Miami, Florida#

by Sergey Semenov, member of the AirPano Team that is a member of the global-geography Consortium.

11 July 2011

with kind permission of AirPano

We start this virtual tour description in a not quite predictable manner. The song Miami by Will Smith colorfully illustrates this city's atmosphere. And then, when the song is read, you will be able to read the story about the shooting in Miami by Sergey Semenov.

Will Smith — Miami

Verse 1: WillSmith

Yeah Yeah Yeah Yeah
Miami, uh, uh
Southbeach, bringin the heat, uh
Haha, can y'all feel that
Can y'all feel that
Jig it out, uh
Here I am in the place where I come let go
Miami the base and the sunset glow
Everyday like a mardi gras, everybody party all day
No work all play, okay
So we sip a little something, lay to rest the spill
Me an Charlie at the bar runnin up a high bill
Nothin less than ill, when we dress to kill
Everytime the ladies pass, they be like (Hi Will)
Can y'all feel me, all ages and races
Real sweet faces
Every different nation, Spanish, Hatian, Indian, Jamaican
Black, White, Cuban, and Asian
I only came for two days of playing
But everytime I come I always wind up stayin
This the type of town I could spend a few days in
Miami the city that keeps the roof blazin


Party in the city where the heat is on
All night, on the beach till the break of dawn
Welcome to Miami
Buenvenidos a Miami
Bouncin in the club where the heat is on
All night, on the beach till the break of dawn
I'm goin to Miami
Welcome to Miami

Verse 2: Will Smith

Yo I heard the rainstorms ain't nothin to mess with
But I can't feel a drip on the strip, it's a trip
Ladies half-dressed, fully equipped
And they be screamin out, (Will we loved your last hit)
So I'm thinkin I'ma scoot me somethin hot
In this south-sea merengue melting pot
Hottest club in the city, and it's right on the beach
Temperature get to ya, it's about to reach
Five-hundred degrees
In the carribean seas, with the hot mommies
Screamin (Aii poppy)
Everytime I come to town, they be spottin me
In the drop Bentley, ain't no stoppin me
So, cash in your door
We flow to this fashion show
Pound for pound anywhere you go
Yo, ain't no city in the world like this
An if you ask how I know I gots ta plead the fifth


Verse 3: Will Smith

Don't get me wrong, Chi-town got it goin on
An New York is the city that we know don't sleep
An we all know that L.A. and Philly stay jiggy
But on the sneak, Miami bringin heat for real
Y'all don't understand
I never seen so many Dominican women with cinnimon tans
Mierda, this is the plan
Take a walk on the beach, draw a heart in the sand
Gimmie your hand
Damn, you look sexy
Let's go to my yacht, in the West Keys
Ride my jetskis, loungin in the palm trees
Cause you gotta have cheese for the summerhouse piece on SouthBeach
Water so clear, you can see to the bottom
Hundred-thousand dollar cars, e'ybody got em
Ain't no surprise in the club to see Sly, Stallone
Miami, my second home

Chorus to fade

(*) Mardi Gras is French for «Fat Tuesday», it is the last and culminating day before Ash Wednesday and beginning of the catholic Lent. Mardi gras refers to events of the Carnival celebrations in most Europe countries(France, Czech Republic, Belgium etc), in the USA and other countries. In the USA the most pompous and mass celebrations take place in New Orleans now.

(**) Meringue is a kind of Latin-American dance (like Rumba, for example)

And here it is the story by Sergey Semenov

Several times I have been on business to Miami, Florida, USA. And, of course, I was charged with shooting a virtual tour over this beautiful city. But, in fact, it was not easy at all. And the reason was...

The first attempt was made in November of 2009. That time, I thought that the weather was always fine in that paradisiacal corner of the planet and November, according to the Internet forecasts, was nearly a hot touristic season. But in reality everything was little different.

In general, Florida is famous for its hurricanes (and it's not strange that the National Hurricane Center is situated exactly in Miami). Fortunately, there was not any hurricane (or contrary — unfortunately — because in that case it could have been a sphere with a hurricane) but the strong wind was blowing and from time to time it was raining. It took me 30 minutes to get from the city center to the closest heliport and, as we usually charter helicopters with the doors off to shoot spheres, I had to accept of being wet.

But the worst happened near the ocean: the wind became much stronger and gustier than at heliport and the helicopter was in lack of power and couldn't realize a full torsion round its axis simultaneously not moving aside. But the most vexing was when we tried to realize the maneuver of turning the tail to the wind direction: the helicopter was sharply loosing height (the pilots often say that a helicopter "falls hard and fast"). Therefore, I asked the pilot to hover in the most stable position — against the wind — and began to shoot the hemispheres often changing my location inside the helicopter from the right side to the left one and vice versa. But, unfortunately, having returned to Moscow I found out that it was really difficult to stitch the material shot.

However, a month later, on the New Year's Eve, I was going to leave for Miami once again and reshoot all the spheres. Instead of celebrating I chose to find time for the shooting. That trip had its zest too. A manager, whom I talked with about the future flight, represented himself as Chico but, as soon as he had known that I was from Russia, he enthusiastically announced that his original first and last names were Alesha Orlov. At the same time, he looked like a typical Latin-American inhabitant of the USA and didn't speak Russian. Having seen my surprise and doubts, he ran out to his car and took his documents. Yes, he was absolutely right, there were stated: Nationality — Cuban, Names — Alesha Orlov...

So, on the 3-d of January, when the weather was unusually cold for that season in Florida — 10 degrees above zero (50 Fahrenheit), we took off the helicopter doors and I, having put on my Moscow winter jacket, took equipment and sat in the helicopter while the pilot was laughing and joking at me. But he laughs best who laughs last! While we were flying I heard the noise of the pilot's chattering teeth who had underestimated the "unusual cold weather": as higher we were flying as colder it was.

That was the story of how this virtual tour had been shot. I can't stand to tell you that the weather was so cold that day that it broke all the records in the meteorological history of the region having dramatically damaged citrus plantations and other plants all over Eastern coast.

My sufferings were not in vain and efforts led to success. Here it is Miami, one of the best beach resorts in the USA, which counts a great number of luxurious clubs and hotels made in Art Deco style, the highest apartment buildings in the USA constructed with money of drag barons, and many villas of famous people including Al Pacino, Anna Kurnikova, Jennifer Lopez, Julio Iglesias, Lenny Kravitz, Shaquille O'Neal, Matt Damon, Shakira, Silvester Stallone and Madonna!

The city itself, located on the Atlantic Ocean's coast, is the most populous in Florida and the 42-nd in size in the USA. Its main territory is either coastal or suburban and artificial barrier islands. The oceanic warm current — Gulf Stream — flows only at a distance of 24 kilometers from Miami Coast and it makes the climate warm and mild.

The most part of population is the Spanish-speaking inhabitants, largely the Cubans, escaped from Castro's regime to Florida which is the nearest territory to Cuba. Nowadays, there is the whole district named Little Cuba with its habits and laws and if anyone wishes to park a car for a night, in the morning it could be found without wheels and audio system. In fact, 82% of population belongs to the national minority and it makes it the most multinational city in the world.

9 Panoramas of Miami