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Miami Least Stressed City in the Country? Tell Us Another One.

October 22, 2009 By Carlos Miller in Miami: Local News  | 3 Comments


Above: It appears that the researchers who conducted the most recent survey on Miami never stepped off the beach.

So there I was stuck in traffic, trying to figure out how and why Miami was named the least stressed city in the country.

It was 11:35 a.m. and I was on my way to pick up a friend for lunch. But judging by the traffic, it was already happy hour. Not that anybody was smiling.

It was inching along eastward on Southwest Eight Street, Calle Ocho, along that portion that is a three-lane, one-way street towards downtown.

Suddenly, the driver in front of me got into an argument with the driver next to him. 

One of them apparently had cut the other one off, so the other one decided to cut him off a few blocks later in that never-ending quest to be ahead.

Both ended up next to each other at a red light where they started exchanging words.

The guy on the left was yelling in Spanish through his passenger window. The guy on his right – who was directly in front of me - was yelling in Creole. A Cuban and a Haitian battling it out in their native tongues, neither one understanding the other.

The light turned green. I blew my horn.  Move, asshole.

The Haitian turned and glared at me. I motioned for him to move. Then peered in my rear view mirror to see if I could just drive around him.

But this is Miami. Once the traffic starts moving, no one allows you into their lane unless you cut them off, which, of course, leads to verbal confrontations at red lights. Or sometimes worse.

But the Haitian finally started moving. And the traffic started flowing. And I was able to pick up my friend about ten minutes later than planned, which in Miami, is the equivalent of arriving early.

“Did you hear that Miami was named least stressed city in the country?” I asked her.

“Compared to what, cities in Afghanistan?” she responded in typical Miami snarkiness.

The truth is, nobody down here is buying the recent survey conducted by Harris Interactive that finds that Miami is the least stressed city in the United States in a poll of 25 cities.

Survey Says

According to the survey, the most stressed city in the country is Chicago followed by Houston, Boston, Los Angeles and San Diego.

San Francisco is ranked number seven. Washington DC number 11. And New York is ranked 15.

And Miami number 25.

“If by ‘least stressed’ they mean ‘never in a hurry to do anything,’ then I see where they might get that idea,” said fellow Miami Beach 411 writer Matt Meltzer.

“Land of friggin’ manana. But I can assure you whoever put that together did not even see the Palmetto (expressway).”

Nor have they seen northbound I-95 during the afternoon rush hour or southbound U.S. 1 for that matter.

And they probably haven’t seen the other polls that find Miami has the rudest drivers.

Traffic is so bad down here that The Travel Channel came down to Miami to film their new reality show America’s Rudest Drivers.

And they probably haven’t seen the poll that finds Miami Beach has the highest income disparity in the country.

Or the magazine that finds Miami is the second worst city out of 100 to raise a child. Only Detroit was worse.

Or maybe they didn’t read the Forbes article that found Miami is one of the ten most miserable cities in the country. And this was out of 150 cities.

According to the Forbes article:

Moody’s estimates that 26% of mortgages in Miami are delinquent or are likely to be written off as bad debt that can not be collected. Violent crime and corruption are also off the charts.

And speaking of Forbes, they also found that Miami is the third most dangerous city in the country.

Then there was the survey last month that found Miami will suffer the highest drop in property values out of 381 metropolitan areas.

And let’s not forget the survey that found Miami-Dade has one of the lowest high school graduation rates in the country.

And then there are all those little issues that we deal with on a daily basis that don’t make the national surveys; the racial tension, the blatant corruption, the horrible customer service, the low wages, the high cost of living, the hurricanes, the humidity, the obnoxious bouncers, the clueless tourists, the inadequate public transportation, the parking lot gouging, the fact that a significant portion of our population never shuts up about Fidel Castro.

But the Harris Interactive poll found that Miami’s warm weather, ocean access and laid back attitude made us the least stressed city in the country.

It’s obvious they didn’t interview any locals while they were down here.

We’re betting they never stepped off the beach.

Related Categories: Miami: Local News,

Carlos Miller is a featured writer at Miami Beach 411. He also operates Photography is Not a Crime, a blog about photographer rights, New Media and First Amendment issues.

See more articles by Carlos Miller.

See more articles by Carlos Miller

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3 Comments on

"Miami Least Stressed City in the Country? Tell Us Another One."

Doug says:

I have to agree with Carlos.  Although people aren’t as focused on career in Miami, they are pretty type A in every other respect.  Also, throw in a little heat, humidity, and congestion and you’ll get grumpy stew!

It can be beat, but you need to counteract the above by taking time to recharge in a peaceful, soothing setting, away from the crowds.

Posted on 10/22/2009 at 5:00 PM

swampthing says:

nice scharf lifeguard stand, wallow in the swamp.

stress for success in the latin manhattin.

Posted on 10/22/2009 at 10:21 PM

Rachums says:

Thanks Carlos, good article.

Just to confirm, we’re talking about Miami proper here, right? Not Miami Beach? In reference to all of those links about being dangerous, highest drop in property values, worst place to raise a kid, etc…

Posted on 10/25/2009 at 7:57 AM

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