Friday, April 20, 2007
Observations and missives from South Beach, Part 2
...in four days: Four Lamborghinis, a Maserati, and a Lotus. I am baffled as to why someone would pay hundreds of thousands of dollars for a car that can go 200 miles an hour, only to it drive somewhere where the driving experience can only charitably be called stop-and-go, and even when "go" is operative it's hard to go as fast as fifteen.
Some people have way too much money. Some people have way too much testosterone. Some people have both.
The meter maid patrolling Ocean Avenue, enforcing parking regulations, is riding a skateboard. How cool (not to mention practical) is that!
The restaurants along Ocean Avenue fill their sidewalks with tables, leaving only a narrow path down the middle for transiting pedestrians. I noted in another album how crazy this is. Anyway, this is the scene this time: It's morning, at the restaurant next to the hotel. The manager is confronting a skinny young black man in a ski cap and a sweatshirt that's seen much better days. They're on the sidewalk, in the narrow lane between the restaurant's tables. "Just go," the manager says, quietly but forcefully. "Just move along. Off the premises." "I got a right to be here," the young man says, shrilly and loudly. "I got a right to be here! I live here. I live right over there." He points vaguely. "Just go," says the manager, a bulky guy, moving up against the young man, forcing him to give ground.
Inside the restaurant, a waitress comes back and tells the guy at the cash register, "Can you believe that? He was trying to eat food that customers had left behind on the tables."
It occurs to me at that moment that with all the sidewalk tables on Ocean Avenue, and everyone having to walk so close by them, and all the wonderful food that so many people leave behind when they're done eating, that it must be a terrible temptation to those who have no home and are hungry and don't know when they might next have a meal.
On this page I wished that they would extend the bike path from the north end of Lumus Park to 21st, to join up with the boardwalk. Well, (drum roll) they have! Now, if you have a bicycle, you don't need a car at all! And you can ride without risk of being killed in traffic! What could be better than that?