“Niña/o saluda.” Say these words to a Cuban kid and watch as they forget their stranger-danger sensibilities and reluctantly give you an awkward and messy kiss on the cheek. I’m pretty sure besito is the third word we learn as babies, after mamá and bistec. Then it’s kisses on the cheek for the rest of your life – and for … More Un besito
I was in Miami when Fidel Castro died. More specifically, when the news broke I was asleep on a pull-out couch in Hialeah exactly one block from la 49 del west. I honked my horn, drank entire coladas and serendipitously ran into Marisela Verena en una esquina de Mary Brickell Village. Since then many have written, much … More Periodo especial
I often tell people that Pitbull is my cousin. This isn’t true, of course. But I have a gift for bullshitting people with my dead-pan delivery and expressionless cara de mierda. It’s not entirely too far fetched that Armandito and I could be cousins, both being Cuban-Americans that grew up in Miami, both randomly screaming dale and both with an … More El primo
Cubans get to have two of everything. Uno aquí y otro allá. La heladeria Coppelia en el Vedado, Coppelia ice cream in Miami Havana Club hecho en Cuba, Havana Club produced by Bacardí Tabacos Cohiba cosechados en Pinar del Río, Cohiba cigars rolled in the D.R. El Floridita Bar en Obispo, El Floridita Restaurant in Los Angeles El Floridita de allá: Ernest Hemingway … More Dos mojitos
For your listening pleasure, the proper pronunciations for Pa’ su escopeta, Imaginate tu, Ya tu sabes y De madre – as recorded from a conversation with my mom without her permission.
“I live on Hazeltine,” I told a new friend, only to be immediately corrected. “Honey, you live here now, it’s pronounced Hay-zel-TEEN.” Bueno, but that’s an English word, at least I’ll have the Spanish ones down, or so I thought. It turns out that my super Spanglish is absolutely no use, as every sign across … More R con R cigarro