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06/22/12 10:14

Miami doesn't often disappoint me but last night it did. (Clearly I'm not a big Heat fan.)

In the evening we drove down to Coconut Grove for the Fete de la Musique. Many years ago I was in Paris for the summer solstice, and walking around the city I moved from one small concert to another. On virtually every corner there were musicians: here a string quartet playing Bach, there a Spanish guitarist strumming flamenco, around the corner a woman singing Piaf, down the street a klezmer group. The city had become a giant music store which, instead of CDs, had live performers.

Last night we parked in a garage near the Mayfair Hotel and soon came upon a band playing amplified rock. A small group of people stood and listened. We headed to the bookstore where, I had read, a Cuban choir was performing. People milled around the entrance, including two women with guitars. I asked if they were about to perform and one of them told me that they had just finished. I looked at my watch: it was 8 pm. I thought that the whole point of the solstice was to stay up late. And since when does Miami close up early?

We headed to the center of the Grove, passing another band playing rock. More rock guitars accompanied us down Main Highway. This was not a festival of music - a celebration of its instrumental and international richness - but simply an excuse for rock bands to occupy the streets. The Fete de la Guitare. It reminded me of a typical Saturday night on Las Olas (though without the variety).

Down on Commodore Plaza another band dominated by guitars played folk rock. We entered LOKAL across the street and cheered ourselves with delicious burgers (I washed mine down with a Category 3 from Due South Brewery in Boynton Beach). Then, like everyone else, we (or at least I) watched the Heat game. I tried to block out the commercials with memories of Paris.

By Thomas Swick • Category: hometown

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