As I have written elsewhere, I get so irked when I see video or film of Miami or Miami Beach for an event or development that is actually outside of either city. The latest event where I see this happening is the Super Bowl.
It is being held in Miami Gardens, formerly an unincorporated community in which I grew up called Carol City. The nickname for a portion of that community is the Baa Haas (or boondocks. Our home was near Hard Rock Stadium (or Joe Robbie Stadium. That’s what many of us still call it).
Miami Gardens is nearly 20 miles from South Beach where most tv cameras have set up. I get it. The ocean is prettier. But accuracy still matters.
The above image was made by the University of Alabama Cartographic Lab. I scribbled on it to show the distance between the place where the Super Bowl is happening and where South Beach is located. I hate to sound academically bossy, but it’s a nostalgia thing.
South Florida is not a perfect place. It is, however, a popular destination. Locals see folk come and go. Most never go beyond the the expressways leading to Disney World or the beach. There’s a lot happening elsewhere.
Yes, some neighborhoods are dangerous. Still, there are beautiful homes and beautiful people in some of the most difficult communities. That’s probably true in many parts of this country and even this world.
Beyond that, I am actually pretty happy this week. The tragic passing of Kobe Bryant, his daughter and other souls on that helicopter happened just two days before my 53rd birthday. This event shifted something in me.
I feel so fortunate to have the privilege to do all the things before me while there’s time.
One thing before me was going to an amazing conference in New Orleans. I met some great people who are interested in telling stories in new ways just like me. While in NOLA, I saw Raphael Saadiq at the House of Blues.
I am also on a high because my sabbatical for next year was approved as was my protocol for my oral histories with people who live or once lived in yes, the Baa Haas.
Listening to Saadiq at was great. I celebrated so much while listening to his great music!
Live your lives, folks. We have only one go ’round!