I love Miami. I've been writing about it and living it for years.
I mentioned that I might get a "305 'Til I Die" tattoo to commemorate my move. I was half-serious at that second. And this led me on a very 305 journey down SW Eighth Street to Ocho Placas.
The tattoo idea was mostly a joke until I found myself driving down Calle Ocho to the tattoo shop. If there's a place to get a permanent marking dedicated to my favorite city, I thought, well, Ocho Placas is it. At that point, in my head, I already removed the "'till I die" part. This isn't because I will never in this form not be 305, but I'd rather my first tattoo not have the word "death" in it, especially with the needles and stuff.
You may ask: why do I care what you've done to your body? And then: why isn't she talking about music? Let's for a moment. I love Miami's music. I can't tell you how many times I've argued with people about the integrity of music produced here. It's like no one understands that you can be small but delicious. Like a square of chocolate instead of a Krispy Kreme (or Velvet Creme, if you're old school) doughnut. Everyone's a piggy little kid who wants to complain that they don't have enough to eat. There's food on the table, guys. Some of it is very good. Eat it.
My tattoo would mark me in a way that indicates to the world that this is where I come from. This is my home. This is where the people I respect creatively and culturally live. I think tattoos are incredibly romantic and dramatic gestures. I am dramatically and romantically involved with this city.
Back to Ochos Placas. Tattoo artist Marco, the poor man, got stuck talking to me for about two and a half hours about whether or not to leave the "305" below the orange I'd decided was the graphic I could handle for the rest of my life. At this point, I was only willing to commit to something the size of a nickel, and not black, and so apparently, you need black or need to make it bigger so that the numbers don't start looking like smudges. I was like "integrity be damned!" But then I chickened out. No 305.
My friend Kylee and I oohed and ahhed at the sheet featuring a 305 flamingo, a 305 cafe con leche, a 305 Cuban coffee pot - which, I were Cuban, I would have gotten. The orange is good. It's organic and it gets the point across. Marco didn't agree. He thought the orange was too just all of Florida, not specifically Miami. I needed the "305." I almost did it, but then the idea of being marked by numbers made me a little too uncomfortable.
Marco said he was "good with people like" me, presumably indecisive neurotics. Once the needle hit my skin, it was fine. My dedication to my home was marked on my flesh for life, or until I make a ton of money and decide I hate it and have it removed by lasers. But I did it for you, Miami. I really did. I'm telling you, if I were Cuban, it would have been the coffee pot, but it's green and orange and Miami enough. The sentiment was there. OK? Besides, I'm not moving to Nigeria, I'm going to Broward.
I'm only moving a few miles north, but really, it's a world away. Thankfully, all my favorite Miami bands will pass through Broward and Palm Beach counties and I'll be able to rave and write about them extensively, as the editor, I can do that. Fancy, right? Besides, I'd drive for days to get to Churchill's.
Miami, I love you. I really, really love you. I have so much faith in you that sometimes it's stupid. Over the past ten years, you've grown from an "international" city to a really creative place where people come from all around the world to participate in culture. I like to think that through my writing, here on Crossfade and my other blogs, has helped encourage people to keep doing what they love.
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Anyway, until we meet again! This is something I should say once my bags are packed and I'm out the door, but I like the drama of it. I'll be thinking of you, Miami, you crazy city. Oh, and can you all please go get a Cuban coffee maker tattoo for me?
Thank you and bye-bye! Oh, and please, while you're liking Crossfade on Facebook and Twitter, like County Grind on Facebook and Twitter, too.