April 16, 2018 —
“You’re going to Miami.”
Most people would be excited to go to Miami for a work conference. I’ll admit, I was a bit, but having been to South Beach, I know it’s not really my scene. The one time I went there, tipsy partygoers, insane lights and endless noise shocked my system, sending me back to the hotel with ringing in my ears, prompting me to hide under the covers with a book.
I brought my personal laptop, thinking that I would get some writing done. Then I thought, I’m going to Miami and I don’t even have to pay for the trip. I should maybe, I don’t know, actually see something of Miami, not like last time.
I did some research online and, low and behold, found out that Miami has a pretty vibrant art scene with plenty of museums, which, unfortunately, I would not be able to get to since I had to attend a conference all day. There is also an independent book store, Books and Books, on South Beach, and it was open late. As luck would have it, the book store was located on a pedestrian mall.
OK, I thought, I’ll take a look.
On a Monday evening, my first day there, I took an uber from the hotel to Lincoln Road Mall. It was more serene than I had anticipated. There were a good many people out for a Monday night in March (who knows what it would be like on a weekend in the summertime?), but the crowd level was completely manageable. The extremely wide pedestrian strip afforded a great opportunity to amble around, gazing at store windows and perusing restaurant menus.
Books and Books was easy to find; it’s well-organized and well-stocked and decorated quite aesthetically. There were only a few customers, so I was able to scan the bookshelves in peace, without feeling rushed. They have a cafe right outside the store entrance, if you are eager to read your new book with a cup of coffee.
After I made my purchase (and talked to a store employee about possibly having my books for sale there, shameless!), I walked straight out on Lincoln Road Mall and had a stroll followed by a quiet dinner while contemplating the ocean breeze.
After an all-day conference, where conference goers were packed like sardines into giant ballrooms, where there was always a line at the bathroom and at the espresso bar (INTJs loathe waiting; it’s a time waster and I could always be getting something productive done), and where cell phones were constantly beeping (distracting!), I was absolutely done with peopling. I scuttled to my hotel to swim laps in the hotel pool.
The pool was heated (score!) and empty (double score!). I swam my laps in absolute peace. As I did the backstroke and gazed skyward, watching birds glide effortlessly past floating clouds and between skyscrapers, I thought that this city isn’t so bad after all.
For next time, I’ll try the Wynwood Art District, and revisit Delicias de España, a wonderful store and restaurant where I picked up some real Spanish chorizo 🙂