Florida in the summer

Blogger Steve Kelman explores the cultural contours of South Florida, including its interesting architecture and strange traffic patterns.

I have been attending the annual World Congress of the National Contract Management Association (the professional association for contracting professionals in government and industry), and will write both a blog post and a column about what I learned about contracting. The conference was in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., and in this post, I want to make a few observations about south Florida in the summertime. (My mother-in-law and my best friend both live in south Florida, so I actually get there pretty often, including in the summer.)

The first is that the summer weather in South Florida is typically not much different from that in Washington or even Boston. It was hot and muggy during this trip, but not more so than D.C. -- which in fact, was generally a few degrees hotter. Nonetheless, there were a surprising number of radio ads -- more than I hear on the radio in Washington or Boston -- promoting products or services around the theme of doing something about the unbearable hot summer weather. It would be interesting to see whether climate change has reduced the summer temperature differences between Washington and Florida -- whether they used to differ more than they do now.

Second, but somewhat related, one can easily see why the United States has a higher per capita consumption of energy than virtually every other country with our standard of living. To come into hotels is to enter an icebox; I am guessing lobby temperatures were set somewhere between 66 and 68 degrees (or about 20 C for non-U.S. blog readers), which can be uncomfortably cold when wearing a short-sleeved shirt. Why should interior temperatures in the summer be colder than we consider comfortable in the winter? (I am guessing that many people set summer temperatures in their homes at 68 and winter temperatures at 72, in both cases requiring more cooling or heating energy consumption. Why should there be a difference?)

Third, the local housing economy is still in trouble. In Bal Harbour, just north of Miami Beach, the uncompleted skeleton of a luxury St. Regis Hotel with condos remains deserted and spooky. A woman seeking to buy a condo told me banks are reluctant to approve mortgages where the value of the seller's unpaid mortgage is greater than the value of the house.

I also noted that cars on the secondary roads were travelling very, very slowly, typically just a mile or two above speed limits. Unfortunately that is not the case on I-95, with its dangerous mix of 85-year-olds who shouldn't be driving and drug dealers trying to make getaways. It appears that police in South Florida are using moving violations as a revenue source in tough economic times.

Having said all this, South Florida in many ways is bustling. The buildings are a tribute to the wonders that interesting paint colors can do: Otherwise dull buildings are really sparkled up through the mixture of turquoises, tans, blues, and pinks one sees everywhere. A good deal of the modern hotel and office architecture is also attractive, with interesting ornamentation in the form of spear-like objects angled out of the tops of buildings and unusual shapes or facades.

 

And it was fun to visit West Palm Beach, whose mayor, Lois Frankel, a high-school classmate, has done a fantastic job of dramatically redeveloping the downtown of this once down-and-out and still fairly poor city. It has an amazing new library that is incredibly welcoming for kids and that reminds one more of a Barnes and Noble bookstore than a boring public space.

 

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.