With Colada: Our Sunday Reads 08.09.15

Our week has been filled with Miami news, from the gross to the magnificent; it’s been quite a week. For example, did you know that Miami has one of the highest cockroach infestation rates in the country? Well, now you do.

Baby crocodiles - Photo courtesy of The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

Baby crocodiles - Photo courtesy of The Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science

Another animal is making the news in Miami too, rare crocodiles! These tiny little crocs have been found on Virginia Key, nesting in the beach originally restored with turtles in mind. This find underscores the importance of the restoration work done on VIrginia Key and highlights the need of keeping developers and even our city government from destroying the ecology of the island. Unfortunately, to make way for the controversial boat show, City of Miami officials have already begun destroying the environment of the Key with the illegal destruction of mangroves that provided valuable protection from erosion. The City will likely face fines for cutting down the mangroves without a permit but the damage has been done, and it will take a considerable amount of work and time to restore the lost mangroves.

Wynwood Mural - Photo courtesy Juan Cristobal Zulueta

Wynwood Mural - Photo courtesy Juan Cristobal Zulueta

But it wasn’t all bad news that filled our newsfeed this week, Wynwood is greening up! A new plan proposed by business owners and just approved by the city commissioners focuses on creating a much greener Wynwood, replete with tree lined streets, wider sidewalks, and roof top gardens. Though some of this plan will take some time to implement, it is exciting to see a Miami neighborhood moving toward a progressive path of urban development! And, if, like us, you are interested in the nitty-gritty of Wynwood’s continuing development, check out Curbed Miami’s  breakdown of the rezoning and see all the ways this neighborhood is changing.

The Dyer Building - Photo courtesy Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of the Library of Congress

The Dyer Building - Photo courtesy Carol M. Highsmith, courtesy of the Library of Congress

Meanwhile, in downtown Miami, a Biscayne Times article renews the push to reconsider the unsightly barriers around the Dyer building, placed there due to its status as a federal building. The Downtown Development Authority has been in discussions for several years, trying to have the barriers removed and replaced with an alternative that provides security without sacrificing the urban landscape, but so far to no avail. Currently, Miami-Dade College is looking to acquire the building, and hopefully their interest will lend momentum to removing the barricades and creating a more pleasing urban space.

Getting busy with chalk! - Photo courtesy James Sweet

Getting busy with chalk! - Photo courtesy James Sweet

The movement to renew urban spaces was nowhere more evident this weekend than at what community advocates have dubbed Dan Paul Park. Yesterday saw a massive action to bring attention to the almost park, currently languishing behind the American Airlines arena, a giant concrete reminder of an unfulfilled promise. Engage Miami, Emerge Miami, the Urban Environment League and a host of other community and advocacy organizations teamed up to turn that unsightly concrete slab into a giant chalk mural! Thus bringing attention to an unfulfilled promise from The Heat and our city officials to make that space into a functional park.

Chalking in neon brights! - Photo courtesy James Sweet

Chalking in neon brights! - Photo courtesy James Sweet

Adding some green to the park - Photo courtesy James Sweet

Adding some green to the park - Photo courtesy James Sweet

For over three hours, around 200 people converged on the area, creating beautiful chalk drawings and using the space as it was meant to be used, a public community gathering place. To see the art created there yesterday check out the #chalktacular tag on Instagram, where there are a plethora of bright photographs as well as aerial views taken by tiny drones.