📸 Photo provided by Stanislas Riener
Bonjour, Stanislas! What do you do here in town?
Bonjour! I’m an educator and I manage a local not-for-profit organization called the Alliance Française Miami Metro; we’re a part of a worldwide network. We teach French and we develop cultural and educational programs with and for the local community and francophiles.
What neighborhood(s) are you reppin’?
Right now Downtown, but I’m originally from Paris and I’ve spent years in the Eastern Caribbean and Louisiana before moving to Miami.
What brings you most alive about the 305?
I love to navigate within the different cultural pockets and environments Miami offers. At first glance, Miami seems irrational and superficial, but when you scratch the surface a bit, it’s always possible to discover hidden and yet preserved gems behind the exuberance of the city.
How does Miami help you do what you do or influence your work?
I’m always amazed by the linguistic ecosystem of the city. It’s a very fascinating linguistic laboratory. The way Miami has embraced three languages — English, Spanish and Creole Ayisyen — to display public information is, to me, a recognition of the linguistic identity of our populations.
The way people code-switch with ease is also fascinating. As language teachers and educators, we need to highlight the importance of multilingualism and linguistic diversity in our practice, making sure that students — especially the youngest ones — are in a safe space. This helps to diminish the sense of insecurity that people may feel when they speak a language other than the predominant one. Multilingualism is the future!
What’s your favorite Miami memory?
So many! As there are now several cultural seasons filled with festivals and art fairs with creatives coming from all over, it’s hard to pick one… besides a specific moment, exploring our natural oasis either by foot, bike or kayak are always memorable!
If you could eat only one meal from a local restaurant for the rest of your life, what would it be?
It would have to be a three-course meal from three different locations! I would go for a classic stew conch with pikliz and banane pese at Chef Creole in Little Haïti, or a Thai green curry at Atchana’s in Coconut Grove, or a simple breakfast with pain au chocolat from La Croquantine dipped in a cafecito if I have to be “Frenchin’” in Miami.
Outside of any of the meals above, share where else you’d go on your perfect Miami day.
Ride to Key Biscayne to enjoy the beautiful scenery, explore Coconut Grove or Coral Gables the “flâneur” way, and discover an ongoing exhibition at MOCA, PAMM, or at the Little Haïti Cultural Center Art Gallery before ending at the Miami Beach Bandshell or at the tropical lush garden of Understory for great live music.
What’s your favorite local social media account and why?
If you could give any one piece of advice to locals, what would it be?
On a not-too-serious-but-still-serious note: put your phone down, get your eyes on the road while driving, put on your turn signal and give way to pedestrians.
If there was one thing you could change, address, etc. about Miami, what would it be?
Continue the development of public transportation to connect isolated communities and provide sustainable and affordable means of transportation. Let’s make the city more bike user-friendly, too.
What are you looking forward to in 2023?
Seeing the city develop as a cultural hub for the region and beyond; at our level, we aim to develop cultural exchanges with France and the French-speaking world while building bridges to other parts of the region like the francophone and creolophone Caribbean and the francophone populations in Canada and the U.S.
As such, in March we will celebrate the cultural diversity of the French-speaking world by inviting a theater company from Reunion Island to perform at the Koubek Center and also by organizing a film festival for schools at Coral Gables Art Cinema!
That’s a wrap on this week’s Locals to Know. Know someone who ought to be featured or would like to be featured yourself? Reach out by sending an email to [email protected] with the subject line “TNT Locals to Know 2023.” If chosen, you might just see yourself or a friend in a future newsletter.