I grew up in Coconut Grove, and my parents still live there. It was a great place to grow up: very little traffic, winding streets, trees and bushes and the best neighbors a kid could ask for.
It wasn’t until recently that I started to pay attention to the adult world in the Grove. While looking for ways to keep up on my ‘hood, I found the Coconut Grove Grapevine.
I don’t have any idea who the blogger is, but I trust the source. Both of my parents are involved in local politics; the facts check out. I’m even pretty sure the blogger is someone they know. Another reassuring point is the amount of community interaction that goes on in the comments. Letters from commissioners and local bigwigs as well as outspoken Grovites have appeared. People I know, know of, or don’t know at all are talking back, adding information and opinion to the mix.
My parents kept me up-to-date on commissioner elections a while ago, but I was only getting their point of view. While the CGG blogger is clearly biased toward the Grove, not all commenters were of the same opinion. I enjoyed getting to see the different sides of issues that affect a place I love, even if I no longer call it home.
This blog is how I found out that my idyllic little oasis is in trouble. Over-development has been a problem everywhere is South Florida, but it never seemed to hit the Grove – until now. I cheered Grove residents on as they campaigned against Home Depot. I kept a close eye and crossed fingers over a project that would allow more condos to be built on the water, obstructing the view and adding unwanted traffic. The Grove lost both wars.
While the Grapevine focuses on politics, I’ve also seen announcements for local festivals and even a “Paris Hilton goes to Jail party.”
For anyone trying to figure out what hyper-local is, this is it. Coconut Grove is a tiny area in big, busy Miami, and is often overlooked by television and print news. This blog doesn’t just keep me in the know, it makes me feel like I’m still a part of the community.