In a recent trip to the sunshine state, I found myself in the land of Botox, implants, and those trying to hold on to their youth. Miami has a lot to offer in a skin tight little package. And this package is not as hard to open as it should be...
To start, every time I venture out of state, I make it a point to bring back a tangible memory of my travel. I have never been one to collect postcards or shot glasses (I think random shot glasses are unbelievably tacky), so I decided that from every new city I explore I would bring back a unique, yet stylish, article of clothing. Whether it be a hair accessory, a pair of shoes, or an uber cute dress, I generally have never had a problem finding a piece that was classy, yet just as unique as the city, and me. That was until I graced Miami South Beach. Every shop I walked into was covered in rhinestones, giant belt buckles, shiny white shoes, and tiny shreds of clothing. There was not a single non-low-cut and non-backless, bra appropriate, style dress or shirt to be found (though why would there be, everyone's breasts stayed in place, thanks to Dr. So-and-so), or even a simple pair of couture jeans to attract your attention without stabbing you with an excessive amount of studs. I found that every shop, and article of clothing in them, had been hit with a pair of scissors and a high tech bedazzler, hard. It was as if Ed Hardy found himself in a glittery, tie-dye cock fight with the boys from Jersey Shore. Honestly, it was my fashion nightmare come true.
Now don't get me wrong, outside of the shopping, there are some excellent sites to see, and things to experience in Miami. Including an abundance of fabulous Cuban food (I would suggest Larios on Ocean Drive), and pretty beaches to stroll hand-in-hand on. Also, the architecture is phenomenal. Each building is so full of color and Spanish influence, you hardly notice the rod-iron security fences surrounding every property. However, I personally think the most dynamic attraction in Miami are the people. I have never really been one to sit back and just people watch, I often like to jump in on the action myself, but in Miami, even the strongest personalities can't help but to become wallflowers. The men are seductive, the women are enticing, and any club, restaurant, or bar on Ocean Drive will surely give you enough liquid courage to approach either. And while I never indulged in the Miami Lifestyles of the "wanna be" Rich and Famous myself, I was definitely enamored with the sites I saw from the park benches along the strip. The men strolled down the walkway with shiny shoes and slick hair, women glided by in dominatrix-style stilettos and dresses cut just below their buttocks. It was a parade of backs, chests, and thighs. Everyone acted as if they were the most important person in the city, and I couldn't help but think that luckily Miami is surrounded by water. How else could you drown all that excess ego? After a couple of nights of observing, I realized that while all of the rest of the nation is very familiar with the 2am scramble (or 3am scramble, or 4,5,6am scramble), Miami is not. In Miami no one scrambles, everyone salsas home with the love of their life for the night. And lets be honest, with the way Miami South Beach dresses, no one goes home alone.
Finally though, after spending nearly 4 days in Miami, and preserving my Midwestern innocence, seeing a lot of sites that made me chuckle, and gag, I finally accomplished my original mission and found myself the perfect classy dress, and dainty little sandals. Now every time I slide on my sandals or slip on my dress, I think of Miami and smile. It was a great place to visit in my simple stilettos and classic lipstick, but neither me, nor my shoes would ever want to live there.