Lazaro Mendez was born in 1971, sadly he had a rare muscular disorder that caused his baby legs to be deformed. The Doctor told the dismal diagnosis to the parents; the child would likely never walk again, he would lie in bed and have to fed and changed every day for the rest of his life. Benita, his mother, simply refused to believe this, she mustered all her love and faith and she made a promise to “San Lazaro” right there, that if her son walked, she would wear only burlap clothes for a year.
From the time Lazaro was just 3 months old to 12 years, he endured a total of 17 surgeries, the odds were always against him and the surgeries were painful but Benita and little Lazarito battled through all the hardships. Slowly he started to improve, by age 3 Lazaro stood for the first time and by age 7 he took his first steps all on his own, his mother bursted in tears and never forgot her “promesa”. She sewed her own burlap outfits and wore them for a year. Even after the surgeries he had to do a lot of therapy and walk with a cane and leg braces. He spent a lot of his childhood inside and even when he went to school, kids would make fun of his leg braces.
Music became his escape, after his last surgery he asked his parents for a turntable DJ set for Christmas, with a lot of sacrifice his parents got it for him. As other kids played outside, his legs were still healing so he spent his time perfecting his DJ skills in his room. When his parents divorced, the family’s financial situation was rough; his mom was working grueling 12 hours shifts six days a week as a housekeeper.
Although just a boy, he was desperate to help, to be a man. He managed to get a job at radio station HOT105 and eventually got his first gig as a DJ, he was just 14 years old. He was given a shot to prove himself at the famous Club Strawberries in east Hialeah. He was so nervous that the manager doubted if he could even go on stage but he closed his eyes and thought of his mother, of her unwillingness to give up on him, of her love. He opened his eyes and took the first step into becoming a Miami legend, the king of Miami Bass, DJ Laz. 💛💜💛

Who’s ready to party themselves into shape? See you on the dance floor 💃🏻💃🏻💃🏻 #MyPrideHialeah

#Repost @cityofhialeah with @get_repost
Artists are given a choice for their piece: Frenzy or Calm! Which would you choose?
This month's exhibit theme will be one to remember! @milandercenter will be divided; on one side, tremendo alboroto! On the other, calma.
Visit our Facebook event page to sign up 🎨
#MyPrideHialeah #iheARThialeah #CallToArtists

Artists are given a choice for their piece: Frenzy or Calm! Which would you choose?
This month's exhibit theme will be one to remember! @milandercenter will be divided; on one side, tremendo alboroto! On the other, calma.
Visit our Facebook event page to sign up 🎨
#MyPrideHialeah #iheARThialeah #CallToArtists

It was the summer of 1971 and our city was buzzing with excitement; Hialeah was getting ready for the much anticipated Grand Opening of Westland Mall. Our mall might look a bit small by today’s standards but at the time it was just the second mall in Dade County. (Dadeland was first). It was anchored by a pre-existing Burdines on one end, a JC Penney in the middle and a Sears on the opposite end, it also had a cafeteria and a popular Farrell’s Ice Cream Parlor.
47 years later Westland Mall is still growing and changing along side our city, the mall has benefited from being located in the second most densely populated city in Florida. Today the mall hosts over 100 stores like trendy H&M, G by Guess, Tous and Express; it’s also home to 18 restaurants like “Los Ranchos”, Lizarran and Cuban Guys.
While other malls have seen declines in revenue and traffic, Westland Mall has a fiercely loyal costumer base that drive sales above US averages, an estimated 10K-12K people visit the mall daily. In 2005 Burdines changed its name to Macy’s and in 2007 the mall was sold to Westfield Group, who changed the name to Westfield, a change most locals ignored. The mall was sold again in 2012 to Starwood Group, who quickly changed the name back to Westland.
Change is inevitable, especially in retail; I still fondly remember some of my favorite establishments that are now long gone like Farrell’s, Fun-O-Rama and the Warner Bros store. What are some of your favorite memories of Westland? #hialeah

Hey there golfers! Remember to tag your pictures📲 #MyPrideHialeah

If you want some of the most authentic Italian food in town then you need to visit Domenico’s Italian Restaurant right on the border between Hialeah and Miami-Lakes. Open since 2005, this family owned restaurant takes great pride in their craft; they make almost everything from scratch using old family recipes.
The Maurici family hails from southern Italy, specifically “Cittanova”, a city well known for their delicious cuisine 🇮🇹. You can try seafood and pasta dishes like “Pasta Alla Frutti di Mare”, they also have tasty Calzones and Stromboli and of course pizza 🍕 thin crusted and baked to perfection.
The restaurant itself is quaint with old pictures and a full-size oven, it has a family vibe and its fairly spacious. Originally the owner used to be on the Hialeah side when he owned Salvatore pizza, not sure why there was a split but all I know, is that we now have even more pizza choices and that’s always a good thing! Speaking of which the owner told me that they are very close to opening a second restaurant in Hialeah Gardens as well 😋. I have a soft spot for @dipiazzaspizza In my heart 💗 but these guys are a great choice when you are this far out west, what’s your favorite pizzeria in Hialeah? #hialeah🍕

The legendary Hialeah Speedway was one of the most memorable landmarks of our city, on a Saturday night you could hear the roar of the engines from miles away. It was built in 1954 when Hialeah still had plenty of cheap land, even though it was in the middle of nowhere without A/C, full of mosquitos, gators and snakes but “If you build it, they will come” and come they did! In its heyday it was considered one of the most popular and challenging tracks in the country.
These daredevils were not Nascar drivers though, these drivers were tough, they often build their own cars using junkyard parts and raced not for sponsors but for glory. The speedway had a figure 8 (see pic #2), they raced motorcycles and even school busses! 🚌Families made it a ritual to go to the weekly races and drivers came from all across the country to try their skills.
The popularity of stock car racing waned in the 90’s and with the housing boom, the 33 acres lot on which it was located became worth a small fortune (Literally), the owners decided to sell in 05 to developers. Today a Lowe’s Home center, a Target and an Applebee replaced the once glorious track and not much remains of its past except memories and small mural inside the Applebee’s where they celebrate the Speedway’s history. #hialeah🚗

A day spent poolside with family...what could be better? #MyPrideHialeah

Stepping into “La Tijera de Oro” is an experience unto itself, to say it is a crowed space would be a compliment, it is borderline claustrophobic. They carry almost everything you could possibly think of when it comes to beauty supplies, small household appliances and all imaginable sorts of little things, almost like a treasure hunt. It is laid out in an old school “Ferreteria” style, everything is hanging from the walls, on the floor and on every nook. It truly looks and feels like time just stopped in the store, even the invoices are done by hand.
However “La Tijera” is well known by all hair dressers and manicurists as they are one of the last (Perhaps the last) establishments that sharpen scissors, clippers and any sharp tools in all of Dade County, an almost forgotten trade nowadays. You can find that “Cafetera” rubber seal or just a rice cooker handle by itself, a rare yet useful selection of household trinkets.
Will small family owned mom and pop stores like this one survive the age of Walmart and online giant Amazon? I don’t know, but I sure hope so, they are a little slice of authentic Hialeah and part of what makes our city such a unique place. #hialeah✂️

Miami’s food scene is exploding, celebrity Chefs, exotic culinary fusions and stylish ocean front locations; it’s really becoming a foodie destination. So when Yelp’s top 100 places to eat in the USA came out you would expect to see these fancy places but instead you got Franky’s Deli, a small unpretentious family owned sandwich shop in the middle of a warehouse district in Hialeah.
Franky’s Deli opened in 1999 almost 20 years ago, Franky used to train Subway franchise owners and his wife worked for UPS, together they have built one of the most consistently high rated restaurant in Dade County. Now if you have never been there, you are probably wondering if all the hype is for real, after all is just a deli right? The secret of Franky’s is that from the moment you step inside, a warm smile greets you, they love to talk about deli meats and cheeses. They are passionate about making the best sandwiches they can, seriously some of their meats come from as far as Chicago and New York, bread is made locally and fresh every day, Franky even uses an old school double press technique, an almost forgotten style of true sandwich art. Try the #1 “Famous Italian”, delicious! I heard that’s one of local rapper Flo Rida favorites, he is a frequent patron here as well.
From truly superb costumer service, reasonable prices and sandwiches that need to be taste to understand how amazing they are, they have it all. Franky’s might be a simple Deli, in a modest location but this pop and mom shop is powered by love, the owners pour their heart and soul into this place and it shows, a most deserved spot in Yelp’s top 100. #hialeah🍔

The names of Hialeah’s earliest pioneers can be seen in our streets and our schools, like the visionary “Curtiss” and fearless “Graham” but sadly you won’t find the name “Glick” anywhere, she was a resilient woman who had an equal impact in our city but history has all but forgotten her. I consider her to be Hialeah’s overlooked founding mother.
Mrs. Mary Glick was a young widow when she bravely packed her stuff and left Pittsburgh with her two young sons in 1922, she came to what was back then a patch of wilderness known as Hialeah. She had a lot of audacity and pioneering grit and she would need both. Life in the early days of our city was harsh, especially for a single mother, but she was the kind of woman who would chase off a full grown alligator off her front porch to protect her kids.
She was tough alright but also a savvy entrepreneur. She founded the first restaurant, first hotel and first meat market in Hialeah. In fact her hotel called “Glick Hotel” was the first two stories building in the city. It was at her restaurant that famous aviator Amelia Earhart ate her last meal. The specialty of the house was duck; she raised them in the back of the hotel where she had to fight off hungry gators and bob cats during flood season.
The 1926 hurricane nearly wiped her out financially but she began rebuilding again without despair, instead she doubled down her work load and persevered. Over the years she acquired many properties including laundries, liquor stores and bought old houses and fixed them up herself. She had a tough exterior but inside had a soft spot for those down on their luck, she quietly gave away many free meals and rooms. What she may have lacked in education and charm, she more than made up for it with strength and kindness. Her kids moved to wealthier Miami Springs but she never left Hialeah, like a selfless mother, she loved this city unconditionally, always. ❤️

Mae M. Walters Elementary is one of the oldest schools in our city and the first public school on the West side of Hialeah, today it hosts students from Pre-K to 5th grade. It opened its doors in 1954, two years before its neighbor Henry H. Filer Middle school. Originally it was a segregated whites-only school but today it has a student body that’s over 90% Hispanic. The school colors are hunter green and khaki, the school mascot is the eagle 🦅.
Initially the school was named “West Hialeah” but it was changed to Mae M. Walters in 1955 after the school’s very first Principal. She was a beloved teacher for over 25 years and one of the first female school Principals in Dade County; sadly she passed away after a battle with cancer just a year after the school opened. In 2015 the Dolphins organization took part in a beautification project that helped the school improve its appearance. What class were you? #hialeah🦅

Thank you to everyone who came to @milandercenter to flamingle with artists and community members. Stay tuned for the next gallery theme, which will be announced sooner than you think!
Visit our Facebook page for the full photo album.
#MyPrideHialeah #iheARThialeah

@dickssportinggoods is proud to sponsor this year’s Golf Tournament ⛳️ to help benefit the numerous programs in our Parks & Recreations Dept. They’re also providing #Hialeah residents with this amazing offer to use at their store! Don’t miss this great opportunity to grab all of your favorite sporting gear at an amazing price. #MyPrideHialeah

Congratulations to my two Divas!!! They did an amazing bod today... 1st place, 1st place overall and 5 starts ⭐️ #starpowerdancecompetition #dancecostume #gems #mypridehialeah #goodletgems

Congratulations to my two Divas!!! They did an amazing bod today... 1st place, 1st place overall and 5 starts ⭐️ #starpowerdancecompetition #dancecostume #gems #mypridehialeah #goodletgems

Doors have just opened at @milandercenter, come flamingle with us! #MyPrideHialeah #iheARThialeah

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