The List

don't worryThe folks over at the Miami New Times like to make lists.  I happen to know this because I was on two of them, once in 2011 and again in 2012.

Last week, they made yet another list.

The New Times published All 34 Cities in Miami-Dade County, Ranked From Worst to Best, naming Florida City as the worst, and the City of Miami (HUH?) as the best.

There does not appear to be any rational criteria for the rankings.  Still, when I saw that North Miami was ranked higher than North Miami Beach, I admit I felt a bit smug since this seemed to vindicate a claim I once made that North Miami was better than North Miami Beach.

As you can imagine, my NMB peeps were not happy with me.  But, despite my prediction that I’d never eat lunch in North Miami Beach again, they got over it rather quickly.

Here’s the thing.  I have always had a vested interest in both cities.  Before my very recent move to Davie, I spent the previous 25 years as a resident of North Miami Beach.  Before that, however, I lived in North Miami for the better part of a decade.  And, even before that, North Miami was the scene of the crime when I met the man who stole my heart.  (No worries.  I’ve since hunted him down.  This time, he’s not getting away. 😀 )

This New Times list, however, made no sense to me.  At #15, how could North Miami Beach possibly trail so far behind the #7 ranked North Miami?  The two cities share a lot more things in common than just the crazy border between them.  Anyone who lives in either one would be surprised at such a perceived disparity between the two.

Both cities even had Mayors who were arrested, for crying out loud!

Then again, there doesn’t seem to be any rhyme or reason to the rankings of the other 32 municipalities, either, except that the “whiter” (or richer, maybe?) the city, the worse they were ranked.

For example, nine of the wealthiest cities in the County happen to be in the top worst half of the list.

Although Florida City (one of the poorest in the County with a per capita income of $8,270) was ranked THE worst at #34, the tiny (pop. 86) village of Indian Creek was ranked the second worst (#33) by the New Times Staff.  With a per capital income of $137,382, Indian Creek is the “8th highest income place in the United States,” according to Wikipedia.

It’s also the whitest.

Indian Creek was dissed by the New Times Staff “as the kind of spoiled, wealthy enclave that makes everyone think Miami is an elitist paradise.”

It isn’t?

Other wealthy cities that earned the worst rankings by the Miami New Times are:  Bal Harbour (#32), Sunny Isles Beach (#27), Doral (#26), Bay Harbor Islands (#25), Miami Lakes (#23), Pinecrest (#22), Aventura (#19) and Golden Beach (#18).  Per capita incomes for these municipalities range from $46,119 to $136,686.

Not surprisingly, all of these cities are mostly comprised of … White People.

North Miami – where Blacks far outnumber Whites (and everyone else) – was ranked as the #7 best city in Miami-Dade County by the New Times Staff, which commented:

7. North Miami

Pros: It’s home to one of Miami’s best urban oasis parks, Oleta River State Park, and its own Museum of Contemporary Art, which, for a while at least, was Miami-Dade’s most forward thinking art museum.

Cons: Don’t ask about their last few mayors. Don’t ask about the time they gave the key to the city to two Kardashians. Don’t ask about MOCA’s recent implosion.

Bottom line: A pretty city that has made some ugly decisions.

The only explanation I can come up with for the New Times to rank North Miami Beach so much further down the list (#15) is its “whiteness” factor of 47.1% as compared to North Miami’s 32.6%.

Yeah, that must be it.

Then again, it could have something to do with NMB’s misleading name.

The New Times Staff commented:

15. North Miami Beach

Pros: Home to technically the oldest building in America — meaning William Randolph Hearst bought a Medieval Spanish monastery and had it shipped over and rebuilt here.

Cons: The city doesn’t actually make sense. First of all, despite the name, there are no real beaches here. Second, have you looked at it on a map? The city’s boundaries make no geographic sense. There’s a chunk of unincorporated Miami-Dade right in the middle of it, and then there are all of these weird narrow parts jutting out of it. Cartography-wise, it doesn’t even look like a city. It looks like a dog got hold of a city and chewed it up.

Bottom line: Basically just a random jumble of everything good and bad about the northwestern portion of the county.

Yeah, this is not news.

Plus, not only are there “no real beaches here,” but North Miami Beach has absolutely no beaches.  Real or otherwise.

In what was probably the stupidest of countless stupid decisions made by past administrations, North Miami Beach gave away its beachfront property decades ago.

This “worthless” sandbar is now known as Sunny Isles Beach.

And yet, somehow it didn’t occur to the brain trust (who most likely kept getting re-elected until they died in office) that maybe, just maybe, it would have been a good idea to either keep the beach, or change the name of the city once it no longer had a beach.

It’s not like the city formerly/known/as “Fulford” had never had its name changed before.

Unfortunately, no one alive today seems to know exactly when the beach was given away, or even the names of the people responsible for such a blatant act of idiocy, since those records have been erased from the annals of North Miami Beach history.

In a vain attempt to correct this oversight, Councilwoman Barbara Kramer has been trying to get the city’s name changed since she was first elected into office.

Unfortunately, no one has taken her suggestion seriously.

I personally know this to be true because back in those early days I brainstormed with Barbara to come up with some catchy names to replace “North Miami Beach.”

Unfortunately, she thought “Kramerville” was just a little over the top.

And I was all like, “Okay, smart ass.  YOU try naming a city!”

In any event, after initially taking the Miami New Times list seriously, and trying to make sense of it all, I have come to the same conclusion as that of several of its readers.

The best comment was posted by Frank Ponch Torres, who wrote:

“Okay you had me reading the whole article. I’m not who actually voted for this. But Homestead #2. Lmfao. Unless you’re an illegal Mexican, there’s nothing important in homestead. Your article is a f@@cking joke.”

I’d have to agree.

Stephanie Kienzle
“Spreading the Wealth”

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  1. TC says:

    Why not rename it back to the original name of Fulford? When anyone asks me where do I live and I tell them North Miami Beach, they think I am in the actual city of Miami Beach. It might help in selling our city to redevelopment investors.


  2. Ruth says:

    I noticed that Opa Locka was a better city according to this article than Bal Harbor. Like that makes sense. This article was put together as a joke, in my opinion, and not one to be taken seriously.


  3. Ricardo says:

    I stopped reading Miami New Times some time ago. I will not bother reading it now, not even after Stephanie’s reference.

    Their articles have ZERO journalistic integrity. They are the perfect example of a new trend in media outlets. Their only purpose is to generate internet traffic through controversy, so they publish outrageous, nonsensical, idiotic opinions only to upset people.

    Miami New Times cannot be taken seriously. It’s a shame.


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