Hollywood Beach

Drive north from Miami along Highway A1A, and you will eventually come to an endless series of  highrise condos/hotels, completely blocking any view of the ocean. Intertwined with these buildings are strip malls, seedy motels, tacky restaurants, and convenience stores. At one time it might have been the most beautiful ocean drive on earth but that was probably a long time ago. Every now and then there is an official green sign with the single word “BEACHES” printed on it with an arrow pointing east. If you turn on one of these roads, you drive between a few tall buildings and suddenly, there is the ocean in front of you.

 

The “boardwalk” (its actually concrete) stretches along the beach for about a mile or two with an endless series of cheap beach food joints, swimsuit stores, bars, and souvenier shops, cheap motels with signs like: Beachfront apartments for rent—$49/week. Reasonable rates by the week/month/season, all facing east toward the ocean. There are usually a couple of very obese people sleeping, sunbathing or drinking beer in the courtyards lazily staring out at the ocean. Everything is painted in peeling coral, or fuscia and one can almost hear the sound of the squeeking ceiling fans between the sounds of the waves breaking up on the shore. An continuous  herd of tourists parade up and down on the beach. There are kids riding bicycles or slurping ice cream, women strutting, kids screaming, old guys with large guts, drinking beer, eating hot dogs or watching the woman in their bikinis, shaking their butts as they strut up and down the path. The endless mobs parade along the boardwalk, and the sounds one hears are not only English but Spanish and French as well.  This is Hollywood Beach.