It used to be called ‘God's Waiting Room'. And even today， if you mention Miami to someone who hasn't been here or read about it lately， they might conjure up（回忆）a blurry memory of octogenarians（八十多岁）mingling poolside（游泳池边）while Aunt Sadie implored them to wait half an hour after eating before going into the water. Today the old folks mingle with fashion designers， bikini（比基尼泳装）models， and a city that once had the highest murder rate in the US attracts more than 11 million tourists a year.
The Greater Miami Area， which includes Miami and Miami Beach as well as distinctive neighborhoods like Little Havana and Little Haiti， is a melting pot that America's founding fathers would be proud of. Half of Miami's population is Hispanic（美籍西班牙人）， and its immigrant communities focus on what's happening in Havana or Caracas（加拉加斯，委内瑞拉首都）as much as they follow events in Washington DC， giving the city an international outlook. For the casual visitor this means a city peppered with the flavors of Latin American food， language， music， politics and spirit.
Miami is the most populated city in Florida. It sits at the southeastern tip of the Florida， the most southeastern state of the United States， bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the east， the Gulf of Mexico to the west and the neighboring states of Alabama and Georgia to the north.
Most visitors aren't here for Miami itself， but rather to visit Miami Beach， an entirely separate municipality. Miami is on the mainland， while the city of Miami Beach is on a thin barrier island about 4 miles east， across Biscayne Bay（比斯坎湾） - locals call it the Billion Dollar Sandbar（十亿美元的沙坝）。 Many of the beach's locals are imports from New York， people tired of sitting through five hours of snarled traffic on their way to the Hamptons， who decided that Miami Beach made a lot more sense. They brought with them a fledgling art and culture crowd whose numbers included many younger artists.
The boundaries of ‘season' in Miami - which used to be limited to winter - have been blurred by the huge number of people moving to the area and the stampede（蜂拥）of fashion and film shoots. But the most popular time to come here is still between December and May， when temperatures average between 16-30°C， and average rainfall is a scant couple of inches.