In her documentary about the impact of foreign trade and economic policies on the struggling island of Jamaica, Stephanie Black weaves text from Jamaica Kincaid's A Small Place into personal stories of Jamaicans whose daily lives are affected by the U.S. and other countries. A scene from the film Life and Debt shows vacationers arriving in Jamaica, as Kincaid narrates from her book: "When you sit down to eat your delicious meal, it's better that you don't know that most of what you are eating came off a ship from Miami." You can see Black's engrossing, reggae-soundtracked film tonight at 7:00 at the Historical Museum of Southern Florida, 101 W. Flagler St., Miami. Admission is free. Call 305-375-1492, or visit www.historical-museum.org. (LO)
Cubans who immigrated to Miami in the Sixties remember their homeland as a glamorous, polished jewel -- America's playground, where Hemingway sipped mojitos at La Bodeguita del Medio. This weekend folks who recall those days of decadent capitalism -- and those who wish they could -- can indulge at CubaNostalgia 2005. This three-day event, described as "the premiere Cuban event outside of Cuba," is in its seventh year. A quarter-century ago many of the 100,000 refugees who came ashore in the Mariel Boatlift were processed at this year's venue, the Fair Expo Center (10900 Coral Way, Miami). To make the sentimental event feel even more like a time warp, a replica of a typical Fifties kitchen and a Havana cathedral corner will be on display. Check out the cigar art booth, and before perusing a pictorial history of Cuba, feast on black beans and rice and then enjoy a tribute to Celia Cruz. Azúcar! Doors open at 11:00 a.m. Admission is $12 for adults; $6 for children under twelve. Call 305-856-7595, or visit www.cubanostalgia.org. (PEGY)
If you've ever seen something unoriginal and uninspiring displayed prominently on an art gallery wall and thought, Damn! I can do better than that, then listen up. ArtCenter/South Florida is presenting a thoughtful series of free professional development seminars for artists. Today's panel discussion, "What Does It Take to Get Noticed by a Gallery, Museum, or Alternative Space?" will feature a respected roster of gallery owners to answer that question in no-nonsense terms. Gerano Ambrosino, owner of the Ambrosino Gallery; Lori Mertes, curator of the Miami Art Museum; Frederic Snitzer, director and owner of the Frederic Snitzer Gallery; and Bernice Steinbaum, owner of the Bernice Steinbaum Gallery, will discuss strategies for gaining the attention and respect of Miami's art elite. The seminar begins at 2:00 p.m. at ArtCenter, 924 Lincoln Rd., Miami Beach. Call 305-674-8278, or visit www.artcentersf.org to reserve your spot. (PEGY)
That catchy little tune from Mary Poppins should be inspiration to attend today's Miami Lakes International Kite Fair presented by Pollo Tropical. Children and adults are invited to spend the afternoon in the park flying, making, and watching kites. You can bring your own or make one on-site (all materials are free!) and then compete in the coolest kite and aerobatics contests. When your neck grows tired from staring at the sky, you can take a break to enjoy the health and fitness demonstrations, face painting, music, and tasty beverages. Go fly a kite from noon to 5:00 at Miami Lakes Park, 6411 NW 162nd St., Miami Lakes. The event is free, and for every person who attends, Pollo Tropical will donate one dollar to the Miami Lakes Parks and Recreation department, so bring your friends, cousins, and neighbors. Call 305-670-7696, or visit www.pollotropical.com. After you're done flying your kite, clean yourself up and head over to Nikki Beach (1 Ocean Dr., Miami Beach) for an open casting call for the film Miami Vice. They are looking for male and female "models" (hey, you know it's all in the attitude) between the ages of 21 and 35 who are interested in being pretty background props to the hunky Jamie Foxx and Colin Farrell. Bring your best headshots and be prepared to stand in line with all the other wannabe stars from 3:00 to 8:00 p.m. Call 305-538-1111, or visit www.nikkibeach.com. (LO)
In 2000, thanks to the title of her platinum-selling album, people were asking, Who Is Jill Scott? Well, this year they'll be asking, "Who is Renea L. Moss?" This Miami native is a well-known veteran in local spoken-word circles. Her sophomore CD release, Love Costs, is all about smoothed-out, hip-hop-influenced spoken word for grown folks, and she just dropped the first single from her album, a track called "Ghetto Exodus." Now she's setting out on a fifteen-city tour to promote her debut book, a slamming collection titled In Your Face. Moss will bless the mike tonight at 8:00 at The District Restaurant and Lounge, 35 NE 40th St., Miami. Call 305-576-7242, or visit www.thedistrictmiami.com. Learn more about this poet on the rise at www.reneasworld.com. (PEGY)
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Have you ever had one of those weeks when everything goes wrong ... and it's only Tuesday? Sometimes you just can't wait for the weekend to unwind. Lucky for you, Bougainvillea's Old Florida Tavern (7221 SW 58th Ave., South Miami) has a jammin' reggae night with JP Jam and drink specials that are easy on your wallet: three dollars for Red Stripe beer and four dollars for rum runners and Appleton rum and Cokes. Admission is free. Call 305-669-8577, or visit www.floridatavern.com. (LO)
Paul McCartney's psychedelic brainchild Magical Mystery Tour spawned an amazing list of classic rock chart-toppers, including "I Am the Walrus," "Strawberry Fields Forever," and "Penny Lane." But the title track inspired a local celebration of South Florida history and culture. The Magical History Bus is going to take you away ... on a tour in honor of MiMo Month. Author and Miami Beach historian Randall Robinson, Jr. and archive director Steven Davidson will lead the tour throughout North Beach and the Biscayne Boulevard corridor, pointing out architecture from the Miami Modern period. Six video monitors on the luxury vehicle will entertain you with historical images courtesy of the Louis Wolfson II Florida Moving Image Archive. Queue up at the corner of Ocean Terrace and 74th Street. You can get on the bus at 6:00 p.m. Admission is $20. Call 305-375-1505 to reserve your seat. (PEGY)
By Lyssa Oberkreser and Patrice Elizabeth Grell Yursik