Miami Named America's Rudest City by Travel + Leisure

Congratulations, Miami!  You hit a milestone by being awarded two dubious distinctions this week.

Recently, Miami was named the "Worst City to Live in" by 24/7 Wall St. The site noted our income inequality, high rate of violent crime, and insane housing prices as reasons why we suck more than Milwaukee, Wisconsin; Buffalo, New York; and Detroit, Michigan. 

If you're thinking that even though we're not living in a fairy tale, we're still the place everyone wants to visit for a week, guess again. Even tourists are catching on to Miami's wicked ways: Travel + Leisure magazine just named Miami America's Rudest City.  

Our palm tree-filled nirvana was"upgraded" to the top spot from last year's second-place status. According to the upscale travel magazine, while we have miles of sandy beaches and near perfect weather, our manners leave much to be desired:
1. Miami, Florida
Last year’s runner-up is now the top dog when it comes to our readers’ impressions of rudeness. It’s hard to imagine how anyone could be in a bad mood here, what with the city’s perennial tropical weather and pristine beachfront real estate. After all, it ranked as one of the best cities in the country for a Beach Getaway. But maybe it’s Miami’s display of luxury, from gleaming new condos to couture boutiques, that turned off travelers. In addition to rudeness, the city had a pretty high snob score.
According to Liz Marsh, communications director for Travel + Leisure, the list is based on data collected in the America's Favorite Places survey the magazine conducts annually. The survey opened on October 8, 2015, and closed on April 15, 2016. It was open to everyone and asked respondents to submit their favorite place and rate it in over 65 categories, including affordability, notable restaurants, and public parks. Cities are defined as governed bodies with a population over 100,000.

Ralph Pagano, owner of Naked Taco, located in the epicenter of our most tourist-centric neighborhood, South Beach, says Miami's rudeness quotient might be borne out of misunderstanding more than anything else. "I feel a couple of unfortunate circumstances like one bad meal or one bad experience can color a visitor's perspective of Miami. For some people, a $25 cocktail or a $25 salad at a tourist trap might give someone sticker shock, but it's the same in any worldwide tourist destination."

Pagano also notes that the diversity our city thrives on might be confused with rudeness. "We have a language differential that many other American cities don't have. The truth is that people come to our city and aren't prepared for a server or a shop owner to lead in Spanish. If you're going to come to Miami, bring your Rosetta Stone or, better yet, have a local be your guide."

The celebrity chef likens Miami to his hometown in terms of first impressions. "New Yorkers get the same rap because they know where they're going and visitors can get caught up in the wave."

Pagano has one last thought. "Miami is a very friendly city.  We love our visitors. And if you don't agree, go fuck yourself."
KEEP MIAMI NEW TIMES FREE... Since we started Miami New Times, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Miami, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Laine Doss is the food and spirits editor for Miami New Times. She has been featured on Cooking Channel's Eat Street and Food Network's Great Food Truck Race. She won an Alternative Weekly award for her feature about what it's like to wait tables.
Contact: Laine Doss