Today I did a bit of exploring. I don’t know how long it has been since I rode a public bus . . . but I managed to figure it out today. I walked a few blocks from my hotel in South Beach to the bus stop, and rode across Biscayne Bay to the Bayside Marketplace, which is evidently a big tourist thing. It is just a bunch of stores . . . and the EB Games doesn’t even have Madden 2006 for the PC (neither does the whole city of Miami, it seems), so I don’t see what the big deal is. It does offer some nice views, though:
Biscayne Bay as seen from the Bayside Marketplace.
My guide book suggested that I ride the Metro Mover – a driverless electric train that is elevated above the street level. Metro Mover is free to ride, and seems to be a good way to get around much of the city. First I rode one of the loops in a . . . loop, to get a general feel for downtown. Then, I rode south to the financial district. Miami is a financial connection to the US for much of Latin America, so the financial district is full of tall bank buildings, and it is quite impressive.
The financial district is also home to luxury apartments such as these.
After sitting out a short rain storm, I headed back north. In my quest for Madden, I got off at a stop that was described as having a “mall”. I ended up walking around what seemed to be a Latin market area, with store after store with electronics, clothes, and perfume. When I decided I had had enough, I tried to get back on the Metro Mover, but it was taking forever, so I walked back to the bus station, and rode back to South Beach.
I ate some good sushi for dinner. I still want to go out for a really nice dinner, but I’ve got plenty of time for that.
As promised, I bring you “Night 1 in Miami”.
I will skip the boring details of the flight . . . well let’s just say that the Budweiser restaurant may be getting a letter . . .
Upon arriving at my hotel, I smelled marijuana twice in fifteen minutes. Oh well, that doesn’t bother me; It is just an interesting note. After getting my laptop and speakers set up, I decided to go out and check out South Beach. I have never seen more clubs in my life. The only problem is that almost all of them seem to be “Top 40”. I did expect this, however. This is why I consulted my trusty (well, maybe not so trusty) National Geographic Miami guide book.
The guide book suggested a certain club/bar called “Jazid” about 10 blocks north of my hotel, where it is evidently more laid-back and there is live music (you’d think it might be jazz?) every night. I went in, and there was some horrible solo guy with a guitar on stage, but I sat down at the bar anyway. I went with my old standby – a White Russian. The bartender proceeded to put about half a shot of milk in and the rest ice, vodka, and Kahlua. Yeah, that would have been great if my only goal was to get trashed, but I also like to enjoy my drinks. Oh, and she for some reason put a CHERRY in my White Russian. Total cost: $10 + $2 tip. I got a $5 Bass after that and then left. Final score for Jazid: sausage fest.
I decided to make my way back to the hotel at a leisurely pace, with the intention of stopping again if something caught my eye. I found a cool record store where I proceeded to buy a mix drum and bass CD. I also asked the guy at the counter if there were any places that played trance or drum and bass. He guided me towards sixth street where he had heard of some vague reference from his friend of drum and bass. I found no such place, but I did find a flyer on the sidewalk for Paul van Dyk this Saturday in downtown Miami. Maybe all the trance clubs are downtown?
Tomorrow should be interesting. I want to check out the mass transit and get some Cuban food for lunch, and something nice for dinner. Hopefully my guide book won’t let me down again.