Exploring Miami’s Little Buenos Aires
comment 2 Written by on July 3, 2010 – 4:02 am


I was in Miami on Sunday when Argentina played Mexico. I was told there was only one place for me to go: Normandy Isle, a northern part of Miami Beach known as Little Buenos Aires.

My guidebook noted it was a big area for Argentinian immigrants, yet still nothing prepared me for what I found.

Argentinians are patriotic at the best of times, but take them out of their homeland and it is a locura (madness). Every car had flags waving out the windows. There was celeste and white as far as the eye could see. There was a band beating drums. It was livelier than any world cup street scene I’ve experienced so far in BA.

Want proof? Above is a (very rough) video I took in Manolo’s, an Argentinian fast-food restaurant.

One of my favourite moments of watching the game was when one lone Mexican walked into the restaurant. Two hundred Argentinians turned on him and… sang.

Later, one other particularly bold Mexican (dressed in a giant sombrero) was posing for pictures with Argentinians outside the Buenos Aires Bakery. I spoke to the owner’s daughter, who told me that he was an employee. They aren’t just Argentinians turning out the facturas and alfajores. They have taught Mexicans and Puerto Ricans the trade too.

This is the way of life in Miami. The next day I met a guy from Bangladesh who, having won the Green Card lottery, bought an old Puerto Rican hangout and was learning to cook their local dishes. I also met gringo who has just bought a hole-in-the-wall café that serves a mixed menu of Cuban sandwiches, fried chicken and vegan salads in order to appeal to a clientele comprises of Cuban-American, African-Americans and students.

My week in Miami was fascinating – from Little Buenos Aires to Little Havana to Little Haiti. More to come on Miami’s multiculturalism soon….

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