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10:51 pm: Miami

I’m in Miami on work, helping these folks bring up a new compute server. They’re one of those truly interesting groups – a hundred years of plant research – 300 subspecies of mature mango tree on the campus – that sort of thing. I’ve been told that if I’m good, they’ll send me home with a bag of mangos. “Not those boring ones you can get in every store, either.” Allright, I’ll try to be good.

I’m staying in a nice marriott which is undergoing some rather savage renovation. Because of that, I was able to score a “bay view” room on the 15th floor. My hotel room has two full walls of window, looking East across the water. I was awakened this morning at about 7am by the sunrise over the water. Life is hard – you know?

The weather is stunning and perfect, high 80′s with an offshore breeze. I got free of work about 4:30 today and seriously considered striking south for Key West. It’s a beautiful drive – as I remember from when I was about 10 years old. However, it’s also a three hour drive. While a mai tai overlooking the oil slick would have been nice – I made other plans a bit closer to home.

I went to South Beach, the art-deco southern end of Miami Beach. It’s one hell of a scene. There are little islands ringed with very expensive yachts on the way there. I walked the length of the thing – from about 5th street to about 14th – and found a little tapas place where I could eat slowly, savor a caiperina, and watch the people. I have no idea how the hostess put up with the crap attitudes of the people walking by. May I never become such an entitled little shit as those tourists. In any event, the ceveche was amazing.

I made the mistake of reading the political news – something about Republicans and Democrats frantically lying about each other. I briefly wanted to start a political rant titled “listen, dickheads,” but I ordered a glass of wine instead. I’m beginning to despair that democracy is the way out of the hole our country is in. I think we need an enlightened dictator. Yes! A dictator! Barkeep! Just one more!

Anyway, after dinner I resumed my walk. The streetwalkers, drug dealers, and other hustlers were out by then (nearly 10pm). I bought a cigar (hand rolled, in front of me, by a genuine cuban) from a sidewalk vendor and watched people some more. Slowly, I started to see the grit on the signs. The wrinkles on the guitar players. “Stardust” became “dust.” “Essex House” became “sex house.” It was time to come back to the hotel.

So that was my evening. How was yours?

Originally published at chris.dwan.org. You can comment here or there.



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