Miami Is So Real It's Frustrating

Categories: Flotsam

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Over at HuffPost Miami, writer J.J. Colagrande, a man who just a few months ago declared that Miami is the best city in America, authored a Holden Caulfield-level diatribe claiming that "Miami is so fake it's frustrating." You've probably seen it pop up on your Facebook news feed these past few days. Unintentional or not, it's a pretty good troll.

But let's be, uh, real -- Miami is so real it's almost too hard to take.

Colagrande mostly zeroes in on "fake people" and breaks them into two groups.

The first is "the nip-and-tuck, augmented, collagen, Botox, fashionista style fake; a breed who need to look good, drive fancy cars, live in fancy houses, go to fancy parties."

First of all, how often in Miami do you see plastic surgery that attempts to look like it's natural? The additions may be fake, but the end result is pretty real about how fake it is. I'm talking watermelon-size ass implants, boob jobs that look like volleyballs bolted to a plank, faces pulled so tight that sneezing hurts, and lips plumped so fat you could use them as pillows. It's the kind of surgery you know is surgery from 10 feet away. Let's not even get started on those obviously steroid-plumped muscles on some dudes.

You know what's fake? The Hollywood actress or New York society doyenne who goes into her surgeon's office every six months for some subtle touch ups, racks up tens of thousands doing so, and then turns around and says her "secret" is something like "wearing sunscreen every day and doing yoga." That shit is fake as fuck.

As for the part where Cologrande shames these types of people for liking to "drive fancy cars, live in fancy houses, go to fancy parties." Um, yeah, that's just what rich, shallow people like to do. That's just how it is. These people pretending they don't want to drive a Lambo up to LIV would be fake. They may be incredibly materialistic, selfish and a bit dim, but they ain't trying to hide it.

Then there's the other type of "phonies" cited. A slightly harder to describe breed.

"It hides behind smiles and pats on the back. It lives in the hearts and egos of those who look you in the eye. They say one thing, do another. They're your friends on Facebook but at socials walk by you like you don't exist," he writes. "Not only can you not rely on people to follow through, to do what they say, to follow-up, you also can't trust anyone's rhetoric. Definitely ego-based, our selfishness and distrust for neighbors and friends makes Miami one of the hardest cities to endure, despite all that which is beautiful here."

Let's deconstruct this a few different ways.

First of all, Facebook profiles are, by definition, not "real." It's actually pretty awkward to go up to someone at a party and be like, "Oh, um, hi, we're like friends on the internet...." Plus, talking to someone you don't want to talk to at party would actually be fake.

Second off, while I'm not going to deny that this type of attitude exists, I don't think it's all that widespread, nor does Colagrande really convince the reader that it is.

Yeah, there are areas where this kind of thing thrives: some party promoters, certain PR people, people who swing from one person to the next in search of the best event hook-up (and best free drugs and drinks), but that all exists in some weird South Beach microcosm. And actually, wasn't it Colagrande who reminded us all just a few weeks ago that Miami is not just South Beach.

Plus, if you're a naturally intuitive person or live here long enough, you start to learn how to filter those people out of your life. Like those volleyball boob jobs, you can spot their phoniness a mile away. At that point their inauthenticity is no longer my problem, but theirs.

Truly frustrating falsities are the ones you actually believe. Obvious fakeness is just amusing at most, or at the very least makes you feel a little sad for that person.

But, beyond certain groups of people, Miami is real as fuck. Sometimes a little too real.

I've only lived one other place in my life. Over in Naples, where people live in sprawling gated subdivisions and strive hard to keep up appearances of suburban boringness... or, you know, as is often the case, are actually just boring. There's not a lot of real life going on over there, and when it does, people tend to keep it hidden.

Miami, however, isn't particular good at trying to keep life smooth around the edges. There's crackheads roaming the street, alleyway blow jobs, sloppy drunks stumbling home, weekly shootings, bums rummaging through your garbage, dudes stopping at nothing to try to get someone in bed, horrible drivers, and not particularly high-class prostitutes.

That shit's real. Sometimes a little too real. Frustratingly real.

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45 comments
aaronjalvero
aaronjalvero

Great article, but the vitriolic reaction by some readers is baffling

miamigrl232
miamigrl232

"I've only lived one other place in my life." Sorry but your sample size is incredibly too small for you to have any authority over the subject.

miamigrl232
miamigrl232

"I've only lived one other place in my life." Sorry but your sample size is too small for you to hold any authority on the subject matter.

Scott Potchik
Scott Potchik

So the guy who wrote the article is poor and ugly, move back to Ohio.......next

Riselda Ruiz
Riselda Ruiz

@Donnie Danger, you sir are full of hatred and bigotry. I was born in Cuba, but have lived a majority of my life here. I have friends from Colombia, Guatemala, Honduras, Trinidad, Puerto Rico, Panama, and all parts of the U.S. We will never progress to anything? Really? That's laughable. Your generalizations and ignorance are incredible. If anything, my experience had shown me that the reverse is true. So much hatred for Cubans from other groups.

Michelle Oney
Michelle Oney

Miami is Miami... nothing to write home about.

Julio Cesar Toro
Julio Cesar Toro

For reference, watch Dave Chapelle's "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong"

Sean_OHanlon
Sean_OHanlon

Evidently people need to be reminded that this isn't Manhattan South or L.A. East. Miami is a very gracious town if you keep one simple rule in mind: Six degrees of separation doesn't apply here; It's generally two degrees, or three if you're unlucky and don't get out much. So be careful what you do and what you say because we tend to remember who gives and who is just here to take. It's obvious that the people who are sharing the HuffPo article are the very ones who moved to Miami from other cities for some reason or another. If Miami isn't good enough for you, move back to the place that was SO much better and complain there but don't shit where we eat!

Martin Kentos
Martin Kentos

So Miami New Times, dont feed us with your negativity.... Instead, cheer up, walk outside and see beauty around :) maybe find new friends :) We are here for more good vibes ;) love & peace

Martin Kentos
Martin Kentos

I 100% agree with JennyLee Molina. "YOUR MIND YOUR WORLD"

vicequeenmaria
vicequeenmaria

Kyle, you know Miami New Times has awarded me two accolades in the past. Now it's my turn to return the favor.  BEST F*CKING SENTENCE OF THE WEEK:


"I'm talking watermelon-size ass implants, boob jobs that look like volleyballs bolted to a plank, faces pulled so tight that sneezing hurts, and lips plumped so fat you could use them as pillows."


By the way, "colagrande" means "big tail" in Spanish ... #justsayin'


Great article, Kyle.

Anthony Dadecounty McClure
Anthony Dadecounty McClure

MIAMI is the shit so like Eddie Carreras said you don't like it don't go or just get out. Fuck all other cities none compare.to MIAMI DADE COUNTY. 305 till I die

JennyLee Molina
JennyLee Molina

I have purposely decided not to share the HuffPost article. Why perpetuate that ignorance? Love it or hate it, Miami New Times who can seem "anti-Miami" in their endless rants hits the nail on the head with this one. I am a firm believer that "like attracts like" - your circle is a reflection of you. If you are surrounded by fake people, chances are you are probably fake yourself. Miami is a sexy city, vanity runs rampant in certain circles but get off "Temptation Island" (ahem, Miami Beach) and zoom out and see the BIG picture. Miami is full of dreamers and hard workers, it is a tight community that takes pride in their city's growth and furthermore, we got each other's back! And while I have encountered "fakeness" it isn't Miami's common denominator. It is our collective love for life (we likes to party!), philanthropic endeavors and appreciation for the arts that is fostering Miami's impressive growth - doesn't get any more real than that. Miamians donated over $3.3 million during The Miami Foundation's Give Miami Day to over 400 charities, events like Philanthrofest and Spoken Soul Festival encourage both philanthropy and culture. As a community, grassroots events like Social Media Day Miami and HeartCamp will show you just how real Miami is. We got a lot of soul in this town - a lot of REALLY good people who I am proud to call my friends. So, when you call my city fake - you better believe I am going to set the record straight. I am grateful to Miami and to be "born and raised in the county of Dade". If you live in Miami and don't like it, chances are you are doing it wrong. #DALE

Natalia Caro
Natalia Caro

So Miami is soooo fake, it's real? What kind of logic is that?! Why do I continue to read these articles?! It's like a car accident I can't look away from.

venice.music1
venice.music1

people are making all of these excuses i see and just not "keeping it REAL"; just like the politicians here...thats why the Dolphins stadium still hasn't been renovated, the Marlins stadium has to give away tickets and spent over a billion dollars to build that stadium (then they didn't connect to the train ???), and its also the reason the train system was never expanded like promised :-(

venice.music1
venice.music1

I have to agree...its phony! i've traveled and Miami is fun but weird socially..ijs

Virginia Campbell-Castro
Virginia Campbell-Castro

I love miami so what sometimes im bored of it but then i go somewhere and i miss it. I dont have surgery and i dont care for lambos or any of that. Enjoy it while you can and then die or move if you want

Frank Castle
Frank Castle

i can handle the phony people, its the cubans what bothers me, they just stick to themselves and do not talk to people from other countries or even say 'hi' that is why they will never progress in their lives, ive been living in miami for 13 yrs and i dont even know my neighbors, thank god im moving soon, im soo over miami

Marie Annoual
Marie Annoual

I was born and raised in Miami and as someone who has visited countless cities and towns in the US, i would have to say that Miami is def both in a very weird congealed way. It is very difficult to really connect with people here because most of the social places are filled with shallow people to begin with( but on occasion you get lucky). However, Miami culture is in your face real and there is something different that sets it apart from other places: Theres more uninhibited fun here for some odd reason! Probably because thats all shallow people think about.

Eddie Carreras
Eddie Carreras

Who cares,, I love Miami, if you don't like it,just get out or don't go

RoLy PoLy OrLy
RoLy PoLy OrLy

There is a much bigger world outside of Miami. The best thing I ever did was move out and experience other parts of the U.S. Don't get caught up and stay there forever!

Jerry Gutierrez
Jerry Gutierrez

Did this dim wit just write another article?! I love the 'miami is too real' comment. What is inception? You just blew my mind! The REAL within the REAL made my head explode. And all this is coming from a dude that has never left Florida and has no idea of life beyond the phalic edge of this country. Both articles suck and that shit happens to anyone that moves to a new city. Its about trial and error in terms of the people you meet and the places you frequent.

Estrella Eguino
Estrella Eguino

Uh... because you say so? Maybe the New Times needs to meet some kosher people I know, or my sister!

Marsden O'Neill
Marsden O'Neill

This article reminds me of "When Keeping It Real Goes Wrong" & the comments from you all remind me of "The Playa Haters Ball"

Lex Dillinger
Lex Dillinger

How big of a douche bagel do you have to be for your "friends" to say no to free Heat Tickets ...

Lex Dillinger
Lex Dillinger

That huffington post writer is probably an asshole. That's why no one wants to hang out with him.

Cary Gonzalez
Cary Gonzalez

You need to stop trying so hard to prove that Miami is the greatest thing since telepathic orgasms. Miami, like most other major cities in the U.S., has a little bit of everything, no more, no less. Wait...I stand corrected...it has Hialeah. Now that's unfortunate....

mannyg55
mannyg55

Y'know, when you compare the writing from this article to the Huffpost article it gives a worse image about this great city.

Ryan Morejon
Ryan Morejon

Here we go, another article from you guys about Miami. This time commenting on another article about Miami. Both of these publications need to just stop.

Martin Kentos
Martin Kentos

"YOUR MIND YOUR WORLD" Perception is reality !!!! That is my philosophy....

FarTooSimplistic
FarTooSimplistic

As long as we are talking in broad generalizations (like JJ is):


1.  Any place is what you make of it.

2.  You get back what you put out there.



And if you've lived somewhere 15 years and don't like it, why stick around?

pedro.santana.8
pedro.santana.8

@miamigrl232  ... no he's lived in miami all of his life so he knows what miami is about which is the point of the article. 

osquid86
osquid86

lol, really? I'm cuban, my friends are Venezuelan, Argentinean, Colombian, my girlfriend is Bolivian, my mom is married to a Chilean guy, I work for Jamaicans, love them. 


Clean your mouth, you are talking shit. 

jjcolagrande
jjcolagrande topcommenter

Ha! there you go..


hammer on the nail...


( wonder if you smell the sarcasm)

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