When you have nothing to do in Miami you go to Wynwood. There's cool people (for the most part), some bad ass graffiti, a bunch of bars and restaurants to devour (and great drunk at) and our favorite, all types of people. As we speak I'm sitting at Panther, enjoying a cup of expertly brewed coffee. I mean it better be if I'm paying $6 a cup.
Wynwood has been through a lot. 20 years ago, Wynwood was a community of locals and even though it's hard to believe, gangs. A typical day in Wynwood included shootings, an occasional robbing and definitely no tourists. We fast track 20 years and here we are. A bunch of tourists taking pictures, many gallery owners who are leaving because as they say, "people are coming to Wynwood to party", and a used to be hipster community that's turning into Miami Beach. So wtf happened? How did we go from gangs to then a hipster community to now a tourist hotspot.
Goldman. Tony Goldman. That man right there made Wynwood what it is. He's no artist, no musician and honestly nothing besides an entrepreneur. As you can already tell, I'm not too big of a fan. Why you ask? Haha you don't wanna start down this road but I'm going there! No stopping UMAMI once we get started!!!!
Goldman is a genius. He bought all the property in the Wynwood area, kicked all the locals out and told them to get lost. My favorite story is one I heard from a local, living in Wynwood 20 years ago. She said a lot. I'm telling you a lot, some of which I didn't need to hear (how her brother went to a store that morning and forgot milk for example).
She woke up one morning with a paper on her front door, basically saying that in a week a bulldozer was coming to tear up her home. Great news huh? Anyways, she couldn't believe it (same). She went to the city of Miami, asked what this all was about and to her suprise found out that our man, Goldman, bought the property. With just a weeks notice she had to find a new place, move all her shit out and go on her merry way.
After hearing this I dug a little deeper. As I suspected, she wasn't the only one. With the beginning of Wynwood, Goldman went on a torment of kicking people out of their homes, knocking them down and building galleries, artwalks, etc. Yes, we approve of the art but no, we can't approve of locals being moved deeper and deeper into Miami.
This happened, Wynwood came and it was great for a while. Locals loved it, there were some great hole in the walls, graffiti instillations, art galleries and Miamians finally had a place they could call home. As usual, Wynwood started being in all the "Lonely Planets". Slowly but surely, tourists flooded in. Look, before you start thinking we don't like tourists, we don't, but we see their value. Miami can't function without them. We need tourists for our economy, for our city and ultimately, to keep Miami "lavish". What sucks is that they, even though most don't admit it, change everything. Wynwood became overcrowded and people started seeing Wynwood less for locals, and more for parties. Again, that's cool, it's just not what Wynwood was intended to be.
I'll stop myself here, let you get your head around what I'm saying and continue another day. I don't want to say tomorrow because I know I'm going out tonight. As we all know, who knows where I'll end up?