Miami Beach

Miami Beach visitors soak in last day of holiday weekend

Trillanie Brown, wearing black swimsuit, of Carol City and a friend have their picture taken on Miami Beach on Monday, May 25, 2015.
Trillanie Brown, wearing black swimsuit, of Carol City and a friend have their picture taken on Miami Beach on Monday, May 25, 2015.

Zakiya Scott rested on a blue beach towel and leaned back into her elbows while video chatting with her friend in England.

“I'm in Miami Beach,” Scott yelled, trying to outdo the loud hip-hop music and rowdy revelers next to her. “Can you see the water?”

She repositioned her phone. “How about now? So beautiful!”

The 25-year-old ventured to Miami alone to experience Urban Beach Week, a weekend that lures thousands of visitors each year for Memorial Day. While most people fly here in groups, or locals bust in with their entourages, Scott said she prefers to experience the festivities on her own.

“I love the freedom,” Scott said Monday. She winked. “And I picked the right place, too. The moment I sit down here in Miami, someone walks over to talk to me. So I'm not that alone after all.”

People strutted the streets and sands in bikinis; loud house music filled the air. The crowds, although not as dense as those of days prior, tried to soak in every minute.

“I will stay out here until the very, very end,” Yasary Castrodad, 37, said. “I'm from Brickell but I never make it out here, so I have to take advantage as much as I can. Plus, the last day is the best day; less crazy people.”

Memorial Day weekend marks a significant increase in police presence, with more than 500 officers from several South Florida agencies flooding the heavily populated avenues.

According to Miami Beach police, arrests were down again Sunday night through Monday morning. Police made 33 arrests, down from 56 during the same time in 2014.

Meanwhile, Miami Beach Ocean Rescue reported 24 rescues from Monday's choppy waters. A total of 35 people were safely pulled from the water as more than 50 lifeguards covered about seven miles of shore.

On the streets were metal barriers and orange cones, sealing residential neighborhoods from tourists. However, the spike in tourism didn't mean a rise in revenue, several businesses told the Miami Herald on Monday.

More than a dozen small businesses on Washington Avenue said Memorial Day weekend brought in fewer customers than an average weekend.

“Everyone is on the beach getting drunk, partying up. Who wants to go shopping?” said Nabil Markos, co-owner of Miami Beach Sports, a vintage clothing and souvenir shop. “Today I made $15, while I usually make $1,500.

“And if people do want to shop, all the streets are blocked. There's no parking. That's why most business owners lock up and go on vacation.”

In the late afternoon, Trillanie Brown of Carol City and her friend sashayed the shores in her grandmother's custom bathing suits.

“Although we’re from here, we know Memorial Day brings in lots of people. So what better day to model a bathing suit? You already know everyone is watching, got to get them while you can.”

Brown matched her sleek monokini with sparkly black sneaker wedges and posed for a selfie.

Behind her?

"Yo, where'd you get that bikini? I want one," one beachgoer yelled.

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