Friday, April 13, 2007

Cultural Anthropology In North Miami


"A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again." Margaret Mead

The thing I love the most about living here is the people, the ever growing variety of people. Until we started getting these litle outdoor cafes a couple of years ago there was a whole different feel to getting a cup of coffee. When you went inside a place you came and had coffee alone or you came and had coffee with your friends. An invisible wall surrounded every table. Now we're encouraged to move tables and chairs, even umbrellas, around to suit our needs of the moment.

Outdoors, life is so different. People you've never seen before nod hello. People you've exchanged nods with in the past ask about your health or comment on a recent haircut or praise the beautiful weather. Conversations start and near strangers, still nameless people, end up sharing a table and exchanging names as a prelude to deeper conversation.

On the days when few others are around I might read the paper or just watch the people strolling by, trying to guess which languages they're speaking. Invariably, though, I end up sharing a table and conversation with either an old friend or a brand new one.

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