The City of Miami turns 115 years old on Sunday. That seems old, we know, but really it's quite young for a major metropolitan city in this country. Maybe that explains why our fair city, while an exotic, world famous tourist destination, brimming with potential, is still often viewed as a cultural wasteland with limited options, especially in the summer.
Don't get us wrong, we know that's bullshit. Miami has a great cultural past and present but we're still mired in the whole sub-tropical paradise cliché. So it's our job to correct the situation. We thought we'd help by offering up 5 wishes for the City of Miami when it blows the candle on its birthday cake Sunday. Oh, and make sure you show up for the birthday party during the Bike Miami Day event.
5. Time to get rid of Magic City nickname
Miami has a lot of nicknames. Unfortunately, most of them
suck. The Big Mango and the Banana Republic are OK, we guess, but the most common one, Magic City, is dated and irrelevant. (Plus there's that whole Orlando Magic Kingdom thing we want no part of.) We need a new nickname and we need your help coming
up with it. How about "The Big Sweat" or "The Maudlin City."
4. A decent reality TV series
Quantity definitely doesn't equal quality with regard to reality TV
shows. If it did, Miami would be king of culture in this regard. But the truth is our
reality TV stock is so bad that the worst shows out there find a way
to come to Miami even if they're from other places and even if the name
of those places is in the title (Jersey Shore). And the bar
keeps dropping. (See South Beach Tow.)
3. Fidel Castro's death
Ordinarily, we don't wish death on anybody, and we mean anybody, even El
Commandante (it's just bad karma). But in this case we make an exception on purely cultural grounds. Well, that and because of all the other evil shit he's
done. But culturally speaking, Cuba, and by extension Miami, need to move
past the Castro regime. It's been more than half a century, c'mon already. Things might be changing on the island but we need the pace to quicken. When the banana curtain falls, the island will be
wellspring of culture and Miami's in the perfect spot to drink from it. Don't believe us. Check this movie out.
2. Truce between bridge-and-tunnel crowd and art scene
We get it, Art Walk can't be one giant orgy of free booze and pedestrian
mayhem. There has to be an appreciation for art thrown into the mix.
But can't we just get along? So long as the booze hounds and
gallerists clash, and the latter keep shrinking their participation in the event, all will suffer. There has to be a happy medium.
Maybe you don't get totally wasted. Just a nice buzz. And maybe gallery
owners can't unclench their rumps just a bit.
1. More summer events
It's time to stop dreading the summer months in Miami. Even though many snow birds bail on the city
in the summer, the truth is we have to drum up our cultural calendar in
June, July, and August. Take a look at what some other cities do during
summer for ideas: New York has the Coney Island Mermaid Parade
(sure we have the King Mango Strut but that's in the winter.) In
Minneapolis they do Lawn Bowling.
Admittedly, we might have the upper edge with Strike Gold, an event that mixes strippers and bowling.
The Twin Cities also have something named the Johnny Porkpies Grab My Junk
Burlesque Game Show in Minneapolis. We're not sure what it is but it sounds like it has culture oozing out of it.
Denver isn't exactly Pamplona, Spain, but they didn't let that stop
them from holding their own running of the bulls, sort of. Miami take
And finally, Miami could use a flash mob
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here and there like Houston.
The Bike Miami Days event starts at 10 a.m. along South Miami Avenue between Ninth Street and 15th Road. The event is free and will be held in conjunction with a 115th birthday celebration for the City of Miami. Call 786-287-0775 or visit happybirthdaymiami.com.