Little Havana is a State of Mind

Merchants Chime In on Tourism in Little Havana

“The plaintive wail of a bolero crooner echoes across a dusty sidewalk baked by a merciless sun. Soon the ringing chords of a Spanish guitar erupt from a Little Havana souvenir shop. Dominoes clack as they are shoved about by elderly men smoking cigars, and throngs of Midwestern, European, and Asian tourists scramble out of a double-decker bus.

It’s a scene that takes place several times a day along a stretch of Calle Ocho between 17th and 13th avenues, where a collection of artists’ studios, fine art galleries, cigar shops, dollar stores, botanicas, and restaurants draws people eager to immerse themselves in the historic neighborhood’s exotic vibe. They weave in and out of local shops for a shot of café cubano, a box of freshly hand-rolled stogies, or an occasional work of art.”

-Carlos Suarez De Jesus

Miami New Times

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