This week, President Obama bestowed the nation's highest civilian honor on 16 celebrated Americans, one of them a Cuban-American widely considered one of the world's greatest living jazz artists.
The cover of Arturo Sandoval's 1991 album "Flight to Freedom" features a photo of the musician wearing a smart suit and a radiant smile, his right hand gripping his trumpet, his left curled into a triumphant fist. Just one year before the release of that album, Sandoval was living in Cuba under the Castro regime.
I don’t remember being told Woodrow Wilson was my great-great-grandfather. It was a fact I grew up with. A picture of my newborn grandfather, the last child ever born in the White House, being gazed at by mighty Woodrow, hung in the staircase of my parents’ home.
Beside it was a Wilson campaign poster from which he looked through his iconic pince-nez glasses and over his long, angular nose at me. But the person I was named after was, in many ways, a mystery.
There was, perhaps, a notion 30 years ago that any reading done by anyone in Miami mainly consisted of a paperback on a beach, some suntan oil and very little else. But a small group of people felt differently.
So when the Miami-Dade County Public Library system wanted to celebrate its newest building, the idea of a book fair was born. "Books By The Bay," it was first called, conceived in 1984 as a few displays of books, tablecloths flapping in the breeze at Bayfront Park.
The book fair is my Ultra. That’s how I explain to concerned friends my almost-maniacal enthusiasm for our city’s belletristic blowout -- a party currently in full swing, having started Sunday with the inaugural ceremony and talk from cliffhanger superstar Dan Brown.
But in its 30th year, Miami Book Fair International's hundreds of thousands of attendees, more than 400 authors, and 200 national and international street-fair exhibitors make it impossible to see everything.
Scott Mitchell Putesky grew from '90s green-haired goth rocker to clean-shaven musician, but he recently let his mustache grow. It's a symbol of his fight against stage-four colon cancer.
“It represents my personal crusade," he says, two months into his six-month chemo treatment. "Cancer: Take my hair. Take my mustache. I challenge you. I still have my hair and mustache. So I’m winning.”
The Miami Book Fair International, celebrating its 30th Anniversary this year, will not only host a ton of books both new and used, major and underground – there’s also extensive programming that will likely cause bibliophiles to salivate.
Throughout the week of the fair, a slew of notable authors (more than 400) will be speaking about their work, and panels will be held on a wide range of literary subjects.
In our anxiety-ridden society, finding ways to unwind should be a snap -- not another thing to stress out over. Some find solace with yoga and meditation, a beer at the bar with friends, while others listen to classical music for a mental vacation away from life's stressors.
While relaxation techniques varies from individuals, one thing is certain: Clearing the mind benefits our overall well-being.
Even if you’re an opera fanatic, there’s a fair chance you haven’t seen "Mourning Becomes Electra." The opera, written by Broward-based composer Martin David Levy, has only been performed by four companies since its debut in the late ‘60s and never before in the Southeastern U.S.
It’s even difficult to find music samples on YouTube.
In many ways, Geoffrey Royce Rojas is like millions of other young Latino Americans. He was raised by Dominican parents who came to New York looking for the American dream and struggled to keep their four children out of trouble in a South Bronx neighborhood rife with gangs and drugs.
Rojas, 24, grew up listening to techno and hip-hop, the Beatles and Jay-Z — and to the sweet, bouncy lilt of Dominican bachata at home and on summer visits to the Dominican Republic. He is matter-of-fact about balancing between two cultures.
Click the play button above to hear the radio version of this post by WLRN contributor Mark Hedden.
An estimated 8,000 zombies invaded Key West the night of Oct. 20, pedaling on bicycles across the Cow Key Bridge and muttering about brains. But the takeover was not unexpected and had a police escort.
Originally published on Tue October 29, 2013 12:47 pm
Picture the "head honcho" of an organization and what comes to mind are boardrooms, power and wealth, an individual at the top of his or her game.
But where did the word "honcho" originate? While the word is often mistakenly believed to have Spanish origins, it actually traces its roots to American soldiers who fought in the Pacific during World War II.