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Plus, yesterday’s election results and a look ahead to this Miami Book Fair’s 2021 edition.
The New Tropic
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🍾 IlluminArts 8th Anniversary Party on November 13!

Come celebrate the 8th Anniversary of IlluminArts with wine, hors d'oeuvres and a special performance by stunning soprano Melissa Wimbish.

IlluminArts 8th Anniversary tickets on sale now!

😩 Parking in Miami just got even more headache-inducing

Plus, yesterday’s election results and a look ahead to this Miami Book Fair’s 2021 edition.

By Zach Schlein

Welcome to Wednesday.

Hope everyone had a breeze — no rain-drenched pun intended 😉 — casting their ballots yesterday. Today’s newsletter is tackling the election results as well as sharing a new parking policy Miamians ought to watch out for, a preview of this year’s Miami Book Fair programming, and much more...

💧 What Miami is talking about 

Between the Life to Paper Book Festival and Miami Book Fair, Miami-Dade is turning plenty of pages this November. | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @literaryviews)

💵 Another day, another newly privatized part of 305 life: Miami New Times has shared an in-depth report examining private businesses’ newly acquired ability to issue parking citations. According to the feature, the City of Miami changed the law earlier this year to allow private ticketing “as long as companies use, and avoid, certain language on their notices.” 

However, the piece notes that “In the five months since the city instituted the change, no media outlet has covered the issue and neither the city nor the Miami Parking Authority (MPA) has made an effort to educate residents.” This has caused confusion and unease among drivers, as several private lots use the same PayByPhone app as the city and at least one enforcement company, Professional Parking Management, is refusing to divulge how it accesses residents’ personal information for billing purposes.

In other news…

🌧 Miami-Dade residents didn’t let a little rain stop them from showing up to the polls. Despite the gloomy skies and intermittent showers, folks came out across the county to cast votes in yesterday’s local elections. However, even with those who showed up amid stormy weather, early voting numbers were down across the board in South Florida. (Local 10

🗳 Many incumbent Miami politicians were re-elected to office. This includes Miami Mayor Francis Suarez and Commissioner Joe Carollo. (CBS Miami / Florida Politics)

➡️ Miami Beach Mayor Dan Gelber also benefited from voters’ seeming affinity for sitting elected officials. He’ll be starting his third and final term as mayor with a mandate — in addition to re-electing Gelber, Miami Beach voters also said yes to the proposed 2 a.m. booze ban on the ballot. Although the question was non-binding, the issue has been a top priority for Gelber, who’s pledged to push last call for alcohol from its current 5 a.m. time to an earlier hour. (Miami Herald)

⭐️ Florida restaurants can now earn Michelin stars. The state’s tourism marketing agency, Visit Florida, has struck a deal to bring the world’s oldest restaurant rating system down south next year. The inaugural edition of the Michelin Guide to Florida is slated to be published in spring 2022 and will cover Orlando, Miami, and Tampa. (Orlando Weekly)

🎁 Several Miami cultural institutions received a very generous gift yesterday. The Jorge M. Pérez Family Foundation is contributing $3.2 million toward Miami’s arts community through the 2021 Pérez CreARTE Grant Program. The funds are being distributed among 25 local organizations with the aim of fostering a healthy ecosystem for creative endeavors in the region. The esteemed recipients include HistoryMiami Museum, Commissioner, and Sweat Records. (Miami Herald / The Miami Foundation)

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🗣 Miami Book Fair lets the silenced speak out

“Hear Us: Writing from the Inside During the Time of Covid” is a new anthology sharing incarcerated writers’ firsthand experiences navigating the pandemic behind bars. (📸: Courtesy photo)

📚 Now that November is underway, this year’s Miami Book Fair is just around the corner. In case you missed the banners that have gone up around town — or somehow didn’t have it marked down in your calendar already 😜— 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.

Bridging the past with the present, the fair is bringing back in-person programming for the first time since 2019 as well as broadcasting virtually via its website, miamibookfaironline.com. Over the next few weeks, The New Tropic will be celebrating Miami Book Fair’s comeback by highlighting offerings from this year’s itinerary each Wednesday, starting with this preview of a new collection and accompanying panel that’s giving voice to the oft-unheard... 

✍️ Hear Us: Writing from the Inside During the Time of Covid is a unique anthology of poetry, fiction, nonfiction, and artwork from incarcerated writers, family members and staff spanning from Alaska to California, Florida to Illinois. The work describes how the pandemic and the killing of George Floyd impacted inmates’ lives across the country. 

In response to pandemic-prompted lockdowns and in order to amplify the voices of the incarcerated at a time when they might go unheard, Miami’s Exchange for Change and New Orleans-based Disorder Press have come together to publish this unique anthology from 58 contributors across 10 states. The writings illustrate in vivid detail how inequity and injustice play out in the era of mass incarceration. 

With a foreword by award-winning author Edwidge Danticat, this cross-section of writers from different religions, races, genders, sexual orientations, and disabilities elevates the voices of those too often silenced behind barbed wire. 

Miami native Roderick Richardson has been a student in Exchange for Change’s writing class for more than six years. Currently housed in a South Florida prison, here are excerpts from his contribution to Hear Us, an essay titled "Covid-19": 

In here, quarantine started 28 days ago, even though we were told it would be just 14. No one comes around and tells us nothing, the administration is invincible, not a whisper or a peep. Our information comes from inmate.com....lies upon lies. I see stretchers taking inmates out like a silent ambulance. After a few days, I hear nothing about them anymore. 

I guess that's what keeps me with hope, the not knowing keeps me fighting to see another day. 

In here, there is no such things as social distance; our masks are made out of the blue cloth we wear, our roommates sleep three feet overhead and a 12x10-foot cell is our bathroom, kitchen, and living room combined into one. 

——

My story is the same story of many young Black men blinded by the reality of life. Dropping out of school to provide for their mom and siblings, just so the family can survive. 

I’ve been slave #XXXXXX so long, I feel chains rattle inside. 

For 28 years, seven months, and three days today, I haven’t found a way back home. And now I’m wondering if COVID-19 might be the judge that sets me free.

More Hear Us pieces can be seen and heard on Exchange for Change's YouTube channel and at their national book launch on Thursday, Nov. 4, from 7-8 p.m. EST. 

Kathie Klarreich is founder and executive director of Exchange for Change, a nonprofit that teaches writing in prisons. She is author of Madame Dread: A Tale of Love, Vodou and Civil Strife in Haiti, and during her decades long career as a freelance journalist — half of which was spent in Haiti — she produced pieces for print, radio and television. She will be joined at the Miami Book Fair panel on Hear Us by Kathryn Nowotny, University of Miami professor and co-founder of Covid Prison Project Kathryn Nowotny, Florida International University Department of English Chairperson Ana Luszczynska, as well as former inmate and Exchange for Change board member Angel Sanchez.

The panel takes place on Sunday, Nov. 21 at 3 p.m. in Room 8106 at Miami Dade College and will also be livestreamed at miamibookfaironline.com.

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

✨ Why you should become a Club New Tropic member

Help us help you #livelikeyoulivehere by joining Club New Tropic. (📸: @thenewtropic)

📰 We spend all day reading and gathering meaningful news that matters to you. We work hard to spotlight Miami’s most important stories and share a curated events calendar packed with all sorts of Miami fun that helps you #livelikeyoulivehere. We do our best to give you clarity in a busy news cycle. And we strive to create a sense of community for you, our dear readers in the 305.  

But all of this work costs money, and we can’t do it for free. 

So, if you appreciate what we do, please become a supporting member today.

Promotion from Wynwood BID

📍 Preparing our neighborhoods for the next decade

The New Tropic is hosting a panel discussion with three leaders who are championing their neighborhood business improvement districts and a business exec who continues to innovate.

Joining us:

Cynthia Seymour, Executive Director, Coconut Grove BID

Manny Gonzalez, Executive Director, Wynwood BID

Tim Schmand, Executive Director, Lincoln Road BID

Sven Vogtland, Co-Founder of Coyo Taco and 1-800-Lucky

Our chat will help shed some light on the role of a BID (Business Improvement District), their impact in our communities, learn more about a few upcoming projects, and how they help enhance the quality of life for our residents and businesses.

Join us Nov. 9 at noon

Today

🍸 Grab your business cards and head over to Mamey to network and mingle (Coral Gables)

😋 Cheers to Whiskey Wednesday and enjoy 50% off on ALL Whiskeys at 107 Steak & Bar (Doral)

Tomorrow

🗣 Join the Boss Babes Social Club featuring Disabled Diaries at The Lincoln Eatery(Miami Beach)

😀 Learn how to create a self-portrait using objects and craft a modern vanitas from the things you keep (Miami)

💿 Boogie down during a night of exciting b2b DJ sets featuring Sinopoli, Sister System, Milushka, Phoenix, and Max Stern (Downtown)

Friday

🔊 Sway to soothing electronic music and enjoy DJ sets from Bonobo and Quantic at The Oasis (Wynwood)

Saturday

👸 Enjoy Miami Lyric Opera's presentation of "La Traviata" sung in Italian with English supertitles (Cutler Bay)

💆 Dance, stretch, and meditate with free classes at Wellness @ THesis (Coral Gables)

🎽 Help the Grant Williams Foundation and Councilwomen Shannan Ighaodaro celebrate the City of Miami Gardens' annual Special Games, an event dedicated to fostering skills and physical well-being (Miami Gardens)

📚 Attend the grand opening of South Florida's newest independent bookstore, Sweet Haven Books, located in Historic Cauley Square (Miami)

🇯🇵 March to the beat of your own drum and learn what a Taiko show sounds like by joining Fushu Daiko for a percussion-heavy performance with ‘the heartbeat of Japan’ (West Kendall)

🎨 Listen in on a talk with artist Leonardo Drew and learn about his contemplative abstract sculptural works during the latest edition of the Steven & Dorothea Green Critics’ Lecture Series (Miami / Online)

💃 Tear up the dance floor during the latest edition of Extra Credit featuring X-Coast plus Miami's own Patrick Walsh and DJ Ray on the decks (Downtown)

Sunday

🎥 Watch the heartwarming film "Duty Free" as part of the South Miami-Dade Cultural Arts Center's Indie Flicks series — screening Sunday, Nov. 7 through Wednesday, Nov. 10 (Online)

🐶 Meet new furry friends and enjoy great food during an adoption event at Space Park (Little Haiti)

Monday

🍻 Meet the authors behind “The Dogfish Head Book: 26 Years of Off-Centered Adventures” at — where else? — Dogfish Head Miami (Wynwood)

Tuesday

🖐 Check out job opportunities as a security guard during a local job fair (Opa-locka)

🌱 Explore landscape ecology and our relationship to place by joining artist and FIU Assistant Professor of Art Fereshteh Toosi for "Forest Immersion and Plant Sounds," a contemplative deep dive into nature (Miami)

Promotion from The Miami Foundation

💜 Your input needed!

The New Tropic is giving a $500 gift to one nonprofit on Give Miami Day (11/18). Vote on who you think it should be.

Check out the list and cast your vote

☝️ One more thing… 

🐮 Did you know November is Manatee Awareness Month? Save the Manatee Club is observing the occasion by sharing pointers on how Floridians can help protect the Sunshine State’s beloved sea cow. The group has also unveiled a new shirt line with $8 from each sale benefiting the organization; move fast though, because the swag will only be available for purchase this week.

Stay dry out there, 

Zach at The New Tropic

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