Monday, July 16, 2007

A Sea Change Coming Home

Sometimes I wonder if I'm missing the day-to-day changes that go on right in front of my eyes when I return from a less than two-month trip and find that I live in a "new and dramatically improved" neighborhood.

As it goes, I always considered where I live to be an "in between" area of Miami Beach, that is between walking distance of both South Beach and Middle Beach and with the unlikely zip code of 33140 that often spawns questions from long-term residents like, "Where the hell is that?" But, as property prices soar shamelessly and as the old haunts like Wolfie's and the Seville Hotel shut down along Collins Avenue to make room for the new 45 story megastrosities like Setai and the upcoming Paradiso, I find myself walking in a neighborhood that resembles a ten-block long torn up parking lot. Maybe, putting it in a nicer way would be to say, my area is like a newborn baby waiting to be filled up with whatever excitement the Ritz-Carlton group has in store for our beautiful beach.

I try to look at the bright side here since "progress" usually wins out with or without me. I returned from the beautiful desert and mountain West, where the open space seems boundless, and then happened upon the new beachfront areas from the Seville, going south past my condo. I was absolutely floored by the greenery and flowery landscaping that took place while I was away and even more taken back by the brand new water fountains and showers and tile designs. This part of the beach had remained largely unchanged, happy in its forgotten self since the mid 80's, and now, suddenly, it has been transformed and I am living in what will be soon called the "It" area of the beach. Hell,I never planned for this!

On Friday, I was sitting with my kids Gerri and Mitch at Balan's on Lincoln Road,and Mitch came out with something fairly significant."Your condo is probably going to get a major offer from some developer pretty soon."

I kind of glanced up, but then quickly dismissed the thought, preferring to concentrate on the savory spices in the dish of wasabi tuna in front of me, trying hard to be worth it's outrageous price.

Then,last night, Hy called from NY, where he is visiting family and said, "You realize our condo is going to probably triple in value in the next 5 years." I paid attention, but like I told Mitch, "Where are we going when it does?"

Giving it some thought, I am posting photos of some of my favorite Western scenes. Maybe, I will get the inspiration to finally make that move to one of these places when that time inevitably comes.

And now, special thank you to my wonderful Western family who bring so much joy to the travels. To Bruno,at Gerlach, in the Black Rock Desert, whose smile and ravioli would warm up any cold day, to Kate, in Gallup, who shared wonderful news of a surprise reunion with a loved one, to Blue Star, who spent two days driving us into the mountains, rivers and lakes of the Wind River Reservation and who taught us how to make a fire,to Jeannie for her beautiful bright smile that came with good coffee and conversation at Bongo Billy's in Salida.

Some favorite photos are from top to bottom: Lone rafter in Arkansas River at Cotopaxi, Colorado, Blue Star and Brian at Lake Moccasin,Wyoming, Obsidian at Glasse Butte, Oregon, Me in golden jasper field in Nevada desert, Black Mountains in Southern Arizona, Pink mesas decorate Navajo Nation near Houck, Arizona.