Being born and raised Miami-Dade has its perks. 😊 | Want to see your own picture in this space? Tag either #thenewtropic or @thenewtropic to be featured in our Instagram of the Day. (📸: @azyo)
😑 Whether you live in Miami Beach or were watching the chaos unfold from the relative safety of your social media feeds, the disorder of this past weekend proved to be a spectacle of the highest order.
Where does one even start with recounting the spring break bedlam? Do you go with the guy dressed like the Joker yelling “COVID is over, baby!” while waving the American flag and tossing money from atop a car— we live in a society indeed — or the scenes of pepper balls being shot at revelers on Ocean Drive? Maybe you start the story in medias res and open with the Clevelander choosing to close down rather than deal with any more spring breakers; the car explosion on Collins Ave. that may have caused a power outage definitely deserves a mention somewhere in there.
However you order it chronologically, the chaos culminated in the City of Miami Beach declaring a state of emergency and implementing an 8 p.m. to 6 a.m. curfew through April 12. Just recounting the madness has already taken up a lot of space, so we’ll try to keep this next part short: Folks — and this goes for whether you’re a tourist or a local who’s been cooped up for too long — there’s real virtue in partying responsibly, especially during an ongoing pandemic. Do👏better👏.
In other news…
😞 Today in headlines we could’ve done without: “Florida’s Poop Problem Is Killing Manatees.” The state’s aging sewage infrastructure and resulting leaks, combined with multiple climate crises and our recent spate of cold weather, has made 2021 a deadly year for the friendly sea cow. One shocking statistic: the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission has documented 432 manatee deaths between Jan. 1 and March 5, more than half the reported 637 for all of 2020. Once again, we’ve got to do better. (The New Republic)
💉 In case you missed it, Miami-Dade County vaccination sites began accepting appointments for folks 50 and older yesterday. As shared by Mayor Daniella Levine Cava, the age eligibility will drop to 40 and up starting Monday, March 29 before lowering 10 years every subsequent week. (Mayor Daniella Levine Cava via Instagram)
🤔 Who makes the best bagel in Miami? Who cares — that’s the response two of the city’s top circular bread peddlers, El Bagel’s Matteson Koche and the titular Zak Stern of Zak the Baker, have to such a question. (The Infatuation Miami)
💵 A new rental assistance program is rolling out for City of Miami residents next week. Applications open on Monday, March 29, and you can keep pace with updates and whether or not you qualify by visiting Axis Helps South Florida’s website and Instagram page. ➡️️ (Axis Helps via Instagram)
Correction: Friday’s newsletter originally said Alexis “Alex” Rodriguez — who is under investigation for election fraud charges with co-conspirator and former state legislator Frank Artiles — owned a home in Palmetto Bay and lives in Boca Raton. According to subsequent reporting by the Miami Herald, he has not owned property in the area for some time and resided in Delray Beach at the time of his arrest. Thanks to reader Elizabeth N. for the spot.