This is a follow-up to an article I recently published in The Huffington Post titled "A Clear, Intelligent Argument Why Miami Is the Best City in America." This clip is more of a narrative than an argument, but the initial publication had me thinking, is Miami really the best? I mean there is a lot of corruption, economic disparity and problems with education.
So I entered the elevator of my penthouse apartment on the Bay and I descended down 39 floors, with my bicycle, to hit the streets of Miami at rush hour. Moving faster than cars, I passed a historical church, an arts and entertainment complex (Arsht Center), a huge construction site for a Museum Park, continuing past the AAA arena where just last night a championship banner was hung, passing the Port of Miami now housing a Disney cruise ship that will deliver joy to tens of 1000s of children, to arrive at the Tina Hills Pavilion for a FREE community yoga class to which 200 like-minded beautiful people of all ethnicity, sexual preference and socio-economic status practiced under the sunset skies for 90 minutes. I took my shirt off on the last day of October, felt the bay-breeze tickle my stretched skin, noticed the low hanging thick cumulus clouds hanging in the horizon like a pack of roaring Arabian white stallions. And after the practice, I rode my bike back home, passing the Bay-side mall bustling with retail, looking up at the Freedom Tower, illuminated in a dark purple, a symbol of our immigration, a landmark that is property of the university at which I teach, one of the largest and most diverse in the country.
Before entering my apartment I choose to take a stroll around Pace Park, the same place where 15 years ago, hookers were washing up on the rocks, now the tennis and volleyball courts are packed, condo dogs enjoy their second and final walk of the day, in the soccer field a group of children are engaged in a scrimmage, fit and firm adults train in Cross-fit, others practice Tai-chi. On the other end of the park the basketball courts are packed, with a gallery watching. I sit on a nearby bench and stare into the sea until I swear I witness a pack of dolphins. A little later I look at a Poinciana palm tree and through the fronds I see a green parakeet; in the rocks along the bay an iguana emerges, and I think, as the sun has turned the clouds into this cotton candy machine, a pallet of divinity, I think, yes, Miami is the best city in America. And I think this despite the homeless vagabonds I passed squatting on the church steps, despite the Herald building facing demolition, despite the fact that the pending museum is named after a Philistine and construction is behind schedule, despite the cops who were arresting a man for stealing at Bay-side, despite the fact to afford this place I have to teach 200 classes per year at a college that grossly neglects my worth, despite all the economic disparity I think as I enter my condo, smiling at the bellman, picking up the mail with a much delayed check for an article I wrote two months ago, I think, as the elevator closes, yeah, Miami is definitely the best city in America.
Follow J.J. Colagrande on Twitter: www.twitter.com/jjcolagrande