I’m a newbie to Miami adjusting from a life in D.C. and here are a few more things I’ve learned about life here.
If you want to read Part One, click here
1) When it comes to night life, South Florida is divided into two factions: the Ft. Lauderdale People and the Miami/South Beach People.
There’s a strange and unspoken rivalry between the two groups.
Okay, it’s not that serious but a weird separation does exist.
Ft. Lauderdale people hardly ever go to South Beach and South Beach people usually don’t go to Ft. Lauderdale.
I know some Ft. Lauderdale goers who haven’t seen South Beach in years and have no plans to go anytime soon. It’s odd.
Me? I like both!
2) Creole food. I don’t know what it is yet. This is the first time I’ve lived somewhere where knowing how to speak Creole helps.
I haven’t tackled that mountain yet. I’m still working on my Spanish. But give me time.
3) People in Miami-Dade county often feel weird about heading into Broward county for dinner. I don’t know why.
I found a great restaurant that happened to be right on the border but was on the Broward County side and asked a friend to try it with me. His response, “Oh that’s in Hollywood. No Caroline.” Oh the snobbery.
4) You can never show too much skin here.
Whenever I think my skirt couldn’t possibly be shorter or my outfit couldn’t get anymore risque, a girl will pass by with a pair of shorts going up her butt, a barely there top and a cowboy hat.
My “risqué” outfit soon starts looking like a nun habit.
Wear whatever you want. No one is shocked here. You could walk into a club naked with a hula hoop and no one will give you a second glance.
Or you could even wear this:
But I wouldn’t.
5) Seeing an 18 year old girl on a date with a 70 year old man is normal here. The word Sugar Daddy comes to mind. But I’m not one to judge. Okay maybe a little.
I was having dinner with a friend when I overheard this conversation (if you can call it that) happening at the table next to us.
It made me drop my fork:
18-20 year old hot girl : “I love my car! I love driving it! I love sitting in it! I love looking at it! I love standing next to it!…”
70 year old date: “…….” (says nothing but smiles and nods enthusiastically as if she just told him how she discovered the cure for Diabetes)
I have no problem with people dating with age differences but this, dear reader was not love.
Whenever I comment on a couple like that to someone, their response is always the same. They answer me with a nonverbal rubbing of their thumb and index and middle fingers together to indicate the universal sign of “money”as an unspoken explanation.
6) If you decide to go to South Beach on Memorial Weekend, mentally prepare yourself to see things that will invade your soul years later and haunt you for all time.
Okay, not even nearly that bad but it’s not all roses and buttercups either.
I have never seen more prostitutes, police, national guard, crime and drunk people in one place…and I’ve lived in Baltimore! (no offense to Baltimorians)
People who live in or near South Beach generally get the hell out of town Memorial Weekend. Some stores even close down.
7) You’ll see a lot of Lamborghinis, and Ferraris often yellow in color and parked at the entrance of clubs. Get used to it.
If you find free parking in South Beach on the street on a weekend night, consider yourself blessed by God. Go buy a lottery ticket. You’re on a roll.
9) Brickell is for people who don’t feel like driving all the way to South Beach for a drink and don’t fall into the Ft. Lauderdale people category.
They usually live in Brickell too. I like it there. Especially Blue Martini.
You can go there on a Wednesday night and it’ll be packed.
One Wednesday night I saw this: someone who sounded like Adele singing live, a raffle where people won Michael Kors handbags, buy one get one free drinks, followed by all night DJ and dancing to whatever.
The only thing missing was a fashion show…wait they had that too…
10) It’s not unusual for someone to try to sell you mangoes, coconuts, bananas or other tropical fruits at intersections. I wouldn’t be surprised if it’s organic and the best fruit I’ve ever had.
One guy was pushing a cart of coconuts down the bike path like it was a normal thing to do and was selling them to hikers. Because how can you walk or jog down a path without a coconut in your hand?
We mustn’t forget the random truck pulling up to a group of palm trees.
One guy gets out and shakes the coconuts out of the tree while two other guys catch them on a mattress, then they toss them into the truck and drive off as fast as they showed up, leaving you to wonder what the hell just happened… or did you just imagine the “drive by coconut raid?”
11) If you get to Aventura Mall before 11:30 am on a Saturday you’ll be the only one there. People like to sleep in.
12) Ocean Drive at night is for tourists.
Once you live here you’ll never want to go again.
But then one day someone visits you from out of town and says to you, “Let’s go to Ocean Drive!”
Then you roll your eyes and begrudgingly take them to Mangos to watch the bartenders dance on the bar while you contemplate the meaning of your life and the answers to all of life’s big questions
Then after an hour of feeling the sweaty men rub their perspiration all over you as they pass you by too closely on the overcrowded dance floor and listen to the same exact merengue song 4 times in one hour, you beg your friend to let you take them to a magical place called, “Anywhere but here”
13) If you’re eating in South Beach, your tip will be included in your check.
Why? One word: Europeans.
No offense to anyone from Europe (hey, I have family all over Europe) but you guys don’t tip.
Because of the non-tipping Europeans everyone’s tip will be included.
This means your waiter doesn’t have to be nice to you, they can be horrible to you in fact-and they’ll still get their tip.
14) I know I briefly mentioned elderly drivers in part one blog post, but it’s such a situation that it’s worth delving into more.
I got nothing but love for elderly drivers. One day I’ll be one too. But for the love of all that’s holy and sacred, stay out of their way.
They don’t check their blind spots when changing lanes, they don’t use turn signals and they either drive really slow or incredibly fast.
Their turn signals in their cars are sparkly and clean from lack of use.
Actually, what am I saying? Most people of all ages don’t use their turn signal.
And when they do use it they must be so confused by it because I often see someone signaling right and then turning left. Or vice versa.
15) Miami is at sea level.
Actually all of Florida is, so when it rains-not even that much, you’ll need a canoe.
The flooding is sudden and epic.
I once lost my flip flop as it floated away from me ON THE SIDEWALK and my cousin broke her umbrella crossing a tiny walkway to get from Starbucks to just across the sidewalk at Sushi Samba.
After locating my lost shoe we waded through water up to our shins. By the time we got to the other side we looked like wet puppies.
Interesting thing-I met people here who have never seen a basement to a house.
Makes sense since we’re at sea level. If you did have one your basement would have a school of fish living in it.
16) Floridians are not afraid of hurricanes. (although we probably should be)
An impending hurricane to a Floridian is usually as scary as a snow storm to someone from Minnesota.
The rest of the country panics more for Florida than Florida panics for Florida.
But I bet if mother nature ever decided to drop one single snow flake here the entire state would end up in Armageddon.
Not a single loaf of bread would be left in the stores.
17) Lesson I learned: If you’re walking calmly on a path surrounded by trees and bushes and you hear what sounds to be a large animal scurrying toward you and it doesn’t sound like a bird, bunny rabbit or raccoon (don’t have them here anyway), it’s probably an alligator.
Run like hell and don’t look back.
18) There’s a divorce truck that I see all over town.
They advertise a quick divorce for only $250!
I don’t get it. Why do they need the truck? Can you get divorced in the truck? Do they come to you? Who’s behind the wheel? The mystery continues unabated.
19) Beware of any pina colada or strawberry daiquiri that comes in a glass this big.
One drink costs $45 bucks, is watered down and it doesn’t taste good. You’re better off paying less and getting this instead.
It’s a tourist trap. Reminds me of when I went to a gelateria in Rome and the guy who worked there asked me if I wanted “the special”.
I said yes and ended up getting a $20 ice cream cone with 4 sugar cones sticking out of it randomly and a little umbrella and the flag of 3 different countries jammed in it for no reason. It was a hot mess. I felt so wronged.
20) These little guys are everywhere.
I scream when I see them. They run across your path when you’re happily walking down the sidewalk.
They’re fast and scurry all over the place. The hotter it is the more you’ll see.
One day one tried to get into my apartment. And I’m on the 20th floor. Who knew they could climb like that? Oh the horror of one day finding one under your pillow.
21) Murphy’s law: if you’re late for something or had too much water to drink, the draw bridge will be up and the train will be crossing.
Little trivia, Florida has the most railroad crossings than any other state. ( at least that’s what I read) They’re everywhere and also on my way to work.
None of this is actually me complaining. I’ll take it all. I love this crazy town!