Miami Musings

by Jay Nordlinger

Today’s Impromptus is called “Ports of Call,” and has notes from various spots. (It follows Tuesday’s “London Journal,” which is devoted to just the one city.) I would like to paste a little excerpt, for the purpose of publishing a letter after.

Okay, this is politically incorrect: I was thinking about why I like Miami so much, and one of the reasons is this: I like Latin America, very much; and I like America America — the United States — very much.

In Latin America, there is often the sense that the rule of law is not quite in force. The law is arbitrary, unreliable. Miami gives you a Latin American ambience but under proper, “Anglo” rule of law.

Isn’t that a terrible thing to say? But I say it because I think it’s true.

I got an e-mail from a friend of mine — an American who spent her first years in the Philippines, I believe. She says, “I visited Miami for the first time last spring. The first thing I thought was, ‘This is what Manila might be like if it ever got its act together.’”