In the 1970s while the rest of the country was rattled by The Great Inflation, unemployment rising into the double digits, the city of Miami was just beginning its rise to neon-decadence fuelled by an emerging underground economy as 38 billion dollars of cocaine landed by floatplane in the isolated capillaries of the Everglades.
To most outsiders, Miami is known as little more than a backdrop to the rigged-elections and blood-stained motel rooms of the Cocaine Cowboys era. But locals understand—the Magic City has a branding issue. Between the BMWs, tan-lines, plastic surgery and beachside tequila shots exists a rich cultural history of street art, entrepreneurship, real estate and a Cuban-inspired diet.
So VICE City Guides went to Miami to dig beneath the topsoil of cliché tourism, to show prospective travellers the real face of Miami locals beyond some collagen-lip-caricature.