Jacob Meyer: Paris 2022

Over Under Project: Line 12

By Jacob Meyer of FIU on July 1, 2022

Paris Metro Line 12 is a very diverse line that encapsulates culture, art, politics, and history. From the national parliament of France to the artistic sector of Montmartre, it was a very eye-opening experience to explore this line. Originally, I picked the line because of the beautiful Luxembourg Gardens but found more love in other stops as they showed me the melting pot culture that is held within Paris.

  1. Asemblée Nationale
Photo taken by Jacob Meyer // CC 4.0

Assemblée Nationale contains the parliament of France in which debates are held and laws are created. My major has given me the opportunity to learn more about France’s political system before I was able to travel to the country itself. It allowed me to receive a realistic perspective on how the country operates and treats its citizens. As citizens of the United States, we are able to criticize our government for the mistakes and unjust decisions that it makes. Unfortunately, due to a lack of international education in the United States, it becomes very difficult to understand the international political sphere in a realistic perspective.

Upon seeing the Assemblée Nationale, I was filled with mixed emotions. A part of myself was very excited to see the building and even more so because I am aspiring to eventually get my French citizenship, so I am able to work in the governmental sphere later in life. However, there was another part of myself that felt a bit of rage due to some recent policies and actions by the French government. One policy that has changed my perspective on the French government is the policy that is still being debated. The policy discusses the terms on if minors are allowed to wear hijabs in public. This causes a sense of xenophobia in France as Islamic religious wear is only being discussed rather than other religions.

2. Concorde

Photo taken by Jacob Meyer // CC 4.0

One stop from Assemblee Nationale contains the metro stop of Concorde. The station itself was very interesting as along the walls was the Declaration of Rights of Man and of the Citizen. After walking around the station we stumbled upon the Petit Palais. Built for the 1900 Exhibition, the Petit Palais is used as a fine arts museum. ‘The architect, Charles Girault, created a programme that allowed for the museum to glorify Paris and celebrate the fine arts.’

The sculpture of Artemis (pictured) really captivated me. Artemis is depicted as the goddess of the hunt, wild animals, and vegetation as well as being associated with the moon. Artemis has always been a favorite Greek deity to me as I associate her with my love of nature and the beauty of spending time outside. This piece made me think about my connection to nature and how it can be a very healing experience to just spend some time outside in order to gain a deeper understanding of myself. Even something as simple as looking at the moon is enough to bring that childlike joy and curiosity into light as it makes me think existentially and ask questions regarding to our smallness not only on Earth but also throughout the entire universe. 

3. Solférino

Photo Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC 4.0

Just a couple blocks from the station Solférino there is the Musée d’Orsay. A museum filled with many verities of art such as Impressionism, Academism, and Neo-Classism. Upon first entering the Musée d’Orsay early, just you and the art, gave a stronger sense of connection to many of the pieces that were contained in the museum.

The strongest connection that I felt was to the impressionist paintings. Impressionism was a movement that started in the 19th Century and was controversial as most art before that time was commissioned from the Church and nobles. The impressionist painter, Monet, is an artist that has had a place in my heart for a long time. Seeing his paintings alone was an experience like no other. Monet has painted subjects such as lilypads, nature scenes, and even turkeys. His painting Dindons has one of my favorite stories. Monet was commissioned to do a painting of this women’s house at different times of the year and in turn, it comes out later that the woman came out with a child that resembled Monet greatly, but it was never confirmed to be his.

In addition to the Musée d’Orsay, there was l’Orangerie. This contained some of Monet’s greatest works and it is very clear how he was the artist to end the Impressionist movement. His work Cycle des Nymphéas spanned across the entire wall of the gallery showing scenes from his house in Giverny, an impressive feat that captivated the world.

4. Porte de Versailles

Photo taken by Amanda Sardinas // CC 4.0

Porte de Versailles was an extremely interesting stop on Line 12. This stop featured an exposition park filled with things such as a dinosaur expo. Our group stumbled upon a Japan expo that featured a surrounding experience that dives you into the local and indigenous cultures of Japan. We were able to see various parts of Japanese culture by engaging in subjects like martial arts, cooking, and old traditions. This was a very enriching experience that showed the different layers of Paris.

Although Paris has a large sense of French culture, it has become a mixing pot that has brought cultures from the East and West to clash and integrate with each other. As this is happening each culture needs to educate themselves in order to understand the other. Things like this are great as learning the bigger picture of a culture can be very beneficial as you do not learn a single aspect that does not make sense without the angle of other aspects. Not only did this exposition inspire me to travel to Japan, but also to delve more into Japanese culture and history to have a greater appreciation for the country when visiting.

5. Madeline

Photo taken by Jacob Meyer // CC 4.0

An area filled with designer brands and people creates divides between classes. When walking through the streets of the eighth arrondissement it was clear that it was filled with members of wealthier classes. Our group went inside the Gucci store in where we had to wait for an attendant to go through the store with us. Our attendant was very kind and treated us with great respect, however, the shopping experience of having somebody follow you around felt so different from the normal experience of going to a store such as H&M. The difference on how various classes shop really hit upon asking the attendant how much a piece of clothing was, we were told that it was, ‘only fourteen thousand, it is very cheap.’ This was a very shocking thing to hear as normally that is not a cheap price.

Overall, people can spend their money on whatever, but a few questions stand with this experience. Does this experience aim to make people with more money feel better than others? If so, does this cause more of those who can afford this to feel on a pedestal and bring upon more selfishness as it can seep into everyday life? This separation can cause a lot of conflicts especially as it can cause a culture of looking down upon people for being in a different financial situation. As learned from the French Revolution it is the physical separation and social hierarchy that comes at a problem, not the money itself (unless the entire country is starving for a palace).

6. Abbesses

Photo taken by Jacob Meyer // CC 4.0

Originally outside the city walls of Paris, a hill containing Montmartre was a surreal experience to see. The church itself was filled with amazing neo-classical architecture and ceilings that appeared to be reaching out to heaven. Outside the church is a view of the city that cannot be beaten.

One culture in the area that was really appealing was the art scene. There were many artists with various styles representing impressionism, portraits, or their own take on well-known pieces. It is an area that was occupied by great artists such as Monet, Picasso, and Van Gough. Not only is there a large presence of painters on the street but there is also a history of singers being prominent in this area. Edith Piaf was found singing on the streets of Montmartre and Joesphine Baker was performing in the area when she was in Paris. One regret I had while in Paris was not spending enough time in this area or even buying a painting from one of the street vendors.

7. Pigalle

Photo taken by Jacob Meyer // CC 4.0

Containing Moulin Rouge and many other stores that are obscene considered by the United States sits the stop of Pigalle. This was a large culture shock to walk through the streets of this metro stop. In the United States, the conversation of sex has always been a taboo topic and to see all these stores with sexual content right in the windows with no shame was very shocking yet relieving. The culture of openness in this area extends into the rest of the city as going through the metro there will be advertisements for these types of stores.

Moulin Rouge, located on Rue Blanche, is the most notable cabaret show in the area. Starting in 1889, the elegant decoration along with the wild atmosphere brought in mainly those from the upper classes. It soon became a renowned hit across the world. Due to its popularization, Moulin Rouge brought more open-mindedness throughout the western world to the conversation of sex. I aspire to have a more open culture in the United States with that content as it increases the safety of sex workers as well normalizes things such as getting tested regularly for any STDS. 

8. Montparanesse-Bienvenue

Montparnasse-Bienvenue was a very different stop from all the others that we experienced. It is not filled with many cultural activities or cool architecture. However, it contains a modern-like building that is the third tallest structure in Paris. A very urbanized area with a train station sitting right next to the Montparnasse Tower. The tower sits at an impressive height of 689ft and is said to have one of the best panoramic views of the city of Paris. The tower is mainly occupied with offices but also holds a restaurant named Le Ciel de Paris as well as an observation deck on its top floor.

Although we did not get to go into the tower due to ticket prices, it was very interesting to see a more city-looking area of Paris. A break from the typical french architecture reminded me of Miami, but with better public transportation. An area I wish I explored more in the area of Montparnasse was the train station. It appeared to have a mall and it would have been very interesting to see the types of shops that were set up inside.

9. Rennes

The Luxembourg Gardens was the most beautiful park that was contained within the city. It holds the names of scientists as well as a reference to many pop culture things. One example of this is in Victor Hugo’s Les Misérables and another being the album cover of music artist, Tamp Impala. The park also contains green grass areas for picnicking, talking, or sunbathing. In the middle sits a body of water where you can find people sailing tiny sailboats built for a mouse.

This park had to be one of my favorite places I went to in Paris as I spent my days there studying or eating with friends. An escape from the busy atmosphere of the city, this park shows the more slower culture of France and living life in smaller moments. Paris is an urbanized city, bringing people rushing to where they need to be. Being in this park I was able to understand and see first hand the importance of sitting down and just enjoying the outdoors as well as the company of others. It was a very difficult thing to see outside of cafés and restaurants however I believe the Luxembourg Gardens really encapsulates the culture perfectly.

10. Notre-Dame des Champs

The café culture of Notre-Dame des Champs was one like no other. There was a great deal of pedestrian traffic through the area with large amounts of cafés. This was really cool to see and there were an overwhelming amount of options to choose from. We chose a place that served different types of craft beers. Getting our fruit-flavored ales, we sat and watched the people walk by.

For myself, it was something that made me wish Miami was more of a walking city because the people-watching at a cafe was such a fun experience to see everyone living their lives and having their small moments as we reflected on many of the memories that were made during our program. 





Monet « un oeil … mais bon Dieu, quel oeil » by Sylvie Patin

Jacob Meyer: France as Text 2022

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

Jacob Meyer is a senior currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a certificate in Human Rights and Political Transitions at Florida International University. He hopes one day to be a leader in the global political sphere. He eventually wants to break down barriers by studying various languages and traveling all around the world. While being fluent in German and English, he has studied languages such as French, Spanish, and Mandarin. In his free time, he likes to go out with friends, play piano, and cook.

Lyon as Text

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

‘Weight of Morals’

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at Lyon, France on July 7, 2022

The Weight of Oneself Statue was an extremely impactful piece of art to learn about during my time in Lyon. I believe that the placement and context of the state really was the perfect combination. My interpretation behind the art is that it represents the idea that justice is equitable for everybody. It further digs into a criticism of the justice system by creating a sense of accountability in individuals by showing a message that if people want an equitable system of justice then they need to hold themselves accountable to that standard. The location of the statue was even more impactful to the meaning and my own interpretation of the art.

The piece was located next to the river outside the Palais de Justice in Vieux Lyon. This court of law was used to house the first trails for Crimes Against Humanity after World War II. In my career, I want to work in the scope of human rights and protect those who are innocent victims in times of war.

The combination elements of this piece of art that I interpreted and the location really had powered my willingness to fight for other’s human rights as well as calling out whatever country I choose to work in if they choose the hypocrisy of calling other countries out for human rights violations but ignoring or covering up their own violations. I hope after going back to the United States and even working in the international political sphere, I am able to not just fix the problems internationally but domestically as well.

Izieu as Text

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

‘Serenity to Atrocity: Contrast of Life’

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at Maison d’Izieu on July 10, 2022

Upon entering the property of Maison d’Izieu, stepping out onto a beautiful landscape surrounded by mountains and a lake that is colored a refreshing blue. The breathtaking scenery and old French architecture made me feel welcomed into a home of happiness and bliss. After taking in the scenery and talking about situations that happened during World War II, we entered the house that changed my perspective on everything regarding the atrocities that occurred. Observing the poems and works of art that the children created gave an insight on what their lives were like and even gave a perspective on their view of the world. Moving around the house gave a deeper connection on how these individuals spent some of the final happiest moments of their life.

Upon walking into a room filled with pictures of the children and seeing the happiness on their faces, a realization came to me. I have had to separate myself from atrocities that occur in the world due to my career and it has been difficult for me to really connect to horrible situations. Seeing the picture of each child and being in the place where they were the happiest brought an extreme sense of empathy to me. It was harrowing sight to see the contrast between the joyous scenery and a heart-wrenching ending. The contrast between these two made the experience and story unique as you feel as if you are living their lives.

The most humbling experience was reading the letters that these children wrote to their parents. It reminds you of when you were a child, being sent to camp and writing about the most ecstatic time of your childhood and to see it be robbed from them, not having a happy ending as many of us did, eats away at you. In this moment, I also found a sense of peace and ambition to help those who face many similar situations today.

Paris as Text

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

Fake Front or Closer to God?

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at La Basilique de Saint-Denis on July 4, 2022

The Basilique de Saint-Denis was built in the year 1135 in order to serve as a ode to Saint Denis. The story of Saint Denis is a very interesting one as he was prosecuted and sentenced to death.  He was beheaded on top of Montmartre and then proceeded to carry his head several kilometers until he reached the site of where the Basilique de Saint-Denis is today. The architecture of the cathedral is gothic inspired with stain glass windows that not only tell stories from the bible but from the time as well. As you walk further into the cathedral you see tombs of kings and queens from the past. The tombs make you feel as if they have some bit of life still left in them as the figures keep their eyes open waiting for the final judgement.

The energy that the Basilique de Saint-Denis gave me was an eerie yet nostalgic feeling. As I grew up Catholic before eventually leaving the religion, the gothic architecture and ambience of the cathedral allowed me to envision what a whole service would be like. As I was envisioning a service in the church, I could sense a more religious experience with the combination of the echoes of the organ and the breath-taking art that surrounds you.

I never got to experience anything like this as a kid since we grew up with smaller and more Americanesque Catholic churches. It made me reflect on if I would have stayed in the religion and feel more connected to the practice if I were to attend a place like this. I wish I could say there is a definite answer to this reflection as I have gone back and forth with it. No matter my answer, I did find curiosity in those who chose to be buried there.

I could not help but to make perceptions on the way each individual viewed the world and their practice based on how they designed their tombs. One in particular, Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette, seemed as if their tomb was a way to try to repent their horrible doings onto the state of France. This forgiving portrayal of Louis XVI and Marie Antoinette brings up reflections on the covering up of incidents such as pedophilia in the church and how these grand cathedrals can be used as a great act so that things can be swept under the rug. This brings back the point of leaving the practice due to the preaching’s not aligning with my views of the world as I believe there should be transparency especially in larger institutions. Does holyness give forgiveness on these horrible acts or is the church built on hypocrisy?

Versailles as Text

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

To Live or To Fight

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at Versailles Museum & Gardens on July 3, 2022

Versailles was a palace envisioned by Louis XIV in order to bring him increased safety in security as the royal family resided in Paris, a location that is closer to the citizens. In order to construct this iconic structure, Louis XIV originally hired Italian artist Bernini to design the palace. After some disagreements between Louis XIV and Bernini, he was sent back to Italy after Louis XIV decided to design the palace with only French architects and artists. This allowed for Louis XIV to fund and open schools for artists and sculptures to increase the amount of people in art around France.

Later, during Louis XVI rule, the negatives of Versailles became more prominent. The monarchy became more and more disconnected from the people of France. It was a clear difference between Louis XIV and Louis XVI ways of ruling. Louis XIV was a more extroverted and confident leader that allowed him to connect to the people while he lived in Paris. However, Louis XVI was a more introverted leader and being in Versailles during the time of his rule created a complete separation from the monarchy and the citizens of France.

While exploring the grounds of the palace, it was very clear that Louis XVI was completely disconnected from the citizens, and it even showed in the art depicting him. In his face you can see looks of concern and even doubt. The main question that I asked myself while walking around is if I would be one to partake in the French Revolution in order to overthrow the monarchy. I truly believe that I would be partaking in the forefront of the revolution. I joined my career to stand up to injustices going out through the world and the actions of the monarchy at the time would have made me infuriated. I also would not be one to think about the more dangerous consequences. During the 2020 Black Lives Matters protests in Miami, we were shot at and tear gassed which showed me that I had the willingness to risk my own well being in order to ensure a better future.

Jacob Meyer: Declaration 2022

‘Restore freedom of expression to the French people; to re-establish republican freedoms in a state which incorporates social justice and which possesses a sense of greatness’

Jean Moulin
Jean Moulin by Marcel Bernard // CC 4.0

Early Life and Career

Born on June 20, 1899 in Béizers, France under the sign of Gemini, Jean Moulin was a French Civil Servant during World War II. In his early life, Moulin grew up around his father who was a professor in history and geography. He grew up with two siblings, one brother and one sister. In his early adult life, Moulin studied Law at the University of Montpellier, but he was enlisted in the Army which caused him to take a break on his degree. He worked as an engineer in the Second Engineer Regiment. Although Moulin was in the army, he never saw any action before the end of World War I. In 1922, Moulin was able to obtain his liscense to practice law. Around the year 1926 Moulin married a professional singer, Marguerite Cerruti. The marriage between Moulin and Cerruti did not last too long as they got divorced two years later. It is suspected that Moulin married Cerruti due to a anticipated inheritance. Eventually in 1930 he became the youngest subprefect. Subprefects are French Administrative officials in charge of arrondisiments. One side job that Moulin did is writing political satire in a comedy newspaper called ‘Le Rire.’ Later on in 1937, Moulin then became the youngest prefect of the Eure-et-Loir département. Compared to a subprefect who oversees various divisions of a department, a prefect is the State’s representative in a department or region meaning that it is more of a supervisor role. One amazing this that he did during his early political career was starting the nationalization of airlines and assisted with the establishment of Air France.

Dedication to the Resistance

A couple years later on September 3, 1939, war was declared on Germany thus having Moulin see the collapse of France. During this time Moulin attempted to enlist in the Army again but was unable to due to the administrative duties of his prefect position. In June 1940 when German soldiers occupied the département of Eure-et-Loire Moulin was captured and tortured in order to sign a paper stating that all the atrocities were caused by the Senagalise French Army Troops. The reason that the Germans wanted Moulin to sign this document is because they were infuriated that black troops were slowing the German Army down. This caused for the Germans to massacre 180 Senagalise French Troops. The document in which the Germans tried to get Moulin to sign stated that the Sengalise people were going on a rampage and terrorizing women and children. This document would have made the German troops appear as heroes as it stated that the Sengalise troops were only massacred to stop the terrorizing. Moulin was not fond of this as he stated that the French Republic upholds the values of liberty, equality, and brotherhood for all. He preferred death over saying a statement that was not true, so Moulin tried to slit his own throat with a broken piece of glass. Fortunately, he survived his suicide attempt as a guard found him and Moulin received immediate medical attention. After recovering, he was left with a scar that would remind him of his heroic actions for the rest of his life. In his note, Moulin stated, ‘For seven hours I have been subjected to physical and moral torture. I know that today I reached the limits of resistance. I know that if it starts again tomorrow, I will sign in the end. The dilemma remains: to sign or to disappear. It is impossible to flee. Whatever happens, I cannot sign.’ This statement shows that he knew that if he stayed alive and endured the torture then eventually the document would be signed so in a sense suicide was the only option that Moulin faced in order to continue to fight what he believes in. 

When looking at the statements of Moulin overall and the reasoning behind attempting suicide, one connection that can be made is to the French Revolution. During the French Revolution, the Declaration of Rights of the Man and the Citizen was created. Although the document did not specifically include statements regarding the treatment of people of color, as times changed many French citizens, including Moulin, could have interpreted this document including people of color and inspiring the French culture to hold the values of liberty, equality, and brotherhood for all.

He stayed in his prefect position until November of 1940 before being let go and joining resistance efforts in England where he would be working with General Charles de Gaulle. During his time in the resistance, Moulin played a role in leading the French Guerillas as well as continuing the development of the National Council of the Resistance. Eventually, under a pseudonym, he returned to France by means of parachute in order to continue efforts of unifying the resistance. During his time in France, Moulin was to spread resistance propaganda and build a stronger military in order to fight back agains thte Germans. In 1942, Moulin organized three notable resistance movements across Southern France. Later in 1943, Moulin eventually became the first chairman of the National Council of the Resistance. This council brought together several resistance groups throughout France as well as two unions and around six political parties. The council was a major step in getting many people to work together in a collaborative effort to take down German forces. Unfortunately this growth in power in multiple resistance movements led to many criticisms against Jean Moulin. Many critics called Moulin’s leadership autocratic and a challenge to Charles de Gaulle’s power as he was a main delegate of the National Liberation Committee in London as well as working with the National Council of the Resistance. This criticism in his leadership caused for tension between other leaders of various resistance movements across France.

In 1943, various resistance leaders set up a summit to meet together in Caluire. However, it was a set-up caused by the Gestapo (German Secret Police). This eventually led to the arrest of several resistance leaders including Moulin. After his capture, Moulin was tortured for about two weeks until he passed away on the way to Germany. One theory that historians have about how the summit in which resistance leaders met at, is that there was a mole within the operations of the resistance that ultimately led to the arrests and deaths of several leaders, including Moulin. René Hardy was one central figure that was suspected to inform the Gestapo of the operations of the resistance. The reasons for which historians suspect Hardy for being a traitor is that he had been arrested by the Gestapo twice and escaped both times as well as when put on trial he was acquitted. 

Why is His Story Important?

It is very important to look back on Moulin’s story as it can inspire many to keep fighting for what they believe in. His determination and actions are very admirable as well as his military tactics against the Germans can be taken into consideration for those who are fighting against atrocities of their countries in today’s world. Another reason Jean Moulin’s story is important is when looking back on history and more specifically World War II, the main topics that are discussed are the actions of the allies and world leaders. It is essential that we look at stories of lesser known individuals to see the struggle and determination they carried throughout their lives to stop atrocities from occuring. Another reason Moulin’s story is so important, more particulurly his early life, is that it shows a more humane side of him. Although a great deal of his story is filled with war and heroic actions, it is essential that we look at what their life was like before so that their image is not filled strictly with war and violence. The more daily and regular actions of an individual allow for each person to relate more to the person as well as understand their life and what could have led to that person doing certain actions.

Personal Relevance

Before researching Moulin, I did not know much about him and the accomplishments that he achieved during his life. After looking into him I learned a lot about his character and I really felt moved and inspired by everything that he did in order to fight against the Germans. I really relate to Jean Moulin in various aspects. One aspect that I really identify with is Moulin willingness to stand by his values and even risk his life for them. Throughout my life I have really held the value of honesty close to my heart as I believe that more harm is caused by not telling the truth. This is why I can identify myself with Moulin’s actions because as he slit his own throat to not spread a lie that would bring harm upon innocent people, I believe that in that situation there is a strong possibility that I would do the same because I would not know how to live with myself after if I were to give into the torture and signing a false statement. Another way in which I relate to Jean Moulin is his will to continue speaking out against that of which goes against his values. I really believe that it is extremely important to always stand up for what you believe in and that you are not living to your truest self if you do not hold yourself to your values and beliefs. Jean Moulin’s ashes were located in the Père Lachaise cemetery and eventually transferred to the Panthéon in Paris on December 19, 1964. I hope to visit his grave while we are in the city and pay respects to him as his story has really spoken to me.


Bienvenue sur le site du Musée de la Libération de Paris – Musée du Général Leclerc – Musée Jean Moulin. Musée Libération Leclerc Moulin. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2022, from https://www.museeliberation-leclerc-moulin.paris.fr/ 

Cengage. (2022, April 24). .” encyclopedia of Modern Europe: Europe since 1914: Encyclopedia of the age of war and reconstruction. . encyclopedia.com. 29 Mar. 2022 . Encyclopedia.com. Retrieved April 24, 2022, from https://www.encyclopedia.com/history/encyclopedias-almanacs-transcripts-and-maps/moulin-jean-1899-1943 

Encyclopedia Britannica, E. (n.d.). Jean Moulin. Encyclopædia Britannica. Retrieved April 24, 2022, from https://www.britannica.com/biography/Jean-Moulin 

Jean Moulin. Jean Moulin – Academic Kids. (n.d.). Retrieved April 24, 2022, from https://academickids.com/encyclopedia/index.php/Jean_Moulin Peoplepill.com. (n.d.). About Jean Moulin: French politician (1924 – N/a): Biography, facts, career, life. peoplepill.com. Retrieved April 24, 2022, from https://peoplepill.com/people/jean-moulin-3

Jacob Meyer: Miami as Text 2022

Jacob at 1-800 Lucky Restaurant in Wynwood

Jacob Meyer is a senior currently studying for a Bachelor of Arts in International Relations with a certificate in Human Rights and Political Transitions at Florida International University. He hopes one day to be a leader in the global political sphere. He eventually wants to break down barriers by studying various languages and traveling all around the world. While being fluent in German and English, he has studied languages such as French, Spanish, and Mandarin. In his free time, he likes to go out with friends, play piano, and cook.

Deering As Text

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

‘Urban to Natural Landscapes’

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at Deering Estate, January 28, 2022

When thinking about Miami there are usually images of tall skyscrapers and busy highways with horrible drivers. However, being at the Deering Estate really changes your perspective on what Miami is really like by seeing parts of the land that are ‘untouched’ by urban development. It also unlocks a large part of the history of this city many call home.

Before visiting I did not know the significant impact that Bahamian workers had on the development of Miami. They have faced a great deal of struggle and tragedies. They were able to build the house and the Richmond Cottage which are two beautiful buildings with architectural influence from North Africa and Spain. One of the most surprising things that I learned while visiting is the workers that died during the construction of the canal and how in history classes there is not much learned about the struggle that these workers faced.

When going into the nature preserve there was a lot of untouched lands that could be seen. Seeing the beautiful mangroves while learning about the Tequestas that lived 6,000 years ago was truly an experience. It was mind-blowing to touch tools that were used so long ago and to learn how they used to walk along the Atlantic Coastal Ridge. The best part of being inside the nature preserve was going inside the solution holes. I did not know things such as this existed in Florida due to only experiencing more suburban and metropolitan areas.

I hope to one day continue exploring more of the beautiful natural landscapes that Florida has to offer.

Vizcaya as Text

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

‘Birthplace of the Miami Attitude’

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at Vizcaya, February 18, 2022

Miami is well known for its nightlife with many popular clubs like Space and E11even. When visiting Vizcaya, it was very apparent where the ‘party culture’ in the city began. Vizcaya was filled with architectural influence from France, Italy, and Spain and around every corner were themes of extravagance.

When I first entered the house, there stood a statue of Dionysus. At first, it seemed confusing why that Greek God was chosen, but upon seeing the rest of the estate, it seemed very fitting. It was mind-blowing to learn that the house was filled with ceilings imported from Italy and a table imported from ancient Pompeii. When entering the gardens, it was intriguing to explore small mazes and coves in the rocks to escape the sun.

It was no surprise to learn that James Deering threw many parties at the house. This made me draw comparisons between the book ‘The Great Gatsby’ and the stories of Vizcaya with how Jay Gatsby, like James Deering, always had the best house, collections, and social events. When making this comparison, it can also be seen how the events and landscape of the estate influenced modern Miami culture. Miami is very well known for the feeling of high-class and extravagant dining, hotels, and clubs. Furthermore, in the locals, this has brought a sense of materialism and living more of a laid-back life.

Not only has seeing Vizcaya been one of my favorite experiences whilst living in Miami, but it has gotten me excited to explore the grand halls and gardens of Versailles. I hope to go back and spend more time looking at the art and walking throughout the gardens.

‘Exploring the History of the 305’

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at Downtown Miami, March 11, 2022

When exploring downtown it was amazing to see all of the unknown history of Miami. A city that is filled with tourists and sunny beaches but tourism has covered up some of the celebrations and unfortunate events that have occurred in the ever-growing place we call home.

When typically driving through downtown Miami, I always see skyscrapers that form a beautiful skyline. It was incredible to hear about the Wagner Homestead as it is one of the oldest buildings in Miami that happened to be the home of a mixed-race couple. The wooden home was a structure that is unfamiliar to me as I have only seen tall buildings and Mediterranean architecture during my time in Florida.

One place that really stood out to me was the Miami River which gave Freshwater to those who lived in the earlier days of Miami. Unfortunately, it is upsetting to see the pollution that has entered the river causing damage to the ecosystems that once thrived. However, it is reassuring to hear that there are efforts being made to help save those ecosystems by making the water clean once again.

This has inspired me to walk through downtown Miami on my own and spend time exploring the historic sites that the city has to offer.

South Beach as Text

Images Taken by Jacob Meyer // CC by 4.0

‘Sun, Sand, and Art Deco’

By Jacob Meyer of FIU at South Beach, April 1, 2022

Miami Beach is an area of Miami that is bustling with tourists during Spring Break season. It was shocking to hear that this busy and urban area was built on sand and shells due to the location being on a barrier island. However, the history of its development explains why the area has bad floods every time it rains.

One of my favorite things about Miami Beach is the amount of Art Deco architecture that can be viewed on Ocean Drive. Art Deco short for ‘Arts Décoratifs’ derives from a movement started in France. It is very visually pleasing to my eyes with the symmetry, use of pastel colors, and interesting various fonts used for neon signs. In a way, the use of Art Deco in architecture feels as if you are transported into a beach town from the ’60s. One of my favorite buildings was the Park Central Hotel as it uses pastel blue and white with a royal blue accent.

Another amazing thing about the history of Miami Beach was the Versace Mansion. Gianni Versace was a world-renowned fashion designer that was one of the first major celebrities to move to the area, thus bringing many others to Miami Beach. Unfortunately, Versace was murdered as he was walking back into his mansion. Although it was was terrible incident, it has made to be one of my favorite true crime stories.

This trip increased the love and appreciation that I have for Art Deco and the area of Miami Beach. In the future, I hope that the city preserves the Art Deco style architecture by stopping the building of large condos and skyscrapers.

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