I was walking in Miami at the weekend. I hadn’t gone there to walk, and I can’t imagine that anyone ever does: it’s the heat and humidity you know, and on one day the rain, and the howling wind that made the palm tress flap like the hair of a lead singer in a certain kind of grindcore band.
I was there for the Miami Book Fair, yes I’m “big” in Miami, and I wasn’t the only big thing. Take this tennis ball for instance:
And the giant plant pots below. I’m sure you’re familiar with the “Pot of Basil” in the Decameron: high-born Isabella falls in love with Lorenzo, one of her brothers' servants. The bros find out, kill Lorenzo and bury him. Isabella digs him up, cuts off his head and sticks it in a pot of basil. With plant pots like this you could accommodate the whole corpse.
Even the street art was big, especially this thing on the side of the Ace Hardware store.
It’s an ambitious work to be sure and it can’t have been easy to work at that scale, but obviously there were some problems with the feet. Painting feet is hard.
And did I walk among ruins in Miami? I most certainly did, sir. Not just this gas station:
Or this elegant crumbling wall, which was probably my favorite:
But especially I walked around the ruins of the old Miami Herald building.
Yes, there were a few fences and some parts of the ruins looked very unstable, but there wasn’t much to deter even the most casual urban explorers.
And anyone would be encouraged by this sign posted nearby:
If that signs means what I think it means, it appears that you can walk through the ruins to your heart’s content right up to the moment when a cop tells you to stop. Can that be right? And I didn’t see a great many cops policing these ruins. But there on the water front, I did see this unambitious but apparently heartfelt graffito.
Given the liberality of the no trespassing sign this didn’t seem like much of an achievement, but maybe it was something much worse that someone had not been caught doing. Hey, I know what goes on in Miami - I’ve seen the TV show. And just in case you were wondering, no, I didn’t see anybody walking around Miami who looking anything like this: