Best Botanica Miami 2008 - San Michel Variety Store and Botanica
This store is kinda like a one-stop-shopping center for earthly and spiritual needs. If, for instance, you are making a nice chicken soup, you can pick up some bouillon cubes for pennies at this sprawling wonder of Little Haiti. But if you are looking, say, for a candle, cologne, or aerosol spray that will summon the vodou warrior spirit Ogun, you've also come to the right place. Wood-carved saints, potted herbs for different healing remedies, incense, and even ceremonial textiles are on display and for sale. There's also a large selection of Florida honey and sacks of grains wedged between the flotsam of daily life. The store is colorful, chaotic, and a bit overwhelming — almost as if you've stepped into an emporium that captures Port-Au-Prince itself — and there's usually vodou chants or compas music in Kreyol blasting from speakers in the front of the store. So who needs the long plane flight to the island?