living in brickell miami

I sat down for coffee with Leslie Green in Brickell City Centre’s airy second floor corridor. This Epic Condo resident moved to South Florida upon graduating from the University of Michigan Law School, and is currently employed as a second-year associate at a prominent downtown law firm. Despite our introduction by a mutual friend over a year ago, Green adamantly proclaims to be quite unacquainted with anyone born in Miami-Dade County.

“One girl at work says she went native and actually married a Miamian!” declared Green with a carefree laugh and flick of her recently highlighted hair. “But I’ve never met him, so who knows!”

Regarding her circle of friends, Green stated, “I hang out with other recent arrivals, which shouldn’t be surprising because no one’s actually from Miami. I move with a bunch of professional types,” she said with a smirk. “MBAs, finance bros, other lawyers, the usual.”

Green takes great pride in her preferred modes of transportation. “You definitely don’t need a car in Miami,” she exclaimed knowingly. “I walk everywhere. Work, yoga, Whole Foods, it’s all just a couple blocks away. Miami’s super convenient like that. If I want to tan on the beach or go to Wynwood, I just grab a Lyft.”

I pressed her implausible claim to not know a single native Miamian, at which point she paused and raised a well-plucked eyebrow. “Well, there was this one Tinder hookup who I think was Dominican… or Brazilian… or Mexican…” her voice trailed off. “Or maybe his parents were?” she shrugged nonchalantly. “I was pretty wasted! How can you even tell the difference?”

Upon asserting that I was born in Miami, Green stared at me probingly. “We didn’t hook up, did we?” she demanded. I replied in the negative before explaining I was Cuban-American.

Green gave me a skeptical look. “I don’t believe you. You don’t look Cuban,” she asserted with unearned confidence.

I informed her that Cubans are White, Black, Asian, and everything in between. Green mulled this over for a while.

“That’s the dumbest thing I ever heard,” she concluded. “You’re paying for our coffee, right?”

As our interview wound down, and she looked impatiently at her phone, I asked if Green had ever been west of SW 5th Avenue.

“There’s a west of SW 5th Avenue??” she answered in horror. “Isn’t that just Everglades?”

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Andrew OtazoAndrew Otazo

'Miami Creation Myth' author Andrew Otazo has advised officials on Cuba policy, worked for the Mexican president, fired a tank, and ran with 30lbs of trash.

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