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The Freedom Tower is a U.S. National Historic Landmark, home to a newly-renovated art museum, and a standout in the Downtown Miami skyline, but it started with a pretty humble purpose.
THE PAST: For decades it was known as the Miami News Tower, and was home to the newspaper of the same name until 1957, but in 1962 that all changed with the U.S. Migration and Refugee Assistance Act, which opened the door to Cuban immigrants.
The tower became the home of the Cuban Assistance Center, where thousands of Cubans received help and resources as they transitioned into American life. The center took over four floors of the building and the Miami News Tower became the Freedom Tower.
Check out our video on Facebook for more information on how the tower became the “Ellis Island of the South” and for a look at what the building’s being used for today.
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Taking it back. If there’s a better Hialeah tour guide than crooner Jon Secada, let us know, because we’re all about this tour of the icons of his childhood and the hot new spots in the rapidly changing city, like Leah Arts District and La Fresa Francesca. (INDULGE)
Say it with us: first world problems. Apparently, it is no longer possible to be “wealthy” with a net worth of $2.1 million if you live in South Florida. You now need to have $3.1 million in the bank, according to Charles Schwab. To be considered “financially comfortable,” though, you need a mere $1.5 million. Judging by those benchmarks, pretty much all of Miami-Dade County lives below the poverty line. But at least there are six years’ worth of vacant luxury condos for the financially comfortable to choose from. (Miami Herald, Miami New Times)
Missed connections. Just two days before the FIU pedestrian bridge collapsed, engineers saw some cracks. They were worried enough that they snapped a couple pics of them. But they never reported the cracks to the Florida Department of Transportation, who could have diverted traffic. Independent engineers say that was basically professional misconduct, but it’s unlikely it will be prosecuted as a criminal case because in Florida, contractors can often get away with murder when it comes to construction accidents. (Miami Herald)
So cool. The Cooking Channel’s Seaside Snacks and Shacks came to town and hit up Lulu’s Nitrogen Ice Cream. The ice cream shop in Edgewater is definitely no shack, but we do agree that Luisa Santos’s key lime pie milkshake was worth the trip for host Sabin Lomac. Don’t have cable? Catch the episode online… and look closely for a cameo from some New Tropic faces. (The Cooking Channel)
Pump up the volume. Sen. Daphne Campbell may be one of the shadiest SoFlo politicians out there (which is saying something) and her new campaign ad – by local artist and Jesus-endorsed former North Miami mayoral candidate Anna Pierre – may be ridiculous (why is there a dancing nurse at the 1:30 mark?), but that konpa beat? Don’t pretend that it doesn’t get you dancing a little. Hopefully she can afford both this ad and all those taxes she owes to the federal government though. (Miami New Times, Miami Herald)
For the Aquaman fans. Stretching 16 acres and sitting 40 feet deep off the coast of Key Biscayne lies The Neptune Memorial Reef, an underwater mausoleum designed to mimic the lost city of Atlantis. It’s home to the cremated remains of about 1,500 people. The reef is designed to be a final resting place, but it’s also flourishing as an underwater ecosystem. Placements can cost anywhere from $1,500 to $8,000. (Orlando Sentinel)
Your feel good story of the day. If this story about two local star football players spending their weekends delivering food to the homeless doesn’t give you the warm and fuzzies, we’re not sure what will. Former Gulliver players Robert Burns and Anthony Hasan started Second Spoon to take extra food from local restaurants and redistribute to the needy across the county, and now they’ve recruited friends and fellow football players to lend a hand. (Miami Herald)
🍳Today: Learn how to cook some summer favorites with Julie Frans (Wynwood)
🎶 Through Aug. 16: Get refreshed at Jackson Hall’s happy hour (Allapattah)
🕉 Saturday, Aug. 25: Do a yoga scavenger hunt with Athleta on Lincoln Road – corrected date (Miami Beach)
🚉 Talk about how to transform mobility in Miami (Downtown)
🔫 Talk gun control and mobilizing for change (South Beach)
🎬 Catch a series of flicks from the Miami Short Film Festival (Wynwood)
🎮Check out the new menu and play some games at The Anderson (Upper East Side)
🤣 LOL with Florida’s funniest female (Cutler Bay)
🥁 Celebrate Afro-Cuban dance – through Saturday (Downtown)
🎸 Catch some of the 305’s best up and coming bands (Homestead)
🐢 Squeal over a sea turtle hatchling release (Key Biscayne)
📻Get behind the scenes at WDNA for National Radio Day (Coral Way)
🍻Celebrate Veza Sur Brewing’s first birthday (Wynwood)
🎨Check out experimental art, film and workshops at 777 Mall (Downtown)
🌱Explore some nature and volunteer at EcoAction Day (North Miami)
🛥️Learn the history of Stiltsville and more on a sunset cruise (Downtown)
📚Learn ancient book-binding techniques at the Wolfsonian (South Beach)
🌳Take a bike tour through a lush tree canopy (Coral Gables)
😅Check out a comedy night at The Corner (Downtown)
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.
But did you notice that our guide to the Aug. 28 local and primary election is out? Now you have no excuse to not head to the polls ASAP. Be sure to tag us in your “I voted” 🤳.
– The New Tropic
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