(Note: I actually wrote this three days ago. I’m in the Bahamas now.)
It’s phase one of my big December trip. I’m typing this sitting in South Pointe Park, on the edge of south Miami Beach. The sun has just gone down and I’m looking over the water to the distant highrises of downtown Miami to my right and the deep ocean to my left. Here’s the right side:
I’ve been in Miami a few times before, for things like quick meetings and layovers, but this is the first time I’ve been able to get out and experience the city a little bit. I’m only here for two days, since on Saturday morning I’m off to the Bahamas for a week with my son and some of his college friends. It’s his 21st birthday celebration.
While my schedule during my two-day stay here in Miami is packed pretty tight, I can still give some basic impressions of Miami, especially south beach where I’m staying. My hotel is one block from the beach, right in the middle of the best part of Miami. So please note that my impressions below are really of south beach and a little of downtown Miami, which I’m sure is not completely representative of the rest of the Miami area.
1. Miami is beautiful. I don’t throw that word around a lot when describing various places I visit, since everyone says wherever they live is “beautiful” whether it is or not. However Miami lives up to the hype. The people, the streets, the buildings, the trees, the cars, the beach, it’s all beautiful. And surprisingly clean. Very impressed.
I’m also very surprised at the lack of homeless people and beggars here. A nice, warm place like this often attracts such folks like magnets, yet Miami (at least this part of Miami) hasn’t become a cesspool of bums like San Francisco, for example. Interesting. (I’m not saying there are none here. There are. Just much less than I was expecting.)
2. I didn’t really understand what “south beach” meant. I have always thought that south beach was just a little strip of land out on the water, like Harbor Island in San Diego. Imagine my shock on the taxi ride over when I see that south beach is actually a full-on Manhattan-like island chock-full of shops, bars, restaurants, and high rises! Consider me educated now. I honestly had no idea.
3. Women have bigger boobs here. Now let me be specific about what I’m saying. Women with big boobs are everywhere because women in the western world have gotten so fat that everyone has bigger tits now (including men). Women here have bigger boobs even though they’re skinny.
It was a little surprising to me until I realized why: the racial makeup of the area here. There are very few 100% pure white people here (minus the tourists). Yeah, there are “whitish” folks like Hungarians and mixed races, but very few pure whitey crackers like me. For various reasons, many of which I don’t understand, this equates to bigger boobies. Some of may be due to the prevalence of fake tits but that doesn’t explain all of it, since many of the bigger-chested women I’ve seen and talked to here are clearly too young or too poor to afford such a procedure.
Regardless, it’s very nice. I could have a lot of fun here if I had more time.
4. What’s with all the Hungarians here? I expected Miami to be flooded with Cubans, not Hungarians. What a surprise. Not that I’m complaining. Many of these Hungarian chicks are super hot.
5. Every few blocks they have stations were you can swipe your credit card for four bucks and get a rental bike. How fucking cool is that? What a fantastic idea! Within seconds I was on my bike cruising down the beach. When you’re done with the bike you just plug it back into any station (there are tons all over the island), and the system just bills you four bucks for every 30 minutes the bike is gone.
Why doesn’t every city have this? It was also a great cardio supplement after my resistance training this morning in my hotel room with the resistance tubes I always travel with. (To the fitness nazis: Don’t bother to comment that resistance tubes are not as good for building muscle as dumbells. I already know that, thanks.)
By the way, the whole rental bike thing is a great example of a “green” program that actually works and is a great idea. I love the environment and protecting it is one of the areas in which I agree with the liberals. The problem is, for many years the libs were shoving this “green” crap down our throats and making a mess of things, but in the last few years many ideas have come to light that I think are fantastic, and it’s only going to get better. Every city in the world should follow Miami’s Decobike model. Very, very cool.
6. They don’t have cottage cheese here. I asked the dude at the corner grocery if he had any, and he looked at me like I was insane. (It reminded me of the experience I had as a kid visiting New York for the first time when I asked for milk at a pizza joint.) Oh well. I got some swiss cheese and some sausage to hold me over until I hit the Bahamas.
7. Big national news has followed me. Software mogul John McAfee of McAfee Anti-Virus fame was living in Belize with his 20 year-old girlfriend (he’s 67) until he became a person of interest in a murder case. So he fled to Miami by faking a heart attack (you can’t make this shit up) and is now sitting in a hotel literally one block from where I’m staying. All the local and national news media vans are lined up on the street, following his every move. Here’s a picture I took of all the news vans a few hours ago:
Crazy shit, and it’s all happening right in front of me. He has two girlfriends apparently, one age 20 and one age 18. Well, at least he’s doing something right. He was also out on the street earlier posing for pictures with tourists and joking about the murder case. God bless crazy old Alpha Males.
8. People in south beach are very physically fit, without a doubt. I’m not saying there are no chubby people here, but I am saying there’s very few of them. The women are skinny and trim with big boobs and the guys are muscular. It’s like walking around in a Hollywood movie.
9. So I’m cruising along the beach paths on my Decobike, and what do I see, lounging around the beach rocks, but a bunch of cats. Cats? What the hell? A bunch of fat stray cats, living on the beach? Sure as shit. Cats are awesome, so I pulled over, got off the bike to go say hi, and sure enough, these cats ran right up to me and gave me a look that said, “Alright asshole, where’s our food?”
How cool. A bunch of smartass cats living on the beach, living off the scraps of tourists. This is another thing I’ve never seen. Two things in one trip, and I’ve only just begun.
One of them was very nice and I wanted to take him home with me. However I don’t think he would have made it through Bahamas’ customs. Oh well. Catch ya next time, Scrappy.
10. The restaurants lined up on Ocean Drive next to the beach are some of the worst god damn tourist traps I’ve seen. They bother pedestrians to come in and eat their shit. Then when you sit down and order, they pester you constantly to order more food and more drinks. Then they pester you to call your friends so they can come down and eat too. Then they keep pestering you to order more drinks. Again.
Then they vastly overcharge you for their mediocre food. For the final assrape, they do that sneaky thing where they automatically add an 18% tip to the bill and change the line normally reserved for the tip as the “additional tip”.
What a bunch of shitheads. I love capitalism but this is one of the very few times it really pisses me off. I was hungry so against my better judgment I stopped by one of those places and ate an overpriced salad that end up costing me $24. $24 for a normal sized salad and a glass of water that you eat sitting on a table on the sidewalk. I could see the waiter’s eyes flash with anger when I told him all I wanted to drink was water.
“Just water sir? I just wanted to let you know, sir, that we have margaritas, mimosas –“
“No thanks, pal. I’ll just take the water.”
“Alright. Would that be flat water or bottled water or sparking water or-“
“The kind of water that comes in a glass and is free. Usually with pieces of ice in it.”
Oh, he didn’t like that. He probably pissed on my salad.
11. The beach here kicks ass. I like it better than the beaches of California or Mexico. It’s just so calm and relaxing, with that beautiful east coast green water that looks so alien to my west coast eyes. If you didn’t already know, the ocean on the east coast tends to be green, but on the west coast it tends to be blue.
Here’s a few pics I snapped while I was taking a break on the beach:
All in all, Miami is extremely cool. I’m officially a fan. Definitely coming back here next year. I’m even tempted to have the next American Blackdragon Retreat here.
Next stop, Bahamas!