ART DECO, MIAMI BEACH The New Year translucency remains within sea: art deco turquoise. The sky looks full of itself, with its frequent metallic fowl. Underneath it, young men lounge on chaises longues – salt-clean; keen for uniformity. Everywhere, there are pastels of purple, coral, jade. The foreignness of Florida is stronger than that of Italy, Germany: the language of English conceals parallel rather than linked worlds. People have an air of detachment: a vocabulary of charm. As I walk along the pearly beach, my mood shifts: I begin depressed by the absence of cliffs – of vitality in tides and condominiums. The rhythm in my hip – the afternoon light laced with a wakening wind – pull me to the pier: to the pelican’s poised beak and wing. In a while – willing to connect – I focus on detail: the Beth Jacob synagogue; the Wolfsonian Museum. As six o’clock darkness falls, ocean-front hotels line their aprons with premature loudness. Puerto Ricans, Cubans, have opened bikini-thin shops. At South Pointe, by a fitness circuit, the elderly, orthodox Jews whisper. The art of imitation – imitation of art? – is as constant as in ancient Rome. Americans pay homage to it in limousines – or on Rollerblades. Copyright © JENNY JOHNSON