As Pop-Ups Take Over Miami, Why Stop At Parks, Shops and Restaurants?

In the past year, the Magic City has seen more pop-ups than Katie Perry performing inside a correctional facility. We've been inundated with so-called "pop-up" restaurants, bars, and art galleries. Impromptu porno studios have popped-up (and then promptly deflated) on Monument Island, inside a pizzeria, and perhaps even inside on a public bus. Going out on the weekends has turned into a citywide game of pop-up whack-a-mole.

Now Miami's pop-up craze has gone too far. Case in point: city Commissioner Marc Sarnoff's recent decision to create a pop-up public park in Shorecrest in order to prevent sex offenders from moving in.

The tiny strip of scorched earth is smaller than a basketball court, but that didn't stop Sarnoff from christening it the "Little River Pocket Park." "This is to prevent any further sexual offenders from being put there by the state," he told the Miami Herald.

But if public officials are willing to create a pop-up park ex-nilio just to screw over sex offenders, why stop there? Here are few other pop-up possibilities that this city could use.

Pop-up Planned Parenthood: Democrats claim Republicans in Congress are waging a "war on women." They cite invasive abortion laws under consideration around the country, Florida congressman Cliff Stearns's so-called investigation into Planned Parenthood, and House Republicans' attempts to de-fund the women's health care provider. So what better way for progressives to strike back then for Planned Parenthoods to pop-up all around Miami? By the time conservatives arrive with their signs and bullhorns, the pop-ups will be long gone.

Pop-up Brothel: Miami is the unofficial capital of Latin America, where - as the recent Secret Service scandal pointed out - prostitution is often legal. So why not in Miami? We could test the waters with a few pop-up brothels, perhaps one in Sarnoff's Shorecrest park. What happens in Pocket Park, stays in Pocket Park.

Pop-up Prison: It's no secret that Florida governor and Lex Luther impersonator Rick Scott wants to privatize the state's correctional facilities. But after the Florida Supreme Court struck down his first attempt, and legislators voted against his second try, our naked-mole-rat-in-chief could use some help. We propose a pop-up prison pilot project: you know, simple, mom-and-pop operations like the ones back in Julia Tuttle's day. With a few shackles or old-timey wooden stocks in your front yard, you too can be a prison warden! But remember to feed your inmate occasionally, otherwise, that Rick-Scott-endorsed check won't be arriving in the mail next month.

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Michael E. Miller was a staff writer at Miami New Times for five years. His work for New Times won many national awards, including back-to-back-to-back Sigma Delta Chi medallions. He now covers local enterprise for the Washington Post.