MIAMI EXCURSION

Miami International Airport terminal, looking out upon world flags.

It’s been well-over two years since we’ve flown anywhere.  I had personal business in US so we booked a two-hour flight on AA to Miami, which makes direct transits in both directions each afternoon, arriving in Miami at 6:30pm and in Merida about 3:30pm.  International travel is still taxing, but at least we didn’t have to arise at 4am!

MetroMover cars service the downtown, free. (No mask. No ride.)

Miami’s rail system is impressive.  Their transit system, MetroRail, got us from the airport to within a short walk of our hotel.  Very affordable!  Monday thru Friday for $22.50 per person for the work-week, using prepaid cards bought all at once from a vending machine —  a significant savings over buying one ride at a time.  (There are plenty of transit workers ready to explain how to transact.)  The MetroMover, seen in the photo above, shuttled us around downtown for free, no cards needed.  MetroRail requires prepaid cards at the gate. Masks are required of all passengers on all transit systems in Miami.

We stayed at a dignified older hotel which has been smartly restored: the EuroStar Langford Miami.  Well located, on SE 1st Street. Well managed.  Comfortable.  Dining nearby ranges from Whole Foods salad bar, to Boulud Sur.  We enjoyed our first poke bowl (think Asian-version of Chipotle Mexican Grill, at OG Poke, on SE 1st.)  We also enjoyed a tiny Cuban breakfast spot, with sidewalk tables but no name, two blocks east of the hotel (next to Kone Sushi).  But note: wherever we went in Miami we froze.  Yeah, it’s “north” of Yucatán, but the air conditioning on trains, in eateries, and in malls was excessive.  Take a sweater!  I saw office workers wearing quilted vests and robes! We’re cooling ourselves into oblivion.

My other complaint was signage. Their street signs are not at human scale, and they display only one half of each intersection, high above pedestrians, assuming that everyone knows what street their walking on.  Clearly the signage is for drivers not walkers.  This was troubling, as we got lost walking to our hotel, upon first arriving downtown. 

This city is on the go.  Construction is everywhere.  The mayor knows the city is at risk of sea-level inundation.  But BigMoney seems to expect taxpayers to come to the rescue. Venice FL !

A fancy high-rise near our hotel.

SPINOZA’s RADICAL THEOLOGY  : :   A mini book review

Spinoza’s Radical Theology : the Metaphysics of the Infinite

FIVE STARS.  I’ve long been asking fellow students of philosophy who their favorite philosopher might be.  Well, Professor Charlie Huenemann’s book has me convinced:  next to Socrates/Plato, in the modern era, mine is Bennie Spinoza.  This excerpt is from the first page of his concluding chapter, titled Spinoza vs Nietzsche:

Spinoza may have been the first philosopher to propose a metaphysical vision that so thoroughly integrates the deep reverence in ancient religion with the remorseless necessity of modern physics.  He saw that nature is closed — no loopholes, no exceptions, and no magic — and indifferent to our plight.  But he also experienced something divine in nature that had been discerned as well in revealed religion, although not in full clarity.  He proposed not a compromise, but an integration: yes, nature is as cold and indifferent as a mechanistic physics implies, and, yes, the light of scripture is an expression of the reverence due to nature.  He asked that metaphysics and religion take a step forwards and together into a synthesis that preserved the essence of each.  (p.131, paperback edition, Acumen Publishing.)

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