Andro Bailly is a Junior at Florida International University majoring in International Business and part of the Honors College. He loves studying finance and actively investing in his future. After Graduating in 2022, Andro will pursue an MBA degree. Some of his favorite activities include cycling, rock climbing, enjoying the ocean, and tasting delicious foods. As Andro embarks on his journey through the Finding Miami class, he hopes to broaden his understanding of the land he was born and raised on.
Downtown Miami as Text
“The Power of Time” by Andro Bailly of FIU at the Miami River
Modern Miami is a diverse and rapidly changing city. A bustling epicenter has attracted millions of people to visit this concrete jungle. Its population and attractiveness have grown drastically in the past serval decades. When people visit Downtown Miami they expect to see the expensive cars, dazzling boats, and the pristine beach ambiance. People who have lived in Miami are all too familiar with its bad drivers, wealth disparity, and its mouth-watering food options. One thing that is similar when comparing the majority of these two groups is that they probably don’t know about the Tequestas. As they enjoy the luxuries of the modern world, they take the same steps as the people who once inhabited these lands.
If you follow the coast of the Miami River in the picture above, you will end up at the original location of the Tequesta civilization. The Tequestas is the Native American Tribe that lived in Miami before the Europeans began migrating to the Americas. This location was stable when compared to surrounding areas because of the porous environment of South Florida. Hundreds of years ago the Taquestas enjoyed access to the ocean, which increases their ability to collect a diversity of resources. Their population eventually disappeared because of the weakness of their immune system to European sicknesses and discriminations from European settlers. Humanity has rapidly changed, leaving the story of the Taquestas to be carried on through time. This class has successfully passed on the story of the Taquestas to a new generation of scholars.
Everglades as Text
“Silence” by Andro Bailly of FIU at the Everglades
Miami is one of many epicenters in the United States. Tall buildings and bustling streets define downtown. Whether you are an inhabitant or simply visiting Miami, you are engulfed into the hectic environment. Large businesses are in the process of migrating to Miami because of its attractive tax laws. The liveliness of Miami will continue to grow at a steady pace. Along with it will come an increase in people, traffic, construction, and noise pollution. The city never sleeps. The noise levels always reflect that of a living ecosystem of working humans.
Approximately 50 miles southwest of the center of Miami you will find the true heart of Miami. The entrance into the Everglades. An epic and vast ecosystem that harbors a large biodiversity of wildlife. The Everglades is a one of kind and rich with history. Yet there are tourists and inhabitants of Miami who have never stepped foot into this glorious landscape. Our FIU class was fortunate enough to be able to go slogging through a special part of the Everglades. At one point, the class gathered, and the Park Ranger instructed us to have a moment of silence. This moment of silence is a luxury that not many people can enjoy, especially when you are in downtown Miami.
This silence is filled with life. You can hear the wind, birds, and the trees bumping into each other. It creates a calming sensation when you solely focus on this silence. As humanity continues to rapidly expand and evolve, experiences such as this Everglades adventure become more valuable. Preservation of these magical areas is a priority that has often been overlooked. Once class concluded, there was a post-class discussion led by a historian named Cesar. Cesar demonstrated how the integrity of the Everglades has been in jeopardy multiple times and till this day is fighting against the side effects of an ever-growing society. It is important to appreciate this silence while you still can, our class has allowed people to enjoy this experience.
South Beach as Text
“Preservation and Progression” by Andro Bailly of FIU at South Beach
Humans have been living on Miami Beach for thousands of years. Fast forwarding to the 20th century, Miami Beach was a small town inhabited by both blacks and whites. It was until Carl Fisher discovered it in 1910 that Miami Beach would change at a rapid pace. Carl Fisher was a visionary who saw Miami Beach as a pristine opportunity. He began purchasing land and developing the land to make it suitable for a large influx of wealthy white people. The connection of the railroad to Miami Beach would mark a turning point for the prevalence of segregation based off skin color in Miami Beach. Blacks helped build Fisher’s dream and when he didn’t need their help, he turned his back on them.
In response to the Blacks no longer being allowed access to Miami Beach they began going to an Island directly south of Miami Beach. Which they were also eventually kicked out of. This is now ironically called Fisher Island and the inhabitants are among the wealthiest in the world. Racism and segregation are present in the roots of Miami beach history. Earthly devastation of mangroves and an array of species was another factor in Fishers equation for a paradise. To prepare the land for mass construction, destruction of natural wildlife was needed. The beauty of Miami Beach is built on destruction, segregation, and greed.
Although Miami Beaches growth from Fisher may have a lot of negative aspects, it has given birth to beautiful architecture. In the present day, you will find 3 prominent architectural styles along Miami Beaches Ocean Drive. Mediterranean revival is a style of building that relates to the Earth. You can expect tiled roofs and earth type colors. Art Deco style is the most famous style and most common when strolling down Ocean Drive. Art Deco buildings appear as if they were a boat or spaceship that landed on a street. Dominated by pastel colors and building eyebrows that are present in the picture above. The third style that stands out the most would be Memo. A style of tall modern buildings with large amounts of glass and features adopted from Art Deco buildings.
It is important for our generation to understand and learn from how the Miami Beach as we know today was created. It is even more important if the history is filled with injustices, so that we can help prevent similar events from occurring.