Best Mile of Miami - 2006
Fourteenth Street from NW Seventh Avenue to Biscayne Boulevard
It slices through one of Miami's most long-suffering neighborhoods and is patrolled by police hell-bent on keeping white people away, but NW One-Four is dotted with treasures between Booker T. Washington Senior High School (just west of Seventh Avenue) and the Miami Herald building (at bay's edge). There's the amazing Overtown Youth Center (a.k.a. the Alonzo Mourning rec center), which is right next to breezy Theodore R. Gibson Park, which includes a library, swimming pool, Chinese restaurant, and church clustered in the same lot. And then there's Bigtime Productions' ten-stage, full-service film studio, Ice Palace, which is just the sort of money magnet the area needs for development. There are two killer nightclubs -- I/O and PS 14 -- and unlimited potential. Eventually the performing arts center will become the anchor of this stretch, bringing to the area a flow of lawyers, politicians, and power brokers -- the sort of (white) people who can fight back against police harassment. Ever since integration, black people have been taking their money out of O-town. It's time for people of all colors to spend their cash in the neighborhood. With Habitat for Humanity working nearby and plenty of residents fighting gentrification, there really seems to be hope for bringing Overtown out of its morass. One-four is the key path to that progress.