By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By David Villano
By Jose D. Duran
By Michael E. Miller
By Allie Conti
By Kyle Swenson
By Luther Campbell
Outside the gate, the rickshaw skidded to a halt. A sunburned, surgically enhanced soccer mom sauntered past with her husband and two kids. From behind her Gucci sunglasses, she glared and sighed, "How lazy can you be?"
Team Public Transit: Jose Duran, web editor
Time: 35 minutes
Miami-Dade Transit may be the punch line to many a raunchy joke, but believe this: For a few bucks and a willingness to sit near the homeless and possibly insane, it'll get you where you need to go.
Besides, I had an advantage. I take the bus to work every day. From the start line, I speed-walked a block north to the Government Center Metrorail station. Immediately, I lost five minutes fighting a vending machine that refused to take credit cards. Gahh! I finally gave up and paid $5 for a one-day pass.
After a five-minute ride on the Metrorail, I made it to Culmer, at the edge of Overtown. Amazingly, four shuttles to Marlins Park were waiting near a team of smiling, helpful transit workers.
Toting about 50 passengers, the driver rolled up to the Fifth Street bridge. "Aww, man! Only in Miami does this happen," someone swore as the crossing gates lowered. With the game set to begin in ten minutes, tension rose. "Bro, there is no way they are going to start at 7. This is Miami — nothing ever starts on time," proclaimed a guy apparently unaware that ESPN wouldn't delay its national broadcast to conform with "Miami time."
Sure enough, as we inched closer to the stadium, fireworks exploded and jet fighters roared above. The previously optimistic dude cursed. "Dude, I'm driving next time!"
Team Potato Sack: Francisco Alvarado, staff writer
Time: 57 minutes
Say what you will about sacks — they're practical. They fold neatly inside a backpack, so parking isn't a problem. They're environmentally friendly too. Also, I found a sweet sack with polka-dots that read, "Party Hop," on the side.
Once the race started, I was pleasantly surprised by my furious pace. The first three blocks took less than ten minutes. I waved to a trio of women in a silver sedan as I skipped past. They looked at me like I was on meth.
Unfortunately, some sacks aren't made for durability. Two hundred feet later, my shoes ripped through. Luckily, I came prepared with backups. I pulled out a spare and hopped on. The sweat pouring down my bald head stung my eyes. The arches of my feet cramped. As I collapsed, I swore I wasn't done.
Eventually, I painfully hopped across the Fifth Street bridge while a guy in a black-and-red Chicago Bulls cap egged me on: "You can do it, bro!" A couple in a Ford pickup honked and waved.
I could see the silhouette of the ballpark just as four jets boomed overhead. I still had at least a half-mile to go. By the time I made it, I had been beaten by a bicycle, a car, a rickshaw, and Miami-Dade Public Transit.
But damn if I didn't beat that kayak.
Team Kayak: Chuck Strouse, editor, and Rich Abdill, blogger
Time: 13 minutes, nautical time
Why would you travel any other way to Marlins Park than by water?
After a homeless guy tried to sell us a shirt ("with the tag on!") in a no-panhandling zone outside the library, we lugged our kayak three blocks to the river's edge, where we dumped it in and jumped aboard.
Ah, the joys of the Miami River! Freighters, tankers, and water taxis bubbling by; the beauty of the Miami skyline behind you; a drug deal to your left; and an odor something like swamp gas all around. If only Norwegians had moved up the fjords as swiftly as we sped down that noxious waterway.
Disembarking after a half-mile paddle was slightly more difficult. We had to scale a seawall, pass through a $30 parking lot where a lady offered us a mere $15 to "parquear la canoa," and saunter a couple of blocks to the stadium. A friendly dude offered to help us portage for 73 cents, and we had to nudge aside a couple of pincho salesmen. These sidewalks weren't made for kayak-carrying.
We arrived at the ballpark not long after the first pitch. By nautical time, we arrived first. Before the bike. Before the car. Before the potato sack and rickshaw. All hail the SS New Times!
One problem, though: When we yanked the kayak up the stairs to the turnstiles, a stern cop warned that we should get the damn boat off the stadium grounds. "Somebody could trip over it and get hurt," he said. "You wouldn't want that liability, would you? Neither would we."
So there you have it. Driving and parking, surprisingly, are nonapocalyptic, but biking is so much better — assuming you can survive Miami's homicidal drivers. Call Shaun if you want an adventure. Ditch the potato sack. And leave the kayaking to the professionals.
And good luck getting past all the Cuban-American protesters there in the wake of good ole Ozzie Guillen's Pro-Fidel Castro comments!
No mention of how the driver got from the starting point to his car. That would have taken at least 10 minutes. Shoot, all of you could have just walked.
Welcome to the American dream--a billionaire using public fundsto constructa private playgroundfor the rich and powerful.
David Samson told a local business council that he thinks Miamians are stupid. Samson talked with WSVN to clarify his remarks. Don't worry guys, he doesn't think Miamians are especially stupid. He wants to clarify that he thinks Americans are just stupid and lazy in genera