BEST PLACE TO GO STONED - 2005
Deering Estate at Cutler
305-235-1668 In the future, people will be able to plug their brains directly into virtual reality scenarios for sex, drugs, and probably everything else. No doubt there will be meditative modules for calming down -- like motionless yoga for the nervous system. Walking into the Deering Estate at Cutler, especially on a weekday when you might have the entire expanse of the back lawn to yourself, feels like walking into just such an alternate reality. Schools of fish swimming in concentric circles flash in the turning basin at the end of Deering's canal. Occasionally a fat gray manatee breaks the surface. Royal palms form straight lines along the walkway and canal, enhancing the stately symmetry. Herons and egrets spear minnows in the shallows, and the hypnotic lapping of waves overshadows the endless array of tiny splashes and rustles among the mangrove roots. On the spooky tip, you can walk unaccompanied around the humongous house, checking out the somber paintings and portraits of scions past; be sure to venture into the dungeonlike basement.