Whatever Happened to Lincoln Road?

So call me an old-timer, but whatever happened to Lincoln Road Mall?

Last week my wife and I went to see a 3D movie down at the Regal South Beach Cinema, and afterward I asked to take a stroll down the mall, just for old-time’s sake. It had been quite a while since our last time at Lincoln Road and I wanted to experience it again. It wasn’t ten minutes into our walk that we remembered why we stayed away from it in the first place! The mall was just disgustingly overcrowded. It was like a wall of people moving in front and behind you, barely giving you space enough to breathe, let alone enjoy the stroll. The restaurants and cafes have multiplied and they all spill out onto the walk way, barely giving you space to pass by, and never without being harassed by the eatery’s host/hostess (here’s a hint for all Lincoln Rd. restaurants: none of you are Kosher, so if you see a Jew with a kippah walk by, don’t waste your breath trying to get them to eat at your store).

I remember a Lincoln Road Mall that was busy but not overcrowded, that offered options but did not assault you every few steps, full of small stores dripping with personality and charm, not with endless branches of the brands of consumerism. And I’m not even going to talk about the monster that is the Regal Cinema. I miss that more bohemian Lincoln Road Mall. The current one makes me want to stay home and never visit it. I fully realize I am in the minority here, but I wear that badge proudly.

About the only cool thing I saw at the mall was the new location of Books & Books, back where the Cinematheque used to be years ago. Maybe I’ll talk about that next time.

2 Comments so far

  1. southbeachbum on March 23rd, 2009 @ 6:29 am

    It sure ain’t what it used to be. However, I still think it’s lovely early in the morning or during the week late in the afternoon. I’ve got my regular spot where I can sit with the dog and watch the parade with a cocktail, but other than that, well, not so much. I can’t remember the last time I actually bought something from a store on Lincoln Road and I’ve lived on South Beach since 1991. http://www.thesouthbeachbum.blogspot.com

  2. Daniel M. Perez (highmoon) on March 23rd, 2009 @ 12:58 pm

    I’m sure that in the times when it belongs to the locals (i.e. morning and late weekday afternoons, as you point out) it is still a nice place to be at. And overall, I do think it is a great site, a veritable nexus of the South Beach experience, which is why it bothers me so much that it has been prostituted to such an extreme.

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