Dexter Oliveira, an 18-hour-old Zika carrying mosquito, is seated outside of Panther Coffee’s Wynwood location. “My friends call me “Buzz”, he says as he takes a sip of his chai tea latte, “but it’s like an ironic nickname, you know?”
Buzz is new to Wynwood, having arrived this morning after receiving word from his Brazilian cousin Rodrigo about the culture and entertainment Miami’s art district has to offer, as well as the ready availability of feasting spots on the exposed backs, thighs, and navels of the district’s native hipster residents.
“I think Wynwood represents a wonderful opportunity for mosquitos like Buzz and me,” said Rodrigo, the son of a wealthy Brazilian industrialist mosquito who was raised in a palatial larval housing outside of São Paulo. “We look forward to helping Wynwood grow,” Rodrigo said before detailing his first local business venture: a luxury blood juice bar. “We will offer the community a completely organic, non-GMO assortment of different blood types,” said Rodrigo, adding “$11 a cup, $20 a pint.”
But not everyone is happy with the arrival of Buzz, Rodrigo, and their fedora-wearing compatriots. Local resident Cassandra Davidson, who moved to Wynwood 8-months ago after graduating with a degree in marketing from Vassar, says the recent wave of mosquito immigration threatens to change the historic character of her neighborhood.
“I’m not racist, but these mosquitos come here and bring disease and have absolutely no respect for the culture or community we built,” said Ms. Davidson, “They aren’t even learning to code.”
Ms. Davidson and other Wynwood residents also worry that the influx of wealthy mosquitos will raise housing prices and force her and her neighbors to leave their community. Several developers have already begun planning major developments that they hope will attract more Zika carrying mosquitos to Wynwood, including a 33-story luxury condominium and retail space which will house several billion mosquitos.
“It isn’t fair. This is our home,” said Ms. Davidson as she unconsciously clutched her purse as 33-year-old African American Darnell McClintock, who had lived in Wynwood his entire life but was forced out after his landlord tripled his rent three-years ago, walked passed her table. “It just isn’t fair.”