Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Stop Shooting, It's Time to Eat!

Jose "Streaks" Baserva owner of Jose’s Real Cuban Food in Bradenton Florida

By Al Diaz
Boliche? Even though I grew up in a Cuban-American household I don’t remember ever eating it. So that’s what I ordered at Jose’s Real Cuban Food in Bradenton Florida. Boliche, Eye Round Roast stuffed with chorizo, black beans and rice, plantains or yucca at $13.95.

I stopped by last football season to visit, Jose “Streaks” Baserva, an old high school classmate and now a popular restaurant owner. I was in town on my way to photograph the University of Miami vs. the University of South Florida.

A few weeks before the game a message on my facebook account popped up that said, “ I think we went to school with this guy.”  Posted was a link to a YouTube video with host Guy Fieri on Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives, a television series on the Food Network.

Certainly not the host I thought, but maybe the chef? Could that be "Streaks"?

I hadn't seen the guy since he was a waiter at Pizza Loft in Miami. During the early 90s my wife Cindy and I would eat at the pizza joint regularly. When we would walk in, Jose always made us feel at home and provided excellent service. At the time I did not know the waiter attended school with me at Immaculata-LaSalle High School.

Jose was partially bald and was missing one major identifying feature, a white patch of hair he used to have just above his forehead during our youth. It was not until I overheard a conversation with the couple seated next to us that I found out Jose graduated from high school in 1976. I called him over to our table.

Oye José, what high school did you go to? “LaSalle” he said.
I did not recognize him. 

Well who the hell are you? I asked with a chuckle. We went to school together!
He told me his full name, Jose Baserva. That still did not ring a bell even with a graduating class of only 200 kids. He finally mentioned that white patch of hair. Streaks! I shouted, when I finally realized he was an old classmate. We all had a good laugh.

Pizza Loft eventually shut down and moved to Davie, Florida, and I never saw “Streaks” again until now.

In 1997 Jose opened Jose’s Real Cuban Food at 8799 Cortez Road West in Bradenton.

Tampa Bay photojournalist Brian Blanco says its Cuban food for real and recommends the Lechon Asado - Arroz con frijoles negros, yucca o platanitos…"House Signature" Roast pork, black beans and rice, yucca or fried plantain, $10.95

So while you are covering the Republican National Convention or in town photographing the Bulls or Buccaneers in Tampa Bay, go on and stop by Jose’s Cuban Café and ask for “Streaks.”

Tell him an old high school classmate sent you.

Boliche, Eye Round Roast stuffed with chorizo, black beans and rice, plantains or yucca at $13.95.

Friday, August 24, 2012

Hurricane Andrew: Flamingos in the Bathroom

During Hurricane Andrew, flamingos huddled in the bathroom of Miami Metrozoo. Ron Magill along with the staff of the zoo, now called Zoo Miami, rounded up the flamingos and put them in the bathroom for safety. Photo by Ron Magill. Radio Interview

For his entire adult life, Ron Magill has been responsible for taking care of animals.

Twenty years ago, he was the assistant curator at Miami Metrozoo and the man behind the lens for one of the most famous photos to come out of Hurricane Andrew.

In the picture, a bunch of flamingos huddle in a public restroom in the zoo. Hay covers the tiled floor and a white glare bounces off the tiled walls. The flock of birds looks completely out of place between the sinks and bathroom stalls.

The day before Andrew hit, Magill was nailing plywood over the windows at his house. He was also feeding rhinoceroses and rounding up a couple dozen flamingos.

“I remember thinking, gosh, you know, this hurricane better come after this work because I’m working my butt off and it better not be for nothing,” Magill said.

The staff at Metrozoo waited till the very last minute to move the flamingos. It’s a stressful process for the birds. They can easily break a leg. So, the staff wanted to be as certain as possible that the storm was going to hit.

Around 10 a.m. Sunday, Aug. 23, Ron and a group of his co-workers climbed into the flamingo pond by the zoo’s entrance. They formed a half circle and started advancing on the flamingos.

“That’s when all of the sudden we go: OK, one, two go!” Magill said. “And everybody goes in and just grabs as many flamingos as they can.

“And then we’re handing them up – we’ve got people on the bridge — handing them one by one, and they’re walking them to the bathroom, letting them go in the bathroom, coming back, getting more. A person literally hand walks him, holds him up to his chest, hand walks to the bathroom, opens the bathroom door, lets ‘em go.... It’s the first flamingo that gets in the bathroom that’s kind of freaked out. Oh my God I’m the only one here! It’s just a lot of flapping — and flamingos make a very unattractive sound, RAWG RAWG RAWG…”

After all the flamingos were in the bathroom, Ron looked back and saw a tangled mass of long pink bird legs and necks wedged between the sinks and bathroom stalls.

“Twenty to 30 flamingos just standing there. And they’re all in the corner, hovering in the corner, just kind of looking at you,” Magill said, “and looking at their own reflection in the mirror on the wall over the sink. And you look at their faces and they’re kind of like, what the heck is this?”

The zoo had put the flamingos in the bathroom before, during previous hurricane warnings. But this time, Ron had a camera. He had taken up photography because his research was getting published and he needed photos.

On his days off, Ron would shadow Miami Herald photographers.

“I learned from the guys at the Herald that listen, in journalism, you want to capture a moment, you want to have something that will instill some kind of emotion. And for that reason, I always had a point and shoot camera in my pocket. Always.”

So Magill pulled out his camera.

“I didn’t even look through the view finder,” he said.

And he snapped a shot. The shot, as it would turn out. He had no idea that photo would become an iconic image.

Then, Magill went home to his wife, who was nine months pregnant, in West Kendall . He rode out the storm that would ultimately redefine his community and the zoo he loved.
Read more about Hurricane Andrew Here

WLRN Radio Interview with Ron Magill

Hurricane Andrew: 20 Years

Photo by Patrick Farrell / The Miami Herald
Photo by Joe Rimkus Jr. l / The Miami Herald
The Miami Herald newsroom is abuzz with the sound of preparations for coverage of tropical storm activity in the Caribbean that may affect Haiti, Puerto Rico, Cuba and possibly South Florida. Tropical Storm Issac, which has not developed into a hurricane, only reminds us of the dangers of living along hurricane ally as many commemorate the 20th anniversary of Hurricane Andrew on August 24th. The violent Category 5 fury ripped through South Miami-Dade killing 15 people and destroying over 28,000 homes, 82,000 businesses and leaving 1.4 million homes without electricity for weeks or months.

Photo by C.M. Guerrero / El Nuevo Herald
Photo by Tim Chapman / The Miami Herald
For the anniversary, Miami Herald photojournalist Chuck Fadely produced Then and Now: Scenes from Hurricane Andrew. Miami Herald photographers return to the scene of iconic images they shot twenty years ago during the hurricane and reflect back on what they witnessed. 
Photo by Al Diaz  / The Miami Herald

Photo by Charles Trainor Jr. / The Miami Herald

Photo by Marice Cohn Band / The Miami Herald

Photo by Chuck Fadely / The Miami Herald
Photo by C.W. Griffin  / The Miami Herald
On Saturday, August 25, the Miami Science Museum invite you to Hurricane Andrew Remembrance Day

Peter Andrew Bosh Photo / The Miami Herald
The Miami Science Museum is hosting Hurricane Andrew Remembrance Day from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Aug. 25 at the museum.

The day’s events will include:

•  A planetarium show, “Remembering Andrew Under the Stars,’’ at 11 a.m. and 4 p.m.

•  Hurricane Forecasting: Then and Now, a panel discussion, from noon to 12:45 p.m., led by Frank Marks, director of the Hurricane Research Division and Chris Landsea, science and operations officer with the National Hurricane Center.

•  Hurricane Andrew Remembered, from 1:30 to 2:15 p.m., will feature hurricane experts Max Mayfield, former director of the National Hurricane Center, now hurricane consultant on WPLG-ABC 10; Stan Goldenberg, survivor and hurricane researcher at NOAA’s Hurricane Research Division, and Bryan Norcross, former meteorologist with WFOR-CBS 4 and now on The Weather Channel.

•  The Aftermath of Hurricane Andrew from 3 to 3:45 p.m., with Kate Hale, the former director of Miami-Dade Emergency Management, and Richard Ford of the Salvation Army Disaster Relief Team.

•  Theater video presentations: Andrew Specials at 11:20 a.m., 12:50, 2:20 and 3:50 p.m. The program will include television footage covering Andrew before, during and after the storm struck.

Tropical weather briefings at the Magic Planet at 11:45 a.m., 1:15 and 2:45 p.m.; kids’ activity stations where visitors can tell their Andrew stories and write their experiences on cards to be placed on a pinup board.

It’s all free with a paid museum admission. The museum is at 3280 S. Miami Ave. For more information, visit www.MiamiSci.org.

Chuck Fadely, C.M. Guerrero and Carl Juste prepare for an interview with CBS 4 in Miami on their coverage of Hurricane Andrew 20 years ago. At right is Jose Iglesias.

Miami Herald photojournalist Patrick Farrell is interviewed by Jilda Unruh for CBS 4 about his photographs taken after Hurricane Andrew. 
Miami New Times: Hurricane Andrew at 20: Miami Herald Reporters Remember
Random Pixels: "No one who lived through it will ever forget it."
Newspaper Alum: 20-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Andrew: A Q & A with former Miami Herald executive editor Doug Clifton 

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Big Picture: Opening Night

Photo of Al Diaz with his Angel de Panama by Chuck Fadely
Opening night at the Little Haiti Cultural Center Gallery was a hit. It is also the biggest print of my work I have ever seen measuring 8 feet tall! Here is a gallery of images of friends and fellow photographer's Big Picture, shot with the smallest camera I own, the one on my iPhone. For further information contact:
Lena Sendik
Iris PhotoCollective
Director of Sales and Marketing
Phone: 504-756-1492
The photograph on display is titled Mohawk by Jennifer Kay

At left to right are John VanBeekum, Charles Trainor Jr., Marice Cohn Band, exhibit curator Carl Juste, Al Diaz and Chuck Fadely. AUDIO

Patrick Farrell AUDIO

Charles Trainor Jr. AUDIO
Jon VanBeekum with Marice Cohn Band and her Bandera Vieja AUDIO

At right is John VanBeekum's Tuxedo Man AUDIO
Patrick Farrell, Al Diaz and Chuck Fadely

Many friends turned out for the opening exhibit including Matthew Pace and Paul Morris.

Here is a list of contributing photographers.
Jahi Chikwendiu
André Chung
Marice Cohn Band
Al Diaz
Patrick Farrell
C.W. Griffin
Carl Juste
Jennifer Kay
Heidi Levine
Pablo Martinez 
Joshua Prezant
Les Stone
Charles Trainor, Jr.
Nuri Vallbona
John VanBeekum
Clarence Williams

Sunday, August 12, 2012

Big Picture: Photo Exhibition in Miami

The Big Picture is an idiom often used in spoken language that refers to the overall perspective of objective, not just the fine details. It is an expansion of meaning that gives way to an over-arching theme. The details provide meaning, which eventually yields to understanding. In the visual language of photojournalism, comprehension is not determined by a large frame but rather, by large context. Iris PhotoCollective is pleased to announce its groundbreaking exhibition Big Picture, a group show curated by photojournalist, Carl Juste. Big Picture will open August 17, 2012, 7pm at The Little Haiti Cultural Center in Miami, Florida. The gallery is approximately 2,100 square feet with high vaulted ceilings—a perfect venue with ample space for an exhibition of this magnitude. The exhibition will display seventeen colossal images by seventeen extraordinary photojournalists. The work will be featured in high- resolution quality and size that will make viewers feel like they are part of the scene, allowing them to experience the event first hand. Each image is a physical manifestation of the expansion of meaning. The truth and relativity of the facts are the ingredients that expand the comprehension of the image. The viewer sees the larger context because they are drawn into the expanding frame, hence made to see the Big Picture.
Jahi Chikwendiu/Washington Post - Kogelo, Kenya 2009
Thousands of miles from Washington, DC, Kenyans celebrate the incoming U.S. presidency of Barack Obama. Kenyans, particularly from this village where the president's father was born, symbolically claim the new US president as their own president. A scene shot through one of the shawls that were on sale on the grounds of the Senator Barack Obama Secondary School in Kogelo, Kenya, where the incoming US president has roots. What is your big picture? Tell us. Come to see, feel, and get the Big Picture. 
Big Picture  
August 17, 2012 @ 7pm 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, Fl 33137 Little Haiti Cultural Center Gallery 305-796-4718
At the event their will be QR Codes for an audio presentation each photo graphger
 For an audio invitation by Carl Juste and Nancy Ancrum 
Click Here

Thursday, August 2, 2012

The Big Dig at PortMiami

Tunnel boring worker Ludovic Demarle pumps his fist as he pops out from behind the large blade used to excavate the new PortMiami tunnel.
Click Here for Tunnel Drilling Slide Show
Tunnel Drilling is Halfway Done!

The sight of the enormous drill named “Harriet”, reminded me of Darth Vader’s Death Star. The tunnel boring machine excavating under Government Cut was starting to peek through after months of digging from Watson Island.  Just as the largest chunks of rock pounded the earth the Star Wars Imperial Death March ringtone on someone’s cell phone went off. 
This image was shot with a Canon EOS 1D Mark IV SLR Digital camera with a Canon zoom wide angle - telephoto EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM. Shutter speed at 1/2000 second, F-stop 6.3 with an ISO of 250.


The making of an under-the-bay tunnel from the MacArthur Causeway to PortMiami reached a milestone Tuesday when the giant boring machine completed half the journey through Government Cut eight months after the digging began.

Now that one side of the tunnel has been carved out, the machine will be taken apart, turned around and pointed in the opposite direction to dig another tunnel back toward Watson Island. Read More Here:

Miami Herald Video by Jose Iglesias  
This second video is by Miami Herald
graphic designer Marco A. Ruiz
Jose Iglesias, at left, and Al Diaz at PortMiami recording history.