MIM SPRING 2020 INEFFABLE MIAMI: KENDALL – LESLY GARCIA

BIOGRAPHY

Lesly Garcia at Abi Maria Restaurant. Photo by Emily Carrillo/CC by 4.0

Lesly Garcia was born in a small town in Florida in the winter of 1999. An American to some, but a Hispanic too many. Coming from both lovely parents who were raised in Cuba to fight later to come to the state to build a better future for their daughter. Twenty-one years old and a senior at Florida International University. She is majoring in English with a Literature track and works at the FIU Engineering Center as a Proctor. As a hobby, she dances ballet in her spare time and dreams to one day be on Broadway dancing Giselle, The Nutcracker, Cinderella, etc.

GeoGRAPHY

Kendall Maps via Google Maps: Public Domain

A minority of people have speculated that Kendall is a rural wasteland of strip malls and communities. However, they are entirely wrong. Taking a look at this map, one can automatically think that Kendall isn’t one exact neighborhood, or even a city, although the U.S. Census has established its boundaries. It declares the entire area south of the Snapper Creek canal from US 1 to Turnpike, stopping just north of Richmond Heights. To be even more precise, Kendall is found in Florida, located at “25.68 latitudes and -80.32 longitude and it is situated at elevation 12 meters above sea level” (WorldAtlas). The truth is no one knows where Kendall begins or where it ends.

Kendall is a census Miami suburb, known for the numerous residences of farms, zoos, hotels, shopping centers, dining, and recreation to satisfy every taste. It offers residents an urban, suburban mixed feel, and the majority of the inhabitants own their own property/homes.  There aren’t much left of Natural Landscapes considering the back to back development of dozens of businesses and small housings. It does, however, have a primary water source coming from a string of Biscayne Bay entering under S Dixie HWY, leading it to S.W. 92nd Ave, then Howard Dr – S.W. 136th St., up between S.W. 96th and 95th Ave, entering 97th Ave, and ending N Snapper Creek Dr, however continuing long after Kendall’s border.

HISTORY

Images by Pincrestdental.com. Retrieved from https://www.pinecrestdental.com/index.php/kendall-part-1/

Kendall, Florida, back in the 1800s, was seen more as “mosquito-infested wilderness” (Pincrestdental.com), for there were no landmarks seen throughout the area. It was considered a deserted area until an entrepreneur by the name Sir Edward James Reed, a retired Chief Constructor, saw grand potential in the vast expanse. The potential was to produce and generate railroads, which was the start of the move in Florida. After a couple of years, Reed’s railroad crisscrossed the land all over Florida from one town to another. Acres of unused land was later sold, Reed spent millions of dollars to own the ground in South Dade County.

Although the site seemed abandoned, it wasn’t. The Seminole Indians inhabited it; half were relocated to another state due to a war that had occurred, but the other half stayed behind.

Florida Land and Mortgage Company later named Henry John Broughton Kendall as one of the “four trustees to manage the companies in Dade County” (Pincrestdental.com). Kendall followed his dad’s step, assisting as a consul. When he landed in America, his status in the position had risen. He later operated Reed’s land in South Dade.

DEMOGRAPHICS

Kendall, FL, has a populace of 75,123 and is in the 476th rank when it comes to being the most populous city in the United States. The population density is expected to be around 5,000 per sq.—mi, which is more eminent than Florida’s average. According to the numerous recent ACS, the population of these outskirts appears to have a preponderance of Hispanic and Latino residing. Next, following the White race, which happens to be part of its people, and lastly, Asian and Black or African American alone being the tipping point of the scale as it constitutes to be less than the 3% ratio. As of 2018 being the latest US Census ACS, there is an estimate of over 60K adults and only 14k of those being seniors in Kendall, FL. There are about 39K females and 36K males residing in Kendall, with the median age being around 39- 50. The median household income was falling at $69,277, with a 7.67% growth (datausa.io).

INTERVIEW WITH RESIDENT

Yamile Leon and Lesly Garcia inside a car. Photo by Lesly Garcia/ CC by 4.0

With what is happening currently due to the pandemic, I was sadly unable to interview anyone other than my mother. Yamile Leon has been residing in Kendall with her husband Ernesto Hurtado, for a proximate amount of about two years and four months. She used to live in Coral Gables for half her life until she decided it was time for a change in scenery. She is 48 years old, about to be 49 next month. I’ve asked her questions regarding her change of mind in moving and the differences in living in Coral Gables and Kendall.

The civilization of Coral Gables compared to Kendall differentiate profusely for her. She responded by saying that the way of living was different amongst both of them for starters, the class at Coral Gables was mostly on the higher-class spectrum while Kendall falls more on the middle class. The surroundings are not entirely different, but at the same time they are for starters in Coral Gables it was rowdier at nighttime due to the clubs that laid one next to another for she used to live a block away from miracle mile. People would still be walking around at 2 in the morning, screaming at the top of their lungs and laughing by her balcony. While in Kendall, the streets are more peacefully quiet. The clubs are a couple of miles away from the housing. To this day, she still misses Coral Gables due to the nightlife almost reminding her of New York in a way, but as she lived here, her state of mind has changed a lot. From her peace of quiet to less traffic, closer to work and school for her daughter Lesly Garcia.

LANDMARK

First up is the Patricia and Phillip Frost Art Museum, settled right at the core of Florida International University at the Modesto A. Maidique campus in Miami, Florida. It serves as the artistic essence of FIU’s school and as well as a vital part of Miami’s flourishing art association. The building holds nine exhibits, five of them utilizing natural light. There is a lecture room, museum store, and café – Vicky’s (right next to it), art storehouse, and public spaces. It is known for displaying works from the university’s unchanging set, shifting displays, and current educational programs.  Numerous sights and events are befalling every week, each distinctive from the last.

Next up is the Gold Coast Railroad Museum, which is located adjacent to Zoo Miami. This institution is devoted to conserving, displaying, and administering historic facilities. It houses over 40 well-known rail cars. Admissions go as follows: Adults- $8 and Seniors enter for free on Wednesday. The train cars are all parked beneath a huge woodshed in case it rains one could very much still attend and enjoy. The highlight of the museum is Ferdinand Magellan, the rail equivalent to Air Force 1. The car is accessible for rounds, be sure to ask! On another building, it holds different prototype trains, park type trains, and real train rides that are also accessible depending on their schedule.

Apart from the trains, there are playgrounds and picnic areas on the grounds, along with a cute gift shop. I would say this place is worth the visit for railroad buffs and for the occasion to show youngsters flashes of history.

Last standing is the lovely Deering Estate, the residence of Charles Deering until 1927. Deering Estate is a moderately burrowed lot, just off of Old Cutler Road and SW 168 Ave. The terrains are faultless- surely depicts what the property would have resembled 150 years ago. The Deering Estate Boat Basin has a panoramic view of Miami, along with glimpses of its comrades’ manatees. There is also a small land offshore, called Chicken Key. There is a nature tour if one hopes to go past their bucket list ventures, events, and awareness. Dr. Vanessa Trujillo and her staff host it. The guides are charming and quite educated about terrains, history, ecosystems, etc. The fields are 420 acreages from a gorgeous park in southwestern Miami. The property used to be the home of Tequesta Indians, for their remains are buried. 

GREEN

Kendall Indian Hammock Park contains a recreation center that features around 30 something holes in disc golf plus a skateboarding arena with slopes and a skate store. It has a beautiful set of playgrounds for children of all ages and loads of tree shade grounds to race throughout it. It is a tranquil atmosphere packed with trees and flowers everywhere. It is also great for both a picnic, bike, trek, or jogging paths. The place is a bit concealed, which makes this area even more sublime for solitude and safety for everyone.

Kendall Green Park has a beautiful trail for a scenic run/walk; it has nothing much to offer other than its beautiful scenery and view. From the pictures, there were no water streams, banks, tables, playgrounds, or shelters. It was more of open land with concrete walking and jogging tracks and a lake. I do wish it would hold more trees all around, for there were barely any. Aside from its mini-con, it has a mini pro, and that is, it is home to many invasive iguanas.

TRANSPORTATION

Image by transportkendall.org. Retrieved from https://www.transportkendall.org/buses-1

There are many exceptional attributes in Kendall, some including traffic, for there are no arenas, mega-clubs, or performing arts auditoria jamming up traffic because there is none in Kendall. If one was to be held in bumper traffic on Kendall Drive, for example, then rest assured there is an accident ahead. There seems to be more of a mini traffic when it comes to entering Kendall and then leaving Kendall.

Kendall holds many possibilities when it comes to traveling to and from; for starters, the number of people in which reside in Kendall takes public transportation, like a bus. Other available transports are carpool, Uber, Lyft, bicycles, and horses (trust me, I’ve seen it all). The results of the many possibilities of getting to a place and from leads for there to be less traffic and hassle of “not” being able to get somewhere when there are endless solutions for it.

FOOD

Images by Finka Table and Tap. Retrieved from their Instagram page.

Finka Table and Tap serves a mix of Cuban, Korean, and Peruvian fusion. The hosting staff is very responsive upon requesting a table, and the waiting staff is alert as well. The design all around the place overall has an individual touch, which holds a charming aesthetic. Now down to the food, the pork belly is flawlessly prepared, the grilled octopus is tender, and the fried snapper is a must-try if anything. Their drinks are handcrafted, and they squeeze all of their juices fresh daily. My overall choice of drink is called “baby hit me one more time,” let’s say their drinks are named after song lyrics.

The place, in general, is warm, has a pure vibe, and it is not a pompous place.

Images by Tacos and Tattoos. Retireved
from their Instagram page.

Tacos and Tattoos is a family-owned establishment that emphasizes tacos, burritos, and draft microbrews in an artsy, eccentric center. It sits in the core of West Kendall; I’ve noticed it is a community favorite when I once came in and dined. The place is relaxing, stress-free, and very friendly. Their services are sensational, and the food is very tasty. If I had to suggest one of their delicious tacos, it would be the buffalo style one. The authentic flavors and unique pairings make this site amazing.

Images by Dr. Limon Ceviche Bar. Retrieved from their Instagram page.

Dr. Limon Ceviche Bar is a couple of blocks down from Florida International University. It is a Peruvian restaurant starring a wide ceviche menu and cocktails. Everything in which my family and I ordered, from the drinks to the last dish, was very well prepared. My go-to when it comes to the bowl is Lomo Saltado and Risotto; the flavorings fall together in such a right way. Their plates are massive, which means one might have leftovers, but that’s the best part because one can eat it again when they are hungry. The environment is welcoming, the appetizers are mouthwatering, or should I say everything is. This place is worth the hype.

BUISNESS

Images by leluxebeautybar. Retrieved from their Instagram page.

Le Luxe Beauty Bar has become one of the first beauty bars to open up with multipurpose. It was once started as an eyelash extension salon, however as years passed and their recognition grew, so did the business. From being just an eyelash extension salon, it later became a hair salon, dental salon, body beauty salon, and currently this year as a nail salon as well. All these different extensions of beauty all came together as one in this beauty salon. It first started as nothing to later grow into something grand. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you wish to get pampered, then this is the place for you. It is not only affordable; it is also an enjoyable, friendly environment. It even smells perfect once you enter, never wanting to leave.

Hoa Oriental Gift Shop is one of the most significant Feng Shui stores in Miami. Everything is stainless, organized, and workers are very wise, fitting one’s beneficial security for flying stars. There is a superb assortment of choices to choose from. The shop is jammed to walk through, but it feels as if it doesn’t take away from the pleasure of goods as long as one is alert. The place overall is peaceful and very homey when it comes to the beautiful statues. The costs are a tad higher, but from what I gathered, it is worth it if you believe in the meaning behind their products.

Lighthouse Garden Center is family-owned. It contains an extensive collection of wildflowers, plants, trees, shade, interior plants, and porcelain. Upon entering, one can say it is a remarkable plantation. The owner Ketlyne is a very delightful human being. She has a beautiful assortment of blooming plants through which one can roam either solo or with someone to assist. The customer assistance was excellent; she was so sweet and gentle with me once when I needed help choosing a plant. The prices are also one of the pros, for they are great considering their worth. From what I learned, being there is that the plants are disease resistant, and they flourish very well if taken care of. 

SUMMARY

Overall, the suburb has an amicable and peaceful environment. The only cons in which I can think of is that there are very few things to do as a young adult. Most of the things one can do around Kendall are shaped around the lives of Adults to Seniors, which is probably why fewer young folks are residing in the area. As for the pros, I would mostly say nonexistent traffic. From living in Coral Gables, having to wake up two to three hours early to get to one place to another was horrible; while living in Kendall, I can say it has released some stress from not just me but my parents as well. 

WORK CITED

“Kendall, FL.” Data USA, datausa.io/profile/geo/kendall-fl.

Areavibes. “Kendall, FL Demographics.” Kendall, FL Population & Demographics, www.areavibes.com/kendall-fl/demographics/.

“Where Is Kendall, FL?” WorldAtlas, 2 Oct. 2015, http://www.worldatlas.com/na/us/fl/where-is-kendall.html.

Deering Estate Walking Tour – John William Bailly. johnwbailly.com/lectures/deering-estate-walking-tour/.

In The Beginning The Birth of Kendall – Part 1 – Pinecrest … http://www.pinecrestdental.com/index.php/kendall-part-1/.

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