In what part of town do you live?
We live in Pinecrest.
How long have you lived in the area?
We’ve been in the area for a few months, but we lived here before for about three years. We were here when William was born and then went back to Chicago for a few years to have more support with the baby. Now that he’s older, we came back.
Would you share a little bit about your family?
I am Romanian and I’ve been in the States since ’95. Martina is from the Czech Republic and we met in Chicago. We just celebrated our 10 year anniversary and we have William who’s going to be seven in February. We also have a dog, Effi, who’s been with us for 10 years.
What keeps you busy during the week?
I am an OB-GYN. I work in a private practice, called Women’s Personal Physicians, at Baptist hospital. I do that five days a week and a whole bunch of nights during the month. Besides that, I try to spend as much time as I can with Martina and William. I’ll run home for lunch as much as I can.
How did you decide OB-GYN?
During the third year of med school you do a few weeks out of each specialty. I didn’t know what specialty I wanted. A lot of my friends knew going into medical school what they wanted, but I didn’t. I did an OB-GYN rotation at a big hospital in Chicago, it was really busy and very hands on, and at the end of the six weeks I really felt ready for the job. But, I did get the extra training required. It was between the ob-gyn and psychiatry rotation. There’s a little bit of overlap between the two. I get to do women’s health and listen to patients.
Did having William change the way you think about your job?
Yes. I have a better understanding of how that moment feels now, after having gone through it. Before William, I might be really tired and do a lot of deliveries in a row, and then after being woken up over and over get a little bit grumpy and wish it was a different time. Now, I understand that for the parents who are expecting a kid at 2:00 AM, that moment is just as exciting as any other time of the day. So, I don’t look at the time the same anymore.
Were you the doctor for William?
No. I have friends that delivered their own children, but I was playing dad that day. I didn’t criticize anything. I just waited for William to be born and was overwhelmed by the whole thing.
How often do you come to the Pinecrest market?
We try to make it there every Sunday. It’s our routine.
What’s your Sunday routine like?
We walk there with our dog and enjoy the whole experience. Not just because you’re interviewing me, but we go right to the smoothie line because that’s a big, popular line. We go to you and get our smoothies and then stop at Zak the Baker and get banana bread. We get jelly for the banana bread and flowers from Syd. William is very passionate about plants. He saves money the whole week by drawing paintings that he sells to us. He blows all of his cash on plants. He tells us a little bit about what he’s buying and what he’s interested in. He’s been interested in butterflies for a while and sometimes buys milkweed plants at the market and can spot eggs on them right away. We take care of them and a few weeks later we have beautiful monarchs. It’s nice to know the people at the market and have a personal experience.
What do you get from our stand?
We get the smoothies. They are delicious. Then, we get the guac and if we don’t have it with chips that day on the beach, we have it on toast the next morning. Martina really likes your mamey. She was very happy that we got some last week. Then, we’ll also get the jack fruit.
What would make the market better?
I think it’s probably at a point where we can use a little bit more space – maybe extended a little bit into the parking lot. Maybe that would encourage locals to ride bikes or walk to the market rather than drive. Also, maybe fish for sale.
What activities do you enjoy doing as a family outside of the market?
Bike riding. We go to the beach – either Key Biscayne or South Beach, right by the pier at South Point pier. The water’s really shallow and Willie likes looking for fish.
What restaurants do you all go out to?
Right now, we’re on our way to meet some friends at Timeout Market in Miami Beach. Martina is vegan, so we try to find vegan places. We like the Mexican place in Wynwood, Bakan. If we’re on South Beach, I go to the cafeteria at Joe’s and get some stone crabs, just to take advantage of the local seafood here. William likes Harry’s in the Grove.
What have you found to be Miami’s best kept secret?
The second time around here in Miami, I was pleasantly surprised of what Wynwood has become. But in terms of a secret, but not really a secret, a nice treasure to discover is Vizcaya. I’ve been two or three times and each time you find out more about the history and what life in Miami looked like when they were around.
What is a worthy splurge?
A great vacation.
What’s a good rainy-day activity?
What community groups or philanthropic groups are important to you and your family?
We’re fairly new and have not gotten formally involved in a lot of things yet, but William and Martina are into nature Conservancy and the bird sanctuary. We’re going to look into joining those kinds of organizations and doing some activities to help animals in need and possibly helping clean up the beach.
Would you like to offer a pitch about your practice or something else?
I don’t really like to sell myself because I still believe that medicine is much more than just a business. You need some business sense nowadays to survive, but we should not lose sight of the fact that it’s much more than that. I believe if you need me, you’ll find me. We are here to help moms and parents expecting or trying to have babies.
Do you offer the standard practice or do you offer anything that’s more alternative?
We offer the standard practice with a lot of add-ons that are more holistic. For example, while it might be a little bit too detailed for the newsletter, we do pelvic floor physical therapy instead of surgery or medication.
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
What are the positive changes that you’ve seen from your angle over the many years you’ve been at the market?
(A+W) An awareness of tropical fruits and people who know us are now eager to try new things. Eight years ago, people were scared of jack fruit. We could not sell a single jack fruit, even cut up in bags. Now, we can bring ten big fruits and they will disappear, and people will dissect them themselves.
What advice or challenge would you like to offer the community?
The market is a very good place to meet people and talk to people. I’d say, just be open and don’t go there just to spend money, get a few things, and post pictures. Try to meet new people and enjoy the experience.
Any final thoughts?
Thank you very much. It’s a pleasure always seeing you guys, and you’re definitely part of our Miami experience.