South Florida is an expensive place. Thirty-eight percent of working households in Miami spend at least half of their income on housing, according to the Miami Herald and the Florida Center for Investigative Reporting.
Combine that with rising gas prices, congested traffic and lack of job opportunities -- it makes us wonder: What makes you stay in South Florida?
Is it the tropical climate, the beaches, the pastelitos, or something more personal? What do you sacrifice -- financially or otherwise -- by living here?
Cuban coffee -- in white styrofoam containers, its brown liquid leaking through the lid, accompanied by tall stacks of thimble-like cups -- is everywhere in Miami.
If you talk to the drinkers at small cafeteria windows called "ventanitas," the older Cubans will say you’re not Cuban if you don’t drink the coffee. To round out the traditional Cuban look, they pair a cup with a white guayabera button-down shirt.
Although, today you'll also find young non-Cubans who are equally devoted to the drink, such as Caylee Otto, a 26-year-old from Pittsburgh.
Year-round sun, miles of oceanside roadways, few changes in elevation: South Florida should be a paradise for even the most casual of bicyclists. But the state is also home to plenty of thoroughfares with posted speeds in excess of 50 mph., three lanes of traffic in each direction and lots of traffic lights. Not exactly a recipe for safe and happy cycling.