The Sweet Smell of Psychosis

Jorge Chartrand, director of capital improvement projects for Miami Beach, hopes Rodriguez can hold it for just a little bit longer.

"The restroom at 46th Street and Collins Avenue should be under construction in a week. We're still waiting on permits for the restrooms at 21st Street and 64th Street, and the Lummus Park restroom is already under construction." In other words, within two or three months, says Chartrand, all four restrooms, which were demolished, will be rebuilt. In the meantime, try to walk that very thin line between heat stroke and having to pee every five minutes.

As for cleanliness, Domingo Macias, who works for Miami Beach's sanitation department, says, "The bathrooms are cleaned seven days a week, two or three times a day. It's a complicated process because the homeless use them and a lot of them get vandalized. Sometimes someone will lock themselves in there and start drinking, or do laundry in the sink. It's tough to keep them clean, but we try."

The Borobudur temple in Indonesia is illuminated by the invention of 
lighting designer Robert Daniels
The Borobudur temple in Indonesia is illuminated by the invention of lighting designer Robert Daniels

For the time being, this leaves no public facilities available anywhere north of Tenth Street except at 74th.

Be Cool

The Bitch still hasn't gotten over her annoyance at seeing tons of ice abetting the flow of free VMA cocktail parties (not to mention the fabulous ice sculpture creations of the Boost Mobile eighth-grade art class at Casa Casuarina) two weeks ago as hurricane-stricken residents of Overtown, the West Grove, and Liberty City sweltered with neither ice nor art at hand.

She was somewhat mollified by the unlikely personage of Miami Mayor Manny Diaz, who effected an individual comfort-distribution record. His honor proclaimed he would personally deliver bags of ice and bottled water to those without power in the Flagami neighborhood the Tuesday following the storm, and he did.

When The Bitch casually inquired how the project had turned out, city spokeswoman Kelly Penton responded, "The mayor himself passed out about 6000 pounds of ice going from door to door from 6:00 to 10:30 p.m."

Wow! Assuming we're talking the standard ten-pound bag of ice, that's a distribution rate of about 600 deliveries in less than five hours. As Darth Vader would say, "Most impressive."

Now if only Mayor Diaz could pull a Bob Graham and work a shift for high-speed Internet monopolists Comcast Cable. According to Comcast spokesman Spero Canton, 100 percent of the company's Miami-Dade/Broward network has been restored from Katrina-related outages. Though Comcast blares ads promising "blazing-fast, always-on Internet connections" to callers on hold to its customer service pods, residents of the West Grove and elsewhere in the hood would have more connectivity with dial-up accounts and 14.4 modems. Since August 25, the bandwidth for these customers has been 0 kb, owing to a seemingly interminable Comcast lack of responsiveness.

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