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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, February 26, 2006

Miami Is Dirty?!?

(More ongoing commentary from the hostessing threads. See below to be enlightened)

To my utter, utter horror, when I was driving the kids in my mum's car from the airport, the adults having gone in my father's car (since it's bigger, and newer) up ahead, I asked the kids when they had been to Miami before.

"Two years ago", they replied in unison, and in near-perfect English, by the way.

"Ah great. What is your first impression now, then?", I queried, friendly-like.

They didn't reply quickly, but then the middle kid, Lorenzo, piped up.

"Miami is more dirty." The others nodded.

WHAT!!

Now, as you know, one of the greatest pleasures I have on Sundries, is to offer you my travellogue vistas of South Florida, as a kind of vicarious, and yappy tourist guide to Blogosphere.

And obviously, I offer you the best.

I have yet to show you a slum, although allow me to rectify that immediately.

This is the closest thing to a slum we have, outside of Liberty City, which few pigment-challenged folk like me enter, even during daylight.



Now I know what you're thinking:

Hey, this is a slum? With the pretty palm trees and manicured grass??

Yes. It's not far away from the Car Wash, either. Heck, it's on the cusp of being in Coral Gables, the finest neighbourhood here.

But ghetto it is, definitely.

This I am used to, and being a local and all, I don't even give it a second thought.

But we didn't pass by this area at all today, so it can't have been that.

Then, I took off the rose-tinted glasses I wear about South Florida, and decided to verify for myself, if what these babes had said, was true.

Was Miami dirtier these days?

Well, Miami Beach is no guide to go on, since "the twenty most exciting blocks in the world" are cleaned and prepped for tourists, to within an inch of their lives.

But then, I did see this sight, close to Little Havana.



Like when you buy a new car, and suddenly all you see around you, is that make and model, I had an awful realisation that indeed, Miami was a bit dirtier in certain areas, than I had remembered it.

It's no excuse that those are poorer areas.

It didn't used to be this way!

Now, I don't know how you are, but when I see something which I dislike, I don't just whinge about it, without doing anything.

So I have resolved that first thing Monday, when I have put them on their way to Dinsey World, I will ring up 311, the Miami-Dade County government hotline, and complain.

And keep complaining. And complaining.

Until I see an improvement in this beautiful city, rubbish-wise. Or else.

Mayor Manny Diaz, you are going to get an earful Monday, mijito!

P.S.: Calling all Babalubloggers. All Roberts. And Joses! ...come join me in taking a bite out of grime.

Pero es que Mee-ami está mas cochino que la Bahia de los Cochinos. Que asco, ick.

5 Comments:

  • Those kids are right! While growing up in Miami, I don't recall anyone ever throwing anything out their car window. Lately, hardly a week goes by when I don't see people throwing cigarretes and other junk out on the streets! I hate to generalize, but it seems a lot of newcomers to our wonderful city have not learned the local rules.

    By Blogger Jose Aguirre, at Sun Feb 26, 02:33:00 pm GMT-5  

  • Those kids are right!

    Boo!

    While growing up in Miami, I don't recall anyone ever throwing anything out their car window.

    Many reasons, of course, but that's because your generation grew up in the shadows of the "Weeping Indian" Keep America Beautiful campaign.

    I wish we had something similar, these days.

    Lately, hardly a week goes by when I don't see people throwing cigarretes and other junk out on the streets!

    I'm afraid that could be right.

    In my condo, I have noticed a lot of fag ends (or what you call cigarette butts), on the floor.

    It's even been addressed by the condo board...

    I hate to generalize, but it seems a lot of newcomers to our wonderful city have not learned the local rules.

    Believe me, I know that's right.

    When I used to come to Mee-ami, back in the late 80s and 90s, Little Havana was still almost 100% Cuban-American.

    Now, well...it's not.

    It's closer to being Little Central America, than anything with un sazon Cubano.

    Back then, Little Havana was not pristine -- but it had a certain middle-class insistence on decency, which includes cleanliness.

    Not now, boy, not now.

    Diff'rent strokes...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 27, 01:45:00 am GMT-5  

  • OK Victoria, I'm on the bandwagon.

    I appreciate the measured comments pertaining to our city's cleanliness (or lack thereof). Little Havana is dirtier than in the past, for all the reasons Jose and Victoria mentioned.

    Generally, I don't think Miami (I'm talking about the entire area, not just the city proper) has a big "dirtiness" problem, only certain areas. Then again, I live in Kendall where litter is more exception than rule.

    By Blogger Robert, at Mon Feb 27, 02:37:00 pm GMT-5  

  • OK Victoria, I'm on the bandwagon.

    My mother called them today, to voice our collective concerns.

    (See, her German accented voice is, however, American, and knowing Miami-Dade Govt well, I know they get all uppity when you are British, and criticising stuff. Like, who do you think you are? as one person told me once)

    I appreciate the measured comments pertaining to our city's cleanliness (or lack thereof).

    Well, as you know, I see Miami through rose-tinted glasses, but if progress and betterment is often only done when you address the negative, as well as praising the positive.

    Little Havana is dirtier than in the past, for all the reasons Jose and Victoria mentioned.

    Yeah. :(

    We also have a gang presence here, now, because of that same demographic...mind you, unlike LA and NYC, they are tiny and very little felt by the rest of us, because it's so new and relatively isolated.

    But still.

    Cubans came here to Miami to better it, not to leave it in rags, like a latter-day Bronx...

    It's hard not to sound upset, and partisan, but that's how I see it.

    Generally, I don't think Miami (I'm talking about the entire area, not just the city proper) has a big "dirtiness" problem, only certain areas.

    Correct.

    This is why my eagle-eyes didn't see it as these kids who had been gone for two years, did.

    Then again, I live in Kendall where litter is more exception than rule.

    Yes, but near Pinecrest, which is close to you, and even more of an upper-middle class area, it is bad.

    And Country Walk, is FILTHY.

    What gives?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Feb 27, 03:31:00 pm GMT-5  

  • I'm a lot closer to Country Walk than to hoity-toity Pinecrest...you may be referring to the area south of Country Walk and west of the Zoo which is a little run down. Country Walk itself is pretty clean. Pinecrest has no excuse, it's got it's own police force for crying out loud.

    Cubans came here to Miami to better it, not to leave it in rags, like a latter-day Bronx...

    It's hard not to sound upset, and partisan, but that's how I see it


    I don't know if you're blaming or singling out Cubans here, but they're as guilty as anyone else, not more or less. They (we) get too much credit and too much blame for a lot of things in this town, IMO.

    I agree that one must point out the negative to better things, but in general, people (not you of course!) tend to ONLY be negative with no solutions to offer.

    By Blogger Robert, at Mon Feb 27, 06:27:00 pm GMT-5  

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