By Jacob Katel
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By Jose D. Duran
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I didn't know what to expect when I got there, but I had my suspicions. The waddling Muscovy ducks in the parking lot, the black-tinted storefront windows, a misspelled sign that reads Caribian Sport Bar (10805 Sunset Dr., Kendall; 305-559-5229) — they all contributed to my conjecture. But when I opened the door, it was confirmed: This place is a dive bar. With porn.
On a recent Saturday night at Caribian, cigarette smoke undulated in the numbing glow of video gambling games. A man with snow-white hair sat in front of a screen as it beeped and flashed; he paid no mind to the naked girls covered in whipped cream on Playboy TV, showing on nearby screens. Aside from him, people seemingly visit the bar for two reasons: porn and pool. Naturally the patronage is mostly male, comprising mostly middle-age Latinos huddling in conversation or idling about alone.
The men sometimes danced when it wasn't quiet — every two or three songs were followed by a period of silence while the employees took a few minutes to put more change in the jukebox. Humberto, a fiftysomething Cubano with a gold chain and silver slicked-back hair, was sliding around the dance floor solo, until he spotted me. "Oye, mami, ven aquí," he said. "No Spanish? What you name?" I told him and felt his leathery, cracked palm as he shook my hand. Humberto blew me a kiss and I returned to my wobbly wooden table.
My eyes fixated on a crucifix with a rosary scarf nailed to the wall. Next to it, full-frontal penetration played out on the TV set. I needed a drink. While I was getting money out of an ATM, a man named Juan asked me: "No Spanish? Why you come here?" Good question. His tone was friendly, though, and later he approached me and offered a salud. Around midnight the channel changed from porn to a horror movie. Close, but not close enough.