| Culture |

Julia Tuttle Says Happy Birthday, Miami

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“Connected sky top gardens,” said one response.

“Breathable fabric required,” the next.

Good evening, my name is Julia Tuttle, typed the woman at the old-fashioned desk. She was wearing a billowy floral print dress and 19-th century bonnet and wouldn’t speak. She would only type, seated there at the keyboard of her high-end Mac.

What do you hope to find here? she asked the next person in line.

“Citywide holiday for Art Basel,” said a middle-age man wearing dark horn-rimmed glasses.

“Permanency,” said the next woman in line.

That’s rare here. But now we’re 111 years old.

“Julia Tuttle” identified herself as a “wealthy widow from Ohio” – typing these words onto the flat screen display of her Mac.Tuttle, you may or may not know, was one of Miami's founders.

Tell me what you would like to incorporate into new Miami?




By the time the tenth person in line responded, “A million dollars,” you began to realize there were some good ideas out there. Julia Tuttle was just one of a handful of performance pieces and gallery displays on view at the 111th birthday party for the City of Miami staged Saturday night at Edificio Jose Marti, 801 3rd Avenue S.W.

Better mass transportaion, said the next respondent.

Julia Tuttle tossed orange blossoms at the gathered spectators who lined up at her doorway.

She tickled passersby with a nearly foot-long feather pen.

Good will.

That was me; that’s how I answered her question. I asked her where these musings would wind up. She was typing everything into one long Microsoft Word document – what was its ultimate disposition?

I’ll put it on Category305.com.

I asked, what was “Julia Tuttle’s” favorite response so far?

She didn’t hesitate.

Wet foot or dry foot, all Cubans should go to Haiti – Damien Rojo” she typed, with a pleased smile. Then Julia Tuttle got up and went to lay prostrate on the foor. On the wall behind her, the image of a city street was projected. Then a man costumed as seaweed crawled across the room, hunched over Julia Tuttle as she lay there, and pantomimed humping her.

Walking past the display, a little girl dressed in pink, maybe three years old, wearing a matching pink Old Navy beret, lingered, watching Ms. Tuttle lay there. After a moment, her mother reached back and tugged at her sleeve.

“Come on!” said mom. –Frank Houston

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