Thursday, December 08, 2005

South Beach Observations

Here are some of my observations during my 24 hour stay in South Beach along with the 12 hours of travel required to get there and back.

- Everyone clapped as we touched down. I remember people doing this before, but it had been a while. It kinda caught me off guard thinking that it must have been a tough landing. Like we were close to dying and I totally missed it.

- South Beach was cool. Beautiful people and beautiful buildings. I have always liked the Art Deco style, but to see the South Beach version of it was even better. The colors (and warm temps) do a lot compared to the staid limestone versions back in Chicago. There were more good looking Latinos than I remember back home. It kept catching me off guard to see someone who looks primarily 'American' and than hearing them speak fluent Spanish. There are quite a few that did not have that stereotypical Latino look.

- I overheard a lot of Spanish being spoken. I should have expected it, but it surprised me. I also heard quite a few people speaking French. I could not distinguish if they were French or French-Canadian. They didn't have distinct accents in either direction.

- Business travel is bitter sweet in nice locales. It was the same when I was in LA two years ago. South Beach was beautiful, but it can get depressing eating by yourself all the time and constantly lugging around your office with you. The upside as with any solitary travel is that you can spend eons setting up nice photos and choosing where you go. But again, having someone there to share it with is better.

- As we boarded the plane in Miami, an endless line of police cars and emergency equipment raced over to a few gates down out of view. We backed out, passed by the gate with easily thirty vehicles surrounding the plane, then took off not far from it. I got a picture of the mayhem as we were taking off. My boss said this morning that some guy who said he had a bomb was shot and killed. Kinda weird how close I get to these situations. There is also a post on the Metroblog.

- Can someone explain the rush to get off planes? Is it claustraphobia? As the pilot or stewardess was explaining over the intercom that you must keep your seat belts fastened, I hear a chorus of clicks and two older guys jump up and open the over head bins. It happens on every flight. Then they have no choice but to stand there and wait five minutes for the rest of the plane to exit. The whole while, I sat back comfortably and exited only a few seconds after them. I really don't get the rush. It's not like the Amazing Race was on.


Anonymous said...

Ooo! You're going to hell for using the word "stewardess," and not 'flight attendant'.

I can't believe of all the places for you to be, you were a football's toss from the shooting. As I heard it on the news I shook my head and felt quite removed from it. Then I read that you were there --- sort of. More and more the news seems to touch closer to home, no matter how abstractly.

Unknown said...

Sometimes I have a bad habit of using the non-PC terms of the past. Like American Indians in a recent post instead of Native Americans, Native Canadians, or Native North Americans.

Apparently I have a weird knack for being near bombs. It took longer than usual getting into England once because I was dressed in black with a leather jacket, long red hair, and a Japanese name on my passeport. Must have thought I was with the IRA.

My father has a similar knack, but for him it's being within 30 feet when athletes get into fights at sporting events.

Lastly, I think the increasing closeness to the news has to do with our circle of aquintances getting larger and therefore our degrees of separation getting smaller. It could be someone from decades ago, but you still knew them.