Phase two: The starting-to-feel-like-a-local phase
Where you’re living: Brickell. Or, if you just can’t bring yourself to end the fantasy of South Beach, somewhere around Flamingo Park.
Where you’re going out: South Beach happy hours, Brickell, or Wynwood on nights when you feel like going somewhere “interesting.” Nights end at this cool “dive” bar you just discovered called Better Days.
Your mantra: “Yeah, so, living here is a lot different than being on vacation.”
Go-to activity: Waiting for people to show up, and getting flaked on.
The novelty of living in Vacationland has worn off, but you still see the city through pastelito-colored glasses. Sure, the club promoter/model you dated turned out to be living with his parents (or was he an escort?), and you’re confused as to why people who say they’re 15 minutes away never show up. But the weather is still great and the beach is still RIGHT THERE. Although you haven’t gone in -- wait, when was the last time you went? -- you’re learning the traffic patterns, and can bitch about the causeways with the best of them. And you’ve even dipped your toes into mainland Miami, because you’re convinced Brickell is where the “real Miami” is.
Phase three: The actually-a-local phase
Where you’re living: Coral Gables, South Miami, (or if you’re not making much money) Kendall.
Where you’re going out: Anywhere that’s not on South Beach
Your mantra: “Fuck the Palmetto.”
Go-to activity: Shopping all the wholesale stores on NE 1st St, then bragging to your friends who paid retail for the same dress at Blush.
There’s a big difference between thinking you’re a local and actually being one. You no longer think it’s weird to kiss people on the cheeks when you meet (maybe even initiating it yourself), and when you visit other places, you’re a little confused when you show up 45 minutes late and people are offended. You not only spend most of your time on the mainland, you’ve realized things other than the airport exist west of I-95, and you have a solid group of friends who likely went to Columbus or Lourdes. $19 vodka sodas on South Beach have given way to smoking on a friend’s balcony in Brickell.