magazine of the students of
the university of miami
M eet t he neighbors. EXPLORE THE DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS OF MIAMI
magazine of the students of
the university of miami
the final farewell Our tribute to more than 50 years of freshman memories.
magazine of the students of
the university of miami
GO YOUR OWN WAY Are the â€™70s making a resurgence?
magazine of the students of
the university of miami
Meet UM studentsâ€™ new food obsession.
magazine of the students of
the university of miami
M eet t he neighbors. EXPLORE THE DIFFERENT NEIGHBORHOODS OF MIAMI
F I N D YO U R P O W E R
Set your alarm because these are classes you definitely wonâ€™t want to miss! Students and teachers are eligible for discounted monthly membership. CLUB PILATES BRICKELL 117 SW 10th Street, Suite 103 Miami, FL 33130 786.509.9831 firstname.lastname@example.org clubpilates.com/brickell
CLUB PILATES CORAL GABLES 77 Miracle Mile Coral Gables, FL 33134 305.209.5679 email@example.com clubpilates.com/coralgables
CLUB PILATES SOUTH MIAMI 5855 SW 72nd Street South Miami, FL 33143 786.577.9651 firstname.lastname@example.org clubpilates.com/southmiami
letter from the
Welcome to 2020: the start of a decade that is, so far, bursting with as much Tik Tok buzz amongst Gen Z-ers as political turmoil in our capital. The year has already proved to be as revolutionary as it promised—an 18-year-old Billie Eilish took home 10 Grammys with her brother, and for the first time in history, a foreign film—Parasite, directed by Bong Joon-ho—took home best picture at the Academy Awards. 2020 has also brought with it some of the most devastating blazes Australia has ever seen. I was aware of these bush fires, but they were always in the back of my mind; that is, until a group of Australian students came to our Wednesday meeting to preach about the severity of the situation. They told me areas of land as large as American states had been obliterated, volunteer firefighters are at a dangerous minimum and the air quality is so poor that most people cannot leave their homes without masks to cover their faces. In that moment, these students’ impassioned voices put pretty much everything into perspective for me. No longer did my trifling worries about internships or whether or not we would get this magazine out on time matter. As you read this issue, whose special section is DECADES—a tribute to some of the best decades in the last century—I hope you can appreciate how far we have come, but how much more there is to be done. Heed Greta Thunberg’s words, “We are in the beginning of a mass extinction and all you can talk about is money and fairy tales of eternal economic growth. How dare you?” Thunberg, along with the Australians, have reminded me that with each decade comes something to fight for—why not make 2020 a fight for our planet and another ten fruitful decades to come? XO,
We realized that many UM students probably don’t know much about Miami’s eclectic neighborhoods—that’s why we dedicated the entire Guide to telling you about them. art direction_lauren maingot. photo_jess morgan, gabriela nahous & teagan polizzi.
We fell for this ’70s look from our ‘Decades’ themed special section and model Roma Williams’ ageless expression. art direction_lauren maingot, lindsey borstein & avani choudhary. photo_teagan polizzi.
Pasta Carbonara from Mi’talia is a Distraction staff favorite. Read more about this modern Italian spot and its sister restaurant, Root & Bone, in What the Fork. art direction_lauren maingot & gianna sanchez. photo_gianna sanchez.
This cover pays tribute to our most beloved and detested buildings: the freshman residential colleges, Stanford and Hecht. Stanford will be torn down this summer. art direction_lauren maingot & gianna sanchez. photo_gianna sanchez.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION
contents What the Fork
20 wok nâ€™ roll
35 go your own way
7 meet the neighbors
39 27 15 2
18 a gin
sh th enan ec d ub oah th an e fi s c : wh re am en r ag 192 e e s 0 v. 20 20
th e far fin ew al ell
ne e pr xt ofe do ss big or or do rk en erg y
lig tri htly pp ing
tin y& pu
il so ove ma you tch a tri me
73 100% that betch Main Event
56 real men eat clean Health & Wellness
67 habits 365 Fashion
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION
the decades issue
What is your favorite decade of music and why?
2000s because Bieber
2020: The Renegade Editor-in-Chief_Isabella Vaccaro Co-Executive Editors_Lindsey Bornstein & Anya Balsamides Managing Editor_Gabby Rosenbloom Copy Chief_Olivia Ginsberg ’80s: classic rock is everything Art Director_Lauren Maingot Co-Photo Editors_Gianna Sanchez & Kristian Del Rosario ’70s baby. Queen, Illustrations Director_Rachel Rader Zeppelin, Rolling Co-Assistant Art Directors_Avani Choudhary & Giselle Spicer Kylea Hensler, Writer Stones...need I say Co-Assistant Photo Editors_Teagan Polizzi & Sydney Burnett Lauren Jones, Writer more? Co-Video Editors_Travis Laub & Elinor Howells Gianna Milan, Writer Food Director/Co-PR Manager_Elizabeth Pozzouli Anjuli Sharpley, Writer Mallory Garber, Writer Co-PR Manager/Fashion Director_Keagan Larkins Cathelyna Suherman, Writer Co-Assistant PR Managers_Katelyn Gavin & Emily Marquez Molly Balsamides, Writer Social Media Assistant_Madeline Earle 2099 and that’s on Jabria Roscoe, Writer The Guide Editor_Camille Devincenti Charli XCX Alli Sharifi, Writer What The Fork Editor_Samantha Velez Tanja Moissl, Writer Special Section Editor_Elisa Baena Health & Wellness Editor_Gabrielle Lord Gio Aprigliano, Design Fashion Editor_Isabel Tragos Julia Donahue, Design Main Event Editor_Kathryn Ford Jess Morgan, Design Business Manager_Avani Reddy Tanja Moissl, Design RJ Kayal, Photographer Sales Reps_Alexis Masciarella & Simar Dyal Gabriela Nahous, Photographer Contributing Faculty Editors_Tsitsi Wakhisi & Bruce Garrison Jess Morgan, Photographer Faculty Adviser_Randy Stano Debra Baldwin, Videographer ’70s: Queen, Elton John, Michael Jackson, The Rolling Stones all making music at the same ’70s time Digital Editor_Emmalyse Brownstein Assistant Digital Editor_Olivia Ginsberg Online Managing Editor_Scarlett Diaz Culture Blog Editor_Corina Azpurua Food Blog Editor_Alexa Hirt Travel Blog Editor_Corina Azpurua Fashion Blog Editor_Erika Pun
The magazine is produced four times per year, twice a semester. City Graphics and Bellack Miami printed 8,000 copies of the magazine on 8.5 x 11 inch, 60-pound coated text paper 4/4. The entire magazine is printed four-color and perfect bound. Most text is nine-point Minion Pro with 9.8 points of leading set ragged with a combination of bold, medium and italic. All pages were designed using Adobe Creative Suite CC software InDesign with photographs and artwork handled in Photoshop and Illustrator. For additional information, please visit distractionmagazine.com. Questions and comments can be mailed to 1330 Miller Drive, Student Media Suite 202A, Coral Gables, FL, 33146, dropped into SSC Student Media Suite Suite 200 or emailed to email@example.com. All articles, photographs and illustrations are copyrighted by the University of Miami.
When it comes to contributors, we’re not picky. Whether you’ve found your niche in a bio book, you’re notorious for doing “nothing” at the comm or business school or you’re halfway into your college career and still wave that “undeclared major” flag, we want to hear what you have to say. Distraction is an extracurricular/volunteer operation made for students, by students, and covers the full spectrum of student life here at The U. If you want to get involved or have any questions, comments or concerns email our editor-in-chief, Isabella Vaccaro, firstname.lastname@example.org.
WE LIKE YOU
There are no corrections from the Winter 2019 issue.
big dork energy
When I heard about the Big Dork Energy story, I instantly started trying to come up with a vision for the spread. The first thing that came to mind? Rollerskates. While the skates did not make it into the spread design, Co-Photo Editor Gianna Sanchez and I were very excited to find them. So much so that I ran back into the store after we had already paid just to pick them up. By some miracle, they fit our model, Jessie Lauck, perfectly. A few weeks later, another staff member, Scarlett Diaz, took the skates for a spin and made it all the way down to Starbucks (our staff is heavily caffeine-dependent) on the wheels. Only then, upon reentering our office, did she run into a wall. Talk about Big Dork Energy, huh? - Lauren Maingot, Art Director
go your own way We didn’t have any particular location in mind for this shoot. Even though we had beautiful, unique-looking models and vintage ’70s garb, we hadn’t scouted a location until the morning of the shoot. Co-assistant art director, Avani Choudhary, and I brought the models to a packed parking lot on the main strip of Bird Road (SW 40th St and SW 57th Ave) and ended up parking both our cars diagonally across eight parking spots; then, we started shooting. Our photographer was our brand-new, freshman assistant photo editor, Teagan Polizzi, who— and I cannot stress this enough—is fantastic. Brilliant. Superb. Fabulous. Over about an hour and a half span, with no props and very little pre-planning, we shot about 1,000 photos, both film and digital, of our stunning, first-time models. Stavy and Roma, if you’re reading this, you were amazing; I cannot thank you enough for your patience, your willingness to try new things and your sharp, angular jawlines. - Lindsey Bornstein, Co-Executive Editor
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION
The Guide captures the thoughts of the Miami hipster and slaps them on a page. Despite being in-the-know, pretentious is not in The Guide readerâ€™s vocabulary. Starbucks is out and typewriters are in. If you ever need a suggestion for the best kombucha in town, look no further than The Guide for insight.
M eet the ne i ghbors . Exploring the different neighborhoods of Miami words_scarlett diaz. design_gabby rosenbloom.
hen you go to school in paradise, it’s easy to fall into the same old habits—going to the same bars with the same cute bartenders who wink at you when you order the same cocktails you’ve been drinking for the past two years. Students could very easily take Miami for granted while spending their days inside our Coral Gables campus. As trends change, the city changes, but some Miami things never go out of style—they only get better with time. You’ve heard of Little Havana, with its famed cultural festivals, but what about Little Haiti, a lesser known neighborhood in Miami where people dance ’til dawn? Wynwood is known among Gen-Z for its Instagrammable ice creams and graffiti—but the city has another role within Miami’s history. Overtown’s reputation is being turned around thanks to new developments in the city. And, nestled between the bridges, Brickell is booming, doubling its population size between 2000 and 2010, and is known to be one of the fastest developing cities in Miami. But, South Beach has so many more surprises than LIV and Mr. Jones. Make 2020 the year you truly explore the world surrounding The U.
Bis cayn e Bay
Brickell South Beach
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION
BRICKELL Brickell is Miami’s premier neighborhood for business, nightlife and luxury living. While Brickell’s skyline is adorned with skyscrapers, its streets are crawling with scooters, peacocks and poincianas. Located south of the Miami River and extending to the Rickenbacker Causeway, Brickell is one of Miami’s oldest neighborhoods. Mary Brickell is credited with convincing Henry Flagler to stretch his railroad down to Miami at the end of the 19th century. She was a catalyst in Miami’s upscale development—some might even say that she’s the original Miami Mami. words_elisa baena. photo_teagan polizzi. design_avani choudhary & giselle spicer.
The high rise buildings Brickell is known for give a city feel to Miami. According to Forbes, Brickell “is also home to the largest concentration of international banks in the United States and is the second-largest financial hub outside of New York City’s financial district.”
In the early 20th century, Brickell was nicknamed “Millionaires Row,” because it was home to a string of lavish homes on Brickell Avenue, according to Miami-History. com. While high-rise apartments and office buildings have replaced the historic mansions of Miami’s early pioneers, the neighborhood has not lost its lust for luxury. Brickell is one of the hottest up-and-coming neighborhoods for young professionals—however, its price tag isn’t so hot. As of July 2019, the highest average rent prices for a one-bedroom apartment in Miami-Dade were in Brickell at $2,305 per month, according to
BRICKELL’S BEST Drinks: Sugar at the EAST Hotel Night-out: Los Altos, Blackbird Ordinary Sushi: Pubbelly Sushi, Suviche Brickell Pizza: MisterO1 Workout: Redbike Studios, Sweat440 Views: Brickell Key Date night: La Mar at the Mandarin Oriental Coffee: Latin Café, B Bistro + Bakery
RentCafe. Dr. Wilson Shearin, Brickell resident and associate professor of classics at the University of Miami, said, “Brickell is more expensive than some other parts of Miami, and that contributes to a certain homogeneity here. Most of my friends in the area work in the same areas: law, banking, accounting, financial services. That isn’t per se bad, but I do feel that certain groups are effectively priced out of Brickell.” Despite this, Brickell has become an increasingly popular neighborhood for University of Miami students. With its proximity to the Metrorail and urban locale, its metropolitan perks are hard to beat. Each morning or evening, you can walk along the bay, do yoga in Brickell Key Park, head to happy hour at Sugar or grab a slice of pizza at MisterO. Everything you need is within walking distance. Shearin originally moved to the neighborhood because he was looking to live a car-free lifestyle. “My commute to UM is easier and simpler than almost anywhere else. I’m also an avid runner & cyclist, and Brickell is one of the best places in Miami for these activities,” Shearin said.
LIVE LIKE A LOCAL Originally from Madrid, UM junior Ana Rubio moved to Brickell in 2019. “I love the location and the fact that it’s super close to Downtown. Because I don’t own a car, I can be independent and walk around Brickell to do my errands without having to ask my roommates for rides,” said Rubio. “I also love how new and modern the apartments are, and I especially love how cool the views are in my building.” Although Brickell isn’t a short bike ride from UM’s campus, the benefits of living in this city center are unrivaled. Living in Brickell means living like a local, not just a student.
WYNWOOD Wynwood locals will remind you of its not-soglamorous past, as it was once a grungy, overrun, industrial area. But a wave of new businesses and developments have revived the neighborhood, helping to create the cultural hub it is now. By day, Miami’s trendiest parade the mural-lined blocks, snapping Insta-worthy shots before settling at a popular lunch spot. By night, the neighborhood lights up with buzzing bars and clubs—a revolving door of hedonistic fun. words_camille devincenti. photo_teagan polizzi. design_avani choudhary & giselle spicer.
STREET ART Drawing crowds since its inception, the famous Wynwood Walls are a collection of graffiti art and murals made by renowned local and international street artists. After recognizing an underlying potential for the area’s large supply of unused warehouse buildings, Tony Goldman, an American real estate developer and art visionary, thought to use the area as a canvas for his art. Goldman launched the concept formally in 2009— forever changing the neighborhood. Wynwood has since blossomed into a canvas for budding artists, museums, galleries, art festivals and even art walking tours.
A FOODIE’S PARADISE
Wynwood is a foodie’s dream, with plenty of delicious eateries open all hours of the day and night. Miami’s first artisanal donut shop, The Salty Donut, serves up donuts in one-of-a-kind flavors. Kaitlyn Woods, Regional Manager of The Salty Donut, said that the pop-up shop-turned donut powerhouse has held a loyal following since its opening during Art Basel in 2015, garnering 191,000 followers on social media since it began. “What sets Salty apart is that we are not just a dessert place,” Woods said. “We do everything internally—like baking small batches of our craft donuts from scratch with artisanal pastry chefs.” A continuation of the Latin culture that pervades Miami, Coyo Taco is a laid-back venue for piquant tacos, hearty burritos and melty quesadillas. This taco spot is wondrously open until 3 a.m., making it perfect for an after-party meal. And here’s a local tip— there’s a secret bar in the back.
After enjoying local street food and getting your fix of art, head out to one of Wynwood’s many nightlife destinations. Record storeturned bar, 1-800-Lucky, is home to seven different Asian restaurants. At night, the food hall presents live DJs for patrons to dance off their ramen or Taiyaki ice cream desserts. Another hotspot is the Wynwood Marketplace, a mixed-use venue boasting food vendors and an open dance floor. For an all-around authentic Miami experience, check out El Patio—the reggae-infused bar always mixes the best of Latin music with an upbeat vibe, remaining lively even on Sunday nights.
Zak the Baker, a kosher bakery and cafe, brings a pop of color to NW 26th street in Wynwood. Zak Stern, owner of ZTB, has a loyal following of bread lovers who come in early to get their artisanal goods fresh out the oven.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION
Nestled between Wynwood and Downtown Miami, Overtown is a hub of culture, music and business with a rich African-American history—boasting the legacies of Billie Holiday, Jackie Robinson and Nat King Cole. Drive through this culturally-rich neighborhood to visit historic landmarks, try soul food and volunteer along the way. words_anjuli sharpley. photo_jess morgan. design_avani choudhary & giselle spicer.
OVERTOWN COMMUNITY GREEN HAVEN What began as a group of unacquainted community members passionate about bringing fresh produce to one of Miami’s most impoverished communities eventually blossomed into a selfless project committed to providing the community of Overtown with locally-grown produce. The Green Haven Project seeks not only to provide fresh food, but also to inform community members and volunteers on how to effectively grow their own produce and how to incorporate sustainable practices into their lifestyles, too. When asked about the greater mission of the garden, one of the founders, Bottles Belafonte, said, “We give life to give back life.”
Overtown represents a transitional space that connects multiple sides of our city’s corridor. Even as one of Miami’s most historically vibrant neighborhoods, most locals don’t even explore the area and often ignore its powerful cultural past. However, with new businesses and movements finding a home in the community, Overtown is finally being heard among the bustle.
JACKSON SOUL FOOD The scent of fried fish and biscuits escapes through the doors of Jackson Soul Food and settles in the hearts and noses of every person strolling through Overtown. Boasting over 60 years of service, Jackson Soul Food unites the community with a genuine family atmosphere and hearty, home-cooked meals. The ever-changing menu features items aimed at satisfying both the healthconscious customer, as well as the “soul foodie.” Miami locals commonly boast about menu favorites such as the country sausage breakfast sandwich and the lemonpepper chicken wings. Several celebrities—including Lil Pump and LeBron James—frequent this restaurant, and with delicious options for every palate, it’s easy to tell why.
Fifty years ago, the well-known contemporary artist Purvis Young posted several of his works on a wall in Goodbread Alley, a street in Overtown where he lived and worked. The artist often used everyday objects as canvases for his paintings. He plastered his work everywhere, from neighborhood walls to the homes of celebrities like Lenny Kravitz. Although Young’s work now adorns museums such as The Metropolitan Museum of Art and Smithsonian American Art Museum, his murals can still be found throughout Overtown. Look out for murals with abstract images of horses and long-faced men, which serve as Young’s representations of the black experience.
Preserving the history of Overtown while simultaneously revitalizing the neighborhood, the Dunns-Josephine Hotel has 15 Harlem Renaissancethemed rooms, each named after iconic Harlem figures including Josephine Baker and Langston Hughes. “We wanted to pull together a look and feel that resembled that era but also throw in a modern touch,” said Mona Stephen, the interior designer behind the Dunns-Josephine Hotel. “During the Harlem Renaissance, back in the twenties, there were iconic African-American music performers who would perform on South Beach but were not allowed to stay at the hotels there—so they would stay here.” When guests enter the hotel lobby, they are greeted by bright blue furniture and throw pillows of Harlem icons.
10 DISTRACTION The Guide
words_gianna milan. photo_ gabriela nahous. design_avani choudhary & giselle spicer.
LITTLE HAVANA, BIG HISTORIA Prior to the Cuban influx of the 1960s, the area where Little Havana now sits first emerged as a hub for Miami’s Jewish population. After the Cuban Revolution of 1959, Cuban refugees fled to nearby Miami, anticipating their exile to be temporary, according to The New Tropic. Immigrants settled in the cheapest area of land— just west of Downtown—where they established homes and businesses along the neighborhood’s flagship Calle Ocho. Little Havana flourished into a magnet for Latin American immigrants, creating a hotbed for Miami’s cultural diversity. This densely concentrated Hispanic community has since dispersed throughout the city’s neighborhoods.
SALSA NIGHT EVERY NIGHT
At the heart of Miami’s vibrant, cosmopolitan mecca lies Little Havana—a bustling Cuban corner brimming with Hispanic history and culture.
At the core of Ball & Chain’s electrifying allure is a nonstop, nightly dance party. Salsa, mambo or bachata the night away at Little Havana’s premier nightlife destination. Enjoy expertly-mixed cocktails and delicious Cuban fare—think mariquitas and tapas— while vibing to authentic Latin jazz. “There’s no other club in Miami where we can play straight-up jazz or fusion for such a captive audience,” said drummer Aaron Glueckauf, a Frost School of Music alumnus who has played at Ball & Chain with his trio for years.
EIGHTH STREET EATS El Rey De Las Fritas is “the one spot I always come back to on weekends,” said Caesar Krauss, a former Miami local who was making his weekly visit to the restaurant. The diner’s classic Frita—a beef patty on a Cuban roll showered with potato crisps—is the unequivocal crown jewel of Miami’s burger scene. Wash it down with a coral-hued batido de mamey, or tropical fruit shake, from Los Pinarenos Fruteria, and you’re set for the night. For Cubanos and medianoches, look no further than Sanguich de Miami. The shop’s tiny ventanita serves up gourmet sandwiches and on-thego cortaditos.
STUDENT VOICE: LITTLE HAVANA LIFE Anthony Torres, a junior majoring in broadcast journalism at the University of Miami, is a native of Little Havana—it has been his home since birth. “Little Havana isn’t the greatest area in terms of its outward appearance. People probably hate the fact that lots of places are messy, and traffic is really awful,” said Torres. “But when you look past that, and at the people who live there, the majority of the time you’re going to come across genuine, warm-hearted individuals who—especially as minorities—wish to change the world and do anything to reach their goals and desires.” According to the State of Florida Archives, this mural represents Calle Ocho in the heart of Miami’s Cuban population. Little Havana earned its distinct name after 40% of Cuban refugees landed in the area. Thanks to the neighborhood’s cultural imprint and retention of Cuban traditions, Miami has emerged as the world’s second largest Cuban populated city—after Havana, of course.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 11
LITTLE HAITI RESPECT THE LOCALS Just as you would find in Haiti, women can be seen walking down the streets with food baskets on their heads, and people can be heard chatting in Creole or French in the Lemon City. Noam Yemini, co-owner and general manager of Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge—a classic Creole restaurant—said his favorite part of the area is the rich culture and tradition of Little Haiti’s locals. “Little Haiti is a rich and storied community full of art and culture,” said Yemini. “The Haitian people are hardworking and loyal—feeling a sense of commitment and respect to the businesses that cater to and respect them.”
HAITIAN CREATIONS If you’re looking to sample some Haitian food while in the area, look for the colorful murals painted on the walls of Naomi’s Garden Restaurant & Lounge. Yemini recommends sampling the jerk chicken, the fried snapper or—for vegans with a hankering for Haitian food—the legumes. Naomi’s has been a part of Little Haiti’s culture for more than 35 years. “It is a long and interesting history,” Yemini said. “My parents bought this property as a commissary for their health food truck in the late 1970s. We had Haitian employees and, by community request, we started serving Haitian lunch which then expanded into a very popular long-time restaurant!”
In theGuide Loop 12 DISTRACTION The
Little Haiti, also nicknamed the Lemon City for the lemon groves that once populated the area, was built upon the movement of the people and culture of the Haitian diaspora. The art splashed across the buildings, the advertisements plastered through the district in both Creole and English and the mouthwatering scent of Haitian food are clear signs that you’ve crossed into the flourishing cultural hub known as Little Haiti. words_olivia ginsberg. photo_jess morgan. design_avani choudhary & giselle spicer.
AT WHAT PRICE? Zillow puts many property values in the heart of Little Haiti under $300,000, which is low in comparison to other areas in Miami. This disparity may be caused by Little Haiti’s reputation for crime. According to SpotaCrime.com, there have been 188 reported cases of theft and 131 cases of assault in this area in the past six months, which have added to the negative perspective of Little Haiti. However, prices increase as you begin to inch towards the outskirts of the area, reaching upwards of $500,000. It is possible that these new builds are part of a larger epidemic plaguing the Lemon City—gentrification. As investors come into the area and scoop up cheap properties, locals get pushed out. Is this ruining the authentic sanctity of Little Haiti, or is it a necessary step towards creating a more revitalized Miami? Rachelle Barrett, a junior majoring in political science and broadcast journalism at the University of Miami, said that her grandparents left Haiti and settled in “the safe haven” of Little Haiti for a life of more opportunity. However, now that gentrification is making a move to push Haitians out of their homes, locals are growing increasingly frustrated. “It’s just a little sad when you’re forced to leave your country, only to find that the replacement home is threatened by such a vast change,” added Barrett. Little Haiti has long been one of Miami’s most historically vibrant neighborhoods, continuously sharing Afro-Carribean cultural pride with the entire city. The tropical facade of buildings such as the Little Haiti Cultural Complex is almost as colorful as the dishes and flavors that can be enjoyed in the area.
South Beach—or SoBe to locals—is a prime tourist destination. The pastel allure of Art Deco buildings was used as a backdrop in famous TV shows and films like “Scarface.” You can lay back with your toes in the sand, eat seafood overlooking the ocean or dance alongside celebrities at LIV nightclub, making it one of the most exciting spots in Miami.
words_camille devincenti. photo_gabriela nahous. design_avani choudhary & giselle spicer.
ART DECO DISTRICT After a hurricane destroyed the area’s buildings in 1926, South Beach saw a boom of new infrastructure, which now comprise the Art Deco District. Art Deco architecture revolutionized South Beach, creating the retro style that it is known for today. Lester Corrales, a UM junior who spent his summers in South Beach, said that his favorite place in SoBe is the Faena Hotel. “The hotel screams ‘Art Deco!’ The place is a visual delight in the etymological sense— bringing the light, shining sunshine and bliss over everything,” said Corrales. “Everything is designed to be an experience.” For a quick history lesson, make sure to take a stroll down Ocean Drive or consider taking a walking tour with the Miami Center for Architecture & Design. Ocean Drive is home to the Villa Casa Casuarina— also known as the Versace Mansion—whose legacy precedes the Versace era. Once an Italian designer’s private home, the mansion is now a living museum where guests can stay the night or enjoy a lavish meal.
NATURAL WONDERS Tourists and locals alike flock to these white sand beaches to experience the natural beauty of South Beach. Martin Nesvig, a University of Miami professor who teaches a class on the history of beaches, said that although South Beach has been flooded with tourists and rappers in recent years, he still would never personally give up the quiet calm of the beach. “Fifteen years ago, I was
offered a job in Miami, so I moved three blocks away from the beach and haven’t left,” said Nesvig. While exploring the beaches for yourself, look out for stands with bikes to rent for a picturesque sunset ride around the neighborhood or simply stroll down the twisting paths that hug the beach.
UP ALL NIGHT South Beach hosts some of the world’s best nightclubs, known for their electrifying DJs, expensive tables and strict bouncers. For a non-traditional clubbing experience, try Basement, which features a bowling alley and an indoor ice-skating rink. A boutique nightclub option is Do Not Sit On The Furniture, which offers an intimate environment for club-goers to enjoy house music. South Beach’s LGBTQ+ community frequents the iconic club Twist, which has seven bars and three dance floors, each boasting a different ambiance. If you’re looking to avoid the crowded club scene and enjoy a chic lounge space, you’re sure to love Sophie’s bar and lounge. Designed to replicate old-school South Beach glamour, their motto is #MakeSoBeDopeAgain. In the 1870s, South Beach was farmland waiting to be discovered. Fast forward to the 1920s, and it had become a hotspot for millionaire homes. By the 1980s, South Beach evolved from a disadvantaged area with a high crime rate to an affluent, desirable place to live.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 13
what the fork
14 DISTRACTION What the Fork
What the Fork is the key to a Miami foodie’s heart. Between simple how-to tips and trendy restaurant reviews, this section is the roadmap for all things food. Our team scours the Miami marketplace to find hidden gems. Readers will drool over the juicy photos an creative recipes. Whether you’re craving a hearty meal or a sweet treat, you’re sure to find it in the 305.
GINGA NINJA It’s that time of the week. There’s no better feeling than showing up to campus and seeing a flood of white tents on the Foote Green. The University of Miami’s farmers’ market always gives students a reason to be excited for Hump Days. words_mallory garber. photo_sydney burnett. design_lauren maingot.
hat better way to cure stress than to stuff your face with food? Each week, I quickly scan the faces at dozens of familiar booths, and one man always manages to successfully grab my attention. With his charismatic charm or the rhythmic raps he projects, his booth, Jamaica Caribbean Things, always lures me in. If you find yourself asking, “Who is this mysterious man who’s so excited to sell turmeric, and why is he always rapping in my face?” look no further for your answer. His name is Herman, which he loves to talk about. “When I’m with my wife, I am her man!” Herman and his wife had moved from Jamaica to Miami with hopes of building a more fruitful life (pun intended). Herman’s first business venture in Miami was a record store, which didn’t do as well as he had hoped. Rather than let his failure discourage him, Herman used the experience to ensure the success of his next venture. After countless hours of research, Herman
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 15
HAVE SOME GINGA, FEEL LIKE A NINJA decided to dive into the art of the sale. He was enthusiastic about the potential health benefits that turmeric beverages could provide to customers and subsequently launched Jamaica Caribbean Things. His personal favorite product is the sorrel juice—also known as hibiscus. Herman explained that hibiscus, a colorful plant whose flowers and leaves can be made into teas and liquid extracts, is able to treat a variety of health conditions. One of his most successful selling strategies, which he utilizes frequently at UM, is capturing customers’ attention. He uses his musical talent to create unique raps and rhymes about his products. “Have a little ginga, make you feel like a ninja!” Curious minds flock to the booth for his spirit and vibrantly-colored samples. These refreshing samples get students’ attention, but the real draws are the health benefits, which are listed on the booth. Herman uses his smart jingles and charisma to attract as many UM students as possible, and once a customer bites, he closes the deal like a pro. What most people don’t realize is how much Herman cares about the UM student body. He gladly endures the blazing Miami heat in order to nurture the relationships he’s made along the way. His raps hold hidden wisdom and advice for the students that walk past him, and his favorite conversations are not about his business but about students’ aspirations for their futures. Pensive to his core, his passions for delving into various religions and sharing his interpretations with students continue to intrigue the UM community every Wednesday. But “you can’t argue with a fool,” Herman joked. So, next time you walk past the singing man you think is simply humming to himself, take a second to listen to what he really has to say.
16 DISTRACTION What the Fork
Cool off from the Miami heat with the infamous sorrel drink from Jamaica Caribbean Things.
Stop by and make Hermanâ€™s day, as well as your own, by pausing to taste his products and having a conversation.
JUST CARIBBEAN THINGS Hermanâ€™s booth, Jamaica Caribbean Things, has products like hibiscus, ginger and turmeric, which are flavorful, healthy ingredients. Hibiscus can decrease body temperature, treat heart disease and even soothe a sore throat. Ginger is used to treat many forms of nausea, morning sickness and muscle pain. When it comes to turmeric, the benefits are endless, ranging from decreased inflammation to diabetes treatment. Hibiscus, ginger and turmeric are essential ingredients for a healthy, well-balanced diet. Each of these life-improving products are available at the Jamaica Caribbean Things booth every Wednesday!
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 17
Meet UM students’ new food obsession. Depending on whom you ask, the two glass buildings perched between South Dixie Highway and 73rd Street in South Miami may best be described as modern or unusual. The two buildings, recognizable to many University of Miami students, house Root & Bone and Mi’talia Kitchen & Bar. words_lauren jones. photo_gianna sanchez. design_tanja moissl.
oth restaurants are owned by former “Top Chef ” contestants Janine Booth and Jeff McInnis, a husband-and-wife team who opened the locations in early 2019. Root & Bone and Mi’talia have since become popular among students for their boozy brunches and innovative dishes; they’re sophisticated, yet unpretentious. Although they are owned by the same couple, each restaurant has a distinct
Only about a mile away, Mi’talia and Root & Bone is accessible to all students and they definitely take advantage of it. Nikki Puccetti, a graduate student in clinical psychology said [of Mi’talia] that she “had very good and prompt service. It was a weeknight, but they were still fairly busy and we remained attended to the whole evening.”
18 DISTRACTION What the Fork
While there are a few Southern and Italian restaurants in the area, our aim at both Mi’talia and Root & Bone is to transport you to a different place and provide our guests with a truly magical dining experience. – Janine Booth, owner
atmosphere and menu. Mi’talia is airy and bright, and Root & Bone is cozy and stylishly rustic. “Root & Bone is a restaurant with deep Southern roots,” said Booth. “When you walk into the space, you feel like you are walking into your grandmother’s home—instantly welcomed by the whimsical, cozy feel and the smell of home cooking. Its menu showcases innovative and elevated American classics, with a focus on ‘roots’ being everything from the earth and ‘bones’ relating to the proteinheavy dishes.” Root & Bone is down-home cooking with an upscale flair, while Mi’talia is Italian chic dropped, almost accidentally, it seems, into the tropics. “Mi’talia, on the other hand, melds Italian details with Miami’s tropical vibes,” said Booth. “The menu showcases unique versions of Italian classics that are familiar, yet totally surprising. For example, the Steak Carpaccio with black garlic aioli, pickled fennel and pistachios, or our Cauliflower Arancini with taleggio, tomato mostarda and Meyer lemon.” The restaurants offer radically different culinary experiences. At Root & Bone, feast on a classic dish like chicken under a brick, or indulge in the shrimp and avocado ceviche—a decidedly Latin staple made with
watermelon for a Southern twist. At Mi’talia, try the decadent ricotta ravioli and lobster or the fresh farro and pumpkin salad. “You can’t pass up our signature sweet-tea-brined fried chicken that is dusted in lemon and served with a spicy but sweet-honey hot sauce,” Booth said of Root & Bone favorites. “If BBQ is on your mind, our brown-sugar-bruleed ribs are a must try. The sweet-corn spoon bread with creme fraiche and scallions, along with our buttermilk biscuits served with honey chicken, are delicious menu staples.” “I enjoy the attention to detail in their supper menu, and it is comfort food for me, since I’m from the South,” said Paige Miller, a graduate student at UM. “I’ve ordered a few plates but love the chicken under a brick and the shrimp and grits.” The variety that both restaurants offer makes them appealing to UM students. Coupled with the fact that Mi’talia and Root & Bone are only about a mile from the university, it’s obvious why both places are popular destinations for food and happy hours. Although both restaurants are only about one year old, they’ve made their impact in South Miami and among the University of Miami community.
Both Root & Bone and Mi’talia attract an eclectic group of diners from students, families, young professionals, wine lovers, food lovers, craft cocktail lovers, dessert lovers and more. – Janine Booth, owner
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 19
Wok n’ Roll Saucy Japanese udon noodles infused with traditional, Chinese hoisin sauce make for a delicious culinary masterpiece, embodying the spirit of Asian food in the United States today. Asian fusion, the combination of flavors and cooking styles of two or more Asian countries into a dish, was a popular fad of the 1990s—and now, like all things classic, it’s back. words_ cathelyna suherman. photo_gianna sanchez. design & food styling_elizabeth pozzuoli.
Fusion cuisine has existed around the world for decades. It first occurred naturally as a result of cultural crossover from easilyaccessible travel between foreign continents. However, fusion has not traditionally been recognized as a distinct cuisine style overseas like it is in America. On the global scale, entirely new culinary categories have been established rather than being lumped into the sub-category of Asian fusion. Japanese curry is inspired by various Indian gravies combined into one dish, while Peranakan cuisine—which marries Chinese, Malaysian and Indonesian cuisine—uses the specific aromatic spices and flavors of Indonesia with Chinese cooking techniques. In most of the world, Asian cuisines are segmented into Central, East, West, North, South and Southeast Asian. However, in the United States, Asian fusion predominantly focuses on Eastern Asian ingredients from China, Japan, Korea, Mongolia and Taiwan. This includes the use of soy sauce, rice and soybeans. The term “Asian fusion” itself emerged in America after Momofuku Noodle Bar—opened in New York in 2004 by Korean-
20 DISTRACTION What the Fork
American chef David Chang—started combining the flavors of different Asian countries to create new and exciting dishes. The menu at Momofuku Noodle Bar features dishes like smoked chicken wings with garlic, Thai chili with scallions and hoisin-smothered pork belly. In some cases, Asian fusion is also used to refer to the mix of Asian flavors with other cultures’ cuisines. For example, the “sushirito”— which rose to popularity on Instagram in recent years—is a mix of traditional Japanese sushi ingredients wrapped up Mexican burritostyle. Even further, Banh Mi are Vietnamese sandwiches filled with traditional ingredients, all stuffed inside a French baguette; the dish originated from French colonizers who first came to Vietnam. In your own cooking, you might choose to mix in the added tang of Japanese rice vinegar, the aromatic salt of soy sauce or the slow burn of Thai bird chilies into your dishes. Whether you’re trying a Chinese-Thai noodle dish at home or snacking on Thai-flavored gyoza, Asian fusion is an interesting way to combine flavors of different cultures to experience new, tasty sensations.
Asian Basil Beef Mango Salad This unique combination of beef, noodles and mango is a must-try dish. The sweet and spicy flavors of each ingredient will dance across your tongue and have you going back for seconds.
Ingredients 8 2 1 1 2 1/4 1 1/3 1/3 1 1 2 2 1 1
oz. rice noodles carrots, shredded Red Fresno pepper or jalapeĂąo pepper, sliced red bell pepper sliced, or chopped green onions, chopped of a green or purple cabbage, shredded lb. lean ground beef (may also use ground chicken or turkey) cup and 2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce, divided cup sweet, Thai chili sauce lemongrass stalk, finely chopped Tbsp. freshly grated ginger cloves garlic, minced or grated large handfuls of fresh basil Juice from 1 lime handful fresh cilantro mango, sliced or diced
Not only will these meals make your mouth water, but they are simple to make. Whether itâ€™s after a long day of work or in between classes, these recipes will not disappoint.
Instructions 1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Boil the rice noodles according to package directions. Drain. 2. Add carrots, red peppers, hot red pepper, green onions, cabbage and 2 tablespoons soy sauce to a medium bowl. Toss well and set aside. 3. Heat a large wok or heavy bottomed skillet over medium heat. Add the beef. Season the beef with black pepper and brown all over, breaking it up as it cooks, about five minutes. Once the beef is browned, add the lemongrass, ginger and garlic, cook 30 seconds to one minute or until fragrant. Add 1/3 cup soy sauce, 1/3 cup sweet Thai chili sauce and 1 cup of fresh basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer and cook until the sauce coats the beef, about 3-5 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the remaining 1 cup fresh basil, lime juice and cilantro. 4. To serve, divide the noodles among bowls and top with the beef. Add the carrot/pepper salad and fresh mango. Garnish with basil, watercress or sesame seeds.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 21
Wok nâ€™ Roll
Spicy Udon Noodles Enjoy this medley of chicken, basil and bell peppers drenched in a sweet and spicy sauce. This delicious dish only takes 20 minutes to make, and youâ€™ll savor every last bite.
Ingredients 8 1/2 1/4 2 2 1 2 1 1 1/3 2 2
oz. dried udon noodles cup low-sodium soy sauce cup rice vinegar Tbsp. hoisin sauce Tbsp. sesame oil lb. ground chicken or turkey (optional) red or orange bell peppers, sliced inch fresh ginger grated Fresno pepper, seeded and chopped cup fresh basil, chopped green onions, chopped Tbsp. sesame seeds
Instructions 1. Cook the udon noodles according to package directions. 2. Combine soy sauce, vinegar, hoisin sauce and 1/4 cup water in a bowl. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sesame oil and the chicken. Season with black pepper and brown all over, breaking it up as it cooks, about 5 minutes. Add bell peppers, ginger and fresno pepper, and cook another 2-3 minutes. Slowly pour in the soy sauce mixture and basil. Bring the mixture to a simmer, and cook until the sauce coats the chicken, about 3-5 minutes. 3. Stir in noodles and remove from the heat. Add the green onions and sesame seeds. Serve the noodles warm, topped with green onions.
22 DISTRACTION What the Fork
*all recipes sourced from Half Baked Harvest
Ginger Sesame Chicken Potstickers with Sweet Chili Pomegranate Sauce Want to whip up a delicious and healthy dish after a stressful day? Try these ginger-sesame potstickers! With crisp sesame seeds, juicy chicken and ginger, these little potstickers pack a powerful and mouthwatering flavor.
Ingredients 1 1 1 2 2 2 1/4 2
lb. raw ground chicken, turkey or pork cup shredded kale inch fresh ginger, grated cloves garlic, grated green onions, chopped carrots, shredded cup low-sodium soy sauce tsp. sesame oil, plus more for cooking black pepper 40 square wonton wrappers 1/3 cup raw sesame seeds STICKY POMEGRANATE SAUCE 1/2 cup sweet Thai chili sauce 1/4 cup pomegranate juice tbsp. low-sodium soy sauce 2 1/2 cup pomegranate arils
Instructions 1. In a medium bowl, combine the raw ground chicken, kale, carrots, ginger, garlic, green onions, soy sauce, sesame oil, and a pinch of black pepper, to taste. 2. Working with one wonton wrapper at a time, spoon one tablespoon of filling into the center of each wrapper. Brush water around the edge of the wrapper. Fold the dough over the filling to create a half moon shape, pinching the edges to seal. Repeat with remaining wrappers. 3. Place the sesame seeds in a shallow bowl. Brush the bottoms of the potstickers with water and then dredge them in the sesame seeds. 4. Heat a few tablespoons of oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. When the oil shimmers, add the potstickers and cook until the bottoms are light, golden brown, about 2-3 minutes. Carefully pour 1/4 cup of water into the skillet. It will splatter, so stand back. Immediately cover with a tight-fitting lid. Turn heat to medium-low and let the dumplings steam for 5-6 minutes, until the filling is cooked through inside. Serve right away with sauce. 5. To make the sauce, combine all ingredients in a medium bowl. Serve alongside the potstickers.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 23
3 Places To Get Asian Fusion in Miami Komodo 801 Brickell Avenue, Miami Komodo is a flashy, contemporary Southeast Asian fusion restaurant located in Brickell, owned by nightlife enthusiast David Grutman. Their signature dishes are the Tuna & Toro, Peking Duck and Lobster Dynamite Roll.
Ghee Indian Kitchen 3620 NE 2nd Avenue, Miami Ghee Indian Kitchen is a sophisticated take on Indian cuisine. Its signature dishes include crispy cauliflower and chicken tikka masala.
1-800-Lucky 143 NW 23rd Street, Miami 1-800-Lucky is oriented like an Asian food hall with Chinese, Japanese, Thai and Vietnamese-based stalls. Don’t forget to order a poké bowl from Poke OG or a delicious Bahn Mi from Les Banh Amis. During the evening, this place becomes a nightlife destination where different DJs come to electrify the night.
Moon Thai and Japanese 1118 S Dixie Hwy, Coral Gables If you’re looking for the perfect example of an Asian fusion restaurant, look no further than Moon Thai and Japanese. Located directly across from the University of Miami campus, Moon is a combination of Japanese and Thai cuisine. Its signature Asian fusion dishes include Suki sushi, crab wontons and a long list of noodles.
24 DISTRACTION What the Fork
Wok n’ Roll
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 25
The Roaring ’20s. The Great Depression. The Civil Rights Era of the ’60s and ’70s. We all sat through History 101 in high school, but how much do you really remember? Tackling the tropes of “quirky” ’80s movies and dissecting the complexities of the Cuban diaspora have us wondering what’s in store for the future at The U. What do we know for sure? It’s adios, farewell and adieu to Hecht and Stanford, the infamous—if not, dare we say, beloved?—freshman residential colleges. As the 2020s come into sharper focus, our legacy will surely be shaped by the events of this decade; just a few months in, we can only guess what that legacy will entail.
26 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
A lot can change in a century. The world has seen the advent of technology, two world wars, the rise and fall of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall. Life has changed drastically due to innovation, inflation and globalism. Take a look at these key differences between 1920 and 2020. words_kylea henseler. design_avani choudhary.
Average Household Income
$42,002.00 Cost of a Movie Ticket
Most Popular Song
“Swanee” Al Jolson
“Señorita” Camila Cabello and Shawn Mendes
United States Population
*All information is from the U.S. Census Bureau, National Association of Theatre Owners and Spotify
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 27
28 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
The Fire Rages An Op-ed Piece on Anti-Semitism by Managing Editor Gabby Rosenbloom
Talia Schnur, like most freshmen at the University of Miami, had a dry erase board on her dorm room door. This seemingly mundane object was intended for casual use by friends and passersby. She never imagined it would be the manifestation of what every Jew fears. One morning, Schnur woke to find a swastika drawn on her board. words_gabby rosenbloom. photo_couresy of yad vashem. design_gabby rosenbloom.
eing Jewish is plagued by historical burden. Embedded deeply in the roots of modern Jewish culture is a rich history of abuse, prejudice and dehumanization. For generations, the Jewish people have been persecuted and marginalized. While anti-Semitism continues to morph and change with the times, much has remained constant in the plight of the Jews. Xenophobia—the fear, hatred or mistrust of that which is different from you—infests the collective consciousness of the human race. There is, however, a mirror reflection of this fear that comes from the other side. Specifically with the Jewish population, there is a fear constantly lingering in the minds of Jews everywhere. “I hear a voice deep inside me asking the questions my fellow Jews ask me wherever I go, the one asked by Jews of so many other times and places,” said Bari Weiss, author of the award-winning book How to Fight Antisemitism and a writer for The New York Times. “Could it happen here? Is it happening here?” This anxiety causes a pipeline of turmoil that feeds both ways. Fear fuels hate and hate fuels fear—it is the perfect, symbiotic storm. The pattern is timeless and placeless. It stems from a primal fear of the unknown. Though this happens everywhere, there is always a level of shock associated with hate crimes, especially
regarding those directly involved. “I was shocked because I lived in a Jewish bubble my whole life,” said Schnur, now a junior at UM. “It made me hyper aware of the fact that there are ignorant people out there who don’t understand the meaning behind hate symbols.” After the incident, UM conducted an investigation that was inconclusive. Part of the problem now is that there is a constant conflation of Zionism, the age-old motion to establish a Jewish state in Israel, and Semitism. This is the primary difference between the anti-Semitism of the 1930s and the anti-Semitism of today. In Nazi Germany, anti-Semitism was carefully and intricately woven into policy—it is far more gracefully hidden nowadays. “In fact, much of the anti-Semitism taking place today emanates from the nation’s universities, where anti-Semitism is fashionably disguised as anti-Zionism,” said Aaron Breitbart, Senior Researcher at the Simon Wiesenthal Center for Holocaust Research. “To claim that one has no problem with Jews but hates Israel is akin to arguing that one has no problem with Swedes but hates Sweden. Now, who’s fooling whom?” It is also interesting to note that historically, antiSemitism stemmed from the right side of the political spectrum. It is now coming, too, from the left and “is often guised as ‘anti-Zionism,’ which, in most cases, is weasel language for anti-Semitism,” Breitbart said.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 29
“The Jews did not sustain their magnificent civilization because they were anti anti-semites. They sustained it because they knew who they were and why they were.” While it is true that anti-Semitism now is divergent from that of the 1930s, it never really went away. There was always an undertow of anti-Semitism in Germany— Hitler then used this existing prejudice to build his empire. This is how charismatic and manipulative leaders build mob mentality, according to The Jerusalem Post. They prey on the already vulnerable parts of their communities and use that vulnerability for their own gain. When Hitler came to power in 1933, he elevated the already hostile perspective of the Jews. Then, “after the Holocaust, people felt bad about what happened to the Jews, and attacking them, either verbally or physically, was considered taboo,” said Breitbart. “Many observers, however, feel that after the passage of time, society has reverted back to business as usual when it comes to Jews.” American anti-Semitism is not new. According to the Anti-Defamation League (ADL), the FBI said in 2019 that the Jewish population in America has been the most likely to be targeted for a hate crime in the United States every year consecutively since 1991. It has come to the forefront of our national consciousness because of our polarized political climate. The U.S. is living in a heightened state of awareness sustained by bigotry and fear. “Bigotry, in any form, hurts the society in which it occurs,” said Breitbart. “It allows haters to pour out of the woodwork like roaches and encourages fear and mistrust among the public. There is nothing as divisive to a society as hatred. If not successfully fought, it always ends badly. There are no winners.”
30 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
The seemingly invisible nature of anti-Semitism is a major contributing factor as to why blatant prejudice and discrimination continue to prevail in modern society. “I have been told on numerous occasions that anti-Semitism is not a real thing,” said Jane Doe*, a senior at the University of Miami. “People find it unfathomable that I could ever experience any kind of discrimination because I am white. When I tried to talk to a professor about a snide anti-Semitic comment directed at me by a fellow student, they told me to ‘get a thicker skin’ and ‘stop whining.’” This is a common problem amongst Jews in the United States considering that 75% of American Jews are white, according to The Atlantic. So, if anti-Semitism is alive and well in the world today, the question then becomes: how can we overcome it? For Weiss and Schnur, the answer is clear. In order to combat anti-Semitism, Jews must be proud of their Judaism and claim it as a part of them. This is not to say that every person who identifies as Jewish needs to keep kosher or spend every night in synagogue. Every Jew has the ability to decide what it means to be Jewish, but the pride and power in one’s own Judaism is universal. “The Jews did not sustain their magnificent civilization because they were anti anti-Semites,” said Weiss. “They sustained it because they knew who they were and why they were.” *Jane Doe refers to a source that wishes to remain anonymous.
When the Cubans Came This is a piece of creative writing about the Cuban migration to Miami, by Special Section Editor Elisa Baena. words_elisa baena. design_daniella cornide. illustration_micaela abuhayar.
he Acevedos got to Miami during the most putrid month of the year. It was poinciana season and the stench of rotting flowers seeped into my food and laundry. Before the Cubans came, we lived in the oldest house in Shenandoah. It was characteristically old Miami, built entirely of local pine and crowded with wicker. Our front yard was bookmarked by copper gumbo limbos, and our driveway was generously patterned with peacock excrement. As a child, it seemed like Shenandoah belonged to me, but it wasn’t home year round. Winter and spring were in Miami, and on the first of every May, it was back up North to my birthplace in the eastern valley of the Catskills. We weren’t the only snowbirds. Almost everyone in Shenandoah was a transplant. Our next-door neighbors
were a family from Atlanta that talked like they kept rocks in their mouths, and directly across the street was a childless couple from Quebec who owned a beauty parlor on Eighth Street. This displaced mashup made the rest of Miami just plain vanilla, an orderly grid of concrete block houses with pastel cars and monochrome interiors. Miami was a Southern state’s cousin, not sister, wearing the family crest but not quite acting the part. Sidewalks were soaked in Southern drawl, women didn’t learn how to drive, and there was absolutely no integration. Selling wholesale produce was the family biz. Dad’s brother and his wife ran a store on the tail end of South Beach and ours was in Ellenville, New York. When we were in Miami, my family slept on the first floor of the house, and Uncle David and Aunt Josie lived upstairs.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 31
Mom and Dad converted part of the screened front porch into their bedroom, Sarah and I had the room perpendicular to the kitchen, and Grandma and Poppy slept on a Murphy bed in the living room. Poppy snored so bad he was sometimes forced to sleep on a lawn chair outside. I joined him once, falling asleep on his hard belly, and the milkman’s clinking and clunking woke me up before sunrise. When I went back to my bed, I counted 40 mosquito bites on my legs. I had the kind of blood they went mad for. I moved out of the old house in 1958, the summer after my graduation from Miami High and six months after Dad’s stroke. With Dad as an invalid and Grandma and Poppy fainting all the time, Mom decided they should go back to Ellenville permanently. I was already engaged to my high school boyfriend Ari, and Mom said she would buy our first house if we got married before they left. A Jewish girl couldn’t leave home without a husband in those days. After our wedding, Ari and I moved into a little stucco home in what is now Little Havana. It had a simple Mediterranean layout with auburn-accented archways, Spanish tiles in the kitchen, and bougainvillea that crawled all over the walls. With Ari gone all day, I re-did the garden with flowers that wouldn’t wilt in the heat and repainted the exterior a peach Ari disagreed with. I fought against my teenage fertility the first few months of my marriage, but by my nineteenth birthday, I figured I should just let it go. Linda was born at the end of 1959. I was feeding Linda shrimp and peas when I heard a car grumble in front of the house. I left Linda in her chair and walked to the front window because I thought it might be Ari. On the street, half a dozen adults were circling two taxis and twittering. They were louder than a mall and gesticulated each time they spoke. The taxi driver waited patiently by his doors as the family fumbled with a few dollar bills. The oldest woman in the group examined a bill in the sunlight and nudged the man to her left. He moved his hands around the pockets of his trousers and started walking toward my
32 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
house. He was shorter than most of the men I knew and limped on beat like it was choreography. I didn’t move closer to the door when he struggled up my front steps and onto my porch. He extracted his freckled hand from his pocket with a single key and tried fitting it into my lock. After a few seconds of watching the doorknob jitter, I half-opened the door and made eye contact with him. He seemed about Poppy’s age, with the hairless, sunstained arms of a man in his eighties. “Can I help you, sir?” “Eh, hello miss. I did not know another person live here,” he said, and I could tell he was a Cuban exile. “My family is supposed to move into this house.” “I don’t think so, sir,” I said laughing a little. “I barely have room for my husband and daughter.” “You? A daughter? You look so young.” “I am young,” I said smiling. “But I think that’s the house you’re talking about.” I pointed at the twostory house on my left, another stucco one with a dirty limestone wall. “It’s been empty for a while.” “Maybe. I must have mess up the address. Please excuse the bother.”
He nodded his head bashfully and walked down the steps to his family, who were waiting for him with their hands on their hips. He folded his hands in the middle of his chest and told them something in Spanish. They let out an “Ahh” at the same time and picked up their suitcases from the sidewalk. I knocked on the Acevedo’s door a week after they moved in. Our houses were only separated by a strip of cold grass, and I walked over balancing Linda on my hip and a peach cobbler on my arm. I tried baking it from memory, and it was dry as a sock, but I figured Cubans wouldn’t know what it was supposed to taste like. I let the cobbler down and knocked on the door. It was mostly red with splotches of white paint and the knocker was a tiger’s head. After a few minutes of sweating and flicking off the mosquitos, I assumed they weren’t home. I grabbed Linda’s hand, picked up the dessert from the iron ledge, and walked down the front steps. Linda wiggled her hand out of mine and ran to the back of their house. The man was standing in the backyard under a pregnant mango tree. “Hola princesa,” he said to Linda. “And hello miss,” he said walking toward me. “I brought you a dessert, sir. Peach cobbler. People around here call it Southern hospitality.” “Southern hospitality,” he exclaimed. “Peach cobbler was one of my favorites in boarding school.” “Did you go to boarding school in the South?” “Jacksonville. My parents sent me to the U.S. for high school. That was a very popular thing to do in Cuba,” he stumbled, “before the Revolution.” “Your English is very good,” I said awkwardly. “It’s better than my wife’s,” he cackled. He shouted at the house, and I thought the whole neighborhood must have heard him. A screen door was held open by the butt of a broomstick and I could see their empty Florida room. Mari emerged a few minutes
later wearing a calf-length dress with a print that could have been on a baby’s blanket. She had two plastic rollers on the crown of her head and the rest of her dyed black hair was hard with hair spray. Her caramel skin was sticky with sweat and her eyebrows were drawn on. She smiled when she saw Linda, put her hand over her mouth, and waddled toward us. “Mari, esta es la que vive al lado,” he said to his wife. “Sorry, what is your name?” “Robbie,” I said. “¿Robbie?” said Mari. “Short for Roberta,” I clarified. “My dad picked it.” “Dile a la niña que su nombre es muy bonito, Jorge,” Mari whispered. “My wife say your name is very nice,” he said. “She don’t speak English.” “That’s alright, I understand a little.” “¿Y quien es esta criatura tan preciosa?” said Mari, smiling at Linda. “What’s your name, baby?” I said softly. “Linda.” “It’s good to meet you, Linda,” said Jorge. “Robbie y Linda nos trajeron un postre,” he told Mari. I understood what he said when he pointed at the peach cobbler. “I made it,” I said, moving my mouth more than I was used to. “I can’t wait to try it. Please come inside and have some with us,” said Jorge. “Oh no, that’s alright. You two enjoy it.”
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 33
“No, no, no,” he said quickly. “This is Cuban hospitality.” Mari lead us inside, petting Linda’s crinkly brown hair and speaking to her in Spanish. The house didn’t have much furniture except for some plastic beach chairs in the family room, a neatly made mattress in the living room, and a clunky mahogany armoire that the previous owners had left behind. Their Florida room, which they called El Florida, had green and yellow tiles that trapped the sun’s exhalations. El Florida emptied into the kitchen, which was turquoise wall-to-wall. It was small relative to the rest of the first floor and was missing a refrigerator. Mari took the peach cobbler from my hands and placed it on the counter. “Your home is lovely,” I said. “Ha! Lovely was our house in Pinar del Rio before those bastards took it from us,” said Jorge. I had seen pictures of the bearded guerillas in the paper with their pits of dead diplomats. “I’m very sorry,” I said quietly. “I don’t know much about what’s going on over there.” “A young lady like you don’t need to know about those things,” said Jorge. “I hope I’m not being too brash, but do you live with other folks?” “Oh yes,” he laughed. “Our two daughters and they husbands. It’s an arroz con mango. That mean a bunch of crazy,” Jorge said. “¿Lo probamos?” suggested Mari, setting some mismatched china on the counter. “I wanna sit,” whined Linda. “You’re gonna sit real soon, baby.” “She sit,” said Mari, welding her words. “Ven mi cielo.” She lifted Linda onto the counter beside me. Mari served herself a small square of peach cobbler and mentioned she was diabetic. When she took a bite, she threw her head back to Heaven. It wasn’t that good, but I appreciated the gesture. A Southern bride in the sixties did two things when she got bored: had another kid or slept with her tennis instructor. I didn’t play tennis and certainly wasn’t gonna have another baby, so I enrolled in junior college. I signed up before telling Ari, and he didn’t speak to me for a few days, because I didn’t ask for his permission. When he found out it was an integrated college, he gave me a truckload of nonsense about how that wouldn’t be appropriate. I nodded my head and said ‘yes dear,’ but I didn’t take back my enrollment. Classes were just two days a week, and it was really easy to get there on the bus. Aunt Josie and Uncle David looked after Linda while I was at school, and I made sure to always get home before Ari. I had less time to cook, but I was always lousy at it so he couldn’t tell the difference. One afternoon after class, I sweated through a silly thriller on the porch while Linda napped inside. I was armed with citronella candles, but I had to fetch some anti-itch cream because the mosquitos just wouldn’t leave me alone. The bottle I kept in a junk drawer in the kitchen was nearly empty, and I walked to the half-bath
34 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
across the hall from Linda’s room. It was difficult to see her silhouette with the curtains drawn, and I poked my head through her door. She wasn’t in bed. Wasn’t in her closet. Not hiding in the bathtub or under the kitchen sink. I started looping around the house furiously, calling her name and slamming doors. I heard the screen door close and ran to the kitchen. Then I saw her. Linda was walking barefoot on the grass with her linen nightgown dragging behind her. I followed her, calling her name, but she giggled and kept going. She made her way to the Acevedo’s backyard and walked into the sun-drenched Florida room, but I couldn’t get myself to follow her in. Through the screen door, I saw Mari jump at the tiny apparition. She picked Linda up, pinched her cheek, and kissed the top of her head. That’s when Mari became Abuela. In the next few months, Shenandoah’s habitual languor was disrupted. The overhead whistling of Eastern Airlines planes as they ascended and descended from Miami International Airport became the county’s elevator music. Soon the concrete boxes on our street started filling up with Cubans, and their pastel walls slowly ripened into mameys and Varadero blues. We weren’t a block of stale mint candies no more. We were an arroz con mango, and I was the arroz.
The year is 1974. Tie-dye, bell-bottoms and denim everything are all the rage. Pink Floyd drifts from a passing Ford Mustang, and President Richard Nixon has resigned. Vietnam protesters flood the evening news, feminism sweeps the nation and Woodstock music festival is a recent, drug-colored memory. words_anya balsamides. photo_teagan polizzi. design_lindsey bornstein.
his free-spirited, politically-charged environment can be traced to the 1950s and ’60s when many women, African Americans and LGBTQ community members fought vehemently for equal rights. At the same time, this political activism sparked backlash from supporters of traditional social values and family roles. Many working- and middle-class white Americans embraced conservative views, forming “the silent majority.” This silent majority ushered Republican Richard Nixon into office in 1968. President Nixon then responded with conservative policies—dismantling former President Lyndon B. Johnson’s War on Poverty and resisting desegregation in schools. Yet, the early ’70s aren’t remembered for their conservatism. The liberal, hippieinspired counterculture from the 1960s continued to flourish—awash with new music, ideals and political activism. And as the new decade rolls around, there’s evidence that 2020 might produce a similar renaissance of countercultural ideals. “People that study modern history call our generation hippies with better weed,” said Matt Ertle, a UM senior majoring in political science and history. The whole story, of course, is a little more complicated.
Through Rose-Colored Glasses
The most surface-level resurgence of the 1970s can be seen in fashion. In the 1970s, “long hair and outrageous clothing became the norm for Americans of all political and social backgrounds,” according to an article by Texas A&M history professor Dolph Briscoe IV. People paired bell bottoms with flowing, tie-dye tops, fringed sweaters and tinted sunglasses—think John Lennon. And now, this colorful, bohemian decade
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 35
Finding head-to-toe ’70s attire was not difficult for models Roma Williams and Stravos Kalemakis. Here, they sport pieces from their own closets. ’70s-inspired fashion has risen in popularity due to social media, according to junior Angelica Defalco. “I think that [social media] lends itself to encouraging people to explore the counterculture,” says Defalco.
36 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
is back. “I think because the counterculture is on the rise, a lot of people are looking back to the ’70s for their fashion,” said UM junior Angelica Defalco. In 2019, even Paris Fashion Week declared the ’70s chic. The 1970s “have slipped into rose-tinted memory, the embarrassing parts forgotten along the way,” according to The Guardian. “The decade is coming to stand for classic chic, in the way that the ’50s previously did before being consigned to ancient history.” Model and influencer Gigi Hadid was recently spotted sporting bell bottoms, while bralettes have been a favorite of style icon Kim Kardashian for decades—even jean dresses are back. Defalco noticed the ’70s resurgence most prominently in our generation’s choice, or lack of choice, in undergarments. “I see more and more women just completely ditching the traditional bra,” Defalco said, adding that this act of protest is an indicator of a counterculture revival.
The Dark Side of the Moon
While fashion may have defined this decade, music breathed life into it. ABBA, the Bee Gees and Donna Summer dominated disco, while the Rolling Stones, Van Halen, Pink Floyd and Queen redefined rock. 1971 “saw the release of more influential albums than any year before or since,” said British music critic David Hepworth in a 2016 Pitchfork interview. The poetic, meaningful lyrics of Led Zeppelin and the raw instrumentals of Queen can make today’s music seem mass-produced, auto-tuned and meaningless in comparison. Today’s music industry trends consist of “sub-par talent being propped up by these companies, because they can make money off of a face,” said Ertle. “Back in the ’70s, you had so many unique sounds, and it was such a time of innovation.” EDM, or electronic dance music, has skyrocketed, primarily due to technological advancements. Through Spotify, Soundcloud and YouTube, anyone can mix beats and share their creations with the world. “EDM is, unapologetically, the music of the millennial generation,” said music writer Thierry Godard. While critics may argue that EDM lacks substance, its recent rise shares many similarities with the booming music scene of the 1970s. After losing faith in the Nixon administration via the Watergate scandal, young people developed a deep distrust for the government, turning to music as an escape. Likewise, the birth of EDM stemmed from arguably the greatest economic upheaval since the Great Depression; today’s
seemingly more detached from reality than ever before. . . young people were looking for an escape and discovered it in EDM. We are, in Godard’s opinion, “a generation that is simultaneously more connected to each other and seemingly more detached from reality than ever before.” A snapshot of 1970s music culture would not be complete without Woodstock, widely characterized as the music festival that changed the world. On August 15, 1969, an estimated half a million people flooded a dairy farm in upstate New York for an unparalleled three-day music experience. “There has been no violence whatsoever, which is really remarkable for a crowd of this size,” said the festival’s chief medical officer, Dr. William Abruzzi in a New York Times article from 1969, immediately following the festival. “These people are really beautiful.”
Dazed and Confused
In addition to music, many historians credit the collective chill vibe of the ’70s to an abundance of new drugs. “The adage ‘sex, drugs and rock & roll’ can best be used to describe the music scene in the ’70s, an era where all genres were fueled by everything from alcohol and marijuana to cocaine and Quaaludes,” according to Rolling Stone. Many Woodstock festival-goers used psychedelic mushrooms, smoked weed and tripped on LSD, known as acid, to heighten the sights and sounds of the decade. Instead of using stimulants for an exhilarating party experience as people do today, hippies used drugs to make a statement or feel connected to the world. Today, psychedelic drugs are on the rise. Most often used recreationally, they are now being integrated into the healthcare field to treat, among other conditions, mental illness. Some healthcare professionals are “using [psychedelics] to treat PTSD in veterans and also depression and anxiety,” said Defalco, a psychology major. With the drug ketamine rising in popularity, our generation is recognizing the appeal of dissociation. While psychedelics and MDMA, commonly known as molly or ecstasy, increase energy and enhance musical and visual stimulation, ketamine instead produces a floating, out-of-body experience. “Thought-trains jump their tracks,
anxieties float off like helium balloons, and everything becomes silly and warped, like filming a movie through a camera with a fisheye lens,” said Anna Silman in The Cut. “If every generation of partiers gets the drug that speaks to them—the psychedelic ’60s, the coke-and-disco-fueled ’70s, and the MDMA-hued early [2000s]—then perhaps the end of the decade marks the dawn of the dissociation generation.”
We are Unstoppable
Although the 1970s arguably did not see as much eviromental and social activism as previous decades, those issues drew a great deal of interest. The first Earth Day was celebrated in 1970, and that same year, Congress passed the National Environmental Policy Act. Two years later, Congress approved both the Clean Air Act and the Clean Water Act, largely in response to pressure from youth protesters. This push mirrors Greta Thunberg’s efforts today in raising awareness and taking a stand about climate change. “How dare you?” said 16-year-old Thunberg to adult lawmakers at the 2019 UN Climate Summit. “You have stolen my dreams and my childhood with your empty words. The eyes of all future generations are upon you. And if you choose to fail us, I say: we will never forgive you.” Youth activists today are also taking a vehement stand for gun control. When 17 people were killed at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018, the students decided that “thoughts and prayers” were not enough; they took a stand on a national level. “These students have become the central organizers of what may turn out to be the most powerful grassroots gun-reform movement in nearly two decades,” according to Time magazine. Students from 1970 until today seem to embody the same hope that collective lobbying and protesting can change their world for the better. “We showed that we are united and that we, young people, are unstoppable,” said Thunberg.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 37
’70s snapshot: Music artist: Elton John Movie actor: Clint Eastwood Fashion trend: Tie-dye & bell bottoms Sports event: Brazil’s win in the FIFA World Cup Political reform: Roe v. Wade Political scandal: Pentagon Papers & Watergate
A Political Parallel
However, the most direct parallel to the ’70s today seems to be present in electoral politics. Dr. Max Fraser, a UM history professor who will teach a course on American politics post-1960s in Fall 2020, cited a declining American economy, cultural conflicts and an uncertainty about the United States’ role in the world as chief similarities between the two periods. “There’s a sort of social turmoil that is similar today to the 1970s, which is often driven by the feelings of resentment, anger, frustration, vulnerability and anxiety that white Americans feel based on their uncertain position in the American economy,” said Fraser. “These feelings are often, but not exclusively, around matters of race.” Stark parallels can also be drawn between President Richard Nixon and President Donald Trump. “Nixon and Trump have very similar grassroots political movements,” said Ertle. “They spark a sort of conservative uprising within their parties that will [change] and has changed the course of the United States history and political discourse.” In response to the vocal social and political movements of the 1960s concerning civil rights and women’s rights, a more conservative party grew powerful. “This vocal minority that was taking over college campuses, staging sit-ins, marching on Washington and taking drugs became a subject of real resentment on the part of those conservatives,” Fraser said. And although Fraser’s statement was in response to Nixon’s rise to power among conservatives in the early 1970s, the same could easily be said for Trump. Presidents Nixon and Trump both appealed to conservative Republicans who felt that their voices were not being heard. In comparison with Nixon’s capture of the silent, conservative majority, “Donald Trump’s call to ‘Make America Great Again’ does similar kinds of work,” Fraser said.
Are the 1970s Here to Stay?
The civil rights movements of the 1970s parallel those of today. “Racial equality, gender equality, homosexuality, all those topics, they kind of came into their own in the mainstream,” says UM senior Matt Ertle.
38 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
With these similarities between decades in mind, is it fair to say that the ’70s are back? Our generation, it seems, has embraced a kindred sort of personal liberation, which is the core of the spirit of the ’70s. Of course, the 1970s may have produced more change, but our generation may very well be on its way. “Many young people were using their hard-fought freedom to simply do as they pleased: to wear what they wanted, to grow their hair long, to have sex, to do drugs. Their liberation, in other words, was intensely personal,” according to History.com. Today’s music scene, drug preferences and political activism all reflect this same desire for personal freedom. “I think that a big part of being our age is opening your mind to more, to questioning, to standing up for what you believe in,” Defalco said. “We should all be able to accept each other for our differences because, at the end of the day, that’s what being human is.”
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 39
Sarah Jessica Parker never tried to be quirky. She just was. And, for a while, it was a problem. Growing up as a child actor in the 1970s and 1980s, SJP was constantly told she was “too quirky” to be the lead, that she was always going to be “the friend.” words_ scarlett diaz. photo_gianna sanchez. design_gabby rosenbloom.
“Even the agent
said, ‘We’ll send you out for the friend of the pretty girl,’” Barbara Parker Forste, SJP’s mother explained. “Even when she did commercials when she was little, like 12 or so, they would say, ‘She really doesn’t look like the idea of who can sell Hershey bars.’” But SJP proved them wrong. When she stepped onto the scene in Manolo Blahniks and a pink tutu as curly-haired Carrie Bradshaw, quirkiness was her ticket. But what does that word mean today? “I would say ‘quirky’ is a slightly lazy descriptor at this point,” said Cindy Chupack, two-time, Emmy-Award winning writer, director and producer of TV hits such as “Sex and the City” and “Modern Family.” “I don’t know if it originally just meant ‘not traditionally beautiful’ or ‘not the lead’ or ‘funny’ or maybe ‘not obviously lovable’ right from the get-go. I think all of that was saying that there was one standard who was the lead who couldn’t have those kinds of flaws or couldn’t have that kind of [quirky] look.” ‘Quirky,’ according to Lexico, means “characterized by peculiar or unexpected traits or aspects.” When members of Generation X think quirky, they think Jennifer Lawrence cursing on live television or falling down the stairs at the Oscars. They think Zooey Deschanel in hornrimmed glasses on FOX’s “New Girl.” They might even think Emma Chamberlain makeup-free and eating greasy slices of pizza. Quirky girls are everywhere—on Instagram and on VSCO, on Hulu and Netflix, even in your chemistry class. Although quirky is meant to be this catch-all phrase for uniqueness—for individuality—it seems like it has actually become a blanket term for girls who aren’t
like other girls: skinny girls who eat junk food, shy girls who trip in front of their crushes—girls who do normal, human things. The only difference? They just happen to look good, or cute or adorable while doing it. These intended-to-be relatable aspects of a character have become such an overplayed trope that the true meaning of the word “quirky” has been rendered useless. But in a world full of “nasty women,” why do strong female characters have to shrink to fit a “quirky” or “relatable” mold? Why can’t strong female characters simply be strong? “Clumsy always felt like the lowesthanging fruits of the traits you could give an actress to be funny,” said Chupack. “To me, it’s a not very creative way to give a female who was beautiful some personality that was vulnerable. I think people maybe mistakenly think that all types of women will relate to a female character who has some type of flaw, and clumsy was a kind of an easy flaw. Maybe in trying to make someone more relatable, so they don’t seem like just a beautiful movie star, they give them this kind of vulnerability or something they’re not good at.” Many actors think having to play quirky takes the seriousness out of their work. According to The Irish Times, awardwinning director Miranda July thinks that people referring to her work as quirky is akin to saying that she is a little girl. It’s demeaning. American actress Noël Wells, known for her roles on “Master of None” and “Saturday Night Live,” delivers a speech in her semi-autobiographical film against the use of the dreaded q-word. In the film, Wells says that “you would never call a guy [quirky]. With a guy, you’d use another word like eccentric, but with a girl, you need a word that recognizes her uniqueness, but at the same time devalues
her intelligence. Like ‘her delightful whimsy could never make a cogent argument,’ highlighting your unconscious sexism.” On the other hand, actor and director Tim Blake Nelson, known for his roles in films such as “The Incredible Hulk” and “The Ballad of Buster Scruggs,” does not believe that quirky is a negative descriptor. “Quirkiness is not new, it’s just different now,” said Nelson. “Look, Meg Ryan was quirky—and she was a heroine for Nora Ephron, who couldn’t have been more of an empowering feminist. And she was really Nora’s muse. And Meg is beautiful, intelligent and extremely quirky in her way.” Meg Ryan was quirky—for the 1980s. Faking an orgasm in a New York City deli, as she did in “When Harry Met Sally,” was certainly weird and unusual. It was an unforgettable cinematic moment for women in the late 1980s, when female leads in romcoms were rarely this outspoken, particularly surrounding more risqué topics such as sex. But, given how diverse the industry is becoming, shouldn’t we look to more than “cute” or “clumsy” to validate someone as unique? Do actresses need to adopt these so-called quirky traits in order to find success in the industry? “I think actresses need to be quirky in order to have long careers. I think it’s less important for actors,” said Nelson. “The pressures on women are just different because, with women, there has to be something you have that’s unlike any other woman. And with men, there has to be something that you have [to play leads, anyway] that is like every other man. And I think that with women, at least, the female audience has to say, ‘Oh my god, I wanna be her,’ and with men, I think a male audience has to think, ‘I could be him.’”
DID YOU KNOW? In top grossing films in 2019,
of films had female protagonists, but only
40 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
of speaking characters were women.
New York-based talent manager Kim Pedell disagrees. “Everyone is definitely not quirky and not everyone can play quirky. But there are more roles being created and written for lots more types and personalities and looks, and the industry is being far more creative in how they are casting—it’s an exciting time,” Pedell explained. In 2020, quirky can no longer be a descriptor reserved solely for beautiful women like Meg Ryan—beautiful women who you might not expect to be unique. In some ways, these portrayals of women seem to imply that beautiful actors don’t do normal things, and we should find it special, rather than expected, to see actors in lead roles behaving in quirky ways like most people. “What are the ‘expected traits’ we’re looking for from a lead right now?” Chupack asked. “I would hope and feel that we are open to a lot of different looks and personalities now. It’s no longer okay to have, you know, ‘the fat friend’ or ‘the nerdy friend.’ We all have a little bit of all of that in all of us. I think that [a push towards true individuality] is kind of what we’re hungry for and looking for. We’re just trying to tell stories about individuals who happen to reflect stories about all of us.” Chupack went on to discuss writing stories for 2020 about characters with a range of ethnic backgrounds, sexual orientations and other qualities that divert from Hollywood’s age-old classic norms. And that is how we will drive the industry forward into the new decade. Rather than force relatability through manufactured quirks, we’re now beginning to tell stories about real people—all people. Maybe quirkiness in 2020 is more about celebrating individuality and not just about awarding the term to thin, attractive, white women.
There are many other ways to describe female chracters other than the dreaded q-word. “I would say interesting...deep, soulful, thoughtful, intelligent, witty, funny, smart. Neurotic! Fiercely independent, rebellious, sarcastic, defensive,” said Cindy Chupack.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 41
the profe ss o r next doo r
A typical morning for most University of Miami professors means waking up, grabbing coffee and sitting in bumper-to-bumper traffic on I-95. For mathematics lecturer Dr. Joy Beverly, her daily commute is much shorter. words_samantha velez. photo_gabriela nahous. design_jess morgan & isabella vaccaro.
For the Beverly girls, going home for the holidays meant heading to Hecht. â€œNormally you go home for the holidays, but they just went here and it was not a big change. It was a little different staying in the residential colleges when it was a break,â€? said Dr. Beverly.
42 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
I like to come over, get free food and pet my dog. It’s great. -Bria Beverly
Beverly has been a part of the UM faculty since 2001. Her family bleeds orange and green, as all three of Dr. Beverly’s daughters attend the university. As a Senior Residential Faculty member in Hecht Residential College, Dr. Beverly lives on campus. In her case, that doesn’t mean squeezing her family into a tiny bedroom with two twin-size beds—it means having a home complete with a living room, full kitchen and multiple bedrooms. Dr. Beverly was selected to move into one of the residential colleges when her oldest daughter was already a ’Cane and her second oldest was beginning her freshman year. Gabriela “Bria” felt the largest impact as she had to adjust to this new lifestyle at only 15 years old. “In high school, I always thought it was weird,” said Bria. “I thought people weren’t going to believe me when I told them, so if they asked me where I lived I would say Coral Gables.” Although it may have been unconventional at first, the family quickly adjusted to life on campus. One of the benefits for Beverly was eating at the dining hall. “As residential faculty, you keep your full-time job, then you add on the job of being residential faculty,” said Dr. Beverly. “For me, it was so many more hours per week, so going to the dining hall meant that I didn’t have to shop or clean up.” The family started to make UM’s campus their home in Pearson Residential College in 2013, when Dr. Beverly was made Associate Residential Faculty. The family later moved to Eaton Residential College, where Dr. Beverly
served as Senior Residential Faculty until they moved to Hecht. There are many facets to Dr. Beverly’s job, one of which includes organizing engaging events for students. However, her primary role is to be an academic mentor for those on campus. Dr. Beverly goes above and beyond in her role in the residential college, hosting an array of formal programming and organizing events such as “Math Mondays” in the study room for students hoping to receive help in their math courses. Resident masters help students bridge the gap between professors and students, proving that teachers aren’t intimidating and unapproachable. Instead, they’re often just people with families who walk their dogs each morning. Although the entire Beverly family was offered housing, Beverly’s daughters lived in other dormitories on campus while attending the university so that they could get the full college experience. After living on campus for almost seven years, the Beverly family has witnessed several changes. From campus construction projects to the rising popularity of Uber, the family has experienced many adjustments to life on campus. “I think for me, the change has been learning the whole scope of campus,” Dr. Beverly said. “I’ve been learning so much more about everything.” Bria said having her parents on campus is not an issue. “I love it,” she said. “I like to come over, get free food and pet my dog. It’s great.” The Beverly family has enjoyed their time living on campus, and they’re excited for what’s to come.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 43
the final farewell Fifty-two years after their halls first flooded with eager freshmen in turtlenecks and knee highs, Stanford Residential College will be torn down in the summer of 2020, with Florence Ruth Hecht Residential College following soon after. According to the Miami Herald, the towers will be replaced by a $260 million “Centennial Village.” words_molly balsamides. photo_gianna sanchez. design_marielle zuber.
any students refer to the iconic freshman dorms as “prison cells,” in reference to their barred windows and white, cement walls. However, these disease incubators marked the beginning of each of our chapters here at the University of Miami. Dr. David Ake, a 1983 UM alumnus and current professor and Chair of the Department of Musicology at UM Frost School of Music, lived in Stanford for his first two years at UM and in Hecht as a Resident Assistant during the next two. He said his best memory was having a shared space where he got to meet different people. “In those days, everyone had record players, and we were all musicians, so everyone had a stereo— a loud stereo,” said Ake. “And you would put a record on, and we would go around checking out different people’s music. It was a way of learning new people and sharing who we were. That sense of building community is what I will always remember.” Rori Kotch, former Editor-in-Chief of Distraction who graduated in 2016, said that she “made some of [her] closest friends in the dorms, some that [she] still [keeps] in close contact with today. The dorms are a great experience, but they were just never really clean,” Kotch said.
44 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
Dr. Ake agreed, saying that “it wasn’t the most ideal situation when you were sharing a bathroom with 40 people. “That was a little funky, but in general, it was my home,” he said. 2019 UM graduate and President’s 100 member Scott Murnick had nothing but positive things to say about the residences. Murnick expressed feelings of nostalgia that his old home and all the memories hidden inside its walls would be torn down. “It’s like moving out of your hometown or moving away from your first home that you grew up in—you really do get that connection back to it,” said Murnick. Every time I go back, I won’t see those features. It’s going to be weird, I guess you could say, just knowing that it’s changing and evolving. It’s kind of sad.” Freshman and current Hecht resident Robert Macnamara had the opposite reaction. “This is the worst place I’ve ever lived in my life; I would be so happy for it to go down,” Macnamara said. Other Hecht residents are more sentimental. Jessica Day, a freshman at UM, said that she’s sad about seeing the dorms torn down because of all the memories she’s already made in her first year. I will never forget living in the dorms for the rest of my life,” Day said.
Current freshman and Hecht resident Gal Dardashti—who had the privilege of waking up one day to a cockroach on her face—will also never forget living in the dorms. “One morning, I felt a slight tickle on my face, and I thought it was just my roommate messing around, so my eyes were closed, and I was like, ‘Brielle, stop!’ then that woke Brielle up, and she was like, ‘What’s your issue?’ and I was like, ‘You’re touching my face,’ and then I put my hand on my face, and a giant cockroach was on my cheek. To say the least—that did not leave a happy impression in my mind about the dorms,” Dardashti said. Hecht resident and current freshman Ella Wayne vividly remembers her floormate waking up with a baby lizard on her head. “This girl on my floor who lives two two doors down from me just woke up from her nap, and she went to the girls’ room whose is next to mine, and they screamed,” said Wayne.“ She was like, ‘Why are you guys screaming?’ and they were like, ‘There’s a lizard on your head!’ For a week, Wayne’s neighbors unknowingly harbored a stray lizard in their room after it hid itself behind the girls’ mini-fridge. When they finally found it, Wayne decided it best to set the lizard free, but for her floormates, they said that “naps will never be the same.” Although many students complain about the conditions, the Executive Director for the Department of Housing and Residential Life, James Gordon Smart, said that the residences have received numerous upgrades over the years, including the addition of cable, Ethernet and WiFi, along with fire prevention and detection systems. The common areas of the building were also renovated extensively in the mid-1980s when the complexes were converted to residential colleges. “They have now reached the point of functional obsolescence and are being replaced,” Smart said. An article written by Mike Piacentinto, the school’s manager of marketing, communications and development, clarified that the Centennial Village will “provide resident students with a living
The new Centennial Village will house about 2,100 students once it is built.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 45
and learning environment that enriches their overall on-campus experience.” Piacentinto also included detailed plans for the village’s many new amenities. “Totaling 522,000 square feet, Centennial Village will showcase its lakefront location along Lake Osceola and feature more than 1,700 beds for first-year students, indoor and outdoor spaces for academic and extracurricular activities, a learning hub, meditation room and apartments for faculty and staff,” Piacentinto said. Hecht and Stanford, our most beloved and detested pair of vintage dormitories, may not be able to compete with the amenities that the Centennial Village will have to offer, but the history of the residency halls can’t be erased. More than 50 years of UM alumni have created lifelong memories, holding their roommates’ hands from across the room and fighting for shower space in the communal bathrooms. And though these mold-covered memories will not be forgotten, a slew of new, much more sanitary experiences eagerly await the next class of ’Canes.
According to the Miami Herald, “A new path along the lake shore will connect to the Eaton residential college and the Student Housing Village, which comprises 25 interconnected buildings and includes retail space, a “launch pad” for student businesses, a 200-seat auditorium and a flexible “curated warehouse” space.”
46 DISTRACTION Special Section: Decades
@Distractionmag @DistractionUM www.distractionmag.com Distraction Magazine
health & wellness
48 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness
Genuine, bohemian and freespirited, Health and Wellness gives our readers a holistic take on physical, mental and spiritual restoration. Living by the mantra â€œmy body is a templeâ€? can be just as easily done as it is said with the wisdom that Health and Wellness has to offer.
lightly tripping. Growing up in suburban Kansas, my parents watched shows about drug addicts religiously. As I got older, these shows gave me absolutely no desire to try any substance that could possibly become addicting. words_gabrielle lord. design_lauren maingot. illustration_avani choudhary.
et, on the University of Miami’s Yoga Day in November, Kiro Ace, the Creative Director of Kiro Ace Design, introduced me to a way of experiencing a “trip” without taking any sort of drug. The concept freaked me out—after all, the only knowledge I had about hallucinogens came from reality TV shows. Harry Styles had just recently been candid about his use of psilocybin mushrooms—also known as magic mushrooms—during the songwriting process on his latest album; however, I was still skeptical. Psychedelic drugs like mushrooms and LSD—known as acid—have been said to unlock parts of the human subconscious, taking the user on a path of self-discovery through hallucinations. Ace turned to hallucinogens after winning his battle with cancer at the age of 27. He used them to calm his anxiety and to find internal peace. According to the National Institute on Drug Abuse, hallucinogens can lead to paranoia and visual disturbances, as well as symptoms
that can be mistaken for neurological disorders, like strokes and brain tumors. After hearing about psychedelics’ potential harm to the body, Ace sought a way to experience the same effects without the drugs. That’s how he discovered Lucía No. 3, a hypnogogic light machine that produces a similar experience to psychedelic drugs. According to the product’s website, Lucía No. 3 was created by two Austrian scientists, Dr. Engelbert Winkler and Dr. Dirk Proeckl, who developed the technology to “assist in awakening the consciousness of humanity.” After Dr. Winkler had a near-death experience, he was inspired to research near-death experiences and analyze principals of Shamanic, meditative and Esoterian traditions. Ultimately, his research turned into the creation of the Lucía No. 3; today, there are about 200 of these machines across the world, with 20 in the United States and just one in the city of Miami. Ace bought the $22,000 medical device to practice meditation and regulate his emotional
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 49
People who are afraid are scared of what they don’t know about themselves.
state. After seeing the positive benefits firsthand, he decided to open the machine to the public. The machine, which features a flashing light that the patient sits in front of, is said to open the “third eye,” causing users to hallucinate. Sessions, which occur in Ace’s apartment in Miami Beach, typically last an hour but can be as short or as long as the user wants. Ace said that he has undergone three hours in front of the light; meanwhile, I couldn’t even withstand two minutes. He said that it’s typical for people to reject the sensation at first, because users see themselves in their truest form, which can often be difficult to handle. “People who are afraid are scared of what they don’t know about themselves,” said Ace. He warns that the light should not be used on people who are photosensitive or prone to seizures, since the device sometimes can cause a temporary paralysis while having an out-of-body experience. When I sat down in the chair to undergo this experience, I was terrified of having a bad trip. I had read about people who become depressed or acted otherwise abnormally as a result of their experience. But what I learned was that each user’s experience depends largely on the individual’s mindset, as well as other life circumstances at the time of the trip. “People shouldn’t be afraid of a bad trip because, even if it’s scary in the moment, it will ultimately make you a stronger person and more able to handle something that triggers you in your day-to-day life,” Ace said. He placed headphones over my ears and started to play soft music. He told me to shut
50 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness
my eyes and turn my head away from the light. As I started seeing a kaleidoscope of colors and images, I began to slowly turn my head until the light was directly in front of me. At first, I saw reds and oranges. My mind immediately started to race, wondering if the colors I saw had to do with the state of my emotions. Suddenly, I saw a pair of ancient Egyptian-styled eyes with thick, black eyeliner; when the eyes jolted open, I could see nothing but the purest white imaginable. In the distance, I could hear Ace telling me to breathe. Even though I thought I was breathing, he had to stop the machine immediately—as I was not, in fact, breathing at all. According to Ace, I was on the verge of fainting due to a naturally low heart rate. Opening my eyes, I was eager to hear what he had to say about what I saw. Unfortunately, it wasn’t that easy. “Each person has to interpret it for themselves,” said Ace. “I don’t know what is going on in the patient’s lives—only he or she does.” Rather than hear my diagnosis, I had to sit and take a good, hard look at what my subconscious might be trying to tell me. According to Ace, it usually takes around six sessions to help the patient become less anxious in their everyday life. The product’s website warns that patients will typically have different experiences from session to session. Just because one session left them feeling happy and relieved doesn’t mean that the next session will produce the same result. Yet, if the patient is willing to take the good with the bad, he or she can experience benefits like better sleep and less anxiety over time.
According to the product’s website, the Lucía No. 3 was created by two Austrian scientists, Dr. Engelbert Winkler and Dr. Dirk Proeckl, who developed the technology to “assist in awakening the consciousness of humanity.”
How to Experience a Drug-less High EXERCISE
Like Elle Woods famously said, “Exercise gives you endorphins, and endorphins make you happy.” What she left out is that there’s another system working within the body to produce a “high” feeling—the Endocannabinoid System (ECS). The ECS is made up of lipid molecules called endocannabinoids that help regulate pain and emotions. The brain perceives the cannabinoids in the same ways as cannabinoids in marijuana, which have a greater effect on one’s mood than endorphins.
Over the past few years, meditation and mindfulness have become buzz words on campuses and in workplaces. It remains unclear what mindfulness means, scientifically speaking, but there are some benefits that scientists can agree on. For one, studies have shown that meditation improves one’s attention span, decreases reactions to stress and even increases compassion. While it may not produce the typical “high” according to researchers, it does increase self-awareness.
Isolation tanks, also known as sensory deprivation tanks, were first created in the 1970s for commercial use; in 2020, they’re currently experiencing a spike in popularity. These dark, soundless tanks are filled with a foot or less of skintemperature saltwater. The person inside floats in the superbuoyant water, experiencing a loss of the senses. While this treatment has been linked to results such as better sleep and decreased stress and anxiety, some people have reported experiencing hallucinations.
During sex, dopamine—a neurotransmitter that produces a feeling of euphoric reward—is released. Dopamine is also linked to addiction and the “high” that people experience when taking drugs. Oxytocin, the hormone that makes people feel warm and cuddly, is often released, specifically in women, [after sex]—it’s the hormone that makes one feel more connected, or attached, to their sexual partner. A study published in Socioaffective Neuroscience & Psychology found that an orgasm can even affect brain activity to the point of a trance-like state, altering a person’s state of consciousness.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 51
For many college students, waking up at 4 a.m. to run, swim and bike a 32-mile course in three hours might sound like a daunting task. For students on TriCanes— the University of Miami’s competitive triathlon team—it’s an exhilarating monthly ritual. words_kylea henseler. photo_teagan polizzi. design_lauren maingot.
The TriCanes team accepts all levels of athletes and offers workouts that push each individual to their limits. Distraction recently caught up with two members of TriCanes, Katie Zgorski and Shereen Khatibloo, to learn more about the trials, triumphs and daily routines of a triathlete. Getting involved in the Triathlon Club was no accident for UM sophomore and decorated triathlete Katie Zgorski. At age 7, Zgorski began competing as a swimmer in her home state of Maryland. In high school, she picked up both track and field and cross country, which allowed her to continue growing as an endurance athlete. When she got to UM, Zgorksi realized that competing in triathlons was a natural next step. “I couldn’t decide what my favorite sport was,” said Zgorksi. “So, I just combined them.” A standard triathlon consists of running, swimming and biking a set course over a certain number of miles. This could range from a fun run for kids to a full-blown Ironman event—a mega-triathlon comprised of a 2.4-mile swim, a 112-mile bike ride and a 26.2-mile run. Perhaps the most common types of triathlons, in which the TriCanes typically compete, are Olympic
52 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness
and Sprint races. An Olympic-distance event includes a one-mile swim, 25-mile bike ride and 6.2-mile run, while the shorter Sprint triathlon consists of a half-mile swim, 12mile bike and 3.1-mile run. Whatever distance, athletes spend hours each week training for these competitions and paying close attention to their diets. For Zgorski, a typical weekday begins at 6:30 a.m. with a quick banana for breakfast and a bike ride with her teammates around Key Biscayne. The TriCanes generally bike two to three times per week, while running and swimming once per week. On top of that, individuals often work out together for added strength training. Zgorski frequents “TRX” and “Total Body Conditioning” classes at the Patti and Allan Herbert Wellness Center on UM’s campus. Even though these races can be time consuming, Zgorski makes sure that she stays on top of her homework and classes throughout the season. Time management skills become especially important when a race day draws closer, as the TriCanes increase their training intensity and engage in “Brick” workouts to prepare their bodies for the big day. These workouts combine two to three elements of the race, such as a long swim followed by a run. Finally, when the week of a race arrives, the athletes taper down their workouts and bring up their carb intake. Zgorski, who is currently gearing up to run the Miami Man Race in November, describes a typical race day:
Mid-afternoon, Day Before Race: Race day begins a day before the gun goes off. Zgorski reports to the pre-race expo to register and set up her transition zone, which is the designated station where athletes stage their bikes and begin each phase of the race. 6 p.m., Night Before Race: The whole team meets for a pasta dinner. The athletes load up on carbohydrates to ensure that they have enough energy to get them through the race the following day. They also use this time to discuss strategy for the race and to build each other’s confidence. 8 p.m., Night Before Race: Lights out. A good night’s sleep is essential for a highquality performance, especially since most triathlons begin early in the morning. 3:30 a.m., Race Day: Alarms go off. Zgorski and the team dress quickly, eat an energy-rich breakfast and carpool to race site. 5 a.m., Race Day: Athletes arrive at the race two hours before it begins and return to their individual transition zones, where they add last-minute supplies such as towels, food, water and running shoes. “Anything you need to get you through a race,” said Zgorski, “goes in that transition zone.” 6 a.m., Race Day: Transition zones close. 7 a.m., Race Day: Gunshots go off; the race begins in waves, following a swim-bikerun format. For Zgorski, a typical Olympic triathlon takes about 2.5 hours to complete. One mile in: After the swim, Zgorski drinks a cup of Gatorade for a little extra energy before beginning the bike section.
According to Healthfully.com, a 150lb triathlete burns 682 calories in the biking section alone, between 345-352 calories in the running section, and between 85-227 calories during the swim.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 53
Some triathletes do not want to waste time in between sections of the race—so many relieve themselves while riding the bike, says Active.com.
14 miles in: Halfway through the bike, Zgorski eats a protein Gu to keep up her strength and energy. 30 miles in: Halfway through her run, Zgorski has another Gu for the final push. 10 a.m., Race Day: Once the race is over, Zgorski enjoys snacks that the race provides and sticks around to cheer on her teammates, all the while waiting for awards. 4 p.m., Race Day: Zgorski and the team stop for dinner on the way back from the race, but this will not be her only meal of the night. “Oh yeah,” said Zgorski. “I ball out at the dining hall after a big race.” Weeks of hard work and preparation help the athletes gear up for race day, but for Zgorski and former teammate Shereen Khatibloo, it’s all worth it. While Khatibloo—a senior at UM studying musical theatre and sports physiology—hung up her running shoes last year, she spent most of her
college career as a TriCane. She described the group as a “wonderful, driven group of people” and “a hardworking family.” As for Zgorski, she has no plans of slowing down. Despite a recent wrist injury, the sophomore intends to keep training, competing and winning. Still, the life of a triathlete is not all fun and games. Khatibloo warned that frequent practices and restrictive dieting can become all-consuming. The TriCanes’ workouts can be grueling, which definitely isn’t a bad thing, but athletes must be sure to eat enough food and stay on top of their mental health if they hope to remain competitive. “Competing in triathlons helped me to find an appreciation for what my body is capable of,” said Khatibloo. “No matter what it looks like, it’s strong enough to make it through a three-hour race, and that’s something worth celebrating.”
WANNA TRI? Triathlons are hard work, but training for and competing in these races can be a rewarding experience. Besides, there’s no better setting for a race than Miami. Triathlons allow athletes to explore the city in a new way, and there are plenty of events coming up that interested athletes can look into.
South Beach Triathlon
This triathlon, which describes itself as “first-timer friendly,” features a swim in the waters of South Beach, a bike ride across stunning bridges and a run through Miami’s famed Art Deco District.
Tri-Miami, which takes place in Virginia Key, offers participants a variety of race styles and relays to choose from. Competitors can opt for the full triathlon, take on the race as relay teams or compete in the duathlon (run and bike), aquathlon (run and swim) or aquabike (swim and bike) categories.
April 19, 2020
Distances: Classic (.47-mile swim, 20.7mile bike, 4-mile run), International (.93mile swim, 24.25-mile bike, 6.2-mile run) Website: www.southbeachtriathlon.com
54 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness
May 16-17, 2020
Distances: Olympic, Sprint Website: www.tri-miami.com
I love you so
Matcha is becoming more popular in the tea and coffee drinking community due to its booming presence on social media. Companies like Starbucks, Walmart and even Amazon have been heavily promoting the matcha tea industry. While matcha is generally viewed as a healthy option, there are a few shocking hidden facts about this popular coffee alternative. words_ jabria roscoe. photo_ alexandra gaddy. design_gio aprigliano.
A Happy Mistake This green tea powder originated in Japan after tea farmers accidentally covered their plants with reeves and straw, according to Matchasource.com. Since the tea leaves lacked the normal amount of sunlight, they created more chlorophyll, which filled the leaves with more amino acids. The result? The matcha tea buds that we know and love today
Metabolism Booster Matcha is a great addition to any weight loss plan because of its ability to increase thermogenesis, or the body’s rate of burning calories. According to a recent study done by the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, matcha can increase a person’s metabolism by 35% to 40%.
Starbucks Matcha Scam The Super Drink Matcha contains the antioxidant EGCg, which is commonly known for its cancerfighting properties. Researchers from the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) found that EGCg has the ability to significantly inhibit the growth of tumors. Even further, researchers at the USDA believe that drinking matcha can increase breast cancer survival rates.
The Matcha Green Tea Latte is one of the more popular drinks at Starbucks. The “green tea” label could make one assume that it’s not as unhealthy as some of its menu counterparts. However, the number one ingredient in the matcha latte is sugar. According to Starbucks’ website, there are 32 grams of sugar crammed into a grande latte. That’s more than the daily amount of sugar recommended by the American Heart Association (AHA), which is 25 grams per day for women and 36 grams for men.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 55
56 DISTRACTION Health & Wellness
It might seem like Americans are obsessed with losing weight, but for much of the male community at the University of Miami, the goal is not to slim down—it’s to bulk up. Bouncing around the gym, through the hallways of residential colleges and inside fraternity houses are phrases like, “Don’t skip leg day” and “Do you even lift, bro?” Joking or not, quips like these often put pressure on the men of UM to adopt a bigger build. words_kylea henseler. photo_sydney burnett. design_jess morgan.
hether these dudes are packing on the pounds for aesthetic enhancements or performance-related reasons, they often look towards the practice of bulking to size up. But, what’s on the surface might not always show the whole story. Simply put, eating more calories than you burn will inevitably cause weight gain. Add in resistance training—like weight lifting or calisthenics—and some of these new gains will turn into lean muscle mass. However, just eating more food won’t translate into a Dwayne Johnsonesque physique. Improper or “dirty” bulking can negatively affect athletic performance, hormone levels and body composition. Andres Preschel, an exercise physiology student at UM who runs a fitness Instagram account called @HolyFit, knows the pressure to bulk up firsthand. Before he acquired his fitness knowledge and weighttraining credentials, Preschel was a lanky high schooler lacking selfconfidence as well as muscle mass. “I would always wear long-sleeve shirts and sweaters, you know, even when it was hot out, because I was ashamed of myself,” Preschel said. “The summer going into my senior year of high school, my girlfriend at the time, my brother and some family members approached me, and they were like, ‘Hey, we’re worried about you— you’re really skinny,’” said Preschel. “I was in denial about it, and I was like, ‘Yeah, you know, I don’t want to go into college feeling so small and frail and weak.’” That summer, the Miami native, through a neuroscience program at the University, had special access to the Patti and Herbert Wellness Center and both dining halls. He said that by exercising every single day and eating “all the time,” he gained 25 pounds that summer and has gained 40 pounds, mainly in muscle, since. Some men looking to gain weight think that anything they put in their bodies will help them achieve this goal. Burgers, powders, supplements and processed food—they’re all calories, right? While dudes who dirty bulk will certainly gain weight, much of this weight will be stored as fat rather than muscle. Preschel warns against what he calls ‘bro-science,’ condemning the idea that “mass gainer” shakes or a simple increase in protein— specifics be damned—will lead to the “Adonis bod” that bros are so commonly looking for. He says that he often hears men in the gym talking about processed protein powders or peanut butter-heavy shakes to bulk up quickly, but he emphasizes that whole carbohydrates are a much more effective and sustainable muscle-building tool. “Where it bites [men] in the ass is all that processed crap will actually decrease testosterone, which is, you know, an extremely beneficial male sex hormone that boosts muscle mass,” said Preschel. “So, a lot of times when they take this ‘bro-science’ approach, they gain weight, but it’s not the kind of weight that they want—it’ll be a lot of fat and a very, very dangerous highway to just gain this type of abdominal fat.” Experts agree that this type of bulking is a recipe for long-term failure. Professor Wes Smith, the director of UM’s graduate program in nutrition and human performance, offered up a number of reasons why athletes looking to improve their physique should avoid dirty bulking. “Dirty bulking,” Smith said, “is a way for people to gain weight on a scale.” However, most of this weight will be in fat; this type of diet will cause an increase in insulin and negatively affect gut health.
Smith said that dirty bulking can also harm cardiovascular health, as well as lead to chronic disease and even cancer. Guys looking for that “ripped” physique should also consider that a poor diet can slow down their progress in more ways than one. According to Smith, dirty bulking “can cause them to be nutrient-deficient in ways that take away from their training.” According to Smith, the hardest thing is eating. In order to consistently put on one pound of muscle per week, individuals need to eat 500 calories more than they burn every single day. For an averagesized person who works out regularly, that can be a lot of food! So how can dudes create a safe and satisfying diet for muscle gain? Instead of a “get-yoked-quick” scheme, men should aim to reach a healthy balance of macronutrients, carbohydrates, fats and proteins. According to the National Academy of Scie nce, a balanced diet gets 45% to 65% of its nutrient intake from carbohydrates, 20% to 35% from fats and 10% to 35% from proteins. When it comes to weight gain, both Preschel and Smith agree that nutritious carbohydrates and whole— mostly homemade—foods should be at the forefront of anyone’s diet. Many men “might be surprised to hear that carbohydrates are a great weight-gain food, because they aren’t linked to satiety and don’t have a thermal effect,” Smith said. Basically, carbs aren’t very filling and processing them won’t burn as many calories as protein. However, Preschel warns that processed carbs still aren’t the way to go. “When you consume, your body will convert [processed carbohydrates] to saturated fat, which can lead to disease and trigger a massive wave of insulin,” Preschel said. Instead, he advises males to “go for whole-carb sources,” which provide extra nutrients like protein and fiber. Preschel also advises that although intermittent fasting—or attempting a modified diet where individuals only eat for certain windows of time—seems counterintuitive for bulking up, it can be highly effective. “It will take stored fat and convert it into energy, which is beneficial for cognitive and physical performance,” Preschel said. He emphasizes that a diet involving fasting won’t prevent gymgoers from packing on the pounds. Gaining muscle is no easy task, but men should remember that shortcuts won’t help them in the long run. Sticking to a healthy diet of whole, nutritious foods is, by far, the best way to see results and stay out of the doctor’s office.
HOW MUCH SHOULD YOU BE EATING? Fill out this easy formula to see (roughly) how many calories you should eat every day to see results.
Activity Factor 1.2
= Your Maintenance Calories
This is how many calories you should eat each day to stay the same weight. If your goal is weight gain or loss, simply add or subtract calories from this number! *American dietary standards do not recommend that any individual eats less than 1200 calories per day.
bulking mistake: eat big to get big. This diet of slamming cheeseburgers and french fries may bump you on the scale, but these quick results are an unhealthy and temporary solution to building size and strength. Student models Justin Stevens, Elliot Saeidy and Connor Shatz show the macros, carbs, fats and proteins that should be included in your bulk.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 57
58 DISTRACTION Fashion
Fashion keeps an eye looking forward, showcasing the best in style. Whether it’s bringing a new look to light or bringing back some chic, retro style of the past, our readers are given a sneak peek into what’s on the come up. Fashion is for those looking to make a statement, whether it’s an expression of yourself or the world around you.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 59
Inspired by the British punk rock scene from the mid-1970s, PUNKâ€™D pairs utilitarianism and leather to emulate the raw angst of rebellious teens inspired by their favorite hardcore bands. Tartan, vinyl and leather combined with dark eyes and clunky boots are reminiscent of contributions to this subculture by the likes of Vivienne Westwood and Malcolm McLaren. Take a turn for the provocative and messy with Distraction and get punkâ€™d. words_staff. photo_kristian del rosario. styling_keagan larkins. models_alexis masciarella, jordan farrell, milind khurana & shivani sundaresan.
LEATHER FANTASY Diverge from the norm with leather on leather and easily achieve a true punk look. Jordan: wearing Urban Outfitters mesh top, Forever 21 skirt and Nasty Gal boots. Shivani: wearing Forever 21 structured leather top, The Ragged Priest combat pants and Dr. Martens boots.
60 DISTRACTION Fashion
GRUNGE GLAM Street punk fashion is reimagined by combining these hairstyles and dark eye looks with plaid and stripes. Jordan: wearing thrifted short-sleeve button up and thrifted plaid skirt. Alexis: wearing thrifted pinstripe shirt and thrifted blazer.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 61
This rebellious tartan outfit is evocative of the pop punk subculture. Jordan: wearing thrifted short-sleeve button up and thrifted plaid skirt.
62 DISTRACTION Fashion
HARDCORE HEARTS vinyl, leather, a band tee and plaid combine key elements of the hardcore style. Milind: wearing ASOS vinyl biker jacket, thrifted band tee and thrifted plaid pants
Extreme styled hair and intense black eyes exemplify the horror punk style.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 63
tiny & trendy
64 DISTRACTION Fashion
As phones get bigger, shoes get chunkier and earrings get heavier—the purse seems to be getting smaller. How can you accessorize big? Think small. The mini bag is one of this season’s hottest accessories. Toy-sized purses have left people wondering—what can you even fit inside? Although the answer is not much, the micro bag has been flaunted by celebrities and fashion bloggers alike, dominating runways and commanding streets. words_keagan larkins. photo_kristian del rosario. design_olivia ginsberg. model_erika pun.
“I always say
Model Erika Pun, sports a tiny, orange bag from Topshop that resembles the Hermes ‘Kelly’ bag. The tiny bag trend was kickstarted by the Jacquemus Le Chiquito bag, as seen on models and celebrities.
fashion doesn’t always have to make sense,” said Ximena Kavalekas, founder and Creative Director behind Miami-based, luxury handbag brand Ximena Kavalekas. “Fashion sometimes isn’t practical, but it’s in fashion, and it’s just a trend.” If you’ve been following the micro-bag trend, you’ve definitely heard of the brand Jacquemus. The surrealist French brand— now famed for its iconic, tiny handbags— was at the forefront of the tiny-bag trend, ultimately setting this niche industry in motion. Simon Porte Jacquemus, founder of his namesake label, first introduced a mini bag in his Fall/Winter 2017 collection. ‘Le Chiquito’ bag featured a 3-inch handle and instantly became a crowd favorite. It had all the features of a viral accessory—cute, trendy and infinitely ‘Instagrammable.’ Just one season later, the Spring/Summer 2018 collection featured the new tiny accessory on almost every model in the show. Available in shades like olive, azure and ivory, there was a micro bag to pair perfectly with every outfit. For his Fall/Winter 2019 show, Jacquemus debuted the bag that would land him on the map as the micro-bag designer. His newest collection featured a bag even smaller than the three seasons prior. ‘Le Petit Chiquito’ took the design of the ‘Le Chiquito’ and shrunk it down to a 2-inch height. The purse was the smallest that the brand had ever designed, and since its debut, it’s been seen dangling from the fingertips of models everywhere. ‘Le Petit Chiquito’ instantly became the “it” bag. It was barely big enough to fit a pair of earrings, a singular Air Pod or—as critics
like to point out—a bag of drugs. No matter what was or was not inside the bag, the mystery became an identifier for the brand. ‘Le Petit Chiquito’ is now one of the most sought-after designer bags by collectors and enthusiasts alike. The mini bag, though impractical, does offer a sense of freedom. By throwing on a mini cross-body bag containing only the bare necessities, your hands are left to move freely. It encourages you to live minimally, only taking what you actually need. University of Miami senior Jenna Tews loves mini bags because they allow her to “add a delicate touch to any outfit.” Jacquemus is hardly the first brand to create a tiny purse. Brands have since followed in Jacquemus’ footsteps after seeing the success of ‘Le Petit Chiquito’ and have made their own version of the micro bag. The Spring/Summer 2019 season was filled with many designer, as well as non-designer, interpretations. From coin-purse-like mini bags hanging from the necks of models at Edrem to tiny, structured cross-body bags at Givenchy and tiny, monogrammed, metallic bags the size of a credit card at Brandon Maxwell—the micro bag was seen styled every way you could imagine. The modern mini bag was first introduced by Karl Lagerfeld, Creative Director of Fendi, in the fashion house’s Spring/Summer 2015 collection. He took the brand’s iconic Baguette bag and shrunk it. He then hung it on the side of a full-size purse, adorned with a furry charm just as large as the micro Baguette itself. “Fendi had the mini Baguette on top of the big Baguette,” said Kavalekas. “So, it was a trend back in those days. But yes, I think they were the creators of the mini bag.”
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 65
Though the original design was really Lagerfeld’s, mini bags have roots dating back to the early 1900s. According to Fashion Magazine, the size of the bag was indicative of your status in society. Young women were perceived with mini bags, which were seen as a status symbol. The smaller the bag, the more wealthy and powerful you were. The bag served only as an ornament to decorate your outfit. It indicated that you had other people to carry your belongings, since the impractical size of the bag did not allow for much storage. The so-called “reticules” were worn by women of high society, while larger, more practical bags that fit more belongings were carried by the working class. According to CR Fashion Book, an online fashion news platform founded by former Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Paris Carine Roitfeld, the view of handbags changed in 1984 with the creation of the Hermes Birkin bag. The bag was created after actress Jane Birkin spilled all of her belongings from inside her straw tote on a flight. Hermes’ Jean-Louis Dumas also happened to be on that flight and decided then and there that he would create a bag that could hold all of her belongings—and thus, the Birkin was born. No wonder the majority of people wearing these bags are celebrities—they have entire teams of people dedicated to carrying their belongings. From Lizzo’s miniscule Valentino Garavani at the 2019 American Music Awards to Dua Lipa’s ‘Le Petit Baci’ straw mini bag toted to the beach, celebrities
66 DISTRACTION Fashion
have readily embraced the trend. “A lot of celebrities are wearing micro bags because it’s definitely in fashion, but it is a trend that I think is going to disappear,” said Kavalekas. “They just wear it because it is a fashion statement, and they have to be in fashion being a celebrity.” What, then, lies in the future for micro bags? They were designed with intentions of being a wardrobe staple; they’ll likely wither in popularity within a few seasons. While some people will shoulder the mini bag for seasons to come, others will throw it in the fashion graveyard at the back of their closet along with trucker hats and chokers. Although the novelty of the trend might disappear, Kavalekas sees the micro bag being adopted into the world of fashion as more of a necessity rather than a unique statement piece. “The micro bags are coming to stay, but not because it will be a trend,” she said. “We have totes, we have hobos, we have structured bags, we have different shapes of bags and now we have the micro bags. And I think everyone will always create a micro bag with their collection. It won’t be a trend anymore—it will be just a part of the bags that a brand makes.” While a true micro bag isn’t even big enough to fit your phone, it is bound to make a big statement. Is this a message that we need to stop carrying so much stuff? Maybe. One thing is for sure: if one bag isn’t spacious enough, you can always shoulder two.
“I love the micro bags,” said Ximena Kavalekas. “I adore the fact that they are little and that they are an accessory to your accessory.” The tiny bag trend has swept the country and the world—with the little wonders coming in all shapes and sizes.
Habits are an innate part of human nature. The good, the bad and the ugly—we all have them. Habits 365, a company started by two New York teenage brothers, is doing its part to encourage the good ones. words_alli sharifi & gabby rosenbloom. photo_gianna sanchez. design_marisa menist. models_sofia davis & noah vesey.
The brothers’ first introduction to the retail business began in middle school. “Eli and I were both really into reselling sneakers so we were able to save up a chunk of money that way,” said Spencer, the eldest brother.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 67
The company uses the influencer- and celebrity-marketing styles very thoroughly. Professional athletes and celebrities like Dwyane Wade and Lil Baby posted photos of themselves wearing Habits 365.
68 DISTRACTION Fashion
espite disparities in race, age, gender, expression or religion, the commonality of human nature exists primarily in the psyche. According to Forbes, “Humans are natural pattern recognizers.” This primal instinct to form and identify patterns is what leads us to create habits. We all have habits, but they often differ in nature and severity. In 2017, the founders of Habits 365, Eli Zied and Spencer Zied, noticed this intrinsic human quality and used it as inspiration for a new clothing company. “The meaning is to encourage positive habits 365 days a year,” said Spencer, a junior at the University of Miami, who now acts as COO and CMO of Habits 365. “We realize that habits are something that everybody has, and our mission is to encourage the positive ones and bring out the best in every individual.” The entrepreneurial bug bit the Zied brothers when they started buying and selling sneakers out of their New York City home. When they were in middle school, they started compiling the money they made selling the sneakers, pooling it together to start the business. The brothers are both full-equity owners and share the same aspirations for their company. Similar to most companies in this day and age, recognition is key for growth. Whether by social media, word of mouth or simply getting their merchandise out on the street for people to notice, Spencer and Eli have mastered the art of marketing their merch. The brand has already gained over 116,000 followers on Instagram. At least twenty influencers have pledged their support and can be seen rocking this brand, including professional basketball star Dwyane Wade and hip-hop emcee A Boogie wit da Hoodie. Despite this success, Habits 365 is still in its early stages. “We want our customers to understand the value that we are providing,” said Spencer. “[They’re] not just comfortable, stylish clothes, but a brand that can encourage positive habits.” Whether it’s a bralette, hoodie, cropped sweater or basic tee, the trendy Habits 365 logo makes its appearance on all their gear in a number of creative ways. The Miami Vice Cursive Tee features the Habits logo in the Miami
Heat font and color, making for a perfect gym shirt. Going for a more understated look? The Black Crop Top, White Sports Bra and Black “Ruby” Signature Crew Neck are perfect staples for your wardrobe: simple, classy, clean. As a student in the University of Miami Herbert Business School, Spencer has the opportunity to receive a formal education that will aid in running his company. However, the real-world experience he has gained from developing and maintaining this brand is invaluable. “I can compare reactions to different products, Instagram posts and promotions,” Spencer said. “I have been surprised to see how many people want to be a part of our community and work as ambassadors and product reps.” By combining his UM education with his knowledge of today’s culture, he’s able to identify not only the perfect target market, but also how to appeal to them. Spencer also discussed the skills that he has honed from the classroom and how he has effectively incorporated them into his company. “I’ve also gained a lot of knowledge on production, budgeting, accounting, trademarking and many other details [for] running an effective business.” The two brothers are go-getters, no doubt, and they say the classroom is just their starting point. While the cute clothing and vibrant colors attract customers, the message behind it all draws interest like no other. “I thought the clothes were comfy and stylish from the minute I put them on,” said Sofia Davis, a University of Miami freshman and model in our Habits 365 photoshoot. “Because of the brand’s message, I will continue to wear their clothes on a day to day basis. It’s modern, comfy and the brand’s message is my kind of vibe.” In the highly competitive clothing market, Habits 365 brings forth an approach similar to Drew House and MadHappy—a message behind the clothing. Selling cute clothes just isn’t cutting it anymore in today’s fast-changing society, and people like Eli and Spencer took advantage of the new idea of public expression through clothing. Be sure to check out their trendy hoodies and sweats with a message we can all get behind as we embrace our good habits every day of the year.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 69
MENOCHROME Simple inspo for this classic, one-toned look. sive Em bro
Adi d 500 as Yeez $27 “Bone Wy 5.00 hite ,”
Champion UO Exclu
words_isabel tragos. photo_jess morgan. design_avani choudhary.
C Logo Bean ie (i red nG ide ree n) ,$
BDG Heavyweight Washed Po cket Tee (in Khaki), $34.00
Comfortable Cotton Blend Shorts, $49.
ave goodbye to the color wheel, and say hello to fashion’s oldest shortcut—the monochromatic fit. Single-color schemes are not just cohesive, but they align perfectly with the minimalist trend that has risen in popularity under the umbrella of streetwear. Whether in the form of a sweat set or a full, designer outfit, the monochrome look is almost always effortlessly chic. For men, attaining a monochromatic look is easy. The first step is the hardest part— deciding which color to focus on. Olive green is flattering on every skin tone, and with the right pieces, this unique shade of green can be worn all year long.
70 DISTRACTION Fashion
Where can these pieces be found? Urban Outfitters is a hub for trendy tops, unique bottoms and knit cardigans, but their most valuable asset is their price-friendly, highquality line of basics. This look can easily be worn to class, to catch a flight or to simply chill on the couch and binge your new favorite Netflix show. Although the beanie is a West Coast nod to Zac Efron, the rest of the outfit can be comfortably worn in the Miami heat. The oversized, cotton-blend t-shirt is a shade lighter than the cozy shorts, but the two layer nicely. Tie the look together with this cozy knit beanie, and you’ll have yourself a look that screams, “I’m too cool to try.”
PORTRAITS PORTRAITS 10AM - 6PM 2ND FLOOR OF SC FREE FOR ALL UNDERCLASSMEN SENIORS, APPOINTMENTS AND BUSINESS ATTIRE REQUIRED MAKE YOUR APPOINTMENT AT IBISYEARBOOK.COM Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 71
72 DISTRACTION Main Event
Main Event feeds your craving for the intellectual and worldly. Whether it means revealing the local significance of an international issue or discussing topics that are too often ignored, Main Event has something to offer each of us. Set aside your responsibilities for a bit and divulge in Main Event.
100% betch. that
UM alumna Abby Lloyd on landing her dream job, life after college and hosting the popular new Betches podcast, â€œOff-Campus.â€? words_isabella vaccaro. photo_travis laub & isabella vaccaro. design_isabella vaccaro.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 73
betches media presents. . . “I’m not natural,” UM alumna Abby Lloyd blurted at the camera as we filmed her interview in a boutique coffeehouse in NYC. Lloyd graduated from UM and landed a job doing social media and eventually graphic design for Betches—the snarky media company that reports on everything from dating to mainstream news, always with their signature ’tude. But ten years have turned Betches’ three college-aged founders into married CEOs, who aren’t exactly campus experts anymore. words_isabella vaccaro. photo_travis laub & isabella vaccaro. design_isabella vaccaro.
E Abby Lloyd graduated from UM in 2019 and now co-hosts the Betches podcast, “Off-Campus” with Taylor Jackson. The girls will gladly—and bluntly—tell you how to deal with frat boys, athletes, psychotic roommates and even how to navigate the world of dating apps. Check out these hysterical segments on the podcast: 1) Disaster Roommates 2) Hot Virgin Club 3) Please Un-F**k Me 4) Zang Zaddy of the Week Scan this QR code to find “Off Campus” on Spotify.
74 DISTRACTION Main Event
nter “Off Campus”— Betches’ newest podcast. Lloyd began as its resident ‘sexpert,’ advising her undergraduate listeners on all things hookups—until she became one of the hosts herself. Now, Lloyd and her co-host, Taylor Jackson, talk sex, dorm horror stories and the sh*t show that is college every Thursday (listen on Spotify or Apple Podcasts). To say the podcast is unfiltered would be an understatement, and Lloyd’s blunt, snappy humor means you’ll be hearing about some rather graphic sex-scapades or really just anything that pops into her head while on air. We sat down with Lloyd to talk Betches, “Off Campus,” life after college and surviving her 20s in the big city. Distraction: What was your experience like at UM? Abby: UM was amazing because it’s really hot, and I’m really sick of the cold now, but in general, I just feel like I learned a lot about what I hate and what I like, and in the School of Communication specifically, because I hated PR, and that’s what I graduated with. And now I do something completely different. I love Orange Umbrella, and I wish I did Distraction, but I literally don’t have enough time in the day.
D: Tell us about what you did at Orange Umbrella. A: First, I did social media for Orange Umbrella, and then my last year I did web design and more creative stuff like that. So, I was in charge of all the photoshoots and still social [media], but it was more about what I wanted Orange Umbrella to be like in the future. D: Have you been keeping tabs on it? A: I keep tabs! I’m in the Slack group—I message everyone all the time. I’m so annoying, honestly. They’re probably like, ‘Ew, this girl Abby keeps messaging us,’ and I’m just like, ‘Well, because Orange Umbrella is so important to me.’ It really changed who I am. D: How did you get your job at Betches? A: Connections are everything, and I actually—wait side note—I actually got fired from my old job, and I was really upset about it. Can I say that? Actually, it’s a funny story. So, I had a job before I had Betches, ready for when I was going to graduate, and they didn’t end up hiring me because they said my Instagram was risqué and that I post crazy stuff. I was devastated. I felt like I really couldn’t get a job, and social media is everything to me. But whatever, I kept applying,
and Betches is literally social media-based, and everything about it is risky, so I messaged the Director of Content, and I explained the situation and that I was looking for a job, and they were hiring someone for social media. That wasn’t my end goal—like I want to do graphic design, but I was like, ‘Whatever, it’s a small company, so I can kind of do everything.’ So I messaged them. They emailed me back, I had an interview, and they asked when I could start, and I was literally like, ‘Tomorrow.’ So I always tell everyone that everything happens for a reason. People talk to me about it still, and they’re like, ‘Do you remember when you had that old job?’ And I’m like, ‘Ew, I can’t even think of it.’ It was going to be an internship too, and now I have an actual salary. D: How did you get brought on to “Off Campus?” A: I was hired in June, and they had just started the Instagram page, and when they started Betches, it was college-focused because all three girls who started it were in college. So, since they’re older now, they lost that college demographic, and we needed to get it back, so we launched “Off Campus” as a vertical of Betches, and we have 80k followers right now.
It has only been six months. We launched the podcast to bring more followers so people would listen and everything. At first, it was two girls, Taylor [Jackson] and this other girl, and when I came, we kind of switched things, and it was a lot easier because I actually work at Betches, so I just kind of took the place of the other girl, and it’s been good. D: Was it a big transition for Taylor? A: Definitely. I don’t even know how much work goes into a podcast. Creating the content and trying to get people to email us all their dumb questions about college—it’s a lot of work, and it’s two hours out of my day that I have to put aside. We have podcast producers. I don’t know how any of the equipment works—like how would I know that? So, there’s people who edit it, record it and then we just talk on it, and I can kind of video edit, not really, so I will do the small edits and then send it, but we have to come up with topics and stuff like that and just whatever we feel like we should talk about it. D: Do you outline the podcast? A: We do. Taylor outlines it, but I don’t look at it because I feel like I’m becoming less funny if I know what we’re going to talk about. So she just, like, says a topic, and I’m like, ‘Okay let’s go.’ D: Did you become close with Taylor because of the podcast? A: Yes, we definitely became close because of the podcast. She’s one of my best friends now. We were like close-ish before we started because we are two of the youngest people at Betches, but it definitely made us a lot closer. D: What would the podcast be like if one of you were in a relationship? A: It’s so funny, our podcast producer was talking to us at the holiday party the other day
and was like, ‘If either one of you gets a boyfriend, the show is stopping.’ I was like, ‘One, nobody will ever date me, and two, that’s probably true.’ It just wouldn’t be as funny, I don’t think, but also the number of one-night stands and stuff like that, there’s no more talking about it. And what am I going to talk about? Like, my boyfriend and I got in a fight last night about who washes the dishes? Like, nobody cares. D: What’s your response to people who say your podcast is similar to “Call Her Daddy?” A: It is accurate in the way of where it’s two girls who talk about sex, but we don’t have as much sex, we aren’t as pretty and we aren’t as vulgar. Like, I would never talk about ball sacks—well, I would. “Call Her Daddy” is more sex-focused, whereas we talk about dating and college and more stuff like that, but we do get that a lot, and people will comment on our stuff like, “Walmart Call Her Daddy.” And we’re like, ‘We love that. We love “Walmart Call Her Daddy.”’ Betches will get us sponsors, and it’ll be like Dunkin’ Donuts, and we’ll talk about whatever, and then we’ll do the ad. They get us these conservative brands, and they come back, and they’re like, ‘We don’t want her saying dick,’ and I’m like, ‘I can’t not say dick.’
husband’s cheating,’ and I’m like, ‘Oh my God, do you know that we’re like 23- and 24-year-old girls? Like, I cannot help you.’ I literally sent my therapist’s number. Like, you need help. D: What is your biggest challenge living and working in NYC? A: Being broke. I’m literally poor—this coffee was six dollars. Why I spent that? I don’t know. Because I’m trying to fit in? I have no money, and I’m trying to save money. Everyone [at Betches] pays for my stuff, and people got me gift cards to Sweetgreen because I’m always like, ‘Can someone pay for my Sweetgreen?’ I’m so broke here, it’s not even f**king funny anymore. “This is not funny,” she says, pointing to the coffee. “This is not funny anymore.”
Lloyd’s job at Betches is not a far cry from the work she did for Orange Umbrella at UM. The “Off Campus” personality said that she can “put her own spins on anything” she wants at Betches just like during her days managing OA’s social media or planning their recruitment campaigns.
D: What’s the craziest story someone’s ever submitted? A: A lot of people DM us and it’s like a man sleeping with a married man, and he’s married to a woman. Like, ‘Oh, my God, steal him from the wife,’ because I’m pro-cheating and prohomewrecker, and I just want everyone to be happy in their own relationship. Some people will DM us and be like, ‘I heard my
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 75
76 DISTRACTION Main Event
Alex Anstett, a graduate student in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science, used a small hacksaw to cut free a piece of frozen barracuda to use as today’s shark bait. A chunk of fish flew into her eye as she pressed down on the stubborn piece. She wiped her face on her sleeve with a laugh and went back to cutting. Anstett has been working with the University of Miami’s Shark Research and Conservation program since she was an undergraduate freshman. As Captain Eric Cartaya steered the boat, named Diver’s Paradise, into the choppy waters of Biscayne Bay, Anstett tossed bait scraps to a hovering seagull; the bird caught it with ease. words_emmalyse brownstein. photo_victor munoz. design_giselle spicer.
University of Miami’s Shark Research & Conservation program (SRC) is made up of a group of undergraduate, graduate and Ph.D. students in the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science. Their work combines research and data collection with hands-on learning and community engagement. The SRC lab brings schoolchildren, corporate groups and sometimes private parties on more than 100 shark-tagging trips each year for an oceanic adventure of a lifetime. Students in UM’s SRC program venture into South Florida waters to collect data and teach citizens about one of the most misunderstood species in the world—and this time, I went along for the ride. A 30-minute ride took us about five miles south of Key Biscayne. On board was Captain Cartaya, his first mate Ryan Fochs, six SRC students, 17 students and three teachers from South Broward High School. “What we want to know is: where are the sharks? What are they doing? How can we promote their conservation?” said Laura McDonnell, the trip leader, as we departed from Crandon Marina on Key Biscayne. McDonnell is a second-year Ph.D. student in the Rosenstiel School. She made it clear that this was “not an ecosystem tour,” but a handson experience. If and when a shark is caught, SRC takes girth measurements, muscle and blood samples. The high school students play their own roles in collecting the data. In each group of five, two take measurements of the shark along three points of its body, one cuts a small sample from the shark’s dorsal fin, another tags the shark on the side of its dorsal fin and the last is responsible for keeping the shark wet at all times. “Something that differentiates us from other types of S.T.E.M. training for kids is that the activities are not just for them
to learn skills and have experience, but to actually contribute to meaningful scientific research that gets published,” said SRC Director, marine ecologist and Research Associate Professor Dr. Neil Hammerschlag. “The idea began when I was doing my Ph.D. at UM. I wanted to do outreach with kids and get them involved with hands-on research. The only way I could help conduct these outreach activities would be to have it fully integrated with the data collection for my Ph.D.” The SRC staff assured that the measurements and samples taken are not harmful to the sharks, since sharks have fewer pain receptors than humans and no blood flow to their dorsal fins. What is harmful is keeping them out of the water for an extended period of time. The SRC staff emphasized efficiency and teamwork to minimize stress on the sharks. Viranda Walters, a sophomore at South Broward High School, said that she has been going on shark-tagging trips with her school’s shark team since her freshman year. “In the future, I’m planning to do something with zoology or marine biology,” said Walters. “My favorite part is seeing the shark itself and doing the work—it’s not an everyday opportunity.” So how do they catch sharks? SRC uses what they call a “drum-line system.” A large, red poly-ball buoy is attached to a 30-pound weight called a drum. The poly ball serves as a line marker, while the weight holds it in place in the water. A hook timer, attached to the drum, is activated by pressure on the line. If the timer has started when it’s pulled out of the water, it not only indicates that there’s an animal on the line, but also how long it’s been there. The bait is connected to the drum and poly ball by about 30 feet of monofilament fishing line designed to withstand 900 pounds of force.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 77
“There’s a huge emphasis on teamwork, reliability and responsibility,” said Dr. Niel Hammerschlag. “We’re all working toward an important cause: discovering new things, increasing information and generating data that will better help us protect sharks and conserve the environment.”
78 DISTRACTION Main Event
SRC uses circle hooks for bait, rather than traditional ‘J’ hooks, because they’re less likely to get caught on internal organs if the shark swallows them. Shark bait is cut on a fish table as each line is thrown. The team cast 10 lines spaced about 100 meters apart. They sat for about an hour before we returned to see what might be waiting on the other end. When it was pulled out of the water with a long pole, the hook timer had been activated. We had a shark. The entire crew went into “go” mode. The high school students sat up with anticipation. Captain Cartaya secured a large, floating platform meant to hold the shark to the stern of the boat. McDonnell began pulling in the line. Two other SRC students held on with her while the others stood ready to jump into action. As the near eight-foot, female nurse shark was pulled onto the platform, two SRC students strategically straddled the shark to hold it safely. The high schoolers then sprang into action on their assigned duties. Nick Martinez, a UM junior interning for SRC, was the “primary physio” on this trip. After the kids took their measurements, it was his job to draw blood from the shark beneath its caudal fin. This is Martinez’s second year working with SRC. “When I got into the program here and I saw that first shark, it was just inspiring and humbling,” Martinez said. Martinez hustled back to the makeshift lab in the bow of the boat. He distributed the blood into small capsules and placed them in a centrifuge—a machine that rotates rapidly to separate the blood into layers of red blood cells, white blood cells and plasma. “It’s insane how much you can tell about an organism from that little bit right there,” Martinez said, pointing out the layer of clear plasma in one of the capsules after it had gone through the machine. “They call it liquid gold,” said Anstett, who was standing next to him, working on another blood sampling test called the hematocrit. “When the kids come back here and ask me questions about the blood work it’s like, wow, they have interest. We’re making a difference,” said Martinez. The bloodwork is done in collaboration with the immunology research of Dr. Liza Merly, a professor stationed off the boat at the Rosenstiel School. Merly is interested in the cellular and molecular
components of sharks, rather than their behavior and ecology. Merly has been working with students for about three years to establish reference values for shark blood. “We don’t really know what’s healthy and normal for any given shark. And in some cases, even for the ones we do know, we know it from captive animals whose parameters may be different from wild populations,” said Merly. “It will be helpful to everyone trying to monitor the health of these populations all over the world, because now, they’ll have a reference point they can look to.” She noted that her lab is currently finishing up reference values and hoping to start asking additional questions soon. “We’re interested now in taking it a step further and asking: under what conditions do some of those values change?” The data and research of the SRC has not only local, but global reach. Some blood samples are shared across the country and the world to further the research of other marine scientists. “I’m not an expert in shark reproduction, but I have a collaborator at Arizona State University who is,” said Dr. Hammerschlag. “He looks for reproductive hormones that give us an idea of the reproductive cycle of the sharks.” He said that he’s also sent samples to a student that he co-advises in Brazil. “She looks at where the sharks sit in the food web versus where they might actually be feeding—just based on the chemistry of the blood,” Hammerschlag said. Dr. Hammerschlag has ongoing projects in other parts of the world like the Bahamas, the Galapagos Islands and South Africa. In 2002, Hammerschlag began research on the predatory behavior of great white sharks in South Africa and has maintained that work with a local naturalist there. “I’m sending a handful of students to South Africa this summer from UM to work on a project using drones to quantify predator-prey interaction between great whites and seals.” Back on the boat, the next nine lines came up with no catches. The lines were all re-baited and thrown again for a second round. As the 10th line of the second round was pulled out with no shark in sight, making for the 19th empty line in a row, three dolphins surfaced on the portside bow. We hoped it was a sign of luck. I pulled out my lunchbox for an afternoon snack. I peeled back my banana, and before I could take a second bite, three SRC students gasped and stared. “Bananas are bad luck on boats,” said Anstett with a laugh. The whole boat knew about this unspoken rule except
for me. Even Captain Cartaya joked to have me thrown overboard. They enlightened me on the old wives’ tale that a boat carrying bananas once sunk, and since the fruit floats, all that was found of the wreckage were the bananas. I definitely didn’t want to be the bad luck that kept us from catching more sharks. So, I offered up the banana, and a student put it on the fish table, sacrificially. Anstett then took a mallet and smashed it. We re-baited the 10 lines for a third and final round. We came up empty after six. I was beginning to think my banana had done us in, but line seven brought another nurse shark. This time, the shark was more difficult to get onto the platform. Victor Bach Munoz was capturing the action all day. A secondyear grad student, Munoz is the SRC photographer. He discovered his love for sharks when he swam with them at age five. “I didn’t even know what a shark was, so I thought, ‘Oh cool, a big fish,’” said Munoz. “Then I saw “Jaws” and “Deep Blue Sea,” and they piqued my interest. I was surrounded by five sharks, and I’m still alive. According to all these movies, I should be dead. I started researching, and I figured out that sharks really aren’t killing machines.” Munoz said that he thinks photography and videography can convey things that are otherwise challenging. “People think of scientists as people who are in a lab with white coats. If I get a Ph.D., I would love to vlog it to make it more relatable.” After my trip ended, I spoke to Olivia Shuitema, a senior undergraduate SRC intern. Shuitema said the most common misconception of sharks pegs them as mindless, man-eating monsters. “Sharks are actually very timid—depending on species, of course. They’re not malicious, they’re curious. Humans aren’t on their menu,” said Schuitema. “Sharks don’t have hands to touch and investigate like humans. They have a lot of sensors in their mouth—like how a baby puts things in its mouth to try it.” “A really important part of conservation is communicating the science to people who are going to go out and vote one day—not who are necessarily going to become scientists,” said Dr. Merly. She said it’s experiences like what the SRC program provides that make the biggest impact on people. “They’re going to be informed, and they’re going care about these environments because they saw them first hand. If they can recall a time where they went out and went shark tagging, or whatever it may be, that speaks to people, and that’s really powerful.”
5 Facts You Didn’t Know About Sharks *According to discovermagazine.com and worldwildlife.org.
With fossil records dating back 400 million years, sharks have outlived the dinosaurs and many other forms of life currently on Earth.
There are more than 1,000 species of sharks and rays, with new species discovered every year.
These top predators now face their most severe threat from overfishing.
Up to 100 million sharks are killed each year by finning, a practice where fishermen cut off a shark’s dorsal fin to sell as a delicacy, then dump the wounded animal back into the ocean to die. The practice imperils not only sharks but entire food chains, which are disrupted as the animals’ numbers dwindle.
Even if sharks could brush their teeth, they wouldn’t need to; shark teeth are covered in fluoride, making them cavity-resistant.
Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 79
your last distraction We like to end every issue with a final “distraction,” a.k.a. one last piece of student work for you to enjoy.
80 DISTRACTION Main Event
JOANNA JARA: AN ETERNAL LIGHT words_tanja moissl & gabby rosenbloom. design & illustration_gabby rosenbloom.
The dynamic and resilient Joanna Jara was a guiding light in the University of Miami community. After being diagnosed with osteosarcoma in her junior year of high school, Jara began her heroic battle. She was unparalleled in her strength and known throughout the School of Communication for her unrelenting passion. Jara faced every challenge of her cancer with the utmost grace. “I remember in high school, a lot of people thought she was not going to graduate,” said Jara’s family friend, Kristian Del Rosario. “Everyone thought it was impossible to do the treatment on top of everything else and then go to college, but she was determined and no one could change her mind.” She continued to live her life as scheduled, never letting her diagnosis hinder her.
Transparency was deeply important to Jara. She was diligent about making sure that her friends and family were updated on the status of her cancer, but she never wanted to be treated differently. By her own accord, the cancer never defined her—it was simply one stitch in the carefully woven fabric of her life. In her time at UM, she pursued her passion for film and radio through her motion pictures major and leadership roles at the university’s student-run radio station, WVUM 90.5 FM. In the fall of 2018, she was given a promotion at the station. “She was just a terrific young woman that we all thought should be the next general manager,” said UM Associate Professor Paul Driscoll, Vice Dean for Academic Affairs and adviser to WVUM. When her cancer returned the following March, she was forced to withdraw from school and was never able to step into her new role. However, in true Joanna fashion, she continued to bravely support her team from afar. Josh White, a current UM senior who stepped into her role, said, “she was about as dedicated a person as you’ll ever find. At WVUM, she was integral to our operations for the last four to five years. A lot of the credit goes to her.” Jara was young—brimming with passion and talent—and had a lot more life to live. On Nov. 26th, 2019, shortly after receiving her UM diploma, Jara tragically lost her battle with cancer. She was 23 years old. Joanna Jara will forever be revered for her dedication and contribution to this community. “There are very few people you meet who walk into a room and own it,” Del Rosario said. “She was one of them.” Well known to her friends and family, Jara’s favorite song was The Smiths’ “There Is A Light That Never Goes Out.” Nothing could be more perfect to describe Joanna Jara: an eternal light that will never go out.
SELL YOUR CLOSET. GET PAID. Spring 2020 DISTRACTION 81
Visit www.CollegeTownLiving.com/listings to view exclusive homes for rent!
DIRECTLY ACROSS FROM UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
MINUTES AWAY FROM UNIVERSITY OF MIAMI
VIEW AVAILABLE UNITS: www.UniversityInnCondo.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Info@UniversityInnCondo.com (305) 726-2100
VIEW AVAILABLE UNITS: www.ValenciaMiami.com
FOR MORE INFORMATION: Info@ValenciaMiami.com (305) 726-2100