In July of the year 1900, fisherman John “Old Man” Gomez succumbed to the Florida swamp under mysterious circumstances. He had claimed to be born in 1778 which would have made him 122. The circumstances surrounding his death and his purported age were both indicative of the way Old Man Gomez lived his life. No one really knew the truth about anything he said. As the unofficial patron saint of the Everglades, Marjory Stoneman Douglas said in her landmark tome, River of Grass, that Gomez was known for “tales impossible to substantiate.”
In a city whose elevation averages only six feet, Apollonian verticality in architecture is confronted with the horizontal or the Dionysian. Stillness and timelessness are lacerated by accelerated gasps in movements of goods and services.
Writing Google bait means conquering the listicle in all of its glory and parsing through spreadsheet-data puke until your brain feels like a nickel slot machine. City rankings in particular—worst traffic, largest percentage of beautiful people, most likely to get you laid—capitalize on residents’ pride and our collective obsession with list making.