Wednesday, December 16, 2009

SoFi, and I Don't Mean Sophie

It's a gloriously sunny day in South Florida and I've been dying to visit South Beach's South Pointe Park, a 17.5-acre esplanade which recently underwent a $22 million renovation. That's a lot of money to spend in any economy, let alone this one. I'm eager to take advantage of the largess.

The esplanade creates a link for walkers from the inland waterway to the Atlantic Ocean. It fronts on the Government Cut, a man-made shipping channel that was literally cut across the end of the Miami Beach peninsula a century ago, creating Fisher Island to its south.

South Beach comprises the 23 southernmost blocks of Miami Beach. In recent years, the southern tip of South Beach, which lies south of Fifth Street, has become known as SoFi. To the north of Fifth, the crowds on Ocean Drive party day and night; to the south, it's quieter and, with the addition of newly-planted dune grass and palms along the esplanade, breathtakingly beautiful.

It's hot today, too hot for a long walk, but perfect for an amble through the park and onto the beach. Along the way, I pass a fashion shoot in progress. What better spot to photograph a rakish model in casually stylish attire?

Whichever way I look, the views are stupendous—the Port of Miami and the Miami skyline to my west, the brilliant white sand curving north along South Beach, and behind me to the northwest, luxury high rises hovering over the water like cruise ships in dry dock.

There's great food to be had in SoFi. Today, I enjoyed lunch at a restaurant adjacent to the new park, overlooking the Government Cut. As I ate, I watched a giant container ship sail by, almost close enough to touch, no doubt on its way to some exotic destination. As for me, I felt quite happy staying put. In ultra-chic SoFi, I'd already found my exotic destination.

Note: Click on the photos to enlarge them.


  1. What a pleasant view of your world, Barbara. Here on the Olympic Peninsula, the rain is falling in bucket-fulls, the wind is howling, while the ground is still frozen, channeling all the extra water into our rivers. Quite a difference huh? Bonnie

  2. I think I meant "buckets full..." B

  3. South Pointe Park has always been a wonderful spot. When I was a Coral Gables High we would sometimes skip school and hang out at the beach there. There were no highrise condos back then, just the pedestrian friendly little buildings that dotted south beach. How I loved them. The monsters that have been built off south pointe park are a bit hideous, but i must say that the renovations to the park were quite nicely done. I love that they gradually raised the grade so that you can appreciate the view of the beach, pier and channel. I like the plants that were installed, the grases, and the led lightinhg fixtures. Thanks fir taikingmr bscj threr