Deplaning, as the airlines irritatingly term it now, at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International, you feel you have slunk back into the 1980s*. It’s the colors: the carpet in arrivals, the awnings of a juice kiosk, the clothes the snowbirds wear – all lomographically bright.
The snowbirds are down from the north escaping etiolation. “Winters here, summers up in Vermont,” one of them tells me. You see them jogging by the beach. Sometimes they’re topless, sometimes they’re in neon, and sometimes they’re running with a tray of cocktails. “Things are very different here than in Vermont,” he says.
*The 80s were the area’s pop-culture highpoint: The Golden Girls, Miami Vice, Police Academy Five. The more cynical Seattle-loving 90s were hard on the area. Sunshine was out, rain was in.