Miami has a very strange character. On the one hand, you have the models and the ultra-hip partying at South Beach. And on the other hand, you have the Cubans.
The Cubans form a sufficiently large group in Miami to significantly influence the landscape of the city. Little Havana is where many Cuban shops and restaurants are located, but clusters of Cuban activity can be found in other parts of the city have too (or at least at the parts that we travelled to).
The motel we found is also located in a Cuban neighbourhood and looked like a direct import from the country, complete with foreign-looking hotel managers. Along the street leading to the motel are a Cuban and a Peruvian restaurant, a dingy, run down food mart, strange offices with no windows and grungy, low-level buildings. Signs posted on restaurant windows were in Spanish and even the menus were first in Spanish, then English. Some of the staff at a nearby fastfood restaurant couldn't even speak English.
The whole you-are-in-Cuba get-up was so convincing that one morning, I found myself wondering why our cabby had an American accent, before I snapped to reality and remembered, well, duh, I was in America after all.