Category Archives: Calle Ocho

Reflections: Calle Ocho (One Week Later)

For 364 days out of the year, the stretch of SW 8 Street (aka Tamiami Trail aka US 41) east of 27th Avenue and west of SW 4th Avenue serves as the commercial destination of choice for residents of Miami’s famed Little Havana neighborhood. Panaderias, fruterias, fritangas, cafeterias, colmados, dulcerias, cigar shops, and dollar stores adorn both sides of the street. Pedestrians, properties built to the property line, and shade trees characterize the brick-paved sidewalks.

For 364 days out of the year, motorists use this same three-lane, one-way eastbound stretch to facilitate their (oftentimes) treacherous commute into Miami’s Financial and Central Business Districts.

One day out of the year, however, barricades are erected, detour signs are mounted, and motorists are forbidden from entering. SW 8 Street becomes

That’s right! Calle Ocho, baby!

Some come to show their latest moves

Some come to get their grub on

Some come to have their snakes pet

while others use the stage to push their agenda

Sidebar: Guess who was smiling when “The Hurt Locker” won the Oscar for Best Picture? Let’s see, we’re fighting a war on two fronts. Coincidence? I may have been born yesterday, sir, but I stayed up all night.

Some come to make a statement

Los fuertes come to do pull-ups.

They come to show national pride

Some come to be seen and not heard

Some come to show their assets off


Anybody got the number to a good orthodontist? Do my girl the favor.

Personally, I come for

and to make new friends

but no matter what you’re here for, don’t forget that this ain’t

baby. We’re in

B¡T¢H! This is for those who were

and it goes a lil’ something like this

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Calle Ocho (Recession Remix ’09 Volume 2.0)

It’s spring again.

Everybody knows it’s spring again.

To the girls and boys and people above.

This is the time to fall in love.

Nobody beats the Biz.

It’s March. And that can only mean one or all of four things – aguaseros, St. Patrick’s Day (think Miller Lite with blue #2 and yellow #5), my birthday ($20′s, $50′s, & $100′s, cashier’s checks, and wire transfers are accepted – no personal checks), and

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Recession Remix ’09 Volume 2.0 Version

The Recession Remix ’09 version didn’t include the last (or first – depends on your perspective – half empty/half full?) 7 blocks this year. SW 11th AVE served as the festival’s eastern boundary (as opposed to SW 4th AVE in years past). Kiwanis of Little Havana, sponsor and organizer of the 31-year-old street festival, was forced to (surprise, surprise) cut costs. Organizers cite that donations aren’t rolling through like they used to (not exactly in those words, but…).

Apparently, artists aren’t donating their talents these days either. Baby Rasta y Gringo, Fat Joe, and Mr. 305 himself – Pitbull (of “Culo” fame) – served as “headliners” in this year’s edition, a far cry from the Celia Cruzes, El Gran Combos, Oscar D’Leons, Willie Chirinos, and yes, even the talentless Gloria Estefans (with her record-setting conga line and all) of yesteryear.

But who goes to Calle Ocho for the “talent”? I mean, really, the last thing anybody’s worried about at Calle Ocho is if Yolandita Monge is gonna hit 3 octaves above Middle C. Calle Ocho is for notes of another kind

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Yep. Sapporo, the sumo wrestler in a can, was back in Little Havana this year. You may remember that last year these pups were $1 (as in won dolla). Well, the good folks at Casa Juancho – home to the sumo wrestlers – marked it up 100% this year! That’s right, this year Sapporos were

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Still the best deal in town, by far. Remember, these sumos are good for 22 oz. Did you notice the Don Q for $3? Oowee!

Nevertheless, last year’s rules (click here for last year’s rules) were still kind of in place this year. The New Balance 992′s? Check. Canon PowerShot SD 750? Got it. Hat down low? Yes, Sir. Arnette eyewear? You know it.

What else? Mas na’. Time to beat the pavement and make new friends.

Friends like

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“Peanut butter jelly time. Peanut butter jelly. Peanut butter jelly. Peanut butter jelly with the baseball bat”.

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How do you say “camel toe” in Spanish again?

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You KNOW Puelto Jico was in the house. You can’t call it a party if you didn’t invite a Puerto Rican. Straight up.

Or maybe I’ll just keep it Clark Kent and kick it with

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Naw, who wants to kick it with a mild-mannered reporter at an event like this when you can kick it with

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No come dulce de leche por el colesterol. Dice palabras en ingles mezclada con español.

Or maybe I’ll just grub on some

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Note: If the following conversation was taking place in Facebook, it would be taking place via the inbox, not on the wall (hint, hint!). Go ‘head and get you a lil’ Facebook etiquette for free…

Hachy (Cyber BFF), I thought about the paella and the dry ice and calculated the shipping costs and all that, but – remember the sumo wrestlers in a can?

I had a few.

Well, maybe a little more. You understand, I’m sure.

Not a big fan of paella? Let’s see what else is cooking:

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Alright. That’s more my speed.

How ’bout some

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I could’ve gone with

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but opted for

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and

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Nicaraguans know their meat. The carne asada was as good as it looks. Very tasty. The gallo pinto? I’ve had much better. But remember – sumo wrestlers.

The arepa? I can’t remember the last time I’ve had a good one. Anybody know where they serve a good arepa?

Dessert?

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Naw, this is a much better dessert

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Sorry. I meant this

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There.

Is that salsa music?

Of course. There’s a salsa school doing their thing in front of the stage. You know what I’m talking about. You got the guy screaming “Coca Cola” and everybody reacts to his call in synchronized manner. That’s dope. They practiced hard last week.

Hey, I know that voice. Yeah, the raspy backup vocals? You know it too? Is that…that’s him, right? You mean the guy who voted yes so that the Marlins can have their very own ballpark in the wrong location?

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I knew it was him. He’s got some vocals. Good footwork too.

Damn, I lost my friends. Where did

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go?

Damn. They left me.

Oh well, I wanted to buy you all a souvenir anyways. Check it out. I thought about getting you an

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but then you’d think I’m cheap. So I thought about

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but then you’d think I’m cheap AND a communist, so I thought “why don’t I just get them something that’ll show some good ole’ nationalistic pride?”

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but I realized right before I was about to pay that not everyone wears a belt. So I moved on to the guy right next to him, cause he had

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but I had to run out of there. Homeboy threatened to sue me after I questioned the authenticity of his goods while photographing them. Take a look:

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That’s a Louie baby!

Having to stop to catch my breath gave me a chance to think.

Being that

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I thought to myself, “Why would I buy you, my loyal readers, a generic gift at Calle Ocho when I can give you the gift that keeps on giving?”. You can have your very own straight-to-video copy of “Keep It Raunchy, Mami (and Papi)”. It’ll serve as a new and improved edition of “Calle Ocho: When In Doubt”.

You can thank me later.

Adrian Salgado is a realtor associate with dash – real estate company and can be reached at 305-491-7179 or SalgadoA@gmail.com. You can friend him on Facebook, follow him on Twitter, and/or connect with him on LinkedIn.

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La Parada de los Tres Reyes Magos

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It was the Vicks® NyQuil®. I knew I shouldn’t have. But damn, you know you’re not feeling well when it’s 80 degrees on your Totaline P474-1050 5/2 Day Programmable thermostat (courtesy of JP Air Conditioning), you’re shaking like a salt shaker and the Ying Yang Twins and Lil’ Jon are nowhere in sight.

I was supposed to meet Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar and….

The Vicks® NyQuil® knocked me out past noon.

Although I got there late (and missed out on the créme de la créme – Manny Diaz, Ileanita,  Joe Sanchez, Julio Robaina, Matti Bower, etc.), it was pretty easy to figure out the order of things:

  1. “Parade float” with big logos marketing to the Medicare-wielding Hispanic male and female demographic subset.
  2. Convertible Mustang with Univision news anchor/reporter, talk show host, and/or actor/actress sitting atop back seat smiling and waving at crowd.
  3. Motorcycle club of middle-aged men with middle-aged (but younger) woman in tow.
  4. Marching band of local historically black high school.
  5. Convertible Mustang with incumbent or aspiring local politician sitting atop back seat smiling and waving at crowd.
  6. Scantily-clad females smiling, waving, and dancing (simultaneously) while marketing a sporting event/sports team.
  7. Repeat (not necessarily in same order).

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Yep, Leon had la orquesta.

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The only thing better than seeing Raul de Molina (of El Gordo y la Flaca fame) sitting atop the backseat of a convertible Mustang would have been seeing Raul de Molina sitting atop the backseat of a convertible Mustang while eating Lili Estefan (la Flaca) one limb at a time with napkin tucked neatly under his chin.

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“Fiera, te enterastes que voy a desfilar en La Parada de los Reyes Magos?”

Fiera: “No joda”!

“Si, el clu’ de moto mio va a desfilar. Tuuuto, El Flaaaco, El Chiiino, mi primo Arieliiito…to’ el mundo. Me llevo a Yanusleyska…”

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I know they put the “F” in FCAT, but you can’t be serious. Don’t teachers teach students to proofread?

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By this time I was doing “The Creep Dog” and leading it into “Throw the D” (My uncle Pee Wee would’ve been proud).

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No pun intended, I’m sure.

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A FUEGO. Papi’s reward for missing the Eagles vs. Giants to bask in the sun with his snot-nosed little one instead (I know – priceless).

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I didn’t get this one. What does the sunglass-shielded cactus have to do with la Doctora Maribel?

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Oscar Haza, the modern day Maximo Gomez. Maximo Gomez was born in the Dominican Republic and fought for Cuba’s independence from Spain. Oscar Haza was born in the Dominican Republic and fights for TV ratings using Cuba (sigh) as his only (monotonous, some would say) topic.

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Somebody laughed at Baryshnikov too, I’m sure.

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U.S.A. Jersey (in a knot) with Dominican Republic cap and Cuban flag = bachata + salsa + drop it like it’s hot. Wicked.

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The people’s champ. It’s in his blood.

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How on earth did this dude score Barbara Bermudo, princesa puertorriqueña (de descendencia cubana, of course) from Guaynabo City, PR? She is the reason why anyone would watch Primer Impacto. Women to try to look like her. Men to create a mental image for later on that night.

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Peter Fonda approved.

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“Hello, deja el show. Súbete la mini-falda hasta la espalda. Súbetela, deja el show, más alta. Que ahora vamo’a bailar por to’a la jarda…”

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“No pague esa casa”! Alex Hanna of  Alex A. Hanna Law Library at St. Thomas University-fame would be proud.

By now, I’m sure you’re wondering: “Where’s the picture of Gaspar, Melchior, and Balthasar?”.

Great question. The search party put together  in search of los reyes was unsuccessful. They searched for camels, gold robes,  purple robes, grass, but came up empty handed.

An unnamed source (pictured below) made the following statement off the record:

“Esos descarao’ desfilaron, pero se dieron cuenta que los habian cogido pal trajin, se acomplejaron y vendieron el oro que llevaban, se parquearon abajo de una mata alante del Presidente Supemarque con un doce de Jenika (Heineken®), se fumaron la mirra y encendieron el incieso. “

I guess I’ll have to wait till next year.

Until then…

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Unnamed source

Photo Credit: The first image (artist rendition) of  Los Reyes Magos on this blog post courtesy of Marisa Montes.

adrian salgado is a realtor associate with dash, real estate company in miami, fl. you can reach him at 305-491-7179 or email him at salgadoa@gmail.com.

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Calle Ocho

March.

The first day of spring, St. Patrick’s Day, Palm Sunday, Easter, my birthday and…

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Yep. Calle Ocho everyone.

What else is there to do on a hot and humid Sunday afternoon after church and brunch?

Festival gear in check, I grabbed my Canon Powershot SD 450 and set out to brave the streets and elements of Calle Ocho. But before I ran up the miles on my New Balance 991s, I had to go over my rules one last time.

Calle Ocho Rules:

1. Roll solo. Clans, posses, crews and cliques.

2. Limit self to 1 beer/alcoholic beverage per hour.

3. It’s OK to look – just don’t stare.

4. Manitos atraz. No se toca.

Let’s see how things went:

After seeing this (note Sapporo)

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you know what happened to rule #2, right? And after demolishing, not breaking, rule #2 you know what happened to rule #3, right? And after…

You get the point.

Questions:

When did it become OK for “thugs” to pluck their eyebrows (I’m talking shape, arches and all)?

Does one size really fit all?

Is my generation filled with doom and disease?

Is nationalism good, bad or does it even matter?

Adrian Salgado is a Realtor Associate with RED I Realty in Miami, FL and can be reached at 305-491-7179 or SalgadoA@gmail.com

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