"That's the biggest problem with Miami," says Tad Schwartz, head of a prominent public relations agency. "We market luxury, but for the most part the population is poor."
Finding the rest of the Miamis
These other Miamis are just as interesting, if not more so. I've enjoyed sitting on a wooden bench in a Honduran dive in Little Havana, watching their national team play soccer on TV. I go out of my way to return to Liberty City, the neighborhood from the movie Moonlight. It's not a tourist attraction, as there are no places to really see, no attractions. It's very poor, and too often violent. Still, it's rooted; people in Liberty City have been in Miami longer than anyone. I like the Saturday street barbecues that pop up. Even better are the tangy chunks of conch served up in a Solo cup from the back of an ice cream truck. "There ain't no place like it," says Luther Campbell, the once-profane rapper who ran for county mayor four years ago. "Liberty City is the crown jewel of the whole entire South."
This other Miami never stops serving up something I want to investigate, or taste, or just soak up on most Saturday afternoons. I'll be driving way down south, deep into the subdivisions of Kendall, closer to Key Largo than to Miami proper. I'll pull off for a hamburger and see, in some shabby concrete strip mall, a Wendy's, a PetSmart, a storefront advertising Asian massage, and also, tucked in a corner, this unknown nightclub of surprisingly high ambitions. Live Latin music acts all week long. Check out all these places, if you get the chance.