While I often talk about real estate that’s for sale, I’d like to talk about some real estate that can no longer be bought or sold, but to many, is considered the most valuable real estate in Miami. Susanna Daniel, an author from Miami, just published a new book called “Stiltsville: A Novel” that came out earlier this month. She’ll be at Books ‘n Books in Coral Gables for a book signing and reading on September 16th, and there has been a lot of buzz amongst my friends about this new book. I haven’t read it yet, but I plan to because Stiltsville holds such a huge place in my heart, and I am hopeful that Susanna was able to capture the essence of this magical place in her novel.
Stiltsville is a group of houses built up on concrete pilings in the middle of Biscayne Bay. At one point, Stiltsville consisted of about a dozen houses, but unfortunately thanks to mother nature coupled with the heavy restrictions placed on construction out there, only 7 remain today.
This slice of heaven on the bay has been a part of my life since childhood. Growing up, many of my friends had houses out there and we’d spend weekends on the water – skiing, swimming, playing or even camping out under the stars on the docks. As children, we’d meet there with our families, but as we got older, it became a regular hangout for me and my friends – a safe place out of harm’s way to play and relax. My mom really wanted me to be a debutant, but it wasn’t high on my list of priorities. Because it was important to her, I negotiated that I’d be a deb only if I could have my party at Stiltsville, and she agreed! So we called it the “morning after” party, and hosted a huge reggae fest the morning after the big ball out on Stiltsville.
This is truly Old Miami at its best. Nothing flashy, nothing new, nothing luxurious. Just a fun place to wear your flip flops and bathing suit and create memories with best friends. And here’s my advice: if you’re ever invited to go, drop everything and do it because it’s a part of our history that won’t be here forever, and it is truly special.
Photo “Stiltsville” taken by tylerdurden1.