Friday, March 28, Miami Beach
Another windy day but we invested in an umbrella which was used to block the wind, not the sun. Nothing too unusual on the beach today, just a formation of five planes pulling large banners advertising Las Vegas locations and events.
The scene in South Beach is eclectic. Of course there is the usual mix of residents, flavored by its international mystique. The Sony Tennis Open is being played so you have tennis fans. Business people are here on expense accounts. Northerners and retirees like us. Spring breakers, although they do not predominate or overwhelm. For the first time in memory, we have seen a number of Buddhist monks-or at least guys who dress that way. In this town, who knows if they are or not. Plus the people attending the Miami Music festival.
Sidewalks and streets are crowded. Taxi drivers do their usual pull over and stop anywhere. So do all other drivers. So do delivery trucks. Scooters weave in and out of traffic. There is a new dimension this year as bike rental programs have proliferated adding more undisciplined drivers to the mix. Pedestrians cross against traffic and do not understand the concept of not taking up the entire sidewalk whether walking fast or slow. Sidewalk cafes are everywhere which also reduces the space for walking. People are dressed in suits and fancy dresses with stiletto heels, or swim wear, or mundane shirts and shorts with some place or cause plastered on them.
So back to the Music Festival. We saw 5 or 6 fancy sports cars driving around with the words “Afrojack” on them. Thank goodness for Wikipedia. I now know that EDM is Electronic Dance Music. Afrojack is a Dutch DJ performing a headlining act. Avicii is a Swedish DJ set to perform here except he had a gall bladder attack. Laidback Luke is here too, along with Dada Life. Over 150,000 people are expected for the festival over in Miami’s Bayfront park. South Beach hosts a number of parties that start at 11 pm or midnight and run until 5 AM or so. The cost is $60 to $80 so we decided to pass on going to them.
Instead we walked over to the New World Symphony. We usually manage to fit in one of their performances. This was titled “Ohlsson Plays Rachmanioff” (Concerto #2 in C minor). It was fantastic. We sat behind the musicians, a location we have preferred since the first time their new Frank Gehry designed building opened three years ago. We get to see the conductor face on. The musicians are very close, although we see more of their hair styles than their faces.
Two males had Mohawk cuts, one with the Mohawk portion colored red. One of the percussionists had a very minor role in the second piece, hitting the drum 4 or 5 times. Each time he got up from his chair to do his bit, he took a blanket-like cloth and placed it over his knee and then placed his knee against the drum. After he banged the drum, he carefully removed the “blanket”, folded it and replaced it on top of the drum.
The musicians are entirely in black except for one female violinist who had a white cloth over her shoulder where she placed the violin. Not sure how she got away with that spot of white. The other two pieces were Mikhail Glinka’s “Overture to Ruslan and Ludmilla” and Ottorino Respighi’s “The Pines of Rome”.
We have made some changes to our schedule. We had planned to visit some of Chris’ relatives on Sunday. Due to changes in their situation, they won’t be able to see us. So we are spending one more night in Miami Beach. Our HGVC timeshare is booked up Sunday night and we are moving half a block down to the Winterhaven. Monday we will continue our plans and drive 400 miles to the Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park in White Springs, FL.
Ed and Chris March 28 11:35 pm