Miami Beach is so different from any other place I have been to in the U.S. It is Santa Monica, plus a tropical climate, plus a bit of southern Europe atmosphere sprinkled in, plus a large number of people from all over the world who have taken an oath to have fun every single day they are here, plus a large number of businesses that specialized in making sure that this oath is not broken easily. Only New Orleans can rival Miami in its dedication to providing people with a party 365 days a year.
I found a room in the art decco Park Central hotel right on Ocean Boulevard. For a couple of days, I followed a strict regiment: in the morning breaktfast at the wonderful News Cafe. Then a couple of hours of business. In the afternoon, exploring the neighborhoods (Lincoln Avenue is worth seeing as well as a little street called Espanola Way, which has many charming restaurants for evening dining). In late afternoon more business. Before sundown, jogging along the wonderful long beaches. Then at night, plunging into the party scene. I was literally blown away by the wind from the Ocean and the sassy music and dance that shouted out of the hundred nightclubs that lie next to one another on Ocean Boulevard. Everywhere you go Humphrey Bogart seems to be waiting for you. It is easy to imagine why Bogart loved this place so much.
I have puzzled for some time about what attracts many people to a desert landscape. Driving through the Joshua Tree Park, I may have hit upon the answer: for the human eye this ecosystem gives the impression of order and peace. The eye has to look very hard before it finds one creature eating another. In a jungle the colors are much more lushes and varied. Life is buzzing. But the human eye readily sees that every living creature is in line to be devoured. The minimalist landscape of a desert, by contrast, appears much less dangerous and chaotic. Enlarge PhotoContinue Reading
January typically offers unpredicatale weather in San Francisco. I once had 28 days of rain without interruption. But after the dot-com bust, the city seems once again blessed by the Gods. I spent a month from January 10 to Feburary 9 and only needed an umbrealla three times. Here is a website to explore the history of this fabled city.Continue Reading