Friday, June 22, 2007


Zack Parsons knows nothing about Miami.

It's not surprising - Miami is a tourist destination. The superficial impression of the city one might get from a cursory visit must surely be far different from the feel a months-long resident has. Hate, resentment, and disgust are among the elements of that feel, if you were wondering.

Miami is not full of old people. That's northern Florida.

Miami sucks.

South Beach is a tiny, relatively insignificant part of Miami, which itself is just one city in Florida, which is just one state in the US, and, well, you see where this is going. Club life does not dominate Miami as much as, well, poverty.

Miami really sucks.

In other news, I think I could pass the doctoral comps in philosophy at Villanova University right now. This does not mean they are easy, just that I have somehow, accidentally, read all the major works by all the major philosophers. Hm.


At 9:19 PM, August 07, 2007 , Anonymous Anonymous said...


Forget Will Smith's 1998 hit "Miami", forget Miami Vice and forget
those glossy images of Miami Beach......

In reality, there are 2 versions of Miami: there's the Miami you see
on TV, which is mostly Miami Beach, then there's the rest of Miami - a
bland, urban landscape littered with apartment buildings that look
like cheap motels, gas stations, tacky strip malls, Publix
supermarkets (Publix are the only real chain here), endless fast food
restaurants, warehouses and cheap looking business parks. The version
of Miami you don't see on the TV is version 2 (an urban wasteland),
where poverty, crime and inequality are rife and where the streets are
literally choked with traffic. If you're poor, you'll live in a shack
or an efficiency, or if you're lucky, you'll live in one of those
apartment buildings that look like cheap motels with tiny windows and
no view. There is no middle class here anymore, but if you have a
little money, you'll probably have paid over $400k for a box-like
house, somewhere in the depths of Kendall or Homestead on SW 2,005,442
Street and 1,245,667 Ave, dealing with a 2 hour commute every day.

You're led to believe that Miami is some sort of tropical paradise,
full of beautiful beaches, great nightlife, great women and that Miami
is simply bubbling with culture. Sure, it has palm trees and the
nightlife is great, if you're prepared to shell out well over $200 to
go to one of the clubs on South Beach. Miami is no paradise though -
in fact, it's about as far from being a "paradise" as you can get.
You'd think that with the tropical climate, people would have
beautiful and lush gardens, but in reality, people here tear down
trees and plants and replace them with asphalt and concrete. Miami is
no paradise - it has become a third world banana republic that broke
away from the United States a long time ago.

Miami is a city with some of the worst traffic in North America. The
roads here are inadequate, sub standard and generally f**ked up.
Construction here takes 1,000 times longer than it does in the rest of
the United States. Drivers here are amongst the rudest in the
country. Not only are the drivers here rude, but they're downright
reckless too. They drive like maniacs in their Ford F150s, Dodge Rams
or Honda Civics, with reggaeton blasting. This is a city with far too
many "hit and run" type accidents - in other words, not only will they
run you over, but they'll drive off, because that's what cowardly
bastards do. But you only have to look at how easy the driving test
is here and how they hand out licenses to anyone, even non-legal
aliens who probably have no concept of what an expressway is.

For a metropolitan area of well over 5 million people, public
transportation here is nothing short of a joke. You have one MetroRail
line going north to south and it doesn't even serve anywhere west of
the airport (where the bulk of the population of Dade County live).
You're forced to use your car because there's no other choice, unless
you just so happen to live close to the Metro Rail, or can afford one
of those overly priced condos in Brickell (south of Downtown).

Customer service in general here is far worse than ANYWHERE in the
United States and there's a general lack of quality and efficiency
here that commonplace in the rest of this great country. Many people
in this city are simply out to rip you of, including mechanics,
doctors, vets and dentists. During the 4 years that I've lived here,
I have never encountered so many shady so-called health professionals
as I have here in Miami. As for customer service, forget it, unless
you speak fluent ghetto-Spanish. It's got to the point where I drive
up to West Palm Beach (a good 2 hour drive) in order to get good
customer service (West Palm Beach feels like part of the United
States, unlike Miami-Dade).

As for Miami being paradise, I suggest that if you're staying in Miami
Beach, take a drive across the causeway and you'll stumble upon the
"urban wasteland" that I despise so much. There is truly nothing here
- nothing in terms of parks, museums or infrastructure. Take a drive
through Hialeah, Opa Locka, anywhere "NW" or Overtown and you'll feel
like you're either in a slum part of Tijuana, a run down part of
Kingston, Jamaica or a miscellaneous Latin American hell-hole.

Don't get me started on Downtown Miami either - the place is a mess.
You'd think that for such an "important" city, it'd have at least a
decent-looking Downtown. Miami's Downtown looks like something out of
a zombie movie - deserted after 7pm, full of beggars and vagrants and
downright dangerous. There's no real retail, other than a Macy's and
hundreds of cheap electrical and luggage stores run by shady people.
I don't blame the homeless for being there - they have nowhere else
to. Housing here is completely unaffordable, at best, because Miami
is a city for the rich.

The new condo buildings here are nothing short of a disgrace. They are
poorly designed, bland and they all look the same as the next condo.
It's sad that this city's skyline will be shaped by bland condo
buildings for decades to come - condo buildings that may not even sell
as the condo boom will surely go bust at some point. It seems that
this city builds and builds and builds without giving thought to
investing in transport infrastructure or helping its real citizens
that are the bread and butter of its economy. All the "boom' is doing
is driving up the cost of housing even further, flooding the market
with housing stock that it doesn't need, when it really needs
affordable housing stock.

Let's take a realistic look at Miami's often hyped skyline. The
skyline looks pretty at times (especially at night), but there are
basically just two tall office buildings Downtown (one is extremely
ugly, i.e. the Bank Of America Tower). You have the Four Seasons Tower
in Brickell, but that's just a plain old "box". The rest of the
skyline is littered with condominiums that are all carbon copies of
the next condominium - how interesting, huh?

You have a genuine lack of zoning in Miami, hence the fact that
despite having a (run down) Downtown district, there is no real
commercial center and business are spread out randomly across the
city, which probably doesn't help the traffic problem.

An article on [ stated that more people are fleeing
South Florida than are coming here and that's an indication of how fed
up people are with this place and it's unjustly high cost of living.
This is a city where incomes are amongst the lowest in the United
States while more of your salary will go on housing (rent or mortgage
payments) than anywhere else in the country. I wouldn't mind such a
high cost of living if I was living in Manhattan, LA, Paris or London
but not in Miami - an overbuilt swamp town at the ass-end of Florida.
In reality, Miami is no more "special" than anywhere else in Florida,
i.e. Jacksonville, Tampa and Orlando and to be honest, I'd rather live
in any of those cities because at least I'd get my money's worth.

The climate is what brings a lot of people here, but the climate
sucks. For six months of the year, it rains more than it rains in
Seattle. You have the risk of being hit by a hurricane too and this
place has flooded more times than I care to remember. If so much as a
tropical storm hits, it renders thousands of people without power for
sometimes as long as 5 weeks. If a hurricane hits, forget it - the
weak-ass power grid just crumbles. Then you have the constant humidity
and the many bugs that are only too eager to bite.

Corruption is rife here, but the people seem to continue to vote for
the same inadequate, corrupt politicians. This is a city where
millions of dollars assigned to affordable housing projects
mysteriously "disappears". This is a city where greedy developers
line the pockets of politicians to get their projects approved. This
is a city where third world mentality prevails, including corruption
(something you'd be used to in a country like Colombia, but not in the
United States).

The biggest problem with Miami though is the people. I can honestly
say that I have NEVER seen such a high percentage of complete and
utter scumbags of the worst kind contained in one metropolitan area.
Miami has a prevailing "ghetto" attitude, whether rich or poor. Many
people here not only can't speak English, but many refuse to speak
English and refuse to assimilate into mainstream American society. I
have found the majority of people in Miami to be shallow, superficial
(even more so than Los Angeles), loud, obnoxious, rude and
manipulative. This city is full of liars, cheats and thieves of the
lowest form - thieves who will steal bottled water from an old lady
(my mother in law, for instance). The Latin races here generally hate
one another, i.e. Cubans hate Puerto Ricans, Puerto Ricans hate
Cubans, Cubans hate Nicaraguans, etc, etc, etc. Not only that, but I
find many Latinos here to be extremely racist towards black people.
I've mentioned the drivers here, but I'll mention them again - they
suck. I've experienced a lot of road rage here first hand and I see
absolutely horrible and reckless driving on a daily basis on my
commute to work. At work, there is no professionalism and the ghetto
culture has well and truly infested the workplace. Most jobs
advertised here require you to be bilingual (Spanish), which is a joke
considering that this is the United States. Some of the Latinos here
take pride in the fact that they've driven the "gringos' away. Many
think that Americans are dull and boring and somehow inferior to
them. However, many of the people are no different from your average
piece of trailer trash; just replace country music with reggaeton and
Budweiser with Presidente. People here in general are extremely
uneducated and boy, it shows! Most of the morons here have probably
never even read a book and probably never will, unless Daddy Yankee
releases an autobiography with lots of pretty pictures in it. In
short, Miami is just one big sprawling ghetto, filled with people that
are quite simply the lowest of the low. Humanity doesn't exist here -
you could be dying in the street and no one would stop to help you.
Most people here don't have money, but they love to pretend that they
do, driving expensive cars, living it large on South Beach, while
still living with their parents and countless other family members in
a two bedroom apartment in Hialeah. I honestly don't know what's
worse here - the rich, or the wannabe rich. People here are all about
"me, me, me", hence the fact that I often call this place "MiaME".

As for solutions to solve Miami's problems - well, let's just say that
I am open to other people's opinions here. To solve the problems in
Miami, you'd probably have to kick out 80% of the population and
replace them with good, honest, educated and hard working Americans.
In all seriousness, a good start would be investing heavily in
transport infrastructure, affordable housing projects and creating
parks and other recreational areas. I would also clamp down on
reckless drivers and I'd introduce a mandatory life sentence for
causing death by "hit and run". I would install speed cameras on
major highways and traffic cameras on major intersections. I would
make English MANDATORY and I would not allow employers to advertise
jobs with "bilingual" as a requirement, unless it's a multi-national
firm. I would give companies financial incentives to relocate
Downtown and speaking of Downtown Miami, I'd encourage development
there in terms of retail malls, cinemas and department stores.
Unfortunately, the "me me me" attitude prevails here as does the
ghetto attitude, so I don't see things improving anytime soon.

I know that many will attack me for these opinions on such a highly
regarded place, but I don't care. I live here and work here and I
write this based on not only my opinion, but the opinion of many
others who have lived here all their life and hate Miami with a
passion. Sure, this is a great "party city", but it's not such a great
place to live for many people here who are struggling with the high
(and ever increasing) cost of living. To me, Miami seems like it's
rotten to the core and maybe even beyond repair. Miami has no soul or
vibe - it's just a big over-sized ghetto wasteland / South Florida
swamp town, filled with America's least desirable people


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