In the 1990s, Art Deco became cool and South Beach was the place to see and be seen. The University of Miami Hurricanes became champions in football for the fourth time, we got a basketball team, and there was a struggle to protect decency: Sheriff Navarro banned a 2 Live Crew record, and Palm Beach banned female street hot dog vendors wearing thong bikinis.
Like today, there were plenty of political scandals; somehow, hundreds of dead people voted in a mayoral race. There was a flood of immigrants thousands of Cubans braved the sea on rafts, tires, and just about anything that would float, prompting President Clinton to enact the Wet Foot / Dry Foot policy.
Hurricane Andrew arrived on what was supposed to be my first day at Miami Lakes Middle School. Other than downed trees, we were fine. But other parts of South Florida werent as lucky. School was delayed almost two weeks and many kids were displaced, left homeless by the storm.
Eventually there was a building boom and Miamis skyline changed. . At that time, my mother was a vice president at Capital Bank and excited to move into a modern building in the new downtown, and even more so when it appeared in the movie Bad Boys. But after 5 p.m., downtown died. Stores and businesses closed for the night.
I attended Hialeah-Miami Lakes Senior High before the FCAT, when kids carried beepers, not cellphones. Football was big. Everyone attended the game versus Hialeah High, our biggest rival. The coveted T Trophy always resided at HML.
After graduation, I attended UM and completed a double major in journalism and English. My husband and I, high school sweethearts, married and moved to Miami Lakes. I teach at Miami Lakes Educational Center and he is a CPA with a small firm in Hialeah.
We stayed close to home. But home keeps changing. The Miami of my childhood doesnt exist anymore, but neither does the Miami of 10 or even 5 years ago.
But some things remain unchanged. You can find anything that you need in Hialeah and all the streets there still have three names, although la doce, Ludlam Road, 67th Avenue is now also Flamingo Road, but thats a whole other story.