The annual excuse to drown in bottomless margaritas and tequila, better known as Cinco de Mayo, will have a broad presence in Fort Lauderdale venues both familiar and unconventional on Monday. Of the latter camp is Cinema Paradiso (503 SE Sixth St.), which is throwing a taco bar buffet in its courtyard starting at 6:30 p.m. ($25-$30 per couple, includes two margaritas and a screening of "Us the Nobles" at 7:30 p.m.). Elsewhere, Rocco's Tacos (1313 E. Las Olas Blvd.) will offer free tequila pours, a mariachi band and DJs; Grille 401 (401 E. Las Olas Blvd.) will deliver two-for-one drinks and appetizers from 4-7 p.m.; and Zona Fresca (1635 N. Federal Highway) will raffle off a trip to Mexico. Farther north but worth the drive are the brews, tacos and Chinese food being offered by Oakland Park's Funky Buddha Brewery (1201 NE 38th St.) and food truck Chaco's Chinese ($20).
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Ramiro A. Fernandez Collection/Courtesy
In the foreword to his book "Cuba Then," retired Time magazine photo editor Ramiro Fernandez explains that his collection of pre-Castro Cuba photographs was motivated by a "need" to reconnect with his country of birth. He left it behind at age 8, when the family emigrated. Miami-raised poet Richard Blanco, who contributes his Cuba-centric poems to the book, also relates his experience to the 288 black-and-white images of Havana's nightlife, racecar drivers and showgirls: "Each photo is a portal, a time machine that lets me glimpse my mother's life, her Cuba, which is also my Cuba in a way -- the Cuba I'd want to remember, how I would want to remember it, if I could remember it." Fernandez and Blanco will appear for a free book-signing 8 p.m. Tuesday at Books and Books, 265 Aragon Ave., in Coral Gables. 305-442-4408 or
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by Phillip Valys, SouthFlorida.com Monday: Cinco de Mayo parties in Fort Lauderdale Tuesday:"Cuba Then" at Books and Books in Coral Gables Wednesday: "Becoming Dr. Ruth" at Broward Center Thursday: Il Divo at Fillmore Miami Beach Friday: Old School Beerfest in Delray Beach Saturday: Art Rock at Armory Art Center Sunday: Mick Foley at Fort Lauderdale Improv