BEST STROLL Miami 2004 - Miracle Mile on Saturday
Between early January and the end of March a farmers' market fills the circle in front of city hall, where bells chime the time in the maligned city Merrick built. Coral Gables has many an asset. The market includes a farmer named Richard Lyons who speaks Latin, or at least offers up genus-species names instead of "yeller flower," and other friendly experts in their fields happy to chat; informational displays; high-end edible goodies including exotic and organic veggies, heirloom tomatoes, imported oils and pasta, stone crabs for ten dollars per pound, real key limes, labneh spread (which mainly contains milk and salt but still tastes fine), jams and preserves of canistels, sapodilla, mango, tangerine. Winter's best, but natives used to the heat can travel anytime to the allegedly anal community's main drag, along which an entire day disappears into a beau monde of window shopping for Lotto-ticket dreamers. Bring meter quarters and park on a side street at the west end of the Mile (called Coral Way outside the Gables). Go over to the two corner fountains and walk east. Peer into three coiffure shops, five outlets offering fancy bric-a-brac, fourteen jewelry stores, four formal men's and fourteen women's clothiers, four potion shops. See the famous Miracle, a two-tiered cinema turned live theater. Check out wigs, health food, shoes, leather goods, baby stuff, art, and, yes, of course there's a Starbucks. And all that's a mere fraction of the mile. You might want to visit one of the ten restaurants before moving on to the next block.