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Miami, Our Way: An Open Letter From WLRN To The New York Times

Cristian P Cardenas Flickr

Dear New York Times,

Hello! It’s Miami! We wanted to write and let you know that we’re a real place. You’ve seen us before. We’re the ones that had that land boom in the 1920s.

We’re writing to you from the offices of WLRN, because we care. We love the Gray Lady. We wouldn’t dare see her honor besmirched because of us, Miami.

See, sometimes you send down a reporter/cultural anthropologist for the Travel Section, like you did in your recent article “Miami, My Way,” and it’s always a bit awkward for us. We're glad you noticed us again, but we saw some inaccuracies and thought we should give you a little background information.

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For one, there was never a Kmart on Lincoln Road. Maybe you were talking about Woolworths? And speaking of Lincoln Road, it looks “like a corniche in a Mediterranean seaside town”? A corniche is a street on a cliff, and the only mountain anywhere in or around Miami is alandfill offthe turnpike with rabid seagulls and land crabs the size of a Manhattan studio apartment.  

And Coral Gables is actually not “lushly decayed.” Coral Gables has strict zoning laws of which you wouldn’t believe the minutiae and nitpicking. If something is “decayed” in Coral Gables, even lushly, you risk getting beaten to death with a perfectly manicured palmetto branch that can only be removed Thursdays at 4:00 a.m. by the mayor’s cousin.

There are no mangroves in Redland. Zero. They are basically everywhere else. 

Though we think it’s hilarious you said it, it definitely doesn’t cost $10 per car to get into Homestead. Tell your friends: driving into Homestead is free! That said, you can probably buy a townhouse there for $10.

You picked some decent restaurants. We decided to come up with 12 more of them for you, though we politely request you not visit them to keep the prices reasonable. And it’s really OK to come over the bridge for more than day trips. We’re proud of Wynwood and Brickell and even North and South Miami.

In fact there is so much to do that we can suggest gleefully and with great tropical pride. Watch the ponies at Calder, stroll through South Pointe Park next to the cruise ships and freighters, kayak through Oleta River, climb the lighthouse at Bill Baggs Cape Florida, yell at the Jai Alaifronton, watch a WallCast of the New World Symphony, or just bake in the sun for hours staring at the Atlantic with the sand between your toes and the teal blue sky framing your blissfully empty head. 

Nothing here was created for New Yorkers who come here on vacation, though those who came and never left may have built plenty of it. That’s what we do. We suck you in. You can’t resist our charm. We know it.

Love, WLRN

Nathaniel Sandler is a contributor for WLRN.org and the founder of Bookleggers. He's covered everything from the questionable auction of Banksy graffitito a seaplane trip to the Dry Tortugas

Nathaniel Sandler is a contributing editor for the arts at WLRN. He is also the co-founder and Head Librarian of the Bookleggers Mobile Library, serving Miami with free books on a monthly basis at literary events throughout the city.
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