Tammy Gomez: South Beach 2022

Photo taken of Tammy Gomez. Photo by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

My name is Tammy Gomez and I am a Junior at Florida International University, and also, part of the Honors College. I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and I just moved to Miami for Fall 2021. My favorite hobby is to play tennis and I also love to hang out with friends. I am majoring in International Business my plan is once I finish my Bachelor’s degree get a little of job experience and then, start my Master’s Degree.


Map of South Beach

South Beach is a neighborhood located in Miami Beach which is a city on a barrier island connected through bridges to the city of Miami. It goes from South Pointe Park in the north until Dade Boulevard and 24th Street. South beach is one of the many beaches of Miami Beach and is at the end of the island. Its waters from the east are from the Atlantic Ocean and from the west is Biscayne Bay. South beach is very famous because of its restaurants, architecture, and celebrities that you can find on Ocean Drive. Ocean Drive is a street within this neighborhood.


Carl Fisher discovered South Beach in 1910. Miami Beach was infested y mosquitos and it was a “swampy land”. No one would have bet for that land to be the destination that is nowadays. However, Fisher saw the potential of this land and that’s why he bought a holiday home at first, and soon after bought the whole land.

Before the development of the city of Miami happened, Miami used to be a small city where everyone knew each other no matter their ethnicity. After the railroad was built and Fisher created Miami Beach, things changed. Seminoles, Bahamians, and Afro-American people were banned from these lands and whites stayed. It is important to know how Miami Beach was created and the people that first lived in this part of the city.

Miami Beach was a mangrove-populated barrier island, it was not a swamp as many people think. In 1913, John Collins built the first bridge to Miami Beach with the help of Carl Fisher who also started the development of this land as a resort and paradise. This led to the destruction of the mangroves and the marine life that existed around the mangroves. The “Flamingo Hotel” was built by Carl Fisher for prospective residents could live there while they were waiting for their mansions to be built. Fisher advertised Miami Beach as a “paradise for sale” and he obtained the welcome he wanted.

The neighborhood has a very authentic architecture of Art Deco, Mediterranean style, and Memo. It has the world’s largest Art Deco architecture in the world located between 5th street and 27th street. This architecture is characterized by having pastel colors and geometric figures.


The population of South beach is of 3,429 people in 2018 according to the projections of the Census. The population instead of increasing as most people may think, it has decreased from the last Census projection made in 2010. It has decreased by 2.06% (the population was 3,501). The average household income is $257,349, which is a high average income, but as the neighborhood is high class, the average income is also expected to be high.

The median age in South Beach is 69 years old, 71.4 for males and 69 for females. Almost a third of the adults who live in South beach are elders. The ratio between male and female is 44.71% and 55.29% respectively. Almost the entire population of South beach is white with a percentage of 99.1, and for other races the percentage is 0.9.

Interview with a current resident:

Photo taken of Raphaela Garces. Photo by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

Raphaela Garces is a 22-year-old woman who is a junior at FIU and her major is in nutrition. Raphaela is from Quito, Ecuador and just moved to South Beach four months ago.

What do you like the most about living in South Beach?

“I like that I have the beach very near from me and that I can go whenever I want. There’s a boardwalk where I can go for a run and here in South Beach you can find more like a family environment as there are not as many young people as there are in Brickell or Midtown, I also like that there is a bay where boats pass every day. It is really beautiful because I can see the sunrise and the sunsets. I also like that where I like is not very near from Ocean Drive so there is not as much movement as there is in that street. Therefore, I have everything near to me like supermarkets or gas stations.”

What do you like the least about living in South Beach?

“I don’t like to cross the bridge every day, it is very far and sometimes I have to wait until the bridge is closed so I can pass through it and that’s time-consuming. Also, I have to pass through tolls every time I have to go out and get back because if not it would take me more than an hour to come to FIU.”

Is there too much traffic in this neighborhood?

“There’s not always traffic except from 8-9 am and after 5 pm because it’s “after office” and many people are returning from their work or vice versa. It is horrible either going out or coming in from the highway.”

Would you recommend this place to live?

“I think it depends on the person, if they want a more residential zone, I would recommend them to go a little bit up north in Miami Beach. Also, it’s expensive to come here as it is a touristic place so your living expenses will increase if you come to live in South beach.”


The Villa casa Casuarina

Photo of Claudia Martinez in front of the Versace Mansion. Photo by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

The Villa Casa Casuarina, most known as “The Versace Mansion”, was the home of the Italian man Gianni Versace. Versace was a businessman and a fashion designer. In a contrast to the Art Deco architecture that is the most famous in Miami Beach, this mansion follows a Mediterranean Revival style. The great Gianni Versace was killed in front of his mansion in 1997. Afterward, the mansion was bought in 2000 and serves as a hotel and restaurant nowadays. It even offers the suite where Versace used to live, so this is a great option for someone who wants to see how this fashion icon used to live 25 years ago.

The Jewish Museum of Florida-FIU

Picture taken at the Jewish Museum. Photo by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

The Jewish Museum is the only place that collects data and documents about the Jewish in Florida and their history from about 250 years ago. This museum also has had a partnership with FIU since 2012 and this partnership helps both FIU and the museum share their resources and information. It is located in the SoFi area, it’s an eight-minute walk from Ocean Drive. Even though there were many Jews in Florida at the time Miami Beach was starting to be advertised as a resort, they were not welcomed in Miami Beach. There were many signs which said that Jews were not welcomed as “Gentile only”. Jews were not allowed to live on the 5th street and up north. That’s why the synagogue they had at the time was between the 3rd and 4th street until 1986 when they changed the location to where is nowadays located.

Browns Hotel

Photo taken of Browns Hotel. Photo by Tammy Gomez CC // 4.0

The Browns Hotel is located at 112 Ocean Drive and is the oldest hotel in South Beach and even in Miami Beach. This hotel was built in 1915 with art deco architecture. The hotel has 2 floors; Initially, it had thirty-six rooms available for the hotel, however, the first floor was given to a steakhouse named Prime 112. The second floor only has nine rooms and those rooms are the ones available for clients who want to spend the night at the hotel.


Lummus Park

Lummus Park. Image by Trip Advisor

Lummus Park is a famous park and beach located between the 5th and 15th street of Ocean Drive. This 74-acre park has many palm trees that give people shade and many benches where people can sit and have a nice morning and afternoon. The park opens at sunrise and closes when the sunsets.

Flamingo Park

Flamingo Park by Miami and Beaches

This park has 34 acres of land. It is smaller than the Lummus Park but here you can find 2 pool areas. The eight-lap swimming pool is kept at a warm temperature all year so anyone can swim in it without having any trouble because it’s cold. Anyone can come and enjoy these pools. This park also has many courts and fields for different sports including tennis, baseball, football, soccer, and running, where people can rent them if they want by contacting the park.

Collins Park

Collins Park. Image by Arrested Motion.

Collins Park is between the Holocaust memorial and the beach. This park is six miles away from Ocean Drive, which is a 15-minute drive due to traffic. It is located in the northeastern part of South Beach which is the start of this neighborhood. Also, the Bass Museum of Art is located in this park. It opens from 7 am which is the sunrise until 7 pm which is when the sunsets. This park was donated in 1914 by John S. Collins in 1914.

There are different options for public transportation in South Beach. There is the Metrobus, the Miami Beach Trolley, and the Miami Beach Airport Express. The Metrobus is one of the most famous and well-known for everyone who resides in the Miami Beach area. This bus costs $2.25 each trip or $5.65 for a one-day pass and it is available 365 days a year. The Miami Beach Airport express is like the Metrobus, but this bus only takes you to the Miami International Airport, and it also costs $2.25. Finally, the best alternative if you want to go from the north of Miami Beach to the South many times on the same day is to take the Miami Beach Trolley which is free. This Trolley operates 15 hours a day starting from 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. Depending on where you want to go you can take the different trolleys there are and see the routes for each trolley at the Miami Beach website.

There is always the option to go by car and park at the many public parking lots there exists like South Beach Parking, Miami Beach Municipal Garage, or Pelican Garage Parking. It is recommended to see in Google Maps which parking lot is near where you want to go so you can park there and not walk much.


Mama’s Tacos Latin Restaurant Miami Beach

Mama’s Tacos Latin Restaurant Miami Beach. Image by Open Table

This is a Latin restaurant and is in charge of making every customer feel the Latin vibe that this restaurant has. Every plate of food is freshly made and serves Mexican food. The colors of the chairs and walls resemble the colors of Mexican restaurants and the Latin music makes y0ou feel like you were in Mexico. This is a very famous restaurant of South Beach and is a place every tourist should visit if they are in the area.

Il Pastaiolo Italian Restaurant Miami Beach

Il Pastaiolo Italian Restaurant Miami Beach. Image by DOT Hotels.

This restaurant offers Italian gourmet food. It offers old traditions that will never change and is located on Collins Avenue. One of the owners of the restaurant came from Italy in 1999 and with his idea and vision of having homemade food with the best ingredients that they could find, the restaurant is what is nowadays. The hours of operation are from 12 pm until 11:30 pm on weekdays, and Fridays and Saturdays are from 12 pm until 12:30 am.

PLANTA | South Beach

PLANTA | South Beach. Image by Miami and Beaches.

According to VegNews “Planta is the hottest celeb spot in South Beach… and it’s totally vegan”. Planta is the ideal place to have lunch or dinner if your diet is plant-based as all of its plates are 100% vegan; or if you want to have dinner next to a celeb, this might be the place for you! Many worldwide-known movie stars and singers like Vanessa Hudgens and Pharrell have come to PLANTA.


Garcia Nevett

Susana and Isabel Garcia in Garcia Nevett. Image from Miami New Times.

Garcia Nevett is a business created by two sisters named Susana and Isabel Garcia. These sisters are Venezuelan and have a love for chocolate, they have perfected their skills in making chocolates in their home country and in France. Then, they opened their business in Miami combining it now with the flavors of South Florida. This is a very popular chocolate in Miami and is considered to be in the Top 10 chocolates in the USA by Time Out.

U Rock Couture

U rock Couture. Image by Foursquare

U Rock is a boutique of clothes of name-brand jeans and dresses. It is located on Ocean Drive, so this makes it really difficult to miss it. This glam boutique offers different types of styles than usually seen in common boutiques, that’s one of the qualities that U Rock Couture has and part of what makes it special!

The Fillmore Miami Beach

The Fillmore Miami Beach. Images by Miami and Beaches.

The Fillmore Miami Beach is a theater located in Miami Beach. Here you can find a legendary venue with special events. It has the art deco of Miami beach, but also it has a rock and roll vibe. It was used to host the 1950s and 1960s shows, but now the theater is used for events such as private concerts or cocktail receptions, or music acts and comedy.


South Beach, or SoBe as many calls it, is a very touristic neighborhood known worldwide. This neighborhood is very famous for its architecture Memo, Mediterranean and Art Deco. Art deco is characterized by having heavy geometric influences and shapes, and either vibrant and shine or pastel colors. It is not a quiet neighborhood, but it is very important when visiting Miami and learning a little bit about its history. Fisher was the one who discovered this land and transform it from a mangrove populated land to what it is nowadays, the people who built Miami Beach are Afro-American, Afro-Bahamian, and Seminoles which were then banned from Miami Beach. It is also important to remember that South Beach is not the same as Miami Beach, South Beach is just a neighborhood inside Miami Beach.


“About US – Garcia Nevett Chocolates in Miami.” Garcia Nevett Chocolatier De Miami, https://garcianevett.com/pages/about-us_chocolates_miami.

Bernstein, Fred A. “Browns Hotel in Miami Beach.” The New York Times, The New York Times, 23 Jan. 2005, https://www.nytimes.com/2005/01/23/travel/browns-hotel-in-miami-beach.html.

“Citywide Free Trolley.” City of Miami Beach, https://www.miamibeachfl.gov/city-hall/transportation/trolley/.

“Flamingo Park in Miami Beach: South Beach, FL.” MiamiandBeaches.com, https://www.miamiandbeaches.com/thing-to-do/parks-recreation/flamingo-park/2982.

“Il Pastaiolo – Trattoria Gourmet.” Il Pastaiolo South Beach, https://ilpastaiolosouthbeach.com/.

“Mama’s Tacos – Homemade Mexican Food.” Mamas Tacos, https://mamastacosmiamibeach.com/.

“South Beach, Florida Population 2022.” South Beach, Florida Population 2022 (Demographics, Maps, Graphs), https://worldpopulationreview.com/us-cities/south-beach-fl-population.

Tammy Gomez: Miami Service 2022


Photo taken of Tammy Gomez. Photo by Tammy Gomez// CC by 4.0

Tammy is a Junior at Florida International University majoring in International Business and is part of the Honors College. Tammy was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and just moved to Miami for Fall 2021. Tammy’s favorite hobby is playing tennis and she also loves to hang out with friends.

Photo of Miami in Miami class at Bill Baggs National Park. Photo by John Bailly // CC by 4.0

I volunteered at Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach located at the end of Key Biscayne. This beach is considered to be one of the 10 best beaches in the United States. There are several beaches in Key Biscayne like Crandon Beach, Rickenbacker Causeway Beach, or Historic Virginia Key Beach. However, what makes Bill Baggs different from the other beaches is that you can find the famous lighthouse which is the oldest building in Miami-Dade County. People can visit the lighthouse by scheduling tours with the Park.

Before entering the beach, there is a path at the end of the route in were you walk through it to get to the beach and by each side of the path, there are palm trees and plants that need mulch to protect them from bare soil, prevent erosion, and protect the plants in general. Many volunteer opportunities that take place in Bill Baggs are cleanups on the beach, but there are not many volunteer opportunities to take care of the flora of the park.


This specific volunteer opportunity does not relate to my major. This volunteer opportunity was provided through the Honors College class named Miami in Miami. The class is guided by Professor John Bailly and the Teacher Assistant named Claudia Martinez. This time the class was also conducted by Ranger Shane Ziegler.

While doing this volunteer work does not relate to my major, International Business, it is similar to volunteer work that I have done in the past. For example, last semester I went to Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach to clean the beach. This activity was not mandatory nor for a class. It was optional for students that wanted to volunteer in this activity through a club of FIU. We went at 9am and stayed cleaned the beach for 2 hours and then we left. As mentioned before there are many cleanups opportunities for this beach. Another volunteer opportunity I participated in was to do a cleanup on a small uninhabited island named chicken key. This volunteer work was also provided by my class Miami in Miami. We went to Deering State and from there we kayaked to Chicken Key which is a mile away. It was hard especially if you have never kayaked before in your life. We stayed in Chicken Key for 6 hours cleaning up the beach, even though Deering State organizes many cleanups throughout the year, it is not enough. We collected a great amount of trash and in the end, we took that trash back with us to Deering State. Even though none of these volunteer opportunities are related to my major it makes me feel satisfied and at peace with myself because I am helping the environment and places that are important here in Miami which is the city where I live.


In my opinion, this was a great experience and a good volunteer opportunity that our professor chose to do this semester. Last semester we did the Chicken Key cleanup and this semester we had the choice choose between the Chicken Key volunteer work or the Bill Baggs volunteer work which is the one that I chose because I want to give my perspective from a different volunteer opportunity that I realized this semester. The flora of the beaches is very important so they can be preserved in their best state. I connected with this opportunity because it was different from many volunteer opportunities that I have done in the past, I didn’t know that putting mulch around the palm trees and plants could be considered volunteer work.

Photographs taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

As the first picture above shows, my classmates and I worked together in order to do a better job, and this way we could finish the work faster and more effectively. This experience definitely brought all the students together. We had the opportunity to help the environment by doing volunteer work while also having fun, and this is one of the reasons why I chose the Miami in Miami class.


On April 6th we went to a beach in Key Biscayne called Bill Baggs. Bill Baggs is the last beach in Key Biscayne and has a gated entrance. We drove until the end where the lighthouse is located, then Ranger Ziegler explained to us what we had to do. First, we put mulch around the palm trees along the path that leads to the lighthouse, and then, we continued to put mulch on bushes while continuing the path to the right of the lighthouse. We took the mulch bags and put them along the path and once we were done, we opened the bags and used gloves for our hands, and garden rakes to distribute the mulch along the path as shown in the photo below.

Photographs taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0


This volunteer opportunity was very specific and uncomplicated. The ranger explained to us what we had to do, so there was no way to be confused as the instructions were simple and straight to the point. Therefore, I think everyone did a very good job and there were not any problems while doing the work. I would recommend this volunteer opportunity for anyone who wants to do a different volunteer work at the beach rather than picking up trash. It makes you learn to work in group and you can bond with the other volunteers. Not to mention that you will not have to pay the entrance fee because you are a volunteer, and after you finish the volunteer work, you can stay at the beach for free until the sun sets.


“Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park.” Key Biscayne Chamber of Commerce, 23 May 2019, https://www.keybiscaynechamber.org/bill-baggs-cape-florida-state-park/.

“History.” Florida State Parks, https://www.floridastateparks.org/parks-and-trails/bill-baggs-cape-florida-state-park/history.

Tammy Gomez: Brickell 2021

Photo of Tammy Gomez// by CC 4.0

My name is Tammy Gomez and I am a Junior at Florida International University, and also, part of the Honors College. I was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and I just moved to Miami for Fall 2021. My favorite hobby is to play tennis and I also love to hang out with friends. I am majoring in International Business my plan is once I finish my Bachelor’s degree get a little of job experience and then, start my Master’s Degree.


Screenshot of Google Maps of Brickell

Brickell is an urban neighborhood in the city of Miami and is part of Miami-Dade County. Its zip code is 33130 and its area code just like any other of Miami is 305 or 786. Brickell is located from the South of the Miami River, right next to Biscayne Bay and it extends south to SW 26th Road, where you will find the Rickenbacker Causeway which connects Miami to the barrier islands of Virginia Keys and Biscayne Bay. Brickell Key is a small gated artificial island that is also included in this neighborhood and is right south of Downtown Miami. Brickell is also considered the financial district because it’s the center for Miami’s banking, investments, and financial sectors.

One of the main characteristics of this neighborhood is its similarity with Manhattan, New York, due to its buildings. In the west of Brickell, you will find low and mid-rise buildings, however, if you go to the east you will find high-rise buildings and condominiums. Here is the Brickell Avenue where the “Millionaire’s Row” takes place. These includes beautiful and expensive skyscrapers which makes the area very luxurious. The area of Brickell is 1.19 square miles. Many people often think that Brickell is a city, but it is not, Brickell is a neighborhood in the city of Miami.


Miami’s earliest inhabitants were the Tequesta, they lived in South Florida for more than two thousand years, however, we don’t know much about them. But even though we don’t know much about their culture, they for sure lived in Miami and something that proves this is the Miami Circle (where a Tequesta hut used to be located here). The Miami Circle continues to exist, but another proof that the Tequesta lived here in Brickell, is the Tequesta Indian burial mound, but this was taken down due to construction. (McCaughan)

Portrait of Mary and William Brickell by Albury & District Historical

One of the first pioneers who came to Miami were the homesteaders and one of these families were the Brickells. William and Mary Brickell and their kids bought a part of land in Miami, which is what we call Brickell and this is why its named after them. Their real estate went from Brickell all the way to the South of Coconut Grove. (McCaughan)

When Henry Flagger constructed his railroad in 1896 Julia Tuttle, who owned extensive land in North Miami, and the Brickells reached an agreement with Flagger to extend his railroad so Miami can be included. This extension of the railroad was perfect for the Brickells and Julia Tuttle because now their land gained much more value than what they had before the railroad. After these negotiations, Mary Brickell was in charge of the family’s negotiations and business, so she could improve the land for development and this is how the Brickells became wealthy. (McCaughan)


Since Brickell is a neighborhood and not a city there is no census data. The demographics of Brickell according to Miami Matters estimate that the population in this neighborhood is of 23,361 people. The percent change of the population from 2010 to 2021 is 52.18%. The population by race goes as follow: White 19,789 (84.71%), Black/African American 898 (3.84%), American Indian/Alaskan Native 54 (0.23%), Asian 1076 (4.61%), Native Hawaiian/ Pacific Islander 6 (0.03%), some other race 848 (3.63%), 2+ races 690 (2.95%). Population by ethnicity goes as follow: Hispanic/Latino 12,844 (54.98%), and Non-Hispanic/Latino 10,517 (45.02%). Population by age group goes as follows: 0-9 1898 (8.12%). 10-17 1,482 (6.35%), 18-24 1067 (4.57), 25-54 14,694 (62.9%), 55-84 4040 (17.3%), 85+ 180 (0.77%). Population by sex: Male 12,064 (51.64%), and female 11,297 (48.36%). There are 13,345 households with 4,613 families, and the median income is $96,162. There is a great percentage of people with higher education: Master’s Deegree 4,561 (24.11%), and Bachelor’s Degree 7,222 (38.18%).

Interview with a current resident:

Rodrigo Santander is a 20-year-old man who is a Sophomore at FIU and his major is international business. Rodrigo is from Caracas, Venezuela, and moved to Brickell six years ago. Rodrigo lives in a building in the South of Brickell.

How would you describe Brickell?

“Brickell is an amazing neighborhood which is a sector that has a lot of potential for development. It’s a very alive place to live because there are a lot of places to go. During the day is used mostly the financial sector of the city. It is near Miami Beach and Wynwood which is amazing, because it is in the middle of everything and you have plenty of things to do”

What do you like about Brickell?

I like that there are a lot of places very near that I can walk to and I don’t need a car unlike many other places in Miami where you need a car or you just couldn’t go anywhere. I also like Brickell’s night life, people from different parts of Miami like to visit Brickell because Brickell is very well-known because of it.

What would you want to change about Brickell?

I think that I would change how much traffic there is because most of the times there is a lot of traffic and this is because of the Brickell avenue bridge and every time a boat comes, the bridge opens and cars cannot go through. The bridge connects Brickell Avenue with Biscayne Boulevard. I think the worst hour for traffic is at 6pm.

Overall, do you like living in Brickell?

Yes, I do. No matter how much traffic there is, I wouldn’t move anywhere else because I like the vibe of this neighborhood.


Tequesta Family

Photo of the Tequesta Family monument by Wikimedia Commons

The Tequesta family is a bronze monument in honor of the Tequesta Indians. This monument is located in Brickell Bridge Avenue. It was created by the sculptor Manuel Carbonell in 1995. The sculpture is a 53-foot pillar that shows the life of the Tequesta Indians and on top of it a 17 ft sculpture of a Tequesta warrior and his family.

Miami Circle

Photo of the Miami Circle by Eminetra

The Miami Circle is an archeological site and national historic landmark located in downtown Miami. It is believed that the Miami Circle was created 2000 years ago, but it was just discovered in 1998. The Miami Circle is a 38 ft in diameter circle carved in limestone bedrock. The Tequesta tribe built the Miami Circle and as we don’t know much about the Tequesta Indians, we believe that they had a monument here and it was possibly their capital.

Brickell Mausoleum

The Brickell Mausoleum is a burial of the Brickell family and is located in the Brickell Park. This mausoleum is part of the U.S National Register of Historic Places. This mausoleum is so important because is the only monument constructed that is directly connected to this family. Here used to be the remains of William Brickell, his wife, and his daughter. In 1950s, the remains were removed and placed in the Woodlawn Cemetery. Nowadays, the mausoleum is empty. 


Even though Brickell’s main characteristic is to be a neighborhood filled with buildings, it has green areas too. A couple of parks that you can find in Brickell are: Brickell Park, Allen Morris Brickell Park, and Brickell Key Park.

Brickell Park

Photo of Brickell park by Panorama

The Brickell park is located in Brickell, just up north Miami’s First Presbyterian Church. Due to research and excavations, we know that this was a place where the Tequesta used as burials 500 years B.C until 750 A.D approximately. Back in the 19th century when the Brickell family created this neighborhood, they owned this part of land, but they give it to Miami so Miami can create a city park, and that’s why it is a public park.

Allen Morris Brickell Park

Photo taken and edited by The Allen Morris Company

Allen Morris Brickell park is a little different than most of the parks because it doesn’t have grass. However, there are lots of plants that gives you the feeling as if you were in an oasis. You can sit in one of the many benches that this park possess and appreciate the nature that surrounds you in this park. It is located on the 10th street of Brickell near Perricones and Mary Brickell Village.

Brickell Key Park

Photograph by Shutterstock

This beautiful park is located in the south tip of Brickell key. This park is very famous for its view. Either if you come here during the day or at night is a good spot to appreciate the view of Miami. People that live on the island usually come to run or jog here. It has a beautiful waterfront where tourists love to take pictures.


Photo retrieved from Miami Greater Miami & Miami Beach

Transportation in Miami is hard. Most of the times is a must to have a car in order to move throughout the city. However, if you live in Brickell, you can take the Metro Mover line which is free and will take you to different places in downtown Miami and Brickell. Also, you can take the Metrorail system that can take you from the airport to Brickell, Downtown Miami, Coral Gables, and more neighborhoods of Miami.

On the other hand, if you don’t want to take public transportation, but don’t want to walk either, you can rent a scooter which are everywhere around Brickell.

Where are the best and authentic places to eat. Select three to highlight.

Cantina La Veinte

Photo of Cantina La Veinte retrieved from World Red Eye.

Cantina La Veinte is a very famous restaurant because of its specialty in Mexican food where you can dine in or just pick up your food. This restaurant is located in 495 Brickell Avenue. It has an outdoor patio, and it also has a space inside, so you can pick wherever you want to eat. In the outdoor patio there’s a more relaxed environment with livee music. On the other hand, in the first floor (in the first floor), you will find a bar, and you need to make a reservation if you want to have dinner here.


Photo of Komodo’s Peking duck retrieved from Spike’s Peeks: The art of Travel

Komodo is located in 801 Brickell Ave. This is a high-end restaurant with its specialty in Asian food. Komodo is well-known for its special dish called “Peking duck”. I haven’t tried it myself, but I have friends who have tried it and they said that it’s delicious. Also, at midnight, Komodo has a space for the restaurant to turn into a club and people can get up and dance, so this restaurant is considered as part of Miami’s night life too.

Casa Tua Cucina

Photo of Casa Tua’s dish retrieved from MIAbites Food Blog.

This authentic Italian restaurant is located inside Brickell City Center. It’s very famous because of its centric location and because it is inside a shopping mall. If you are a fan of Italian cucine, you need visit to this restaurant and try one of their specialties. It’s a little expensive, but worth it!



All photos taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // by CC.4

Candela Bar Brickell is, exactly as the name says, a bar in Brickell. It is located in Mary Brickell Village and it is very popular for young adults to go to dance and have fun. It usually opens at five and you can order food if you want, but people usually go after midnight. You need to be 21+ years old and depending on the day you have to pay at the entrance a cover to get in.

Brickell City Centre

Photo taken and edited by Juan Montero

Brickell City Centre is a shopping mall both indoors and outdoors. It has very well-known restaurants like Casa Tua and Tacology, and very well-known clothes stores like Hugo Boss and Zara. Brickell City Centre is located in 701 South Miami Ave. Tourists like to come here and take pictures of the city.

EAST Miami

Photo retrieved from taste in Hotels.

EAST Miami is a 4-star hotel located in Brickell City Center. It has four pools, great outdoor spaces with an amazing view from the rooftop. This famous hotel costs $250 per night at the moment. However, prices are constantly changing. So, if you have the chance to stay at this totel, I would recommend it because it has an excellent service, but most importantly is its location in the heart of Miami.

Brickell is a great neighborhood with a great vibe. Its buildings are what distinguishes Brickell from other neighborhoods like Coral Gables or Doral. This neighborhood is well-known worldwide and is a must to visit if you are in Miami. The only issue that people have about Brickell is its traffic. However, this doesn’t stop people from visiting this amazing neighborhood. I would recommend Brickell for young people who likes to go out and enjoys Miami’s night life. Either if you go during the day or at night you will find great places to visit to have a good time.


Mary Brickell Park – Historicpreservationmiami.com. http://www.historicpreservationmiami.com/pdfs/Mary_Brickell_Pk_Dsg_Rpt_FINAL.pdf.

McCaughan, Sean. “The History of Brickell: Miami’s Manhattan.” The BIG BUBBLE Miami, 10 October 2018, thebigbubblemiami.com/2018/10/09/the-history-of-brickell-miamis-manhattan/

          Straley, Steven Cody. “Mary Brickell Park.” Clio: Your Guide to History. May 29, 2017. https://www.theclio.com/entry/41166

“2021 Demographics.” Miami Matters, http://www.miamidadematters.org/demographicdata?id=10486.

“Metrorail.” Miami-Dade County, https://www.miamidade.gov/global/transportation/metrorail.page.

“Tequesta Monument.” Carbonell Sculptures, https://bronzemonumentalsculpturesbycarbonell.com/monumental-sculptures/tequesta-monument-detail.html.

Time Out Miami. “Brickell Key Park.” Time Out Miami, 29 Oct. 2018, https://www.timeout.com/miami/things-to-do/brickell-key-park.

“What to Explore in Brickell.” The New Tropic, 5 Feb. 2017, https://thenewtropic.com/what-to-explore-in-brickell/.

Tammy Gomez: Miami Service 2021

Student Bio

Tammy is a Junior at Florida International University majoring in International Business and is part of the Honors College. Tammy was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and just moved to Miami for Fall 2021. Tammy’s favorite hobby is playing tennis and she also loves to hang out with friends.

Miami in Miami Chicken Key Cleanup October 2021. Photo by John Bailly/ CC by 4.0


I volunteered at the Deering Estate, which was the house of Charles Deering until he passed away in 1927. Nowadays, The Deering Estate is a house museum and environmental preserve located in Southwest Miami, Florida. One mile off the shore from The Deering Estate is located a small island called Chicken Key in Biscayne Bay which is exactly the place that we went to do the cleanup. This is an uninhabited island where huge amounts of trash come off the shore every day from the ocean and the trash stays on the island.

Even though there are many cleanups organized throughout the year, it is not enough. The island is constantly contaminated because of the excess trash that exists in the ocean. Therefore, I consider Chicken Key to be a very important place to go and do cleanups.


This specific volunteer opportunity was provided to my class of Miami in Miami of the Honors College. This volunteer was conducted by our Professor John Bailly and our Teacher Assistant Claudia Carolina. Unlike our usual classes, we combined both groups of the Miami In Miami class which I think was a great opportunity for all of us to work together and be able to do a better job.

While this volunteer work does not relate to my major, International Business, it is similar to volunteer activities I have done in the past. When I was in high school, I lived in Ecuador, and in 2016 there was a severe earthquake that destroyed one of the main cities of the country named Manta. Houses and buildings were destroyed, hundreds of people died, and many people moved to neighbor cities to avoid the aftershocks of the earthquake; they were traumatized. That’s why at first, the whole country was predisposed to help, but after time passed by, the help was reduced, and Manta was still in very poor conditions. So, in 2018 my high school organized a service project for a weekend in which students went to Manta to build houses for the people who lost theirs in the earthquake. It was optional, but a great opportunity to help, so I went to Manta for a weekend to build houses. Just like going to Chicken Key, these two experiences make me feel fulfilled as I am helping others in the first case and the environment in the second. Going out and seeing the reality of other parts of the world which we are not used to, make you conscious of what is really happening beyond of what you are used to.


I think that our professor choosing this volunteer work as our service project was the best option because it made us connect with a different environment of Miami than the one that we are used to. The flora and fauna of The Deering Estate are wonderful. We got to see different types of animals like fishes, manatees, sharks, and turtles while we were canoeing on our way to Chicken Key, and when we got to the island, we were able to see several hermit crabs and spiders of different sizes and colors. That is in relation to the fauna, and in relationship to the flora of The Deering Estate, we were able to go across the mangroves and see them from the inside. One unforgettable moment of this day is when we had to get out of the mangroves back to the ocean and I got a feeling as if I were going out of a cave, and as we kept rowing the sun was reappearing and everything was beautiful; this is definitely something I will never forget.

Being on the island with both groups of Miami in Miami helped us get to know each other and connect while doing something that all of us were very excited to do. While picking up the trash we discovered some animals in their natural estate. We also discovered that most of us had the same reasons in why we chose this class as our Honors course for this year, and one of the main reasons was definitely experiences like this.


On October 6th we canoed from The Deering Estate to Chicken key, it was very hard to canoe because we were canoeing against the stream of the ocean. It was the first time that I canoed, so at first, it was really difficult and tired. However, after a guy from the class explained to me how I had to row, it became easier. Then, when we got to the island we took a break to recover from the last hour that we spent rowing, and after 15 minutes we started to work. To be an uninhabited island, there was so much trash that I couldn’t believe it even though I was seeing it. However, after our professor explained us how trash ended up in the island it made sense.



The only way to get to Chicken Key was through the ocean, so we had to canoe. It was very difficult for some of us that didn’t had a previous experience canoeing. In fact, at the beginning me and Daniela were the last ones; we couldn’t move forward as we were rowing against the stream of the ocean and didn’t have previous experience. Then, a guy from the other class came to help us, and we did a much better job. Despite the fact that we got help, we still canoed for an hour. That’s why, when we got to Chicken Key, we were very tired and, in my opinion, we could have done a better job if we wouldn’t have been tired from rowing. However, this is the only way to get to chicken key, so it is not an option to do it otherwise.

On the other hand, our Professor John Baily, really emphasized to collect every piece of trash that we saw in the island, and so we did. Most of the trash in the island were microplastic that people don’t usually pay attention to, and they rather pick up bigger pieces of trash. However, our class focused on picking up what most people don’t pay attention to, so we made a great change in the island and collected a great number of bags full of trash with all types of trash, but especially microplastics. This is volunteer is something that I definitely look forward on doing again, and something I would recommend to my friends.

Tammy Gomez: Miami as Text 2021-2022

Photograph by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

Tammy is a Junior at Florida International University and is part of the Honors College. Tammy was born in Guayaquil, Ecuador, and just moved to Miami for Fall 2021. Tammy’s favorite hobby is playing tennis and she also loves to hang out with friends. She is majoring in International Business and once Tammy finishes her Bachelor’s degree she is planning to start her Masters.

Downtown as Text

A Little Glance of Miami’s History

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Downtown Miami, 1 September 2021.

Miami is a very touristic city as we all know. This magic city is famous for its night life, white-sand beaches, warm climate and its inclination for the Latin American culture. However, no one really knows about Miami’s history. Not even the people who lives here knows what happened a hundred years ago and how it became to the city it is nowadays.

One of the historic places that caught my attention the most was “The Longhouse in downtown Miami’s Lummus Park”. This house was built in the 1840s by Bohemians and African American slaves. The Senator William F. English came to Florida from the Carolinas in order to use the fertile soil to cultivate in Miami. And to make agriculture possible he needed people working in the soil, so he got that free labor from the Bohemians and African American people who were already in Miami. Therefore, this man was the one who started slavery in Miami in order to make Miami a place for agriculture.

Even though Miami was built by African American and Bohemians, these people were segregated from the city they built. Henry Flagger is the founder of the Florida East Coast railway which allowed the segregation to happen in Miami creating “Colored town” in the northwest downtown Miami which is nowadays called Overtown. This neighborhood was designated for black people.

It is shocking how these happened in 1896 and how much Miami has changed since then. That is why most people cannot even imagine that any of this happened in the first place, especially somewhere so diverse as Miami where you find people from all over the world and is specifically known for having so many Latin American influences. Subsequently, it is important to be aware where we are and the history of the Magic city we are living in.

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An unnoticed neighborhood

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Overtown Miami, 15 September 2021.

Overtown is the last place people mention when talking about Miami. Nevertheless, Overtown is very important to understand Miami’s culture. This neighborhood was created for black people only and it was named “Colored town”. They could only get out of the neighborhood when they had to work. However, they could not stay overnight, they always had to go back to Overtown. The segregation in South Florida got to the point in which black artists weren’t allowed to stay in the hotels outside Overtown where they were performing just because of the color of their skin. Nowadays, this would never happen because of the laws that were implemented due to the civil rights movement.

Indeed, one of the leaders of the civil rights movement was Martin Luther King Jr., and he visited Overtown to defend black people’s rights and gave speeches in two of the churches that we visited: Greater Bethel African Methodist Episcopal and Mt. Zion Missionary Baptist. Not only did Martin Luther King Jr. visited Overtown and these churches, but many other historic figures like Elijah Mohammed, Mohammed Ali and Malcom X visited Overtown as well. That’s why these churches are protected on the National Register of Historic Places. And therefore, the churches have remained intact throughout decades and are still active giving masses.

Overtown is a very welcoming neighborhood, even though most people think the contrary. In fact, people from this neighborhood like it when others are aware of what really happened to their ancestors decades ago, and what is currently happening. Nowadays, the essence of Overtown is being lost because of the new constructions and buildings that have appeared in recent years. Clearly, people from Overtown do not like the changes that have been made here, and that’s why they felt the need to tell us what is going on in the neighborhood. Hence, they are doing what they can to avoid it, like telling us these types of issues. Overtown is a place that has plenty of history and it goes unnoticed, that is why people should take in consideration Overtown when explaining Miami’s history.

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By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Vizcaya Miami, 13 October 2021.

  • Tammy

A piece of Italy in Miami

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, 13 October 2021.

Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is one of the most beautiful places I have ever seen. It was built during World War I, between 1914 and 1916, by the International Harvester vice president James Deering. However, Deering did not build this 43-acre museum and garden by himself, he had the help of F. Burral Hoffmam, Diego Suarez, and Paul Chalfin to design the mansion and the gardens. Vizcaya was created by the inspiration of the Italian Renaissance and Baroque villas adjusted to the subtropical climate of Miami.

James Deering was the wealthiest man of Miami and employed over a thousand people to build Vizcaya. It was built by 10% of Miami’s population who were either bohemians or Afro-Americans. They were segregated and underpaid. However, they were not considered slaves because they received wages, unlike most bohemians or Afro-Americans who worked in the 20th century in Miami.

When people first enter Vizcaya” they see a statue of Bacchus, the ancient Roman god of wine, in the “Entrance Loggia”. They can also notice the marble floor which is very expensive to get nowadays and even more expensive to get when the mansion was built. Throughout the entire museum, you can see European art and architectural fragments which were linked with wealth and high social status. For example, the organ located in the living room of the second floor was placed there because it was associated with wealth. Another example would be the music room on the ground floor of Vizcaya; the instruments located in that room were never played, they were just bought and placed there because of their historical value.

The other part that Vizcaya is famous for is its garden. Diego Suarez was in charge of the gardens and designed them in an Italian style same as the museum. The garden had Italian architecture, however, he had to choose plants and flowers that could survive the subtropical climate of Miami. The gardens were divided into many sections: South Terrace, Center Island, The Garden Mound, The Casino, and many more, but my favorite section of the garden is the Secret Garden which was originally named “The Orchid Garden”, but they changed the name because orchids did not grow in Miami’s weather.

In conclusion, Vizcaya is a beautiful museum and garden which was inspired by Italian architecture. Vizcaya is an important part of Miami’s history of the early 20th century and that’s why it is considered a National Historic Landmark.

Sobe as Text

A main touristic place in Miami

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at South Beach, 27 October 2021.

South beach is a very well-known place all around the world. Tourists when coming to Miami are one of the first places they want to visit because of the beach and architecture. South Beach and Miami Beach are not the same, most people confuse these two beaches and think they are the same beach. Miami Beach is on a barrier island lying in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean and Biscayne Bay. On the other hand, South Beach is a portion of Miami Beach, indeed is part of Miami.

Carl Fisher was the man responsible for transforming Miami Beach into what it is today. Before the transformation, Miami Beach was called Ocean Beach and it was a place full of mangroves and palmettos forest. Most people think it was a swamp, but it wasn’t. In 1910 Fisher discovered what is nowadays called Miami Beach while on vacation. In 1912, he bought a house in the area, and right after that, he bought the land. In 1913, John Collins built the first bridge to Miami beach, and that’s when Carl Fisher began the transformation of what is now the tourist place of South Florida.

Before Fisher’s transformation, Miami Beach used to be a place where everyone could live. It didn’t matter your race or ethnicity. However, after Fisher converted it to a resort, black people were not allowed in Miami Beach anymore; this included Afro-American, Afro-Bahamian, and Seminoles who were living in the area at the time. That’s why Dana Albert Dorsey bought Fisher Island in 1918, to have a beach where black people could go.

Another popular characteristic about South Beach is its architecture. The architecture of South Beach is very striking. It has three types of architecture: memo, Mediterranean, and art deco. Indeed, you can find here the world’s largest art deco decoration. It is located on 5th street and 27th street, along ocean drive. Art deco is characterized for having heavy geometric influences and shapes, and either vibrant and shine (yellow, red, green, or blue) or pastel colors.

Deering as text

Miami’s astonishing nature

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Deering Estate, 10 November 2021.

Deering Estate is located in the Village of Palmetto Bay in South Miami – Dade. This place is very different from what people think of Miami. There is so much nature that hasn’t been destroyed by humans (because it is protected by the state) that it is difficult to believe that this is part of Miami. This cultural asset has different types of ecosystems including mangrove forests, tropical hardwood hammock, and pine rock land. Deering estate is determined to protect their natural habitats, wildlife, and native species. For example, they perform controlled burns in the pine rock land and salt marshes habitats in order to prevent them from becoming fuel in a larger size. This is fundamental to maintain these wildlands in the long term. And without a doubt, animals do not suffer any type of consequences from the prescribed burns.

Inside the tropical hardwood hammocks in the forest are solution holes. So, people have to be very careful while they are walking in order to avoid falling into one. Besides, people also need to be careful with the plants they can touch because the forest has many poison ivy plants and poisonwood trees. That’s why it is highly recommended that if you are going into the forest you go fully covered without showing skin. Here, you can also find the famous Cutler Creek bridge where the freshwater of the Everglades and Biscayne Bay meets.

Besides the tropical hardwood hammock, another important ecosystem that Deering Estate has is the mangroves. People can access the mangroves through the Boat Basin area with a canopy and go inside the mangroves. Here you can find different types of species like sharks, manatees, and turtles. Another way to access the mangroves is through the forest. You can go inside the mangroves by walking into them and here you can even get the chance to see a crashed plane from the 1990s. This plane is called the “Cocaine Cowboys Plane”.

Rubell as text

A Special Contemporary Museum in Miami

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Rubell Museum, 24 November 2021.

The Rubell Museum is a museum with a big contemporary art collection that opened in 2019 and is located in the Allapattah neighborhood of Miami. This museum is owned by the Rubell family. It has art pieces of very famous artists like Yayoi Kusama. Here you can find two famous galleries of Kusama the first one is named “Where the Lights in My Heart Go, 2016”, and the second one is the “Infinity room – Let’s Survive Forever, 2017”. People who want to see these galleries have to wait for their turn and will only have 30 seconds to appreciate the art. Also, it is only allowed to go one person at a time. After 30 seconds the person who is in charge will knock on the door for you to come out and the next person can go, and so on. People in other museums have to wait hours to be able to see these galleries and only for 30 seconds, so we were very lucky to be able to see these galleries.

Besides the galleries of Yayoi Kusama, there were two artworks that caught my attention. The first one is a painting with a black man almost naked, which at the time that the painting was made, it was something very rare and not approved by society. An interesting fact about this painting is that the painter, Kehinde Wiley, who painted this artwork, was the same one Obama chose to paint his official portrait.

The second artwork that caught my attention was a sculpture of two black parents sending their kid to school, and they are holding him and look a little sad. The three of them also have horns in their heads, and this is because these people felt like they were going to be haunted, and one of their fears was to send their kids to school. This museum is very interesting and people who like contemporary art should definitely go to visit and see the inside of the galleries of Yayoi Kusama.

Untitled as text

Untitled in Miami’s Art week

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Untitled, 01 December 2021.

Untitled is an art fair that took place in Miami Beach during Miami’s Art Week. At this fair, artists from all over the world come to exhibit their art. There are more than 100 galleries of contemporary art. Each artist is in charge to take their art from wherever they have it and bring it to the fair. Not everyone can get into the fair, artists need to be chosen, and afterward, they have the opportunity to purchase a booth for the event. When artists are chosen, they need to have a budget of approximately fifty thousand dollars because not only do they need to buy a booth which is twenty thousand dollars, but they also need to pay for other expenses like the hotel they will be staying in for the week, bringing the paintings, uber, food, and more.

Some artists consider Untitled more for marketing than to actually sell the paintings, and if they do sell them, is a plus, but the main idea is to make themselves known. Here they have the opportunity to show their artwork to people from other parts of the world. Therefore, if people like a painting, they will talk about it with others and the painting will gain prestige.

One specific artist that we had the opportunity to talk to was Arleene Correa who is a Mexican artist. Her life story is very inspiring and that is what she conveys through her artwork. Correa is a recipient of DACA, she came to the United States when she was three and by this same age, she was taken away from her father, and that destroyed her emotionally. She believes so much in family and the power of love, and that is what her portraits are about. All of her portraits show the social, political, and ethical environment that undocumented families like hers have to go through when they migrate to the United States. In my opinion, Correa’s artwork was the best of the entire fair, people could feel what her portraits transmitted and the message inside of it.

Everglades as text

All photographs taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

The real Everglades

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Everglades National Park, 19 January 2022.

The Everglades National Park is a wetland preserved by The Everglades Conservation Act (EFA) which requires that the state of Florida protect and restore Everglade’s endangered ecosystem. This national Park is mostly constituted by mangroves, sawgrass marshes, and Pine Flatwoods. It also has hundreds of different species of animals. In the trip that our class of Miami in Miami took we were able to see alligators, turtles, fishes, one owl, and one eagle. This trip was led by Ranger Jennifer, Ranger Dylann, and our Professor John Bailly.

Both Rangers went inside the wetland with us and showed us two alligator holes. The first one was empty, meaning there were no alligators there. However, in the second alligator hole, we were very lucky to see one alligator from very close in its natural state. From our point of view, the alligator was not big, but the rangers told us that in this area of the Everglades lives one female and one male alligator and that they thought it was the male because he was big and about 5 to 6 feet, unlike female alligators that are smaller.

While we were walking inside the wetland, we were able to see periphytons throughout the whole trip. This is not an alga, but a mixture or combination of algae, bacteria, and microbes. It’s not very striking to look at because it’s formed by long filaments, however, it plays a very important role in the Everglades ecosystem. Periphytons filter the water providing oxygen through photosynthesis which makes life in the Everglade’s freshwater possible.

The Everglades National Park is very famous worldwide because of all the different species of plants and animals you can find here. If you ever visit South Florida and like nature, you should definitely visit Everglades!

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All photographs taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

The beauty behind Coral Gables

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Coral Gables, 02 February 2022.

Coral Gables is a beautiful city in Miami-Dade County, southwest of downtown Miami. It was founded in 1925 and created by Bahamians. The father of Coral Gables was George Merrick. He was the one who designed Coral Gables and the person in charge of the façade. Merrick was influenced by Vizcaya Museum and Gardens, and by the Stone House. Even though Merrick had never visited Spain before, he focused Coral Gables’ architecture like the Spanish architecture.

One of the places that we visited in Coral Gables was The Coral Gables Museum. The museum was created in 1939, many years after Coral Gables was founded, and it was originally a police and fire station created during the Depression by the Works Progress Administration (WPA). Another place that we visited in Coral Gables was the Coral Gables Elementary School. This school had a Mediterranean revival style of architecture which allowed air to come in and out from the classrooms. This style of architecture became very popular for schools in South Florida because of the hot weather and it didn’t exist air conditioning back then.

And finally, the two most interesting places that we visited in Coral Gables were the Biltmore Hotel and the Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ. The Biltmore Hotel is a luxury resort that has 350 rooms, a golf course, a pool, and many event rooms. It was open to the public in 1926. However, the church was built before the hotel. They started the construction of the church in 1923. This is the oldest church in Coral Gables. The Coral Gables Congregational United Church of Christ is not a catholic church, it is a Christian church. Therefore, catholic people can come to this church if they want, any religion is welcome. That is in fact, what I liked about this church, that is inclusive. This church does not care about the sexual preference of their community, they even have a gay pastor which I find amazing because I didn’t know of any church that had a gay pastor before this one.

River of the grass as text

All photographs taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

The Everglades’ Experience

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Everglades National Park, 16 February 2022.

The everglades are a very popular place because of its nature. Many people know about it, but not everyone is lucky enough to have the experience of going into the everglades. I have gone multiple times before with my family when we came to visit Miami. However, it was nowhere near the experience that I had when I took the trip in this class.

We went into the everglades, we hiked, and we even got inside the water and had it at the waist level. This is not something I would normally do, but I’m so glad I was able to go and experience this part of the everglades. Silence is underrated and this is what we could experience, the peace of being in the middle of nowhere because if we had been without guidance, we wouldn’t have known what direction to go.

When we were inside the everglades, we had the opportunity to visit two old structures. These structures were hundreds of years old. One of them was like a little house and was finished, and the other one was in gray work. In the second one, we were able to climb and get on top of it. When we were at the top, it felt very peaceful and as if we could see miles of land from where we were. The view was amazing and very different from what people often think Miami is.

This is an experience that I recommend everyone should go to at least once in their life if they visit Miami and especially if you are from Miami. It’s very difficult to find a place with the peace and silence of being far away from the city and people.

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All photographs taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

The artistic Wynwood

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Wynwood, 09 March 2022.

The Margulies Collection is a place in Miami where people can go to visit and appreciate some exceptional artwork. In the pictures that I shared, we can see that it is not a traditional painting or artwork as people may think, but that’s what makes it different and why it stands out. It’s contemporary art and in the first picture we are looking at this artwork and we can see the sky and we can also feel the wind from the sky because this artwork is open to the outside and was added to the collection in the year 2000. In the second picture, we are looking at one of the most famous artworks of the 21st century. The name of the artist is Anselm Kiefer and made this work by artwork that he didn’t find successful and put them all together. To bring it to the collection in Wynwood they had to bring piece by piece separately and then put it all together.

The third picture is showing us another artwork named “Secret of the Ferns” and was made by Anselm Kiefer and Geheimnis der Farne. The fourth picture I found to be one of my favorites of the collection because in my opinion is different and I would’ve never thought that someone would do something like this. This artwork is made of spices. This artwork is basically a room full of fabric hanging with different spices on the bottom as you can see in the picture, and when you step closer you can smell it. I found it very interesting and different.

In the fifth picture, we can get closer and now we are part of the artwork, the leaves and branches will be seen in the body moving. In my opinion, seeing the leaves and branches moving slowly is relaxing, I could stay there for a while and I would feel very peaceful. And last but not least, the last artwork is recreating a moment of the U.S. government and many officials, in which we can recognize Barack Obama and Joe Biden when they had an ongoing operation to kill Osama bin Laden. All of these artworks were exceptional and are amazing to visit, so if someone likes art and is in Miami, this is a place they should come visit.

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All photographs taken and edited by Tammy Gomez // CC by 4.0

A unique place in Miami

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Coconut Grove, 23 March 2022.

Coconut Grove is an excellent place to walk and visit. I find that this neighborhood is very peaceful and relaxing, as there are not many people as there are in other neighborhoods like Brickell, Wynwood, or Coral Gables. Coconut Grove is also very accessible from the point of view that it has two metro stations, or the other option is to go by car which is also very affordable too if you choose the right spot. The parking lot next to Coconut Grove Playhouse is $8 for the whole day, so people don’t have to worry about the number of hours they will be staying in the neighborhood.

There are many different places to visit in Coconut Grove and one of these places is the cemetery of the Bahamian back in 1906. The cemetery was first located in 3500 block of Charles Avenue, but then it was judged to be too small so it was moved to the current location. A fun fact about the cemetery is that the video of the famous song Thriller by Michael Jackson was inspired by this cemetery, they couldn’t film the video in the cemetery, however, it was reconstructed when filmed the video at the Palace Theatre in downtown Los Angeles.

The Plymouth Congregational Church was also moved from its original location on MacFarland Road. The architecture of the church is made of rocks and the whole church was built by a man and his assistant. This is something many people find really hard to believe and what makes this church even more interesting.

Other places tourists can visit in Coconut Grove are The Christ Episcopal Church, Housekeepers, Mariah Brown House, and The Barnacle.

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A unique place in Miami

By Tammy Gomez of FIU at Key Biscayne, 06 April 2022.

Key Biscayne is a town in Florida on a barrier island between two parks: Crandon Park and Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park. The one we visited is the second one, Bill Baggs, which is at the end of Key Biscayne and is well known for its famous lighthouse. This lighthouse is the oldest standing building in the Miami-Dade County completed in 1825 but damaged due to the Second Seminole War and then, rebuilt in 1845; it is one of the many reasons why this beach is so special. The sand is white and the water of the ocean is very clear. This beach is considered to be of the top 10 best beaches in the U.S. and we were lucky to have the chance to spend the day at the beach for a class.

Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Beach served as a refugee for Black people and Seminoles waiting to meet with sea captains for a “passage of safety in the British Bahamas” (Florida State Parks).

The entrance fee is $8 per vehicle (2-8 people), $4 if it is for a single-occupant in a vehicle, or $2 for pedestrians, bicyclists, or extra passengers. These rates are for the whole day unlike many other beaches in Miami like South Beach. The rates for other beaches in Key Biscayne are very similar to the ones that Bill Baggs has. For example, Crandon Beach costs $5 on weekdays, and $7 on weekends. Here people usually rent bikes, kayaks, canoes, or chairs to use at the beach.

The entrance that is at the end of the beach has a path that leads to the lighthouse and this is the path where our class volunteered to put mulch around the palm trees and bushes. This is a beautiful beach that everyone who visits Miami needs to visit!

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