Tuesday, 23 September 2008

My excellent adventure, part two

Waldorf Towers Hotel, South Beach
Whilst my friend Joyce was in Boca Raton (upscale) with her stepmother, I stayed in Pompano Beach (downscale).

The Hotel was on the beach front and I awoke early on Saturday to catch the sunrise. Just before Old Sol emerged the clouds on the far horizon were bathed in pink, looking like a gorgeous forest of wild and wonderful trees on a distant island.

Pompano Beach is litter strewn and was badly in need of a cleanup and grooming. The Hotel also rested in a former magnificence. It was dated, and shabby. I took extra care to check for bed-bugs!

I drove the 35 or so miles south on Route A1A towards Miami. A1A hugs the coastline, but you would never know it. I drove through endless miles of high rise condos and hotels both sides of the road.

There was some relief in Fort Lauderdale where there was no “development” on the east (coastal) side of the road, with easy beach access.

The City of Dania Beach was another exception. (Dania was named by its original Danish immigrants – hence the name). Dania Beach is an island of clear poverty in a sea of wealth. There were no high rises to be seen here.

My destination was South Beach, Miami. (The City of Miami proper is west of the intra-coastal waterway). South and North Beaches are part of the City of Miami Beach which is on a barrier island, east of the waterway.

I went to South Beach to enjoy the wonderful and colourful art deco architecture. It is just great. The story goes that South Beach was getting run down until the “gay community” discovered it, and began to renovate and renew the wonderful buildings.

South Beach is a gay heartland, but I might never have known it. For I was there at 11:00 a.m., when only tourists and homeless people were out and about.

(I am sorely lacking in some gay genes! I am not good at interior decoration; I am not a gourmet cook; and I do not believe that the day begins at 2:00 p.m. and ends at 4:00 a.m.!)

I wandered around for a few hours, taking in the architecture and enjoying it immensely. I also visited the very moving Florida Holocaust Memorial. Sadly I forgot my camera, so the one picture today is taken from the internet.

(See http://fcit.usf.edu/FLORIDA/photos/arts/sbdeco/sbdeco.htm for more photo's)

I drove back to Pompano Beach via Route 1 - 35 miles on unmitigated strip malls - I kid you not.

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