Best Hidden Neighborhood - 1999
Allapattah has always been there, right in the heart of Miami, a diverse and often picturesque twenty or so square blocks. But we don't really know what Allapattah is all about. Yes, it's one of those inner-city neighborhoods that used to be rich and white and is now poor and minority. But such a great mix: about 40,000 Nicaraguans, Cubans, Dominicans, Ecuadorians, Peruvians, Colombians, Hondurans, and African Americans. They live between NW 7th and 27th avenues, from 20th Street north to 38th Street. Perhaps the most important landmarks in Allapattah are internationally known Jackson Memorial Hospital, the Veterans' Administration Hospital, Sylvester Cancer Center, and other medical institutions. But to get a real feel for Allapattah, check out the warehouse and garment district, which includes a legendary produce market. Stroll down NW Seventeenth Avenue, a day-and-night festival of mainly Dominican cafeterías, shops, botánicas, and bakeries. Visit the Wilfredo Vasquez boxing gym just a block away from Jackson Senior High. Cruise along the many residential streets lined with brightly painted 30- and 40-year-old bungalows. And for the record: That Burger King on 27th Avenue at 36th Street is the first BK to open in the United States.