Miami First Impressions

It had been a long winter. Hurricane Sandy, stolen identity, couple drives across the country, the frozen tundra of New York City in January. The Pirate Reality TV trade has brought me to Miami, and I find myself surprisingly disappointed.

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I was very excited to come here. The obvious upgrade weather-wise from NYC was a plus, but I after recent trips to the Caribbean, Colombia, PR and DR, I figured I could see some minutia in Miami that I hadn’t noticed before. In a different life (about a decade ago…jesus) I used to fly in one week a year for the Winter Music Conference. Beside the ravers gone wild paradise, I really remember enjoying Miami’s (South Beach’s) vibe. I came in with high hopes.

I have to admit, so far, I’m not feeling it. I’m afraid I have the same frustration as I did in Vegas. Miami is pretty much literally the center of the world. North and South Americans, Wast Indies, Europe all converge here, and I figure that would create a cool mix of culture. Not catching that. SoBe is still SoBe, and I can appreciate it. If I want to pretend I’m on vacation for a day I’ll go there, but haven’t found that cultural mezcla I was looking for. I like the fact that people greet you in spanish before english most of the time, I’m hooked to coladas, and there are a bunch of idiosyncrasies I’m digging, but I haven’t found my groove.

colada = crack

Soon after I got here I heard about a ferry to the Bahamas from Miami. I didn’t even know that was possible, but put it high on my to-do list. I pictured a people watching gem, with a casino and bar. Basically assumed it would be like my ferry from Santo Domingo to San Juan. Determined, I went solo. Again, hard to say how I felt about it. All told the day took 18 hours, and I was only on the ground in the Bahamas for 3 of them. The ferry wasn’t anything like the one from Santo Domingo, but for fucks sake how could I really expect any ferry to be as dope as that voyage. They drop you off at a shitty tourist trap market called Port Lucayan, but after I trekked past the hair braider ladies, Senor Frogs, and gauntlet of resorts, I eventually found the beach. This made the whole trip worth it. 2 hours on talcum powder sand, with the sapphire ocean lapping and fluffy clouds gliding by on the trade winds. That was the moment. I found a beach shack, grabbed a rum punch, posted up in a quiet spot and it was good. Back in the market I drank some Sands beer, ate cracked conch, and listened to sunburned tourists talk loudly. Content. It took another 7 hours to get shuttled, processed, ferried, processed, shuttled again, then walk back home which put a bit of a damper on my vibe, but it felt pretty good to have sand in my shoes. All in all, don’t know if I’d do it again, but glad I did it.

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So we’ll see. I’ll continue to try to find what I’m looking for in Miami. I know its here, I just have to look a little harder. Go to different hoods. My fear is that Miami is like Vegas, a “city” built on vice that has pushed the culture that built it far to the outskirts. By far my favorite thing about Miami is the incredible sunrises and sunsets.

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More to come.

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