Maximo Gomez Park walkway

Today we went to Maximo Gomez Domino Park on the famous Calle Ocho in Miami, FL. I don’t know why this street is so famous (it looks just like any street in my city, but hey, who am I to judge.) When I was about to walk into the park I accidentally bumped into a guy. Good thing I did because I felt a little lost and he was super nice, which made me very comfortable. His name was Michael Sanchez and he’s a 16-year-old high school student. He was there with his father, Eric Sanchez, a lieutenant in the navy. He told me that his family had to move around a lot, but his dad was going to retire from the military soon and they moved to Miami where his grandparents live. I thought it was cool that the family moved to Miami to be so close to the grandparents. I’m close to my grandpa Mack, so I understand how the family felt.

After about 20 minutes of chatting, we finally went into the park. This is a cool place to live near because there is so much to do. It was not at all the type of park I thought it was going to be.  When we got there all I saw were table after table of people playing dominos.     Ninety-nine percent of the people there were older Cuban men, some women but not that many.  It was intense play, and from what I heard, they can be sitting there for hours!  I also saw some of the men get pretty feisty during several passionate games. It was to the point where they were yelling at it other. It was crazy! I also noticed a lot of tourists were there watching and taking pictures.  This was something most people haven’t seen before including me.

People playing dominoes at Maximo Gomez park

There was an empty table so Michael and I friends grabbed it.  We started playing and stayed there for hours.  It was interesting to watch Michael play. He didn’t just lay down pieces and go. There was some skill involved as he kept track of what pieces were already on the table and what pieces everyone else was playing. Michael won 3 out of 5 games. I was proud to have won two, so no complaints here. He was really good.  During one of our games a security guard had to go over to another table and calm things down. Also, there is no smoking at the park.  A big fight almost started when one guy sat down at a table smoking a cigar.  This lady started yelling at him about smoking and almost everyone else backed her up pointing to the signs and fusing in English and Spanish about how wrong he was.

When the sun was going down, it was time to go home.  We had been out there all day and I was tired but I had a good time. I made sure to get Michael’s number, so if grandpa Mack and I are ever in Miami again we can challenge Michael and his grandpa to a game of dominoes.