Friday, October 30, 2009
Random Pixels says goodbye to South Beach
I've left South Beach.
It wasn't too many years ago that just the thought of spending an hour on South Beach would cause me to have a major panic attack.
So you can just imagine what six years of living here has done to me.
But I moved this week.
I got tired of being around people who embrace a criminal lifestyle, ghetto lifestyle, the drug lifestyle and the lifestyle that says it's ok to let your dog sh*t on the sidewalk everyday.
That combined with two stolen bicycles, incompetent landlords and general overall rude and inconsiderate behavior made the decision to leave so much easier.
I've arrived at the belated realization that South Beach is a great place to live if you are homeless or if you can afford to pay $3,000 a month in rent.
If you fall somewhere in between; you're screwed.
I'm was in the middle...stuck between a rock and what was once an elegant art deco building that had seen better times.
The first couple of places I lived in weren't all that bad.
But my last apartment on 8th Street near Meridian was roughly the same size as a cell on Florida's death row with about the same ambiance.
I had only planned to stay six months.
I ended up staying two years.
The first year and half or so was OK.
But the straw that broke the camel's back was some of the building's newer tenants.
There was Luis who moved in above me back in March.
He was an Iraq war veteran with PTSD, 100% disability, a $2600 a month government check and a heavy dependence on drugs.
Lots of drugs.
He partied 24/7.
There isn't a mind-altering substance that hasn't coursed through this guy's body.
When I told him that his partying was keeping me awake he responded by asking me if I wanted something to help me sleep. Luis had a drug for everything!
After a couple of calls to Code Enforcement and few more to the Miami Beach cops, he was gently convinced that he'd be happier living elsewhere.
A couple of months ago one guy moved in on the third floor.
In retrospect, he was the ideal neighbor: you never saw him or heard from him. He didn't have loud parties and he never knocked on your door to ask to borrow anything.
The only problem with him was he didn't pay rent.
He was just a homeless guy who took advantage of an open window one day and stayed a month.
After he left a couple of drug dealers moved in down the hall. Their activities were so obvious and blatant that even Stevie Wonder would have caught on.
One night at 2:30am there was a tap-tap-tap on my door. When I asked who was there, a voice on the other side said, "It's your neighbor, let me hold your cell phone."
A few days later the cops came in and marched everyone out in handcuffs.
And I started looking for a new place.
I placed an ad on Craigslist and within a week I'd signed a lease on a new apartment.
A good friend helped me move the bulk of my stuff this past Monday and Tuesday.
And with another ad on Craigslist I found a guy with a Ford F-150 to help me move the last load for $60. And he even hooked up my DVD player.
The new place isn't that far from Miami Beach; but it seems like a million miles away.
And compared to South Beach it's like Mayberry RFD. Really!
I cut the last tie to South Beach today when I called FPL to have my electric service moved.
However my sunny disposition was temporarily darkened when the guy taking my information asked me if I'd like to have the Miami Herald delivered at my new place!
But give me a few days and I'll get over it.
Posted by Bill at Friday, October 30, 2009