Miami Living Magazine

Elsa Pataky

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Page 98 of 163

Miami has certainly had its fair share of economic ups and downs. The extreme financial giddiness of the past decade is a distant memory and the slumping housing market has hit South Florida hard. The diabolical Bernie Madoff and treacherous Banking Executives have indeed, squeezed some life out of South Florida's economy and almost no industry remains unaffected by the global financial implosion. We wanted to know how Miamians are holding up, so we headed to the beach and asked, "How do you think Miami is doing during these tough economic times?" The answers may surprise you…. "The only way to prevent the big bust is to prevent the big boom, and we didn't do that. I didn't see anybody complaining when they were making unbelievable amounts of money. It turns out it was unbelievable. The whole thing was a house of cards. We should suffer a little. In the end, it will be better for everybody that this happened." —Gino, 58 "Maybe it's the great weather or just the general attitude of life down here, but Miami is always gonna be alright. Miami ain't going anywhere. I've been here since 1963 and somebody was always saying, 'Miami is never going to survive this and that, hurricanes, drugs' … whatever it was at the time, and you know what? You don't have to worry about Miami. Miami will be just fine." —Simon, 77 "In some ways It's been really nice. You can actually get into restaurants and clubs that you used to have to wait so long for. I don't know, in some ways I think, it has actually made people here nicer. Restaurants are actually happy to see you now. I hope they keep that attitude once Miami starts totally humming again. Like … remember us who came into your store even when times were tough." —Amber, 26 "Recession … what recession? Miami is as happening as ever. I've been working more than ever. You can always find a way to make some money in this town if you're willing to work your ass off." —LeRoy, 33 "I don't know … I'm at the beach right now. The last thing I want to think about is the economy. Look how gorgeous it is out there and you want to talk about the economy? This is a crap-news free zone. The news is just so whack lately … seriously whack and I don't want to think about it." —Bridget, 19 "We're visiting from Ohio and it's really bad there. It seems like you guys haven't been hit at all, it's like I've always remembered it here … no less busy at all." "Yeah, no matter what, it's nothing like how bad it is up north. At least half of our friends are looking for work right now." —Richard and Melissa, mid-40s "Look at the Fontainebleu, which did like $500 million in renovations. Look at Donald Trump, look at all the building that went on in Miami, both downtown and in South Beach in the last six years or so. Sure, units are selling for less and it's not as great as people were hoping, but those renovations and buildings aren't going anywhere. These buildings are at least eventually going to be part of the ongoing infrastructure of Miami and it's not going to hurt anything. It's just not on some people's ideal timeframe, but make no mistake, there's too much money and time put in for this whole thing to collapse. So, what I'm saying is, it might be a little tough now, but it's only going up." —Ian, 62 "If I'm down to my last dollar, I wouldn't want to spend it anywhere other than Miami. I might blow it all, but what a way to go!" —Sandee, 51 ML Feelin' the Heat? Miamians talk about the tough economy Words by Liz Schulze MIAMI LIVING 97 POLITICS

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