...for the last minute news items
on page 3
...for the advertiser coupons
...for George Cantor's column
...for the engagement and birth
...for the calendar listings
...for the Russian Roots section
...for Out & About
ve been on
for a week,
and I've been trying
to take a break from
Besides, it's kind
of difficult to keep
my ears tuned to the
car radio when my
eyes are sizing up
the immediate surroundings.
As the announcer reports about a
bridge in Fallujah, I'm stuck in traffic on
the Hallandale Beach Boulevard bridge.
No lack of irony there.
To my right is a young guy gunning
his black Lamborghini. I wonder how
often he gets his car, at $165,000 and a
top speed of 192 mph, out of second
constant police presence stands near the
front door to ensure that drivers obey
the stop sign in the parking lot that gives
pedestrians access to the front door.
They also handle the fender benders on
Once inside, be prepared to get run
over by elderly people pushing shopping
carts faster than they drive their own
Compare these Dale Earnhart-
wannabees with those who stand in one
place with their carts, usually the middle
of the aisle. They are the "orange cones,"
turning a quick shopping experience into
a construction zone.
"This is nothing," says Mom, in line
on a beautiful Saturday afternoon. "You
should see what it's like on a weekday
when the buses drop off the people who
don't drive. They wander around all
In the checkout lane, a woman ahead
To my left is a small, elderly gentle-
man in a large Cadillac, his view of traf-
fic distorted by the steering wheel. I
imagine him scrunching down to peer
through the space between the steering
wheel and the dashboard.
I imagine this because the gentleman
is fast asleep. His right-turn signal is
blinking, of course. It's been blinking
When the bridge finally opens,
Lamborghini-guy shifts into gear and
reaches 25 mph in an astounding three
Blaring horns wake Sleepy-Cadillac-
guy, who crosses the bridge. With right
blinker still blinking, he turns left at the
There's no lack of writing material in
this place that rich Cubans, beautiful
people and retirees call home.
Cubans have Miami; beautiful people
have South Beach; and the elderly have
And the vortex of the elderly Jewish
community in the Miami area has to be
the Publix grocery store on Hallandale
Shopping there is a risk-taking ven-
ture, starting with the parking lot. A
of us is kvetching about how long it's
"What's the rush?" I want to ask her.
"You're retired. You got a mah jongg
game next week that you don't want to
be late for?"
Later in the week, I take a morning
stroll along the Hollywood Beach board-
walk. I can't help but notice the preva-
lence of French-Canadian men wearing
skimpy bathing suits.
One pot-bellied guy is sitting on a
bench, reading a French newspaper,
wearing a blue Speedo bathing suit and
red suspenders. Rolls of fat conceal the
front of his bathing suit, and it looks
like the suspenders are attached to his
Nearby on the sand lies another hairy,
overweight guy in a thong sunning him-
self on his left side. His posterior is rac-
ing the boardwalk.
The cringes on people's faces are
noticeable, but an ancringing seagull lies
next to him, shading itself from the
Miami has been called a place
where neon goes to die," but I think
it's a great place, as long as you don't
look around too much.
...for so many reasons
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