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Best View Miami 2012 - Miami skyline from the Julia Tuttle Causeway

Miami may be a tropical paradise, but life in the 305 is still life. You still waste days in line at the dreary DMV, argue with your significant other, get the flu, trap yourself in a cubicle, and eat frozen meals at your desk. But sometimes — on a Tuesday morning when you're stuffing processed muffins down your throat while speeding to work, for instance — you look out the window and think, Holy shit. Where do I live? Westbound on the Julia Tuttle Causeway, connecting I-195 to Miami Beach, the skyline opens up in all its coke-snorting, '80s-era glory. Biscayne Bay shimmers and ripples with speedboats and Jet Skis. To the left of the high-rises, cruise ships churn away from the Port of Miami. Palm trees lining the causeway are adorned with neon halos. The sky is pristine and cloudless or, conversely, before a downpour, a dramatic bruised gray. You can almost hear the synth of the Miami Vice theme song. You still have to make that presentation to your boss today. You still have to slice through the plastic on your mac 'n' cheese before placing it in your workplace's splattered microwave. But knowing you have this drive to look forward to — that this is your commute — makes you feel like the benefactor of incredible cosmic luck. And the fact that the City of Miami once forced sex offenders to live under this very bridge? That somehow just makes your good fortune seem even more miraculous.

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