Sunday, January 07, 2007

South Beach: A Very Donatella New Year

For someone with a cold needing a shot of r&r and frivolity, Miami was just the place to go. It is Washington's flamboyant, sequin and spandexed opposite: a metropolis entirely devoted to aesthetics. From the weather to the art deco architecture to the music wafting across streets crowded with every gorgeous Spanish-speaking person on the planet, everything seemed deliberately arranged to coddle the senses. It's what I imagine Cuba would be if Cuba was wealthy and open to U.S. tourism.

According to the tabloids, various celebrities were in town for the occasion, including Mickey Rourke headlining one club's festivities. We caught glimpses of paparazi but no actual star sightings. What we did see in South Beach:

- Drunks, including two boys from the heartland unwisely hitting on women who appeared to be the well-appointed molls of underworld crime bosses. "This cannot end well," my friend remarked.

- Fights. Walking down Collins Avenue, we passed a hotel patio/bar on which two guys started boozily swinging at each other. A woman with a large black dog untied its leash. "Sic 'em!" "Hey, isn't that your hotel?" my friend observed.

- Skin. I'd brought my trampiest attire, excited to be in a city where I could actually give it some air. Nevertheless, compared to the locals, I looked like a nun. And the 4-inch heels? A really ill-advised idea.

- Abs. So flat, these people appeared to have no organs underneath.

- Bling, particularly the cars. More Bentleys, Escalades and thousand-dollar rims than in a Puff Daddy video.

- The disco hotel. My friends hadn't realized that the hotel dance floor was only 20 feet from their room when they made their reservations. Arriving back at 3 a.m., they were greeted by short-shorted dancing girls, a phalanx of drunken guys on the porch and throbbing Euro-pop - this after being up nearly 24 hours straight due to the crazy airport situation in Colorado. The next morning, my friend unleashed her 7-year-old daughter into the halls. "Make as much noise as you like, honey."

- May, Meet December. A local paper advertised "The Millionaires Club," which enabled women 18-34 to "live a life of luxury and limosines" with 50+ well-heeled gentlemen.

- Famous landmarks. The Versace mansion (the only actual house allowed on South Beach, I was told), the tattoo parlor that's the focus of a reality series, all the places like the Delano and Prive I'd previously only known through "Stars, they're just like us!" No, they're not, I thought. "Us" don't pay $3,000 cover to watch Wilmer Valderrama d.j.

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1 Comments:

At 12:01 AM, Anonymous Gary said...

Even a small town hick like me found some semblance of home down there. Not that I made it that far south but Dade county is still in Florida. Hope you had a good time.

 

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