Wednesday, September 02, 2015

I am back from vacation...damn it. by Geniusofdespair

I came home to over 2,000 email messages on my private account, I didn't even look at the blog account, should be much more. Feh!

Italian Beach, forget about putting down a towel. You have to pay!!

Be very thankful for your beaches here in Florida. Praise the Lord!

This was the only fight I had in Italy (not saying I didn't annoy everyone) -- it was over public access to a beach (a decent beach is very hard to find on the West Coast of Italy). Here are the sordid details of my run-in:

I went to Italy on a tour and we stopped in a resort town called Viareggio on the Ligurian Sea (like the Biscayne Bay of the Tyrrhenian Sea).  Great place. It was hot, we arrived there about 5 pm and we just wanted to jump in the water, swim and jump out.

All the beaches around our hotel were privately managed. The management of the slivers of the beach are handed down from father to son in some sort of  'crappy deal' (like we always have here in Miami to give away public spaces). Each time an umbrella color changes, it is a new beach manager. You have to pay to rent a chair and umbrella from them. I didn't ask the price. (I looked online and it said the cost was $18 to $25 euros per day in 2006). Sorry I didn't find out the price. Anyone know?

The Umbrellas looking down the coast (each color denotes a different concession). I scanned at a high resolution so you could see these umbrellas better if you hit on the photo.

The Umbrellas....looking up the coast...

Anyway, the hotel gave us an hour pass at one of the beach concessions where they had a deal, but they were unclear on which one it was. We walked down to the water's edge and this guy chased us from his concession.  He wouldn't let us put our two towels down. We asked him where our hotel had rights, he said "If you ask me that I am going to tell you a lie. Why should I help you, I lose money." He was going to lie to me on purpose??  I said the only thing I could think of besides fongul, since I didn't want violence: "You're Stupid." He said in return: "You're Stupid".

The next beach concession owner said, when we asked him the same question: "Be my guest at my concession" It was after 5 pm after all. So we swam for about 20 minutes and thanked the nice Italian guy making a fortune on what SHOULD BE A PUBLIC BEACH. No riparian rights in Italy.

Thankfully, here in Miami Dade County and elsewhere in Florida, we might pay a nominal admission fee (about $5) at some beaches but we don't have to rent umbrellas and chairs for our entire family. Most of our beaches are free if you just walk in (not drive). The fact that our politicians have not gotten their dirty, grubby hands all over our beaches is a miracle. Yes, they do pollute them as often as they can but they haven't imposed high fees for swimming.  Watch out for privatization, it is a BAD THING (remember Donald Trump wanted to manage Crandon's Golf Course and the County Commission nixed it? That was a very good move on their part).

So I am back readers, to mess with your heads.


Anonymous said...

Glad you are back GOD, we missed you. You missed the Putney-Wolfson squabble. We are waiting for news from you on Hudstead.

Dave said...

Welcome back, hope you had a good time.

Howard said...

I can't wait to hear more thoughts from GOD.

Geniusofdespair said...

Thanks guys, especially you Howard, a new and valued (LOL) reader.

I bought a lot of pope stuff in Italy, so I might be kinder to you all.

youbetcha' said...

I missed you too.

Anonymous said...

City of Miami Beach makes millions renting out public spaces. Everything the City makes in rent is spent on government employees who get paid handsomely to overlook all the violations to the City rental rules. Rules that are constantly altered to satisfy the biggest violators."The City of Miami Beach (the "City") issues a beachfront concession letter agreement (the "Permit") to
the upland owner of a beachfront property, subject to receipt of the appropriate application,
documentation and fees (if applicable). The Permit authorizes the upland owner to operate a
beachfront concession (the "Beachfront Concession") on the section of beach east of the upland
The upland owner is typically a hotel or condominium. The Beachfront Concession may be operated
directly by the upland owner and/or by a third party contractor hired by the upland owner (collectively,
the "Concessionaire"). There are up to three uses which are authorized in conjunction with a
Beachfront Concession. These uses are: 1) beach equipment rentals (chairs, umbrellas, etc.), 2) sale
of food and non-alcoholic beverages, and 3) water sports rentals Uet skis, etc.)."

Geniusofdespair said...

Yes last anonymous, but there is plenty of public beach in Miami Beach proper it is not ALL concessions.

Anonymous said...

I think it's too expensive and too inaccessible to reach the beach. If you drive, you have to factor in the cost of gas, tolls ($1.75 on the Rickenbacker to reach Virginia Key and Crandon and Cape Florida Beaches), then pay $8 to get into those "Public" parks. Forget about getting to a beach without going to those parks because Key Biscayne has made their public beach park a private beach park for residents only.

There should be better public transportation exclusively for reaching our beaches and the admission fees should be waived or reduced for those taking public transporation. Imagine if half the cars could be eliminated from the Rickenbacker Causeway by those taking a dedicated beach bus that actually dropped you off at the beach entrances (not Crandon Blvd where you would have to walk miles in the heat with all your beach stuff - very discouraging).

This city makes everything difficult, expensive (for the average resident) and joyless - even accessing our greatest asset our beaches and waterfront parks. No wonder the drivers are so hostile.

cyndi said...

welcome home! As usual you are timely. Up in Martin County our beaches are open and free. Beurocrats are trying to change that and we the residents are not too happy about it.

Jeffrey Scott Wilson said...

Glad to see you back. I am looking forward to more insightful writings as local elections (Miami Beach) are getting close at hand. 🔦😖

Geniusofdespair said...

I wish I knew more about Miami Beach Jeffrey, however, this PAC of theirs sucks big time. In Miami Beach you are not allowed to make campaign donations if you have business/expect to have business before the city. That is super. This PAC circumvents that big time. I would not vote for anyone associated with the PAC for that reason. And to put ads against the media....they are madmen. Out of principle, without knowing any candidates, I would not vote for any that gets PAC money from those doing business with the City. Where is David Dermer when you need him.

Anonymous said...

Welcome back...

yes mandatory Italian beach rentals are excessive but, on principle, how is that different than charging access to the beach by the carload if driving or by the person if walking or biking? in fact short of walking from Crandon the only other way on to a Cape Florida beach is to swim from a boat.

Gimleteye said...

Welcome back!

Anonymous said...

A pciture is worth a thousand words, so a picture of a thousand umbrellas is worth leaves me speechless. Part
of the reason travel is so important is to refresh the brain comparing what we would and wouldn't want to bring back home.