The A-1 Market, located on West Flager Street and 34th Avenue - in what can be called West Little Havana - has been a neighborhood corner store (bodega) since before I was born. I believe the same Chinese family has owned, managed, or controlled it since its opening. They may be Cuban Chinese - they lived on the island and speak Spanish.
The building was built in 1935, so its pretty much old Miami. This is where I discovered baseball cards, Coca-Cola, the lastest candies and other market targeted confections of the 1980’s, and what is now the unmistakable smell of a mom and pop grocery or butcher shop. No one’s ever checked in here, no one’s Yelped about it. These is where the working class folks of this neighboorhood first played Lotto.
I walked in recently and nothing had changed. Like a sappy, melodramatic movie scene about going home again, everything was in place. I grabbed a bottle of mango juice from the cooler, paid, and took my time leaving.
This is a good place. A simple place. I was happy its still there.