Friday, July 29, 2005

Juan Ponce de Léon

Will Miami be the New Madrid?...

Miami-centric Caribe Posted by Picasa

Where lies the cultural traveling heart of an Hispano-American?In the Caribe itself? Longing for the labour market of real-estate bubbling Spain, and therefore Madrid?Dreaming about South Beach condos, instead?

The more I know and talk with people from the Northerner part of South America, particularly when you come across Ibero-Americans from Colombia, Venezuela or with Cuban DNA, the more I realize how Miami is in everybody's minds. From post-Castrist Takeover shelter to a kind of safe haven for earnings at home (to the Bogotá elite, for instance), Miami has become the magnet for the Caribbean elites. In a way, it has become a kind of Metropolis of a new post-imperial system.

To that two further interesting points should be added. On one hand, Miami is becoming more and more Hispanic" , and the rise of importance of the Spanish language there is phenomenal; on the other hand, the migrant fluxes to Spain from Latin American countries (Bolivia, Ecuador and Colombia, in particular) have been awesome (we are talking many hundreds of thousands here). It's almost like a re-arranging of puzzle pieces.

Will what started as a foothold on the (North)American Eldorado end up being the Jewel in the Crown of a new global Spanish-speaking system? (The only Western system that can rival culturally the "Anglo-Saxon" one, as some point out? ).

For local colour, I try to get material from the Miami Correspondent of this blog of yours. What? - the Honorable Reader finds himself exclaiming with sincere admiration - this blogger of yours has a network of correspondents? Well, always interested in improving the service provided to the Honourable Reader, I've decided to enroll some local expertise whenever appropriate. Tosca, whom I had the pleasure to meet in a cigarral off-Toledo some partytime ago ( alluded to in a blogtext entitled Domenikos Theotokopoulos) has been spending in South Beach her well-deserved holidays from a hard working life as a partridge-broker (if you like shooting and want a 'private finca stay and plenty of partridges downed' package, she's the girl to contact). What she tells me about the northamericanization of southernamericans living in Florida is a matter of concern, including that the decibel levels of children behavior and the obese-inducing average size of meals are not the most pleasant features of modern Miami (by the way, the postcard above depicts the yachting area of Miami in Arcadian good old times). There is of course the "new money" dimension to take into account, and some of the local gossip might not be high-cultured.
Tosca, correspondent in Miami, writes: “ Desde que llegué me ha pasado de todo pero te iré contando poco a poco ya que si no, tendrí­a que escribir horas.(...) Estoy impresionada de la gente aquí­ en Miami que es gente en general con poca educación pero con mucho dinero (…). Hay de todo pero sobre todo (…) y lo único que piensan es en el dinero y en las cosas materiales. Las conversaciones giran en torno alo que uno posee: mi carro de 70.000 dólares, mi casa de 2 millones de dólares, mi reloj de 10.000, mi mujer de 100.000 dólares, mi perro de tal marca, enano, reducido y que le ha costado un riñón para que no haga ruido ni ladre, por tanto no es ni un perro pero lo importante es lo que le costó“.

But that does not really matter in the long-term. The relevant issues will become clearer with time. What one wants to know is what kind of cultural fusion meal will result in the end from the dynamism of the US of A mixed with Caribbean energy a la Spanish language sauce ? Madrid, watch out..

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