Goodbye, Wynwood: From Chris Brown to Clive's, Miami's Hottest Neighborhood Is Marching Toward Irrelevancy
As The Dissident, J.J. Colagrande turns his critical eye on Miami culture. This week: Mourning the death of Wynwood as a locals' scene.
Wynwood, long considered Miami's hippest, trendiest, coolest neighborhood, is no longer that hip or trendy; in fact, burgeoning Wynwood might officially be risky business.
Dozens of out-of-town media outlets have heralded the neighborhood lately. In December, The New York Times noted how "the newfound allure of Wynwood is the latest testament to how art... can sprinkle its metaphysical magic and transform even the bleakest places."
Newfound allure? That's rich.
Locals know Wynwood has been alluring for years; in fact, many locals will tell you Wynwood's decline is already apparent. Indulge me two examples.
- The Dissident: How Ultra Music Festival and WMC Are Hurting Miami
- "What's Next For Wynwood" Panel Devolves Into Petty Fighting and Personal Attacks
- Where Is the Next Wynwood? Miami Gallerists Predict the Next Gritty Art Scene
The first example: Clive's. After 38 years in the neighborhood, the Jamaican eatery on North Miami Avenue, next to the Electric Pickle, closed its doors forever last Saturday. The Miami Herald reports a prominent Miami Beach group has rented the space with the intention of opening a restaurant.
This might appear to be a good thing -- even an upgrade, some may argue. But on the contrary, Clive's is just another example of the gentrification occurring throughout the neighborhood as rents are tripling, even quadrupling in some instances. It may be business, but it's cruel. A business like Clive's provided the neighborhood authenticity, reliability, consistency, and comfort. Clive's felt like home. You can't erase 38 years.
Now the Wynwood institution has joined the other businesses and locals that have put their blood, sweat, and tears into the neighborhood and are now leaving en masse to the tune of Bob Marley's "Exodus."
Those who've given to Wynwood are not being rewarded. The neighborhood, once a stellar representation of Miami's growth, pulsing and teeming with street art and spirit, is quickly evolving into a haute real-estate-driven Babylonian artistic Ponzi scheme.