Well everybody, I have a new assignment. I'm WLRN's Flawed-But-Fabulous beat reporter.
Here's how it all began: Last week, WLRN published an open letter to the New York Times in response to a travel piece entitled Miami, My Way. I wrote the letter as a sort of release. I was slightly enraged but more bemused at how our city was portrayed. Who could possibly think they know Miami without acknowledging that it’s impossible to park on the weekends?
I never expected what happened next, however. No one here did. The post went viral. We received thousands upon thousands of reactions over the ensuing days.
Here are a few faves:
— Michael Grunwald (@MikeGrunwald) April 3, 2013
— Craig Pittman (@craigtimes) April 3, 2013
WLRN Under the Sun has our back <3
— s t e ffv i d a l(@steffvidal) April 3, 2013
This tremendous outpouring of emotion led us to wonder: Why? Why did correcting the New York Times with some jokes at our hometown’s expense strike a such a glorious chord among Miamians across the country?
To help us figure that out, we tracked down Katherine Loflin, a researcher formerly with the Knight Foundation who has studied civic pride in Miami. We asked her to read both pieces then tell us why people responded so positively to our open letter. She gave us two reasons.
1) Miamians, young and old, live here for the quality of life -- regardless of the complexities, contradictions and flat-out absurdities of life down here. Our letter hit a sweet spot, Loflin said, repurposing our imperfections into a rallying cry. Loflin said our message was, “We are a perfectly flawed place to live. Just get our flaws right."
2) Unlike many New Yorkers, who live in the Center of the Universe, Loflin said Miamians don't think of their beloved city as perfect. And that’s just it. She's too right. We are “flawed but fabulous."
So what does this mean? It means a beautiful spring day spent on I-95, or a delicious empanada that doesn’t sit right, or a night out clubbing when you can't afford a $20 cocktail. Flawed but fabulous.
So think about it and join me back here on Tuesday, April 16, for a live chat at 11 a.m. I want to hear all of your ideas and opinions about how to cover my new beat, Flawed But Fabulous.