After a drawn out turf war between the denizens of Brickell and the City, whereby real grass was replaced by fake grass along Brickell Avenue and then replaced again with real grass, Fairchild Tropical Garden in South Miami announced today they would harbor all the newly discarded fake grass from Brickell and cover its gardens with it.”We felt bad for all that fake grass being discarded so soon,” said an 88-year-old Fairchild Garden volunteer named Sue who is just happy to be out of the house. “All of the real plants just keep growing and dying, so why bother?”
Donald Blankership, a retired electrician who spends his afternoons wandering Fairchild’s grounds going out of his way to say hello to visitors, praised the decision to replace all of the real grass with AstroTurf. “We are all about conservation here, and that’s why its so important that we reuse all of that fake greenery.”
The Plantain asked Mr. Blankership whether he thought replacing real grass with fake grass would attract less people to Fairchild, but the 73-year-old native said he didn’t believe so. “People come here all the time to take wedding pictures, and for them, the fake grass looks fine. No one wants to learn about or maintain real plants, and I don’t blame them. Real plants and grass just grow up and die. Like my wife, Eleanor,” said the old man before taking a moment.
“We would have been married 47-years this November. She, she was a really lovely woman. Always a very sweet girl. Anyway, I think replacing the grass is a fine idea. If you’ll excuse me…” Mr. Blankenship then politely walked away, pulling a cloth handkerchief out of his pocket as he turned away.
Crews expect the real grass to be replaced before Christmas, a happy ending to a bitter turf war just in time for the holidays.

Appearing as ghostly visions above the City of Miami Cemetery on Northeast 2nd Avenue, the ghosts of late nineteenth century city pioneers Julia Tuttle and Henry Flagler urged the citizens of Miami to, in their own words, “repeat what they said because we can’t understand a god-damn word you are all saying.”

“I’ve been floating all over the city, from Lemon City to Biscayne Bay and, I mean, it sort of sounds like English,” said Tuttle, the notable Businesswoman known colloquially as The Mother of Miami. “But at the same time also like Spanish.”

“It’s like the entire city is speaking English and Spanish interchangeably, as fast as they can, with a bunch of marbles in their mouth,” interjected the exasperated spectre of Flagler, the prominent industrialist and founder of what would eventually be the Florida East Coast Railway. “Also, Spanish! Why is everyone speaking Spanish here? Has Spain colonized the lands north of Cuba as well? I’ve tried to find out from locals what is going on, but I can not decipher what on earth they are saying.”

The ghosts of the city founders were last seen in what is now Little Haiti, unsuccessfully trying to communicate with Haitian Creole speaking citizens using what elementary French they learned from boarding school.

When asked by Plantain reporters whether Tuttle was aware that the City named a causeway after her that was most famous for being the site of an encampment for sexual deviants, the insulted apparition quickly vanished, saying only that Miami was not “the type of city in which I want to be associated”.

Unconfirmed reports suggest Ms. Tuttle and Mr. Flagler have reappeared in a 55+ community in Boca Raton.
By Ernie Hsiung

The City of Miami has declared a state of emergency and has implemented a citywide curfew following mass civil unrest and violence caused by the announcement that Cuban restaurants would be giving out free croquetas for the newly designated holiday “Croqueta Day”.The curfew was initiated following the announcement that Sergio’s Cuban Restaurant had sold its 20 millionth croqueta and had plans to give away free croquetas in celebration of the achievement. Within hours every Cuban restaurant in Miami had announced that they too would be giving away free croquetas.
“As soon as they announced today was croqueta day people lost their shit. People in Miami will do anything for the croqueta…anything,” said Little Havana resident Daniel Sanchez as he bit into a codfish croqueta before he began looting.
Within an hour of the announcement of free croquetas, Calle Ocho was under siege by hungry Cubans trying to avoid the $1.05 charge for the deep fried dish. Business owners were forced to board up their property along Eighth Street as croqueta-crazed looters ransacked any businesses brave enough to not have free croquetas on hand. The National Guard quickly arrived on the scene, but have sustained numerous casualties.
Seeking refuge from the violence, the Plantain found shelter north in Broward County, where we asked locals what they thought of the turmoil occurring in Miami.
“I don’t get it,” admitted gringo attorney Jason Ireland. “It’s just cheap ham that has been breaded and fried. It’s kind of gross when you think about it.”

Versailles unveiled a uniquely Cuban take on the popular Pumpkin Spice Latte, a “Mamey Spice Latte“, which owner King Louis XIV of France believes will attract a younger and more diverse group of customers to Miami’s landmark restaurant.”We were terribly upset by the recent real report that Miami was only ranked the eight best coffee city in the Country by ~~The New York Times~~, falling behind well known coffee shit holes like Washington D.C. and Chicago,” said Louis XIV. “We realized that Miami’s problem isn’t that the coffee is bad,, it’s that unless you are one of the elderly cigar smoking men who stand outside of our ventanitas all day to discuss right wing politics and comment on the bodies of every woman who approaches, the Miami coffee experience isn’t very friendly.”
In an effort to create a more inclusive coffee culture, Versailles will redesign its building to create a separate female ventanita, a third coffee window for English speaking tourists, and a fourth window for people asking directions to the nearest Starbucks. They will also be offering free wi-fi (although most websites will be blocked) and several new menu items designed to attract younger coffee enthusiasts, such as the Mamey Spice Latte and the Cafe Con Almond Milk.
“The Mamey Spice Latte was fantastic,” said tourist Becky Wiltowner of Grand Rapids Michigan. The 22 year old said that she was drawn to Versailles because she was looking for an authentic Cuban experience while in Miami, “but not like too authentic, you know.”
According to Louis XIV, the effort to modernize Versailles seems to be paying off, but not everyone is happy. “This is a disgrace,” said 83-year-old Ernesto Santiago through a plume of cigar smoke, who, although angered that his beloved cafeteria is changing, noted positively that many of the young ladies attracted to Versailles by the new menu were very attractive.
“Mira ese culo,” said the octogenarian to himself as he sighed to himself, appreciating the passage of time.

In a move celebrated by representatives for Miami’s automotive community, the Florida Department of Transportation announced last week that starting in this summer all state roads in South Florida will have merge lanes repurposed into “Mega-Boost Super Passing Lanes”. The decision was applauded by a majority quorum of Miami-Dade County Commissioners as “innovative”, “forward-thinking”, and “the first of its kind in the nation, if not the world.”

The lane changes will designate all repurposed areas as “no-yield zones”, in which motorists are permitted to use former right-hand merging lanes to accelerate to at least 15 miles per hour above the speed limit in order to pass any obstructive drivers on the left. Plans include repainting the lanes with reflective arrows to indicate faster velocities and spatial entitlement. Drivers using the “Mega-Boost Super Passing Lanes” will have the standard limited distance for merging, but are now expected to overcome slower traffic and transfer into the left-hand lane immediately. Turn signals are optional. Police have been instructed to enforce proper conduct by citing drivers for minimum speed violations, at the officer’s discretion.

“We realize what Miami needs to make our increasingly dense traffic move,” FDOT District 6 Secretary Gus Pego explained in an interview with The Plantain. “Our traffic concerns are not going anywhere, so we need to think outside the box- traditional roadway plans clearly aren’t serving our community.”

After months of contentious and frustrated exchanges between various committees on infrastructure, FDOT’s lane realignment plan was first proposed to the Metropolitan Planning Organization, receiving instant approval for advancement to the County Commission. According to MPO transcripts, the proposals were met with unanimous applause, prompting District 12 Commissioner Jose “Pepe” Diaz” to enthusiastically declare: “There’s our solution. Let’s put those suggestions for expanding transit and Metrorail lines to bed.”

While final approval from the County Commission was slightly more tepid, FDOT received enough votes from district representatives to move ahead. District 13 Commissioner Esteban Bovo, who sponsored the proposal and introduced it before the commission, energetically voted in favor with two thumb’s up.

“This is one of the best transportation plans I’ve encountered on this commission,” he remarked in closing statements. He then added: “Thankfully, I can stop setting an example by taking the train.”

According to Pego, the “Mega-Boost Super Passing Lanes” were inspired during a routine FDOT staff meeting while transportation planners were participating in a daily Super Mario Kart competition. While staffers bickered over a particularly heated race between Luigi, Bowser, and Princess Daisy, one FDOT employee is reported to have snapped his fingers and exclaimed: “Wait a minute! Why don’t we try that?”

The plan, nicknamed in interoffice correspondence as the “Rainbow Road Realignment Proposal”, was included among a number of similarly inspired suggestions, such as a partnership with Waste Management to dump discarded banana peels on all major state roads. Other designs included increasing funding to the Seaquarium in exchange for deceased sea turtle’s shells to repurpose as barricades against slower drivers, and to develop a good-conduct reward system in which motorists with no history of traffic violations or collisions will be permitted to carry one Bob-Omb per weekly commute to toss into neighboring vehicles and thereby clear roadway congestion.

“FDOT relies upon Mario Kart to model roadway infrastructure planning,” claimed Pego. “It’s the perfect system for roadway efficiency that both speeds up commutes and encourages Miami drivers to adopt a healthy combative automotive conduct.”

The minority opponent to the proposal, District 8 Commissioner Daniella Levine-Cava, voiced her apprehension before the quorum, citing her concerns that the plan would endanger drivers, cyclists, and pedestrians, and likely result in serious injuries, if not deaths.

“Miami-Dade already has one of the highest roadway fatality rates in the country,” she explained in her dissent. “Do we really want to enhance those numbers exponentially?”

Her appeal was not enough to sway support, however, as fellow commissioners used her logic against her. One refutal, from District 11 Commissioner Joe Martinez, claimed: “Those numbers would be short term, since any fatalities would just clear up more road space for everyone who can handle the responsibility of being a driver.”

The only other dissenting vote on the plan was from District 10 Commissioner Javier Souto, who slept through the entire meeting. His slumber was interpreted as abstention.

Motorists can expect the “Mega-Boost Super Passing Lanes” to open county-wide on June 1st. Bob-omb deliveries and waiver forms will be mailed to addresses registered with each qualifying vehicle.

Angelica Tillman’s Miami vacation was nearly ruined after the 26-year old forgot to plug her phone in after getting back from the club late last night.Waking up the next morning to find her cellphone nearly dead, the Virginia native briefly plugged it in to recharge while she changed, but ultimately had to leave her hotel room to meet her Aunt Jenna with only a 21% charge.
“I’ll just have to conserve my battery,” thought Angelica as she instinctively unlocked her phone and clicked on Instagram while waiting for the elevator to the lobby of her hotel. “Oh dammit!” she said to herself before realizing what she was doing. She was now at 18%.
Angelica left her hotel and pulled up directions to Lincoln Road, where she was going to meet her Aunt for brunch, but decided to just remember the three streets she needed to navigate rather than waste battery by doing turn-by-turn directions. Several minutes later, however, she had gotten lost and had to open Maps again. “I’m here!!” her Aunt texted to her as she turned onto Lincoln Road with only 6% battery. “Walking up now,” she texted back, an act that somehow ate up another 3% battery.
By the time she arrived at the cafe and greeted Aunt Jenna, Angelica searched around her table to find that there wasn’t a plug in sight. She briefly considered asking if they could go to a different restaurant, but decided not to since her Aunt had already ordered a mimosa and didn’t want to make a big deal about it since she hadn’t seen her in a while.
The brunch with Aunt Jenna was alright, although a bit awkward. She had moved to Miami after divorcing Angelica’s ex-Uncle Jeff and spent the majority of the meal telling her young niece how her ex-husband drank too much and prevented her from achieving her dream of becoming an ophthalmologist’s assistant. She was so histrionic, it’s no wonder her and mom don’t get along anymore, Angelica thought. She knew her mom and Aunt Jenna hadn’t really spoken in a few years, and thinks it was due to some loan her parents gave to her Aunt after the divorce that has still not been repaid. Her mother never talked about it and she didn’t really want to ask about it anyway. Still, her Aunt seems like somehow a real fancy lady now and has a very nice purse and paid for brunch in cash, so maybe she is doing okay.
After brunch, Angelica’s Aunt drove her to Wynwood, during which time she was able to plug in her phone to her Aunt’s Mercedes. The car smelled like cigarettes, but she didn’t mind and was just happy to be able to check her Facebook as it charged. “So are you seeing anyone?” her Aunt asked Angelica, the third time today. The answer was still “no.”
“Do you want to have kids one day?” she followed the question. “Maybe one day. Not right now,” Angelica answered. “Good, wait. Have fun. I had James too early.” They sat in silence for the remainder of the trip.
When she got out of the car it was 12:20 PM and she had recharged to 16% battery, a charge which was quickly down to critical after several minutes of mural watching and taking selfies with her Aunt. “Hashtag BFFs” her Aunt kept saying, trying a little too hard, but still being very sweet.
“So how is my sister?” Aunt Jenna asked during a lull in the conversation, appearing to have been waiting for the right moment. “She’s good. She’s taking a creative writing class,” Angelica answered.
“Oh that must be nice for her,” said Aunt Jenna. “Does she ever talk about me?”
“No, not really. Sometimes she tells stories from when you two were kids or about Grandma and Pa.”
“Oh. Was she upset you were coming to see me today?”
“No. She was happy about it. She wanted me to tell you hello,” Angelica lied.
“Oh…tell her ‘hi’ too, I guess,” said her Aunt, knowing her sister didn’t send any greeting. “Listen, do you mind if I smoke?”
“No, of course not.”
“Do you smoke?”
“Oh good. Don’t tell your mom about this.”
“I won’t.”
After walking around for several blocks to admire the street art, Aunt Jenna received a series of phone calls requiring her to walk away for between 5 and 15 minutes at a time, leaving Angelica to just sort of stand around. She occasionally pulled out her phone, which was back down to 4%, to check the time and look at a picture or two on Instagram.
“How is it going?” her mother had texted her.
“Good. Aunt Jenna say’s hi.” Angelica texted back.
“Call me later.”
When Aunt Jenna returned from her call she was slightly out of breath and looked like she had been crying. “Is everything Okay?” Angelica asked.
“Yeah, of course. Listen, I have to meet someone for work a few miles away. It should only take an hour or two.”
“Oh, okay. So do you want me to wait around here?” Angelica asked. “If you don’t mind. Or you can take an Uber back to the Beach if you don’t want to wait here.”
“Oh, okay. Yeah, I can do that.”
“Do you want money? Here is some money,” Aunt Jenna said, handing her niece a hundred dollar bill. ”
“Oh, okay. Thanks.”
The two hugged and quickly Aunt Jenna left.
“She just left. She said she had to go meet someone for work,” Angelica texted her mother.
Within seconds, her mother was calling:
“What do you mean she had to leave for work?”
“I don’t know. She didn’t give me any details.”
“What does she do now?”
“I’m not sure. She said it was something in advertising but it wasn’t really clear.”
“So, what are you going to do?”
“I’ll just take an Uber back to my hotel. Mom, why do you and Aunt Jenna not talk anymore? What happened?”
“I don’t want to talk about it, Ang.”
“Mom, I think I deserve to know. It’s so weird, what is this all about?”
“Listen, after she left Jeff she asked your father and I to help…” Angelica’s phone died.
“Fuck,” sighed Angelica as she put her phone in her purse and walked around Wynwood looking for a taxicab or a plug.
Meanwhile, in Virginia, Angelica’s mother, unaware that her daughter’s phone had died, retold, for the first time in years, the entire disagreement that broke up the relationship between her and Jenna. As she came to an end to the story, waiting for her daughter to respond and hearing only silence she thought to herself, for the first time, that maybe she has always been a little too harsh on her sister and wondered if maybe it was time to reconnect.
“Angie? Angie? Are you there?” Angelica’s mother asked.
Assuming her daughter had hung up because she could not believe that her mother would cut off ties with her sister over something so petty, Angelica’s mother began to cry.
“Heard you and Angie had a good time. Hope you’re well. Love you,” Angelica’s mother texted her sister several minutes later, their first contact in 11 years.

12:38 AM – Little Havana – Versailles Cuban BakeryWHY ME?
I have been sitting here for 10 minutes. Waiters and busboys are milling about. This is prime time for late night Cuban food.
I did not expect such a trying evening at one of Miami’s most beloved cultural institutions. I arrived in a dignified and half sober state, along with the stalwarts of my retinue, at a cool 12:28 AM.
The hostess asked for the number in my party, assuming I was too inebriated to speak Spanish. She was right. I held up four fingers barely above my waist and she proceeded to lead us to the second host area.
A balding man in his 60s motioned us to pass to a far booth table, a desirable set-up albeit a little out of earshot of most servers.
She was nice enough, Jasbleidy, our server. We ejected our orders effortlessly; we had rehearsed our plan of attack on the Uber ride over.
We are an experienced crew, all of us Miami-raised and blazed in the 305. We know how important it is to be ready to order all drinks, appetizers, entrees, desserts, side dishes, and sauces at once to ensure maximum efficiency. Any self-respecting Versailles server can handle the deluge of items and special instructions without batting an eye. Jasbleidy didn’t blink, and don’t you think for a second she wrote anything down.
Everything was going according to plan. The stage had been set.
> But then, the clock started ticking. When are they going to give us our complimentary bread?
Every second counts. The longer between our order and eventual first plate, the less time left for the complimentary bread to arrive.
Are they bluffing us? Sure, we are mostly second-generation Cubans immigrants, and one Venezuelan, but he was raised in West Hialeah. We know what is owed to us.
A quick glance at an adjacent table proved that there was plenty of bread to go around.
I was jonesing for the crispy stuff. Pressed and toasted, basted in oil, garlic and 60 years of diaspora, this bread is the one of legend.
In my youth, I encountered a Cuban restaurant with enough disdain for my adolescent patronage that they would withhold the complimentary bread until they were sure I was going to place a substantial order. But we are at Versailles. This isn’t West Kendall bush-league, this is Little Havana. This is Versailles. THE Versailles. The mother-ship, tested but never bested and still the heavyweight champeen of the Cuban restaurant world.
Our table water glasses came without hesitation. I am slowly freezing in my chair under the air conditioning, drinking chlorinated H20 just so that I have something to do.
With every return trip of the busboy, my heart flutters with anticipation of complimentary bread, only to be greeted by another clumsy refill of my glass of water. Every drop of ice cubes feels like a dagger in my heart.
They hate me because I am a liberal. The ironic fashion sense of my group and blatant use of English for conversation has created an air thick with resentment.
> I sat a prisoner to their courtesy, in the no man’s land between order and entree.
Our idle conversation gives way to a mute dialogue of insult and dejection. No chitchat can fill the void in our minds, souls, or bread plates.
This is the end. Jasbleidy has forsaken us. We’ve been sold down the river by one of our own.
My surprise becomes shock that rises to anger then slides into depression and quietly sighs into acceptance. This is grief.
The party is silent. We await our appetizers like the judged await the gallows.
Hanging our heads in shame, we don’t see Jasbleidy striding towards our table. Jasbleidy the Noble. Jasbleidy the Proud. First of her name, the emerald goddess in gold trim. Jasbleidy carrying the ark of the covenant and it’s crispy brown tablets.
The complimentary bread is here. Rejoice and be glad. We are saved. Ring the church bells and wake the children. We will see tomorrow and it will be glorious and gluten filled.

City engineers we’re baffled on how to remove a bus that had crashed into The Omega Fashion Store this week, until developers saw an opportunity: leave it be and rent it to millennials for $3300/month.”Because removing the bus may damage the structural integrity of the building, it needs to remain. So, as with all things in Miami, why not convert it into luxury housing?” said developer Sam Mas Mas-Mas. The bus, to be renamed Verdant Towers, will rent each seat for $3300 a month plus utilities, with the back-row (which everyone knows is the penthouse of the bus except when its used for racist reasons) available for $4800. Mr. Mas Mas-Mas told the Plantain that he was excited that his innovative design concept ensured “this traffic accident would not go to waste. “People in Miami need a place to live that’s different from your run of the mill condos. This crashed bus could transform the neighborhood and bring in a…better class…of people to patronize local businesses.”
“This is great for local businesses,” said Mr. Mas Mas-Mas, who is in talks to develop an Asian fusion restaurant for the neighborhood that cleverly inserts the word “Phuc” into its name like no one has ever thought of that before in a nearby overturned van.
by Daniel Jimenez

A group of food rights activists have filed a complaint to the State’s food safety board panning the practice of many Miami-based bakeries and delicatessens of pressing their sandwiches as firmly as possible, claiming the act disrespects the integrity of the bread.

Holding signs with slogans like “Free Gluten!” and “Not all Sandwiches!”, a crowd of baked goods gathered outside of Little Haiti’s Versailles Restaurant to protest the practice. “We don’t want special treatment. We just want to be treated like every other menu item. Don’t put extra pressure on us just because we’re bread,” said organizer Juan Cuban Sandwich, a recently constructed mojo-flavored roasted pork butt and smoked ham Cubano with Swiss and mustard oozing from its side. “Just treat us equally. It’s the yeast you could do,” he added before being attacked by hungry onlookers.

The activists say their protest is necessary given the increasing amount of pressure placed on all bread items throughout Miami. “This is no longer just a problem for the Cuban Sandwich community,” said Adele Bagely, a Garlic and Chive bagel pressed so hard that cream cheese covered the parchment she was then wrapped in, creating an uneatable mess. “This impacts us all.”

The protest is reportedly funded by bearded James Beard award nominee Zak the Baker, whose Kosher delicatessen has a strict “no press” rule. The Plantain asked to speak to the bucher, but were told by a spokesperson that the new Kosher delicatessen has a strict “no press” rule.

Undeterred, this reporter went to the Zak the Baker’s new Wynwood deli to speak with him directly, but upon arrival was corralled into a 45-minute long line to purchase an $18 Tongue Sandwich which, although very good, required me to press down on the sandwich in order to fit it into my mouth, an act that drew critical side glances from the restaurant’s other diners and an irate Mr. The Baker.

The Plantain has learned that Diane Ireland has big plans for her daughter-in-law Maya’s uterus.”I can’t wait to be a grandmother!” said Diane out of absolutely nowhere during a brunch her son David set up for her birthday. “Mom, quit it,” said David, knowing this sort of thing really upset his wife.
“What! I’m just sayin’ that I can’t wait to be a grandmother. Why is that bad?” Diane responded, knowing exactly why.
After a second of silence, the 54-year-old administrator, not able to control her self, continued: “You know, take your time, sure. Maybe you should go to Europe, just the two of you, because it’ll be impossible to go when you have a baby or two. What are you thinkin? A year or two and then you’ll start, right?” Diane asked Maya, who just stared at her, not believing she was actually doing this right now. “You’re gonna want at least two kids. Maybe three.”
Sources close to the family report that Diane has brought up her future grand-children nearly every time she has seen Maya since the wedding two Novembers ago. “I just want to make sure I’m not an old grandma,” said 54-year-old Diana, who said she really doesn’t see why her daughter-in-law is so sensitive about this.
The Plantain spoke to Maya about her relationship with her mother-in-law, which she described as “strained” even though Diane characterized the two as being “very close.”
“She just never stops asking about when I’m going to ‘give her grandkids.’ It’s so annoying,” said Maya, who in fact is pregnant and had planned to tell Diane the news over brunch before she started on about all of this again. “I almost don’t even want to have this kid because I don’t want her to have the satisfaction.
Toward the end of the meal, Diane’s son David had arranged for a cake to be brought out that read “Happy Birthday, Grandma!”
“Mom, we’re pregnant!,” said David, tears welling up in his eyes.
“Oh my god!” said his mother, who burst into tears and grabbed Maya. “Oh my god, I knew it, you look so bloated!” cried Diane, who really was very happy, so it probably was for the best that she couldn’t see her daughter-in-law glare unhappily at her husband. “I can’t believe you’re finally making me a grandmother!”