May 25, 2008

The Weekend Miami Beach is Transported to Atlanta
Miami Beach, United States

Tatiana had been telling me for months how miserable it is to be in Miami Beach during Memorial Day weekend. Of course it was going to fill up with tourists during that time, but I don't think the number of people was at the heart of her complaint—it was the type of people.

You see, because over Memorial Day weekend, the population of Miami Beach turns as black as midnight.

I really had to see it with my own eyes to understand it, or believe it. I'd never seen such a citywide transformation in my life. Imagine so many vacationing African Americans that it made the Cubans, Haitians, Caucasians and every other race/immigrant nationality combined look like a pitiful minority.

Due to the increases of the price of gasoline in this country, the state of Florida has revised their tourism advertising campaigns. They've scaled back their advertising in the northeastern states significantly, instead focusing on attracting visitors from Europe (where a particularly weak dollar against the euro makes a trip all that more obtainable) and nearby/neighboring states (like Georgia, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi, and Louisiana).

Prices for everything (from gasoline to orange juice) have skyrocketed. Every single hotel room in the city seemed to be booked. During the day, the beach surges with more people than I'd seen on the shoreline to date. And at night, South Beach is swarmed with people that could've just as easily walked off the set from a thuggish rap video. Entry lines for every nightclub stretch down the block, while the streets erupt with catcalls from aggressive men, racing Escalades, and reverberating bass.

Tatiana's under the impression that the city turns even more dangerous than normal during this time—awash with shootings, stabbings, and general chaos. By the looks of it, I'd certainly hate to be working in law enforcement over the weekend.

It's quite the spectacle.

Note: Comments are open to everyone. To reduce spam and reward regular contributors, only submissions from first-time commenters and/or those containing hyperlinks are moderated, and will appear after approval. Hateful or off-topic remarks are subject to pruning. Your e-mail address will never be publicly disclosed or abused.