Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Miami Book Fair III

The sightseeing component of the event...

I was looking forward to this weekend for a long time. I welcomed the opportunity to extend it to three days. ML arrived Thursday night which meant that we had all day Friday to relax and poke around close to home, before heading to Miami on Saturday and Sunday.

We planned a leisurely day and didn't try to leave the house early.

Mr. Bertocci has been working on some paintings for the Fort Lauderdale Beach Resort and he wanted me to photograph them so we started there. The paintings are whimsical, colorful atmosphere creators for the pool area--parrots, manatees, monkeys and a Florida panther.

We walked over to the beach from there, passing Primanti Brothers' restaurant--ML was happy to see this familiar landmark that reminded her of her hometown--not Seattle, where she lives now, but Pittsburgh, where she grew up.

We walked along the shore for a while and then headed to Las Olas Riverfront.

No boat ride for ML and me--we are landlubbers. We strolled the riverside, then visited the library, including the art gallery on the 6th floor, and had fish sandwiches for lunch at the Ugly Tuna Cafe. Inside the cafe, a mural depicts anthropomorphic fish catching, cooking and eating people in a convivial fish restaurant. I was glad we chose to eat outside.

We went across the street, past the Performing Arts Center to the Museum of Science to meditate on the giant gravity clock. It's fun and somewhat mesmerizing to watch the balls travel along their tracks, stacking up at intersections until they reach a critical mass, then dumping to the next section.


We had some sightseeing opportunities after the book fair, too.

We walked through downtown Miami, which is mostly closed up on Sunday afternoon. Miami's historic business section is really struggling, in marked contrast to Bayside, the thriving shopping/dining/entertainment complex on the other side of Biscayne Boulevard.

"This store isn't empty. It's filled with OPPORTUNITY!"
Nice try, marketing geniuses.

After our walking tour we drove across the causeway to Miami Beach and embarked on a quest for the illusive South Beach Parking Space. Found one(!) and strolled over to the beach, dodging tourists and supermodels and eavesdropping on the beautiful people as they tried to hook up with each other.

South Beach is pretty cool, very art deco and cute--the public restroom on the beach is designed to look like a ship.

After dinner at a sidewalk cafe across from the beach, and one last look at the waves, we headed back to the hotel.

Here's the sunrise view from the hotel window, eleventh floor.

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