Monday, February 18, 2008

Miami: Visit to Star Island, 1998

For many years my wife and I would travel back and forth between Philadelphia and Bogota and change flights in Miami. We were curious to visit Miami but didn't have the chance to do so until 1998, when our flight from Philadelphia to Bogota had a six-hour layover in Miami.

We left the airport and found a taxi driver who offered to take us around the city for three hours. This taxi driver was originally from Sweden and on his card said that he spoke 14 languages. His Spanish sounded very Cuban, and he conducted the entire tour in Spanish. While he was driving he took a call on his cell phone from his daughter. They were discussing the results of the World Cup that was going on at that time. He spoke to her in Danish and gave her the score of the game: "et - et" (1-1).

Among the places he took us were Coconut Grove, Miami Beach, particularly South Beach, and Biscayne Bay. On the way back from Miami Beach, we stopped at Star Island, home to many celebrities. He drove up and told the guard that he was taking us on a tour, and he was let through. He stopped at the house in the first photo that he said was the residence of Gloria Estefan. (Note: On Google Earth Gloria Estefan's house is now identified as a different house on the island.) The next stop was a house that he said formerly belonged to Julio Iglesias (second photo).

After this trip we felt content that we finally were able to see something of Miami. We returned to Miami in 2003 and stayed ten days.

Visit my webpage on Latinos in the United States at

Other websites:

Caribbean Folk Arts Network (Caribfolk) - Caribbean cultural network:

Raices Culturales Latinoamericanas (Latin American Cultural Roots) - a nonprofit organization I founded in 1991 that presents Latin American cultural shows, exhibits, and workshops:

Raicesnews - Latin cultural events in the Philadelphia area:

No comments: