Continued from MIAMI PART I: SOUTH BEACH DYED
TWENTY-FOUR HOURS LATER, TASHA WAS BACK IN MIAMI. She spent the night at the LUXE off Rodeo Drive – in a penthouse they kindly upgraded her into, which she promptly locked herself out of to see the view. We were back together and ready to continue stumbling around South Beach…
The last time I was in Miami, I couch surfed on a small boat with a close friend. We had a blank itinerary, going wherever the wind blew us. This time, with more things planned, Greg and I made sure to leave time for wandering once again. – Tasha
We were there largely for Winter Music Conference, which is as much a conference as pizza is a vegetable. Walk three blocks down Collins Ave and you’d pass at least eight separate parties, queues of neon and black spilling into the streets, angering only those in rented Lamborghinis for keeping them under the speed limit. Everyone else seemed used to it or part of the ruckus.
The Red Bull Guest House was a party scene from Grand Theft Auto. Palm trees poured over the pool, while shiny performers and party-goers let the music command their dance battles. Greg chatted with Justin Martin, one of the Dirty Bird big dogs, who was as relaxed in person as he seems on Instagram – granted, he was wearing a floatie as a necklace. A-trak passed by as Duke Dumont bumped a handful of new tracks.
The highlight came with the clouds. The rain – an unexpected visitor – thundered down for barely ten minutes, though few stopped dancing. It’s Miami, after all, so while some ducked for cover, most just stripped down even more and kept the party going. The pool’s surface was thumping with rain drops, cannonballs, and bass. Sadly, the rain eventually came back for good, bringing the temperature to a barely-livable seventy, ending the party before Martin took control of the decks.
The next day was our final day in the sun. We lugged our belongings and wandered around aimlessly with hours to kill. Thinking about NYC’s all-glass skyscrapers, South Beach’s pastels, porches, stucco, and open-air stairways became especially apparent. The icy blue water and relaxed locals. The constant air of the next party… and the lingering headache from the previous one. Save for the delicious Frenchness of the crêpe we were nibbling on, the Miami trope was realer than ever. Only now, we knew a little more than just its skin – we felt its soul.
Spécialité du Jour: Crêpe avec Glace à la Vanille – A La Folie
Miami is big breasts in small bikinis. It’s old friends and old traditions. It’s proud people, proud of their food. It’s loud – if you want it to be. In a time where culture diffuses faster than ever, Miami has its own identity. We’ll be back soon.