France Spring 2020 As Texts, by Michael Lopez

Michael Lopez, the author taken by Bryan Gonzalez (CC by 4.0)

I am an Florida International University student, currently enrolled at the Honors College. I am part of the France Summer 2020 Study abroad with the Honors College under Professor Bailly, and as such will be posting some assignments in regards to his projects. I am a Junior studying Criminal Justice, with a huge love for law, politics and history.

Vizcaya As Text

“History is written by the Victors” by Michael Lopez of FIU at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens

Vizcaya Entrance Arc by Michael Lopez, January 31st, 2020 (CC by 4.0)

History is written by the victors and they sure know it,

As art juxtaposes the myriad of life,

Yet, only those with influence make it fit,

Leaving the future in endless strife.

Napoleon’s ego helped build the Arc of Triumph,

With his many victories, he helped build France,

If only he knew his legacy would be like the Belt of Orion,

If only he knew that around his grave they would dance.

The Arc that symbolizes the beginning of his victories,

Whose grandeur and glory would leave the world in awe,

Reflected from Rome to America, written in all of our histories,

Vizcaya, like Paris, would leave a mark, only they saw.

Like Julius Caesar, Napoleon walked the streets,

Looking into the Arc, a vision of the World that they would all soon see,

Vizcaya, the fruits that Napoleon sure did reap,

But James sure did pay its fee.

A world into the unknown, with Europe at its pedestal,

Deering built an Arc that he thought would bring him glory,

With his predecessors in mind, his Villa was impeccable,

Yet, alone with no loved ones, at the end he was indeed sorry.

During his youth, he showed it off to the entire world,

With his many servants and many doors,

Yet his many plans, ever stopped, by Miami’s swirls,

Yet he continued on, like a lion with his mighty roar.

At the end, when all is said and all is done,

Admiring his Arc with the sky reborn, 

He lived his life at an angle from human to God,

His Arc would create life in Miami’s shores, like another story of Aaron’s rod.

MOAD As Text

“Give me Freedom or Give me Death” by Michael Lopez


Freedom Tower in South Miami, Florida, Taken by Michael Lopez (CC by 4.0)

Give me liberty or give me death,

Brave words spoken by our Founding Father,

Patrick Henry’s words, soft as leaves,

Yet, Give me Freedom, I would much rather.

Giralda inspired,

Sevilla bound,

Miami in the 20s in fire,

Who knew that a new beacon would be found.

The 70s came and the world was in disarray,

Communism without a veil,

And the iron curtain ensured the Cold War didn’t miss-a-day,

And the whole world would ask: Will Freedom prevail?

Believe in the legend and you will be saved,

Led by the kid who never got old,

Peter Pan kids the trip they made,

Cubans and other alike, their hope would never fold.

Give me Liberty or give me death,

Give me freedom or we shall parish,

Miami’s European decent they appreciated like a new breath,

Patrick Henry’s words they would cherish.

Cocaine and chaos amidst us all,

Gangs and crime like a phoenix in the rise,

To only lead to their fall,

As the new generation rolled their fortune’s dice.

Majestic display of gothic stands,

As time passed by a new era found,

With Mariel and Peter Pan, their destiny on this building hands,

With new opportunity for all generations, all around.

As Islamic Caliphates build minarets,

The Catholic church would add a bell,

To symbolize the new era, this building, Miami’s own barbette,

And the immigrants and founders of the city, the stars that never fell.

To surprise the world this beacon of light would shine bright,

Leaving America’s enemies in total fright.

Deering Estate As Text

“The Truth Will Out” by Michael Lopez

Deering Estate by Deeringestate.org 

The Deering Estate,

So full of beauty and full of grace,

It must have been fate,

That such as village of wonders would later embrace.

Understandably so,

The Deering empire would grow,

But like Vizcaya, they would hit a new low,

No wonder, no children and alone, you do reap what you sow.

Built by African-Americans and Afro-Bahamians,

The People’s Dock one of the entrances to the estate,

The true story behind it all, like a Night of Arabians,

But when the truth was found, it was already too late.

Richmond Cottage was in its day quite an inn,

For Flagler’s Railroad, there he became rich,

At the backbones of its builders, the story of the place
grew quite in sin,

The visitors, this they ignore and to the Boat Basin they go
and see fish.

A Stone House, in 1922 was built,

A mere Mediterranean Revival,

For illegal schemes during Prohibition, Charles’ weapons own
hilt,

For this new era, a new art Renaissance was its only
survival.

As we move on to the preserve the truth will out,

From Biscayne Bay to Chicken Key, a world for all to see,

The estate’s flora and fauna, such a beauty no doubt,

But apart from the groves and hammocks the truth still an
absentee.

The Rock Ridge created quite a divide,

Airplanes and Deering Point, all evidence of humanity’s cultural
evolution,

 Ensuring Culter Creek
and Solution Holes to stay inside,

If the original settlers lived, would they see it as a
revolution?

The Tequesta fought and died and their legend still stands,

Their history and truth, one day will out, Charles Deering
let’s see where your lucky dice will land.

Miami Beach (South Beach) As Text

“New Babylon” by Michael Lopez

 

Miami Beach Ocean Drive by The Insider 

Long live New Babylon, the pleasure of the South,

A city full of Vice,

Be careful, watch the words that may come out of your mouth,

But do not worry, the tale I am about to tell, will make you
think if it is not in fact, of Men and Mice.

Of Mice and Men is the correct phrase,

Yet in this tale those affected were not common men but
those they called mice,

The minorities whom they crumbled in a daze,

Treated like vermin, a different story they would entice.

As you walk past Ocean Drive you will see it all,

The Art Deco and the buildings in all their glamour,

But at what cost did this all come, perhaps the Tequesta’s
Fall?

It was indeed, despite their shell weapons and armour.

The Beach founded by Fisher, described not as a sunseeker’s
paradise,

Ocean Beach as it once was called, a day of picnics and
baseball games,

You would think with the new railroads and development, to
him it would all suffice,

But to Fisher, a new challenge and adventure only fanned the
flame.

A multiracial area of Seminoles and African descendants,

They would soon be banned and exiled for no one to see,

Who would think that the Capital of the South would be nicer
to its ascendants,

Yet, just like their inhabitants, their groves and springs
would also pay the fee.

Soon antisemitism would as well rise,

Never to live North of the 5th, “gentiles only”
the signs would read,

The hidden racism and fear the Art Deco and Rule of three would
disguise,

Beware of Towers of Babel, this warning you should head.

Beware New Babylon of building walls to keep out the truth,

Instead be loyal and truthful to your people, be Miami’s own
Ruth.

History Miami As Text

“A Walk-Through History” by Michael Lopez

 

History Miami Museum in Miami by TripAdvisor 

If there is one thing to know is that history always remembers,

As time passes by, History is all that stands,

From the Earth’s creation to its last December,

And all of it lies in our hands.

As said too many times, History is written by the victors,

But what if this time it did not apply?

What if History pardoned the victims of its constrictors?

Look inside this museum, and my claim you shall not deny.

Inside you shall see wooden instruments from the Archaic to Glades Periods,

With tools and pictures of the early inhabitants,

The Tequesta and others, later abused by their “superiors”,

Flags and banners who would end them all, these new combatants.

History headed heroics, as seen in the Eastern wall,

With Menendez, a free slave, and his Spanish fort,

But as you keep on walking, you will find only the Creek’s fall,

Their Seminole descendants a bit of peace they would find, yet seen as “wild people” of some sort.

As you continue through the walk, A Pioneers life you will find,

A relationship with the natives they would seek,

To learn to extract Comptie starch, the Seminoles were truly kind,

But the settlers, this behavior they found it only meek.

Flagler and Tuttle, you will later see,

And how the Industrial Revolution marked this new century,

Twelve black workers would vote courageously,

But this new city would still treat them heinously.

Take a trolley to freedom but keep an eye,

For White Passengers Seat From Front,

This law later removed, a reliefful sigh,

Those who fought for it were truly blunt.

From WW2 Memorabilia to the Mariel boatlift,

This is the end of the tour, but remember one thing, History remembers and it can uplift.

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