Miamian / my-AH-mee-an / : Miami is the only major American city founded by a woman. To honor the legacy of Julia Tuttle, the Ohio-born Mother of Miami, the term Miamian should be used to describe anyone that has fallen in love with the Magic City. Because anyone can start a new life in Miami.
Contemporary Miamian Folklore
As a Miamian seeking enlightenment in the twenty-first century, I feel it’s important to share my story. I’m a first generation Cuban-American, a Millennial and an Independent. Only a handful of these stories are autobiographical, but they’re all representative of who I am, what I’ve dreamt and where I’ve been over the past fifteen years.
Storytelling has always been a part of the human experience. It has allowed us to learn from legends passed down from previous generations. And writing has allowed us to share stories beyond our time on earth. After we began writing, oral tradition was replaced with etchings on tablets, scrolls and books that are now the cornerstones of human history.
Trains and airplanes further expanded our collective worldview centuries later. They connected cultures and provided a window into worlds that were previously out of reach for most people. The Internet has had a similar effect in this century, allowing our stories to travel around the world faster than the speed of sound.
In some parts of the world, expressing your opinions online can result in death or imprisonment. I am privileged to have been born in the United States, a country that honors freedom of expression. This is something I wish to honor by sharing my stories openly and freely. I created the content of this blog while trying to make a living in Miami, Florida.
My point of view has evolved with my experiences in life as a first-generation American. I developed The New Miamian over the past few years as a platform to share my work as a writer, poet, artist and designer.
Bienvenidos a Miami
There are many stereotypes about Miamians being spread by the media that paint an incomplete portrait of the people of this city. You can argue that some of my work reinforces those stereotypes, but I encourage you to take a closer look. Miami is a strange city that is built upon contradictions. You may be surprised by the cultural oddities you find if you drive past the streets lined with palm trees, into the city you don’t see on TV.
Welcome to The New Miamian
I came up with the idea for The New Miamian in 2013 when I made the decision to turn my traditional marketing career into a creative career. The concept has taken many twists and turns since then, but after a few years of dedication I am happy to present the fruits of my labor in the form of this blog.
My artistic interests range from writing poetry to painting, working on digital photo collage projects to restoring vintage furniture pieces. I have been writing since college, with a particular interest in fiction, but have also written nonfiction pieces for the FIU Beacon and other local publications. I have met other creatives along the way that have introduced me to new art forms, like graphic design and photography.
At first, I had trouble figuring out what all of these interests had in common. When I would daydream about my future, I felt like I had to choose between being creative and pursuing a professional career. It wasn’t until I turned thirty that I realized that being a creative and being successful weren’t mutually exclusive. The only thing worse than choosing one passion over another would be choosing none at all.Embracing My Creative Inklings
Once I decided to embrace all of my creative inklings and continue exploring my literary and visual art ideas, I realized that I needed somewhere to put it all. I have blogged on and off for about a decade, so it made sense for me to use the Internet to add yet another element to my creative endeavors.
On this blog you will find a collection of my writing and art, spanning fifteen years and expressing thoughts that have informed who I am personally and professionally. I will continue to add to it, and hope to expand this idea to include the work of other Miamians in the future. For now, I welcome you to The New Miamian. Thank you for clicking through.
Writing is the closest thing to time travel we can experience in our daily lives. Once you put words on a paper or computer screen, they’re there forever if you want them to be. The Writing section of this blog represents the work that I have chosen to keep for posterity. It includes works of nonfiction and short fiction, novels and poetry.
I’ve always been interested in art, but I never thought I could be an artist. I thought that unless you were Van Gogh or Picasso you shouldn’t even bother. But part of growing up is realizing your own limiting beliefs. The idea that I had to be an amazing artist in order to pursue my interest in art was one of them. The Art section of this blog features my oil paintings and digital photo collage work.
I was originally introduced to Adobe Creative Suite in my marketing career and learning its programs awakened the design side of my brain. I’ve created logos and textiles for clients and contests. I have also designed products to sell at local street fairs. The content of the Design section features select pieces from my design portfolio that hold personal meaning.
As an introvert, I have spent much of my free time over the past few years exploring my passions rather than being social. I have come to enjoy restoring vintage furniture pieces, cooking, volunteering and collecting wristwatches. I created the Living section of this blog to explore these interests.
Bob Gramatges is a first generation Cuban-American storyteller and content creator living in Miami Beach, Florida. After receiving a degree in Marketing from Florida International University, he developed a creative career with a concentration in content marketing, branding and digital media. Most of his free time is spent writing or developing art and design projects. When he’s at home, he enjoys cooking, watching Netflix and spending time with his dog, Milo.
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