One spots every conceivable type of character wandering, loitering, lying, or sitting in and around Miami Beach. Rich folks hide out in their multi-million dollar condominiums, while the homeless sleep in the park. Tourists flock to the restaurants lining Ocean Drive, while the less-forunate nourish themselves with handouts or pickings outside backdoors of those restaurants. Nighttime features cruising up and down the streets--on foot or by car--to attract attention or to spot the action. The phenomena has not changed since I did this as a teenager.
Unlike Brickell Key, where the unwashed are kept at a distance, anyone seems welcome at South Beach. I have mixed feelings about this freedom, but recognize that the area would suffer with exclusion of any group.
Perhaps, the eclectic mix of humanity is what adds to the appeal. Or the wide variety of shopping and dining experiences available to every budget. For us, it is the beach life that is the most appealing, together with a choice of life-style. We can dress up, or we can stroll around in a bathing suit. No one cares. That's the way vacation should be...
Prior to writing novels, the author enjoyed a multifaceted career: from decorated combat aviator to advertising professional to global communications director of a major consumer brand. He has traveled the world and met sports, film and television stars, political leaders, and royalty. He graduated from Middlebury College, is married, lives in Germany, and has two grown children.