Monday, March 31, 2008

Miami Mondays, or Things That Are Different About Miami: Vol. 2 Danger!

(Editor’s note: A wise man once said that branding is everything. He also had no family, no friends, no one to love or hold him, and twice he bought expensive exotic birds to keep as pets, but both times they died of starvation because he was too busy branding things to feed them. So maybe it’s not everything, but I think it counts for something – hence the ridiculous post title. Basically, I want to make “Miami Mondays” posts that are all about the differences between New York and Miami. I hope this abrupt switcheroo doesn’t confuse anyone, and if it does I’m sorry . . . that my blog matters so much to you.)

So, in case you haven’t heard, Miami is a bit dangerous. And I don’t just mean your run-of the-mill, shot in the face, ripped-from-the-headlines straight to “Law & Order” kind of dangerous. I lived in Brooklyn for Christ’s sake. I navigated the line at Terrace Bagels on Sunday mornings. (One time they ran out of lox spread and I had to use a broken Snapple Peach Iced Tea bottle to cut my way through the angry mob.)

Miami is a different kind of dangerous. It’s not just hazardous at times. Instead, it carries an air of danger at all times, as though the city itself has a general disregard (even a distaste) for safety. Just the other day, while watching a woman make an illegal 3-point turn in the middle of a busy intersection with a cop waiting patiently right behind her, Brooke commented, “I want to get a gun. Just so I can see what you have to do to get in trouble here.”

And it’s not just the motorists, although most of the time they drive as though they are blind, and if only they could break 120mph, some miracle of science would allow them to see again. It’s nature, too. The other morning, while I was groggily taking Puppy for his morning walk, a huge frond fell from a palm tree and landed about ten feet from my head. I know what you’re thinking: Dan was afraid of getting hit by a leaf! Oh, maybe it would mess up his hair, or some dirt might brush off onto his nice polo shirt! Guess again. We’re talking about a branch as long as me (body height, not penis) falling from a distance of at least 100 feet (Note: I’m bad with distances). Judging by the loud thump this thing made when it hit the ground, I would guess that the amount of damage this frond could have inflicted ranges anywhere from “a lot” to “dead.”

Then, while walking Puppy the other day, I notice that he has ran ahead and is playing with (OK, kind of humping) a large round object in the sidewalk. It turns out to be a coconut. Am I the only one who didn’t think that coconuts were real? I mean, of course they’re real, but I thought they hailed strictly from deserted islands where non-white people shimmied up the trees using only their indigenous instincts and chopped them down with homemade machetes; not that they grew on residential Florida streets an then came crashing to the ground like a Three Stooges skit. And (once again using my acute judging skills) judging by the way Puppy was putting a fair amount of his weight right on that sucker and it was just rolling around like nothing at all, I would guess that if one of those fell out of a tree and hit you on the head, the amount of damage it could inflict ranges anywhere from “get a metal plate in your skull” to “dead.”

So not only do you have to be careful when you’re driving, but you have to be careful when you’re walking, too. And sometimes, even when you’re just standing, like I was the other night on the roof of the newly opened Gansevoort hotel. Everyone was drinking in beds (a practice that I thought was peculiar to me on rainy Sunday afternoons, but is apparently all the rage here), when suddenly there was a huge explosion. Being so accustomed to Miami living, I simply assumed it was a meth lab accident or 5,000 people all forgot to shut off the oven that night. But no, it was fireworks.

Everyone was pleasantly surprised (who doesn’t love fireworks?) right up until they noticed where the fireworks were coming from – the beach. And not like way out near the water, but like right across the dune, 50 feet away from a residential apartment building (again, not so good with distances). The point being that if I had lived in that building and perhaps I had been in Nam, and I looked out my window, I would have grabbed the nearest can of shoe polish, camouflaged my face and armed myself.


Then, just because firing fireworks at a building isn’t quite dangerous enough, they decided maybe it would be better to shoot the fireworks off the building.


(I should also note that earlier in the night the fire department was called to manage the immense crowd of people trying to get in to the party. So just in case there was an emergency, all the local firemen would be manning the velvet ropes out front. I know that sounds like I’m ridiculing them because of the lack of safety involved, but really it was quite a funny sight – hence I have no problem with it.)

This was about the point where I started to get scared, wondering if maybe they were also planning on shooting fireworks from the roof we were on, you know for a real thrill. No such luck. Things got boring after that, and I’m pretty sure I only saw like one stabbing the entire night. If only there were some decent bagels involved.


Blogger mysterygirl! said...

Per your sidebar, I think you'll get through The Sun Also Rises a lot more quickly the second time once you decide that most of what happens is a metaphor for sex (hello, elaborate-dance-with- a-bull-that-ends-once-it's- penetrated) because sex is what keeps Brett and Jake apart. Enjoy.

March 31, 2008 at 6:53:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Dan said...

Next time you're going to ruin a metaphor for me, maybe you could include a preemptive "SUBTEXT SPOILER ALERT."

And way to ruin the whole homosexual thing, too. Jake and Brett - who would have guessed!?

March 31, 2008 at 8:08:00 PM EDT  
Blogger John Commoner said...

The Sun Also Rises is one of my very favorite books. It has such a great last line:

"Yes," I said, "Isn't it pretty to think so?"

March 31, 2008 at 8:40:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Camels & Chocolate said...

I, too, love Hemingway but have never made it through The Sun Also Rises. After working in Spain -- Pamplona to be precise -- this time two years ago, I vowed to change that. And to this day, I'm still 50 pages in. Actually, that's kind of a lie...I read the first 50 pages, was so bored that I flipped ahead to the final two chapters just to see what happened, you know should I ever make it onto Jeopardy and need to know those sort of things.

Also, regarding this post: "...I thought they hailed strictly from deserted islands where non-white people shimmied up the trees using only their indigenous instincts and chopped them down with homemade machetes..." Could you be more of a Yankee? =)

March 31, 2008 at 9:06:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Scott said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

March 31, 2008 at 9:15:00 PM EDT  
Blogger sid said...

"We’re talking about a branch as long as me (body height, not penis)". This is why I love you Dan. You really are awesome.

April 1, 2008 at 1:19:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Green said...

Speaking of palm tree fronds, make sure your illegal landscapers cut all of them away from your windows. Often the palm trees are stupidly planted too close to residences, and the fronds brush up against the windows. I don't say this is a problem because you'll get scared at night and pee in the bed.

I say this because ants live on those fronds and they will start POURING through your windows.

Speaking of ants pouring through places, be careful parking your car - you never want to park too close to any bushes - ants will swarm into your car through the vents and you'll have to bomb your car.

Sorry to be a debbie downer; just think it would be nice if someone could benefit from all the shit I went through while living in S. Fl.

April 1, 2008 at 1:25:00 AM EDT  
Blogger k. said...

i call spoiler on the majority of this post.

first of all, in regards to mysterygirl!..alright, so i haven't quite gotten around to reading the sun also rises (sorry ernie, loved you in farewell to arms) but - really? there are characters named brett and jake? somehow this disappoints me greatly. i kind of thought everyone would be named eduardo.

secondly, dan, you may well remember from your days up north that we do not get to see fireworks until the fourth of july, otherwise known as three months from now. basically, the surprise is ruined.

but as long as we're doling out glimpses of the future...will i grow a beard? does puppy find a mate? DO WE EVER MAKE FLYING CARS?


don't let your blog fame & coconut-proximity go to your head

April 1, 2008 at 1:29:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Michemily said...

In one day in Berlin, my friend slipped on a banana peel (I thought that happened only in cartoons) and had an acorn fall on her head. That's dangerous.

April 1, 2008 at 4:26:00 AM EDT  
Blogger nancypearlwannabe said...

Every time I picture you (or anyone, really) in Miami all I can think of is the show Dexter, which makes me sure that everyone there will someday soon become the victim of a serial killer on the loose.

I just hope they don't get Puppy.

April 1, 2008 at 8:24:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Some Girl said...

The "Little Children" poster with the cut dude and the hot woman? I thought that was your new profile pic for a while, and I kept studying it, wondering when you got so fancy and whether it was weird to be naked for the photographers. Who knows, I thought, maybe that's how they do things in Miami... Then I realized it was a movie. :p

April 1, 2008 at 9:37:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Sara said...

Oh Dan, Dan, Dan. If you think WMC was the height of Miami retardedness you have yet to experience the madness that is Art Basel. Imagine Dita Von Teese riding a mechanical bull over the Delano pool. If that doesn't make you want to encase yourself in tin foil and crawl into a corner I dunno what will.

April 1, 2008 at 9:53:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Julie_Gong said...

Peach is my favorite kind of Snapple. I'd def stab someone for one of those.

April 1, 2008 at 10:29:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous JamieLauren said...

The Miami you live in is SO much cooler (and ?) than the Miami I live in.

April 1, 2008 at 12:31:00 PM EDT  
Blogger manda s., like in school said...

dood! i live every friggin day in a giant ball of anxiety from this place. i got called asshole leaving work the other day- and i work in a library!

April 1, 2008 at 6:38:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bill From Gainesville said...

I read a story in the Miami Herald the other day that said the hotel you were partying at charges around 800 dollars a night for one of their rooms, For that Price I damn Sure HOPe You would get Fireworks. Plus maybe a Blowjob also.

April 1, 2008 at 9:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Ursula said...

Dan, I know exactly how frightening palm fronds can be. One landed TWO FEET from my head while I was laying by the pool at the MGM in Vegas.

Thank God I was too drunk to care.

Miami is another story completely... the palms there are packin'.

April 2, 2008 at 9:26:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Bex said...

hahahaha! ...afraid of a leaf AND the main ingredient of a pina colada! That's hilarious!!

BTW, if you ever make it up to Boca Raton a place called Flakowitzs on Federal Highway has good bagels.

April 3, 2008 at 9:57:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Cait said...

Question: do the CSI down there make their investigations more intense by either taking off their sunglasses, putting on their sunglasses, or swiftly pulling their jacket back and placing their hand on their hip? A cheesy "I will save your daughter" line is always good too.

As for the coconuts- my uncle lives in KW and his dog has to pick one up every day on their walks. Cheaper than actual toys.

April 3, 2008 at 10:47:00 AM EDT  

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