In what part of town do you live?
I live in Pinecrest. I’ve been in Pinecrest for 28 years.
Are you originally from Miami?
Yes, I was born in Doctors Hospital and actually my father was born in Miami. So I’m a very old Miamian.
What do you remember as old Miami?
I can remember it being a tiny little town. Kendall was a dirt road. It was all horses and picking fields. If you went west of Dadeland, that was far away. I grew up in South Miami, by University of Miami. My parents still live in the same house. They’ve had that house for 64 years.
Was anyone in your family also in dentistry?
Oh my God, No. No, my dad was an insurance agent. Nobody was a dentist. When I was in college, my dad said, ‘I think you should be a dental hygienist. That’d be a really good profession. It’s around two years, you make your own money.’ So I said, ‘okay.’ I made straight A’s and I was in dental hygiene school within a dental school in New Jersey. I saw that I was as smart as the dental students in my class. I said, I could be a dentist. So, when I finished hygiene school, I worked for a year in New York city as a hygienist while I was taking extra classes like physics and organic chemistry for dental school. Then, I went to Tufts dental school in Boston and finished in 1981.
What brought you back to Miami?
After I finished dental school, I moved to Vail because I love to ski and I worked in Vail as a dentist for a while. My father’s friend was a dentist. He died suddenly of a heart attack. My dad called me up and said, ‘they don’t know what to do. You should come down and take over this practice.’ I packed everything up and I moved back to Miami.
What do you enjoy most about dentistry?
I like it because I am friends with all my patients. I know everything about them. They are like family to me. If they need to reach me, they’ve got my cell phone. They know I’m going to treat them right.
Would you share about the changes in dentistry since 1981?
When I went to school, everything was silver fillings and now there’s no silver fillings. Now, it’s all white fillings. The other big thing is scanning. You don’t need to take impressions anymore. We just scan the mouth. It goes into the computer. The computer immediately can send it to the lab. The lab makes the crown from the computer. A block of porcelain is cut down by the computer exactly to your scan. Soon, you will be able to do all of that right in your office.
What do you enjoy doing outside of your practice?
I’m really into birding. I woke up at four o’clock this morning for the Christmas bird count. I think birds are so pretty, they’re colorful. You might see a little bird, but if you look through binoculars, maybe it’s really like blue or yellow or green. I like that it’s challenging to figure out what kind of bird it is. Today, we saw a Great Horned Owl, which was cool. You get some surprises. It has become one of the top things to do since the pandemic started.
How did you get into it?
I always liked birds and going into the Everglades and looking at the herons and the egrets. I got on this list to get an alert on your phone when there was a rare bird sighting. So, when the pandemic started and I wasn’t working for a month, I said, ‘Oh, I’m going to go look at that bird.’ I’d drive down the keys, go look at this bird, and it would be so cool.
What resources do you use?
There’s a rare bird alert on eBird and that will send a signal. There’s also a WhatsApp group that is birders that I’ve gotten to know. That’s how I find out about sightings.
When you think of like the birds you’ve seen, is there one that stands out?
The grey horned owl is pretty cool. He’s this huge, beautiful owl with pointy ears. Right now, we’re seeing the oriels. They’re yellow with black lines on their face. They’re really cool.
When you come by the drive through, it’s usually after birding. Where are you coming from?
Usually coming back from the Everglades. I make sure I get there before you close. And my kids love love love your smoothies. They don’t live here, but when they come to Miami, the first thing they want to do is come get smoothies. One is in New York, one in Dallas, and one in Gainesville. The one in Gainesville is in her second year at dental school. They like the Sapodelicious, I like the TropiKale, and my husband likes the Rainbow.
What else have you been getting when you come?
I love the ice cream. ‘Oh my God are they good.’ That pumpkin ice cream is so good. The Flan and apple cider sorbet are great. I love all those new flavors.
Where else have you been going recently?
Steve and I have been going down, on Sunday afternoon around three o’clock, to Key Largo and watching the sunset at the Marriott, and eating dinner outside on one of the outdoor patios. We’ve been eating at Snook’s a lot. You’re far from everybody and it feels very safe. It’s all outside, right on the water. That’s a really great thing to do.
Any other places come to mind?
I know you ask what’s a worthy splurge. I’d say Nitro ice cream. There’s one on Red Road in South Miami. I always get Biscotti with Heath in it.
What’s Miami’s best kept secret?
Fairchild garden is really nice. There’s birds and wading birds there too. I think that’s a good secret.
Have you invested in any special bird watching gear that you would recommend?
When I started bird watching, the Tropical Audubon Society used to run field trips. There would be a girl there from the Leica store that would lend us binoculars to use. For my birthday two years ago, I got Leica binoculars and one of their cameras. It’s just like a point and shoot, but it goes all the way out to like 800, so you get really close to the birds.
What do you do when it’s raining out?
I have bird feeders in my backyard, so I can sit on my patio undercover and watch the bird feeders.
Are there any community events or philanthropic groups that are important to you that you might like to promote or share?
My sister has autistic kids and she is trying to build a community called Casa Familia. They’re building a community for adults with intellectual disabilities. Often parents with autistic kids are worried because the parents aren’t going to be there forever. They’re going to eventually die from old age. They have the land already off of 107th and Kendall. Now they need to raise money to hire people and have all the funding before they can break ground. Right now, there’s nothing in South Florida like that. There’s one in Lakeland and one in Jacksonville and that’s it. And then of course, I like Tropical Audubon Society.
Would you like to share a pitch about your dental practice?
We’re very careful , we’re up to date on all our sterilization methods. We have air purifiers everywhere in the office. We are a family dental practice. We like our patients. I’m honest. There’s nobody in the waiting room with you. I’m very careful about that. I wouldn’t do anything in your mouth that I wouldn’t do on my own.
Where do we find the practice?
AndreaDiamondDentistry.com We’re right by Baptist Hospital. Across the street from Norman Brothers.
What question would you like to ask us?
(AD) Are you guys going to stay at your new store?
(A+W) We will certainly keep a presence. Even if the market comes back, we will be open on Saturdays. We’ve been meeting a lot of new people each week. And, locals in the area are finding us.
Is there a challenge or something you’d like to say to the community?
Everybody is the same and everybody needs to get along. We’re all on the same boat.
Is there anything else you would like to add?
I’m planning on my daughter coming into my practice with me in two and a half years. I’m excited about that!