Friday, April 16, 2010

Bienvenido A Miami

My knowledge of Miami, our seventh largest population center, is, well, specific. From birth through age 14, Miami was the place grandma and grandpa, and then just grandma, lived. In a condo full of other old, tan, Jewish people. Very tan. Very Jewish. Like the place where Woody Allen characters go when they're too old to be in the movies. Muumuus, melanoma, and meshuggah. My brother and I swam and learned to play shuffleboard. We went to the beach. We ate dinner at the red sauce Italian joint that was not shy about its garlic use. We stopped at the bakery for prune danish, black and white cookies, and napoleons first thing after deplaning (I swear, my eating disorder...totally nurture and not nature). True, my last visit to Miami took place when NKOTB was an acronym that meant something, but we never did anything while in Miami that could remotely be considered hip. And I swear, I never encountered anyone even remotely Cuban.

Miami stayed perpetually off the radar because once I realized it wasn't populated solely by well-mined stereotypes of one sort, I discovered that it was a melting pot of stereotypes, from Scarface to Gianni Versace. And I'm all about the authenticity. Sure, it popped up now and again; we have certainly flown through Fort Lauderdale enough on our way to island-type places (Fort Lauderdale is the least efficient airport for international connections I have ever encountered; when I am Prime Ruler, I will be sending all FLL employees for re-education at the Zurich airport). And then there was that season of Top Chef where the guy from Miami certainly seemed to be preparing delicious looking food that he assured us was emblematic of Miami cuisine. And I guess it always is available for a quick weekend in the sun, but I was just opposed. Vehemently.

That is until someone else is picking up the hotel bill. Devoted partner has a 2-day conference in May and, seeing how it won't cost the company a penny more if I sleep in his room, I ponied up the plane ticket for the opportunity to lie by a pool and have people bring me boozy pink drinks at 10am. And since the conference is on a Wednesday and a Thursday, it made little sense to not spend the weekend. After all, we were already there. And I hear they have nice weather. And, one hopes, good fish tacos. I have done some preliminary research and, should we be so inclined, we could do a dive or two, but I have the strangest feeling that devoted partner, after two straight months of working weekends, will enjoy a couple days sitting by the pool while people bring him boozy pink drinks at 10am.

Yet I crave more. The kind of more that, perhaps, any of you who has been to Miami since NKOTB had meaning, could provide. Clay, recently reviewed a restaurant he went to while laid over in Miami, and now I hunger (ick, pun) for additional ideas. So if you know anything about Miami worthy of repeating, speak up. And if you know where the best fish tacos live and don't share that information, I shall find you and come to your house.

P.S. Sorry for yesterday's absence, we were internet-deprived at the office.


  1. What little I saw of it, the Design District looked pretty cool.

    A couple years ago, we spent a couple days in Miami Beach, which wears thin after about 12 hours. It's got great art deco buildings, the beach is there, which is nice if that's your thing and there's something to be said of the spectacle. There's a lot of spectacle.

    But really, I hear that if you're driving, Miami proper is the place to go.