The Biscayne Times

Aug 11th
We’re in the Promised Land PDF Print E-mail
Written by Jay Beskin, BT Contributor   
October 2019

Let’s face it: Miami is a global brand

Wbigstock-Miami-Florida-USA-skyline-on-243813139hen asked where they live, residents of Aventura, Hallandale Beach, or Sunny Isles Beach give different answers, depending on where the questioner lives. If that person lives in Florida, they will answer Aventura, Hallandale, or Sunny Isles, but if the asker is based in any of the other 49 states, our neighbor will likely respond that he or she lives in Miami.

It just seems easier to give outsiders the more recognizable landmark. But when we speak to the initiated, we are not only eager to give the more specific suburban name, but we also -- let’s admit it! -- see Miami as the less classy area.

So here we all thought we were being hip or cool or woke to dissociate ourselves from the “so last century” panache of Miami, and it turns out we are the ones missing the boat.

In trying to be ahead of the game, we may be putting ourselves behind the eight-ball.

But let us begin somewhere around the beginning. I was minding my own business, which is helping people as an attorney with matters pertaining to wills, trusts, and estates. A new client came into my office, not over the transom, but over the telephone. It was a family from a small country thousands of miles and an ocean away from South Florida.

After the preliminary pieties about how sorry they were about their dear old Uncle So-and-So passing away, they informed me they were in possession of a will bequeathing the title to Uncle’s condo in Miami. There were seven or nine relatives poised to divide up this treasure, share and share alike. How long would it take for the asset to be converted into cash and for the distributions to be made to the eager gaggle of legatees?

The first move was to glean a tentative appraisal of the predicted sales price of the property. We researched it carefully and came up with a fair approximation: $90,000. The call back to the seven or nine foreign citizens awaiting a report on the full extent of their windfall did not go well.

“Impossible!” declared the woman who had evolved into the spokesperson for the clan. “It cannot be!”

In my naiveté, I laid out the details of our research, offered all sorts of evidence to back up what I was saying.

“Impossible! It cannot be!”

What did they expect? This was just a condo, not a beachfront mansion.

Then she uttered the magic word, in a breathless hush that bespoke equal parts awe and reverence: “Miami!”

The condo was in Miami, that wonderland, that paradise, that shimmering chimera. It must be worth millions!

Not long thereafter, I found myself listening to an interview on National Public Radio with a gentleman who had done well financially in the artistic community in the United States and thought it might be time for him to take his work to the rich cultural milieu of Paris. What struck him most while apartment hunting in the French metropolis was how shocked everyone there was when they heard he was intending to abandon Miami. How could that possibly be? They are all dreaming of coming to Miami -- and this soul, blessed by fate to reside in the Promised Land, was contemplating a move to Paris? Blasphemy!

All of this finally began to penetrate my thick skull. I began to appreciate that while we were all sitting here contemplating the greener grass on the other side of the fence, we were overlooking that which is obvious to most of the rest of the world: We are really blessed to live in this special place. Beauty surrounds us, and we must never allow our senses to be dulled by overexposure. It turns out that one of the most valuable brand names on the planet, one that evokes poetry, majesty, and mystery, is none other than Miami.

If indeed this brand is so valuable, and we are its custodians, are we doing enough to appreciate it? Enough to protect it? Enough to perpetuate it? Is our sourness corroding it slowly? Are we poisoning the very well we are drinking from? These are questions for the conscience, and we can each answer them for ourselves.

Here is the part we can certainly all play. We can be proud of what we have done here, of those who came before, and those hard at work now. It is not easy to build an urban area that combines open -- and sanitary -- access to the magnificence of nature while offering every kind of good and service in pleasant shopping and office environments.

Nor is it easy to keep this place clean and fun and energized and safe. A lot of good work has been done here -- and as a former Aventura commissioner, I definitely include the suburbs of Miami -- to make this an attractive destination for tourists. And even if we are not quite the Shangri-La they envision in Paris, we should certainly fan their fantasies and encourage our own mystique!

On a personal level, the Jewish New Year is upon us, and it behooves us to be thankful for the years we have enjoyed already as we pray to be granted one more. Everyone in the country, and to some extent everyone in the world, wants to be sure to make their way here…eventually. But you and I are the lucky ones who didn’t wait until we were so old that we could barely enjoy it. We caught the early train to the coast, and we never used our return tickets.

And if you start a business, one that hopes to reach across the world through the Internet, I want to offer a small marketing suggestion. Use the name Miami in your company name, and in your online address.

Wait! I have an idea! What if I sell sand from Miami beaches at $50 a bottle? We could ship it in a clear plastic bottle that would not break in transit.

How come I never thought of this before? Okay, let me take my own advice and buy the domain for I need to move quickly before someone else snatches this up. Let me go there pronto to check if it is available.

What? It’s on sale for $4495? Da noiv of dat guy! Doesn’t he know the name Miami is out of style? And how about Oh…no one is bothering with that one.


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