Miami Herald Finally Realizes That Developers Realized That Hipsters Think Edgewater Is a Cool Place to Live
Earlier this week, in a cringe-worthy turn of phrase The Miami Herald business section declared that Miami's Edgewater neighborhood is "located at the intersection of funky and trendy" after realizing, a few years too late, the neighborhood has experienced some classic gentrification. Of course, the Herald only bothered to get around to writing the story because developers are starting to build new luxury high-rise condos in the neighborhood. And whenever developers are involved, the Herald's instinct is to dutifully drop to its knees.
Icon Bay, currently under construction in Edgewater.
Bordered by Biscayne Bay and Biscayne Boulevard on the east and west and 36th and 17th streets to the north and south, Edgewater abuts the Design District and Wynwood and is just a five-minute jaunt to downtown and a short trip over the Julia Tuttle Causeway to South Beach. Unlike those neighborhoods, and despite its bayside status, Edgewater has been a bit slower in emerging from classic Miami '80s urban blight. Its relatively cheap rents (in aging buildings) and prime locations have made it a hot spot for younger people who live and play in the surrounding neighborhoods but can't quite afford the rent for at least another decade.
I have lived here for the past five years, and, as the Herald points out, it has continued along a path of gentrification toward a generally safer neighborhood.
One morning during the first few months I lived there, I decided to take advantage of the fact that I lived so close to Biscayne Bay. So I awoke early, walked to the end of my block, and gazed at the water for a while thinking it would rejuvenate me and bring some positive spiritual power to the beginning of my day. Instead, an old man began creepily chatting me up and wanted to take me fishing. After I refused, he cut to the chase and offered me $20 to let him blow me in his van. I refused both the offer and any instinct to return to the bay in the early hours ever again.
My car windows got smashed a couple of times. I started to shred things after I realized my trash would surely be rummaged through anytime I threw something out. I learned which people sleeping in doorways to avoid and which ones were generally harmless. During certain hours while walking home, I trained myself not to make eye contact with anyone walking on the street unless I wanted to be solicited for drugs or sex.