I recently made a 6-day trip to Miami Beach. It was my second trip back, after having lived there for 7 years. Back then, I was co-owner and creative director of a popular South Beach nightclub, so I got to enjoy the shallow life for a while. There were so many parties, limos, VIP tables, strippers and people who wanted to call me their friend. It was like a 7-year vacation.
From Day 1, that sense of vacation has been typical of my Miami experience. It’s the prettiest place in the world. The views on either side of Biscayne Bay, are unrivaled by any cityscape I’ve ever seen. But unlike a city like New York, which lacks palm trees, dolphins and beaches, but fizzes with creativity and ambition, it’s not really cool.
So Miami is not cool?
The population of Greater Miami is some 2.6 million, so obviously there are cool stories to tell, but let’s generalize a bit. When the world thinks of Miami, it sees South Beach, some Downtown and the islands in between. The world thinks of expensive cars, nightclubs, yachts and women that look and dress like porn stars just before their pizza gets delivered. And Miami does its best to live up to this glossy image, which is great to look at, it’s even fun. But cool it’s not.
Take the “world-famous” nightlife for instance. The see-and-be-seen atmosphere, plus the many businesses trying to squeeze every penny out of it, are as uncool as Ibiza in July. I’ve owned a nightclub myself, so I understand that it’s a business. Nonetheless clubs should never forget that they’re in the service industry.
This visit was a 6-day vacation with friends, and we didn’t plan much. Normally, a spot on the guestlist may only be a phone call away, but we just didn’t make any calls. So one night we ended up spontaneously checking the door at Story Nightclub, where they hoped we’d be desperate enough to pay $40 p.p. for the last 1.5 hours. The amount itself is no issue, but the full amount just to see the place clearing out? Or how about downtown strip club E11even? The bouncer told us the entrance was $20 for the guys and $10 for the girls. But when we got to the cashier, this had increased to $30 each. Not my idea of a cool pricing-policy.
Don’t get me wrong though, Miami is hot, and I love it. But it’s not cool. It’s a too obsessed with cash and looks. But just because something isn’t cool, it doesn’t mean that it’s lame. Especially on a vacation, it can be fun to embrace the superficiality. It’s enjoyable in the same sense that it’s fun to watch Miami Vice; it’s well-made, entertaining and full of good-looking people.
This is pretty cool though:
Obviously this post is just having some fun and quite generalized, because you can definitely also find coolness in Miami.
The picture above actually shows three things that I like about Miami:
The eco-friendly Car2Go Smart cars are catching on very well; The Walls of Wynwood are a visual treat (for photo blog click here); and there’s my ex Cher, who can be a bit of a Miami Girl, but she’s also pretty cool.
All photos by Avenue21 on a Samsung Galaxy Note 3