Dateline, Miami Beach. I'm here for a trade show, the Intele-Card conference, which focuses on the prepaid calling industry. The style here is pretty unique. As I awoke in the morning, I could look out from my room and see a vast expanse of ocean blues (hence the title of this post). The next thing one notices is that the beach and a stone walkway straddling the beach sands are already starting to be filled with people walking, running or relaxing.
A while later I joined them. The weather here is very nice, about 72 F in the morning and about 82 at midday. I decided to walk along the concrete pathway, which winds in a curly pastel colored ribbon along the shore between the hotels and the beach. By then, it was 8:00 am and the pathways were quite busy. Fitness is absolutely worshiped here, and the signs are much in evidence in a walk along the beach among both the men and the women. This is the land of the body beautiful, and at least some of the people here are hard at work keeping it that way.
Last evening, I went with some colleagues to South Beach. Along the sidewalks and in the bars, it seems that practically anything goes. This was a mind blowing experience for those who had not seen it before and at least amusing for those of us who have. Simply stated, the dress code is wide open. For example, one of the women walked by with a top that was made of hollowed coconut shells.
The sun is very direct here; many of the sun bathers are tinged pink or even deep red by the end of the day. I'm reading Tom Wolfe's latest novel, "I am Charlotte Simmons", which deals humorously with the hedonism of a fictional Pennsylvania campus. Down here in Miami, it feels like the place which these students must have headed for their spring breaks.
Despite all the distractions, business does get done. In a way, I suppose the distractions are the main point of having a conference here. The customers have smiles on their faces and it's hard not to relax in this tropical setting. These days, there are also lots of good restaurants. Last might I had a very good grilled tuna steak at a restaurant on Ocean Avenue. This afternoon, I went to a little hole in the wall called Sultan, which offered a diverse assortment of Mediterranean dishes. I decided to go for their Vegetarian platter, which included rice stuffed grape leaves, a light tasty hummus, pita bread, mixed salad and tabouli. Yum.