You are viewing articles tagged cocks.

Monday February 11, 2008

Calm Bobby goes to a cockfighting ring. “Honestly, after the initial shock subsided, I was happy as hell to be there. This was a covert and illegal operation, probably the dumbest thing I had ever done. But I admired the culture around it, the energy in the room, all the men still trying to hold on to their old lives in Cuba or Mexico or Haiti.”

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Tuesday January 8, 2008

Cockfighting bust

cockfighting map

The spot marked above (click to zoom in) was the site of a major cockfighting bust this weekend. 37 people were arrested, with “a mob of suspects” getting away, and 40 roosters were found on the premises, two shot to death, Michael-Vick-style.

How the bust happened is that somebody heard the gunshots, called that shit in, and all police had to do was swarm in (helicopter and all). So, that’s fine. I get why cockfighting is illegal, but I sort of hope the law goes easy on the perpetrators, mostly elderly Latin-America men. I raised an eyebrow when I read that the case was being handled by the “organized-crimes bureau,” which I take to mean Miami Dade PD’s Special Investigations Division. And get this: “Big cockfighting busts are usually limited to extended investigations.”

Yeah, that’s right: the folks charged with conducting “major economic, narcotic, criminal conspiracy, auto theft, and organized crime investigations, and investigations associated with prostitution, gambling, and pornography that exceed the resources of other departmental elements” ALSO find the time to conduct extended investigations into cockfighting rings. Am I the only one that wishes they would spend their time otherwise?

But rest easy, my cock-fighting fans: at the rate of one closure every 2.5 years, it doesn’t look like they’re making much progress taking down this shadowy criminal conspiracy. We gather that cockfighting goes on un-much-abated in our lands. So, now a moment of silence for the cocks.

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Wednesday October 31, 2007

Two more roosters found!

william burroughswilliam burroughs

Muchas gracias to Suzy of MB411 for sending these photos over. She says: “I found you some more cocks! These aren’t Cuban though…I found each of them outside of Nicaraguan establishments! The first one is on Flagler and NW 16th Ave and the second is on SW 2nd ST and 8th Ave.”

Perfect. I’d say that we now have enough material to get a tag up: cocks. And while careful examination of the shapes suggests that not all the photos are originate from the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust program, clearly there is a family resemblance. So . . . does anyone have any more cock pictures?

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Monday October 29, 2007

Found: another one of the cocks, at Miami’s famous Firehouse Four.

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Monday October 1, 2007

The Little Havana roosters

william burroughswilliam burroughs

One of the more colorful bits to come out of the Miami-Dade Empowerment Trust situation is the case of these fiberglass roosters. Eight of these were ordered by the trust five years ago (total cost: $26,000) to give some pizazz to Little Havana. They quickly became the subject ridicule, then of vandalism.

Most of them have been mercifully removed, one still stands, hopefully to remind our esteemed leaders to relax and keep their notions of “art” to themselves. For crying out loud — Bacardi logos? What on earth were they thinking?! I photographed these in 2003; Veronica mentioned one in her piece on Little Havana in 2005.

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Saturday June 18, 2005

Cockfighting Arena Closed

Speaking of roosters, police busted a cockfighting arena in northwest Dade yesterday. Not a sting operation or anything, they just sort of stumbled on it. And it’s not what you think; this place was very fancy: “about 50 caged cocks, wooden bleachers, a practice ring, numbered chairs and a VIP room.” We bet they had some primo hooch on hand, too. Ammeneties like that make one wonder how many cockfighting rings must operate down here.

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Friday June 17, 2005

Juices

[Contributed by Veronica Fernandes]

Biking to Calle Ocho, what my ears expected was to hear Cuban music from the heart of the most Cuban place outside of Cuba.
“You will be surprised, everybody down there loves Buena Vista Social Club.” And I thought I could accept its naïve stereotype for a little while.

I kept biking, and I couldn’t hear more than “psst-psst” from cars and trucks. Suddenly, in the middle of the street, a huge red-and-brown rooster trying to look all friendly smiling with his beak told me, “Welcome to Little Havana (for tourists use and abuse).” Not used to these straight endless American streets, I was still distrustful, and decided to look for the real (whatever that means) Little Havana somewhere else; in little abandoned-looking backyards and narrow lanes behind stores, where it seemed I was not allowed. How has this place been described?

Description A: yellow and red streets, friendly people welcoming you, rum and coke flavor, animal sacrifices in every corner of the street. Wrong.

Description B: nobody cares of people strolling around, its easy to walk alone. Wrong. “Psst-psst.” Wrong.

Description C: unsafe – there are no attractions worth that name.
To check.

After a lot of “psst-psst” and undressing looking, I stopped at a green corner, which ended up being a dusty-and-green combination juice bar and a grocery store. The sign was orange chalk on a school-size blackboard: “Juices.”

Everything was white and orange, plastic stained and burnt table cloths, straws, plastic flowers, and the frame of a big dog picture. Some good old well-known regulars (unlike me) were sitting on a bench, analyzing the situation outside, without talking. Still and bitter atmosphere. The whole place looked like a doll house – children’s drawings hanging on the wall, an elephant-shaped teapot, nail polish bottles, Miami postcards, and plastic grapes. And, right in front of that, a quite young man washing coffee cups, laughing at the guy behind a castle of watermelons and bananas.
The main attraction: a big steel juicer shining under the sun outside.

A short Cuban lady –the owner- looked at me with a who-are-you-and-what-the-hell-is-that-camera expression. To make sure I got the message she asked, “what do you want?”
Unimpeachable customer care.

“Can I have a strawberry juice?”

“We don’t have.”

“Cantaloupe?”

“We don’t have.”

“Watermelon?”

“Do you want a carrot-orange-lemon juice?”

Quiet, she started making my juice and three or four carrots drowned in that juice maker. Noisy. There was something very attractive about it. “Why don’t you take a picture of me?” I did, and she immediately stopped being interested in my camera.

After that, Little Havana became a dreamy view through plastic cups filled up of that juice. A stroke of still-life in my sight-seeing mood. To know more of this small world drowned in itself, apparently, I need I guide. (Like Dante, mpf)

A fat Argentinean guy showed a statue of Holy Mary holding a beheaded Holy Child. (Luckily, a fervid Christian put a plastic pink gardenia as substitutive head and gained his way to Heaven)

Second guide, Lorenzo. 70-year old Cuban man with light blue eyes. “My wife is in Cuba,” he said. “I left Cuba more than 30 years ago, because I hated it. I hate Miami, too. But I play domino.” In few minutes he introduced me the whole domino club –Little Havana’s throbbing heart- and forced me to drink 5 coladas in two minutes, with his sweet toothless smile. Around the tables, smell of cigars and sweat, and words coming from their mouths like snakes, lisping.

“Cuba is my heart.”

“Cuba is connected to Sicilian mafia, do you know that Italian girl?”

“I wanna be buried in Cuba.”

“Cuba was wealthy and happy, once upon a time.”

No present, only past and future, memories and hopes. “I buy gold in Colombia,” says Lorenzo, “to sell it here. I make good money, I have never been a Communist. Cuba is Communist. People die in Cuba, they don’t have enough food and children don’t have milk. And if they have some, they grow, but they are not happy. You are very lucky, you know? Why don’t you write something about that?” Well, I tried.

(Can I leave a sentimental note? I miss you a lot, all of you. Oofa.)

[Previously by Veronica: Miami is A Rebours ]

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