Little Havana Chicken Fears Gentrification
Melissa Peña-Cohen, a three-year-old brown and white hen, is crying fowl. The mother of five has lived on a small patch of grass next to the 8th Street Navarro Pharmacy’s utility box her entire life, but fears she may soon be pressured to leave as developers buy properties throughout her Little Havana neighborhood. “Cluck, cluck, b’kaw”, remarked Ms. Peña-Cohen, holding back the tears.
Although she is hopeful that she will be able to stay in Little Havana, Ms. Peña-Cohen has already spoken to her cousin Dominique about staying at her North Miami drainage ditch if she needs to leave her home at a moment's notice. “I understand what Melissa is going through,” said Dominique, “I was raised in Wynwood behind what is now the Warby Parker store before being forced north. Our neighborhoods are changing so fast. There just aren't many places for chickens like us to go.”
Plantain reporters spoke to Alfred Savron, Navarro Pharmacy’s manager, and asked whether CVS’ recent purchase of the Navarro brand would force Ms. Peña-Cohen and her family to relocate. “I really can’t speak to CVS’ plans for the property, but I know Melissa and her chicks and hope they continue to have a place in our changing neighborhood.”
CVS declined to comment, although Lisa Schmidt, the receptionist that answered the phone at the chain’s corporate headquarters could be heard saying “It’s a story about a gentrifiCHICKEN!” as she chortled and hung-up the phone.