Humor

Want a Laugh? Read This "Moving to Miami" Reddit Post

For actual advice, check out Moving to Miami: A Newcomer's Guide to Navigating the Magic City.
For actual advice, check out Moving to Miami: A Newcomer's Guide to Navigating the Magic City. Illustration by Kurtis Jokich
Every month, the /r/Miami subreddit creates a megathread for people with questions about vacationing in or moving to the Magic City. The questions are usually much of the same: Where is it "safe" to live? What's there to do for fun? This Craigslist rental is a broom closet — why is it so expensive?

One redditor recently posted that they're considering moving to Miami next year with their partner. "Southfloridacurious" currently lives in Salt Lake City and once shared a rented house in Oakland with a bunch of Miami bros who were fun to hang out with and "made really good coffee with a cafetera!"
But Southfloridacurious, ever the inquisitive poster, has a lot of questions about what it's like to live in Miami. They don't seem too worried about where they'll live or how much it'll cost to live here. Instead, they want to know about the "practical and cultural aspects of Miami and South Florida."

Is fruit in South Florida superior to fruit in other places? Are accidents with uninsured drivers really as common as other Reddit threads make them out to be? Do people take day or weekend trips to Caribbean islands? Is there an "outdoor culture" comparable to the West Coast's? Do people hike? Are they generally polite and open to meeting newcomers? When it rains, do people get wet, or do they make a concerted effort to stay dry?

The questions come off as adorably clueless and only a little absurd if you're not a jaded, road-raging, Pilón-snorting Miamian.

Well, Southfloridacurious. Where shall we start?
The mangos are good. Don't let the Miami Herald's Connie Ogle, a notorious mango hater, tell you otherwise. If you're lucky, you'll have nice neighbors who'll drop a bag of mangos or avocados at your doorstep when they're in season. Don't let it get to your head, though. It just means they have too many fucking mangoes and don't want flies taking over their yard.
Every time you drive in Miami, you're taking your life into your own hands. And if there's one thing Miami drivers seem to love, it's playing chicken in a merge lane. Florida has the highest percentage of uninsured drivers in the nation, and Miami-Dade is the state's most populous county. You do the math.
Do we take day trips to nearby Caribbean islands? Ah, of course! For my birthday this year, I couldn't think of a better way to spend it than with some of the people who have helped shape me into the woman I am today. After two weeks of multiple health screens and asking everyone to quarantine, I surprised my closest inner circle with a trip to a private island where we could pretend things were normal just for a brief moment in time. We danced, rode bikes, swam near whales, kayaked, watched a movie on the beach, and so much more. I realize that for most people, this is something that is so far out of reach right now, so in moments like these, I am humbly reminded of how privileged my life is.

Fuck outta here with that. Miami regularly ranks among the worst cities in America for income inequality and the number of residents living in poverty. It's among the most brutal cities for renters, and most people, especially Black residents, don't make enough money to save anything.
Moving on. Let's get a few things straight about Miami's "outdoor culture." Sure, you can "hike" in the Everglades, visit the beaches if the Florida Department of Health hasn't issued any no-swim advisories because of sewage spills, or become best friends with someone who owns (and regularly brags about owning) a boat.

But if you really want to get the genuine local experience, take a drive out to the wonder that is Doral's Mount Trashmore. Then, drive farther still to experience Hialeah's Museum of Progress, affectionately known as "Agua, fango, y factoría." You can't miss it. Don't miss the wondrous guava and cheese mounds, available wherever you see too many older people talking loudly near a small window. The traffic jams on the Palmetto Expressway and on West 49th Street will be well worth it.

In all seriousness, a lot of our "outdoor culture" involves staying inside during the hottest months of the year and complaining about how profusely we sweated on the walk from our front door to the mailbox, or from our car to the office. If you do plan to move to Miami, start hydrating now.

Are people generally polite and open to newcomers? Depends on who you meet. Will fellow dog-walkers stare at their phones to avoid eye contact and look at you suspiciously if you say hello to them? Perhaps. Will drivers everywhere disrespect your turn signal and speed around you? You bet your ass.

At one point or another, rest assured some pure soul will recognize you're not from around here and show you some kindness. We're mostly warm and friendly. You just have to get past our cold, dead hearts.

I'll let Connie Ogle, our resident mango hater, and Paradise Afshar, a former Miami-based freelance journalist, answer that one for you:
Speaking of warm, cold, and other forms of weather: Heat and rain are the norm. Cooler temperatures are an aberration. We don't have weather here; we have climate. Put your winter clothes in storage.
Here's the thing about the rainy season in Miami. Dark clouds will loom all day and at times bring only a brief deluge. But whether the forecast calls for a ten-minute shower or hours of intermittent downpours, that rain will come in sideways, ground-up, and in zig-zags.

Also, Miami floods big-time. If the rain doesn't get you from above, it'll get you from below. You will get wet, you will shiver in your car, your shoes will squeak on a shiny floor. No umbrella will save you. And we really don't do raincoats.

Hope this helps!

Oh, one very important thing. You asked about something called "line culture." As in, do Miamians save spaces for friends or cut in line? To put it bluntly, the only line culture we're familiar with involves white powder. If you're unfamiliar, here's a primer.

With love,
Miami New Times and everyone else on Miami Twitter
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.
Alexi C. Cardona is a former staff writer at Miami New Times.