For 24 years, Marion Schano and her husband Edward have owned an aviation business called Amtec Aviation Aerospace in Brownsville, a 'hood west of Liberty City with a population of 14,000 and shrinking. It's one of Miami's poorest neighborhoods, and arguably its most blighted. It's traversed by roving bands of hobos who tend to smoke crack behind her warehouse, says Marion.

The Schanos — well, they've seen some shit. "So far, I've had three people die behind our business," Marion, an Austrian native, says matter-of-factly. "Missy, a prostitute in the area for ten years, is having her leg amputated. 'Pinky' was living in a tent city behind my building. I think he already killed one or two people — that's what the others say — so I hope the police get him off the streets soon."

We advised Schano to tell the cops about "Pinky" — we changed his nickname in this article — and we'll be following up with our own inquiry.

As far as we can tell, Marion Schano is not delusional or insane, although we're not sure how you can run a business on that block without sinking into a little bit of madness. She says fires — caused by careless crackheads, she guesses — periodically devour the buildings surrounding 3150 NW 40th St. And she says her block has essentially been forgotten by municipal services: The Schanos arrange and pay for their own trash pickup and have spent thousands to repair a sewer and pave the road outside their business. They've yet to be reimbursed, and Marion says she's looking into filing suit against the Miami-Dade County Water and Sewer Department.

Only ongoing construction of Brownsville Transit Village, a $100 million Metrorail project at 5200 NW 27th Ave., has finally gotten cops to police the area and address a homeless problem, Schano says.

On the day we visited the Schanos' neighborhood, we didn't encounter a tent city or one-legged streetwalker. We did, however, see plenty of blight and municipal neglect, including a trailer park favela where the rugged streets appeared not to have been paved in decades. We asked one resident, who gave his name as Roger, how often he saw county workers on his block. "Think they'd come out here?" he guffawed, taking a break from fixing a bike tire in front of his trashed, peach trailer. "They're too scared to be out here! Ain't you?"

The inevitable buck-passing commenced when we tried to get a county commissioner for Brownsville to take responsibility. Audrey Edmonson's publicist looked up the address of the Schanos' business and happily reported back that it is right across district lines in newly elected Jean Monestime's territory. Monestime's own spokesperson didn't get back to us by press time.

Show Pages
 
My Voice Nation Help
2 comments
isabellarosete
isabellarosete

I don't see it that way either. Yes there are neglected areas and property owners that seem not to care for their properties but there are also a lot of good things happening in Brownsville and more coming up!

I suggest you read article from the Miami Herald on December 16,2012 "Brownsville resident wins historic preservation " that is a fact.

The Cape Crusader
The Cape Crusader

I'm extremely disappointed in the journalist approach the writer took in this article. The writer of this article has published the same story twice, the first called Apacolypse Brownsville. In the previous article, the author failed to do any research on this topic as pointed out by comments made by readers. Instead of revising the article and diving into the article, he omitted his false reporting and decided to use vague and general comments such as, "Brownsville is Miami's most blighted neighborhood" without any facts. As you can see by his writing, there is little cohesiveness in the article and in fact lacks anything worth reporting or reading. Like in the previous article, the writer displays no journalistic strategy or intellectual integrity in the article.

 
Miami Concert Tickets
Loading...