Whenever I tell an outsider I’m from Miami, the typical questions and comments ensue: “All you do is go to the beach right?” “How often do you see Dwayne Wade?” “You must be such a clubber.”
I can just see images of string bikinis, vodka, and fake boobs splash across their minds like the pool water from a boozy hotel party.
To most, Miami is just a beachy – and mostly sleazy – partying city filled with a mix of old retirees, club promoters, bottle blondes, and that guy who ate someone’s face. The majority of people view the city through a clichéd lens – only exacerbated by Miami Vice, The Jersey Shore, and every other show and movie that’s showcased Miami with a slew of tanned bodies over a generic Spanish music track.
Alexandra Klumpp is trying to change that.
Her Instagram account, Beyond South Beach, highlights just that – neighborhoods, landmarks, and other locales that have nothing to do with the infamous SoBe so many have come to think Miami is solely about.
Born and raised in the city, 23-year-old Klumpp graduated from the University of Miami last May with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and English. In the following months, she began venturing around and taking photos with her mom, Teresa, also born in Miami.
Teresa, who Klumpp says is “obsessed with Miami” urged her daughter to post the pictures and do something with them.
Klumpp’s brother, Philipp, 26, worked extensively in advertising after graduating from Fordham University. He initially advised his mom and sister on the Instagram, and continues to help manage the brand.
“He said we needed a specific focus for the account,” she explains. “There are so many websites and pages about Miami. So we needed to do something different – like focus on everything outside of South Beach.”
Beyond South Beach came to be in September. Now, it has thousands of followers – a fan base consisting of both Miamians and tourists alike.
Because Klumpp works at the Public Relations firm Harrison and Shriftman throughout the week, she hits the town on Saturdays and Sundays with her mom, knocking off as many as four places a day in order to be able to put up new posts daily.
Driven in part by comments made by a journalist who visited Miami and wrote that it was an uncultured city lacking history, Klumpp aims to inform people who view the city as just that.
“This woman stayed in Miami Beach,” says Klumpp. “And she thought that was all Miami consisted of.”
She hopes to uncover all the spots of Miami that go unnoticed. “Miami is really misinterpreted – there’s so much culture and history here that people don’t know about.” She aims to offer alternatives but no pressure – you can follow her advice…”or like, just stay in South Beach,” as she says.
As a 305 girl myself, it’s especially gratifying to see someone fight to break our hometown’s stereotype as a strictly sandy and superficial hub. From a Middle Eastern marketplace to a hippy village in Homestead to a cozy Coral Way bar – Klumpp hits it all – and makes me proud.
And the best part is – she’s learning along with us. “My mom gives me advice on places to go, and I also do a lot of research and talk to people. I’m discovering it all as I go along and it’s opened up a whole new world for me.”
Klumpp’s adventures have included a Spanish pop up market, a tasty visit to Burr’s Berry Farm, and Little Havana’s first-ever LGBT street festival.
She’s most interested in “the little hidden stories behind places and things”. There’s the JFK Torch of Friendship whose flame was mysteriously put out for a year, and the first Cuban consulate – a 20s-era mansion rumored to be haunted by a legless piano-playing woman (it’s also the one place I won’t be visiting thank ya very much).
Klumpp researches, writes the conversational captions, and of course poses. Her mom shoots the photos, her brother chooses which are the best and most representative, and her dad edits them, . So it’s all in the family – for now.
“We’ve gotten such a great response,” she says. “People from all over reach out to me. So in the next few months we’re going to expand with a website and a team to help produce it. We want to get the community involved.”
There’s nothing wrong with Liv (besides the fact that drinks are $17). But it’s important to realize that Miami does in fact have a rich history and cultural scene – on top of being always sunny, filled with beautiful people, and great places to go out.
So drive past those tourists clad in neon “I’m in Miami Bitch” tanks and check out this Instagram for yourself to truly discover what this city is all about…or like, just stay in South Beach.
Klumpp is looking for videographers, writers, and designers.