Monday, October 7, 2013

#ThankYouMiami for Distinctively Different Neighborhoods - SoFi

Welcome to Part 1 of our series, “#ThankYouMiami for Distinctively Different Neighborhoods", where Miami locals take us on a journey of their respective neighborhoods and tell us what they love about it, what they hate about it, and why their neighborhood makes them say #ThankYouMiami. Access the rest of the series here.

Our Miami is different than your Miami and it is this diversity that makes Miami unique. But, as Miami Beach residents, we rarely leave the beach, making it difficult for #ThankYouMiami to fully explore Miami's diversity.

That is why we will be taking you on a journey into the greater, collective concept that we call "Miami" through our new neighborhood feature: #ThankYouMiami for Distinctively Different Neighborhoods. Each month we will be calling on you, our fellow Miamians, to help us explore your neighborhood through the lens of #ThankYouMiami by telling us what you love about it, what you hate about it, and why your neighborhood makes you say #ThankYouMiami. For the first segment of this new feature, our founder Margarita Wells starts by taking us inside her 'hood: South of Fifth A/K/A SoFi.

1. What distinguishes SoFi from other Miami neighborhoods?
SoFi is distinctively different because it provides a stark contrast to the heart of South Beach even though they are within close proximity. Whether its the allure of its historic landmarks or the promise of endless partying at The Clevelander, the majority of Miami Beach's visitors tend to venture north of Fifth Street. Ergo, SoFi is primarily a quiet and less crowded oasis with all the benefits of South Beach living.

An oasis in South Beach. The South of Fifth or SoFi neighborhood offers a retreat that is quieter and less crowded than the areas north of Fifth Street.

2. What makes SoFi "SO Miami"?
Nothing screams Miami like a bodega that sells cheap beer, Cuban food, and cortaditos, particularly when it is around the corner from million dollar condos. In SoFi, our local bodega is La Playa Market and, truth be told, SoFi would not be as Miami without it.

A local staple. La Playa Market, located at 247 Collins Avenue, is the bodega of choice for South of Fifth residents. Best of all? They deliver throughout South Beach!

3. What do you like least about SoFi?
My least favorite aspect of SoFi is that it has been under construction since I moved here. While I understand construction is necessary for progress, I could use a break from the early morning drilling.

Constant construction. Bob's Barricades have become that guest that has overstayed its welcome in SoFi.

4. What is the strangest thing you've seen in SoFi?
I think I have lost sensitivity to strangeness because I cannot recall one single instance that really stuck with me. Among the stranger SoFi sightings are our resident tranny (the one with the U tramp stamp) booty dancing on Anthony Bourdain's The Layover, a rainbow that appeared to make landfall at 3rd Street beach, and the random fireworks that will go off every once in a while.

Small SoFi oddities. Contrary to popular belief, the pot of gold is South of Fifth.

5. What about SoFi makes you say #ThankYouMiami?
#ThankYouMiami that SoFi is growing quickly and beautifully. We had a lot of new businesses open their doors in the past year, including favorites like The Local House, Bar Crudo, The Flat, Tongue & Cheek, and Lee and Marie's Cakery. We also have many new businesses moving in. I am most excited for the opening of Miami Beach's first smoke-free bar, Public House. The variety of local businesses, both new and old, make SoFi a distinctively different Miami neighborhood - one which I look forward to watching grow for years to come.

Miami Beach from a SoFi perspective. Tourist traffic tends to stay north of Fifth Street, so SoFi is a neighborhood that caters primarily to its residents.

Are you an expert on your neighborhood? Share with Miami what makes your neighborhood distinctively different! Leave a comment below or send us a tweet @ThankYouMiami. You could be featured in an upcoming segment of this feature.

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