Thursday, August 31, 2006

What the "Miami Circle" Needs: A Madman in a Bulldozer

In 1998, archaeologists found a 36-foot diameter circle of holes in downtown Miami. 24 big ones plus some "minor ones." The archaeologists figured the holes were between 1,700 and 2,000 years old. It wasn't a discovery on the scale of say, finding King Tut, in fact, it was hardly on anyone's archeological meter at all because basically, no matter how you looked at it, it was nothing more than a CIRCLE OF HOLES IN THE GROUND. It wasn't the tip of a pyramid poking through the weeds holding the remains of some bejeweled, gold laden king. It was a CIRCLE OF HOLES IN THE GROUND. Initially, one expert was sure they were the remanents of a septic tank but he was soon overruled by a majority of experts who agreed that they were the remains of post holes, dug thousands of years ago to support a ceremonial hut of some sort (to some archaeologists, it's always a "ceremonial" something or other). I believe the only thing found of interest in one of the holes was a shark's tooth and a condom (circa 1949). With the exception of a some really old people, archaeologically speaking, Miami can't lay claim to anything much older than a hundred years, so the "Miami Circle" as it soon became known, was something to latch onto with pride.

Like remoras on a shark, civic leaders, quasi-Native Americans, and kids from around the world thanks to unsupervised time on the Internet attached themselves to these crude holes in the ground and made them a cause celebre with reasons ranging from "because they're sacred" to "they're cute." Before long, with the world rising against him, developer Michael Baumann caved in to the pressure and dropped his "Brickell Pointe" condo project in the proverbial hole of good intentions.

"Yeah, yeah," I can hear some proud citizen saying, "you may have the Taj Mahal, but we got a freakin' circle of really old holes in the ground."

Perhaps, in the end, something good did come out of all of this. The twin towers that got deep-sixed were unexceptional in their design for such a landmark space.Hopefully reason will return to the community someday in the near future and a world-class building will be erected on that spot that will lift our spirits with it as it rises skyward from a murky past to an exciting future full of hope. Right now, all we can pray for is that one night, a madman in a bulldozer will run rampage over the "thing" in the ground and grade it all to hell so that we can get on with our lives, to embrace the future and to put the really boring past behind us. For that man, MVB would hope to see him honored with another bronze statue flanking the noble Tequesta on the opposite side of the Brickell Bridge, commemorating the day Miami got its senses back.

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