Friday, January 30, 2009

More thoughts on the Marlins Stadium in response to Mayor Alvarez

Mayor Alvarez penned a Letter to the Editor in today's Herald in support of the new Marlins Stadium. You can read it here. Nice smoke bomb by Alvarez. Drops the threat of the Marlins leaving the state, name drops 2 "experts" that the average citizen has never heard of that supposedly "know the community", and then uses the buzzphrase "create jobs" to draw the listeners' minds further from seeing why this stadium is a bad idea.

I have to ask this... What is the big difference between this location and Dolphins Stadium? Ok, its closer to the heart of Miami but at the same time now the Marlins probably lose out on south Broward fans who attended games in the past. Are there more businesses to visit in the area? Not really anything viable for the baseball crowd but you can buy churros and 5lb bags of shrimp from the guys who walk thru traffic at red lights. Is it easier to access? No. You still have to get in a car and drive, maybe not as far for Miami residents, but the traffic in the area will ensure a lengthy amount of time in the car.

So what really is the benefit? So we can say we have a baseball team? Look at attendance for the past 5 years. The team won the World Series and still barely anyone cared. Last year, I dont think they filled more than 25% of the stadium though Ive no facts to support this. Just judging by what I saw on the ESPN highlights where the analysts openly mocked the lack of attendance. Did the team actually make money for the community? I doubt it. Did more than 1% of the population enjoy attending games last year? Clearly not. So would it really be bad if they left? Sure, its nice to be able to catch a baseball game on a nice day but its clear that people in Miami have other things they would rather do.

Now, about these "experts"... How do we trust their "expertise" when they are in favor of installing a baseball stadium that will benefit less than 5% of the population and totally ignoring a mass transit problem that affects 100% of the population? Last time I checked, $500M+ was a lot of money. Why cant this be spent on a rail system that better connects the urban sprawl of Miami, something this city desperately needs?

Ok, so building the stadium will create jobs. Thats a fact. But dont give me this, "construction jobs are down 15% from last year" nonsense because construction in Miami has been overinflated! Wow, we built a ton of buildings and now no one lives in them! An oversupply of construction has led to an oversupply of residences and office space. Not exactly a benefit to the community. So while this stadium project may be a steroid shot in the arm, the after effects will be similar to steroids, leaving our city with sagging muscles and a limp dick.

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Fired up: My feelings on the new Marlins Stadium

Tony over at Transit Miami posted about the new Marlins Stadium last night and I liked his post. Matter of fact, I really like this blog, period. I think mass transit is the one itch the City of Miami has that never gets scratched. But thats a whole other story... Since I tried to leave a comment but it wouldnt take, I figured Id make it a blog post.

Ive been against the idea of this stadium at this location since the dumbass who came up with the idea shared it with the world. Its a huge whiff, strike 3, youre out. Tony brings up the one point that our city commissioners really need to realize is paramount to anything else and that is how the community benefits. In this case, the community has the benefit of increased traffic, pollution, garbage, and deteriorating roads that already cant be maintained and will likely worsen. Not exactly beneficial. There is no public transportation to get people to/from the game. There are no local restaurants or bars or museums for people to visit before and/or after the game. So really, what is the goddamn difference between this site and Dolphins Stadium? That there are homes nearby? People will still have to drive to the game, sit in traffic, and then have nowhere to go when they get there but spend $8 on a goddamn hot dog inside the stadium walls. Businessmen and women in the Brickell/Downtown/Gables area will likely just stay put for happy hour, spending their money in a nice, clean area with established businesses that have their followings already, then head over to the game and head back to Brickell/Downtown/Gables after or go home. The ballpark area just gets raped. And guess what? When people realize what a shithole area the ballpark is in they will lose interest in attending a game, especially when the prices to do so are absurd and there are plenty of other things to do outside (Hence the reason the Marlins have such a shitty fan base already).

Its sad that the City of Miami will continue to be run by these halfwits that do nothing for the community as a whole. Whoever lines the right pockets gets their way. The working public continues to get f**ked. This city is in desperate need of a mass transit system but that will continue to take a backseat to crap like baseball teams with a fan base of 5,000 and a PAC that no one goes to. Over 1 Billion dollars wasted on these 2 things that provide service to less than 5% of the City population. Pathetic.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Returning to Michael's Genuine Food & Drink

I have a confession to make...

Ive been cheating on MGFD with various restaurants in the Greater Miami area. At first it was innocent - checking out a new spot here, popping in for an app and a cocktail there. But then things got out of control. Multiple visits to the same location, more apps here, more cocktails there. I was spiraling out of control and it had gotten to the point where I actually thought that it was a good thing that I hadnt ingested a double yolk farm egg in about a month. Considering health? What?!?!

Id gone culinarily impotent.

Luckily, I came to my senses and made a return visit to MGFD. Had the snapper/grouper (I think that was the fish... My memory sucks sometimes) ceviche which was exploding in flavor. Really enjoyed the grapefruit here. The burrata is still the best in Miami, period. There was a new menu item that was creative and quite good. It was called Yellowfin Conserva. Its basically yellowfin cooked and marinated and served in an airtight jar of olive oil with a slice of lemon. Accoutrement of meyer lemon, sliced radish, capers, and mayo are presented with grilled bread. You take a hunk of yellowfin and combine with everything else as you see fit. My date and I really enjoyed it because it was different, allowed us to share easily and carry conversation while we ate, and tasted good. Pretty simple. We also had some other oldies but goodies that are often discussed.

The place was packed as usual, including the bar. My date noted the kickass music playing all night and really liked that it wasnt so loud and intrusive. Thats one of my favorite things about MGFD. The music is great, adds to the vibe of the place, and is just the right volume to fill in any silence but not too loud where you have to yell to talk the people at your table.

Im glad I went back and I think things could progress. We're taking it slow, no double yolk farm egg yet, but the culinary boner is back. Im even keeping an open mind about a possible lunch in the future, you know, to spice things up a little bit.

Friday, January 2, 2009

Observations from Merrick Park

I had to take the car into the shop for new brakes, rotors, and wipers so I decided to pass the time by walking over to the Merrick Park shops to perdue their wares. For those that don't know, Merrick Park is one of those upscale high-end malls with stores like Gucci, Prada, Burberry, etc. Some interesting observations:

- I should never go to any mall, let alone shops like these when I really dont want to buy stuff. I wasn't here 30 minutes and I already had a new pair of shoes to lug around. This set off a chain reaction where I found myself trying on more shoes and clothes with my classic shopping mentality that spending a shitload of money is a lot easier once you've broken the ice with the first big purchase. Luckily common sense and my superior willpower stepped in before things got out of hand. Like $2300 blazer out of hand.

- One thing you can count on at shops like this is seeing many beautiful women. Sure, there a a good amount who think they are beautiful thanks to many facial beautification procedures, but there still are a lot of naturally beautiful women. Er, at least from the neck up.

- I need to make more money or cut back spending on foolish things in order to really take advantage of a day I shopping here. Because I don't go clothes shopping too often, I usually give myself a budget of $1000 at the most. Here, I need at least $5-7k to get what I want. Maybe someday I'll get to that level of discretionary income. That or maybe one of these hot women with shitload of money want to be a sugar momma? Hey, I may not be rich but I can sure fuck like a jackrabbit.

- Im noticing that hot younger girls that shop with mom or grandma like to do so arm-in-arm. Kinda weird if you ask me. I just don't get this. Maybe the younger one is showing love because the older one is shelling out some serious loot?

- This place is very relaxing. Plenty of fountains and such providing soothing sounds, no huge mall crowds and the noise that comes with them. There are plenty of comfy chairs to plop down in and read or chat and many seem to be doing just that without be hassled to move along.

Merrick Park is one of those areas I hardly go to just because I'm really not a fan of Coral Gables for some reason. I'm going to have to remember how I always enjoy a trip here and try to come back more often.