Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wednesday Tropical Review & Thoughts On Miami Beach's Veterans & Old Hotels

To start off with there isn't much going on or expected to go on in the Tropical Atlantic. As a matter of fact, it's temporarily quiet everywhere this morning.

NRL still has the invest up on Paloma but as much as I respect life.. I think it's time to pull the plug guys. Not happening. And, a new cold front is expected to blow through the South in a few days and wipe the board clean. Out in the Atlantic east of the islands about mid-ocean is a bright spot of color that is just there.. not sure what dynamics are painting the map so pretty but it's not mentioned by the NHC discussion this morning whereas an area further north in the Atlantic is mentioned (near the Azores) but not expected to develop. Either way...something could develop in the Pacific off the West Coast of Central America but wondering more on the El Nino question than tropical development but for so much warmth to be there late in the year (their season usually starts and ends a few weeks before ours) it makes me wonder.

I wonder a lot. I wander also.

I took a walk over to the beach yesterday at lunch as friends online had insisted the winds were really strong. Strong is an understatement. A saw a pigeon having problems flying in the wind tunnel that is Lincoln Road east of Washington Avenue. The wind whips through there violently sometimes, tourists struggle against the wind clutching onto their bags filled with suntan oil and trendy snacks they bought at the Walgreen's on the corner open all night for anything a tourist could possibly need.

Nice walk. Miami Beach had it's flags out, up on the poles flying in the breeze. Stores trying to sell refurbished electronics on Lincoln Road were all sporting electronic flags on their over priced gadgets. There was a real sense of patriotism in the air as the barely dressed European tourists rushed about stopping only to take pictures of themselves smiling and posing. I saw a rich tourist walking back from Walgreens to the Ritz hand a street person sifting through the trash looking for food a brightly wrapped piece of bazooka bubble gum. The bum with the bubble gum was extremely excited, thankful.. just goes to show you that never know what will rock someone's boat. I saw him offer him gum and thought.. "right, he's giving the bum gum? I think the bum would rather have food or money" but the bum was thrilled with the gum. Miami Beach has some of the nicer street people around, not sure where they live but some of them have been around for as long as I can remember.

So... that was my lunch time walk while I took odd pics of myself and people and places and thought on Veterans Day. A veteran riding by on his motorized wheel chair with the flag on the back blowing in the breeze. If you look hard in the pic you can make out the little flag he carries against the building equally down on it's luck after the Economic Wars of 2008.

Rich Europeans sunbathing on tropical beaches spending their Euros in the land of the liberty and justice for all. Rows of buildings that are only half remodeled because the economy changed and they ran out of money. Boarded up and looking forlorn ..they were better off rented out and filled before some investor with dreams ripped them apart and then stopped leaving eye sores up and down Collins Avenue. I wonder if a hurricane ripped through would it help that they have no windows? Would the wind rip through them and leave them alone or would it rip apart at the structure? I guess maybe the tourists think they are broken apart like that from some strong hurricane they missed on CNN European Edition? Not sure but boggles my mind that someone bought the Ritz Plaza for $24 Million Dollars several years back, started ripping it apart, left a cess pool in the backyard hidden by a high fence and it has been there "under-construction" since I started working at my job in July of 2006. Just sits there.. a beautiful building with great lines ripped apart going nowhere as if time is standing still waiting I imagine for the economy to turn and some investor with dreams and money decides to start hammering away again at her insides and figures out how to repair the lake that was her pool once upon the time.

The Ritz Plaza herself is a veteran of World War Two in ways. You can learn so much on Wikipedia. I didn't know this.. she was opened by the Grossinger Family (wiki says) and used during WW2 to house high ranking Vets while Clark Gable stayed just down the street at the Cadet. I know from family stories there were USO dances during the war at the Ritz and it was a busy place filled with soldiers, then re-opened after the War when many a honeymooning veteran took his new bride to Miami Beach to the honeymoon capital of America in the 1950s. Soldiers who had "sand in their shoes" from being stationed on Miami Beach during WW2 came back to honeymoon and then often came back to raise families in the new suburbs buying homes on VA Loans.

The Ritz in all her glory...

Now an old veteran, faded, boarded up with only memories..

Clark Gable was stationed here ..there is a plaque on the side of the building on James and 17th Street if you want to stop and read more.

There you go a real veteran of both wars and hurricanes waiting for someone to come along and give it another chance on life.

Something to think upon on this wet Wednesday morning in Miami when a passing shower woke me up before sunrise sounding like a brief squall in a passing storm.

Have a good Wednesday, may you all be blessed with love and memories and dreams that come true.

Besos Bobbi :)


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