There was more going on in Miami, of course, than spilt wine. Alison and I got up at 0400 AM on Friday for a 0600 flight down and actually had the fortitude to spend the day in our hotel room, working shoulder to shoulder. We did get a bit of time at the beach in the evening, but we saved our fun until Saturday and Sunday. Once we did get out, we made the most of it. We tromped up and down South Beach, taking in the sights: tattoo parlor – pizza restaurant – liquor store – tattoo parlor – pizza restaurant – liquor store – tattoo parlor …
The liquor stores are understandable in a party town. And if you’re going to open one, call it something that people can totally get behind:
That’s my photograph of the actual front of the store we stopped into. I was dying to ask someone whether there is poker in the rear.
We were a little surprised at the number of pizza joints, until our friend Lucas pointed out that hordes of New Yorkers relocate to South Florida. That went a long way toward explaining it, although I have to say that the quality of the pizza in most of those places left quite a bit to be desired – Alison got a craving for ‘za on Friday and we walked a lot of blocks before finally finding something that matched our expectations. The element of the commercial area that still dumfounds me is the sheer number of tattoo/piercing places. We saw plenty of people on the beach who had paint, but that’s not a reliable customer base in a high-rent district. We had some entertaining conversations about tattoos in general as we passed by all these places (I have not yet tattooed Alison’s name on my body somewhere, but nothing is off the table).
Another striking aspect of Miami that fed into my expectations: I’d heard before that it’s the cosmetic surgery capital of the country. And by “cosmetic surgery,” of course, I’m referring to boobs.
Wouldn’t that be Los Angeles, you ask? No, I’d respond. I saw some commercials on television that advertised local augmentation surgery at under $2500. Even in this economy, that must strike a lot of people as affordable, because it’s not easy to politely brush past women on South Beach sidewalks. I probably commented more on that phenomenon than was really advisable when speaking to one’s girlfriend, but Alison enjoys people watching as much as I do, and she initiated the “let’s rate her body” game more than did I. If you doubt the extent of this town’s dedication to dairy bombs, just take a look at the display window of the swimwear store a block from our hotel:
I’m surprised that first mannequin isn’t falling forward against the glass. Is it possible for an inanimate object to have back problems? Does this shop’s cleaning crew molest the dummies after hours? Are there mannequin companies that ship various cup sizes to clients based on zip code? I always thought the point of a mannequin was to display clothes in a way that you could almost look like if you bought them, so assuming that near-realism is some basic element of the display case, what is this saying about the demographic that shops at this place? South Beach was a great place to visit, but made me appreciate that I have a well-grounded woman to spend time with in a city with different priorities.
On reflection, I think all of the above makes it the perfect mini-vacation.