Linabel Armas: Homestead 2021


Photo by Hugo Perez (CC by 4.0)

Greetings! My name is Linabel Armas Alduncin and I am currently a junior in the Honors College at Florida International University. I am majoring in Political Science and International Relations with the goal to attend Law School after I graduate. I was born and raised in Cienfuegos, Cuba and moved to Miami, FL about six and a half years ago. As I am still adapting to the city, this class and project will allow me the opportunity to get to know Miami a little better.


Map of Homestead, FL

Photo retrieved from Google Maps

Homestead, FL is located in Miami-Dade County. As shown in the map above, it extends from Biscayne National Park to the east and Everglades National Park to the west. The city is located about 25-30 miles northwest from Key Largo and about 30 miles from southwest of Miami. In the recent years Homestead has become a major agricultural area in Miami. It is very common to come across acres of crops and nurseries.

According to the U.S Census Bureau, Homestead has a total of 14.4 square miles (37 km2)- 14.3 square miles (37 km2) of it is land and 0.1 square miles (0.26 km2) of it is water. The city is located near the end of the Florida Turnpike South, north of Florida City; creating the known “Homestead-Florida City area” (U.S Census Bureau: Gazetteer Files)


Looking at Homestead A.F.B. hospital buildings from the intersection of roads “K” and “L” – Homestead, Florida. 1942. ( Photo retrieved from State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory.)

Homestead was established in 1913 and became the second oldest city in Miami- Dade County after City of Miami. The city played an essential role in Henry Flagler’s railroad, which helped the development of South Florida.

The name of the city came after construction workers from the Florida East Coast Railway  were extending the railroad to Key West. “The rail line was passing through an area opened up for homesteading”, because the construction facility at the end of the line didn’t have an assigned name, supplies for the workers were sent to “Homestead Country”, later shorten when engineers were mapping the city. (Encyclopedia Britannica, 2011)


As per the U. S Census Bureau:

As of 2019, Homestead, Florida estimated a population of sixty nine thousand five hundred and twenty three individuals (69, 523). Around fifty percent (50%) of the population were female, and the other belonging half were identified as male. In addition, the ethnic composition of Homestead’s population is composed of around sixty seven percent (67%) of Hispanic or Latinos, twenty one percent (21%) of African Americans, and twelve percent (12%) of white (not including Hispanics or Latinos). Moreover, the median household income is around forty seven thousand five hundred and eight dollars ($47, 508). However, there is about a twenty four percent (24%) of individuals in poverty. (U.S. Census Bureau QuickFacts).

Because the city is still growing its populations. Home mortgages and rent prices are not as expensive as in other parts of Miami, which is why many individuals have been purchasing and renting more houses here in the past years. Below is a comparison between a home for sale in Homestead (second picture) and home in Tamiami. As per the pictures, the second home located in Homestead offers a bigger lot size (0.23 acres) and the rounded mortgage is also lower ($1,786). Compared to the Tamiami home which also has the same price, but has barely any lot size.

Screenshots taken from

Biography of Julio Cesar (Current Homestead resident)

Selfie by Julio Armas (CC by 4.0)

Julio Cesar Armas Cortes was born and raised in Cienfuegos, Cuba. At the age of 28 he decided to move to Miami since the rest of his family was already living here. Throughout the years he has lived in different cities of Miami but recently he moved to Homestead, FL with his wife. He is currently 33 years old, married, and awaiting his first child.

Julio Cesar’s thoughts on Homestead, FL

Linabel: So how do you like Homestead so far?

Julio: I really like Homestead. It is very close to my pregnant wife’s job which is my main concern at the moment and it has all I need near by: food markets, shopping malls, etc..

Linabel: What is your least favorite thing about the city?

Julio: Honestly, the distance from my family’s home, all my family lives in Tamiami or Hialeah so it is a long drive to see them every week.

Linabel: Would you change anything from Homestead?

Julio: No, I honestly think that Homestead is a great growing city.

Linabel: Thank you for the interview!

As an upcoming parent Julio thinks the city is a great place for his growing family ;however, the distance to the rest of his family members is a great outlier for him.-


Homestead Historic Town Hall Museum

Photo retrieved from City of Homestead’s website

With over 125 photos, artifacts, and more; Homestead Historic Town Hall Museum holds great amounts of history about South Florida. Built in 1917, the Town Hall was the first municipal building in the city of Homestead. (Ruth L. Campbell, Museum Director and Curator) The building has two floors. The first level was first built to accommodate a jail cell, the Police Chief’s office, and the fire department. The second level was designed to have a court room in the Council’s Chambers and other different municipal offices.

The office later became the City Hall until 1975 when the City Hall was transfer somewhere else. Later plans wanted to demolish the historical building but Homestead advocates where able to stop such thing. Now the building serves as a museum free to the public.

Florida Pioneer Museum

Photos by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

The Florida Pioneer Museum is currently closed due to COVID-19 regulations. The museum was founded in 1962 when Dr. Herbert S. Zim and a group of women donated different Indian artifacts and tools. In addition, the facility is located in the old Homestead Florida East Coast Railroad station agent’s home that was built in 1904. In 1964, the house was moved to land that was donated by Henry and Jackie Brooker. (Florida Pioneer Museum: About us) Similar to the Homestead Historic Town Hall Museum , the Florida East Coast Railway tried to demolish the museum but a group of residents advocated and raised money to stop such thing. Although the museum is currently closed due to COVID, this place holds great amount of history about not only Homestead but South Florida overall.

Coral Castle Museum & Garden

Photo retrieved from Google taken by Lana Kapaeva (CC by 4.0)

Coral Castle Museum & Garden was a museum created on Ed Leedskalnin’s Coral Castle. Originally the museum was called “Rock Gate Park” and is currently closed due to COVID-19 regulations. Ed Leedskalnin created such masterpiece because he wanted to showcase his love to the love of his life, Agnes Scuffs. She was ten years younger that Mr. Leedskalnin who was twenty six years old at the time. He felt in love with her and arranged a wedding. Ms. Scuffs cancelled the wedding a day before, leaving Leedskalnin heartbroken. Since then he started sculpting and carving coral rocks. Since no one ever saw him move the coral rocks (which are very heavy) it is believed that he had some type of supernatural power. Overall, this place showcases a beautiful story worth visiting the museum for. (Coral Castle Museum: Who’s Ed?)


The city of Homestead is full of green. When driving to it and while going through its streets, on both sides of the road Homestead offers you great views and pure air due to its greenery.

Losner Park

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Losner Park is currently under renovation and its completely closed. The park is located in the middle of downtown Homestead. From a quick sight it seems like the most centric park around the area. The park counts with an outdoor stage where before COVID-19 they hosted festivals and concerts.

The ongoing renovation promises a durable park where the public enjoys time in the outdoors. The park will feature a new restaurant, updated stage and huge water fountain.

Homestead Bayfront Park

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Homestead Bayfront Park is the perfect spot to go if you are a Homestead resident and dont want to drive all the way to Miami Beach to get into the water. Aside from having a Marine, the park has a small beach for anyone who wants to visit. In addition it has a restaurant on the second floor of the facility that lets you enjoy the water view aside from enjoying some delicious seafood.

Audubon Park

Photo retrieved from City of Homestead’s website

Audubon Park is a small community park close to schools and residential homes. It is the ideal place to go with kids in the afternoon to have some family time with a beautiful lake view. It was very hard for me to find the entrance and parking which is why I believe it is made for residents in the area rather than for visitors.


Photo retrieved from National Park Service

Americans today mostly drive alone meaning they have a car and/ or dont use public transportation. According to Data USA in 2017, approximately sixty seven percent (67%) of the population in Homestead drove alone, eighteen percent (18%) carpooled, and seven percent (7%) used public transit. (Data USA, 2017: Homestead, FL).  

The percentage amount that uses public transportation has to walk or wait a lot. For starters they have a trolley completely free that transports individuals to the National Parks around the area; however, due to the current global pandemic, this service has stopped until 2022. In addition, Miami Dade Transit also offers different metrobus options to get to the Florida City/ Homestead area, along with different bus routes to Homestead. This transportation is mainly used if an individual needs to go out of the city. Although the commute time is longer than if having a car it is possible to get to the desired location without one. Moreover, to stay around the city many walk instead of taking their cars or the bus.

The sixty seven percent (67%) of residents who own/ drive a car in Homestead most commonly dont work in the city. Their commute time ranges from 35-40 mins. However, such time can be shorten if taking the Florida Turnpike, or avoiding traffic hours in main roads like US 1 and Krome Ave.


Homestead has very diverse culture. As stated before, a great population of Homestead’s residents are Hispanic or Latino, African American, and white. Each culture’s typical foods are showcased in different restaurants throughout the city.

La Cruzada Taqueria

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

La Cruzada Taqueria is a Mexican Restaurant that lets you enjoy typical Mexican cuisine. The place is kind of small and but when you come in you feel like you just walked into Mexico. As a Mexican food lover, I couldn’t had agree more with all of the Yelp reviews: their tacos al pastor were delicious. Unlike many restaurants in Homestead, they not only offer breakfast, but they also offer vegetarian options. This small Mexican restaurant has it all!

 Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Mamma Mia Italian Restaurant and Pizzeria is a small chain family restaurant that transports you back to Italy with one bite. The family has three restaurants in total counting their Homestead location. They have been able to grow their business throughout the years. According to Yelp reviews, their best dishes include: their garlic rolls and “white” pizza. They also have great lunch specials from Monday through Friday. I went during their lunch and decided to get the lunch special lasagna, which came with a side of Caesar salad and garlic rolls. I can safely say that this restaurant has become my favorite Italian restaurant in Miami.

Yardie Spice

Photo by Edna G. (Retrieved from Yelp)

Yardie Spice is a Jamaican and Haitian restaurant centrally located on Krome Ave. The restaurant is a small business created by a couple. As per the owner’s words, him and his wife both studied management and after years of working for others they decided to open their small restaurant. (Jean Paul on Yelp)

It highlights the spicy food of the Caribbean islands. The small business aside from having amazing food has even better prices. They have “Combo” options that range approximately around the $10. The restaurant has a small menu, however, it customers dont care much about it. According to Yelp, Yardie Spice’s customers love the Legume dish and red snapper with polenta plate because it reminds them of Haiti.


When going to Homestead through Krome Ave, from both sides of the road you can see endless nurseries, food trucks, and restaurants. Homestead has an immense amount of business in its city mainly focus on agriculture, food markets, and farms.

Knaus Berry Farm

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Knaus Berry Farm is a very known and popular place by the Miami-Dade County community. The food market is famous for its delicious and unique cinnamon rolls- one bite transports you to heaven. In addition, they have other different desserts like pies, and also have a variety of dinner rolls ( my personal favorite are the cheese and herbs) Knaus Berry Farm is also known for letting individuals picked their own fruits and vegetables during season. A great place to visit with family!

Robert Is Here Fruit Stand and Farm

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Just like Knaus Berry Farm, Robert is Here is another well known place by the Miami residents. The food market has a great variety of “exotic” oils, honeys, and salad dressing only found there. It also serves delicious shakes that you can create with their fruits. In addition, the place has a small ranch with different animals like chickens, horses, and more. This is yet another family friendly facility in Homestead!

Bright Therapy Services, Inc.

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

I decided to chose Bright Therapy Services, Inc. because it is one of Homestead businesses close to my heart. In this location, behavior technicians and analysts work with who have autism and other type of disabilities by helping them be independent in life. The kids who range from 1-15 years old learn how to tie their shoes, how to properly go to the bathroom, and more. The facility is centrally located in Homestead near Krome Ave and gives the opportunity to transport the kids from their schools to the facility. To me this place is one of the best businesses in the City of Homestead since it helps kids with disabilities be the greatest version of themselves.


Pictures by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Overall, the City of Homestead is a beautiful historical and agricultural city growing its population. The city’s residents are mainly Hispanics, African American, and whites making the culture and traditions of the city be interestingly mixed. The city definitely goes out of the stereotypes about what Miami is like.

Because the city’s base is agriculture may of its citizens work in plantations, farms, fruit picking businesses, and more. Many of these employees are illegal immigrants who get paid less than minimal salary but work to be able to maintain their families and risk getting deported. As I was driving next to a crop field, I saw multiple busses next to a lot of workers who seemed from Latin America. Such busses transport the workers from a meeting point to the crop field early in the morning and take them back later at night. Because of the conditions that this workers are treated under, many non-profit organizations have been focusing on advocating for these immigrants.

On the other hand, the city of Homestead has been working hard to renovate the city and “make it look nice”. In the recent years, the city has been wanting to attract more residents which is why they have been renovation sections of the city like Losner Park, Downton Homestead, and have been building houses on empty lots.

Leaving behind the stereotypes of a crowded Miami, Homestead is becoming my favorite city. Although it is a little far from everything else, the city is beautiful, full of small businesses, farms, and more. I definitely loved visiting and getting to know the city a little better, I will definitely be back to show my friends and family around.


Looking at Homestead A.F.B. hospital buildings from the intersection of roads “K” and “L” – Homestead, Florida. 1942. State Archives of Florida, Florida Memory. <a href=”http://<;, accessed 15 April 2021.” data-type=”URL” data-id=”<;, accessed 15 April 2021.

“About Our City.” About Our City | Homestead, FL – Official Website,

“Homestead.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc.,

“Town Hall.” Historic Homestead Town Hall Museum,

About Us,

“Homestead, FL.” Data USA,

Linabel Armas: Miami Service Project 2021


Photo by Roger Masson (CC by 4.0)

Hi! My name is Linabel Armas and I am a junior at Florida International University. I was born and raised in Cienfuegos, Cuba and moved to Miami about six and a half years ago. Since my arrival I have come to love and cherish this city, especially now that I have learned so much about it.


For this project, I had the opportunity to volunteer at Chicken Key with my class on April 17, 2021. In total, I accumulated six community hours. Chicken Key is a canoe ride away from Deering Estate. Our service project consisted of picking up trash from the inhabited island that the current had brought to its shore.

The Deering Estate is a cultural and historical asset to Florida. It is an “environmental, archeological, historical, and architectural preserve owned by the state of Florida and managed by the Miami Dade County Park and Recreation department” (Deering Estate history: Historic Miami Mansion & Gardens)


Before this virus, I felt I was pretty involved in my community. I used to reach out to different organizations and help out. However, during this global pandemic, there hasn’t been a variety of volunteering opportunities that I feel comfortable participating in due to the risk of getting infected by COVID 19. This class, “Finding Miami,” has allowed me to volunteer again safely and has given me hopes that I can keep doing so. Although volunteering at Chicken Key by cleaning its shores is not related to my professional future goals, it has, however, has made me step out of my comfort zone.

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)


Since the beginning of this course professor, Bailly explained to us that our class would have its service project at Chicken Key. Although our first proposed date was canceled due to bad weather, on April 17, 2021, we were able to accomplish our service project.

W H E R E & W H A T

On April 17, 2021, I arrived early at Deering Estate. I was very excited about canoeing to Chicken Key since I had never done such a thing before. We embarked at around 10:30 am and began our journey to the island. At first, it was tricky getting the “momentum” between my canoe partner and me, but later on, we got the hang of it.

The views after getting just a little bit away from Deering Estate are precious. From a distance, I was able to see large buildings and yachts. The silence and peace were mesmerizing. The water was so crystal clear that the bottom of the ocean was visible. The weather was perfect, the sun was shining and kissing my skin, and the breathing was styling my hair. Aside from our class, there wasn’t a single other soul near us. It was then when I realized how little we humans appreciate nature. Maybe that is why we have damaged it so much.

Volunteering opportunities like this one open people’s eyes to see what we need to improve and help mother nature. We don’t appreciate it, which is why we don’t care for it.

Upon our arrival at around 11:00 am, we swam in the crystal clear waters of Chicken Key. After canoeing to the key, getting into the water was like entering heaven: meant to be. We then began our cleanup.

We divided into different groups. My group went to the south of the island. At first, we only found debris: small pieces of plastic, glass, and other materials. Although these were not large, it was essential to pick them up since animals can eat them, and it can cause wounds to their bowels or other parts of their bodies. As we were getting closer to the end of the island, we found bigger things, such as shoes, shoe hills, plastic containers, big pieces of cords, and more. It was amazing and yet sad to see how many things are dragged by the current to Chicken Key: from a mattress to a toilet to shoes. This was such an eye-opening experience; it reminded me how much we, as young individuals, still need to advocate for our environment.

Although in recent years, Millennials and Generation Z individuals have become more active in their communities about keeping our planet clean and plastic-free, there is a long way to go still. We not only need to continue helping the environment by not using plastic straws, cups, and more but by trying to advocate for legislation that helps us keep our planet green and safe.

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

My group and I decided to go back to the meeting point around 12:30 pm to have some lunch. Before getting there, we dropped the collected trash bags in the canoes.

During lunch, we all gathered together and had lunch. I thought it was a great bonding experience, especially since our last meeting before the semester ended. Most of us when back to the water afterward to digest our lunch before getting back to work. We played, talked, and had lots of fun.

At 1:30pm I decided to go by myself on a walk and keep picking up debris. The peace and silence during my walk around the island was so relaxing. I paused a couple of times to appreciate the beautiful views of the inhabited island and collect the little pieces of plastic and glass that were on my way. I sat down, took some pictures, and daydreamed.

Photo by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

By 2:30 pm, we started heading back to Deering Estate. We organized the trash on each canoe and began our way-back journey. This time we left through the opposite side of the island instead of where we came from.

My canoe partner and I were rowing in sync up until the current and wind changed. The tide was high, the wind started blowing hard, and we were canoeing against the current. It felt like if we were not moving, my arms became tired after 45 min of rowing nonstop. Thankfully two of our classmates arrived at Deering first and went back into the water to help us.

After getting to the chore, I said goodbye to such a great group of people, class, and semester for one last time.

Photo by Linabel Armas (Cc by 4.0)

According to professor Bailly, we picked one of the most outstanding amounts of trash from Chicken Key he had ever seen before. We filled 11 canoes with trash bags. Our class proved that by working together, we can accomplish great things.


The cleanup took place on April 17th, 2021

Honors hours pending approval


With every community service project that I do I feel more involved in my community, it makes me want to week doing them. With this project specifically i learned how necessary beach cleanups are and how much we as young adults need to advocate for our environment.

I am very grateful to professor Bailly for making this community service opportunity happen and to the Deering Estate for making it possible. I had never canoed or done a beach cleanup before, and although my canoeing skills proved to not be the best, I enjoyed every minute of this project. I was able to relax, bond with my classmates, have fun, and learn. Not only did we had the opportunity to help Chicken Key be cleaner, but we realized how much we need to take care of our environment.


“Deering Estate History: Historic Miami Mansion & Gardens.” Deering Estate, 26 Mar. 2020,,listed%20on%20the%20National%20Register%20of%20Historic%20Places.

organizations advocating for environmental changes in Miami. Get involved today!

Linabel Armas: Miami as Text

Photo by Roger Masson (CC by 4.0)

Linabel Armas is currently an honors student at Florida International University majoring in International Relations with a minor in Political Science. At FIU, Linabel is the current President-Elect for the Student Ambassador Program. In addition, aside from the university, Linabel works with a non-profit called The Children’s Trust where she is the co-facilitator for a group of high school students who are trying to make a difference in their communities. Moreover, she also works at a law firm since her future dream is to become a lawyer. Although her education is her main priority, Lina loves to travel the world, get to know new places and cultures, taste different foods, and get to know new people- many of the things that can be found in her newest FIU’s Honors course Finding Miami. Below you can find her reflections of these exciting adventures throughout the Spring semester of 2021.

Downtown Miami as text

“The story behind Miami”, by Linabel Armas of FIU in Downtown Miami on January 22nd, 2021.

Photos by John Bailly and Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

For many, Miami is seen as yet another tourist location to visit during summer vacation. However, Miami has so much history behind its colorful walls and crowded streets. Miami’s current population is very diverse, it has a high population of immigrants mainly from Latin America and the Caribbean, but Miami’s history and creation are also very culturally diverse.

While been considered one of the youngest cities in the U.S because of its foundation in 1986, Miami has a very unique history behind it. The city was founded and created by Tequestas, Spanish, African, and English roots. Back in the day, Miami was the city where no racial thoughts defined the people. In addition, Miami is the only major American city that was founded by a woman; her name was Julia Tuttle, also known as “The Mother of Miami”.

Although Miami is very culturally diverse, unfortunately, racism is still a dominant factor in the city. It all started when Henry Flagler decided to start constructing in Miami. Many have argued that their lives ended when Mr. Flagler arrived in Miami. It divided the city into categories: white-rich people lived in one area, white-poor individuals in another, and black people lived somewhere else. Although many laws have been implemented to end racism, racism can still be seen in the city. For example, we have a neighborhood where the majority of the population is Cuban: Little Havana; in addition, we also have Little Haiti for African Americans and Doral for Venezuelan people. Despite the progress, Miami still has sequels from the past which is why is necessary that the younger generation changes such things. We need to stop being oblivious to the current situation and start changing.


“Between Cypress Trees “, by Linabel Armas of FIU in the Everglades on February 5th, 2021.

Photos by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Entering the still and cold water, walking in between cypress trees, and feeling the sound of the trees; felt like been elsewhere, like a dream. Every time we were getting further and further from the road, the breeze of the trees and our steps when slogging were the only sound. My senses became amplified, I could hear the little birds singing, the mosquito fishes touching my skin, it was so peaceful.

It came a time when our park ranger read a poem, and I felt even more at peace. We had a moment of silent and heard the birds sing and the trees touch when the breeze passed. My mind and body felt so at peace and so relax; for a minute I forgot about the stress of life. Then it came a time to break apart and everyone explore their routes. I fell multiple times on the holes in the water, yet I still enjoyed it and emerged into nature like never before.

It is sad to know that over the past century or so, the Everglades have been suffering from pollution, loss of habitat, and loss of wildlife. According to our park ranger, they no longer see squirrels or raccoons, the food chain of the Everglades animals it’s been extinguished. Since the 40s developers have been draining the Everglades to the point that now 1.7 million acres have been drained which makes it approximately half of the Everglades. The main problem in regard to this matter right now is conservation. Problems and loss at the Everglades affects us as Miamians. This is yet one of the many reasons why we as U.S citizens need to vote, become aware of the problem surrounding us, and become activists in our communities.


“Artistic and Architectural Paradise”, by Linabel Armas of FIU in Miami Beach on February 19th, 2021

Photos by Linabel Armas (CC by 4.0)

Thousands of tourists visit Miami throughout the year, specially South Beach. For the past six years I have been living in Miami and visited South Beach endless times, yet I had never realized the architectural designs and overall history that it acquires.

Like I have mentioned previously Miami has a very strong history of segregation and South Beach doesn’t stay away from that. From South Beach Pier we can visualize Fisher Island. The island was purchased by the first African American millionaire, Dana Dorsey. Fisher island was the only island were African Americans were allow to stay near the beach, since in almost all South Beach, hotel owners denied the entry to black skin individuals. Eventually, Dorsey sold the island to Carl Fisher and no blacks were allow once again. Today, Fisher Island has one of the most expensive zip codes in Miami, were rarely an African American is still seen.

We started walking past the pier and started to see colorful 2-3 story buildings. Miami is one of the most visited cities in the U.S due to not only the clear-water beach but the architectural styles and designs. Walking through Collins Ave. and Ocean Dr., I was able to appreciate the three types of architectural styles that can be appreciated: Art deco, Mediterranean revival, and Miami modern. My favorite was art deco, due to the colors it uses on its buildings and the early 1900s’ vibe it gives. However, Mediterranean Survival and Miami Modern are also very beautiful and refreshing styles but not as eye catching as art deco.

Many buildings have been sold to different companies were its not stated on the contract that they have to keep the building on the outside as it is, which is why some buildings have “identify crisis” and destroy the beauty of each architectural style and design in South Beach.


“Walking through history”, by Linabel Armas of FIU in Deering Estate on March 5th , 2021

Photos by Linabel Armas and Saniya Pradhan(CC by 4.0)

I drove 30 min from home, and I thought I had driven to the wrong place. Nothing seemed out of the ordinary until I came in. When I stepped in, I felt like I was teleported to one of the Spanish telenovelas I used to watch with my grandma as a kid. Deering Estate was not only beautiful and elegant but full of history and architectural designs.

Among one the things we visited that day was the Richmond Cottage. I was amazed to know that I was visiting the first hotel in Miami that once transported individuals from Miami to Key West in one day, an otherwise trip of 3 days. Like professor Bailly always says, it is “awesome” to be walking where Mr. Cutler lived, and millions of others visited in the 1900s. We then walked near the ocean, one of my favorite parts I saw where the Everglades meets the Atlantic ocean; what I thought would be something “crazy” was just so relaxing and peaceful. The breeze blew my hair and kissed my face; the shade touched my skin and didn’t let it burn. I thought I had found peace when I visited the Everglades because I did not know Deering Estate. The views from the very corner of this place were just mesmerizing.

Turning a page from the beautiful and relaxing Deering, we then visited the mangroves and Pine Rocklands. Been careful not to get touched by poison ivy; we explored these two different ecosystems. Sometimes, getting away from the typical Miami: cafecito, beaches, and tourists; teaches us that there is much more than just that.

Lastly, we had the opportunity to visit Mr. Charles Deering’s stone house. The marvelous architectural design remising Deering’s house in Spain was yet another glance to the late 1800s early 1900s that felt like I was back in time. Been able to walk and touch were centuries ago someone lived is so fascinating to me. I learned so much about the home architectural designs of that era.

Ever since I visited Deering Estate, I have wanted to go back. I feel like it is such a beautiful, cozy, and yet elegant place to be in. Overall, I keep getting astonished by how much Miami has to offer us, aside from the beautiful beaches.


“Vizcaya through time”, by Linabel Armas of FIU in Vizcaya on March 19th , 2021

Photos by John Bailly (CC by 4.0)

Sadly I was unable to attend Vizcaya due to medical complications; however, I decided to research about it since I was pretty excited to go. As a teenager, I was taught that Vizcaya was a beautiful place were quinceaneras, will go and take their fifteen pictures; however, I didn’t know how much history about Miami and it founders the place holds.

Reading through professor Bailly’s blog about Vizcaya was yet another eye-opening experience. Miami’s architecture is very culturally diverse, in this case, Vizcaya was built with Italian and French styles and traditions. In addition, it was constructed by Bohemian and “Nassau-negro” slaves. The village (currently a museum) already has so much cultures, styles, and architectural traditions inculcated in it that has transcended over the years for new generations to see and appreciate.

Vizcaya was purchased by Mr. James Deering from Mary Brickell in the early 1900s with the intention of making Vizcaya a “self-sustaining endeavor”. (Bailly 2019) The village is filled with beautiful gardening and water according to the pictures and different articles, which were created with the purpose to sustain the village. In addition, the museum is filled with art: sculptures around the gardens and inside of the property, as well as other different art pieces.

Although, I didn’t have the opportunity to visit this beautiful place, I feel like I would’ve felt in heaven due to all the gardening, architectural designs, sculptures, etc… By looking at the pictures it kind of reminds me of “Jardines de la Granja de San Idelefonso” a summer palace for a Spanish princess located in Segovia, Spain. Although this palace is bigger than Vizcaya in size, it has similar French architectural styles and gardens. Vizcaya seems like such a beautiful place worth visiting and enjoying.


“Collecting history and innovation”, by Linabel Armas of FIU in The Marguiles Collection on April 16th , 2021

I think it is fair to say that I know I thing or two about art. I grew up seeing my dad create a beautiful painting out of a blank canvas. Going to art galleries, events, and art fairs was always an essential part of my at-home education. To say that I was amazed by this art collection is an understatement.

I arrived before the class began and took a quick look at the collection. At first, I thought the art showcased was “weird” and different from anything I had seen before in any art gallery or collection. My first question was “so, what is the business in this?” to what professor Bailly told me that there isn’t any. Mr. Martin Z. Margulies collects art because he loves it and has become one of his favorite “hobbies”.

For someone who has become so well known for collecting art around the globe, Mr. Margulies is very humble and open to answer any questions. He explained what each of the main art pieces are in the warehouse are, where they come from, and who created them. In addition, he explained to our class why he started collecting art and how were the beginnings of opening the warehouse. Marguiles has been a great part of the revitalization of the modern Wynwood.

I can safely say that one of my favorite pieces was the 30 Monitors, 30 DVD players, 30 DVDs by Peter Coffin of 2008. This piece speaks Pop Art to me and I think it attracts any young adult who likes colors and the retro style. Like I said during our lecture, it reminds me of the TV I used to have in my bedroom back in Cuba; so this artwork not only symbolized pop art to me but it reminds of home and my childhood.

Overall, I believe that Marguiles has changed my perspective of looking at any art piece. Like he said, abstract pieces are not meant to have a meaning but for each individual to interpret it differently. His powerful words and overall lecture will stick to me. Having the chance to speak and hear from such a well renown art collector and visit his art collection warehouse is definitely a one in a life time opportunity.

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