Thursday, June 05, 2008

Memorable Nights, Good Years


Back in the days (nights?) when Saturday Night Live was on television it was like the entire world stopped! Just about everyone that I knew was either at home watching it or with a group of friends watching it. Refreshments, perhaps some beer or wine, a few tokes from a joint being passed around, that was all part of the Saturday night ritual. That and laughing your ass off.

The skits, the jokes, the one liners were topics of conversation for days afterwards. Of course a lot of the humor was based on world events then current, and without knowing what we now refer to as the "back story" many wouldn't be the least bit funny. At the time, though, they were hilarious!

So the City of North Miami started some free outdoor concerts on the last Friday of the month, called Jazz at MOCA, and bought a portable stage and tons of lighting and sound equipment.

The next step was to do something similar, yet different, along a stretch of West Dixie Highway a few blocks to the north. It's an area with a number of West Indian restaurants and stores. It was decided to hold it every Saturday night, at least through the summer, and from 133 Street south to about 128th Street there's music at every intersection. Some is live and some is with a DJ. Some fantastic reggae! Most of the shops are open, as are all of the restaurants. You're not likely to see men with longer dreadlocks anyplace else in the United States.

There's fresh barbeque wafting enticing its enticing smell down the street, ribs and chicken, and if you're adventursome you can find some curried goat. It's really good. The Jamaican cuisine leans towards curry while the Haitian is mostly just really spicey hot (and I mean HOT!) and peppery. There's also a sampling of Cuban cooking, along with delicacies from other parts of the Carribean.

I was chatting with Councilman Jacques Despinosse a few days ago about ways for attracting more people. There's no shortage of nearby parking and it's easy to get to from the Beaches and I-95. Most of the people I see there are island folks who make their home here in North Miami. The local whites seem to ignore the opportunity to enjoy the food and the music just five minutes from where they live. The exact same people who spend piles of money on Carribean vacations and cruises so they can eat the same food and listen to the same music as we have right here. Crazy, huh? I always have a great time. I always eat too much also.

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