Sunday, June 4, 2017

The Houses of Miami Suburbia (specifically south of Miami)

A couple of weeks ago it was MUCH too hot for our Sunday morning/afternoon walks to continue. So we went on a drive. And I convinced Sterling to slow down a 'little' bit so I could take pictures of Miami houses. Because it has been such a cultural experience to live here---everything from the people, the food, the traffic, the way everything is run from convenience stores to fast food to church to school systems. And the other day we were watching a tv show and both of us nearly jumped out of our skin and said "That's Miami!" it's just that...unusual and immediately noticeable. Miami has a vibe all it's own. We still say it's the only place is the US you can go to medical school and not really be in the US at all. We definitely had our ups and downs (we might be a LOT more distrusting of landlords and customer service now) but we really enjoyed SOOOOO much of Miami. Especially some of the amazing people in our ward. Today in church Sterling and I looked at each other during the sacrament and he whispered "only one prayer!" and then when I picked up a hymnbook I thought "There's only two books for this bench. Oh wait, we only need one language." And then of course, there were no headsets for translations. Not one single lady kissed me in greeting when she introduced herself today. The person at Walmart yesterday spoke English and actually knew where the item was that I was looking for. There are a LOT less bright things here. Less hot pink and turquoise and yellow and blue. The houses look like average houses. I mean, we're still in Florida so we've still got palm trees and cockroaches (Sterling and I jinxed ourselves because we have been in this apartment two days without seeing a single bug and we were thinking HALLELUJAH....and then I just killed a cockroach. Without Sterling. Because he is back in Miami for a week. That was very, very sad. When I live somewhere, someday, without those things---I will be one very, very happy person.)

Anyway--on to the houses. I had wanted to take pictures of the houses for a while to give some of the flare and flavor of Miami. But then we were too lazy to drive to the city. And then Sterling just wanted to drive up and down Old Cutler Rd because it is gorgeous and along the ocean. But that means--these pictures are the RICH flavor of Miami where they all live right on the ocean with a yacht behind them. Still fun to see. Like I read in a magazine that a person spent $9 million on a home in this area and then another $32 million completely redoing it the SAME WAY to keep the old community vibe of Pinecrest. They are right on the ocean and they definitely pay the money for it. 
Most of Miami does not have curbs. They also don't post road signs--they have them on the ground like the cement block pictured above. 

Sooooo many canals. I think this is why traffic is always so bad. You can't take back roads because there are no through streets--canals cut through in the oddest ways and the majority of streets end and turn, you really have to stick to the main roads. 

Everything grows SOOOOO incredibly fast. Most people have maintenance workers cut their lawns/tree/bushes twice a week. It's a jungle.

Sooooooo Miami. Most houses have an outside entry way thing that is gated before you actually go into the house. And pretty much everyone has a tile roof like that.

It's hard to see here, but this one has an entire courtyard fenced off in front. Obviously, like I said, we were driving past the NICE areas of Miami, but they even have things like this on little ones.

The banyan trees that overlap above you. I will miss that. Although--I have seen some pretty banyan tree lanes in Delray, so I guess I get to enjoy that a bit longer!

Those trees though. Sometimes I would take longer routes to the library just to drive down this road.

Another Miami house.

I might miss you a little, beautiful Old Cutler Road!

Very, very few houses here are brick. So they are all pretty brightly colored, which I love! Except the ugly apricot color that seems to be the most loved by everyone else---it's definitely the dominating color choice and I don't know why. 

Sooooooo Miami. Ugly apricot color, tile roof, gated, covered entry, and palm trees.

These pretty flowers are kind of past their prime, but when my parents came a few months ago these bushes were just BURSTING at the seams with bright pink and my mom was in love. So was I---there is ALWAYS so much color in Miami!

Even cheap apartments (although not in the downtown Miami area) have gated entries with security guards. Everywhere we've lived has had them and pretty much everyone in our ward has the same. It's just the norm.
This one may be apricot, but it is really cool.

Our views of a lot of the wealthy homes are about like this. Sterling was embarrassed I was taking pictures---but look how beautiful!!!!  I don't know them, they don't know me, and that green-growing fence growing everywhere? Very Miami.

This is as we get closer to our own neighborhood, so houses are much less mansion-like and more normal. But still got the tile, the fenced and open entry.

There are lots of laundromats like that. They just open and people bring camping chairs to hang out on. They are especially big on Sundays.

I have always loved driving past this church. It's all painted--the entrance is on the other side. I think it's cool. 

You get a LOT more color like this in the less mansion-like areas. ESPECIALLY downtown Miami. 

Very typical. You can't see it, but they have a big lion statue. I feel like EVERYONE has either a lion statue or a big stone bird pond out front. Statues are very big here.
Purple is cool. 

See the giant stone bird pond in there?

Another giant bird pond. Garages are actually pretty nonexistent here. Covered parking is probably not rare, but definitely not the norm.

Closer to where we live and we start getting bars over the windows too, haha!

It's very hard to see, but there is a BEAUTIFUL outside entry when you walk under those pink flowers. And the tile roof, and the palm trees, haha. 

Most places have fences. 

Hot pink. With a fence. Oh, and the bars ove rthe window---haha. 
Sometimes the statues are not a lion...

And a big ol' banyan tree to end our Miami suburbia tour. Downtown is definitely different, with lots of different areas that are different---haha just like any big city. But this was what we saw a lot of. And it's pretty crazy we aren't going back! (oh wait, I am driving the two hours back on Wednesday for an OB appt. Haha. Hopefully we schedule a version and I'll drive back one more time for that!)

Bye Miami! I'm going to miss your street vendors wandering up and down every intersection even when people are driving over 40mph--I really should've bought the massive sunflowers the guy on the corner by our house was selling recently, they looked beautiful! And I'm going to miss all the old ladies touching Ruth's hair everywhere we go. And the beautiful parks that often had homeless people on the benches that were a little nerve-wracking, but my kids were totally used to. I'm not going to miss a lot of your big-city-ness, like paying for parking and going up an elevator to get to Target (depending on which one I drove to) and huge waits at the doctor offices. But I'm REALLY going to miss your homemade ceviche! it's been real!

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