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March 5th, 2003

hipstamirror

a list of Wednesday

With no conference commitments for the morning, we decide to take to walk to South Beach for breakfast. We walk down the boardwalk for about twenty-five blocks and look at the backs of hotels and watch the beach start to fill. Though the volume varies with time, at almost all times there is a steady stream of walkers and runners, many elderly people sitting in the shade, women with strollers late at night, and overtanned people strolling on the boardwalk. [funny line from Michael Marmott: "if you were to do a cross-sectional study of Miami, you might conclude that people start life as Hispanic and end it Jewish."]

Eventually, we reach the end of the boardwalk and we find our way to a pedestrian mall that was nearly abandoned due to the late morning hours. Nevertheless, there were several food options and we had a good breakfast on the plaza at Cafe Papillon. With the nourishment, we continued our walking search for Art Deco. This took us to the upper reaches of Ocean Drive, where we might have seen the Vercace mansion.

We return to our hotel by fitting five people into a standard taxi. The driver is strangely preoccupied with his telephone and asks us to search for another customer's forgotten chapstick(?!). Then, because he was on the way to another job, he leaves us a couple of blocks from our intended destination. This is the beginning of our string of taxi-taking, and definitely the strangest driver.

We change our clothes and go to the conference for the afternoon student presentations and a reception for the Stamler award. Like most indoor establishments in the city, the temperature inside the conference rooms is freezing. For the next few days I need to resort to wearing T-shirts under long-sleeved shirts to keep myself warm enough to not be distracted.

Though we had planned to go out for dinner, the free food at the reception left us unhungry; so we just stayed near our hotel. For entertainment, we sneak into the Fountainebleau's pool because of its waterfalls. Later, we return to our hot tub and hotel pool, find an abandoned beach ball, and play my favorite Camp Highfields game (moonball: a game about hitting an inflated ball as many times as possible among a group without letting it hit the ground) for several hours. We have a good time making brilliant saves and losing the ball more often than not. We get the count above 100 a couple of times and decide to call it a night.