Friday, May 25, 2012 (night) – A little more of a crowd as the weekend progresses. A lot more traffic restrictions with particular focus on Washington/Collins Ave, from 5th-23th.
But still, all’s pretty quiet on the western front. There’s little room to “have fun” though – there’s the MacArthur “drag” with patrols at every intersection along 5th St. to welcome visitors – “No loud music” & “No handbill/flyer distribution” (part of the “Respect the Scene” campaign). I still saw some folks managing to have fun, although no (obvious) open containers seemed to be the rule.
I saw a few “stop-and-searches” that seemed to go down with nary a struggle. A lot of “security” (hired uniformed guards) mixed in with the police, I guess to help blanket the area and beef up street numbers, most seemed bored with the “big weekend”. ALL security, police & rental, are HQ’d at the convention center, a TON of them! (including the Goodwill ambassadors, not sure about the God Squad?)
Another (lower) level of security (black shirts w/white) was scattered around Miami Beach for low-problem (traffic?) areas, one security guard was watching some barriers and allowing local traffic only from Alton Rd & 14th?! A lonely job that he said ended at 5am. The biggest difference between this year and last? Police presence.
*I think It would be funny if the city had the same approach for Art Basel/DecoFest/WMC one year, no?