Mamey — A Tropical Miami Fruit That Should Become Mainstream

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Miami, FL

When it comes to fruit, there is no shopping experience quite like Miami. Particularly when going deep into the Latino areas, the store produce sections will have tropical fruits that are either exclusive or non-existent elsewhere in America. Some of the fruits that would be expensive or rare in, say, my small Virginia hometown—like mangoes, papayas, starfruit, guava and plantains—are cheaper, more abundant, and much tastier in Miami. Others, like guinep,jackfruit, noni, green avocadoes and coco frio, are unheard of where I grew up, and some frankly taste bizarre.… Read more

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How Miami Fought Gentrification And Won (For Now)

[Originally printed in Governing Magazine]

 

Miami, FL

Can growing cities avoid gentrification simply by building skyscrapers? Harvard economist Edward Glaeser thinks so. In his 2012 book Triumph of the City, he famously argues that in order to address housing shortages, cities need to build up. If they don’t, he warns, wealthy people who would buy high-rise units will instead buy older housing and displace longtime residents and businesses.

Glaeser’s theory has mostly gone untested as the nation’s most gentrifying cities — such as New York, San Francisco and Washington, D.C.… Read more

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Miami Is Highly Unequal—But Is That Bad?

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Miami, FL

In 2014, the Brookings Institute ranked income inequality in America’s 50 largest cities. Earlier this year, they updated the report, amidst heated rhetoric on the issue. Miami ranked 4th-highest, which surprised no one here, since the city’s rich-poor divide is visible from street level. But because of Miami’s innate demographic makeup, inequality here should be considered more an inevitability, than something to be upset over. The more important question is whether the city allows the poor to rise, or at least maintain better living standards than where they came from.… Read more

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Welcome To Brickell, Miami’s “Wall Street South”

[Originally published by Forbes]

 

Miami, FL

By now, it is common knowledge which cities are the U.S. banking capitals. Because of Wall Street, New York City remains #1, and the Bank of America headquarters has made Charlotte #2. But fly further south to Miami, and you’ll witness the emergence of another international banking center, in a neighborhood called Brickell.  [read the rest at Forbes]Read more

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Happy Birthday Jane Jacobs! (Now Let’s Have A Debate)

Jane Jacobs

 

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

1. This week I wrote three articles: one for Governing Magazine about how to make pedestrian malls successful; and two for Forbes—about how Syracuse is squelching a driveway-sharing app, and the latest attempts from San Francisco NIMBYs to stop a Warriors arena.

2. Today would have been Jane Jacobs’ 99th birthday, and I know many of you celebrated by attending (or hosting) Jane’s Walks in your cities. Because of other obligations, I wasn’t able to attend the Miami one, which was hosted in Little Havana by local realtor Carlos Fausto Miranda.… Read more

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Travel Update: A Tale Of Two Latino Areas In Miami And San Francisco

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

Miami, FL

1. The two Forbes articles I wrote this week are about New York City mayor Bill de Blasio’s effort to modernize the city’s courts; and a tech program under New York governor Andrew Cuomo that failed colossally in year one.

2. The highlight of my week, though, came at the tail end on Saturday night, when I explored Miami’s Little Havana, a Cuban neighborhood outside of downtown. What surprised me was how Cuban it actually was, despite abutting one of the nation’s booming financial districts.… Read more

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Travel Update: Miami Is Denser Than When I Left It

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

Miami, FL

I’ve been busy this week writing, but still carved out time to walk Miami. The first thing that hit me was how much denser it got since I last visited in 2011. The downtown, once caked in human waste, is only halfway like this now; a few square blocks of cafes and bars have emerged just off the waterfront. New condos in nearby Brickell have turned it into a legitimate 24/7 neighborhood, with unique cultural status as a playground for young bankers.… Read more

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Travel Update: Miami-bound

[Originally published by Market Urbanism]

 

Hialeah, Florida

I’m writing this from Hialeah, a suburb just north of Miami that is the nation’s most Cuban city. I can’t wait until Sunday, my first big day in Miami, and the de facto start to this 3-year trip!

I’ve spent the last week slogging down the east coast, stopping in Wilmington, Myrtle Beach, Charleston, Hilton Head, and Savannah, before continuing on down Florida’s Route 1 (which is literally—and I mean literally—one big strip mall the entire way through the state). Particularly from West Palm Beach down, Florida’s east coast feels a lot like Los Angeles: it’s dense enough to technically be urban, but not dense or pedestrian-oriented enough to be walkable.… Read more

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