Tomorrow I leave Savannah for Miami, the end of the line on Amtrak. A journey from a world constrained by history to a place that is still inventing itself.
For tourists, Charleston and Savannah are about colonial times and early independence through the end of the civil war. A white history with selective amnesia.
Miami tilts to the future: it feels young (apart from all the snowbirds like me) and optimistic. As late as 1890 it was a tiny settlement of about 300 people. Today's Miami-Dade County has over 2.6 million.
Miami has earned the Capital of Latin America moniker. According to US census data for Miami-Dade residents:
65.6% identify themselves as Hispanic or Latino.In recent years there has been a large influx of well-heeled South Americans. Miami is their aspirational capital.
51.3% are foreign-born.
72.2% speak a language other than English at home.
In Miami Beach I start the beaches segment of my journey, not that I'll spend any time lying on beaches. My Valentine, last seen in New York City, flies in from Minneapolis (latitude 45°N) to enjoy subtropical (25°N) and tropical (12°N) places with me. Later, we'll be joined by family, including our young nephews.