We have gone on record as suggesting Bayside Marketplace is a “giant 305-themed tourist trap.” And we stand by that assessment (and so do you, if you’ve set foot anywhere near Bayside).
But now things are looking up a little at the tourist mecca and mall-ish kind of place by the bay, because Miami’s Planning and Zoning Board has approved a 176-foot tall observation wheel.
An observation wheel is like a Ferris wheel only less janky. This one, a smaller version of the London Eye, will have enclosed capsules where up to 20 people can walk around, gaze out at Miami and wonder why the traffic is stopped on I-95.
Skyviews America, which is building the wheel, hopes to have it ready by the Super Bowl in February. This all sounds great, but there are a few other things Bayside needs to make it the tourism jewel of downtown Miami. Which is basically all for tourists now because the rest of us can’t get in or out without encountering a traffic nightmare.
Here’s what we’d like to see at Bayside:
A Pitbull statue as designed by Romero Britto
Tourists love Britto. Locals love Pitbull. It’s a marriage made in Miami heaven.
The Marlins home run sculpture
The Marlins claim they’re going to reassemble it outside the stadium, but we all know Derek Jeter is just biding his time until he can chop it up into pieces and bury it in the Everglades.
A giant guitar-shaped hotel
Think how much more amazing this guitar-shaped hotel would look next to the bay instead of the swamps of west Hollywood.
A croqueta bar
Normally we don’t talk politics, but we’d like to see an amendment to the state constitution requiring a croqueta bar in every strip mall in South Florida. Candidates, make it happen, and start with Bayside.
Wynwood Yard is on its way to becoming luxury condos you can’t afford. The North Beach Yard is not gonna happen. Let’s give the tourists somewhere to hang out that’s not Hooters, a place where they can witness real live Miami hipsters in the wild.
A new home for Lolita
Biscayne Bay is a little warm, but it’s a lot bigger than her pen.