Last week, the Miami Herald shuttered its building on the bay.
Located at One Herald Plaza, the beige box on the water is affectionately known as 1HP. Conference room meetings were interrupted by someone spotting dolphins. Water spouts could be seen forming from the cafeteria windows. Depending on the person, the building was either a testament to architecture done without aesthetics in mind, or an ideal place to do journalism.
Year-round sun, miles of oceanside roadways, few changes in elevation: South Florida should be a paradise for even the most casual of bicyclists. But the state is also home to plenty of thoroughfares with posted speeds in excess of 50 mph., three lanes of traffic in each direction and lots of traffic lights. Not exactly a recipe for safe and happy cycling.
I am not a Latina. I am a middle-aged white guy whose salsa dancing embarrasses my Venezuelan-born wife. But because she is a Latina, and because my teen-aged daughter is half Latina, I take more than passing interest in how popular culture portrays Latinas. And these days I’m annoyed, because the most popular Latina image out there is, well, almost as embarrassing as my salsa dancing.
It’s an image, in fact, that represents a setback for Latinas.
Immigrants have had a profound effect on South Florida. We all know about the influences on culture, food and language. But they changed the region's horticulture too.
Many of South Florida's plants have been brought here to improve the surrounds, provide food and shelter. Indeed, most of the plants that we consider iconic to South Florida are not native but transplants from elsewhere. Bougainvillea? It's a native of Mexico. Mangoes are originally from India. Even that most Floridian of fruits, oranges, are originally from China.