I left Miami for good in 1970 and while I’ve been back intermittently, I’ve not stayed for more than a week or so. Some things haven’t changed. The vegetation is as lush as ever, the grass green and palm trees stand tall. The shopping centers I remember from my childhood are still there, though with updated false fronts. The traffic is worse, far worse, despite there being any number of new freeways. The drivers rival those of San Antonio. Never have I seen so much blatant running of red lights.
There is a new underclass. When I was growing up the maids, waiters, taxi cab drivers and doormen were Cuban. All newly arrived and fleeing Castro’s Cuba. Their children now run the city and hire the newest crop of immigrants – the Haitians. I wonder who will take their place some 40 years hence? The African Americans appear to be left behind entirely. Some parts of Miami simmer with the anger of the disposed.