Best Class Disparity (2007)

Biscayne Boulevard between 69th and 70th streets

Miami has been criticized of late for being a city of the very poor and the very rich, where the middle-class has been squeezed out into the suburbs, or even to faraway North Carolina. There's something to this. A drive up Biscayne Boulevard reveals a Miami of the wealthy (wine shops, designer clothing stores, a car wash named Karma) and the poor (tired-looking liquor stores, hookers). But nowhere is the clash of classes more evident than between NE 69th and 70th streets, where diners at trendy Michy's sup on Turks and Caicos conch fillets (escargots style), while next door, down-on-their-luck folks live at the Saturn Motel for weeks on end. The two establishments are separated by an alley, yet they are worlds apart. For $65 you can sample a few tasty plates at Michy's (or get one bottle of wine) — or for the same money go next door and rent a room. Michy's was mentioned in Gourmet last year as one of the nation's top restaurants. The Saturn has a walk-up registration window with bulletproof glass.

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