/// a garden overview ///
October newsletter time! We hope you all have been enjoying the on-again off-again fall weather days, or at least the less humid ones!
For this newsletter, we are sharing a loooooong overdue explanation of what we have going on outside (as in, physically outside) at paradis. As y’all may have noticed, we’ve been tending a small garden in as much of the outdoor space as possible, and it took us a lot of work, and a lot of friends, to make it all happen.
Long before we opened, even before demolition began on the interior of the space, we set out to build this garden on our own, pulling out the landscape that lined the walls of our current outdoor patio, digging up old and nutrient deficient soil, and getting the entire area ready for an edible garden space. Some of our closest friends, who you may have seen in the space or on the table cards we hand out with food orders, helped us out immensely during the hot summer days of 2020, and we can't thank them enough for that.
We built 8 raised garden beds in total -- 6 placed along the concrete tables and 2 along our covered canopy space -- and put 80 grow bags along of our front fence towards West Dixie Highway. We also have a few tropical trees that will be with us for the long haul, including several varieties of banana trees, a fig tree, a Catalina avocado tree, a bay leaf bush, and a Calamansi tree, which is a lime-like citrus variety commonly grown in the Philippines!
Our friend Danielle, who has an incredibly beautiful home garden of her own, told us about Tree Amigos Growers , a garden center located in Davie owned and operated by a team of lovely and helpful plant nerds who know everything there is to know about South Florida growing. We worked mostly with Jason, and he helped us plan out our potting soil needs as well as our irrigation system. On a very long, hot, and sweaty day in June, we filled an 15-foot U-Haul truck with bags of soil from Tree Amigos, and filled out our raised beds at paradis.
We then embarked on the treacherous and not-to-be-repeated journey of summer gardening in Miami. We knew going into the summer that there are very few things that will grow well, but we decided to experiment with specific varietals that could survive and thrive. Though we were met with much downy mildew, an army of aphids, and a few too many tomato horn worms for our liking, we were able to have a lush green garden space with a more than a handful of herbs and veggies to show for it.
Our perilla plants remained huge and happy throughout the summer, giving us enough to start incorporating them into our rye sourdough crackers, and our hot peppers and long beans produced for us all summer long, and even made for many a yummy pickle!
Now that the summer months are behind us, we are very excited for fall gardening, and a few weeks ago we started seeding and transplanting new veggies and herbs in the raised beds and grow bags.
If all goes well, over the next few months you’ll be seeing a wide array of new things grow big and strong and fruitful: Black Magic Kale, different varieties of tomatoes like Edox and Super Sweet 100s, Carrots,
Radishes, Beets, Melons, and of course more garden staples like Peppers, Cucumbers, Beans, Basil, and Dill.
Or at the very least, you’ll see a slightly-less-sweaty Audrey enjoying the slightly cooler fall temperatures as she continues to duke it out with the aphids.
We also want to give a special shout out to our friends who helped us out and contributed to our garden in one way or another.
Our dear friend Danielle took care of our seedlings way back last December when we needed more space and a safe home for them before transplanting into our garden space months later. She also gifted us so many seeds and plant babies that we were able to try out in our garden, including a couple of banana trees and the sweet potato growing alongisde our native plants!
Our sweet friend Yessi has been tending to some Cuban Oregano clippings for us so that we can continue to plant them in between our banana trees by the front door, and we're hoping to have a nice little patch growing there over the next few months. Yessi will also will be DJ'ing at our Halloween party next week -- more details on that below!
And finally, our friends and neighbors over at Finca Morada gave us a big hand with this next season's worth of seeds and transplants buy giving us a ton of soil to use, plus donating a few beautiful native plants such as Hibiscus, an Elephant Ear Plant, and some medicinal herbs.
We hope you’ve enjoyed sitting in our garden space and seeing our beloved plant babies grow, even when they were struggling a bit. It’s been so very enjoyable to be able to have so much space to play with and to have such a variety of things to grow, and we feel very fortunate to have been able to serve a few garden goodies to y’all sprinkled in our menus.
We’re very excited to start incorporating more and more of the garden veggies onto our menu as the temperature and humidity settle down,
and we hope y’all will enjoy what we come up with!
First of all, we’d love to say thank you all so incredibly much for all the love and support you’ve shown us these last two months that we’ve been open. It has been so nice to finally have y’all in our space, and we’re beyond excited to see folks engage with us and what we’re offering in a multitude of ways.
With all the excitement of opening and getting cozy in our new space, we certainly missed a month of newslettering, but we’re back and ready to talk at you about what's on our minds at any given time! For this newsletter, we wanted to spotlight some of our favorite independent publishers from which we’ve curated a good chunk of our book selection.
AK Press, Autonomedia and PM Press are three independent presses that specifically focus on publishing radical non-fiction and fiction texts while keeping prices affordable. Our shelves are flooded with their books, so it seems fitting to give y’all an introduction to them and their visions and goals.
We have some events in the works for October so check our Instagram and check your emails for some exciting announcements coming soon!
AK Press is a worker-run collective based in California that specifically identifies with an anarchist political orientation and publishes many books on anarchism, or that are politically aligned with an anarchist ideology. They define anarchism as a means for “abolishing the state and all coercive social relations,” with the goal of creating “a society in which individuals create and control their own collective organizations to meet their social and economic needs.” “It offers a useful and instructive history of theoretical and practical experimentation by people who have worked to expand the definition of freedom itself by fighting those who violently constrain and deny it.”
AK Press attempts to practice this anarchist philosophy by being as non-hierarchical as possible within its organization, operating “without a corporate structure. No boss, no managers, no bullshit;” as well as publishing books that critique the neoliberal state and capitalist society and their multiple scaffoldings of social control. “AK Press doesn’t exist to enrich its members at the expense of consumers. We’re here to provide much needed tools for intellectual self-defense. When we call ourselves an “anarchist business” it’s with the full knowledge that the economy is not in our hands. Yet.”
The books we carry from AK Press span most of the sections of our store, from Climate Change, with “Imperiled Life: Revolution Against Climate Catastrophe,” to Black Studies with “As Black As Resistance,” to International Struggle and Solidarity with “Apartheid Israel,” and Queer Theory with “Captive Genders,” along with many more.
Autonomedia is a small, independent press based in Brooklyn that is a volunteer-run “anti-profit” radical media collective. In regards to the books it publishes, it takes a more generally leftist and interdisciplinary approach, not necessarily claiming one particular leftist political orientation, but vowing to “publish books on radical media, politics and the arts that seek to transcend party lines, bottom lines and straight lines.”
We get most of our Sylvia Federici texts from Autonomedia, like “Wages for Housework,” “Caliban and the Witch,” and “Beyond the Periphery of the Skin.” Our sections on Marxism and Histories of Capitalism are also stocked with Autonomedia texts such as “Marxism and Witchcraft,” “New Lines of Alliance,” and “Spectacular Capitalism.”
Autonomedia also publishes books by the Midnight Notes Collective which is an often-anonymous collective of radical thinkers that has been around since the 70s, that assembles books critical of Western imperialism and capitalism. Books we carry from the Midnight Notes Collective include “Midnight Oil: Work, Energy, War” and “Auroras of the Zapatistas: Local and Global Struggles of the Fourth War.”
PM Press is an independent publisher based in Oakland, California, “founded in 2007 by a small group of people with decades of publishing, media, and organizing experience,” whose “aim is to deliver bold political ideas and vital stories to all walks of life and arm the dreamers to demand the impossible.” “Our overarching goals are to destroy Capital and the State, and build a better world.
"On a more mundane, but eminently practical level, we hope that by putting out quality books in a variety of formats, styles, and genres, we might actually contribute, in some small way, in amplifying the ideas, and engaging in the practices that might actually help move us all a few steps closer.” PM Press publishes a wide range of radical and leftist books that are all intentionally affordable, intersectional, and often international in scope. Some of the PM Press books we’ve been most excited about carrying are “Pangayaw and Decolonizing Resistance: Anarchism in the Philippines,” “Venezuela Speaks! Voices from the Grassroots,” “Debt Resisters' Operations Manual,” and “Breaking the Spell: A History of Anarchist Film Makers.”
PM Press also embraces a mixed-media approach to publishing, so along with the full-length books we have in stock from them, it’s been cool to have a series of different pamphlets that are cheap, accessible, and pack a punch, such as “Self-Defense for Radicals,” “Abolish Restaurants,” Organizing Cools the Planet,” and “The Prison Industrial Complex and the Global Economy.”
While a huge part of curating our book selection comes from years of reading and engaging with different thinkers, it has also been a true blessing to be able to pull from the exciting and engaging catalogues of small radical presses such as these, that have introduced us to new titles we’re clamoring to read just as much as you are.
It feels very in the spirit of collaboration and the ever-expanding fervor of radical politics that we can work with small presses that share our commitment to seeking and creating a better world through sharing new ideas with all sorts of folks,
hopefully getting closer and closer to the not-yet-here.
WE'RE FINALLY OPENING!
On Saturday, July 17th from 6p-11p, we will be hosting our very first paper plate pizza party (4u) where we’ll offer pizza by the slice and lots of wine in various forms (you'll see when you get here).
For the rest of the weekend (possibly into Monday, who knows!) we’ll be open just in the evening, from 6pm to 11pm, offering select menu items and pizza served as whole pies.
And finally, starting Thursday, July 22nd, we will officially be open for regular hours, from 9am to 11pm.
We hope you can join us for our opening night on Saturday to celebrate the beginning of this new chapter with us! We are so excited to finally get to open our doors and to be your new space to convene, read, drink some wine, and eat some good food.
See you so soon! xx
A MAY DAY PHOTOBOOK: A MESSAGE FROM HOME
We are so excited to share with y’all our first of many book highlights that will be featured in our monthly PBB newsletters.
Jeff Clark, a brilliant book designer currently based in Michigan who primarily focuses his talents on radical texts at the margins of the publishing world, releases yearly a free May Day book in celebration of International Workers Day and in solidarity with workers’ and global liberation movements. Last year’s book was a collection of essays and prose on abolition called Cherish x Abolish, featuring writings from Ruth Wilson Gilmore, Toni Morrison, Zoe Samudzi and more.
This year’s book, A Message from Home, is a photobook showcasing the works of Miami photographer and our dear friend Terence C. Price II.
In a lot of ways, Terence is an archivist; with thoughtfulness and clarity, he insists on the longevity of fleeting moments that continue to speak endlessly to his life, family, and experiences. We sometimes question what can be truly meant by the word community, but Terence’s work, the connectivity, the mass, the collective pulsing out of the everyday moments in his photos seem to bring definition to a community usually felt in the abstraction. A Message from Home is a 160-page hardback book featuring many of Terence’s photos of everyday Black life in Miami, as well as an introduction by Zoe Samudzi titled “Against the Black Sentimental.”
In addition to having physical copies of A Message from Home available at paradis, we asked Jeff and Terence a little bit about the process of putting the book together and below you’ll find their thoughtful responses and musings.
How did the May Day series first get started?
Jeff Clark: On May 1, 2012 I published radical historian Peter Linebaugh’s Ypsilanti Vampire May Day, which is a text that attempts to correct the received history of this little town near Detroit. It was meant to be a one-off act of local pamphleteering for May Day, and we left bundles of books all over southeast Michigan. It was also meant to be a gift-economy act, a f*ck-you to for-profit, “serious" publishing. I edited and designed the book myself, and put the printing on my credit card. The experience was so fun—and strange—that I did another free May Day book the following year . . .
What inspired you to collaborate with each other for this year's May Day book?
JC: Last year someone showed me a photograph on Instagram of a hand holding the 2020 May Day book, Cherish x Abolish, in front of the sea. I remember kind of choking up, maybe because the ocean near LA was one of my only reliable solaces as a kid, but also because the photograph was so beautiful, and technically skilled? And it was a reminder that our primary dream in creating—to communicate, to connect, to share—is often realized with strangers we’ll never find out about, let alone get to meet. But Terence and I were able to connect, and eventually my heart started to whisper to me that the 2021 May Day book could maybe be a book of his photographs.
Terence Price II: I received a book put together by Jeff for May Day 2020 titled "Cherish x Abolish". The book came to me during the early stages of the pandemic, and I was really looking for something to dive into. The book was neatly designed with an image of Toni Morrison getting down on the cover. I kept wondering how other folks felt when they received their May Day book, and if they smiled as hard as I did after realizing who was on the cover. Jeff reached out to me at the end of last year with the opportunity of working together for the 10th May Day release and I was screaming for 2 days before replying with my decision. I couldn't think of a better way to give back to something that I cherish so much -- my community.
What is your favorite moment to photograph when shooting around Miami? What about when shooting your family?
TP: I love taking long walks with my camera and just being ready for whatever moves me in that moment. When I first started taking photos, I would go out with a plan to capture specific things, but as I got older in my craft I realized the world doesn't really work like that. So I try to be as free as possible with my photo choices. When it comes to shooting my family, I try to capture the moments that will show the next generation that we cared for each other.
How is this book different from the previous years' book?
JC: Cherish x Abolish dealt with rebellion, abolition, revolution by assembling a bunch of written texts together. A Message from Home, on the other hand, is an art book, so its approach to depicting/describing the revolution of everyday Black life is visual, pictorial.
What is the question you wish you were asked more often as a photographer?
TP: Great Question! I wish people would ask a cheesy question like "If you could spend a day with a photographer, who would it be?" I would say Gordon Parks. We don't even have to take a single image, just have a whole day of talking.
What was your favorite part of putting this year's May Day book together?
JC: Getting to work with Terence and Zoé, both of whom I’ve grown to love via spending time with their work, has been a dream. Organizing a project with people you deeply admire and respect is heaven on earth. But to describe a specific area of the project that’s captivated me: at some point I realized I’d developed an imaginary relationship with NW 170th Street. I’ve even kind of hung out there in my daydreams, I've seen Terence with his camera, his comrades and loved ones. And even though I’ve never been to Miami, I can be there now, thanks to these photographs. So maybe that’s what’s going on—getting to be with loved ones I can’t be with, and getting to visit places I’ve never been to.
TP: My favorite part about putting this book together was working with Jeff. Everything was well thought out and it was a pleasure to see it all being put together piece by piece. I can get wrapped up in my head sometimes and Jeff really made it easy to get from point A to B. Knowing that someone you never met before cared so much for your process as much as their own, left me feeling very loved.
We don't seek to craft an ode to spectacular greatness or inaccessible performances of 'excellence', or a demand to be made known and *properly* understood. We seek to register, rather, the kinds of beautifully quiet, mundane images that emit the 'sonic frequencies of the quotidian practices of black communities'; images that stimulate curiosity, familiarity, a tinge of sadness, a heartstring tug, a chuckle, a throb of rage"
- excerpted from the Introduction by Zoe Samudzi
Hello & happy Spring! We're getting pretty antsy to invite you into our space, but in the meantime, we’re incredibly excited about these announcements! PARADIS WINE CLUB SIGN UPS ARE OPEN! Slots are limited for our inaugural wine club. First wine pick up date will be announced soon, so sign up and secure your spot! INTRODUCING OUR VIRTUAL LENDING LIBRARY! While we get the physical space ready for y'all, we're excited to offer an online library selection of books you can borrow for free.
"Soft Club" is a great option for folks who want more of an introduction to natural wine - who want some wines that are delicious, straight-forward, affordable, and fun. "Serious Club" is perfect for folks who are ready to nerd out with us about wine, and are willing to tuck some away in their wine fridge. If you’re looking for special occasion wines, or just for really interesting wines you’ve maybe never had the chance to try before, this club is definitely for you.
The first 10 people to sign up for our first wine club will receive a FREE paradis books & bread tote bag! If you are not one of the first 10 to sign up, worry not! Everyone who signs up for wine club gets a complimentary PBB wine glass you'll get to show off to all your friends. All members are invited to a monthly wine tasting at our shop featuring wine club selections, sharing information on everything and anything you’d want to know about them. First wine club pick up will be in May or early June, so make sure to sign up and secure your spot for the first drop! We want the wine club to be an educational experience, giving anyone who wants to learn
the access and ability to expand their wine knowledge. We hope you’ll join a wine club, so
we can explore some truly amazing wines together in the future!
Our online library features some of our absolute favorite books, and those we find to be particularly important to our political education. We’re offering these selections to borrow completely free of charge. All you have to do is fill out this form with your name, email address, and the books you’d like to borrow (please limit to 2 books at a time, and 3 week due date), and we will follow up with you regarding pick up or delivery. Library is available only to local South Floridians for the time being! The PBB library is going to be a mainstay of our book program, and we’re looking forward to getting it started in this way. In the future, you’ll find our library on a few shelves inside of our space, but for now, you can visit our website to check out the selection! We want to encourage earnest and critical engagement with our books, not necessarily agreement or disagreement, but a pursuit of endlessly ongoing learning.
We hope this library is of use to you, and will only grow from here.
We are a bookstore, bakery, wine bar & shop opening in North Miami, FL opening this summer. We’ve always envisioned PBB as an intimate, communal space for folks to enjoy plenty of books, food, and wine, and vaccine rollout permitting,
we will be able to realize that dream real soon.
The daytime and nighttime menus at PBB will be centered around our naturally leavened sourdough bread, which we’ve been making for the better part of a decade now. Think sandwiches, bar snacks, and pizza. Our wines will be selected with care, intention, and accessibility of price in mind.
We have a lot of love and respect for well-made wines and the wine-makers who produce them, and we hope to engage with them in a way that’s as approachable as possible, breaking away from the elitism and exclusivity of the wine world. We love learning about, talking about, and drinking about natural wine, and we want y’all to be able to enjoy it with us.
Miami already has a sort of DIY reading culture held together by book shares, book clubs, and zine fairs, sharing and enjoying books with a commitment to learning together despite the obvious dirth of independent bookstores and institutions attempting to serve them. We hope our shop can help build a structure of support around these projects, providing books known and loved as well as new and challenging to the eager readers here.
We’ve put together a curated selection of new and used books from writers of Black Studies, Queer Theory, Indigenous Studies, Political Theory, Latin American Studies, Fiction, Poetry, + + + + . Readers will also have access to a small but extensive library program, making a selection of books available to borrow for free.
We’re excited to have y’all in our space sometime soon, and as eventual subjects in the space together, we want to make explicitly clear the sorts of mutual care we will be attempting within it. PBB will be deeply committed to an ongoing practice of harm reduction, and will do our part to welcome and care for marginalized folks within our community and beyond. Racism, homophobia, sexism, transphobia, ableism, xenophobia and other forms of harm and/or oppression will not be tolerated within our space, and we will intervene with care if and when these forms of harm occur.
This also extends specifically to the normalized way in which service industry workers at all levels are expected to endure harmful treatment, maintained by the culture and structure of the food industry and its clientele. We encourage you to give service industry workers anywhere the same level of respect we will be asking from our customers.
paradis books & bread is an experiment, an attempt at something,
an everyday practice, and we’re curious and excited to see how it goes.