It’s Warm Here! It’s Cool Here!

The weather today was almost perfect. A tiny bit more humid than I'd like, but clear and not too warm. It felt like a perfect late spring day in New England. Only it's December and they are having snow storms up there.

It's exam season, but the students on campus seemed really relaxed. I walked around the lake (yes, we have a little lake) and saw undergraduates lolling about, a group singing along with a guitarist, others strolling hand-in-hand or skating, it was idyllic. Even in the law school courtyard, the people taking study breaks…sometimes quite long study breaks…looked fairly happy (ok, it's early in exam season). It could be that yesterday's free massage service, (complete with special chair, massage therapist and assistant) for stressed students (3-7pm, long wait times due to popularity) organized by the law school student government had some positive effects.

Given the perfect weather, it was no surprise to read that South Beach—a twenty minute drive away, albeit one I hardly ever make unless I have out of town visitors—is “in” again: Journeys: South Beach: From Hot to Cold, Back to Hot Again.

FOR the past few years, the word has gone out among the fashionable set: South Beach is so over. The litany of complaints piled up as this high-profile strip of Miami Beach seemingly fell victim to its own success. The place was too crowded. The traffic impossible. The hotel service inept. Ocean Drive now a fraternity-house nightmare of sports bars, fuzzy navels and hot body contests—a “South Street Seaport for tourists,” in the words of Brett Sokol, a columnist for New Times, a Miami weekly.

And thus the hip crowd moved on in search of the new South Beach. But what were the alternatives? Rio? It's where the beautiful people are flocking, to be sure, but not for a weekend getaway. St. Bart's? No direct flights and prohibitively expensive once you get there. Jamaica? You're chained to your resort because of local crime and the lack of good restaurants. Puerto Rico? Fine for one visit to the Water Club, but that's it. The much-touted Fort Lauderdale? You've got to be kidding.

So, like swallows to Capistrano, the hipsters are returning to South Beach. And greeting them are signs that South Beach's glory days are indeed far from over, that the “new South Beach” may, in fact, be South Beach itself.

Course what they don't know is that we too are in for a cold spell—they say it could get down to the mid-fourties tomorrow night! Which is actually good because if I don't run the heater at least once a year it gets real smelly.

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