“Moonlight has put Liberty City on the map!” says Arthur Klapenberg, a real estate investor from New Jersey who purchased a collection of Liberty City apartments as an investment in 2009. The 66-year-old says he has spent the last several days entertaining offers from developers hoping to cash in on Liberty City’s enhanced profile following Moonlight’s unexpected Best Picture win.  

“As a developer, you couldn’t ask for better buzz than Moonlight,” said Juan Casablancas, V.P. of Growth for Satellite LLC, an investment company that hopes to develop the “Moonlight Square Apartments” in what is now Liberty Square.

“Liberty Square could become the next Wynwood, or even the next next Little River Haiti,” said Casablancas, who says he has already spoken to a number of big box retailers that see Liberty City as Miami’s next hotspot. “I don’t want to say too much, but Whole Foods is very interested.”

“We see this development as absolutely fantastic for Liberty City,” said Miami-based commercial real estate Leslie Gronk-Hart, who though she has never visited the community described it as “charming.”

Visitors and locals are looking for an authentic experience,” said Ms. Gronk-Hart. “I think Moonlight showed the world that Liberty City is all about authenticity. It just needs to become a little more polished in order for it to truly shine. Just look at Wynwood. Before 2007 there was literally nothing there. Nothing. Then we started painting some murals and reaching out to luxury brands, increasing security, keeping locals on their side of the street, and now everyone is enjoying a really fantastic return on investment.”

But what do Liberty City residents think of the proposed development? We didn’t ask any. But Juan Casablancas says that he is going to do everything he can to honor the local community.

“We understand that ‘gentrification,’ whatever that means, can be seen as a negative sometimes, but we are very committed to making sure that Liberty City remains Liberty City,” said Mr. Casablancas, who noted that he would be offering Liberty Square residents a right of first refusal for his new Moonlight Square Apartments, which start at $599,000.

 By Chiron “Little” Black

Key West police pulled over a car bounding erratically across U.S. 1 on its way to Miami from Key West. The police officer pulled over the vehicle after observing it veer suspiciously. Upon inspection of the vehicle, police uncovered 311 iguanas, hundreds of geckos and other large reptiles, as well as dozens of snakes, and one cranky mid-sized crocodile alligator. 

The officer asked for back-up from the Florida Fish and Wildlife Commission, who collected over 700 of animals from the car, which is far more reptiles than the average Florida driver has on them at any given time. The owner of the vehicle said he had no idea the reptiles were in there, insisting that they must have snuck in when he wasn’t looking. 

It turns out animal stowaways are far more widespread than most would believe. Reptiles tend to get in through holes left from rusty floorboards, as well as extra spaces left by customization work done on vehicles used in drug trafficking. Some lizards are simply let in by the elderly or others who take too much time in closing their doors.

Once inside, reptiles can wreak havoc on the vehicles, and can pose a serious safety risk if they pop out and scare the drivers. Many frightened drivers slam on brakes or execute what visitors have dubbed ‘the Miami veer.’ The discovery of the animals frequently leads to accidents. 

“It’s a bit like that scene in Jurassic Park, the one where Newman discovers a spitting dinosaur snuck into his SUV,” remarked the FWC official. Other times, trespassing reptiles can square off against another animal or small children in the car. The official recounted fights between iguanas and geckos, lizards and mice, rats and snakes, and on one occasion a tegu was arrested after attacking a black lab on his way to the vet.

“We’re going to see more of this,” the FWC official noted. “Miami’s highways are a moving menagerie.”

Sean Goforth

A proposal in the State House to regulate the size and length of “man buns” is gaining bi-partisan support and is expected to pass next week. The law, sponsored by Rep. Jose Javier Rodriguez (D-Bald), requires men to have at least 11 inches of hair before they are permitted to wear a man bun in public, a regulation aimed at stopping a recent trend among young, short-hair men of tying up the most minuscule little tuft of hair into a “bun.”

“This regulation is necessary for the health and safety of our community,” said Rep. Rodriguez who noted that miniature man buns have contributed to several accidents of motorists who, after catching a glimpse of someone walking down the street with that stupid thing on their head, crash their car into a tree, either from distraction or just not wanting to live in this world anymore.” 

Oh I think this is a fantastic rule,” said literally every woman in the State in unison. “It’s the stupidest looking thing I have ever seen,” said all of em, again, at once.

But not everyone is happy with the new regulation. “Aw man!” said 24-year-old David Jefferson as he pulled off the rubber band holding about two inches of hair together in a paintbrush like cluster on the back of his head. “I genuinely thought I looked cool,” said the man despondently as his girlfriend unsuccessfully tried to hide a growing smile. 

“Can I still wear a tank top all the time no matter what the weather or formality of the occasion?” he asked.

JOSH’S DAD BOUGHT A BOAT

I’m sitting in a tiny Ecuadorian restaurant in Downtown Miami, the kind that has really small water cups and a pitcher of water on the table that the waiters use to refill your glass even though the pitcher is sitting right on the table. Josh invited me to meet him so that he could tell me “some big news”. He’s been sitting across from me with a big grin the whole time. I hate him. He takes a sip from his water and says: “My dad bought a boat.”

“That’s your news?” I asked. “What kind?”

Josh wasn’t exactly sure what kind of boat it was, “but it’s a big one. One of those boats that have the little room inside where you can put a bed and stuff, to fuck.” He said “it also goes really fast and it’s got a deck that’s big enough for tons of girls and several pool chairs for the girls to lie down on.”

I asked Josh where he was going to find all of these girls to sit on his pool chairs and fuck in his port room. “Girls flock to guys with boats!” he said. I hate him, but he’s probably right.

When pressed, Josh admitted that his dad bought the boat for his fishing trips, but swears that we will be able to wash off the fish smell before we invite any of the girls aboard. “We’ll have to wash the fish smell off when we get back to the dock too, if you know what I mean,” said Josh. I did. I told him he would have all the fish he needs on the deck of his boat, but he didn’t get the reference so he changed the subject by telling me his dad was probably also going to put a little fridge in the boat that we could keep beer in.

My initial thought was that this a waste of time, and would just be the whole cabin thing all over again, but Josh swore things will be different. “The cabin thing was just bad timing.” Josh said, “My folks had it rented out, then because of the divorce, they decided it would be easier to sell it.”

He went on to say that now that he’s done with classes his dad is going to let him get his boating license and that he will probably be able to use the boat “whenever.” Josh invited me to go out to Elliot Key next weekend so “we can lay anchor and then lay pipe.” He just has to make sure it’s okay with his dad. “Invite any of the guys,” he added, “except for Greg.”

As I get the last words down, the waiter brings the check. Josh gives a sheepish grin. “Hey, you don’t mind getting that do you?”

By Marcos Garcia

After several days of avoiding contact with everyone he knows, 28-Year-Old office worker Daniel Ireland has accepted the fact that he too will soon get sick. “It’s just going to happen,” said Mr. Ireland who is already feeling a bit sluggish. “I might as well get it over with,” he conceded as he greeted his feverish wife who he had been avoiding for several days, leaving her to take care of herself.

“Babe, can you make me some hot tea?” Daniel sheepishly asked his wife after coming home from what he said was a late night at work when he was really out with Kevin and Dave to set their Fantasy Football lineups. As his wife dutifully walked into the kitchen Daniel took her seat on the couch and pushed the collection of used tissues that had accumulated over the last few days onto the floor for her to clean up later.

As he settled into the couch and awaited his warm beverage he regretted sharing those loaded nachos with Kevin and Dave at Buffalo Wild Wings since he noticed both of them were sniffling and knows neither washes their hands regularly.

“Hey babe, can you put some honey in my tea?” Daniel called to his wife. “Sure,” she said in a horsed voice. “There’s also plenty of soup if you want any,” she added, referring to the chicken noodle soup she made for herself last night .

“What did I do to deserve this?” both Daniel and his wife sighed silently to themselves from different rooms, each concealing a very different meaning.

Several hours into their argument, Samuel and Deborah Welsh paused briefly for a snack and to work through exactly why they had started to fight in the first place, which neither could remember.

“I don’t know what it was, but you were probably rude and not taking my feelings seriously,” said Deborah. “No, I think you probably just overreacted to whatever thing I did, which was meant to be a joke, I’m sure,” replied Samuel as he took a bite of a Girl Scout cookie. “These are so good,” he told his wife of 10-years. “I know. They’re amazing,” she said as she took a cookie for herself. “But you’re still wrong,” she reminded him, noting again that he “always does this sort of thing.”

“Don’t say always,” Samuel responded, asking his wife to give him another specific example of a time he did something like whatever it was they were fighting about now, which he just couldn’t for the life of him remember.

“Well I don’t remember, but it is something you do all the time, probably, you can’t deny that!” Deborah said, realizing the two had pretty much tuckered themselves out from arguing and that both just wanted to watch some T.V. with each other before bed.

“Well, just don’t do it again,” said Deborah, vaguely.

“I probably won’t,” replied Samuel, knowing he probably would.

“Fine,” they both said in unison as they sunk into the couch with the Girl Scout cookies and then spent the next 45 minutes scrolling through Netflix, during which time Deborah fell asleep. After realizing his wife had passed out, Samuel gave up trying to find anything good on and just put on an old episode of Friends.

As he sat there watching the television with his wife’s head resting on his shoulder he suddenly remembered why the two had started to fight several hours earlier, quietly realized he was definitely at fault, and kissed his wife’s forehead, hoping she would continue not to remember the origins of the fight the next morning or get mad at him for trivializing the argument in this stupid article.

.

 

Despite being a member of the majority in nearly every way, Jeremy Davidson—a straight, cisgender, white, able-bodied man—insists he is diverse.

“I feel like I understand what it is like to be a minority in this country,” said the 28-year-old real estate broker who is set to receive the Grand Chamber of Commercial Entrepreneur’s diversity leadership award this Friday.

“Growing up as a Christian in a predominately Jewish suburb, I always felt different. It was really hard being one of only a few of my friends who didn’t get to have a Bar Mitzvah,” said Mr. Davidson, who noted that his paternal great-grandmother was from Morocco, making him “technically an African American.” “I always loved Mos Def,” he added.

The Chamber has come under scrutiny from a number of organizations who are offended by a man who is not actually diverse being given the meaningless award.

“This is the epitome of white privilege,” posted former National Merit finalist Elise Delmonico, also white, on the National Institute of Equality’s Facebook page. “This award should have been given to a person of color,” said the activist online, “or an Asian, if they can find one.”

But Mr. Davidson says he is not bothered by the criticisms being levied against him: “As a person who identifies as a minority I think I know what it’s like to feel unwanted.”

When we pointed out that Mr. Davidson was not actually a minority, and was, in fact, one of the most statistically overrepresented and un-marginalized people in the country, he conceded, but with a sigh noted that “being a straight white guy just isn’t what it used to be.”

By Darren Henderstruut

“I’ve never been happier,” says Hialeah native José Cardenas shortly after taking a human-sized croqueta named Yumleidi as his bride.

The couple was married in a short ceremony in a ballroom located above a Goodwill in Hialeah Sunday morning.  

Yumleidi’s father, and the chef who created her, Andres Garcia, delivered the bride from her home at an Islas Canarias in Kendall. Mr. Garcia told the Plantain that though he was initially disturbed to learn that Mr. Cardenas intended his fried concoction to serve as his bride, as opposed to just the appetizers, he blesses the union and even agreed to walk Yumleidi down the aisle.

But not everyone is pleased with the marriage.  The Plantain spoke to Annette Cardenas, the groom’s mother, on the condition of anonymity, who told us that she does not expect the relationship to last. “Croquetas don’t keep. Everyone knows that.”

Florida law does not yet officially recognize the legality of a marriage between a man and his fried food, a fact that Mr. Cardenas says has no impact in his mind on the validity of his relationship. “We do not need society’s acceptance to validate our love,” said the tearful groom as he held his bride’s hand, getting oil everywhere. “All we need is each other.”

Despite these obstacles, Mr. Cardenas says he feels lucky that he and Yumleidi have been able to make it this far, telling the Plantain that their forbidden love almost ended before it happened:

“I’m a Hialeah man. She’s from an Islas Canarias in Kendall. It was like Romeo and Juliet,” explained Mr. Cardenas, who said when he and Yumleidi first got together his family was angered that he would start a relationship with a giant croqueta, let alone one that wasn’t ordered from within La Ciudad Que Progresa.

“People may look at me here like I am crazy. And they’re right. I’m crazy in love. Hialeah is supposed to be the City that Progresses. What’s more progressive than being able to marry the one you love no matter what society says?”

When asked for her thoughts on her unconventional marriage, Yumleidi remained silent, because she is, in fact, an actual croqueta.

“Yumleidi may be the silent type,” Mr. Cardenas explained, “but don’t let that fool you. Though she may have a hard, crispy exterior, on the inside, she’s a softie that melts not only in your mouth, but your heart as well.”

By Patrick Rodriguez of Villain Theater

With reports this week from The New MiamiHerald Times that development around Little Haiti is expected to drastically increase, and news that the 28-story Design Place complex is moving forward, residents of the neighborhood and well-intentioned white people on Facebook are very concerned about its impact on the majority-Haitian community. According to real estate developer Philip E. Breckinridge, however, the Gentrific-Haitian™ of Little Haiti should be celebrated.

Speaking to The Plantain at an unfortunately named “Lemon City Party,” the developer (who claims he didn’t know what a Lemon Party is until after he had the banner printed) unveiled the “Lemon City Master Plan,” named after Little Haiti’s former name that is still widely used by developers because it lacks the negative connotations associated with lots of black-looking people living in a neighborhood.

“The impact of the Haitian community on Miami is important and as we completely change every square inch of what they have spent decades building we intend to honor those contributions,” said Mr. Breckinridge outside of a warehouse complex he owns on NE 59th Terrace that will soon be the site of a half-filled luxury apartment complex financed by Chinese investors.

In addition to blocks of high-rise luxury residential condominiums, the Master Plan also calls for several mixed-use commercial shopping malls, a Whole Foods that will “honor” the Haitian community by serving Haitian patties (to be renamed “Flaky Beef Sliders”), two Panther Coffees, several awful taco shops, an improv comedy club, a high-end patio furniture store no one will ever go into, a co-working space funded by The Knight Center, an Equinox fitness center, a store that just sells white t-shirts for $75, three juice bars, and a diner with a fucking DJ in it.

“We understand that residents are concerned that their neighborhood will change. But this will always be Little Haiti. It will just have to become an Even Littler Haiti,” said Mr. Breckinridge as a group of young black men walked by him causing him to flinch and instinctively shout “I don’t have any change.”

In a controversial move, the Trump administration announced that President-Elect Trump has decided to move his Presidential inauguration from Washington D.C. to the steps of the Kremlin in Moscow. Unverified sources that we’re just going to assume are telling the truth report that the oath will be sworn to on a copy of Vladimir Putin’s autobiography, “Glad to be Vlad,” and administered by the Russian Justice Minister, Alexander Vladimirovich Konovalov.

This marks the first time that a U.S President has been sworn in on foreign soil, although it was widely reported at the time that President Obama held his inauguration in his birthplace of Kenya, a allegation that has been thoroughly disproved, which doesn’t make it any less true.

Trump strategist Kellyanne Conway defended the President-Elect’s decision. “Russia is most beautiful of country with strong bear-like leader who is gracious to invite us to swear in under his handsome watch. The time has come for our two countries to bridge their divide. Mother Russia and the United States are family of sorts. And families share everything, like oil and uranium.”

President-Elect Trump tweeted that he is enthusiastic for the inauguration:

 The foreign inauguration is only the first in a series of decisions by the Trump administration to strengthen the United States’s diplomatic ties with Russia. Buzzfeed reports that a direct line to Vladimir Putin is being installed in the Oval Office; although we’re told that it can only receive calls and won’t be able to dial out.

When asked why he decided to make such a grand gesture to Putin by holding his inauguration in Russia, Trump responded: “Well he did me a huge solid, so I feel I kind of owe him.”

UPDATE: Following our initial report, the Trump campaign issued a statement calling The Plantain a fake news organization that is also quite literally garbage: “Это подделка! Мусор и подделка!”

By Daniel Jimenez