To Quote Henry David Thoreau: “It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see”
From 81st to 6th (Downtown) is about a 20 minute drive. We’re here for 3 days. I wanted to see things which are usually overlooked while driving this route. Traffic can be quite harrowing so my gaze rarely strays from what lies straight ahead. This Sunday morning though, I was at my leisure and decided to go and look for unnoticed gems. I started at 81st and worked my way south towards the Bayside Market at 6th. It didn’t take long before I came across this dumpster dominated by a group of aggressive pelicans. I was expecting cats or squirrels. I got pelicans.
Next came three Hotel’s, one of which is a Hotel/Carwash combo, that just say “welcome to Florida”, followed by a misunderstood kind of place named “Wonderland” and a Coppertone Ad that I haven’t seen since I was a teenager. Memory Lane.
At about 38th street, this caught my eye. Now where did I leave that damned car? I know it’s here somewhere!
As I get closer to Downtown, the homeless begin to increase in numbers significantly. I parked and decided to walk the rest of the way. The Gentleman on the left had no less than six watches on his arms, The young man in the middle seemed to move about constantly from place to place but never took the guitar out of his backpack and the third Gentleman, was missing his legs and just sat there, not speaking, watching the traffic go by. I wonder what he is thinking…
A tragic side note: I’m see a man, white in color, mid-twenties with an obvious physical disability, trying to make his way through the crowd from one side of the shopping area to the other. A group of people are yelling and heckling him. He is trying to get away from them, his speech garbled, yelling that “it’s not his shirt and that he doesn’t know what it says”. The “group” failed to let up. He kept repeating that he had to get to the other side to get his money. The shirt, black with white letters said “Black Lives Matter”. He appeared to be part of the local homeless community. My impression was that someone had offered him money to wear the shirt and run through the large crowd of African-Americans which had gathered there. The sick Bastard(s) got what they wanted, it was ugly and the young man ran away trying to take the shirt off as he fled. I never saw him again. He won’t be hard to spot, he has a noticeable limp and is very thin. I watched the group return and I didn’t gather they ever found him. I am thankful for that.
If the recession of 2009 slowed down Florida’s construction industry, it sure doesn’t show here. New Skyscrapers are being built all over the downtown area. I have never seen so many individual construction projects happening at one time. Miami is Booming! If you possess the skills to do this kind of work, get down here! Unfortunately, the dichotomy between Miami’s large homeless population and the strong demand for construction labor have me a bit baffled. I can only assume that many of the homeless suffer from various types of mental and physical illnesses which, unfortunately, deny them the benefits of employment.
Miami Dade College Museum of Art and Design. At night, this is a beautiful sight to see. I had to include this picture!
And finally, I reach 6th street at the Bayside Market. Shopping, Eating and Music await your arrival. In addition, you get a beautiful view of the Harbor and Marina. Below, the “One man Band” plays beneath a 115 year old Banyan Tree.
One 20 minute drive, so much life. Come to Downtown Miami and see what you find. Enjoy!