PRINT January 1988



I'VE NEVER BEEN to Miami. I've never visited a building by Arquitectonica. I've yet to watch an episode of Miami Vice straight through to the end (I think). I haven't read any of the recent batch of books on Miami, and I was feeling under the weather last summer when the excerpts from David Rieff's book Going to Miami came out in The New Yorker.

But when I was very young I used to sing the “Alabama Song” quite a lot. I thought I was lucky to have friends who were a lot older than me, so I didn't mind when they prodded me to join in and sing, “Oh show me the way to the next whiskey bar,” even though I had never been to a bar. But I was the kind of dreadful child who knew that the song came from the score of an opera by Bertolt Brecht and Kurt Weill called Rise and Fall of the City of Mahagonny, and I've heard that the City of Mahagonny was supposed to be based on the City of Miami, and that

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