I love my city.
I was born and raised here, and although I’ve had a few experiments in living elsewhere, this is where I am happiest. Don’t ask me to justify- that’s simply the way I am.
Now, for all of its wonders and excitements, I am afraid there is one thing about Miami that I am left feeling a little hollow about:
This town is a little too predictable.
Most people strive to find a stable and predictable state of living, and I can appreciate that. I am a settler. I build a nest and inhabit the hell out of it. Ask anyone who knows me about the degree to which I collect stuff. Detritus. Clutter. This is how I fill a space with a sense of stability and settlement.
And Miami is conducive to that. No matter what the political, social, or cultural happenings are in town, or the issues of the day may be, there’s a certain definitive system to which Miami functions that makes even the most spontaneous upheavals a little functionally consistent. Be it a hurricane or an invasion of gargantuan snails initially smuggled into town for religious rituals– most Miamians are concerned, or attentive, or whatever- but, there is also a cultural shrug that comes with our town that makes the locals seem to statically respond by saying that’s how Miami is. It’s Miami time. Life in Miami. And so forth.
Here’s my point:
Miami needs a mystery.
Maybe it has one- hopefully several. But from my couch, in my part of town, Miami has local flair, cultural draws, and is a continually exciting place to live in, but there’s little in the way of compelling treasures in the form of capers and local mysteries.
Take an example from Philadelphia:
Have you heard of the “Toynbee Tiles”?
Well, a nifty documentary came out of Philadelphia called “Resurrect Dead”, and it captured the essence of exactly what I’d love to see: a true, local mystery.
Not an urban legend or a Skunk Ape or anything of the sort. A solid, laid on the concrete, investigative adventure waiting to happen.
I’d heard of the Toynbee Tiles several years ago, since I am a geek for the paranormal and obscure, but I never thought the story behind them would go in the direction this film achieved. My respect and admiration to Justin Duerr, Jon Foy, and company for pulling off an amazing experience in both regional identity and character study!
And that’s what I’m wondering about.
What kind of local enigma is baffling and worthy of exploration.
And if you are not from Miami, my challenge to you is to find a mystery from your own town. What kind of brain-popping trick of esoteric regionalism comes from your place in the world? Any good capers to inspire the rest of us?
I asked the same question on Reddit, and am hoping to generate some discussion there.
In the meantime, what can you only tell me a little about from the place you call home? What would you like to learn more about it?