Yes, it’s true. I’m in Miami. I’d barely recovered from Las Vegas, hardly written up a word of the report on my ill-advised plan to hit 10 casinos in 10 minutes each when R texted from Miami to say that he’d had just about enough of being on the road, having left a day after our return from Nevada to attend a conference in Florida. Since we have about a million miles thanks to R’s constant globetrotting, I sprang into action, laid down 50,000 of said miles, cancelled the many plans I’d made to save me from isolation while R was away, and legged it to SFO to join him in a second vacuous mecca of plastic surgical enhancement in under a week.

I’m a planner by nature and I have zero tolerance for people who go places without a plan. Those are the same people who complain their way through a late brunch at some over-priced, crap tourist diner, kvetching about a late start and having missed the shuttle to somewhere fun or not having reservations for something cool yada yada yada. Plan ahead, people. We’re human: we need structure. And efficiency can’t hurt either.

So getting on a plane to a place I’ve never been without so much as a cursory Google search under my belt made me uncomfortable.

Turns out there was no need to feel bad. There’s nothing here.

Miami is just as artificial as Vegas, if not worse. The city is a pile of garish McMansions divided by urban blight and massive office buildings, all slathered over with breast implants, incessant damp wind, and over-sweet libations. There is no perceptible downtown. We missed Art Basel and, aside from that I can’t find any culture of any kind. And I can’t stand the beach, even if it were warm enough to go. (Beaches are hot and I don’t like lying still. Don’t get me started.)

Oh no wait, sorry: there are tits. There are clubs. And there is a lot of water. Period.

South Beach has all of the above and is at the top of every “what to do” list, but I don’t think I’m alone when I say that if you’ve seen one Gap, you’ve seen ’em all. That’s daytime: shopping at stores that are everywhere else in the States. At night, you can go to Ocean Drive, drink obscene amounts of liquor and look at all the women dressed up like hookers, but if you’ve seen one size zero, triple D, orange-tanned mannequin wearing a piece of spandex the size of a handkerchief and colored like a beach towel you bought by the side of the road in Central America, you’ve kind of seen them all. But that’s just my opinion. If you’re a sex-starved meathead, maybe this is the place for you. Otherwise, whatever. I’ve been to clubs, I’ve had sex, and frankly I’d rather do either someplace that isn’t populated exclusively by the bridge and tunnel crew.

Of course, if you’re P. Diddy or Matt Damon and have your own island or gated mansion or otherwise travel in your own hamster ball of wealth, you’re going to be able to avoid all this. But it would still be damp, I bet.

Don’t get me wrong: I’m glad I came. It’s better to be with R than not and another checkmark on the “been there, done that” list is always welcome. Plus, we’re staying business class, since R’s working, so I’m sure I’m not going to get any pity for jetting around to hotspots and bunking at the Mandarin Oriental.

We’re toughing it out until tomorrow, when we’ll happily head home. I still don’t like the hippie vibe in San Francisco, but places like Vegas and Miami make me realize there is something lower on the list than the pothead aesthetic.

Oh – there’s one more thing you can do here: you can take a shot at getting eaten by a crocodile in the Everglades, but they make no promises.

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Categories: News, Nuisance, Miscellany


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