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🗣 ICYMI, there was a lot of talk this week about the influx of big tech and capital currently flooding Miami. Jack Abraham — an entrepreneur and investor who relocated here last year — was singled out as a subject of scorn after he fired off a series of tweets detailing his experience in the 305. His account of a “well run and very safe” city defined by its “happiness and optimism,” to say nothing of its abundance of $600 a month apartments complete with “balconies, water views and pools,” seemed less befitting of a sober, accurate assessment of reality and more akin to an optimistic-to-the-point-of-derangement marketing pitch.
Documentarian and dedicated Miamian Billy Corben was among the many who dragged Abraham, calling his tweets “a great work of science fiction.” But it may have been said best by Miami New Times staff writer Alexi C. Cardona in her piece about the inciting remarks and how they reflect larger, troubling trends:
“Miami is home to people of all backgrounds, you may say, so why are we hating on the tech bros? Maybe it's because they're adopting the language and entitled attitudes of colonizers. They're leaving places that no longer serve them and acting as if they're the first to discover the superficially magical, beautiful places that will become playgrounds for them and their wealthy peers.
“These newcomers have the privilege of seeing happiness and optimism everywhere, even when the locals don't. They have the good fortune of eating prized meats and taking in sun-drenched, waterfront views in a county that has experienced unprecedented need, hunger, and housing insecurity during a pandemic. They can display how little they know about their new home on social media and then delete the post as though it never happened.”
Needless to say, there’s a lot to unpack here. And if the continuous, radical changes of Miami’s past are anything to go by — not to mention the sheer determination of new arrivals to make Miami the next San Francisco, because they did such a great job there — this tech boom isn’t going anywhere, and there’s going to be a lot to reckon with down the line.
In other news...
📝 On a slightly more positive note regarding the above, O, Miami founder and director P. Scott Cunningham put together a comprehensive list of Miami cultural institutions and things to know for aforementioned new arrivals. He was even nice enough to include The New Tropic among his shoutouts — thank you, we do our best to be of service 😊. (P. Scott Cunningham via Twitter)
🌈 With Pride Month just a few days away, Wynwood Pride officially announced yesterday that it’s returning with in-person events for 2021. The kick-off celebration taking place on Friday, June 18 is teeming with talent, spotlighting a who’s who of local drag legends like Miss Toto along with recent RuPaul's Drag Race runner-up Kandy Muse and — deep breath, this is the big one — international pop superstar Charli XCX 😍! Tickets to the show at The Oasis are available right here. Be warned: They’re moving fast, so you might want to vroom vroom on securing yours today. (Wynwood Pride via Instagram)
🛣 Introducing the Harriet Tubman Highway: The City of Coral Gables voted to rename its stretch of South Dixie Highway to a much more respectable title earlier this week. According to a city memo, the change is meant to honor “the matchless legacy of a warrior” who fought for freedom and do away with a name that “represents a troubling time in our nation’s past, marred by the inhuman celebration and unconscionable profit of the perils of racism, segregation, and the atrocities of slavery.” The proposal was previously put up to a vote in January when it was voted down by a 2-3 margin; one of the no votes came from Vince Lago, who has since become the city’s mayor. (Local 10)
🛥 Today in extremely Miami headlines: A large fire consumed two proportionately sized yachts in Little Havana. According to reports, the boats were resting along the Miami River near Northwest 22nd Avenue and 14th Street when the fire broke out around 2:30 a.m. on Thursday morning. As of writing, no injuries have been reported. (NBC 6 South Florida)