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Old 05-11-2012, 09:11 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
8,252 posts, read 15,480,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoricoco View Post
You used to be able to drive down Bird Road and see the neon signs and mid-century suburban retail everywhere. Even remember the old Mc Donalds and the Royal Castles! Lately I have been wondering if it is possible to re-create the same environment in a smaller town. I have always wondered why those of us who like the past, and have been harassed by big government do not just pack up and move to a small Florida town. We could take our businesses with us and encourage our employees to move. After all, dystopian experiments like "celebration" exist, and this would be even better.

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I remember driving down Bird Road some 40 years ago and seeing a LOT of "Comidas para llevar por libras". Most of the stores were brand new. Bird Road was never very commercial until it became the new Calle Ocho some 40 to 45 years ago.
The Spanish appeared in the 80's. As a kid in the 70's I rarely saw any Spanish except on 8 street,

1963 - Bird Bowl at 9275 Bird Road, Miami photo - Don Boyd photos at pbase.com
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:12 PM
 
Location: Miami
137 posts, read 111,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
All that money to make it look uglier than it was. Oh well, it is 50% vacant now since they raised the rent.
It may be uglier than its heyday but something needed to be done. All you had to do was turn around and look at the Walgreens side for a direct comparison.

Once Sentry Drugs closed I seldom visited that mall other than for chlorine in the pool supply store. That store is gone now also, even if the link indicates otherwise. The owner's wife died a few years ago and he sold the pool store to someone who tried to run it the same way, but it failed, for whatever reason. Now I have to traipse to Bird Road for chlorine.
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Old 05-11-2012, 10:18 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
8,252 posts, read 15,480,307 times
Reputation: 3748
Quote:
Originally Posted by Awsi Dooger View Post
It may be uglier than its heyday but something needed to be done. All you had to do was turn around and look at the Walgreens side for a direct comparison.

Once Sentry Drugs closed I seldom visited that mall other than for chlorine in the pool supply store. That store is gone now also, even if the link indicates otherwise. The owner's wife died a few years ago and he sold the pool store to someone who tried to run it the same way, but it failed, for whatever reason. Now I have to traipse to Bird Road for chlorine.
I remember many trips to the hardware store and the Chinese Food Garden. But then again that was when Great Value was next door. The old neon sign for Miller Heights was a lot nicer than the arched turd they built on its remains.
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Old 05-12-2012, 05:12 AM
 
355 posts, read 464,632 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
The Spanish appeared in the 80's. As a kid in the 70's I rarely saw any Spanish except on 8 street,

1963 - Bird Bowl at 9275 Bird Road, Miami photo - Don Boyd photos at pbase.com

"La 40" was already Cuban during the 70's, it was frontierland, but Cuban. I know because I have friend that bought several properties in "Lago Catalina" during the early 60's. Many moved there as early as 1962.

Back in 1970, Calle Ocho and the "sauesera" was a place just for new arrivals or old people, most Cuban middle class was already out of there.

Miracle Mile, for example, was preppy Cuban during the 70's...."GŁenchester" was Cuban, large part of Coral Gables, etc. Of course, Cubans at that time were low key except in Calle Ocho, calle Ocho was more "folklorical".

Preppy Cubans did not go to Calle Ocho at that time, quite a stupid thing since there were very good restaurants in that area. Cubans should have not abandoned Calle Ocho, but I guess it's a cyclical process in the history of the US.
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Old 05-12-2012, 01:51 PM
 
Location: Miami
1,259 posts, read 839,679 times
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My family moved to Westchester in the 70's. There were at least 9 Cuban families on my block that I remember. None were new arrivals or old people. Unless you call new arrivals families who moved down from New York after having lived there since the 60's. Three families had done that and landed on the same block! These were people in their 30's and 40's (maybe that's old for the Miami city-data demographic?) with kids.

I don't remember Bird have Spanish businesses in the 70's or Westchester Mall. Everybody spoke English back then.

I remember going to Chinese Food Garden about once a week in the 80's. Wasn't there a Gardener's in that shopping center too? Linda from Chinese Food Garden (I think she has something to do with the ownership) is over at Shinju on Sunset & 87th. They're doing well and have opened up several locations.
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Old 05-12-2012, 10:48 PM
 
Location: Heartland Florida
8,252 posts, read 15,480,307 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by valicky View Post
My family moved to Westchester in the 70's. There were at least 9 Cuban families on my block that I remember. None were new arrivals or old people. Unless you call new arrivals families who moved down from New York after having lived there since the 60's. Three families had done that and landed on the same block! These were people in their 30's and 40's (maybe that's old for the Miami city-data demographic?) with kids.

I don't remember Bird have Spanish businesses in the 70's or Westchester Mall. Everybody spoke English back then.

I remember going to Chinese Food Garden about once a week in the 80's. Wasn't there a Gardener's in that shopping center too? Linda from Chinese Food Garden (I think she has something to do with the ownership) is over at Shinju on Sunset & 87th. They're doing well and have opened up several locations.
Great Value was later named Gardener's in the 80's before closing a few years later. It became an oriental market but is now Autozone. They built a McDonalds where the neon sign once stood. Shinju is where the Crab House used to be.
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Old 05-13-2012, 12:07 AM
 
Location: Miami
1,259 posts, read 839,679 times
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Yep. Spent many nights at the Crab House pounding crabs with the mallets on newspapers. My husband said before it was the Rustic Inn Crab House it was a white tablecloth place. I think it was his first job - busboy.

The shopping center across the street from Chinese Food Garden had a bakery called Three Little Bakers I think. They made this chocolate cake that had marshmallow that was delicious and I've never been able to find any cake like that again.
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Old 05-13-2012, 04:11 AM
 
355 posts, read 464,632 times
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Valicky

Bird Road had plenty of Spanish shops back in the 70's, some of the best Cuban restaurants and a lot of "Comida para llevar por libras".

As Cubans started moving from tenements in the sausera (1960'), one of their first destinations was Westchester, Sweetwater and a large number of developments near FIU. I know because my father worked for a Spanish bank that financed developers. Old people and newer arrivals remained in the traditional sausera.

There were many Cubans around Bird Road, Miller, Galloway, Snapper Creek and of course, Coral Gables, back in the later 60's and early 70's. There were also Cubans in Fisher Island, Key Byscaine, etc, that had those properties before the revolution.

Most of the kids of those Cubans (middle to high middle class) already spoke English among themselves back in the 70's but also Spanish. It was different, you had Spanish speaking sausera and you had the "perfumed" sausera (the rest) that was English speaking or bilingual. You had Cubans, Americans and Jews (they all lived in their respective ghettoes in semi-harmony but not scrambled) and you had black ghettos that were verbotten and dangerous areas.

Last edited by Cocoricoco; 05-13-2012 at 04:23 AM..
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Old 05-13-2012, 02:00 PM
 
Location: Miami
1,259 posts, read 839,679 times
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I remember now Rio Cristal which is still there on Bird and 90 something and also El Cristo market on Bird and maybe 79th? I think it was where Tropical Chinese is or maybe where that new chicken place on the corner of Bird and 82nd?
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Old 05-15-2012, 01:28 PM
 
Location: Miami
137 posts, read 111,243 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by tallrick View Post
Great Value was later named Gardener's in the 80's before closing a few years later. It became an oriental market but is now Autozone. They built a McDonalds where the neon sign once stood. Shinju is where the Crab House used to be.
Thanks for the timeline. I always think of that grocery store as Great Value but other members of my family say Gardener's, when the topic comes up. I guess it changed to Gardener's when I left for college.

For some reason I don't remember the neon sign even though we used to park on that east side of Great Value all the time. In the early '70s there was a corn dog vendor who used to park there in midday, on the front east side of Great Value. Big wide cart, about the size of a ice cream truck. It made for terrific snacks, or even a full lunch, on the way to junior high school in the split shift era.

There's a little office building across from McDonald's on the same side. My friend's father was a lawyer in that building in the '70s. The other day I drove past and there's a sign in the window touting: MASSAGE.
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