Tuesday, September 15, 2015
Miami is image oriented, the billboards, they're littered with skin even more than average towns, men walk in swimsuits that fit tight over every contour, in the hostel room, a woman stands conversing in Turkish with a man, she is wearing a thong bikini and nothing else, she bends over to pick up a dropped brochure. Along the beach people yell across the street and sidewalks, vanity is the affair here, bring attention to yourself over the heat and humidity of 100+ degrees Fahrenheit. The hotels chauffeur wealthy older white folks, and their spoiled white kids, all with fake tans and tank tops and fake ray bans, while the Spanish language twists through the air and its pervasiveness is greater than that even of English. Miami is sticky and vain and loud, it is diverse from those who speak Spanish but the anti-blackness is still there. Miami has coffee that should be considered as good, if not better than Seattle, from Cuba or Colombia and rich and strong and not bitter at all. Miami is America, truly, the good old tradition of slow and lacking public transportation rendering the use of cars and taxis and Uber vital. Little Havana's real restaurants are little known and the tourist ones have English language staff. Cuba Libres go down easily, order them anywhere here and they'll be better than back home. Miami is where people go to relax but deal with having to look pretty to do so, for that is Miami, more than New Orleans, more than Austin, look good in a swimsuit, conventionally, or die trying. Miami is the only airport with a Victoria's Secret right there in the terminal, as though travelers need the lingerie they need to wear in Miami, because if you thought sex sells wherever you are from, in Miami is oozes from every street corner and commercial, like the radio that goes back-to-back-to-back with laser hair removal and plastic surgery and boob jobs. Even Wynwood, perhaps Miami's most decorated non-ethnic neighborhood, is all visual, blocks and blocks of street art with political messages interspersed with the human form, always lacking clothing, always revealing, colours and bold lines and sharp contours and skinny people and large bosoms, and then you know Miami is more self-centered than even New York, or Boston, or Chicago; and that like New Orleans, it's all about the party, but unlike New Orleans, here they will judge you for your transgressions, your taste, your attire. Miami is loud and judgemental. Miami is looks. Miami is the TV, relentlessly turned to a volume of eleven, blasting its message nonstop, allowing nobody to avoid.