(Miami Beach) Every year the spring breakspring break in the United States, brings with it thousands of young Americans to South Florida for a few days of uninhibited fun, much to the displeasure of residents of cities like Miami Beach.
At the end of the day, Ocean Drive has turned into an open-air disco. The terraces are crowded, the party is everywhere and the air, in front of the Art Deco buildings, smells of marijuana.
From the sidewalk, Anita Cheek, a 52-year-old resident, observes a young woman dancing suggestively.
“I was young, I understand, but they really don’t take into account the people who live here,” she laments.
“They get drunk, vomit on the floor, leave bottles everywhere and do all these crazy dances,” she adds. She says some of her neighbors say they are ready to move out because of the mess.
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,” she says. “But at the same time, South Beach is now that place where tourists and spring break vacationers congregate. They dirty everything and it’s not a pretty sight. »
Policy and Restrictions
Miami Beach City Hall has taken steps to avoid a repeat of the incidents that prompted police last year to impose a curfew after arresting more than 1,000 people for disturbing the public order.
Authorities increased police presence in the busiest areas and banned bars from selling alcohol from 2 a.m. between March 7 and March 21.
The mess caused by the spring break 2021 “has not been compensated by the benefits” brought, explained the mayor of the city, Dan Gelber, announcing the measures.
From our point of view, this two-week period […] is a danger to the population.
Dan Gelber, Mayor of Miami Beach
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.
“There are beautiful women, you can do anything here. And if we didn’t come, the atmosphere wouldn’t be the same,” he says.
Shortly after, as night fell, a noise caused panic on Ocean Drive. Dozens of people start running, some fall. False alarm. A few people look at each other, looking a little ashamed.
The party can continue and Rin intends to enjoy it until the end. “At least until 7 am,” he said with a smile.