THE MIAMI MIRROR
Reflections of Miami
Many readers will recall one of my Little Sketches, entitled 'Crawl Space', about a woman who lived in the crawl space under the rotunda of the South Beach Regional Library located in Collins Park - you may refresh your memory, if you please, by going to the following Internet address:
The main library structure in Collins Park has been demolished since then - the rotunda was retained for its historical significance - and we now enjoy the brand new library across the street. The new library, by the way, has had a positive effect on the attitudes of library patrons and employees.
Prior to the demolition of the old structure, I sent along a copy of my article to several public officials, including Miami Beach Mayor David Dermer and his City Manager, and Florida Governor Bush. I asked them to read my article and have someone reach out to the woman.
I did not receive a reply from the public officials. I do not know if someone called on the woman to see what could be done about her plight. However, after the Collins Park demolition project was fenced off, I witnessed a police officer accosting her outside the fence. Apparently she was trying to retrieve her belongings and her cats from the crawl space. If she tried to return to the rotunda again, he yelled, he would have to arrest her for felonious trespass, and she would go to prison for a long time.
During the demolition period, the woman was sighted sleeping on the sidewalk around Bass Museum and in the doorways and alleys around the luxurious Lincoln Road Mall. Unsettled by the dislocation, she was apparently drinking heavily again, and was often heard screaming. She has not been seen for some time now.
Hopefully, the woman who lived in the Crawl Space has relocated to a better place than South Beach.
If any of you are photographers, your assistance with a special photo essay will be appreciated. I need photographs of homeless people who are living on the streets in South Beach - please pay them for the photos and get a signed release. We also need photographs of smiling, well dressed, prominent civic leaders, including public officials and real estate developers. The essay will be a montage of homeless people in humble circumstances at the feet of the civic leaders.
David Arthur Walters