For anyone that grew up around the Hialeah/ Miami Lakes area in the 90’s, Main Street was the place to be Friday and Saturday nights. Now it seems that Main Street has devolved into a den of moral and social corruption akin to only Gotham City. And the denizens who can afford to, and do, pay to live across the street from a movie theater and down the block from Johnny Rocket’s have had enough of it. It seems on Christmas night a gang of teens mobbed up the area, and a 16 year old was shot in the chest, leading to an 8 PM curfew beginning Friday night for all those under 18, as if this will quell the problem. Mayor Michael Pizzl was quoted in today’s issue of the Herald as saying “I want to demonstrate to the people that we’ve taken back Main Street.”
Taken Main Street back from what, exactly? An isolated incident that happened a week ago? Or is it from the pot smoking teens (oh no!) that loiter around on the weekend? Main Street is not the wild west. It’s an upscale neighborhood that’s continually catering to a wealthier and wealthier clientele, and the problem and solution both lie within this fact. You want teens to stop being menaces (at least in Main Street)? Then maybe something outta be done about the only two kid friendly places in Main Street: the movie theater and Johnny Rockets.
Like I said, growing up Main Street was a hot spot, back when there was an FYE (or Sam Goodies, I forget which), and various eateries which broke middle schoolers could afford. Over the years these establishments which were aimed at a younger crowd were replaced by French and Spanish and Italian restaurants that I couldn’t afford, even now. What the hell else do you expect a couple of bored kids to do on the weekends after a movie or on their way to the one restaurant they can afford?
I’m not saying the correct response it to start a mob, but when you take away any of the fun that kids might have in an area which was a wonderful hangout, there’s not much else they can do. Instead a curfew is added on top of everything, as if this won’t resort in more unruliness. Local business owners assert teens don’t spend money at the local shops and scare away customers. Yeah. Teens are meant to spend money in bullshit stores meant to cater to the wealthy who live right above them and either forgot that they were bored teens once or where wealthy enough to avoid that part of life. Give me a break.
On top of the curfew, a manager for the movie theater has said the cinema will be closing early on New Years because of the incident. Great idea! Give kids even less to do! Look, the solution to this problem is apparent. Kids need stuff to keep them busy and away from doing dumb shit (which they’re gonna do anyway). Either open more places which target youths to keep the wealthy clientele that dine over at Shula’s from having to worry about getting looking at unkempt teens, or close down the last two places that do cater to kids and develop an area nearby which caters solely to a young crowd. Truthfully, the latter is the best bet. Since coming back to Main Street I find it as incredibly boring as those teens Christmas night must have. Young people need a place to have fun. Yet they’re being pushed away from one of the few spots they have. Like that’s going to solve anything.
The biggest kicker of this whole mess? The article almost, ALMOST, tricks you into feeling bad for the well off, as if they’re the victims in in this situation. As more people with money moved into Main Street, more of the shops which did cater to kids closed up to make way for spas and Venetian Couture. At the end of the day, if they’re scared of the angry teens with nothing better to do than lash out, they have nobody to blame but themselves and those like them. And the real victim of this fiasco, the one who was SHOT IN THE CHEST, we’re left wondering what happened to him, while the rich contemplate moving. Please do, and let Main Street be fun again.