Map of life expectancy at birth from Global Education Project.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

Where I'm at

I'm in Miami Beach at the Eden Roc resort and spa, for the 5th International Conference on Antiretroviral HIV Treatment Adherence. I'll do some blogging about the conference and what it all means, but hey, today is Sunday so it's a day of rest. I haven't been to Miami Beach for more than 20 years -- also for a conference, at the Fountainbleu -- but it hasn't changed that I can tell. A solid wall of hotels and condos faces the ocean, and it's pretty much a wasteland if you're interested in real life. People do live in those condos, but I'm darned if I can figure out where they shop or get their hair done. There must be a real world section of Miami Beach but it's not within walking distance of the hotels.

I can see the ocean right from my window - the hotel is right behind the boardwalk and it's no more than 1/4 mile to the water. So far, it's a transcendentally beautiful aquamarine that looks purer than the milk of the Blessed Virgin. Let's hope it stays that way.

The weirdness is that the Eden Roc has a big pool complex between the boardwalk and hotel, from which one cannot even see the ocean. The pool is surrounded by people lying in lounge chairs while others cavort in the chlorine. For extra dough, you can have the Exclusive Eden Roc Cabana Experience, which consists of a tent by the swimming pool. In the Ocean Garden, as they call it, it is completely impossible to discern whether you are 300 yards from the ocean in Miami Beach, or in Indiana. Nevertheless most of the people here seem to prefer it to the real ocean.

Explain it to me.


roger said...

the real ocean is dirty, even if the dirt and germs and pollution are not visible. maybe the florida ocean is cleaner than california's. surfers here routinely have low level infections in ears and nose and throat from exposure to the water.

which is riskier? chlorine or germs?

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