Paradise Found

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"Someone recently asked me: Why are you here, if you're not going out to clubs any more? I thought about it but I'm not sure I know the answer. I'll be lying in the grass sometimes listening to Mozart or jungle music or whatever, and I could be anywhere, but I like being here. Even I don't know why. More than anything else, I love the beach. If I'm feeling sort of tense or depressed or whatever, all I have to do is get on my bike, I usually go get a cafe con leche at this little place on Eleventh Street and go down to the beach. That's it. It really chills me out. I take a book sometimes and sit on the wall and read. It's like sanity. I like all the distractions, the music from the cafes across the street, the Rollerbladers. Then sometimes there aren't any distractions. If you go there when it's raining it's also really beautiful. I love swimming in the sea and seeing pelicans fly over."

The sculptor Mark Handforth, one of Stuart's few English friends in Miami, adds: "To me Miami seemed like the most random place I could possibly go after London. I got a thrill telling my friends that I was coming here. By virtue of being so far away from culture with a capital C, it opens up a world of opportunity. Alexander wanted to get a breath of fresh air. You can do that here and no one's going to stop you. That's part of what his book's about.

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