I took a walk down Ocean Drive over New Year’s weekend. In order to appreciate the scene I put on a pair of glasses that allowed me to view everything through the eyes of a tourist.
All biases were wiped away.I was amazed at the sights and the sounds and the feel of the warm ocean breeze. Most of the cafés along Ocean Drive had spilled their tables out into the street that was closed off and functioning as a pedestrian mall. I heard so many different languages being spoken that I could have been in Europe or South America.
I was offered every different type of food you could imagine from lobster to steak to pizza and everything in between with prices running from very affordable to expensive.
There were drinks in every color and some stacked high with two beers floating in a giant margarita glass. There were a variety of stores open selling virtually everything including sundries, novelty items, paintings, jewelry, and clothing. People were dressed up and dressed down. There were couples strolling and parents pushing strollers, amateur cyclists and I think I caught a glimpse of Charley Chaplin. I noted one snake, one monkey, one ferret, and almost every breed of dog known to man.
There were men, women, men dressed as women, and women dressed as men. There were paramedics, firemen, and police officers. You felt safe and everyone seemed to be smiling. I took off the glasses and nothing seemed to change.
This was Miami Beach at its finest.