Monday, April 7, 2008

Miami Mondays: Weather!

Stop me if you’ve heard this before, but the weather down here is totally different than in New York. It’s like, a lot warmer; or as the old people down here call it, “Hot like those final moments of your seventh stroke where you think the warm hand of God may finally be taking you home.” (They’re flowery.)

When you meet someone in New York, the first two questions are always the same: Where are you from? and What do you do? Here, when you meet someone they start off with proclamations (not questions), and it’s always the same two things:

1. Leave town on Memorial Day weekend; and
2. You’re going to hate the summer.

The thing is, they all say it while kind of laughing. Like it’s a big inside joke about how hot it gets, and everyone who chooses to live here (them included) is at the butt of it. At its core, it’s nothing more than just another effed-up, southern love-hate relationship: In the summertime, Miami slaps you around with the backside of its humid hand. Then come winter, Miami apologizes and says it was just stressed because of a situation at the office, and it won’t happen again, and it loves you, let’s open a bottle of Rosé and let bygones be bygones. And you’re cool with it – until next summer.

Me? I’m not that worried. The way I see it, you’re getting double-dicked in NY. In the depths of winter, you can’t go buy a gallon of milk without a frosty breeze loosening a stream of snot down your face. Then, come summer, you get to hang out in the blistering subway stations, with 170% humidity. And not just regular humidity, but dirty, smelly humidity – like swimming in a pool with a bunch of strangers, except you KNOW that someone’s peed in it. And it’s the guy on the bench over there with one sneaker and a flag flying off his shopping cart. (Shout-out to homeless Asian guy at Grand Army Plaza station!)

But of course, every time I suggest this to a Miami resident (that I think I’ll be fine with the Miami summers) they laugh. And when they realize that I’m not joking, that laugh turns to anger. Like I’ve offended their righteous indignation; like I’m better than them somehow. One guy went so far as to tell me that people die in the summer. “It kills people,” he told me, with a wild look in his eye, talking about the heat as though it were imbued with a monstrous human soul: “The heat kills people.”

For now, though, the heat isn’t the problem. It’s the storms. Take last night for example. Around 3:00am, I awoke to a scream. I shot up in bed and yelled, “What?!” If I had had a bat, this is the point where I would have started swinging it wildly, but I had nothing, so instead I think I pawed my hands in the air a bit.

I looked over at Brooke. “Puppy scared me,” she said. “The big fraidy cat got scared from the thunder and jumped on my head.” I hadn’t noticed the thunder and lightening outside, but could tell it was rolling in quickly. I settled back down into bed, and just then there was another thunderous boom, and Brooke screamed again.

“Did Puppy jump on your head again?”
“Wasn’t he already on your head?”
“Is it really you that’s scared?”

Puppy had already moved to the foot of the bed, looking at Brooke like, “It’s a low-pressure system. Get over it.” But over the next half an hour, the thunder and lightening got worse and worse. Also, the windows of our apartment (and most apartments here) aren’t that thick. It’s not like they need double-insulated glass to keep out all the blustery winter winds. As a result, sounds come through a bit more clearly. Like, totally fucking in-your-face. Combine this with the lingering swaying feeling from having spent the entire previous day on a yacht out on the high seas (more on that below)*, and for about 10 minutes it felt as though we were in The Perfect Storm.

Finally, the storm passed and Brooke and I went back to sleep having made the resolution that we are out of here at the very first sign of a hurricane forming anywhere. We even resolved to leave for Japanese typhoons, just in case one were to get lost and make its way to Miami. But it’s like my father always said: There’s no shame in being scared – just don’t tell anyone you’re my son.

* It was fucking awesome, and exactly like in “CSI: Miami.” So much so, that I was kind of worried all day long that a dead body would surface right next to us and ruin all our fun. Luckily, we dodged that bullet. (But if there had been a dead body, and Horatio Caine had been there, he would have said, “This guy. Clearly. Did not dodge the bullet.”)


Blogger Scott said...

Do people down there actually watch CSI:Miami or is it like doctors watching ER where they can't handle it because it's so fake? I guess it's intentionally fake tho, so maybe that doesn't even work. I... don't... like that show... that much.

April 7, 2008 at 1:51:00 PM EDT  
Blogger -J said...

Hurricane season really is not that bad down here. Now and again, you might have one blow through, but it has to be pretty strong to mess too much up - unless it just likes to fuck with you and be mildly strong but still destroy all those rotting FPL electric poles - completely destroying your infrastructure for over a week.

April 7, 2008 at 1:58:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Annie in MN said...

The whole paragraph about being double-dicked in NY made me laugh so hard!

So true. New York sucks all year round. And that is just part of it's charm.

April 7, 2008 at 5:00:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Memorial day in Miami was so ridiculous (not in a good way), that it seemed perfectly normal to go drink ouzo at a Greek restaurant in the middle of the day, hop back on our bicycles and ride around the beach. I nearly lost a toe, but we were mild and sober by comparison. Just google it, really.

April 7, 2008 at 6:36:00 PM EDT  
Blogger steph said...

i moved from nyc down to jacksonville three years ago and it is by far the best decision i ever made!

the summer is hot, but i still loe it, and the weather is so fucking amazing and scary all at the same time, it's like a sport just to watch it.

congrats on the move and welcome to the south! have you had any boiled peanuts yet? then you know you're below the mason-dixon.

April 7, 2008 at 7:12:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous hello haha narf said...

"There’s no shame in being scared – just don’t tell anyone you’re my son."

i think i love your dad.

April 7, 2008 at 8:45:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Nicole said...

Florida doesn't really count as being In The South, especially Miami!! Only those persons living on the panhandle can claim their places as a Southerners. Everyone else in Florida are considered entities separate from The South.

April 8, 2008 at 1:30:00 AM EDT  
Blogger sid said...

Brooke is awesome.

April 8, 2008 at 7:12:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous bacardi & Diet said...

Right On Dude! I say the same thing to people when they comment on the Summers here being brutal. I lived in NY and suffered those ridiculously cold Winters, that when you turn the corner the wind hits you so hard, you can't breathe for a few seconds. And the Summer stench in the subways is just nasty. I much rather rather be sweating my balls off in the Summers of Miami, then under 17 million layers of clothing in NY.

April 8, 2008 at 12:21:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Maggie said...

Several years ago my friend who has lived in Florida her entire life came to visit me in Boston in July and she was horrified to realize it was just as damned hot and humid there as it is in Florida during the summer. Of course in Boston, we also got the cold fuck you all winter long. And my parents still wonder why I moved away as soon as possible...

April 8, 2008 at 1:29:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Christina said...

I am and ex-pat NYer living in Chicago and while the two have similar aspects they are not the same.

There is nothing like a NYC summer stuck on the R heading to Booklyn while you have the mariachi band on one end and the Jesus is coming groun on the other.

I miss the city.

BTW-Puppy is too cute!

April 8, 2008 at 2:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Green said...

I am one of those people who passes out if they overheat, and in four years of living in FL it only happened once, right when I was moving there (yes, in the summer).

After you get used to walking outside and feeling like you've been physically hit by a big wall of Hot-n-Humid, the summer won't seem so bad.

You'll probably like getting out on the IntraCoastal when they do the air shows.

April 8, 2008 at 9:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Caitlyn said...

And then he would have put on his sunglasses!

April 9, 2008 at 11:31:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

My favorite CSI Horatio Caine line was in the episode when one of those speed boats was flying by a party and someone shot a bunch of people...and Horatio said, "It's a drive-by. Miami style."

April 9, 2008 at 12:34:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Hollywood Sucker said...

i'm jealous that you get thunderstorms. i grew up on the east coast and enjoyed the storms, but since I've been in LA, I hardly get a drop of rain...sigh.

April 9, 2008 at 5:54:00 PM EDT  
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December 11, 2008 at 2:44:00 AM EST  

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