Letters to the Editor

Letters from the issue of February 3, 2000

Take Me Out to the ... Parking Lot?
Open spaces: check. Sewer runoff: check. Locked gate: check. Yep, this is indeed a Miami park!
By Jacob Bernstein

Going Once, Going Twice, Sold!
Ginger Raspiller
via the Internet
Jacob Bernstein's article about Miami's parks and open spaces was unbelievable ("Take Me Out to the ... Parking Lot?" January 27). What's going on is criminal! It is time for the people of this community to say enough and to take back our public parks, including Virginia Key and Bicentennial Park, before the City of Miami sells them to the highest bidder.

Come on, people. Wake up! Stand up! We deserve beautiful, clean, safe parks!

People Are Just Dying to Get into This Park
Robert Fournier
Miami
Anyone who thinks the Miami City Cemetery couldn't be a park needs to visit Green-Wood Cemetery in Brooklyn, New York. This cemetery, which dates from 1838, covers 478 acres and is the last resting place for many world-famous people. New York's park department provides regularly scheduled tours. Its most outstanding feature, however, is the fact that it is a marvel of landscaping. A springtime visit, when flowering bushes and trees by the thousands are in full bloom, will prove the point.

The City of Miami and its citizenry are missing the boat on a most valuable asset. The city needs to invite grassroots volunteer groups and garden clubs to landscape our city cemetery and make it a jewel for residents and tourists to enjoy.

Beyond Havana
Life is a matter of quiet persistence in Santa Clara, the town made famous by Che Guevara
By Kathy Glasgow

Cuba Is for Cubans in Cuba
Miguel Cordero
via the Internet

Bravo! I knew I liked your publication for a reason. Kathy Glasgow's "Beyond Havana" (January 27) brings full circle the image of Cuba. My father has relatives there and they never expressed any desire to leave their homeland, not for fear of persecution but because you just don't abandon your home when times are bad. You stay and change them.

After hearing the stories from Cuban Americans here, I finally get a perspective from the other side, one which proves that even though a culture is oppressed, it manages to survive. The Santa Clara residents who appeared in Ms. Glasgow's article maintained their way of life, their families, their desired studies -- and they did it with dignity. Their perseverance is on a par with Jews, blacks, and Native Americans, even if their hardships are not the same. They are truly the rightful heirs of that lovely island.

The more vocal Cubans living here should learn a lesson. Their cries and tantrums are laughable. For all their education and wealth they fail to demonstrate the sophistication of those people in "Outside Havana."

In the Good Old Days, Cuba Was ...
Adolfo Costa
Miami

Kathy Glasgow's "Beyond Havana" was a well-written look at life outside the capital city. Any intelligent reader could see in the article a veiled criticism of the communist regime. As Ms. Glasgow indicated, almost any type of effort to obtain goods is considered illegal by a totalitarian government afraid of independent activity. I disagree with her, though, when she asserts that prior to the revolution, black people could not go to the public square for a romantic stroll.

When I was a teenager in the Forties, I remember black people walking around the public park in my hometown of some 40,000. White and black were without animosity. Our family's doctor was mulatto, the town's heart specialist was blacker than ink, and both were very much loved by everyone. Yes, we had discrimination against black people. There were private clubs that would exclude them, but black people had their own clubs no white person could enter.

I suggest Ms. Glasgow get to know some of the Miami exiles who lived in Santa Clara before they left Cuba. She would learn a lot about another Cuba, quite different from the one portrayed by the state-controlled media of Fidel Castro.

Cute? Yes. Clever? Yes. Appropriately Respectful?
Tamalyn Dallal, director, Mideastern Dance Exchange
Miami Beach

I want to thank Nina Korman for including our dance event, "Orientalia," in "Night & Day" (January 13). Many people read that section and plan their outings based on her recommendations. Because it is so influential, I would like to clear up some misconceptions that made "Orientalia" sound much different from the actual event.

Ms. Korman wrote, "Belly-dancing babes will be gyrating [to] funky music by Harmonic Motion." There are many places where such an evening might take place, but anyone heading out to battle Art Deco Weekend traffic in hopes of seeing gyrating babes would ask for their parking money back and head straight to another type of venue.

The Mideastern Dance Exchange is a nonprofit arts organization that, with help from the City of Miami Beach, created this festival to showcase Middle Eastern dance and music as cultural art. The participating dancers were indeed beautiful, but it took them years of dedicated study to achieve such controlled movements and learn the complex nuances of Middle Eastern music. They were all class acts, not gyrating babes.

I realize that Ms. Korman may not have experienced the beauty and complexity of Middle Eastern dance, music, and culture. I also realize there is an obligation to make the calendar sound cute, clever, and funny. But when it comes to informing the public, she should take care not to degrade an important thread in the multicultural fabric of Miami-Dade County. As one spectator commented, "The festival brought such light to Lincoln Road."

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