Heat, parties and naked bodies are already part of the collective imagination of Miami Beach and its more southern district, South Beach. But the inhabitants seem increasingly disturbed by the situation, despite the undeniable contribution to the local economy. Faye Bridges, a 29-year-old waitress, sums up these conflicting feelings. “I love having people here. Since I work in a restaurant, for me it’s good, for business too. But at the same time, South Beach is now that place where tourists and spring vacationers congregate. They dirty everything and it’s not pretty to see, ”she regrets.
Policy and Restrictions
Last year, police had to impose a curfew after arresting more than 1,000 people for disturbing public order. To prevent incidents from happening again, Miami Beach City Hall has taken new measures such as increasing police presence in the busiest areas and banning bars from selling alcohol from 2 a.m. morning, between March 7 and March 21. The mess caused by Spring Break 2021 “has not been outweighed by the benefits,” said city mayor Dan Gelber in announcing the measures. “From our point of view, this two-week period is a danger for the population,” he said.
On a terrace on Ocean Drive, cigar in mouth and glass in hand, Rin says he doesn’t understand the controversy. The 25-year-old real estate agent, who does not wish to give his last name, came with friends from Ohio in the northeastern United States. “We can do anything here. And if we didn’t come, the atmosphere wouldn’t be the same,” he says.