A select list…
“Moebius said her goal for the day was to point out the complex, mutable quality of Hispanic heritage, which draws from cultural influences scattered the world over.”
“Corinna Moebius: Widely considered an expert on Little Havana, Moebius co-authored a book called A History of Little Havana and has offered walking tours of the neighborhood for more than a decade.”
“Corinna Moebius is an anti-stereotype, pro-activism cultural anthropologist, invested in highlighting and maintaining the fabric of the place where she’s worked and lived in for years. She describes Little Havana as a conversation over coffee–an encounter that restores hope, a community that is sustainable, a place that is regenerative.”
“Corinna Moebius, a Little Havana resident, community leader, and cultural anthropologist, is co-author of A History of Little Havana and regularly leads private walking tours. For her Jane’s Walk, she’ll give special emphasis to “a-ha moments” that can happen when we experience neighborhoods on foot and hopes ‘to get folks thinking critically about how we think we know a neighborhood.’
‘We hear the stories and histories that are typically silenced or made invisible,’ Moebius says. “Walking in this way, in the way that Jane Jacobs walked through neighborhoods, can help us move beyond stereotypes and very limited ways of understanding people and place.'”
“It was now time to meet the cultural anthropologist and Little Havana tour guide Corinna Moebius to take in the CubaOcho Museum and Performing Arts Center. Ms. Moebius, along with the sociologist Guillermo Grenier, is the author of “A History of Little Havana,” a thoughtful look at the neighborhood’s history and culture.
This is not a tourist trap,” Ms. Moebius said as we entered the museum. “On any day, you’ll find Cuban artists working on their art in the center’s beautiful courtyard. Famous musicians jam here; this is where the locals go, and this is where Cuban intellectuals, artists and cigar and rum aficionados hang out.”
“Roberto’s philosophy is that art and music and poetry and dance and a good mojito all need to coexist,” she added, referring to Roberto Ramos, the man behind Cubaocho.
Cuba: The Brand (2016)
“Often, how businesses in Little Havana use ‘Cubanness’ to market themselves frustrates Moebius…’It’s less sexy if you’re not Cuban,’ she says. ‘It’s so hard for me. I’m a tour guide. I want to share my neighborhood and all its cultural influences. But the demand is literally a little Havana. That’s the perception, and people want to consume this idea of it being traditional and stuck in the past.”
Little Havana is very neighborly. Even though my Spanish wasn’t very good at first, at least I tried. Talk to everyone. That includes people in your building, across the street, from all walks of life, and not putting judgements on people. It also means building a tolerance for the differences among us all.
I had neighbors from Mexico. They played mariachi music, and they played it loud. Other friends from Cuba would play their timba, son, and reggaeton. It’s a musical place, so that means coming in and not imposing what you’re used to from somewhere else, learning that there’s a vibe here and being willing to adapt to that and join right in…
In this neighborhood, we trade things with each other. For example, I have a sour orange tree and my neighbor trades her homemade ceviche with me.
Another thing is your body language. I would say walk, walk, walk. Even if your Spanish isn’t good, greet and interact with people and build that connection. People respond to that very deeply.
Slowly, you’ll meet other locals and business owners who will appreciate you and then they’ll invite you to a coffee or a party or tell you about a great event.
I started a Facebook group called Little Havana/La Pequeña Habana News & Events which is a resource to plug into events and news happening in the neighborhood.
Even if you’re a temporary resident you can think about it as an exchange. You’re going to receive something here if you’re willing and open to learn. There are a lot civic engagement groups working to make Little Havana more equitable.”
Some Rich And Powerful Would Benefit From Little Havana Upzoning (NPR affiliate) (2015)
Cultural anthropologist and Little Havana resident Corinna Moebius is opposed to the upzoning. Moebius, who recently co-authored A History of Little Havana and leads tours of the neighborhood, fears the changes will lead to the displacement of residents and erode the iconic neighborhood’s identity just so a few may profit.
There are folks who look at our neighborhood, and all we are is a spreadsheet and a map,” Moebius said. “We are just some expendable thing in the way of profit.”
Amid Redevelopment Plans, Miami Residents Fight To Save Little Havana “All Things Considered” (2015)
“GREG ALLEN: But people also live here. Resident Corinna Moebius says developers have targeted her neighborhood and are buying up properties.
CORINNA MOEBIUS: Tons – these two buildings were bought. This was bought. It’s been, you know, nicely redone, but I just want to point out this gate.
GREG ALLEN: It’s being redone as a bed and breakfast. There’s a large metal gate with a lock, aimed, Moebius says, at keeping the neighborhood out. Little Havana is a walkable neighborhood, with bungalows along with two and three-story apartment buildings. It’s a place where people talk to their neighbors on stoops and from their balconies. And it has something else going for it – its location. Moebius says it’s just a short bike or bus ride to downtown.
CORINNA MOEBIUS: Developers saw that and they said, oh, maybe this is a place and, look, it is really close to downtown and maybe this can be the next frontier and so…”
Corinna Moebius, a Miami tour guide, said you can’t understand the neighborhood if you drive or even bike through it. “Sometimes you’re going to go off the Calle Ocho track,” Moebius said. “You can walk into a place and feel like you’re in Spain, or you’re in Honduras.”
Moebius also encourages visitors to keep an open mind, especially when it comes to spiritual shops called botanicas. “Each botanica is a little different,” she said. “Every cigar place is different. You want to smoke your cigar? Go to a lounge.”
It’s a great time to visit the neighborhood, she said, and a lot’s been done to bring people into Little Havana. “Even though you’re in this big city called Miami, there’s this intimacy in Little Havana,” Moebius said. “I think it’s really exciting to discover your own city.”
“Today, though, some very interesting developments, supported by energetic neighborhood champions and entrepreneurs, suggest that things are looking up for the district’s future. One can hardly do any kind of research on the neighborhood, for example, without running into multiple references to Corinna Moebius, co-founder of the Little Havana Merchants Alliance and founder and editor of a growing online guide and magazine serving the neighborhood, LittleHavanaGuide.com. The site, like its neighborhood, is colorful and lively, full of articles about Little Havana’s arts, culture, businesses, and goings-on. Drum-making, graffiti art, ice cream and midwifery were among the subjects highlighted when I looked at the site yesterday.
But it’s also serious. Earlier this year the site published a letter from Bill Fuller, businessman and co-founder of the Merchants Alliance, warning of the intrusion of big-box stores that do not respect the neighborhood’s character.”
“Opt for the private, customisable tour, which is led by Corinna J. Moebius, a cultural anthropologist and Little Havana resident …”
Tweet Me In Miami (2010)
“I can’t mistake her. In Miami, a subtropical city that classifies hot pink and neon violet as earth tones, Corinna Moebius is a snowflake, dressed in white skirt, blouse, and hat. Eagerly, she threads me through the streets of Little Havana. “Up here,” Moebius says as we pass a dozing coconut seller and climb the stairs to a second floor dance studio. She introduces me to Marisol Blanco, a Cuban émigré who teaches the Afro-Cuban dances associated with Santería …”
Adams Morgan Day to Build on Las Year’s Success: Dance Added (2005)
New this year, according to Festival Director Corinna Moebius, is a Dance Plaza, with an exciting lineup of dance performances and workshops at Marie Reed. Coordinated by Joaquin Figueroa, the Plaza will feature talented groups performing West African dance, Afro-Cuban rumba and Mexican folk dances, as well as the youth step group that has been nominated for the DC Dance Awards, and a popular Bolivian dance troupe. The Dance Plaza is part of a special focus on fitness and health for all of the family-oriented activities on the grounds of Marie Reed, including the Kid’s Fair.