Aimee Zuniga: Doral 2021

             Student Bio

Photo of Aimee Zuniga at Bryce Canyon National Park. Taken by Diego Carro

My name is Aimee Zuniga, I am a senior hoping to graduate by July 2021. I am an organizational communications student. I will be continuing my education and getting a master’s in international business after I graduate.  I was born and raised in Miami, so picking between all the different neighborhoods was difficult. Although I have never been a resident of Doral, I did attend a charter high school in the Doral area. I have spent a lot of time in Doral as a teenager. I haven’t been in this part of Miami in about 4  years so, I wanted to do this project on a part of Miami that I truly miss spending my time at. 

Geography

Map of Doral taken from apple maps.

What once was swampland, then turned golf course, is now a fast growing urban landscape filled with shops, restaurants, and residential housing. Located between the Turnpike and the Palmetto, the city of Doral continues to grow in population without expanding its borders. Much of Doral is occupied by residential homes, many of them being luxury and modern homes which have been recently constructed in the past couple of years. There is quite the distinction between the residential and industrial areas of the city. From NW 12th St up until about NW 41th St, you will find the streets almost entirely filled with commercial and industrial warehouses as well as shopping strips, and restaurants. Passing 41st St, you will be greeted by luxury apartments, townhomes, and big houses. Recently, there has been a lot of construction and interest in what is called Downtown Doral. There are multiple large apartment buildings surrounding by modern townhouses and a strip which houses several local and chain restaurants. Its a nice area to have a bite to eat and later take a stroll in the Downtown Doral Park.

History

The city of Doral gets is name from two real estate pioneers named Doris and Alfred Kaskel. Together they coined the name “Doral”. When purchasing the land, their intention was never to make it into a city. Instead, they had goals of creating a golf course and a hotel. After creation of both the golf course and hotel, Doris and Alfred saw a large growth in attendants. In the 1980s, there was interest in the city of Doral as well, and residential areas were soon built. The first residential houses to be built was called Doral Estates, which to this day holds the same name and location. Soon after that, the second residential area of the city was developed with the help of Lennar, to build Doral Park. Following this trend, the city began to expand further as young families gained interest in living in what was back then an area of low housing costs. Fast forward a couple of decades and the people of Doral voted for incorporation. This lead to a new local government which took care of their own people, and lead to a growth in investment and expansion. Today, there are several areas of the city which are getting the attention of Fortune 100 corporations and mom-and-pop stores. The city is growing and there is no end in sight to the progress.

Demographics

Like most of Miami, the city of Doral is predominantly hispanic. The largest nationalities in Doral are Venezuelan and Colombian. This is evident simply by driving around the area as you will be greeted with many Venezuelan owned small business including boutiques and restaurants. While there is a melting pot of different nationalities, Fox News has reported that so many Venezuelans have fled their country and arrived in Florida, that they’re becoming a “growing political and cultural force in an area that for years has largely been dominated by Cubans.” As a matter of fact, with the ever-growing population of Venezuelans in Doral, a new nickname has been coined to the city: Doralzuela.

Interview with a Doral resident

Photo of Erick Carro. Taken by Aimee Zuniga

Erick Carro is a Doral Academy student who has lived in Doral his entire life.

Aimee: Can you please give me a small introduction of yourself?

Erick: I am a junior at Doral academy and the streets of Doral is all I know.

Aimee: How did you end up in Doral?

Erick: My parents came from Mexico and wanted to live in Doral. So I have been here since I was a little kid.

Aimee: How would you describe Doral?

Erick: Doral is one of the cleanest and safest areas in Miami. It is also very diverse with people with different Latin nationalities which I really like because I am Mexican.

Aimee: What is your favorite thing about Doral?

Erick: My favorite thing about Doral would have to be all the Venezuelan food.

Landmarks

Trump National Doral

Photo of Trump National entrance. Taken by Aimee Zuniga

Everyone knows about Trump National Doral. Not only is it a Doral landmark, but it is actually a very historic location in the city. Most people don’t know, but the hotel and golf course was the first estate to be built back when Doris and Alfred envisioned the city to be only a hotel and golf course. In 2012, the property’s management changed and Donald Trump purchased the land and changed the name of the Hotel. To this day, the property is used as a hotel and resort, golf course, and is a host to many large events in Doral. Donald Trump also stayed in this property several times during his presidency.

Downtown Doral Park

Photo of Entrance of Downtown Doral Park. Taken by Aimee Zuniga.

In the heart of a booming city lies Downtown Doral Park. The park is between the booming activity that is the restaurant strip, government center, brand new townhomes, and even a school. Whether you are working in the government building or wanting to take a walk after a big meal, the park provides excellent and clean service that is hard to imitate. The park itself is not too big in size compared to other parks in Doral but it does offer a spacious grassy area to take a blanket and have a nice picnic. There is also a brand new playground in the park for younger kids to enjoy and it is in pretty good condition too!

Doral Government Center

Photo of Doral Government center. Taken by Aimee Zuniga

The Doral Government center is where you can offices of government officials such as Mayor J.C Bermudez and Vice Mayor Pete Cabrera. The building finished construction in 2012 and costed approximately $22 million to build. The government center also has two beautifully crafted amethyst women shaped sculpture in the entrance.

Green

Morgan Levy Park

Morgan Levy entrance. Photo taken by Aimee Zuniga.

Morgan Levy Park is the hub of all youth activities for Doral residents. For almost everyone that went to school in the area, the possibility of hanging out in Morgan Levy on a Friday night is incredibly high. A couple years back, the park was named Doral Park, in which everyone would ask each other in school, “are you going to DP?” The park was popular for a reason, it has numerous basketball courts, soccer courts, a playground, a volleyball court, and a concession stand. The park is centrally located within the neighborhood of Doral Park.

Doral Central Park

Entrance of Doral Central Park. Photo taken by Henry Requiz.

Formally known as J.C Bermudez Park, Doral Central Park offers a mile loop where many go to run, bike, or walk. It is the largest park in the city of Doral, measured at 82 acres. There is a small outdoor gym for guests to use as well as a lake in the middle of the park. Many events are held at the park for its vast open space. Unlike other Doral parks, this one lies in the middle of commercial and industrial warehouses and buildings. Nevertheless, it is a nice park to go for a jog.

Transportation

Doral Trolley

Doral trolley stop. Photo taken by Aimee Zuniga.

“Next stop!” Hearing this aboard the Doral trolley was an everyday thing for a lot of kids. The trolley was taken as a lot of students as an alternative to take the bus. After all, why pay weekly for the bus when you can take a free trolley provided by the city? For this reason it is one of the most widely used method of transportation for residents of Doral. Aside from the Doral trolley, driving around the city you will find a lot of pedestrian traffic as people walk and bike to their destinations.

Food

Pepitolandia

Pepitolandia is a Venezuelan fast food restaurant. They are known for signature Venezuelan hotdogs and burgers. Most fast-food restaurants in Doral sell hotdogs and burgers as it is a very famous in Venezuela to eat hotdogs with different sauces and toppings. The way the hotdogs and hamburgers is eaten with different toppings and sauces is what makes it Venezuelan.

El Arepazo

El Arepazo is another very famous Venezuelan fast food restaurant. As you can see from the photo above there is a Venezuelan flag. Doral is full of Venezuelan restaurants that wave the Venezuelan flag. El Arepazo is known for traditional Venezuelan arepas. They also sell Venezuelan hotdogs. Most of these fast-food places all sell the same Venezuelan eateries such as arepas , hotdogs and hamburgers.

Pepito Arepa’s

Photo of Pepito Arepa’s taken by Aimee Zuniga.

Pepito’s arepas is another Venezuelan fast food place. This place is known to be the hangout spot on weekend nights .This spot is also known for the traditional Venezuelan style arepas. Anywhere you go in Doral you will see Venezuelan eatery.

Summary

All in all , Doral is one of the safest and nicest areas to live in. If you are ever craving Venezuelan eateries , Doral is the place to come eat. If you ever feel like engaging with a very diverse community then Doral is the place for you. There are plenty of parks for you to come take walks and exercise. Doral is a very prosperous city. It is great for families and individuals that want to live in a diverse community. Doral is a city that continuously grows for the better and a beautiful place to live.

Works Cited

https://www.foxnews.com/us/venezuelans-becoming-a-growing-political-and-cultural-force-in-miami

https://www.simscrane.com/city-doral-gets-new-city-hall/

https://www.cityofdoral.com

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