I have lived and worked in cities most of my life. I write about city living and urban culture. What does that mean? I write about drinking joints, restaurants, urban devlopment, architecture, government, fashion, art, science and technology. I write about books, language, history, and philosophy.
My latest books: 1. Love & Words: Those Elusive and Inevitable Human Inventions. 2. Downtown Miami History: Chronilcing 125 Years. Excerpts:
Love & Words In the solitude of my days without Brigitte, I discovered infatuation, the prettier and violent smitten, the semi-medical melancholy, the melodramatic I miss you to death, and tuna fish for lunch. In a class for accent reduction and rhythm, the professor, a jazz pianist, and her conga player-assistant, made us foreign students sit in a semicircle to do all kinds of crazy chants. One I remember: “Oh, my Goodness, oh, my Gosh, tuna fish again for lunch.” Downtow Miami History The magic of books turns Downtown Miami into a paradise every November. Jorge Luis Borges defined paradise as an infinite library. The Miami Book Fair brings colorful tents, some five hundred authors, and thousands of books. First launched in 1984, the seed was planted for the audacious dream to establish Miami as an international hub for literature. Miami has been known for its pink flamingos, crazy beach parties, cocaine cowboys and political corruption. But the Miami Book Fair flourished, becoming, arguably, the largest literary even in the nation. It attracts luminaries such as the Nobel laureate Mario Vargas Llosa.
While leafing through the 2018 Fair Guide, Milan Kundera’s assertion about novels hit me. For him, a novel is a long definition of one or two words. His infectious logic led me to imagine the Miami Book Fair as a grand dictionary. Next, I set out to compose such a dictionary based on the writings of several participants. It would show the depth of the Fair without resorting to statistics. The methodology to compose my eccentric dictionary was simple: Match a word to a thought, in alphabetical order:
Books: Books are the plane, and the train, and the road. They are the destination and the journey. They are home. — Anna Quindlen.
Deadlines: Deadlines are a great antidote to insecurity. — Tina Brown
History: No, the good old days weren’t always good. That’s not an insult to America, that’s an affirmation of America: an America that makes itself stronger when, despite long odds and searing setbacks, everyday citizens stand up and decide that the way things are isn’t the way things have to be. — John Kerry.
Leadership: Good leadership requires you to surround yourself with people of diverse perspectives who can disagree with you without fear of retaliation. — Doris Kearns Goodwin
Memory: The thing is, all memory is fiction. — Robert Goolrick.
Truth: Why are we so obsessed with the truth — begging for it, asking for it, demanding it, when all we really want to do is confirm our own vision of reality?” — Jorge Volpi
Vision: You can’t be pro-business if you are not pro-education. — Julian Castro.
Young: "Strange to be almost fifty, no? I feel like I just understood how to be young." "Yes! It’s like the last day in a foreign country. You finally figure out where to get coffee, and drinks, and a good steak. And then you have to leave. And you won’t ever be back.” — Andrew Sean Greer.
I am the editior of Downtown News Miami. And founder and academic curator at Downtown Arts + Science Salon (DASS). "Cities are like lovers, you get what you give, and one of my gifts to Downtown is the DASS, an organization driven by the simple thirst to rediscover the art of conversation over a glass of wine or bourbon. We invite scientists, artists, thinkers, professionals in an array of fields to engage Downtown residents in conversation. Foster a sense of Downtown Community through conversation."
The Salon FUTURE DOWNTOWN. Two Downtown News columnists and I engaged six public figures, what we used to call public intellectuals, to X-Ray the jaw-dropping transformation the neighbrohood is undergoing. The conversation featured Miami Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins; the President of the Frost Science Museum, Frank Steslow; Miami Herald’s Andres Viglucci, reporter for urban affairs; Dr. Beatriz Gonzalez, President of Miami Dade College Wolfson; the preeminent urban planner Bernard Zyscovich, and one innovative real estate developer and preservationist, CEO of the Vagabond Group, Avra Jain.
Below, clockwise, at a Hstory Salon: Audience at Miami Dade College Live Arts Theater, the book presented, Raul Guerrero moderating, and panelists: Christina Vazquez, ABC Local News, Dr. Paul George, Historian in Residence Miami History Museum, Miami-Dade County Commissioner Eileen Higgins, Director Dade Trust Christine Rupp, Architect and University of Miami Professor Allan Shulman, and Beatriz Gonzalez, President Miami Dade College Wolfson.
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