For all its Spanish influence, Miami lacks a central plaza. So, in an even odder development, residents are turning the highways into popular gathering spots. Late last year, people marched on 195 to protest against police brutality in Missouri. Last night, hundreds of bikers turned I-95 into their own personal track in homage, some claimed, to Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. It does show foresight since, with rising seas, our highways may eventually be the only public spaces above water.
"What are you reading?" I asked the young man operating the gate of the courthouse garage that, in the evening, becomes the garage for Cinema Paradiso.
"A Writer at War," he said, "a Soviet Journalist With the Red Army."
"Are you reading it for school?" I asked him.
"Who's the author?"
"Vasily Grossman. He wrote a novel - Life and Fate."
The gate rose, I drove into the garage and the young man's head returned to the pages.
My friend Dan lives in Gambier, Ohio, where his wife teaches French at Kenyon College. He emailed before Monday night's championship game that he doesn't really follow college football, fully aware as he is of the corruption in its ranks and the mostly abandoned ideal of the scholar-athlete. Yet, he added, living where he does, it's hard not to get caught up in Buckeye fever.
I know what he means. Watching college football requires a suspension of disapproval.