Jared Johnson: Pinecrest 2021

Picture of Jared Johnson. Photo taken by Shae J./ CC by 4.0

Student Bio

My name is Jared Johnson and I am a 21-year old senior at Florida International University. I grew up and spent most of my life in Georgia but moved to South Florida in 2019. I am majoring in Computer Science with a minor in Business Administration. After graduation, I want to work in cybersecurity while continuing to expand my online businesses.

Geography

Pinecrest city limits. Photo taken from Google Maps/ CC by 4.0

The Village of Pinecrest is a suburban-style neighborhood located southwest of Miami. It is bordered by Kendall to the west, Palmetto Bay to the south, Coral Gables to the east, and South Miami to the north. Pinecrest is mainly residential consisting of standalone houses with some urban shopping areas closer to US-1. One of the defining features of the village is the high concentration of really old trees and foliage present throughout the entire town. Often, it is easy to forget you are actually in Miami when traveling around Pinecrest. Being a mostly residential community, there are a number of parks and greenspaces throughout Pinecrest.

Pinecrest natural landscape. Photo taken by Jared Johnson at Veterans Wayside Park/ CC by 4.0

History

The Village of Pinecrest started in the early 1900s as an area outside of Miami that Henry Flagler used as a staging area, when he was constructing a railroad down to the Florida Keys. During the 1930s, the area started to grow due to the Parrot Jungle. The Parrot Jungle and Gardens was a tourist attraction and brought in visitors from around the world. In the 1950s and 60s, there was a lot of development of single family ranch homes. By the 1990s, the area experienced rapid growth and, because of this, Evelyn Langlieb Greer and Gary Matzner started a movement to incorporate the area. The Village of Pinecrest was not officially incorporated until March 12, 1996. Greer was elected the first mayor of Pinecrest. In 2004, Matzner was the next mayor to be elected following Greer. (“History”)

Demographics

The Village of Pinecrest has a population of 19,155. There are 25.8% of residents that are under 18 years, 58.6% that are between 18 and 64 years old, and 15.6% that are 65 and older. Pinecrest is made up of 48.9% of the population being female and 51.1% being male. It is a mostly white community with 87.7% of the population being white, with 43.1% being non-Hispanic white. 

The median household income level is $156,875. Comparatively, the median household income of Miami-Dade county is $51,347 and the state of Florida’s is $55,660. This shows that Pinecrest is an upper middle class community making three times the average income than both the state and county. (“U.S. Census”)

Interview with Matt Killian

Photo of Matt Killian. Photo taken by Ryan Gilbert/ CC by 4.0

Jared: Hey Matt, thank you for taking the time to answer some of my questions. First off, please introduce yourself.

Matt: No problem, my name is Matthew Killian and I am a 21 year old college student studying Biology.

Jared: Okay Matt, so the first question is how long have you lived in Pinecrest?

Matt: I have lived in Pinecrest for 6 years.

Jared: What are your general thoughts on the neighborhood?

Matt: Overall, I would say that it’s a pretty nice place to live. It’s fairly quiet and safe which is important when picking a good place to live. It is basically a suburb though, so you are going to have to drive to go anywhere or to do any activities.

Jared: What is something that you like about Pinecrest?

Matt: I really like the quiet and natural atmosphere that’s found throughout Pinecrest. I also like the size of the property lots, as most places I’ve seen around Miami have small yards.

Jared: What is something that you dislike about Pinecrest?

Matt: It can be pretty far from certain events and takes a while to drive, especially if you are leaving during rush hour. That is probably my biggest complaint about the area.

Jared: Would you recommend Pinecrest to anyone looking to move to the Miami area?

Matt: Well, honestly it would depend on what they are looking for in a place to live. Whether they want to directly live in a city or not. But, just in general, I would recommend it.

Jared: Okay, thank you again for your time.

Landmarks

Pinecrest Gardens

Pinecrest Gardens is a reasonably priced walk-through park on the corner of Southwest 111th Street and Southwest 57th Ave. This was the original site of the Parrot Jungle, which was what brought people to Pinecrest in the early 1900s. Inside the garden, you are free to walk around and admire the plethora of different flora and fauna, bring children to play in the playground and splash-n-play, or watch the different animals that are there. The prices for entry are listed on the Pinecrest Gardens website.  (“Pinecrest Gardens”)

The address is: 11000 SW 57th Ave, Pinecrest, FL 33156

Veterans Wayside Park

Veterans Wayside Park is a small greenspace right off of US Highway 1 and between Southwest 79th Ave. Though not too big, this peaceful park has a lake in the center with an active water fountain. There are plenty of large trees surrounding it, providing shade on a sunny day, which makes it an ideal spot to come relax on a warm summer day. There are multiple benches placed throughout the park where you can sit and relax while watching the various wildlife that roam this park. (“Veterans Wayside Park”)

The address is: 11111 SW 79th Ave, Pinecrest, FL 33156

St. Louis Catholic Community
St. Louis Catholic Church entrance sign. Photo taken by Jared Johnson/ CC by 4.0

St. Louis Catholic church is an important religious landmark located relatively in the center of Pinecrest. This church was founded in 1963 by Bishop Coleman F. Carroll. St Louis consists of a main worship building surrounded by smaller administrative buildings. It also has an attached Covenant school. St. Louis states that they are open and welcome to all. (“St. Louis Church”)

The address is: 7270 SW 120th Street, Pinecrest, FL 33156

Greenspaces

Coral Pine Park

Coral Pine park is located on the north end of Pinecrest off of Southwest 104th Street. This is a nine acre park with six tennis courts, a recreation center, and a spacious green area. There are fields for outdoor games and outside tables behind the recreation center for relaxing in the outdoor air. There are also plenty of large trees overlooking the fields that will provide shade on a sunny day. (“Coral Pine Park”)

This park is located at: 6955 SW 104th St, Pinecrest, FL 33156.

Suniland Park

Suniland Park is located towards the south end of Pinecrest off of US Highway 1 and Southwest 128th St. This park is 10 acres in size and its main attraction is the baseball and football fields, along with the recreation center with basketball courts. There is also a dog park located on site along with a small playground for kids. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, they have set up a vaccination site at the park as well. (“Suniland Park”)

The address is: 12855 Pinecrest Pkwy, Pinecrest, FL 33156.

Evelyn Greer Park
Entrance to Evelyn Greer Park. Photo taken by Jared Johnson/ CC by 4.0

Evelyn Greer Park is located off of US Highway 1, one block north of Suniland Park. This is a 10 acre park that has baseball and football fields on the outside, with basketball courts inside the recreation center. This park has a small playground for children and is also home to Leslie Bowe Hall. (“Evelyn Greer Park”)

The address is: 8200 SW 124th St, Pinecrest, FL 33156.

Transportation

Car

The majority of residents use cars to travel around Pinecrest. On the west border, Pinecrest has US 1 which is a highway giving access to the majority of commercial areas located in Pinecrest. Like most of Miami, the Pinecrest roads follow an easy to navigate grid pattern with access to all residential areas. Traveling by car is usually the preferred method of transportation around Pinecrest, but due to heavy traffic during certain hours of the day, other transportation options need to be considered.

Bus

Cars are not the only means of transportation in Pinecrest. If you do not own a car or simply wish to not drive through heavy traffic, Pinecrest offers public transportation called Pinecrest People Mover. The People Mover has northern and southern routes, as well as different schedules for middle and high schools, traveling all throughout Pinecrest. It also has connections to the Metrobus if one wishes to travel beyond Pinecrest.

Bike

If you do not want to be beholden to the heavy traffic that the Miami area is known for, Pinecrest also has plenty of bike lanes and bike accessible routes. It is not an uncommon sight to see people riding a bike past cars and buses stuck in traffic. Most places in Pinecrest are within a reasonable distance to be reached by bike in a timely manner. There are also some recreational bike trails throughout Pinecrest.

Food

Apizza Brooklyn

Apizza Brooklyn is located on the north end of Pinecrest off of US Highway 1. It can be hard to find due to being located in a large commercial plaza. Once inside, the rustic and old fashioned interior catches the eye. This creates the atmosphere of an upscale, family owned restaurant. Apizza Brooklyn serves mainly Brooklyn-style pizzas, but also has a wide assortment of other Italian foods and pasta dishes. (“Apizza Brooklyn”)

The address is: 9515 S Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest, FL 33156.

La Boulangerie

La Boulangerie is located on the southern end of Pinecrest, in the commercial plaza across the street from Evelyn Greer Park. La Boulangerie is a French artisanal bakery with latin influence. It originated in the Miami area and has been in business for over 20 years. They are known for their croissants and other baked desserts, but they offer various entrees as well. Their combination of light, earthly colors and a vintage-industrial style, creates the perfect atmosphere to enjoy a quiet breakfast or lunch. (“La Boulangerie”)

The address is: 8283 SW 124th St, Pinecrest, FL 33156.

Malanga Cuban Cafe

Malanga Cuban Cafe is also located on the southern end of Pinecrest, near La Boulangerie and directly next to US Highway 1. This is a small family owned establishment that has a wide selection of Cuban food. They are best known for their Pan con Lechon, however, they offer many different pork dishes.  Different Cuban expressions are painted along the walls of the cafe. If the limited indoor seating is full, they offer outdoor dining with a view of Evelyn Greer Park across the street. (“Malanga Cuban Cafe”)

The address is: 12313 S Dixie Hwy, Miami, FL 33156

Businesses

Pinecrest Wayside Market

The Pinecrest Wayside Market is a local produce and small grocery store. They are known for their uniquely delicious strawberry shakes. Inside this store, you will find much more than just produce. Different spices, smoothies, drinks, and healthy snacks line the shelves. They also carry desserts, such as pies, that you can order on the spot and enjoy at one of their outdoor tables. This is located on the east side of Pinecrest right off of SW 57th Ave.

The address is: 10070 SW 57th Ave, Pinecrest, FL 33156.

Hirni’s Wayside Garden Florist

Hirni’s Wayside Garden Florist is located on SW 57th Ave, near the Pinecrest Wayside Market. This small, family owned shop has been in business for over fifty years. They sell all sorts of different flowers including, but not limited to, Spring, Tropical, and Exotic. They also sell for special occasions, such as birthdays. Along with flowers and bouquets, they also sell goodie items for gift and fruit baskets. (“Hirni’s Wayside Garden Florist”)

The address for this is: 9950 SW 57th Ave, Pinecrest, FL 33156

Daily Bread

Daily Bread is a Middle East and Greek market as well as a restaurant. This is a family-owned business with a unique concept that has been open since 1978. As you walk in, you will see a counter like you would find in a fast food store on the right. On the left, there are rows of small shelves similar to what you would find in a grocery store. The shelves are filled with a plethora of different greek and middle eastern spices and ingredients. On the other half of the store you will find huge menu screens consisting of delicious Greek and middle eastern cuisines. (“Daily Bread”)

The address is: 12131 S Dixie Hwy, Pinecrest, FL 33156.

Summary

The Village of Pinecrest is a suburban, mostly residential, community with some commercial centers along US highway 1. Overall, the community is quite safe and the crime rate is lower than the national average. However, due to the high cost of living, many people will be unable to afford to live in the area; as shown with the high median household income. Throughout all of Pinecrest, there are lots of trees and foliage giving the community a more rural and natural feel. However, the rush hour gridlock that Pinecrest experiences can take away from the natural and green atmosphere the community strives for. Because of this, the Village of Pinecrest needs to focus on ways to reduce the volume of cars, such as investing in more public transit and bike lanes. Although, the rush hour traffic is not nearly as bad in Pinecrest than other parts of Miami. Since Pinecrest is a suburban entity, Pinecrest has a litany of delicious and unique places to eat throughout the community, along with plenty of parks to enjoy the outdoor air.

Citations

“About Us.” Hirni’s Wayside Garden Florist, https://hirnisflorist.net/about-us/.

“Adom :: St. Louis Church :: Main.” ADOM :: St. Louis Church :: Main, https://www.miamiarch.org/CatholicDiocese.php?op=Church_531417225062_main.

“APIZZA BROOKLYN.” APIZZA BROOKLYN Resto + Vino, https://apizzabrooklyn.com/.

“Coral Pine Park.” Village of Pinecrest, https://www.pinecrest-fl.gov/government/parks-recreation/parks-and-facilities/coral-pine.

“Evelyn Greer Park.” Village of Pinecrest, https://www.pinecrest-fl.gov/government/parks-recreation/parks-and-facilities/evelyn-greer.

“History.” History | Village of Pinecrest, https://www.pinecrest-fl.gov/our-village/history.

“La Boulangerie.” La Boulangerie Boul’Mich – About Us, https://laboulangerieusa.com/aboutus.php.

“Malanga Cafe: Pinecrest – Miami, Florida: Gourmet Cuban Cuisine.” Malangacubancafe, https://www.malangacafe.com/.

“Middle East Kitchen + Market.” Daily Bread, 2 Dec. 2020, https://dailybreadmiami.com/.

“Pinecrest Gardens.” Visit Us | Pinecrest Gardens, https://www.pinecrestgardens.org/venue/contact-us.

“Pinecrest People Mover.” Village of Pinecrest, https://www.pinecrest-fl.gov/our-village/public-transportation/pinecrest-people-mover.

“Suniland Park.” Village of Pinecrest, https://www.pinecrest-fl.gov/government/parks-recreation/parks-and-facilities/suniland.

“U.S. Census Bureau Quickfacts: Pinecrest Village, Florida.” United States Census Bureau, https://www.census.gov/quickfacts/pinecrestvillageflorida.

“Veterans Wayside Park.” Village of Pinecrest, https://www.pinecrest-fl.gov/government/parks-recreation/parks-and-facilities/veterans-wayside.

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