Archive for May, 2009

Miami Tops U.S. City for Cycling Events Thanks to Bike Miami Days

With yesterday’s Bike Miami Days, the last of the inaugural season, The Miami Herald reports that Miami becomes the top US city in regards to car-free cycling event days with a total of 7, one per month since November, 2008.

Booyah!

The last Bike Miami Day of the season was fun, even if less attended than any I have been to (mind you, I missed Feb, Mar and Apr). Those that were there, however, had a grand old time partying at the steps of the Courthouse and riding around Downtown Miami. It was hot, probably the main reason why Bike Miami Days will go into a hiatus over the next four months, and by 2 PM the event was pretty much over. The hiatus, I think, will allow people to build up excitement for the event once more when it returns in Oct, not to mention that it will give time to the Bike Miami team to do a post-mortem of the event so far and find ways to improve on what has been, by any account, a surprise and runaway success.

Many thanks to Mayor Manny Diaz and his entire team (especially to tireless Bike Miami online dynamo Kathryn Moore) for seven wonderful months of cycling wonderland, for giving me the chance to fall in love with Downtown again and for the first time, all on two wheels. You know I’ve already set the date aside in the fall.

Bike Miami Days on Sunday, May 17

Bike Miami DaysAfter six awesome months of Bike Miami events, this coming Sunday we’ll have the May edition of Bike Miami Days, the last of the current season. It’s already getting way hot out there and in typical Miami fashion, Summer months are indoor months. In the Fall, the bikes come out again and invade Downtown.

In the meantime, it’s time to bike all around and enjoy a car-free Miami, so mark your calendars and fill up your tires.

You can find more information about May’s Bike Miami Days at the Bike Miami blog, or check out this pretty flyer designed for the event.

See you there!

Miami An Overpriced City? Nah!

Aerial View of Miami BeachForbes.com, via NBCMiami.com, has just released their list of “America’s Most Overpriced Cities” and our dearly beloved hometown has ranked #3, right behind Los Angeles, California and Chicago, Illinois. The article explains that “the cities are ranked by average salary for workers with a bachelor’s degree or higher, annual unemployment statistics, cost of living and the Housing Opportunity Index.”

I’m sure this comes as a complete surprise to each and every resident of the Magic City (I’m still wondering who named it thus).

Florida should feel especially proud, since it has four spots in the Top 20: Miami (#3), Tampa (#13), Orlando (#15) and Jacksonville (#17). So pretty much every major urban center in the state is there (I don’t want to see you get smarmy, Fort Lauderdale, cause I’m sure you’re not that far behind). Are you proud enough yet?

I have to agree with the Forbes article, though: at least we have beaches and sunny weather (and heat, oh the heat) year-round; sucks for #2, Chicago, with their Siberian-like winters.

There Goes Our History: Coconut Grove Edition

No better way to welcome me back to Miami from another trip to Puerto Rico than to read about this atrocity happening at the Grove.

The Miami Herald reports (with video!) that the oldest church building in Miami, the original 1912 Mission-style chapel at St. Stephen’s Episcopal Church in Coconut Grove, is being demolished to add new classrooms for the school (ok, semi-understandable) and retail space (you’ve gotta be friggin kidding me). All this even when local historians asked for a one-week stay of demolition to seek a better solution and put it on the table.

I wish I could say I am surprised, but I’m not. In my experience, the prevailing attitude in the general South Florida area, and in Miami in particular, has been one of complete lack of respect for what little history we have left. When I walk the Grove, I continue to be amazed that The Barnacle is still there, so that this piece of Grove and Miami history has been demolished to build new classrooms that could have been, I assure you, built somewhere else on the premises, and (to add salt-loaded insult to bleeding injury) retail space — because the Grove needs more retail space! — is just another log to add to the fires of my apathy.

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