From the Editor

This issue in particular is very personal to me. Yes, it’s our Abode Issue, the time of year when both our publications devote a section to those wonderful professionals that dedicate themselves to real estate, design, architecture and décor—basically everything that has to do with the home.

And seeing how the focus is the home, I wanted to dedicate the fashion section to an event that completely changed South Florida forever. This month marks the 39th anniversary of the Mariel Boatlift, a mass exodus of Cuban refugees who in 1980 fled Fidel Castro’s communist regime to start anew here, on our shores, with a relentless desire for freedom. 

Once a sun-drenched final destination for retirees, Miami was thrust into the spotlight with this colossal influx of Cubans—completely changing the landscape—and I’m not referring to the topography, although that changed too. The essence of South Florida shifted and transformed: the language, the food, the music, the politics…

This time ushered in the Scarface movie and later the Miami Vice era. Miami became decidedly more Latin…more dangerous, more sexy…it became more of more…

I remember the occurrence as a time when family members stayed in my home for months on end until they could find a place of their own and start their new life. All of a sudden I had all these aunts, uncles and cousins. It was Christmas in April. 

Everything was transforming—my hometown, my own home—everything in my young life changed, as I’m sure was the case for many. Such shifts are happening even in present day, with the influx of Venezuelans fleeing horrible conditions in search of a better life. 

This beautiful, and at times misunderstood, peninsula has seen many an immigrant fleeing strife and persecution. May it continue to be a beacon of freedom and a welcoming home for all. 

Besos & Blessings

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