Useful Notes: Miami

Sun! Sand! Pastels! Ahh, it's good to be home.
"Welcome to Miami! ˇBienvenido a Miami!"
—"Welcome to Miami", by Will Smith

You may wonder why we're quoting a Will Smith song. One, it's a song that one associates with the city (CSI: Miami itself used it once). Two, it sums the bilingualism of the city pretty nicely. Miami is the most Latin city in the U.S.- with 66% plus of the residents speaking Spanish as their first language. 34% of the city's population are of Cuban descent; there are more Cubans living in Miami-Dade County than in any city except Havana.note 

Miami is another US media center, especially for Spanish-language media. It's also known for music.

Before we go on, we should mention that although there is in fact a city in Florida law called the City of Miami, whenever people talk about "Miami," they're really talking about Miami-Dade County. This is because the City of Miami, for various historical and legal reasons, has had limited room to expand its borders, and is therefore very small geographically—35.68 square miles of land (for comparison, Washington, DC, which has about 200,000 more people, has about 20 more square miles of land). On the other hand, none of this has stopped actual construction of city-like development outside the city's official borders, and as such Miami-Dade County consists of two things: areas that are basically city, and swamp. Nobody lives in the swamp, or goes there, or cares about it (except for alligators, environmentalists, criminals, and madmen); whenever you talk about Miami-Dade, you're talking about the urban area where everyone lives.

Miami is felt to be an intrinsically cool city - MTV loves the place, it's associated with the whole US Spring Break tradition and the number of factual TV shows set there are quite a few. Not to mention this is where Dave Barry lives, which instantly ups the cool level a bit.

The city also has a darker underbelly, being a common location for The First 48 and the second most dangerous metropolitan area in the USA. Only in Florida, indeed.

As far as sports are concerned, Miami's on a shorter end of the stick - the Marlins only made the playoffs twice in their existence (won the World Series both times, however); and the Miami Dolphins last won a Super Bowl in 1973 (though they remain the only undefeated team in the NFL, as well as one of the few repeat champions having won in 1972 beforehand). The Miami Heat are their go-to powerhouse, having won three championships in their history, including two in a row in 2012 and 2013. It feels like we're forgetting someone...ah, right. The University of Miami Hurricanes were also one of college football's premier dynasties in the 1980s. note 

Miami is also known for having some of the worst drivers in the nation. You DO NOT want to be on the road during rush hour.

Miami in fiction

There are several prime-time US series currently set (but not necessarily filmed) in Miami:

A lot of movies have been set and filmed here, along with a number of past TV series, including a rather obvious one involving Ray Bans.

Vice City in the Grand Theft Auto series is basically Miami and the Florida Keys with the serial numbers filed off.

Miami is either an area of glitz and glamour, a seedy inner city- or both.

With the pretty warm climate (this comes at a price as the city is also in Hurricane Alley, and thus sees a hurricane every few years in average), Fanservice is inevitable. On the other hand, Miami is a popular destination for "snowbirds", older men and women (frequently Jewish) from colder climes who buy condominiums and live there for the winter months. Depending on which beach you frequent, you may be exposed to Fan Disservice instead.

It should be noted that there is contention between Miami-Dade County and the rest of Florida, springing mainly from the Miami attitude that they are the only part of Florida worth a tinker's damn.