Travel Notes

Memories of Miami

Three years ago , the last travel benefits kindly offered by American Airlines ensured a low cost travel in a city that evokes different meanings depending on an individual’s condition and status. The magical conception of Miami idealized by tourists and by the average American man becomes the immigrant’s dream, the promised land for the "exiled" Cuban refugees who reconstruct their native land in the narrow streets of Calle Ocho.

Considering the rhythms, the perfumes, the distance from La Habana, the second largest city in Florida identifies itself with the pronunciation [ mi'ami ] more than with [ maɪæmi ] . The Mi'ami I loved lies in the perimeters of Little Havana , smells like Espanola Way, shines like the beaches of Key Biscayne. The Mi'ami imprinted in my memory is tinged with colors , vibrates on South American percussions ,tastes like exotic spices, it’s drenched with life as a Cuban coffee, dances like the dress of a waitress lost in the memories of her childhood in Santa Clara .

Apart from being the mere commemoration of non-American realities, my Miami is also represented by Damn Yankees’ names and chimeras:

 

Ocean Drive

Dreams of adventures "On the Road"

Neon Lights, metaphors of Kerouac's novels

Prefabricated Diners

Simple places mystified by Hollywood 

Art Deco and warm nights 

And then there is the other Miami: [ maɪæmi ] , the universe of plastic and silicon, the world of stars and starlets, the stronghold made of inaccessible mansions, the place where everything and everyone has a price, the greedy Miami, photoshopped in movies and on glossy brochures, the city where every social gap is visible. 

 

The fake prominence of the skyscrapers

The black and white city that is never advertised

The city of...."Mum, what's the American Dream?"

Miami is a dream , a nightmare , a heaven , a mirage, an ideal, a utopia . [ maɪæmi ] / [ mi'ami ] is a continuous contrast where the line between its opposing realities is sometimes sharp, sometimes vague. In the end Maimi is what we want it to be. So I close my eyes and I remember that careless moment in which music has cancelled every social and religious barrier, the perfect portrait of this trip.