Gianmarco Agostinone: Paris 2019

Metro Line 1


In this project I go over some of the major stops on Paris Metro Line 1. Each stop is broken down into a different theme where I explore how the stop relates to it by reviewing its history and reflecting on my experiences there and how it relates to both me and France.

La Defénse

The Business Districts (Modern Architecture)

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  • La Défense is Europe’s largest purposely built business district
  • The Grande Arche is the central and defining building of the district and is the third arch on the Historical Axis of Paris, the first two being the Arc de Triomphe de l’Étoile and the Arc de Triomphe du Carrousel
  • The district is named after the statue La Defense de Paris which celebrates the soldiers who had defended Paris in the France-Prussian War
  • The district consists of 1,500 businesses, 180,000 employees, and 20,000 residents.


In contrast with the majority of Paris, La Défense resembles a modern Utopia. Surrounded by glass skyscrapers, modern art, and hundreds of people walking and scootering to work. It was a complete shock witnessing this as you only associate Paris with its traditional architecture and historical streets so when walking up the steps of the metro and seeing a city more advanced than those back home was unbelievable. Although filled with modern architecture and technology, the district kept much of the traditional Parisian values on what is necessary for a city to have, pedestrian friendly and an abundance of parks. The layout was left me awestruck the most. As the city resembled a jungle with buildings growing on top of one another in an almost haphazardly manner. Constantly, I found myself going down or up stairs to realize I was previously on the roof of a building and there was a new built above that. Then there were parks around every corner, both small and large, both above and below buildings, both packed with people and secluded from the world. They truly perfected the modern city.

Charles de Gualle-Étoile

Arc de Triomphe (War)

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  • Built to honor those who died fighting in the French Revolution and Napoleonic wars
  • Beneath it lies the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier from WW1 and the Eternal Flame
  • Commissioned by Napoleon to celebrate his victories but was never finished under him due to his eventual defeat
  • Only completed during the reign of King Louis-Philippe in 1836
  • Used to celebrate the return of the victorious armies by having them march through the arch during the parade for their return to Paris
  • After World War 1 the tradition of walking through the arch ended and now they walk around the arch out of respect for the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and its symbolism (even Hitler respected this tradition after his invasion of Paris)


After having the unique experience of witnessing the original Roman victory arches in the Roman Forum, it was breathtaking seeing one from such a modern time. When I think of civilizations conquering each other simply for expansion my mind always goes back to ancient Roman times or further back, not a century or two ago, not present day. Where the world was not explored and unknown lands surrounded you. Where we knew little of our neighbors and saw them simply as enemies. So to think thats it’s construction started merely 200 years ago, and that war as stained its surroundings less than a hundred years ago is hard to understand. We live in such a globalized world, yet we still see each others as enemies. We know that we are just a small speck in this massive universe, yet we still fight for even smaller specks. This monument, although beautiful and symbolic of France’s freedom, just serves as a reminder to me that the world has a long way to go before we see ourselves as members of one unified society rather than many warring ones.

George V

Louis Vuitton (Fashion)

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  • Paris has been a center for fashion from the 15th century to today
  • The Champs-Élysées has become known for its designer shops and the place to be if you want to be successful in Paris Fashion
  • The street consists of over 15 fashion and accessory stores
  • Louis Vuitton opened its first store on the street in 1913 and reopened it with its current design in 2005
  • In 1854, Louis Vuitton designed one of the first high end and practical suitcase trunks


Paris has always been the center for fashion, in my life time and long before that, and the shops and people on Champs-Elysées perfectly represent that. Walking down the street you pass designer shop after designer shop, all trying to outdo the previous one. I find it interesting because all the shops seem to just be trying to show the luxuriousness of their brand rather than turn a profit. As my professor John Bailly said, “If you want your company to be known in France, you have to have a store on the Champs-Élysées”. The Louis Vuitton store really exemplifies this mindset as the store resembles a museum more than a place you buy clothes. There’s a line to get in with a bouncer at the door, vintage suitcases and clothes on display, and with the exorbitant prices it might as well be like your are looking at works of art and not something you will wear and risk damaging. There are many cities in the world that are known for great artworks, but Paris has managed to bring art into the day to day lives of the people through fashion.

Franklin D. Roosevelt

Tour de France (Sports)

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  • The Tour de France is an annual men’s multiple stage bicycle race held in France that lasts 21 days
  • It was first started 1903 by a newspaper company named L’Auto to increase there sales
  • The first winner of the race a Frenchman named Maurice Garin and the most recent winner for this year was Egan Bernal
  • This year marked the 100th race (as it has gone on every year since its start except during WW1 and WW2)


Witnessing the last stage of the Tour de France was something I never thought I would do in my life. Not because I didn’t have any interest to but because I never thought of it being a possibility, the thought never even crossed my mind when I would glimpse at the race from my TV at home. But when I saw those cyclists zoom by I was awestruck. Thousands of people from all over the world like me were all lined up to witness history in the making. All of the cyclists hard work and determination throughout the race were all culminating at this last moment and it showed through the ferocity at which they pedaled pedaled for that victory. What really made it unique and special to me though was how many Colombian’s there were cheering for their rider Egan Bernal. Although I am not Colombian, many of my closest friends are and I felt proud for them for this victory. It was a beautiful sight and it felt like I was already back home celebrating with them.


Jardins de Champs-Elysées (Parks)

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  • The Jardins de Champs-Elysées was one of the first official public parks made in Paris in 1667
  • It occupies 13.7 hectares of land and is on both sides of the Champs-Elysées
  • As of today the city of Paris has 421 public and museum owned parks and gardens
  • Starting in the late 20th century, French Presidents have had a tradition of creating new museums and parks to mark their period on office
  • 166 parks have been created since 1977


One part of French culture I have not seen anywhere else is there love for parks. All around Paris, locals gather in these parks to relax, eat, spend time with friends and family. Nothing back home compares to this. No one really just goes outside to relax and enjoy the surroundings and people. They rather stay inside in their AC and play video games or watch TV. In our defense it is much hotter on average and the humidity is unbearable, but that shouldn’t confine that to our homes. It is not the way to live. This especially hits me at home because as software engineer, I spend all day looking at a computer screen to the point of exhaustion, and then have to come home only to do more of that. It gets to the point that I don’t want to look at another screen for the rest of the day but in our culture that is nearly impossible and my friends are never in the same mindset. So my time here has been liberating and every second I have spent just enjoying life in the parks of Paris has been priceless and I hope that this lifestyle I have been living here can transfer over for when I get back home.


Luxor Obelisk (Imperialism)

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  • The obelisk was originally located at the Luxor Temple entrance in Egypt
  • The obelisk was given as gift by Muhammad Ali Pasha, the ruler of Ottoman Egypt
  • Napoleon invaded and occupied France around 1978 in order to set up a trade route to the East
  • The French had two colonial empires, the 1st in the Americas starting in the 1500s, and the second in Africa starting in the 1800s


When I look at this obelisk I think about all of the imperialization and colonization that occurred during European history. Western civilizations had consistently used their advanced technology and ideologies to plow through Africa, Asia, and the Americas. They went where they wanted, took what they wanted, and imposed whatever ideologies they deemed necessary on the local inhabitants. When looking back on history it is easy to see the acts of these western cultures as horrific. They came into foreign lands and planted their flags claiming it for themselves. Then murdering anyone who stood in their paths. Unlike regular war and conquest that they attempted on each other, which was usually more fair and civilized, imperialism was everything but that. They took advantage of their lack of technology and would needlessly shed blood, take their resources, and destabilize their governments to the point that most of those countries have not recovered to this day.


Louvre (Art)

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  • The Louvre was created in 1190 as a fort to protect Paris
  • It was converted to the king’s palace in 1546 by Francis I until 1682 when Louis XIV moved it to Versailles
  • It was then converted to a museum by the National Assembly during the French Revolution in 1793
  • It is currently the worlds largest museum
  • There are over 38,000 objects on display from Ancient times to modern day


If I could describe the Louvre with one word, it would be intimidating. The size of the palace itself is intimidating, the amount of works is intimidating, and just the overall feeling that you are around some of the worlds greatest works is intimidating. Seeing works from all ages, all places, all in one place was a marvel. One second you are looking at the intact remains of the original fort built on the location, the next you are starring at authentic Greek and Roman statues that inspired many of the greatest Renaissance artists before us. France prides themselves in their art skills and art appreciation, something that I believe the US doesn’t do enough of. The fact that going to the Louvre is cheaper than visiting PAMM is unbelievable yet that is the mindset of the country we will in. No one back home values art because they don’t see the immediate monetary reward for it and to be honest I was one of those people prior to completing Italy and France Study Abroad. But I’ve come to realize that art can be rewarding in more intellectual and spiritual ways that are necessary in making humanity more human.


Pompidou (Modern Art)

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  • It is where the Bibliothèque publique d’information, the Musée National d’Art Moderne, and the IRCAM are located
  • The Musée National d’Art Moderne is the largest modern art museum in Europe
  • The Museum contains over 100,000 works of art made by over 6,400 artists
  • The museum contains art from styles such as Fauvism, Expressionism, Cubism, Dada, Abstract Art, Surrealism for modern art and Pop Art, Nouveau Réalisme, Conceptual art for contemporary art


Prior to coming onto this trip. I had no understanding of modern art, no appreciation for it, and wondered what all the fuss was about. After visiting Pompidou and attending John Bailly’s lecture on modern art my eyes were opened. I’ve learned the reason behind it all and the intricacies and techniques backing their work and have found a new appreciation for this art. But I still hate it. I appreciate the attempt most modern artists make to be unique and creative but being unique and creative doesn’t always mean what you turn over is good. I do enjoy some of the ideas some artists bring to the table but after that it just becomes a bunch of artists trying to mimic those who succeeded before them hoping to get their time in the spotlight. When I see paintings that consist of multiple blank canvases or canvases painted all one color I don’t think of it as art but instead as just lazy and uninspiring attempts for fame and fortune. Yet somehow they still end up in some of the most prestigious museums in the world, which will forever baffle me.


Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis (Religion)

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  • Constructed between 1627 to 1641 on orders of Louis XIII
  • Design implements a mixture of Italian, French Gothic, and Dutch styles
  • Created for the Jesuits in the area until they were persecuted in 1762
  • In 1792, 5 priests were killed in the church during the September Massacres
  • It was then converted to the Cult of Reason and Supreme Being during the French revolution, only being restored to the Catholic Church in 1802 due to the Concordat of 1801


Religion has always been a controversial topic in French history. Especially during revolutionary France. This church perfectly displays this controversy with how many times its control has changed hands. Starting with the Jesuits, then Catholics, then French Revolutionaries, then back to the Catholics. With every change of hands causing more tension. The main reason for such backlash comes from how closely the church was tied to the monarchy and its feudal ways, which in a time of rising republican ideals, created conflict between the citizens and the catholic and noble elite. After the revolution, the separation of church and state has remained to this day but unlike revolutionary times, religion is not as hated. Instead the French have a mutual respect for the church and its history and try to preserve it even if they don’t believe in it.


Bastille (Revolution)


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  • The Bastille was built between 1370 and 1383 during the reign of king Charles V to defend Paris
  • It was turned into a prison in the 17th century during the reign of Louis XIII
  • Housed primarily political prisoners as well as some religious ones
  • On July 14th 1789, the citizens of France stormed off the Bastille in search of weapons to fight the monarchy
  • By 1792, the Bastille was completely destroyed by revolutionaries and turned into a square celebrating liberty
  • In 1833, a column representing liberty was built in honor of the storming of the Bastille


The storming of the Bastille symbolized the start of the French Revolution. It was both a political prison for the enemies of the monarchy and a weapons storage that the people could use against their oppressors. The tearing down of the prison and erection of a column signifying liberty stress the ideals of both the revolution and modern day France. This is a country that celebrates its freedom and will not hesitate to fight and shed blood for it. A recurring theme in the country’s history.


“Arc De Triomphe.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 18 July 2019,

Bureau, Paris Convention and Visitors. “All You Need to Know about the Champs-Élysées Paris – Paris Tourist Office – Paris Tourist Office.”,

“Champs-Élysées.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 27 July 2019,

“The Church of Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis in Paris Marais Neighborhood.”,

“French Colonial Empire.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 July 2019,

“French Fashion.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 31 May 2019,

“History – All Rankings, Starters, Stages, Jersey Wearers, Stage Winner on the Tour De France.” History – All Rankings, Starters, Stages, Jersey Wearers, Stage Winner on the Tour De France,

“History of Parks and Gardens of Paris.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 7 June 2019,

“Jardin Des Champs-Élysées.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 6 May 2019,

“La Défense.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 July 2019,

“List of Parks and Gardens in Paris.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 July 2019,

“Louis Vuitton.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 28 July 2019,

“Luxor Obelisk.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 15 July 2019,

Murray, Lorraine. “Arc De Triomphe.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,

“Paris La Défense.” History of the Place | Paris La Défense,

Tanner, Jakob. “Louis Vuitton and Luggage: History of the Trunk.” Londnr, 13 Feb. 2019,

“Tour De France.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 29 July 2019,

“Tour Egypt.” Egypt,

Walsh, Liz, et al. “The Crimes of French Imperialism.” Truthout, Truthout,

“Église Saint-Paul-Saint-Louis.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 12 July 2019,

Gianmarco Agostinone: Miami as Text 2019-2020


Photo By Jessica Horsham CC By 4.0

Gianmarco Agostinone is currently a senior finishing his undergraduate portion of his combined bachelors and masters degree in computer science. Over the course of his time in college, he has traveled on two study abroads with professor Bailly, France and Italy, and wants to culminate his travel experience by finally learning about the area he has lived in his whole life, Miami. After college, he hopes to continue his newfound lifestyle of traveling and photography and eventually make his way throughout the rest of Europe.

Metro As Text

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Miami: A Home That Doesn’t Feel Like Home By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Miami on September 11, 2019

Is it strange to say I know the streets of Rome and Paris better than I know those of Miami? I can direct you to the colosseum like it’s the back of my hand but if you ask me how to get to South Beach, I’m lost without Google Maps. I know Florence’s hidden gems. Little known places to watch the sunset over the city’s skyline. I know where to go to get the best macchiato or the world’s best gelato. But I can’t tell you where you can find a decent cup of coffee in a five-mile radius of FIU that’s not a Starbucks. I call Miami home, but I know nothing of her.

This really hit me on the day of the metro. Countless times I have driven to the places that the metro connected, and never did I once realize it was even there. A big reason why I’ve always justified my lack of knowledge and traveling throughout Miami is the inconvenience it is to get anywhere. With its crazy drivers and the sheer distance away everything is, you must make a whole day out of going anywhere and I just never have that time to commit. It was not like in Paris, where its extensive metro system can take you anywhere you desired and quickly too, that having lunch by the Eiffel Tower was not something you had to plan your day around. But finding out that Miami has a system like that too was an eye-opener. Now it is nowhere near as extensive as many modern areas but it’s a start and already has allowed me to visit more places and see more things than I ever have here before and that’s just the beginning. For now, I plan on using the metro whenever I can and hopefully, one day the system will expand enough that you won’t need a car to go anywhere in Miami.

Vizcaya As Text

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Cultural Appropriation By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Vizcaya on September 25, 2019

An issue that many people have with Vizcaya, along with many other places and people, is that they took items and ideas from other cultures, which is considered cultural appropriation. They received backlash due to Deering buying these famous artworks and uprooting them from their homes to make them a part of his and using foreign architectural designs that had no origin in Miami. Some believe that by doing this he is making an artificial landscape that has meaningless foundations and contents. But I do not agree. We are living in an ever-increasing globalized world where ideas and cultures spread faster than ever, and trends can travel from one place to the another nearly overnight. Integrating these other cultures beliefs and ideas should not be considered wrong and is even vital for the progression of our society.

Anybody should be able to appreciate aspects of other cultures and not be judged for it. Even with Deering, he bought artwork from all over with only the intention of making his house look pretty, but that doesn’t make it wrong. He still was able to spread this beauty to an area that lacked it and did no harm in doing so. Spreading and adopting aspects of other cultures, whether it be the way you dress, act, talk, or things you own should never be seen as wrong as long as you don’t do it to mock those cultures and rather do it because you sincerely respect them.

Deering As Text

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Tequesta: A Lost Nation By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Deering Estate on October 13, 2019

Who were the Tequesta?

Little is known.

They thrived for over two-thousand years in the Biscayne Bay.

All to just be wiped out from the face of the Earth.

All to be murdered and taken from their lands by the hands of the Spaniards.

Who were the Tequesta?

They were hunters and gatherers.

Living off the abundant resources their home provided.

They crafted tools from shells, making knives, screws, hammers, and more.

They were a resourceful people, who knew their land and how to use it to its fullest.

Who were the Tequesta?

They were a friendly nation.

Who welcomed the Spaniards with open arms.

But were not welcomed back.

The Spaniards forced them to convert to Christianity.

Forced them to leave their homes.

Forced them into slavery.

Forced them to their death.

So, who were the Tequesta?

We know where they lived.

We know how they survived.

We know how they died.

But we will never know, who they were.

Chicken Key As Text

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Unnecessary By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Chicken Key on October 23, 2019

Fourteen billion pounds of trash are dumped into the ocean every year. That’s fourteen billion pieces of garbage that fish might mistake for food. Fourteen billion pieces of garbage that might get stuck around a bird’s neck. Fourteen billion pieces of garbage that can trap a helpless manatee. These pieces of garbage are not just things we can discard without consequences. What we consider harmless trash can be another animals killer.

Canoeing over to chicken key was all fun and games until you set foot on the island. Where it was too dangerous to go barefoot on the land or off in the surrounding water due to all the broken glass. Where you couldn’t go a step in any direction without finding a piece of trash. Ropes tied around the mangroves, glass bottles everywhere, missing sandals, plastic waste, and an endless amount of bottle caps. You don’t realize how wasteful and unnecessary plastic water bottles are until you find a hundred of them in the span of a few hours.

All this waste made we realize how unnecessary it all is.  The amount of times people buy in excess of what they need and end up just dumping it is unreal. The amount of companies that make products which are designed to fail or be one time uses so that they can sell more when they are fully capable of making more environmentally friendly products. This should be illegal, yet it is just more rampant then ever

As a society we need to do more than just beach cleanups, as that is not solving the problem, but just merely delaying the effects. We need to unite to fight against those who are contributing to these mass pollutions. We need government action to save this world before it is too late.

Wynnwood As Text

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Modern Art By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Wynnwood on November 6, 2019

Modern art has always been a form of art that was difficult for me to understand and enjoy. To me, most of it always seemed like an excuse to make an “art piece” with little skill or work involved. And that to me seemed like an insult to the art community and everyone who enjoys art. 

The idea of painting an entire canvas a single color of blue and then calling it a masterpiece and selling it for millions was crazy to me. And it still is a little bit. But after hearing from the Margulies and De La Cruz families, it opened my mind to the idea of modern art. They went into detail about the symbolism and beautiful ideas that went into the art. They explained how these art works are about more than the visual aspects, saying that the visual appeal has little to no importance to them.  Whether the work was to show the importance of negative space, whether it was to remind the creator of the last days he spent with his lover or dad, they all have a meaning that goes past the initial observation.

Not having to focus on rigid rules and practices allows them to create whatever they want in any form they want. Unleashing unlimited possibilities that can’t be done in any other forms of art. So modern art may not be the most visually appealing art style but it is one of the most liberating ones.

History Miami As Text

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A History of Maimi’s People By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in History Miami Museum on November 20, 2019


One man’s home, another’s conquest.

One man’s safe heaven, another’s prison.

A place with such rich and conflicting history.

There were those who lived here before us.

Those who can truly call Miami home.

The natives such as the Tequesta’s and Seminoles, who wanted nothing but peace and a place to live.

These people were conquered by generations of Europeans.

All wanting nothing but to expand their grasp, expand their power.

They killed and kidnapped until the natives had no fight left and the land was theirs.

Then they started bringing in their prisoners.

People they ripped away from their homes 1,000s of miles away.

They sailed them over the sea to put them to work at their homes, on their farms, and in their factories.

These slaves did not see Florida as a home, but as a prison with water on three sides and the vast unknown above.

But over the years things changed.

And Miami was seen in a new light.

It was seen as a place that gave freedom and protection to its visitors.

Protection from the oppression some faced in their home countries.

Thousands of Cubans fled their homes to have another chance at life here in the US.

It was no easy journey, but to them it was their only chance.

Miami has been many things over the years.

Territories ripe for conquest.

Prisons for those forced here from their homes.

Sanctuaries for those seeking a fresh start.

But for me, it is my home.

Miami Art As Text

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Change By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Untitled, Art Miami Beach on December 4, 2019

Climate change.

Ice caps melting, sea levels rising, temperatures increasing.

It is real, it is here, and it is dangerous.

To believe otherwise is not only ignorant but detrimental.

Something must be done.

Our greed and shortsightedness must be stopped.

Every decade we wait, 10% of our planet’s sea ice vanishes.

Every decade we wait, our planet’s sea level rise.

We are getting to a point of no return, yet no one bats an eye.

Why, you may ask?

Why does no one act?

It is because people don’t see it as their problem, whether it be a generational disconnect or a locational one.

They may understand the consequences of not acting, but not care as they won’t be around to see it.

This is a mindset I will never understand.

Do you not want your kids, your grandkids, and every generation after them to live better lives?

Lives where they don’t have to worry about the Earth falling apart before their very eyes.

And then there are those who can make a difference.

Those who have the money or power to make things right.

But they still don’t.

They let their greed get the better of them.

They believe that regardless of what’s coming, their individual goals of expanding their wealth or power comes first.

This must change.

Everglades As Text

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Everglades By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Everglades National Park on January 22, 2020

It amazes me that something with such cultural and geographical significance goes almost unnoticed to the people of South Florida. That many people spend their whole lives without ever entering it, without ever even giving it a second thought. I can’t even complain as the Everglades is less than 100ft from my back yard and I’ve never even wondered close to it. But after this, all I wonder is when I will be going back?

The Everglades is an ecological cornucopia. It is home to 9 different habitats housing hundreds of unique species. It is even the only place in the world where alligators and crocodiles coexist. Unfortunately, species that call the Everglades their homes, are in danger. Foreign predators are being released into these lands and killing the rightful owners; and only we are to blame. We have not done enough to protect these lands. We not only release invasive species into these lands, but we also took much of the land for ourselves. Human greed has attempted to destroy these lands for decades and it needs to not only stop but be reverted.

People do not understand that in the end we are only hurting ourselves. Destroying the natural order of things will only come back to bite us in the end. It can ruin the food chain, devastate the lands, destroy our water supplies. Yet people only see the short-term gains of having more space for a bigger back yard and access to more land for possible oil. If this short sidedness does not end soon then I’m afraid we may be too late.

South Beach As Text

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Preservation vs Innovation By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in South Beach on February 19, 2020

Home to Miami’s famous Art Deco historic district, South Beach is a beautiful sight of colorful and iconic architectural styles. This architectural style originated in the 1920s to 1930s, making its first debut in Paris in 1925. It is characterized by its use of bright colors such as its pastel blues, pinks, oranges, yellows, greens and more. This style is what truly defines Miami. 

Many actions have been issued to save the district’s unique look. One, was the action of making many of the buildings historic sights, thus limiting the ability of making changes to these buildings exterior and interior. The idea of preserving these buildings and preserving the identity of this neighborhood and many other neighborhoods like this is an idea that is constantly debated. There is always someone wanting to demolish what already stands in order to build new structures for various purposes. 

The real issue that comes from this is how do you decide what is better for a neighborhood? On one side preserving a neighborhood and keeping its buildings is a way to preserve the neighborhood’s identity, without it, nothing will differ one neighborhood from another. Not only that, many times these construction companies come in to build things that make them money and benefit outsiders, but provide little benefit to those who currently live there. Examples like this are the gentrification of places like Wynwood and the design district.

While I completely understand the idea behind preserving a city’s historic buildings, there is a strong argument for the opposite. Holding onto one’s past prevents a city from progressing into the future. Modernization is not always a bad thing. It brings in new styles, new functionalities, and new ideas. These can increase the value of a city and the happiness of its people if done right. Not only that but sometimes, a cities historic architecture is just not worth preserving and is only loved for its age rather than artistic beauty or functionality. 

Imposing strict codes can seriously hinder growth and in excess goes against the idea that people should have the right to do what they want to their property as long as it abides by the law. So at the end of the day, the most important thing is finding a balance between preservation and innovation.

Lotus As Text

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Lotus House By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU at Lotus House on March 11, 2020

In 2018, there were almost 30,000 homeless people in Florida alone. Now even though women and children consist of only a fraction of that number, they have distinct needs that many normal shelters do not provide. The Lotus House is an organization dedicated to improving the lives of homeless women, youth and children. They do this by not only providing free housing and meals to its hundreds of residents, but by giving them the tools and support they need to eventually be able to thrive on their own as well.

While volunteering there I was able to witness this support system firsthand. One of the staff members held a workshop for the women there that would educate them in proper food safety and cleanliness to certify them for working in the food industry. The staff member closely worked with the women so that all of them would leave with a full grasp of the material. These are just one of many workshops that the shelter provides to help these women find work and the meticulous teaching makes sure that none of them are left behind.

Volunteering there was eye opening to me. Coming from a city where there is really no homelessness, unfortunately due to the city forcing them out, you aren’t able to put yourself in their shoes. But during my time at the Lotus House, I was able to see how just how much work was needed to keep the shelter working properly, and how much a few of us can do in just a few hours to improve these peoples lives. The problem is that one person alone will have a hard time making a difference, but if everyone could give up just a fraction of their time, they can collectively help not only these people, but everyone and everything in this world. People need to stop being selfish and start volunteering and donating to causes like this so that we can make a difference.

Deering Estate As Text

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Keep Out By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU at Lotus House on April 15, 2020

The Deering Estate is a place I have grown to love. Having not even known of its existence prior to John Bailly’s classes, it is a shame that more people do not know of this unique and amazing place. The Deering Estate is one of the few untouched areas of nature left in Miami and unfortunately there aren’t many more places like it left here in Miami. When people first started developing Miami into the city, we know it as today, they cared very little about the impact on the land’s natural habitat and ecosystem. The beaches you know and love, used to be the home to thousands of mangroves and were just carved away and replaced with imported sand. The Everglades used to span over most of South Florida, but was drenched and replaced with the homes we now live in.

Now this damage is done and, in many cases, irreversible. We cannot bring back the Everglades to its former size and glory, but we can protect what’s left. Places like the Deering Estate are the past, the present, and the future. If we do not continue this preservation of it and other places like the Deering Estate, we will not only be losing our past but destroying our future, all for the short-sighted benefits of the present.

Quarantine As Text

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Recluse By Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU at His Home on April 25, 2020

Stuck inside, walls closing in.

Feeling as if I’m pinned.

Months have passed since life was normal.

This unsettling atmosphere makes us feel so mortal.

Every day we hope for news.

But instead, we are stuck paying our dues.

Lack of preparedness, lack of action.

Is what caused this chain reaction.

Now we are forced to wait, stuck in our homes.

But others take different tones.

Marching outside putting the world endanger.

We may just be a group of strangers.

But their incompetence is no excuse.

To not act like a recluse.

We must join together, whatever the cost.

And fight this biological holocaust.

Gianmarco Agostinone: Miami Design District 2019


Photo By Jessica Horsham CC By 4.0

Gianmarco Agostinone is currently a senior finishing his undergraduate portion of his combined bachelors and masters degree in computer science. Over the course of his time in college, he has traveled on two study abroads with professor Bailly, France and Italy, and wants to culminate his travel experience by finally learning about the area he has lived in his whole life, Miami. After college, he hopes to continue his newfound lifestyle of traveling and photography and eventually make his way throughout the rest of Europe.


Miami Design District is the definition of modern and contemporary. The district is a relatively new and upcoming area built for the sole purpose of being the Mecca of Miami’s art, design, and fashion. It is an extremely small and compact district sandwiched between NE 41st Street and NE 38th Street from above and below, and N Miami Avenue and the Federal Highway on its sides. But don’t let its size fool you, it is jam packed with many luxury stores, restaurants, museums, street art, and pop ups that change every week.

Its compact size makes it one of the few areas in Miami that are perfect for walking. With only a few streets and many pedestrians only areas, anyone can make a day wondering through the Miami Design District. On the downside the area has no natural parks or green areas, as everything even remotely green consists of trees that are meticulously placed so they are not to block the signs of the luxury stores housed there. Although there may not be any parks to rest in there are many nooks and crannies where you can relax and take in the scenery waiting to be discovered here.


Old US Post office building CC By 4.0

Miami Design District’s history is a relatively short one. The area started off as a pineapple farm in the early 1900s in an area then named Buena Vista (RSM Design). Eventually, the owner of the farm, T.V. Moore, built up the area with his creation of the Moore Building to house his furniture business, becoming one of the first stores in the U.S. dedicated to selling only furniture (Wikipedia). Fast forward a few decades and the area became a center for wholesale furniture and design.

Unfortunately, as other areas in Miami began to flourish with fame for design and art, the area that is now the Design District began to cripple and became run down. Only when Craig Robins of the Dacra Real Estate firm took interest in the area in the 90’s did it begin to rise back up to its former glory. He began buying up property from the area left and right with the vision of making this area the place to be for high end fashion and art. Now the area is home to over 120 flagship stores such as Louis Vuitton, Fendi, Cartier and more (Miami Design District).


Being a business district, there are very few people who actually live here. Approximately only 2000 people reside in the area, with about an even split between men and women. The people here are mainly in there late 20s early 30s and consist of mostly single non-family households. The average household income in way above the poverty line with an average of $52,000 which makes sense as the area has risen substantially in price and cost of living over the past two decades (Miami Design District Demographics).

But in regards to those that visit, the area attracts a diverse selection of people. Miami Design District is full of Miami’s elite. The luxury brands and restaurants welcome those who are in search of the best of the best when it comes to fashion and food. But don’t let that intimidate you, there are still many normal and everyday citizens that are encouraged to come visit the area. Thousands of young adults come every day to see the beauty the area has to offer. Whether they are photographers and models finding the best spots for pictures, artists trying to make a name for themselves at the local museums or with street art, or those that simply want to walk around and absorb all the beauty and have a good time.

Mr. Moda ( CC By 4.0

One such person I met while I was there was a man who goes by the name Mr. Moda ( He is a local artist who was working on one of his pieces outside an event hosted by the ODDS clothing store. He was a lively and genuine figure and really represents the type of people and environment the Design District encourages to come.


The Miami Design District is the place to be if you are interested in seeing some of the best contemporary art in Miami. Not only does it house the De La Cruz Private Collection as well as the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami, but the district itself is a piece of art. The district I covered in various types of installations ranging from massive murals, modern statues and sculptures, to the design of the buildings themselves being an architectural masterpiece.

With over 30 pieces of public street art, and more always popping up, taking a stroll through the streets of Miami Design District are never boring. The founders of the district envisioned that this place will not only house contemporary museums but act as an exhibit itself. The buildings are all works of art, including the famous Museum Garage, which is as luxurious as parking garages get. Every arch, building, fence, wall, fountain, etc. is all maliciously created to strike awe in the district’s visitors.

The district is also home to one of Miami’s finest private contemporary art collections, the De La Cruz Collection. Originally exhibited for free in their own home, Rosa and Carlos De La Cruz’s collection grew so large and popular that they created their museum to house it. Their collection consists of works from over 50 artists such as Félix González-Torres, Salvador Dalí, Mark Bradford, and more. They believe in enriching the community with their art and continuing the tradition of acting like you are visitors in their home so as you don’t charge your guests to come visit your home, they do not charge people to visit their museum.

Another famous museum in this area is the Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami. Like the De La Cruz Collection, they do not charge for entry into the museum. They believe that “contemporary art can help develop critical thinking skills and offers advanced educational programming for diverse audiences” and thus want it to be available to all audience regardless of their background and financial status (ICA Miami). They continuously rotate in new exhibits so going there often is a must.

Another fascinating and must-see part of Miami Design District are the different pop ups that come and go. There is always a new mini exhibit to see and the fact that they are only there for a few days means that you can’t hesitate to go. While I was visiting, I happened to stumble upon a pop up featuring the works of Eric Doeringer. He is an artist that specializes in conceptual art recreations where he mimics the styles of his favorite artists in order to make paintings like them. It was fascinating seeing how detailed and how much effort was put in by Doeringer to recreate the style of these various artists without just straightforwardly copying them.


One critical downside of the Miami Design District is the lack of green spaces. The only green you will see here are the sporadic trees lining the sidewalks used as merely decoration rather than a natural occurring landscape. In its defense it is an extremely small and compact area littered with buildings so when it comes to space for parks there isn’t any. But that doesn’t excuse not having at least one small park.

On the plus side there are many nooks and crannies in between the buildings and streets that have seating and nice views if you are looking to relax in between your shopping spree. There is also a main plaza outside the St. Roch Market where you can eat your lunch at. But other than that, the Design District is not a place you go to, to be one with nature.


Transportation at the Miami Design District is near nonexistent, but this is not necessarily a bad thing. The area is just that small to not need any. You are encouraged to walk around and see all the area has to offer which is nice as it eliminates a lot of traffic inside the district. It is truly one of the few walking areas in Miami and more places should follow suit.

To get there you really have only a few options. You can take the metro rail getting off at the Allapattah station, which is still about a mile away from the district making it doable but not ideal, especially in the typical Miami heat. It is a shame that there are no better public transportation methods to get to the Design District but that is an issue all of Miami’s districts face and not a Design District specific one. The other and most preferred option is to drive. This option is actually encouraged by the district, as part of the area’s atmosphere relies on its famous parking garages. These parking garages incorporate many contemporary artistic designs and can be viewed as just a practical art piece where you can park your car at.


When it comes to food, the Miami Design District has much to offer, but at a premium price. As it is located in a luxurious area, it only makes sense that the dining options follow suit. One place that stands out is the St. Roch Market. This place while nice in ambiance, is really just a glorified food court. There are many different and unique vendors there serving food such as Italian, Sushi, Pho, etc. But unless you are extremely hungry, I would not recommend eating here as it is just not worth the price. They also have a bar in the center that serves $15 cocktails, which were very good, but again not worth the price.

But if you are willing to walk five minutes to the outskirts of the district, there is an amazing local pizza place called Harry’s Pizza. It is cheap, fast, and extremely tasty. I highly advise you go here rather than anywhere else in the district to eat unless you are looking to fine dine and spend lots of money.

Also, throughout the area there are many small vendors and stores selling specialty and niche food that you can try if you get a little hungry walking around.


that be luxury apparel and accessories such as the world-renowned Louis Vuitton, Dior, and Cartier. Or luxury cars like new and hot Teslas. This is what the Design District is known for. With over 100 shops here in the district, there is nothing you can’t find if you are looking for the name brand stores.

The district also keeps to its roots a bit and has a decent amount of home and furniture stores. Stores such as 4141 Design, Citco, and Dupuis. But again, these are the best of the best stores and not for the typical first home buyers trying to furnish their homes.

As for other types of businesses, the district has a surprising amount of fitness and workout centers. With the Ahana Yoga Studio if you are trying to get relaxed before or after work, Aviva Pilates, and DBC Fitness. These fitness centers fit the environment the district portrays quite well as they do promote high end and healthy living lifestyles.


Photo By Alex Veguilla CC By 4.0

Overall, Miami Design District does what it sets out to do very well. It is a luxurious shopping center that mixes in modern art extremely well. It attracts people from all over to spend their money and time there buying the best of the best brands. Its art and unique style attract hundreds of photographers, models, and artists there a week seeking to use the district as their backdrop and muse or trying to make a name for themselves.

But that’s it. I believe the area is pretty but, in the end, extremely superficial. It is nice to visit once or twice but unless you are there to shop, you won’t get much out of going there frequently as there are better places to spend your weekend. The area, to be a true pedestrian center for locals, needs more cheaper food options, more parks, and just more things to do than visit the couple of museums they have and window shop at the luxury brand stores most people can’t afford.

In the end, I do recommended people go out to visit the Miami Design District as it is a beautiful sight to see. But the place has a lot to work on to be a true contender to areas such as Wynwood.


“About Miami’s Famed Design District.” About Miami’s Famed Design District,

“Creating a Miami Design District: Brief History.” Miami Design District,

“De La Cruz Collection.” De La Cruz Collection,

“Eric Doeringer.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 19 Sept. 2019,

“ICA Miami: Free Admission Every Day!” Institute of Contemporary Art, Miami,

“Miami Design District Case Study – Case Studies.” RSM Design,

“Miami Design District Demographics.” Miami Design District Population & Demographics, Median Income – Point2 Homes,

“Miami Design District.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 14 Oct. 2019,

“WELCOME TO THE.” Miami Design District,

Gianmarco Agostinone: Miami Service 2019

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The Deering Estate contains one of the few pieces of land in Miami that have remained untouched by men for centuries. It consists of 444 acres of land, which in it is the Richmond Cottage, the Deering House, and a massive nature preserve (Charles Deering Estate). But its history goes further than that.

Centuries ago, there lived a group of natives that we now call the Tequestas. There is little recorded history of them, but we know that one of the places they resided in was at what we now know as the Deering Estate. They were hunters and gatherers that used the ocean as their supplier of food and tools. Crafting many sophisticated tools out of the shells they found. Unfortunately, during the 1500s, Europeans arrived and began the quick downfall of the civilization (Tequesta of Biscayne Bay). They were soon killed, captured and forced into slavery, or died of diseases, leaving only traces of their existence.

About 300 years later, S.H. Richmond came along and built one of the now oldest wooden structures in Miami Dade County (Deering Estate). He built the Richmond Cottage which was the areas only inn, becoming the perfect rest stop for visitors travelling through the area.

Soon after Charles Deering bought up the land to create a winter home for himself. Luckily, he did not gut out the natural landscape and only renovated a small portion around the Richmond Cottage. In fact, he even brought in renowned botanists David Fairchild and John Kunkle Small to help restore the area to its natural environment (Deering Estate).

Eventually in 1986, years after the passing of Charles Deering, his family sold the land to the State of Florida where it was than added to the National Registry of Historic Places (Deering Estate). Now, it is taken care of by Miami Dade County where they use this area to do research and educate people about Florida’s natural environment. They provide tours of the cottage as well as hikes on the trails, but they do everything in their power to preserve the natural landscape and the animals living in it.

Historic Holiday Stroll CC By 4.0


I have done two events with the Deering Estate so far, one working with the local artist John Bailly, whose studio is located at the Deering Estate, and the other at the Historic Holiday Stroll hosted by the Deering Estate.

Working with John Bailly was an insightful experience in the life of an artist. There I helped him set up his paintings and move them so they can be photographed for the LnS Gallery’s magazine. It was interesting hearing about the thought process behind his paintings especially when he was being interviewed by a local reporter.

Learning how the Deering Estate provides a residence program was fascinating and I would have never known about this if I had not gone there. It is good that they support the local art community and it provides a unique experience as the studios are on the estate which are a natural area, something that highly contrasts most of Miami. This most likely helps inspire the artists there to create art that advocates for preservation which is what the Deering Estate is trying to accomplish.

The other event I worked at was the Historic Holiday Stroll. This is an event hosted by the Deering Estate every year for the past decade. This is a beautiful event where the estate decorates the area leading to and surrounding the cottage with holiday decorations. They hang lights all over the trees, bring vendors in to sell holiday treats, play Christmas movies, give out free hot chocolate and cookies, and most importantly you can meet Mrs. Clause when she reads for the kids. It is truly a winter magic land. Best of all, the money they make helps support the Estate to further their research and preservation of the lands.

While I was there, I was tasked to meet and greet the guests at the entrance. I had to also keep track of the number of guests coming in as they use this number to help plan for the needed supplies for the next year. At the end I was tasked to advertise the future events happening at the Deering Estate and pass out calendars to everyone so they can hopefully come back again.

While what I did was simple, it was nice giving back to the place I have grown to love. After going here a few times a year, I’ve always found out something new and fascinating about this place. It is truly one of the few beautiful and natural areas left in Miami and coming here has only made me want to help as much as I can. Unfortunately, they don’t get even close to the number of volunteers they need. The last event they hoped for at least 20 volunteers and ended up with just 4, which is just sad as people don’t understand how amazing and important this place is for our city. It is one of the few places where you can get in touch with your geological ancestors and roots. I plan on volunteering here many more times and hopefully am able to encourage others to do the same.

Volunteering With John Bailly CC By 4.0


“Charles Deering Estate.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 4 Nov. 2019,

“Miami Museums: Miami Historic Landmarks: The Deering Estate.” Deering Estate, 12 Dec. 2019,

The Tequesta of Biscayne Bay,

Gianmarco Agostinone: France As Text 2019


Photo by Alex Gutierrez (CC By 4.0)

Gianmarco Agostinone is a senior at Florida International University pursuing a combined Bachelors and Masters degree in computer science. It is his second study abroad, the first being Italy 2018. He plans on going into fintech (Financial Technology) after he graduates at a major banking institution.

Paris As Text

Paris, A City Like No Other by Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Paris on July 7th 2019

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Paris, a city of great power and rich history. Founded over 2000 years ago by the Romans, it went from a weak and unorganized settlement to the cultural powerhouse it is today. It is the birthplace of many of today’s ideologies that we find to be basic rights. Documents such as Declaration of the Rights of Man and of the Citizen showed the world that the times of Monarchies stripping the rights of the many for the privilege of the few was over. This city lead the revolution not only in France but in all of Europe.

These achievements have neither been forgotten nor have ended in this city. As it is still recognized by the world for its triumphs, evident by the fact that over 40 million people visit the city a year to see for themselves the greatness it has become. Monuments such as the Notre Dame, are a testimony for Paris’s strength. It was built to show Paris’s power and beauty and today is still seen as such an influential monument that when it caught flames it was not just a tragedy for Paris but for the world.

But Paris is not only revered for its past but also its present. It leads the world with progressive ideas on improving the overall quality of life for its people. It provides amenities such as Universal Healthcare, free education, vast amounts of public parks, vast investments into the arts, affordable and good public transportation, and more. Paris has out shown, and will continue to outshine, cities around the world.

Versailles As Text

The Sun King by Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Versailles on July 7th 2019

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Who was the Sun King?

Was he a power hungry dictator?

A man who wanted nothing else but to fulfill selfish and personal goals at the cost of his people?

Or was he a visionary?

Someone who knew that he had to put the immediate needs of the people second to the greater good of the country?

To understand this we must look further than his reasons and reflect on the outcome of his actions.

For when we look back at history, intent is always triumphed by the result.

So who was the Sun King?

He created a palace like no other.

One that strikes awe in friends and foes alike.

One so grandeur and magnificent that people from all over come to see it for themselves.

With a garden so vast that one could visit it a thousand times and it will never grow old.

He conquered his enemies.

Crushed the foreign legions who threatened his reign.

But he also waisted away his people’s coin.

Spent them on lavish things and unnecessary wars that although brought prosperity to France, took from the pockets of its people.

Yet they never ceased to adore him.

So who was the Sun King?

He was feared by his enemies.

He was envied by his allies.

He was loved by his people.

He was more than a man.

He was King Louis IV and he was a god.

Izieu As Text

Maison d’izieu by Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Izieu on July 15th 2019

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The Maison d’izieu was a unique place.

One where children, who were persecuted and hunted down for nothing more than the religion their family practiced, could seek shelter.

Parents from all over France, sent their kids there in hope that they can have a better life and make it through this genocide their people were undergoing.

And it did work, for a time.

The Maison d’izieu was like an unaffected bubble in the war zone that surrounded them.

The kids their were able to attend classes, partake in activities, and enjoy life without the constant overhead threat that in any second all of their joy could be taken away.

They could live their lives as the normal kids they are and should be thought of as.

But one day that all changed.

When Klaus Barbie ordered his Gestapo thugs to raid the refugee.

Where they kidnapped 44 of the children and their 7 supervisors to send them away to camps.

Where they sent them to murder them.

It is a sick and disturbing idea that someone can justify to themselves that butchering children is okay.

There is no cause that should condone that.

Because children can’t harm anyone.

They don’t fight wars or commit crimes or join resistance fighters.

They just want to play outside and go to school and be with their friends and family.

So what happened at Maison d’izieu was more than just a thing that happens in war.

It was a crime against humanity.

And should not be forgotten.

Lyon As Text

The Letter by Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Lyon on July 15th 2019

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Dear love,

I write to you, hoping that one day you will be able to read this. Hoping that one day we can reunite and live the rest of our lives together. Everyday I stay in my this hell hole they call Montluc, I feel my despair grow inside me. All day I am stuck in a cell with 7 others, never seeing the light of day, waiting for something, anything to happen. My cellmates and I pass the time talking of our families, our pastimes, our memories, anything to keep the reality of where we are from overwhelming us. Everyday I replay my memories of us together, wishing we can make new ones soon. Everyday I think about how this could have happened to us. How people let these men take us from our homes because of the religion we practice and the ideologies we preach. How do these things justify our imprisonment? If I could go back in time and change my beliefs I would if that meant I would be at home with you and not here in this hell. But here we are. Today they called my name out from a list, and that we were to leave in the afternoon. No one knows where, or why they told us to leave our belongings behind, but we can only wish for the best. And wish that one day we will reunite, and forget these horrible days.


Your husband

Normandy As Text

Nameless by Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Normandy on July 25th 2019

Photo by Alex Gutierrez (CC By 4.0)

To the nameless comrades.

So young, yet so brave.

You sacrificed your lives so that those by your side can live to fight another day.

You may have no names, but your fellow comrades will forever remember your faces.

To the nameless fathers and mothers.

Who had to leave their children behind in this world.

You sacrificed watching your kids grow old, so that they could grow old.

You were not able to stay by their side and raise them, but you are always with them in their hearts.

To the nameless brothers and sisters.

Who had the rest of their lives to live and create beauty in the world.

You sacrificed your many years so that your little brother and sister can live in a world without such hate, and could remain the innocent little siblings you left them as.

To the nameless strangers.

The ones who had no personal gain for fighting this war.

No personal gain, yet they knew it was their duty to as a citizen of this world.

You sacrificed your lives for people you never met, people thousands of miles from your homes, and even though they will never know who you were, they will never forget what you have done for them.

So here rests in honored glory a comrade in arms, a father, a mother, a brother, a sister, a friend, a stranger, known but to god, but remembered by everyone.


When writing this poem I found inspiration from the idea that an individual can have such a profound impact on the world, and there could be no one who remembers their name. There are 307 unknown graves in this cemetery. 307 people who died fighting for one of the greatest causes this world has ever seen. And there is no one who knows who they were. They are just unmarked bodies in unmarked graves.

Dying this way is a terrifying way to go for me. Having your family know nothing about how you died and what you accomplished trying to make them proud. Having your family not know where you were buried of if you are even buried at all. They just know that you are gone and they will never be able to see you again.

The idea of disappearing from this world without a trace terrifies me, and yet these people took the risk and fought anyway. They looked past their fears to make a difference in this world and to make sure that no one after them will have to make the same decision as they or have it forced upon them. For that I am forever grateful.

When I think about these unmarked graves, I think of all the futures these people could have had if they lived. All of the memories, experiences, relations that will never happen. My grandpa was one of the lucky ones who survived fighting in the war, but what if he didn’t? He would have never married my grandma, never had my mom, and I would never have been born.

I wouldn’t be in France right now, learning about these heroes and living my life. One stray bullet could have been the deciding factor of my existence and that of those who died fighting for it.

This all has just shown me how fragile life is and makes me thankful for those who risked and gave up their lives fighting for the lives of others and I.

Pere Lachaise As Text

Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès by Gianmarco Agostinone of FIU in Pere Lachaise on July 26th 2019


Photo by Alex Gutierrez (CC By 4.0)


Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès was born on October 18th, 1753. He was a French nobleman that proved to become a vital member of the French Revolution with his skills in law and as a statesman. During the early days of the revolution, he was against the National Convention’s trial of Louis XVI stating that they did not have the power to act as judge and jury and that he should have a fair trial. But nevertheless he voted with the majority against Louis XVI, although stating that his execution should be postponed until it was ratified by a legislative body.

Later on in the revolution, he became a member of the Committee of Public Safety where he worked on many of the country’s legislative works. He was then a diplomat that was able to negotiate peace with Spain, Tuscany, Prussia and the Batavian Republic. Not supporting initial coups due to their more radical supporters, as the revolution took a more moderate turn he backed the rise of Napoleon, who eventually made him his second in command.

Under Napoleon, he basically ran the country. He was in charge of many of the everyday decisions for the country and represented Napoleon in his frequent absences at the Senate. Although he was extremely knowledgeable in the current affairs and inner workings of the country, Napoleon continuously ignored his advice. Some being drastic mistakes such as the entering war with Russia.

Nonetheless he was able to create his most important piece of work under Napoleon, the Napoleonic Code. This was one of the first set of laws in France that ended the Feudal laws previously in place throughout the country. It finally unified all the various local laws and customs around the country into one unambiguous set of laws.

After the reinstatement of the Monarchy he was sent to exile to Brussels until 1818 when he was allowed to return to France where he stayed until he died in 1824.


Jean Jacques Régis de Cambacérès was a very intelligent man. Although born into nobility, he was from a poor family and had to work hard for his position in life. So he understood the revolutionary cause and thats why he became active supporter. But he knew that in the turmoil of the French Revolution, advocating too strongly for one side could get you killed if the wrong people got a hold of you. So throughout his life he stayed in the middle of both sides as a moderator, trying to unite the country and only leaning towards one way when he knew it was a guaranteed victory. This is what allowed his to live a full life at the end instead of meeting his fate at the bottom of a guillotine.

Whenever he could he would do his best to push his advice to Napoleon even though it would often be ignored, which would always turn out to be fatal mistakes. If Napoleon would have listened, he could have avoided war with Russia and may have retained power.

I feel a big part of him always being more moderate in nature and never insistent on his beliefs was that he was openly gay in a time where it wasn’t legal to be. He would always be made fun of for it and at times disregarded for it. But he still worked hard to make France a better country and earn a reputation as a smart and intelligent man. And it is said that he didn’t outrightly legalize homosexuality but he did help normalize it and write out the direct wording of it being illegal in French law.

Although I have no real personal connection with this man, since I’m not nobility, a lawyer, a statesman, a diplomat or anything this man was, I still have a profound respect for him. He did what he could to both stay alive and help his country. He helped tear down the monarchy, attempting to do it in a legal manner. He essentially ran France while Napoleon refused to, he created one of the first widespread legal codes that became the basis for modern republics, and he knew better than to let his greed get to him by fighting against the unnecessary wars the Napoleon kept on dragging the country into. He did the best he could to keep both the country and himself alive. Even though he failed to uphold the Republic, it was not his fault and even in exile, his ideas and beliefs lived on.

Gianmarco Agostinone: Wynwood 2020


Photo By Jessica Horsham CC By 4.0

Gianmarco Agostinone is currently a senior finishing his undergraduate portion of his combined bachelors and masters degree in computer science. Over the course of his time in college, he has traveled on two study abroads with professor John Bailly, France and Italy, and wants to culminate his travel experience by finally learning about the area he has lived in his whole life, Miami. After college, he hopes to continue his newfound lifestyle of traveling and photography and eventually make his way throughout the rest of Europe.


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Wynwood is Miami’s entertainment, art, and fashion district. But prior to that, it was Miami’s industrial district, which is what gives the area its iconic industrial look. Due to its past, it mainly consists of big factory styled buildings that have been re purposed as stores, bars, and more. But there is also a small residential area still residing in the Northern part of the district. Here resides one of the only green patches left in the district, Roberto Clemente Park, which is equipped with two baseball fields and a few basketball courts.

The neighborhood itself is positioned in between US 1 and I-95 on its East and West, and NE 36th St and NW 20th St on its North and South. It also neighbors another one of Miami’s up and coming districts, the Miami Design District.


Wynwood has a long history dating back as early 1917 where it started out as an agricultural estate. In fact, this is where it got its name as the residents who owned the estate, Josiah Chaille and Hugh Anderson coined the name. These two were integral to the development of the district as it was Chaille’s urban plan that structured the city.

Wynwood did not stay an agricultural estate for long. By the 1920’s, the area attracted many factory laborers for its proximity to the Garment District (now known as the Fashion District), but even eventually opening factories of its own when Coca-Cola as well as the American Bakeries Company came down here.

After a long period of economic depression in the area, the city revitalized in the mid 80’s when artists began taking up residence in the vacant American Bakeries Building, building the largest artist space in the state and creating what is now known as the Bakehouse Art Complex. The presence of these artists attracted and created an even bigger community of artists and gallery, slowly transforming Wynwood into what it is known as today.

Unfortunately, the rapid rise to fame has made Wynwood increasingly more expensive. It was once home to over “70 galleries, 5 museums, 3 collections, 7 art complexes, 12 art studios, 5 art fairs, and the Wynwood Walls”. Now only 10 of the 70 galleries even remain. The area used to be a safe heaven for up and coming artists and now they can’t even afford rent.


Photo On Left By Daniel DI Palma Both Photos CC By 4.0

Wynwood, although mainly thought of as a place you visit on weekends to eat, view art, and party does indeed have a residential district with a population of 7,353.

A big issue in Wynwood has been the ever increasing gentrification brought along with the revival of the district. The area used to be an affordable place for factory workers, immigrants, and artists alike. But as the area saw a rise in popularity, big companies bought up the land and drove the prices up. They may have made the area a hit for visitors but they drove the locals out. Those that are left are either struggling to keep their homes, or consist of the rich who bought up the land and made themselves new homes.

Unfortunately, as these locals consist of such a small portion the population, and the revitalization of the area has brought endless profits and tourism to Miami, the concerns of the locals are neglected.

As more and more land gets gentrified, Wynwood’s demographics is ever increasingly becoming characterized by its visitors rather than its residents. These demographics consist of tourists and locals alike, artists and photographers, club goers and foodies, and just about anyone who wants to appreciate what the area has to offer, as long as you can afford it.

Due to not being able to visit the district and interview people myself, I reached out to some of my fellow students who frequent Wynwood often. One of these students is Jessica Horsham. I asked her how she feels about Wynwood and its problem with gentrification. Here is her response:

“On one side I am happy that Wynwood has risen up to become the cultural hot spot it is today, but unfortunately the way they accomplished it is unethical. The area used to be a place where the underprivileged were able to live but due to the rise in popularity and rapid expansion of the district, people have been practically forced out of their homes without any viable plans on where to put them and no results should justify that.”


Photos By Daniel Di Palma CC By 4.0

Wynwood is the place to visit when it comes to art and museums. The area has attracted hundreds of artists and many galleries have set up residence here. Luckily, many of these institutions opted in keeping the original structures and retrofitting them to suit their own purposes. This has allowed the area to keep its distinct industrial aesthetic which is an attraction on its own. But as the area is full of interesting places to visit, here are a few must sees: the Margulies Collection, the Museum of Graffiti, and of course the Wynwood Walls.

Photos CC By 4.0

The Margulies Collection is a nonprofit institution located in a retro-fitted warehouse owned by the world renowned collector Martin Z. Margulies. The collection is filled with many contemporary art pieces featuring sculptures, photography, video, paintings, and large-scale installations. As an admirer of art, Margulies believes everyone should have a chance to see his collection, and thus offers admission to his warehouse for a merely $10 for adults and free for students. This is unlike many other museums in Miami that easily charge over $30 a ticket regardless of it you are a student or not.

Next we have the worlds first museum dedicated to graffiti art, the Museum of Graffiti. Representing some of the very reasons Wynwood became famous, its graffiti art, this museum aims to bring awareness and display this elaborate and unique art form. Its goal is to preserve graffiti’s history and celebrate its emergence in design, fashion, adverting, and galleries. It includes both indoor and outdoor exhibition space, with eleven exterior murals. And if you want to take some of the art home with you they have a gift shop carrying limited edition merchandise from some of the leading graffiti artists.

Photo By Phillip Pessar CC By 2.0

Lastly, we have the embodiment of Wynwood, the Wynwood Walls. These consist of mural all over the district. Beginning as simple forms of graffiti art, as the area began gaining in fame, famous artists began making their mark on the walls with the support of the local businesses. It is completely free to visit these murals but you can elect to pay for a tour if you would like to get a more detailed walk through.

CC By 4.0


Unfortunately, with Wynwood being a re-purposed industrial district, parks and other greenery were not a priority in the design. Actually, the area has only one official park in its residential section, the Roberto Clemente Park. This area consists of two baseball fields, that unfortunately have to share the same grass, and a few basketball courts.


Transportation in Miami overall is limited, but it still exists and can get you from A to B if you try hard enough, and Wynwood is not an exception. The City of Miami Trolley is free and has a stop right at the Wynwood Walls property. It operates Monday through Saturday from 6:30 AM to 11:00 PM. You can also take a combination of the Metrobus and Metrorail but it also costs money and not everyone is near a stop.

The most used method of travel, like everywhere else in Miami, is a car. Most people either take their own cars or transportation services such as Uber and Lyft. If driving yourself, you have the option to either street park or to use parking lots, but most if not all of these will cost you. But bear in mind, if you aim to use services like the ones previously mentioned, they are known to hike the price to extraordinary numbers during peak hours of operation.


Along with its influx of art, came an wave of amazing culinary experiences. With sit down restaurants, bakeries, sandwich shops, cafes, and more. Some iconic ones are Coyo Taco, Panther Coffee, and the Salty Donut.

Photo By Chris Golderberg CC By 2.0

Coyo Taco is a great place to get a quick bite to eat. Unfortunately, as you will see for most places in Wynwood, it is not cheap for what you get, but its still good and a nice place to rest while on your adventure across Wynwood. Also, if you are there during a weekend night, their is a club at the back of the store that you can enjoy.

Photo By Phillip Pessar CC By 2.0

Panther Coffee is a Miami based coffee company. It has delicious and artisan coffee for you to revitalize yourself while out for the day. And supporting a local business is always a good idea.

Lastly we have the Salty Donut, another local business. They have an assortment of artisan donuts to satisfy any sweet craving.


CC By 4.0

After art and food, Wynwood is know for its nightlife. It is a common destination for bar hopping during the weekend nights, or maybe a more relaxing time at a local brewery if you are into that.

When it comes to clubs, Wynwood has a large selection to choose from. You have Centro Wynwood, the Dirty Rabbit, Shots Miami, Wynwood Factory and more. Every weekend the district is alive all the way into the night with both locals and people from other cities there to experience some of the best clubs Miami has to offer. Going out is always a fun experience and at the same time a safe experience as the is always a large police presence to ensure no one gets hurt.

Photo By Daniel X. O’Neil CC By 2.0

If clubs are too much for you, places like Lagniappe are the place to be. It is a sit down wine bar where you can indulge yourself in some exquisite wines and fresh meats and cheeses to go alongside it. The bar as a nice homey feel to it as the outside is a large area of mismatched chairs and tables with lights hanging off the trees and walls to set the mood. They also have nice indoor seating if you want to get out of the Miami humidity, which is also where you can watch the live performances that the bar brings in.

Lastly, Miami has become a center for Artisan Brewers and Wynwood is no exception. With famous local breweries such as Wynwood Brewing Company, Concrete each Brewery, and more. They offer a unique way to spend the night as these are unique beers that you can’t find elsewhere, all made right there in the store you are drinking it. These places have a calm and friendly environment which feels like you are going for drinks at a friends house. Many of these places have games and competitions you can partake in while drinking a nice cold one.


Overall, Wynwood is definitely a nice place to visit. It has everything someone who doesn’t live their can want: food, art, entertainment, nightlife. But for locals it has been nothing but harmful. The increase in the areas revenue has not come along with better schools, more parks, or more opportunities for locals. If things keep going like this, than it will only be a matter of time before the people that remain are forced to move on. I believe that a balance can be found, where local business add to a community and not take away. Hopefully that balance is found soon.


“Donations to Educational Institutions.” Margulies Collection,

Gould, Rachel. “How Miami’s Wynwood Neighborhood Transformed Into a Renowned Street-Art Hub.” Culture Trip, The Culture Trip, 13 Aug. 2019,

“Guide to Wynwood Arts District.” Guide to Wynwood Arts District,

“The Museum of Graffiti.” The Museum of Graffiti, 23 Jan. 2020,

“Our Story.” Wynwood Business Improvement District — Miami, Florida,

“Urban Graffiti Art Miami.” Wynwood Walls,

“Wynwood Art District.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 23 Mar. 2020,

“Wynwood Business Improvement District — Miami, Florida.” Wynwood Business Improvement District — Miami, Florida,

“Wynwood Demographics.” Wynwood Population & Demographics, Median Income – Point2 Homes,

“Wynwood.” Flashback Miami, 8 Sept. 2016,[group-6150]/8/.

“Wynwood.” Wikipedia, Wikimedia Foundation, 11 Apr. 2020,

Gianmarco Agostinone: Miami Service Project 2020


Photo By Jessica Horsham CC By 4.0

Gianmarco Agostinone is currently a senior finishing his undergraduate portion of his combined bachelors and masters degree in computer science. Over the course of his time in college, he has traveled on two study abroads with professor John Bailly, France and Italy, and wants to culminate his travel experience by finally learning about the area he has lived in his whole life, Miami. After college, he hopes to continue his newfound lifestyle of traveling and photography and eventually make his way throughout the rest of Europe.


All Photos CC By 4.0 (Photos By Lily Fonte)

The Chicken Key Beach Cleanup is hosted by the Deering Estate in collaboration with FIU Honors Student, Nicole Patrick.

The Deering Estate is a local museum that dedicates its resources to learning about and preserving Miami’s history. They are one of Miami’s few historical sights left that protect Miami’s original landscape.

One such way is through the Chicken Key Beach Cleanup where they give local students canoes and bags and allow them to row to Chicken Key to remove the trash that continually builds up there.

The group I go with is lead my Nicole Patrick, who after doing this event for a class gained a passion for it and lead the expansion of the program to where it is today.


I was first introduced with this project after doing it with my class. I honestly loved ever aspect of it. It was an opportunity for me to do good for a cause I love while having a fun time with my peers.

When it comes to a connection to the ocean, this is something that everyone in Miami possession, whether they like going to the beach or not. They must know that our oceans are a part of us and our daily lives. They affect both our landscape and our society. So treating them so poorly is short sided and selfish. But unfortunately, people continue to do so, so I will do my part to counteract it


How did I connect to this? It is as simple as how you connect to your own home.

I have been to Chicken key about 5 times now. It is a beautiful little island, sprinkled with wildlife. While in the shallow water, you can clearly see schools of fish swimming about. When on the land, you have to be careful about where you put your food, or the local raccoons will steal it. The flora is abundant and diverse, and houses some of Florida’s iconic and important mangroves. This island embodies what precolonial Florida would have looked like. Well, except for one thing, the trash.

Littered all around is endless and endless trash, and our job is to collect it, bring it back to mainland, and properly dispose of it. Now when it comes to the trash, the big ones are always what stand out. Things like pieces of plywood, metals bars and sheets and plastics. You can’t imagine how many typical household objects like bottles, shoes, and dolls we find. But those aren’t the real problem. What are even more dangerous are the micro plastics. Those tiny objects like bottle caps, the endless bottle caps, can cause more damage than the bottle itself. As these tiny objects can get mistaken for food by the wildlife, who in turn die from choking or ingesting plastic.

The problem is, these micro plastics are everywhere and hard to find. You must carefully inspect every inch of the ground to find them. It does not feel like rewarding work, as the time it takes to find a substantial amount of these is endless, but in the back of your head you must keep in mind that you are really making a difference and that if you don’t do this, who will?

But at the end of the day, what we do may have a positive short-term affect, but in a few days, those beaches will be littered with trash once again, and it will look like no one has ever been there. The hard work of a small group of individuals will accomplish nothing unless it is coupled with societal and governmental change.

People need to stop littering, and the government has got to stop letting people do so. People litter because they don’t it affects them in any way. They just think that someone else will clean up their mess. The problem is, most of the time there isn’t someone there to do that. Not only that, but to go against the argument some have that their small littering has no effect to the overall problem, these people have to overcome their shortsightedness and see that while they as an individual may have no impact, they are members of a society. And in a large society, if every member thinks that way, they do have a huge and detrimental effect on our world.

So, I will continue doing these beach cleanups. I will continue to not litter. I will continue to fight for the environment. As it is the right thing to do as a member of our society, as a member of our world. Hopefully one day, others will understand this, and changes will be made in how we act and govern. But until then, I will do my part, even if others don’t do theirs.


We, as a group, venture out into Chicken Key to do what we can to clean up this trash that endlessly collects there. We canoe to the island as it is about a mile away from mainland and using motorized vehicles would only further damage the marine life. While there we work tirelessly to fill up every single canoe we brought with trash, which ends up being over a truckload.

Most of the trash there consists of simple and everyday plastics that people do not give a second thought about. Things like bottles, bottle caps, wrappers, and other household items. We will spend most of the day picking through the ground looking for these, as sometimes they get hidden over layers of dirt.

Once and a while though, you find larger and more interesting objects like dolls, signs, cages, remains of a camp site. But at the end of the day its all trash and you just wish it would stop showing up.


I have volunteered here numerous times with my fellow classmates but have never recorded them specifically. But these events are usually held once or twice a month on weekends at the Deering Estate if you ever want to join.


Chicken Key is a small island off the coast of the Deering Estate. It is an island that considered protected and historical property, an island that no unauthorized individuals are allowed to be on. Yet of the 5 times I have gone there, our group has managed to fill up multiple canoes with trash and have always managed to leave much more behind for future cleanups. How can there be so much trash collected on an island that no one’s supposed to even be on?

2 billion. That is the amount of litter in tons that end up in the ocean every year. This garbage is carried from wherever it was thrown and either drifts off to the middle of the ocean or washes up on our beaches. This litter is not only an eye sore but has serious and detrimental impacts on our ecosystem. Litter contaminates our water and destroys both our marine ecosystems as well as land wildlife. Which in turn propagates back to us, as destroying other ecosystems will only mess with the natural order of things and destroy ours.We do what we can at Chicken Key but Unfortunately, every time we go there, the trash is just as much as before and without societal and governmental change, it won’t stop.


Diaz, Johnny. “Butts Are a Plague on World’s Beaches, Survey Finds.” Sun, South Florida Sun-Sentinel, 13 Dec. 2018,

“Litter Education.” Keep Brevard Beautiful – Florida,

“Miami Hiking Trails: Beautiful Parks In Miami For Exploring.” Deering Estate, 31 Dec. 2019,

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