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The Coconut Grove Billboard saga seems to have turned a new page with the latest advertisement recently posted on the corner of US-1 and 27th Ave. We took the liberty of creating the factual billboard shown above, in hopes that our message will get through to the next decision making committee. The actual billboard, shown below, misleads people once again into believing that the Grove is a sidewalk café oasis, a relaxation paradise of sorts, devoid of all the “hassles” of urban living. Aside from Greenstreet, Senor Frogs, and a couple of chains, this of quite a stretch. After all, we must not forget that it is the typical coconut grove resident mentality which prevents the area from reaching its true potential as a unique neighborhood characterized by lush tropical foliage, a rich history, and high quality sustainable urban living. Bottom line, Grand Ave is no Avinguda de Gaudi. Meanwhile, an arrow which is pointed 90 degrees in the wrong direction, alerts passerby’s of “whiners” up ahead:

A cheap shot from Tom Falco of the Coconut Grove Grapevine insinuates that we’re the “whiners” up ahead. For the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce to assert that the downtown is full of whiners is downright absurd. It’s actually comical that our area NIMBY’s have decided to complain about other people complaining…

“I know one purpose of the Metrorail was to have development around to allow people to use mass transit, but Metrorail really doesn’t go where people want to go,” Tom Falco, a blogger for CoconutGroveGrapevine.com, wrote in an e-mail to the SunPost. “The development will do nothing but add traffic and congestion to the area.”

That silly Metrorail line, the obvious way to incite people to use it is build as little as possible around the stations? Hmm.

What really irks us about this billboard and especially its predecessor is the way it takes advantage of a neighborhood within the same municipality. The cannibalization that the Coconut Grove Chamber of Commerce has committed with these billboards continues to dissect and fragment the City of Miami. A commenter on the CCG remarked:

“Very good marketing. It has led to comment, which is the goal of advertising.”

The billboard has met its objective, it has led us to comment and take notice of the fallacies portrayed through it, but it also begs the question: what is the objective of the CG Chamber of Commerce when so often residents mobilize against prospective urban commerce?

In closing, we should mention that we have no problem with Coconut Grove, or any other neighborhood for that matter, marketing itself with a positive message. We’re all for that, and in fact, TransitMiami was designed as our platform to promote a more livable, sustainable Miami - all neighborhoods included. However, it will always be counterproductive and simply inappropriate for a neighborhood to market itself at the expense of another when the two share the same municipal boundaries. This is especially true, given that the City of Miami is already competing against 34 other municipalities in the same county.

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