I’m in Miami… B*TCH!!!

12May10

It would sound very unsophisticated if I quoted Paris Hilton of all people in the world. However, to describe Miami – specifically Miami Beach – there is no other word than HOT: hot weather, hot city, hot beaches, hot bodies, hot nightlife, hot EEEEEEVERYTHING!!!

I’ve been told at least a dozen of times in my life that I’d love South Beach, the southern point of the island where Miami Beach is located. Finally, an opportunity to visit it came across. Thus, I couldn’t say no to it. 🙂

My arrival into the city initially wasn’t as welcoming. As the plane started circling over the Everglades prior to the descent, we started experiencing horrific turbulence. It felt like being on a rollercoaster. A couple of girls screamed, the pregnant lady next to me wasn’t feeling well at all, and the memories of the flight between Mallorca and Barcelona came to my mind. That was yet another turbulent flight where my sister commented that even if we crashed, it wouldn’t be that bad. We would crash into the Mediterranean and potentially survive. In this case, I was wondering if it were better to crash into trees or mushy swamp full of alligators. Options, options… One thing was for sure, I’d rather die after the visit than beforehand! 😉

Aerial View of Miami Coast Line

Miami

While the city of Miami might be the place where most of the locals work, all of them seem to desert the downtown and head to Miami Beach which is the action spot and the epitome of vanity and hedonism. If it weren’t for American flags, one would never think one was in the USA. This is the capital of South and Central America, where English is the second language and where there is more Cubans and Boricuas than in Cuba or Puerto Rico! Thanks to Lula and strong Brazilian economy, the influx of Brazilians into the city has also increased. God bless them! 🙂 🙂 🙂

 The sights of any economic crises or recession can’t be felt when one sees Lamborghini after a Lamborghini stuck in the traffic with Maserati just ahead of them. I have never seen more Italian or German cars in one city than here. What happened to Honda Civic? LOL

Everyone has a dog, but not a cute one. They are mostly bulldogs, pit bulls and terriers (Is this a new fad?) salivating and breathing heavily in the 30C+ weather, while their owners prance around. What’s cute about those dogs? :S

View of Downtown Miami at Dusk

The condo complex where I stayed had a stunning and very calming view of the downtown Miami and the Star Island where most celebrities live. Right across from J.M.’s condo is the former house of Cher with a planetarium and a telescope. For what?!?! The condo building is also a party central where one has to look the best even when checking the mail, and just last summer Justin Timberlake spent some time in one of the penthouses.

Swimming Pool with Ocean View at Gansevoort Hotel Miami Beach

While in the town, I spent most of the time at Gansevoort Hotel which caters mostly to younger crowd and those who still look somewhat young thanks to the plastic surgeries! Thanks to J.M. and his friends at the gym, I had the access to the hotel pools and their part of ocean beach though David Barton Gym. It’s silly to talk about a gym, but this one is one of the kind. As if shark aquarium in the Gansevoot Hotel lobby wasn’t enough, one steps into a massive gym facility that looks more like a nightclub with dumbbells sporadically placed. The lights are dim, the decor is Middle Eastern and a DJ spins music! Nothing seems to be ordinary in South Beach – not even work-out spots!

South Beach Art Deco Historic District

The colours of Art Deco buildings of South Beach and the influence of Latin culture have reflected on the cuisine as well. This is a place where one can find any type of food south from the Gulf of Mexico. From arepas y sandwich cubano to infamous Porcao, Brazilian churrascaria (steakhouse), Miami has it all. On the very last night, I was taken to Rosa Mexicano Restaurant which elevated my expectations for any Mexican restaurants I will visit in the future. Guacamole might not be better than at Dos Caminos Soho in NYC, but it was prepared tableside. This was also the first time ever that I took a photo of a meal because the presentation was impeccable, and the aroma and explosion of flavours indescribable. The piece de resistance was flan de rosa which left both J.M. and I speechless, and it wrapped up my flavourful visit to Miami and Miami Beach. 

Mole de Xico con Carne at Rosa Mexicano (tortillas filled with shredded chipotle beef, topped with Veracruz mole made with hazelnuts, raisins and chiles)

Fort Lauderdale

“Close your eyes, and pretend that you’re still in Miami!” LOL This is how Fort Lauderdale was described to me prior and during my short overnight visit to this town. Fort Lauderdale is about 40 min drive north from Miami, and it’s somewhat of a contrast to its neighbouring city. Martinis are replaced with kegs of beer, bustling nightclubs with velvet ropes turned into sport bars, and all stunning lookers from SoBe retired here once they lost the battle with youth and beauty. Yet I was almost picked up while having a stroll along Fort Lauderdale Beach Promenade with the line: “Nice to see you!”. I stopped for a split second after hearing the sentence, gave a brief smile in the post-shock state, and continued walking. 😉

Fort Lauderdale Beach Promenade

Each day during my visit to Florida there was something that wowed me. On Saturday that happened to be our suite at the W Hotel with the ocean view on one side, and the city view on the other – stretched all the way to the downtown of Miami. While standing on that balcony and looking towards the serene, blue horizon one gets completely mesmerised and forgets that this is Fort Lauderdale. There is no point of closing the eyes and pretending to be in Miami, because the ambience takes one farther and gives more sense of Cote d’Azur.

W Hotel Fort Lauderdale

The best part of the visit happened the following day when J.M. and several of his friends took me on the boat through the Intercoastal Waterway into the Atlantic Ocean. Known as Venice of America, Fort Lauderdale is the yachting capital of the world. To see boats as big or if not even bigger than the mansions right next to them, is absolutely unbelievable. We made our way next to the posh neighbourhood, passed by several cruise liners who were docked in the city, and finally found ourselves in the middle of calming Atlantic Ocean. Some people were concerned about going for a dip due to the potential of sharks being around, but I went for it wondering whether medical travel insurance covers shark attacks. It was worth the risk to swim away from the city and the crowd. 🙂

Villa with a Yacht Docked Along the Intercoast Waterway, Fort Lauderdale

Before I knew it, my stay in Florida was over. Although short, it was everything I expected it to be and beyond. From delicious food, friendly locals, colourful Art Deco architecture, funky hotels, expensive cars, massive yachts, and warm Atlantic Ocean Miami has gotten it all. It is a place immersed in sunshine and vanity. My favourite part, though, it was something else. Zooming in a convertible through the deserted downtown Miami and Design District in the early morning hours, and listening to soundtrack music on the stereo, gave me a very different perspective of the city; a perspective which goes beyond the night clubbing in South Beach; a perspective which many tourists don’t get to see. For this and for the very hospitable stay, I’m grateful the most. 🙂

Downtown Miami at Night

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3 Responses to “I’m in Miami… B*TCH!!!”

  1. 1 rosie

    Very cool….Im glad you came to visit Miami and enjoyed it!! specially since you got the JM vip treatment 😉

    Hope to met you next time…in hot miami lol

    Rosie

  2. 2 john

    You are so right !

    there is only one MIami- and I am so happy to see that you loved my hood 🙂

    and next time the boat will be bigger !
    Promise

    🙂
    J.M.

  3. 3 Ishna

    Igor, your stay sounds fantastic!

    Love the blog!

    xoxo


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