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Miami is an awesome city full of unexpected experiences that locals know about best. Get out there, discover and see what can be #FoundInMiami Learn More ».
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😲 Think twice if these folks knock on your door.

(📸: Unsplash)


WHAT ARE THEY? They’re basically ballot brokers, some of them influential members of South Florida communities, some of them lesser-known, who are paid to get extra absentee mail-in ballot votes for political candidates, particularly in bilingual communities.

HOW DO THEY DO IT? There’s all kinds of examples that range from super shady and weird (using the addresses of dead voters to cast votes for a candidate) to more straightforward: having a boletero go into a retirement home where most residents only speak Creole or Spanish, and convincing them to cast votes for a candidate even if they don’t know much about the election or the person.

HOW DOES THIS STILL HAPPEN? It takes a lot of effort to charge these folks and often they’re only caught if they possess a lot of ballots illegally, forge someone’s signature or if there’s a key witness to the illegal behavior. Even then, the cases can take years to prosecute. And even when there are penalties like jail time, the stints are typically short or reduced to probation and the boleteros—or the politicians—can bounce back.

USAGE: “Yeah we knew they were using boleteros, but we couldn’t prove it.”

We’ll be rolling out more entries in the Miamipedia in the coming months but we know there’s stuff we haven’t thought about. Hit reply and let us know or hit us up at [email protected] to tell us any other suuuper Miami terms, phrases and people we should include. Until then, you can check out the previous installments here.

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Extracting iguanas in toilets, finding kinkajous in bedrooms, rescuing Golden Retrievers from water canals… it’s never a boring day for the Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Venom Response Team.

Now in its 20th year, the specially-trained venom response team is the go-to group to call when there are literally snakes on a plane.

According to the CDC, 7,000-8,000 people per year receive venomous snake bites in the U.S. and the 24-hour team maintains the largest and only antivenom bank for public use in the U.S. They assist in snake bites not only locally, but also nationally and internationally.

Go behind the scenes with Lt. Scott Mullin as he talks about some of his memorable calls while on duty with the venom response team.

Get your hands on a Marlins Tropical Jersey as you enter the ballpark on Saturday, August 11 as the Marlins take on the Mets! Learn More ».
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The wait is over. Augmented reality tech startup Magic Leap’s first product is finally on the market in a few select cities, including Miami. But Beyoncé was not impressed, and the critics also seem pretty “meh” about the Magic Leap One Creator Edition, which has a $2,295 price tag. Even founder Rony Abovitz admits that maybe they hyped it a little too hard… But we’re still super curious about how it all works. (Miami Herald)

Well that’s a pleasant surprise. U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio says he’ll ask federal agencies to block Miami-Dade County’s request to build an extension of the 836 expressway past the Urban Development Boundary, the point past which no development is supposed to occur. Although the county commission approved the request, it needs federal approval to go through, and Rubio says that while he feels the pain of locals commuting from West Kendall, the traffic solution can’t come at the expense of Everglades restoration. If constructed as planned, the highway extension would cut several miles into South Florida’s fragile wetland ecosystem. (Miami Herald)

All the pikliz. Restaurateur Marcus Samuelsson took a trip down to Miami for an episode of “No Passport Required” to explore our dope Haitian food scene. It aired Tuesday night, and you can now watch it online. And if the show has you feeling hungry, here’s a guide to all the noms Samuelson tried on the show. (Eater)

Coming on too strong. Miami-Dade County Mayor Carlos Gimenez came out swinging against City of Miami Mayor Francis Suarez’s proposal to expand his powers, calling it an “overreach.” Suarez wants Miami to transition to a strong mayor system in which the mayor is the top administrator, rather than the city manager (which is the current arrangement). The county has a strong mayor system as well, but Suarez’s proposal gives him even more power than Gimenez, and Gimenez says it goes too far. Right now Suarez is lobbying to put the issue on the November ballot, leaving the final call up to voters, but he’s facing a whole lot of opposition on the commission, and from some… colorful… members of the community. The commission will make a decision on Aug. 14. (Miami Herald)

The condo king speaks. The Miami Herald chatted up mega-developer Jorge Perez, who’s credited with basically redrawing the skyline of our city, on everything from the legacy he hopes to leave with the Related Group’s redevelopment of Liberty Square to what it’s like to be investigated by the federal government to why he thinks the argument that foreign buyers are driving our unaffordability crisis is BS. It’s worth a read. (Miami Herald)

Red tide 101. You’ve been hearing a lot about red tide lately, which has killed marine animals up and down the southwest Florida coast. Here’s what it is, why it happens, and what it does to the environment. (Bradenton Herald)

Oldies but goodies. The best selection of antiques in South Florida is hiding in North Miami, on NE 125th Street’s lowkey “20th Century Row,” and now there’s a guide to help you track down that unique 1970s find. (Indulge)

Check out this event from our advertiser, Miami Marlins.

🔑 DJ Khaled Bobblehead at Marlins Park Major key alert. One the best bobbleheads is making its way to Marlins Park on Sunday, August 12 as the Marlins take on the Braves!

Our Partner Events

🗣️ Friday: The maker of “Random Acts of Flyness” comes to Art Africa for a night of film shorts (Overtown)

🎉Saturday: Check out a pop-up day party for artists, social entrepreneurs, and civic engagement (Wynwood)

🍳Wednesday, Aug. 15: Learn how to cook some summer favorites with Julie Frans (Wynwood)

🕉 Saturday, Aug. 26: Do a yoga scavenger hunt with Athleta on Lincoln Road (Miami Beach)

🎶Through Aug 16: Get refreshed at Jackson Hall’s happy hour  (Allapattah)

Around Town


🎙️Catch J. Cole in concert at the AmericanAirlines Arena (Downtown)

🎶Jam on a roof deck in the A+E District (Downtown)


🎸Celebrate the ‘80s with The Ordinary Boys (Upper East Side)

🎷Catch Melton Mustafa at the Historic Hampton House (Brownsville)

🎙️Speakfridays takes over the Yard (Wynwood)

🎸Jam with Locos por Juana (Brickell)

🍷Drink wine and help clean up Wynwood (Wynwood)


🚮Help clean up the Miami Marine Stadium (Key Biscayne)
🌿Catch Secret Garden’s return to the Wynwood Art Walk (Wynwood)

💥Celebrate one year of comics with Multiverse – through Sunday (Tamiami)

🚬 Learn how to roll cigars from the pros (Downtown)

🛥️ Explore the lighthouses of Biscayne Bay (Cutler Bay)

📺 Hear from the folks who brought local TV series Grown to life (Downtown)


🎞️ Catch a Soviet-era double feature (South Beach)

🚴 Explore the history of The Roads by bike (Brickell)

🌆 Take a walking tour of the Art Deco District (South Beach)

🎞️ Catch a screening of My Fair Lady (Coral Gables)


🎵Join Shenzi for their Miami debut (Midtown)

🗳️Get to know your judicial candidates (Downtown)

🚉 Reimagine mobility in Miami-Dade (Cutler Bay)

Going to one of these? Take us with you! Email a pic to [email protected] or tag @thenewtropic on Instagram. See more upcoming events on our events page, and add your own events with a New Tropic membership.


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