|Photograph by Carlos Miller.|
I'm starting to get a lot of visits to my blog from people who are obviously planning a trip to South Beach this Memorial Day weekend.
Below is a typical Google search term:
My answer to that is NO!! You should not travel to Miami this Memorial Day!
(Some of the other search terms used recently by people looking for info on Memorial Day weekend include: "how to talk to women on south beach" and "what should i wear on south beach." Seriously, if you're that clueless, you need to stay home.)
But, for the rest of you who refuse to take no for an answer ...know this: City of Miami Beach officials and police are planning to make Memorial Day weekend 2012 on South Beach as miserable as is humanly possible.
One official spoke with me on the condition I not use his name. "Tell your readers," said the official, "they're better off staying home. But, for those who insist upon coming, Ray Martinez and his boys are going to make this Memorial Day weekend on South Beach a wretched experience. We've got some fun things planned. Fun for us...not so fun for the people coming here. Were taking our city back!"
When I pressed the official for details, he said this before hanging up, "Four words: Dusk to dawn curfews."
And, based on what I'm hearing from other knowledgeable sources, a three-day weekend in Kabul, Mogadishu or South Central L.A. will seem tame by comparison if Miami Beach police get their way this year.
A couple of weeks ago I previewed what officials have in store for those who plan to come here:
...Street closures up the ying-yang, strict enforcement of open container laws, zero-tolerance for illegal parking, nightly DUI and "safety" checkpoints near Watson Island on the MacArthur Causeway, possible closure of the MacArthur if traffic becomes unmanageable, "enhanced enforcement of obstruction of traffic" and a "traffic/cruising loop" that's been cleverly devised to "route [non-resident] traffic through and out of the city."And if all that isn't enough to deter you from coming, one high-ranking police official told me, "We're going to set a record this year for the number of arrests we make. We plan to double the amount of arrests we've made over the past 5 years. The ACLU will be filing lawsuits against us for years to come. We don't care!"
There you have it. Still planning a trip to South Beach for Memorial Day weekend?
Go ahead...but don't say you weren't warned.
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