Sunday, August 19, 2012


Just got back from another interesting job hunt, this time in Miami. It's still somewhat of a long shot-it likely won't pay enough to pay for a place in a part of town that would be safe with good schools (finding both is expensive in Miami). But still, it was an interesting trip.

When it started out, I drove straight from the airport to the interview. Jan wondered how Miami was so far and I texted her that "it's like Mexico if it was run by strippers." It looked like this:

Tons of vandalism, some really rough spots, and absolutely every sign everywhere was in Spanish or another foreign language I couldn't read. I drove straight to the interview, going through the Miracle Mile, which is a famous shopping area and has been seen on several TV shows. Things improved quite a bit there.

The interviews went very well; I'm nearly certain I will have an offer. I just don't think it will be enough to pay for some safety and a good area that's not a very long commute. HR told me the average commute for people there is 45 minute to an hour. One woman I talked to commuted from 90 minutes away. Since my current commute is only 10 minutes, it would be very difficult to extend it much more than, say, 20.

I wound up staying in Coconut Grove, which is an artsy area that was really cool, and was safe. I went to a mall called the Coco Walk and looked around.

Oh, and it was here that I found that all the shows that are set in Miami actually have no soundtrack at all. Miami just sounds that way naturally.

These pictures are all rainy since a rain storm came up around 4 pm and stayed through the evening. I was told that is an extremely common late summer occurrence there in the tropics. Fortunately, no hurricanes on the horizon.

I continued to walk around the Coconut Grove area. It was nice-it was like Seattle had been transported to Florida. Lots of cool shops and restaurants. Unfortunately, most of the restaurants were bars, but still they looked cool.

Anyway, I was going to eat at a normal chain restaurant but decided to go with a local hole in the wall 'street pizza' place. It was run by Cubans who were really nice. The woman there kept calling me 'love,' like, 'Here you are, love,' and didn't even roll her eyes when I ordered a 'small pretzel' and was told it was a Cuban garlic roll.

I wandered out to the pier and took some pictures but they didn't turn out very bright since it was, by then, sundown. But here is the view from my hotel the next morning.

 I drove over to Key Biscayne, which had been recommended to me as one of the best places to live relative to where the job was. It's this little island 5 minutes off the coast of downtown Miami, connected by a long bridge (you can see it in the far horizon of the picture above. That water is Biscayne bay). It was a beautiful island but it was far outside of my price range, unless this job wants to surprise me with something about $30K higher than I estimate.

On the key, I went to a cafe that I was told had great breakfast. I walked in and found I was the only gringo there among about 20 cuban/latin american people. The food was all odd looking baked things in a big glass case. I didn't recognize anything at all, and I looked up at the menu and saw it was all in Spanish. Latin music was blaring and everyone was looking at me. I checked my phone, pretended like I just got some important news, and backed out of the store. Jan says she wishes she could have seen video footage of that.

I drove back to the downtown area and snapped many shots from my car. Most of them look stupid so I won't post them here, but this was a common sight:


I drove through downtown-it was incredible and really gorgeous, until you actually got into the streets and found they were really rough. I drove across the bay and drove through the eclectic Miami Beach area. On the way I passed by enormous cruise ships, shown completely without doing them justice here:
I also passed by some insanely extravagant islands where I'm told most of the local celebrities live.

Miami Beach was buzzing with activity-there were people and restaurants and cafe's and hotels and rollerskaters everywhere. And Cuban music was going every 15 feet.

Those pictures don't do it justice whatsoever either. It was like another country. Had a completely different feel. I also recognized some local sites from TV shows set in Miami.

Familiar, yes? The beach itself was white sand and crystal clear water. I felt pretty bad that I was on a tight deadline and couldn't hop in and swim around!


Before leaving, I had one final stop to make. No Miami trip would be complete without stopping by here.

Anyone who is cool will instantly recognize that picture as the single coolest travel picture ever. If you're not cool, you might recognize that picture a little better as the home of this guy:

Yep, it's Michael Weston's house from Burn Notice. I didn't get out and take more pictures because it was in an extremely dangerous area of town called "Little Havana." But with that picture taken, the trip was complete.

The trip was pretty interesting. It was lined up as a back-up plan should my 'main' job possibility fall through. Now that that job has fallen through, Miami is an actual option again. But still, the stars would have to align quite perfectly to even consider going there. I would also flat-out have to lean Spanish if I moved there. No question.

So it's a stretch but it was a fun trip. My life has been pretty interesting so far-I find myself in situations I would have never dreamed. If anything, I've been very blessed to have so many adventures.


Hillary said...

I never realized it was blue. For some reason I thought the exterior was a red brick color.

Christian said...

The exterior is not blue-the building in the show is painted white and has a lot of rust effects on it. I'm guessing many of the shots of that building were done a while ago. And I think that they may have probably built a version of that building on like the Universal backlot or something, because it's truly a terrible terrible neighborhood. I think they filmed arial shots of it there a few years ago when it was still white and then they film close-ups and interiors somewhere else.

Christian said...

Sorry, to clarify, in person, someone currently has painted it very turquoise/blue. So I think if they ever want to film there again for some reason they'll have to paint it back. They show exterior shots of it; on the other side it's right on the Miami river on a canal, and there were episodes where Michael swam in that river and stuff. So they might return to it again at some point. I'm surprised they didn't just buy it; I'd guess it's worth about $4.

Hillary said...

Or they can have an episode where Sam, Fi, and Jesse paint the exterior blue.