Best Place to People-Watch (2006)

South Beach Local

We were sad to see the wheezing and whining (when they weren't broken down) Electrowave buses sent out to pasture when Miami-Dade Transit gobbled up the route. But the shiny new buses with two separate loops (one up Washington Avenue, the other on West Avenue) are the best. The buses are clean, the air conditioning works, and the view is even better. For just a quarter, you can ride in comfort as you're spying the Washington Avenue riffraff. Arguing homeless people -- "You're a bum!" "No, you're a bum!" -- cause a commotion next to the bus stop. Not-so-casual drug deals take place. And there's an endless stream of fake breasts, shakin' booties, and bare legs strutting in four-inch heels (some even belonging to women). Plus there are plenty of characters on the bus: tourists from Europe, Canada, and the hills of Kentucky; packs of wild, hormonally charged teenagers; senior citizens with grocery carts. Even the drivers are an interesting lot: One particular gentleman who resembles Gopher from The Love Boat keeps things exciting by holding a conversation with a guy in the next lane for six blocks. (He wants to know all about the guy's blinged-out Ford F-350.) We've heard girls on spring break complaining about their hammertoes and elderly vacationers from Buffalo calling friends back home to brag about the balmy Florida February weather. And yes, ladies, plenty of hot, wife-beater-wearing Latinos also ride the bus.


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