Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Miami Book Fair 2010

Miami's Bicardi's Building

This was such fun yesterday!  DH and I walked for miles, ate so many different things I felt like the proverbial child whose mommy tells her she's going to have a stomach ache, and touched hundreds of books!  We saw and listened to talks by authors...of "The Postmistress,"  "Major Pettigrew...,"  "Something Red,"  "Swan Thieves," and even ran across Jonathan Franzen and Susan Cheever, who has just written a book "Louisa May Alcott, a Biography."  

DH went with me for my sake as a "date day," and decided he wasn't going to miss next year and wanted to plan to get a hotel room for several days so we could hear more authors!!  How's that for a success story!

Miami was just gorgeous.  I haven't been to the city in years, so was very shocked at how beautiful the skyline is.  The architecture is stunning:  contemporary, artistic, shimmering mirror glass with structures of steel polished or smoothe...daring and dramatic.  Miami is a new city and proud of it.  New, big homes crowd the waterways with boat docks and beautiful, interesting boats.  The harbor is crowded with gigantic cruise ships of every variety and taste....streamers, colorful side painted logos, huge fins on top, and glimmering decks of windowed cabins.

There's such a mix of people from the wealthy cuban immigrants, new poor immigrants with multiple children, Muslims, Anglos, Americans (I mean those of us who have been here and integrated for more than 100 years!), and the horribly destitute and  homeless. 

We were horrified to see groups of the homeless like we've never seen before just a couple of blocks away from the Fair lining the wire fences of a car lot.  They were sitting on blankets, wrapped in blankets or cardboard boxes, or just sitting on the hot concrete while we circled in our Mercedes looking for a place to park.  DH and I felt the shock and the guilt of seeing them like a  hot wave of sickness.  He kept say, "Just look at them.  They're homeless.  I've never seen anything like this!" I was ashamed of our car.  I felt like I had intruded on them...as if I were invading their privacy...or desecrating their souls by just passing by them as if they were chosen for such a trial in life and I wasn't worthy.   It was a feeling like I've never known except when I've visited the dying.

As we left the City to come home last night, I think we both carried so many things with us.  I only bought one book..."Something Red," by Jennifer Gilmore, which I can't wait to read and review for you.  A new vision of Miami the City and its people.  I found a reawakening of love for authors I already loved.  And, a renewed sense of the homeless and poor in our country.  I also was confronted head-on with that dilemma of Muslims who reside in America and how to feel about the whole thing.  And, I left with that touch of wide-eyed, child-like joy of having been completely absorbed in books and bookish people for hour upon hour.  I also have a logo mug for my coffee!!  :]

It was a wonderful day that I still need to absorb and sort out.

Let me know what you think.  And, what's your favorite pair of shoes???

Your Bookish Dame/Deb


Nicole said...

Glad you had a fun day in Miami. St. Pete has a lot of homeless people too. It's really sad.

Cindy said...

Sounds like you had a fun day!

We were in Miami last week...on the way to the hotel downtown, we saw a street that was just lined with homeless people. Very sad indeed.