South Beach Takeaway #1:
I met a guy who swore that just because his last name is the same as that of an infamous Colombian drug lord [“Have you seen the movie Blow?” he asked as an explanation] and his family fled to London when he was little and he’s in Miami visiting friends in the Ruff Ryders [the motorcycle club, I assume], he’s not into any of that hard stuff. He currently works in the London wood exporting business and thinks Miami is the best place in the world.
South Beach Takeaway #2:
At the Loews Resort where I was staying, there were dedicated staff to open the lobby doors for guests entering and exiting — “Have a nice day, miss” and “Welcome back.” They were distinct from the people who opened car doors or the ones carrying luggage or the lady handing out moist towels. When I checked out at Reception, and asked about arrangements for transportation to the airport I was directed to the desk two down for the Concierge; to hold my bag until I had to leave was the desk one down for Bell Service. I poked fun at the concierge who was nice enough to carry my bag out to the shuttle for me — “this isn’t your job function!” — and he said it was ok, he was a bellhop once.
South Beach Takeaway #3:
The latest trend in women’s swimwear is thong bikini bottoms. Similar to the rule on topless sunbathing, it is hardly ever the ones you want to see that are the ones with nothing on.
I was walking along the dunes and ran into this bright green tent/bar setup full of uniformly tan and attractive people in bathing suits — oh, so this is where all the cool kids hang out? Well, sort of. It turned out to be a coed volleyball tournament sponsored by Bud Light Lime [hence all the green] and everyone was chilling until the championship game started [hence all the drinking]. In the meantime, though, was an exhibition of the 2011 pro tour of a sexy new beach sport — footvolley. Started in Brazil — everything is sexy in Brazil, right? — in the 60’s and just starting to make waves around the world in the past few years, it’s volleyball played by gravity-defying soccer players. In other words, crazy bicycle kicks [double points!], header spikes, flying sidekick blocks . . . Have you ever tried jumping in sand?? Let me just say these were, ahem, well-chiseled men.
Look at that — three feet off the ground, upside down! Incredible . . .
Beach AND soccer AND backflips? I think I just found my calling!
While I was taking pictures of this ElephantGiraffeLobsterShark, these two plastered men came stumbling down the alley, arms round each others’ shoulders — “just hold me up, ok?” — weaving from one wall to the other. They stopped to tell me that this was the best graffiti in all of Miami, and that it was a good idea for me to take a photo of it. They even offered to take one of me and swore I had nothing to be afraid of — complimenting pretty women was how they got their kicks. Thanks but, no thanks.