Soyka is aware that tourism carries a price for any paradise too, but says he is "not like a lot of locals who shy away from Ocean Drive." He finds it to be "just as wonderful — maybe not on weekends when it's mobbed — but any other day sitting out at News Café is as nice now as it was then."
He is so adamant a booster for the Beach that it's surprising to hear him talk of Miami eventually seizing the spotlight. "Across the bridge, they always looked to Miami Beach as the playground, and at themselves as the banking industry, office space ... and behaved like a city without a soul, really. But Miami is growing, and I think it's got a lot of room to incorporate different things and probably accept a very large population — to go from a two-million-people city to a four- or five-million-people city. Because of its size and scale, I think Miami will take over for a lot of things that people come to South Florida to do and move in for — the arts and so forth."
Yet on a recent Tuesday, while I was breakfasting at News Café, the street was small-town quiet, with birds chirping and beach salt aroma in the air. How was breakfast? Well, the egg white omelet with spinach and vegetables was fine, just as it has been for the past 20 years.