Mohan Yatham: Miami as Text

Rating: 5 out of 5.
Photo captured during a medical mission trip to Costa Rica. Photo by Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

Howdy! My name is Mohan, I’m a senior premed undergraduate at Florida International University. I major in Biology and minor in Business and Chemistry. I want to pursue a dual degree MD/MBA in the future. Throughout my undergraduate career I believed that exploring is a foundation of a new beginning. Over the past decade, I lived in multiple places including India, New Jersey, Rochester, Daytona Beach, Orlando and Miami! This allowed me to gain insights about various regions and local traditions. I’ve always wanted to learn more about the culture and history of Miami. As a part of the Honors College, I am thrilled to share my experience and exploration about Miami in this page!

Deering as text

Visual of the deering estate nature preserve and the tour given by professor Bailly. Logo by: All photos in the collage are captured and edited by Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

Miami’s Preserved History!

By Mohan Yatham Of FIU at The Deering Estate, 2 September 2020

The Deering Estate preserves not only a European style mansion but also entire conservation of multiple rare species of plants, ferns, trees, and a diversity of wildlife, such as coyotes, snakes, spiders, foxes, and many more! It is also an excellent place for hiking and immersing in nature. One can only appreciate the value with live visualization of land that has an ancestral background. I can say that I am a lucky Floridan to have walked on the same road as the regular trade road for the Tequesta tribe. One of my favorite views throughout the hike had to be the Pine Rocklands with spectacular views. The quote below resembles to the fact that we should embrace the footprints of our ancestors and connect with the history. However, I did have an adventure walking through the poison Ivy plants with a missing sole on my boots!

Take nothing but memories, leave nothing but footprints!

Chief Si ahl

Some of the other interesting sites include the mangroves with green/blue spring waters. That area can also be described as the “shell island,” considering the number of shells seen in the province. Each shell had a purpose, such as drilling or hunting. The hike had views of large trees, such as the gumbo limbo tree, as seen in the picture above. Image 2 shows beavers’ home, but it is a freshwater canal that was blasted years ago. Photo 3 shows views during the hike when attempting to explore a crashed plane. The last picture served as a trap when animals drop in that area and cannot escape; it is an excellent meal for the wolves and other predators!

Overall, the views were spectacular, and it is one place that everyone especially living in Miami, should visit and embrace the long-lasting history at home!

South Beach as Text

Visual of the south beach area and the tour given by professor Bailly. All photos in the collage are captured and edited by Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

Compass of South Beach’s Outstanding Architecture!

By Mohan Yatham Of FIU at The South Beach, 16 September 2020

When you hear the name South Beach, you automatically know that it is one of the most visited tourist attraction! While the streets of South Beach are prominently known for the nightlife, restaurants, beach activities, there is a much more significant reason for its ever-growing popularity. That is how I knew about South Beach until I had the lecture with professor Bailly. I never thought about the preserved architecture such as the art deco design, Miami modern design, and specific details of some buildings for the number of times I walked through the Lincoln road, ocean drive, and many parts of the south beach.

South Beach carries the history of a Mangrove Island, which then had several cultural phases shaped to the present South Beach. I can never stop to admire the designs of some of the buildings on the ocean drive. The city of Miami kept the sites of iconic Art Deco buildings and historically prevalent architectural designs. The eyebrow design is mainly known as a sunshade design for many buildings. The art deco consisted of specific patterns that resembled on many buildings. The colors of some of the buildings are fascinating due to the resemblance of the ocean vibes. Some buildings looked like ships and even rocket-like structures. There was a human-made portion leading to the cruise ship docking and the port of Miami. The pandemic emptied the south beach streets, which had impacted many of the businesses that are held closed until the situation settles. From the alleys to the Versace mansion, South beach holds a remarkable history and remains the site of attraction for the entire world!

Downtown Miami as Text

Visual of the downtown Miami area and the tour given by professor Bailly. All photos in the collage are captured and edited by Mohan Yatham/ CC BY 4.0

Compass of South Beach’s Outstanding Architecture!

By Mohan Yatham Of FIU at The Downtown Miami, 30 September 2020

Downtown Miami holds some of the most historical monuments and is filled with iconic multicultural towers along the east coast of South Florida. The origin of Miami’s infrastructure begins at the intersection of Flagler Street and Miami Ave. Having been to other nations such as India, England, and Costa Rica, I appreciate the preservation of historic buildings across downtown Miami. The historical places such as the Gisu Church, Biscayne Key, Miami-Dade courthouse, Freedom tower, Fort Dallas, Wagner House, Brickell Park, and many more built today’s Miami community.  The Gus church played a crucial part in understanding the roots of Christianity in Miami from the Spanish. 

It was a fascinating experience to stand at Tequesta’s capital, where Ponce De Leon first sailed to Miami. The massive apartments and structures were built over the graveyard of the Tequestas.  The Wagner House is the oldest in Miami, which was built by a German in 1855. When I looked at the Wagner House, I quickly recalled a village in India with similar design homes. One of the most interesting parts of the visit to downtown Miami is the Fort Dallas vicinity. That building served as a slave plantation house, and it was preserved as a historic building. The Brickell family is one of the most important contributors to the skyline and infrastructure of the downtown Miami. The architecture of the freedom building resembles the Cathedral Bell Tower in Spain. It is a distinctive landmark known for the Latin heritage and located at the heart of Miami. Miami holds a brief history for the present diverse community and the landscape that made Miami one of the most attractive locations in the world!

Chicken Key as Text

Visual of the chicken key area and the tour given by professor Bailly.  All photos in the collage are captured by John Bailly/ CC BY 4.0

Beyond the Deering Estate, lies the golden key!

By Mohan Yatham Of FIU, Reflection of Chicken Key 14 October 2020

Who would say no to canoeing with the professor and classmates for an honors class at FIU? No one!! Although I missed the chicken key visit, from the photos shared by Professor Bailly and my classmates, it was by far the most entertaining educational trip that served a change in the community. From what I have heard from my classmates and my research on sights of the chicken key, it was the most memorable trip that contributed to a bigger purpose. When I first visited the Deering estate, I can feel the blue ocean’s calmness with breathtaking views all around. I believe that cleaning up the trash that potentially harms many fish and sea life around the keys and mangroves is an interminable initiation towards change for the better good.

From what I have heard from my friends, by looking deep inside the island, there was a lot of trash, including big plastic items, caps, and even masks made their way to the small island. The students were paired up when canoeing to the chicken key. Nevertheless, having missed the trip, it only makes me want to visit the Deering estate more often and presumably have a trip with friends to visit the chicken key island to have a closer experience and be part of a positive initiation!

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