Now that I’m back in my hometown, it seems only fair that I rank Miami using the same criteria I used for all the other places I visited over the past couple of months. So how livable is it? Let’s find out.
Miami’s prevailing atmosphere is sprawling urban wasteland. The most popular thing to do here is drive a minimum of 45 minutes to get anywhere and then realize when you arrive that it’s too hot to be there. If you are just visiting and you don’t have to work or commute anywhere, Miami is awesome for exactly 3 days. We have beautiful beaches which on their worst day are a million times nicer than literally any beach in the world. Trust me, I’ve checked. But after you’ve been laying out for 20 minutes and you can’t breathe from how hot it is, you realize there’s really nothing to do here but eat, drink, and be a douchebag. You can only walk around the beach for five minutes before you realize you’re not in the market for a new Coach purse or a $200 face scrub.
You can go to Wynwood to see something less manufactured and have a craft beer, but then you have to contend with Zika-carrying mosquitoes. Or worse, everyone talking about them. Coral Gables is now under construction, which will last a minimum of five years. So it was nice knowing you, Miracle Mile. There are no good places to sit and work except Starbucks, and there’s nothing less inspiring than writing in a Starbucks. When you get desperate, you’ll go to Town and Country where people are eating at shitty restaurants because they can play PokemonGo there. This place is tragic, really.
My second day here, I went to get croquetas and a tostada at a Cuban bakery. As I waited for my order in the window, I watched the poor woman behind the counter basically get sexually harassed for 10 minutes by a guy who could swear she was working out. “Because I have a clinical eye for that kind of thing. Your body looks tight, mama.” And that interaction is everything that’s wrong with this city. Out of morbid curiosity and boredom, I went on Tinder. After three vacuous exchanges, I remembered that Tinder is where Miami couples go to look for a cute plaything to share their herpes with. That being said, (almost) all my favorite people in this world live here. But they work like slaves so I still spent more time with them in Europe than I have being here. As much as I love my mom, if she calls me one more time to tell me to stay home because there’s a tropical storm, I’m going to go ballistic. If there are any other people worth knowing in this disgusting pit of a city, I’ll never know, because I’m stuck in my car hating every last one of you motherfuckers on the 836.
Speaking of which, let’s talk about getting around here. Miami has a Metro, which can conveniently get you from the airport to Liberty City or Dadeland Mall. But that’s it! If you want to go anywhere else, you’re on your own. There are two or three areas of the city that are nice to walk around in but because it’s August, I rather die than walk anywhere. So the only viable option is driving. It’s a shame, because I could like driving if I didn’t live here. But Miami drivers are my worst actual nightmare. If I stayed here another year, I would need a prescription for blood pressure medication. And I’m not even 30.
I have to admit, Miami has some world-class restaurants. I love food here, because whether you’re picking up a greasy snack or sitting down for a nice dinner, it’s going to be delicious. The pasta carbonara at Eating House is better than any you can get in Italy or Greece. If I could, I would replace my blood with cilantro margaritas from Talavera. The best meal I can get in Prague doesn’t hold a candle to a plate of wings from Sports Grill, even though you might have to kill a roach in the middle of your meal. And If I’m ever put on death row, my last meal is going to be from Finka.
The cost is really what catapults this city from obnoxious but tolerable to completely unlivable. You don’t have to take my word for it. Miami was recently ranked the worst city to live in the country. Our median household income is $31,657. And it’s pretty rough to afford a $2100 a month apartment in Brickell on that kind of money. It’s actually pretty hard to afford anything that isn’t adjacent to a Family Dollar in Little Haiti. Nowadays people even get priced out of dumps in Hialeah and Kendall. After one day of filling up my tank and paying for parking at the beach, I had spent exactly double what I spend on a monthly transportation pass in Prague. And those nice meals I was talking about cost a pretty penny, too. If you want cocktails with your brunch, prepare to shell out $40-50 in one sitting.
Total Livability Score 2/10
I can’t, in good conscience, give this place a one considering how much I love eating here. However, I respect myself enough to get the hell out of a city where you can be making $50,000 a year and still live like a pauper.
God bless the poor immigrant families that have colonized it as their own. But just because it’s better than Honduras doesn’t mean it’s good.