What do you do when you're the new kid on the block? If you're Stay Alfred you throw a gigantic party and invite all your new neighbors. And that's exactly what we did in Miami's Little Havana neighborhood when we celebrated the launch of Stay Alfred Little Havana. We worked with Prism Creative Group to create a truly bespoke event that paid homage to the unique and rich cultural history of our new home. And in doing so, we got the meet some of the incredible artists, creators, musicians, historians, and developers who make Little Havana the vibrant, irreplaceable place it is.
The first thing you learn about throwing a party in Miami is that music matters.... like a lot. We knew that this party couldn't just feature someone's iPhone plugged into the Aux and a Spotify Top 20 playlist. We needed to bring in a heavyweight with some serious musical chops. Enter Leslie Cartaya: Leslie is a Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter with Latin music in her blood. She played to an adoring audience in the backyard of our Little Havana travel apartments that swayed and spun to her music, all without spilling their mojitos. Talk about impressive coordination.
Once you've got a truly phenomenal music act lined up, you've got to give the people the other thing they want: really good food. Meet (or should we say meat) Miami Smokers, a restaurant I cannot write about without my mouth water. They prepared an array of sliders and BBQ for guests to either nibble or... if we're being completely honest, gorge themselves on. If you're looking for pulled pork you'll remember forever, you've got to check out Miami Smokers.
One of the most amazing things about Little Havana is its vibrant arts scene. Don't believe me? Take a stroll down the famous Calle Ocho and you'll see no less than a dozen art galleries and murals just about everywhere. To honor this unique, creative force at play in the neighborhood, we brought in the supremely talented artist Krave. Throughout the event, Krave created a live mural in front of the eyes of the guests. And while my artistic talents are limited to stick figures and snowmen, I know cool art when I see it. And this is cool art.
Amidst all the eating and drinking of the event, there was a standout star. An individual so well known and well-loved in Little Havana that everyone couldn't help but gravitate towards him. That man is Dr. Paul George: professor and historian extraordinaire. Dr. Paul George is a professor at Miami Dade College and if you name any date within the last century, he can tell you exactly what happened in Miami on that day, and why it matters. When guests first entered the party, they were greeted by Dr. Paul George and invited to hear interesting history on the neighborhood, its past and its exciting future.