevents businesses from having vaccine mandates unless they allow workers to opt out for medical reasons, religious beliefs, immunity based on a previous infection, regular testing or an agreement to wear protective gear.” The newly enacted legislation also “includes fines for businesses that fire a worker without allowing the exemptions” in addition to barring schools and municipal governments from enforcing vaccine mandates and allowing for parents to pursue legal action against schools with mask mandates. (Associated Press)
➡️ Local houseless residents and activists are uncertain about Miami-Dade’s plans to clear out tents under I-95. After the county gave notice that encampments would be removed earlier this week, the Miami Herald reports that “police cars, a water tank and a dump truck with a claw for picking things up off the street” showed up on Wednesday without dispersing people as expected. “The anxiety is thick in the air,” attorney and advocate David Peery told the paper. “These are not just cleanups. In the past, they’ve been violent actions that traumatize people. And we don’t know what’s going on now and how it’s gonna be implemented.” (Miami Herald)
⚖ Several Florida cities have filed a joint lawsuit over the state’s controversial anti-protest bill. The suit concerns a provision of HB 1 that forces municipalities to go through a state appeal process should they decide to decrease police department funds. The legal challenge contends that the law “has injected uncertainty and insecurity into budgeting and planning, compromising municipalities’ ability to form reasonable expectations about the future.” (WLRN)
🌲 Everything’s more shady in the Sunshine State: a Florida tree has been making headlines this week for its reputation as “the most dangerous tree in the world.” Guinness World Records bestowed the dubious title on the Manchineel tree back in 2011, but folks seem to have really caught on to its risks recently. As detailed by NBC 6 South Florida, the Manchineel’s sap “can cause blistering, burns and inflammation” if touched. Making matters worse, the tree’s bark can cause blindness when burned — steer clear of this one on your next Everglades trip, folks. (NBC 6 South Florida)
🎶 Helado Negro brings soothing musical magic to the North Beach Bandshell
Helado Negro is returning for a repeat South Florida performance on Saturday, November 20. (📸: Nathan Bajar)
🎉 Earlier this week, The New Tropic invited readers to participate in a ticket giveaway to see Helado Negro at the North Beach Bandshell tomorrow night. And now, we have a winner: congratulations to Sandro F. for taking home the prize!
But the fun doesn’t have to stop there: tickets are still available via the Bandshell’s site to see the prolific artist and South Florida native perform. And as luck would have it, Helado Negro was also nice enough to take time out for a quick Q&A with The New Tropic. Without further ado:
The New Tropic: You’ve performed a lot in the Magic City over the years, including an intimate show at the ICA Miami — do you have any favorite memories from your time visiting the city?
Helado Negro: I grew up in South Florida — Fort Lauderdale and Miami — so many of my childhood memories are tied to this city. Playing at the ICA was a fond memory, but I also played a commissioned performance at the PAMM that is a favorite.
What can you tell us about the inspiration and sound behind your new album, Far In?
I created Far In while I was in Marfa, Texas last year. The desert and its expansiveness profoundly influenced it.
The album has songs in English and Spanish — do you have a particular favorite lyric on Far In that soothes you? You can answer in English or Spanish — we’re bilingual!
“There must be a song like you”
You often perform alongside some cool mythical creatures onstage — what can we expect from this Saturday’s show at the Bandshell?
The show on Saturday will feature my live band!
Your sound has a meditative quality to it — do you have any ritual or artistic practices that let you tap into that mode of creation?
Sometimes when you work, you find yourself lost — not [necessarily] in a good or bad way — just floating in a seamless space. It's the one space we have where there is no judgment. It's this in-between moment — I always try to hold on to that feeling with my work as much as possible.
As a South Florida native, do you have any plans or places you’ll be visiting while you’re in town for the show? Perhaps a dip in the ocean behind the North Beach Bandshell before (or after) taking the stage?
My family and friends! :)
You can listen to more of Helado Negro’s sonic soothings by checking out his new record, Far In, and swinging by tomorrow’s show at the North Beach Bandshell. Be sure to follow the Bandshell and Rhythm Fondation on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for updates on all of the scenic venue’s events and cool concerts.
💿 Enter an otherwordly techno-utopian universe soundtracked by NYC selector Lydo along with Miami DJs Get Face, Souls Departed, Ultrathem, and other performers (Downtown)
📽 Watch "Critical Thinking," a Miami-made and John Leguizamo-directed film sharing the true story of Miami Jackson High School's winning chess team at Coral Gables Art Cinema(Coral Gables)
🤖 Throw down with titans of techno as Richie Hawtin, ANNA, and Andres Line take over the decks at Space Park (Little Haiti)
✨ Sway to the dreamy sounds of Helado Negro during his show at the North Beach Bandshell (North Beach)
🛍️ Shop for holiday gifts from local Miami artisans at THesis's After Market (Coral Gables)
🎨 Explore nature through interactive art, dance, music, and storytelling classes duringFamily Day at The Underline (Brickell)
🦃 Share the joy of cooking with the next generation and learn how to make delicious Thanksgiving leftover dumplings with cranberry dipping sauce during Kids Club at The Doral Yard (Doral)
🎁 Snag some holiday presents at Pop Up & Shop Up, The Lincoln Eatery's artisan market of local vendors (Miami Beach)
🛥️ Learn the real history of Biscayne Bay on a boat tour led by local historian Cesar Becerra and Bea Brickell, the great-granddaughter of Mary and William Brickell (Key Biscayne)
🇫🇷 Celebrate the life of influential artist and activist Josephine Baker with Alliance Française Miami Metro (Online)
🤘 Rock out with your neighbors and enjoy free live music during The Doral Yard's multi-day YardFest Thanksgiving bash — taking place Wednesday, Nov. 23 and Friday, Nov. 26 through Sunday, Nov. 28 (Doral)
💻 Connect with Miami Tech at Freehold during a Thanksgiving Eve gathering complete with complimentary wine, beer, signature cocktails, and pizza (Wynwood)
😂 Have a laugh with comedian Brittany Brave during The Lincoln Eatery's latest stand-up comedy showcase (Miami Beach)
💃 Dance like it's 1989 during Sweat Records' annual '80s Prom featuring live performances by The State Of, Ordinary Boys, and much more (Wynwood)
☝️ One more thing…
📖 The weekend’s here, which means that’s a wrap on newsletters for the next few days.
However, if you want to continue engaging with your fellow Miamians through the written word, there’s always the Miami Book Fair this weekend — if you haven’t already bought tickets, you can read up on this year’s offerings by revisiting The New Tropic’s previews (which can be found here, here, and finally, here) as well as checking out the fair’s official website, Instagram, and Twitter. Who knows — you may just cross paths with like-minded New Tropic readers while you’re there. 💖
— Zach at The New Tropic
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