Stephen P. Clark Government Center courtyard

It's probably just as well that the government center courtyard isn't extravagantly landscaped and decorated, because it would most certainly be overshadowed by the real-life dramas that unfold there on a daily basis. Its location is a natural magnet. The Metrorail's government center stop is directly above it. Within your field of view is the Miami-Dade Cultural Center, the county courthouse, the central bus terminal, the main public library, and various government buildings. It's hard to imagine a resident or tourist who hasn't at one time or another crossed the courtyard, at least on the way to someplace else. But it's the people with nowhere else to go who make the place so engaging. The benches invite area bums and crazies to sit a spell while being regaled by their own. Relatively quiet Sundays, when the missionaries drop by to sermonize to the apparently drunken flock, might even be the best time. Unlike other people-watching spots, however, you won't just be a spectator here. You'll become part of the entertainment when, without fail, somebody will approach you hoping for "spare" change, some attention, or simply directions how to get out of there quickly.


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