Monday, May 19, 2008

Miami Mondays: Drinking!

It’s currently en vogue to refer to prostitution as “the world’s oldest profession.” Which is cute, I guess. But a quick analysis of my own common sense tells me that I’m pretty sure guys weren’t paying for it At The Beginning. These were cultures where women were thrown in volcanoes to appease the angry fertility gods (it’s true – I saw it on “Gilligan’s Island”). Let’s just say I don’t think guys were sitting around saying things like, “Man. I’ve got to get laid, but Bethsheba just isn’t putting out! Maybe I could slip her some clay to loosen her up . . .”

If you ask me, the world’s oldest profession is drinking. In fact, I could probably make the argument that prostitution wouldn’t have even been invented if drinking hadn’t happened first. Paying money to stick your wahoo in a girl’s hooha just seems like a idea hatched over a few too many gin and tonics. And this is precisely why if drinking wasn’t the first profession (baby delivery, maybe?), it has at least proven to be the most influential. You think I was sober the day I decided to start a blog? Heck no! It was like any other Thursday, and work was slow so I had a few with lunch (maybe instead of lunch; things were tight back then). And I haven’t been sober since.

Spanning farther back, my personal history with alcohol is long and storied. The first time I got drunk was at one of my sister’s parties in high school. We raided my parents’ liquor cabinet (sorry, mom!) and since I was the last to claim a bottle, I was left with Canadian Club whisky (wtf, mom?). After a few disgusting sips, I learned what all the fuss was about: No longer was I a lost, confused adolescent. Now I was a lost, confused adolescent with a purpose, which, at that time, was to find something to mix with Canadian Club whisky. And the more I drank, the more I realized that when you’re drunk you can do all the things you normally do – watch TV, sing Billy Joel, cry because you’re not sure why your body is changing or what all these new feelings mean – except have more fun while doing it. It was revolutionary, and I knew I wanted to dedicate my life to it.

Flash forward to my time living alone in New York. New York is an easy, though expensive place to drink. On every corner there is a bar or a liquor store or a bodega hawking $10 six packs of Miller Lite. Rarely if ever will you get carded. (The first time I ventured inside my local liquor store during college I brought a plastic jug of vodka up to the counter. The salesman looked at me and said, “What year were you born?” I looked up at the ceiling and curled my lip while doing some math in my head. “1977?” I replied. He promptly took my twenty bucks.)

Miami, though . . . where do I start? The same way that my first few sips of Canadian Club gave me my purpose, so too did Miami find its purpose in supplying liquor to the masses. Indeed, I imagine the whole idea of MIAMI was hatched over the sixth round of Mai Tais somewhere around Fort Lauderdale when someone said, “What’s below us?” and his friend replied, “I’m not sure, but you can b-low me!” and everyone laughed and someone fell off their bar stool.

Sure, there are your expensive cocktail joints. You’ll easily pay $12 per drink at most hotel bars. But sit down at any old bar during happy hour (like I did the other day while “working”) and when you order a beer, they’re likely to bring you two for one. That’s two beers, at the same time, for $3.50 ($4 if you’re unpatriotic and drink international). You can even ask for your drink in a plastic cup so you can take it to go. (Try doing that with a hooker.)

What’s more, when you need some vodka, you don’t have to Google map the nearest liquor store. You know why? Because, in an idea so profoundly good and pure, THEY SELL IT A WALGREENS. When you think about it, it just makes sense. Buying condoms? Don’t forget the tequila! Too much tequila and now you need a pregnancy test? Buy some scotch! Couldn’t convince her to have it taken care of, so now you need diapers, baby powder, and wipes – which is OK because they’re kind of nice to use on yourself? IT’S BOURBON TIME.

What I’m trying to say is, in some ways Miami was made for me. And if I wasn’t sure of that in the past, I was made 100% certain this past weekend when Brooke and I went out to dinner with some friends to a tapas bar in the back of a gas station convenience store.

(I’ll give you a few moments to clean up your blown mind.)

That’s right: You park in the gas station, go into the convenience store, walk to the back, and like the gates to some trailer park heaven, the store opens up to a wine bar with something like 25,000 (approximation) bottles of wine to choose from. You pick your bottle from the shelf and they tag on a $10 corking fee. I was incredulous at first. After all, I can think of like seven great things to do in the back of a gas station, but sipping a 2004 Barbara d’Alba certainly isn’t one of them. But when we clinked glasses and took our first sips while overlooking the nearby Ho-Ho’s display, the reality sunk in: Miami has cornered the market on excellence in getting drunk.

el carajo

brooke pump-1
Further proof that Citgo is the best place in the world.


Blogger Poodle said...

i had something to say but that photo of brooke blew my mind even more than the idea of a tapas bar in the gas station

May 19, 2008 at 3:41:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous JesusISMagic said...

I guess because I've lived here, in Miami, my whole life, none of this seems odd or over the top or special in any way. I'm glad you're having fun though, Dan.

May 19, 2008 at 4:18:00 PM EDT  
Blogger [mother] said...

I was actually enjoying the read until the bold print.


May 19, 2008 at 4:56:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Arielle said...

Tapas bars in gas stations are truly the one thing New York doesn't have and should get, ASAP. Damn.

May 19, 2008 at 4:59:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Janet said...

And I thought I was the only one living next to a gas station with a bar in the back. Growing up in rural Nevada, this isn't exactly new, but the drunk people here are considerably uglier.

And the restaurant critic made me snort SEARING HOT coffee through my nose. Miami Mondays indeed.

May 19, 2008 at 5:03:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Neil said...

I'm tempted to ask how much is gas at that gas station, but seeing all the extras you get there, I don't think it really matters.

May 19, 2008 at 5:31:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

while i dispise most things florida (including flo-rida) i personally think one of hte best things about miami can be summed up in three words - chicken salad quesadillas. they're fantastic and i still have yet to find another place to order them.

May 19, 2008 at 5:54:00 PM EDT  
Blogger nycaboo said...

ya miami mondays are back! I was recently in miami and after experiencing it for myself was looking forward to your posts but you took some time away (boo) and yes women look like that getting gas and stopping at walgreens! (I witnessed it for myself)

May 19, 2008 at 7:19:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous jessalyn said...

Pshaw. The oldest profession is apple-pickin'.

May 19, 2008 at 8:27:00 PM EDT  
Blogger Kate said...

I believe the technical term for private parts are "hoo-hoo dilly" and "cha-cha". I'll expect a correction in your next edition.

May 20, 2008 at 8:06:00 AM EDT  
Blogger Stacy said...

So Indiana is actually kind of forward thinking considering I think Indy has at least two tapas bars (although not in the back of gas stations). Buuut...we can't buy alcohol on Sundays. Damn conservatives. So much for the forward thinking.

May 20, 2008 at 10:16:00 AM EDT  
Blogger sid said...

Try doing that with a hooker? no thanks.

May 20, 2008 at 11:22:00 AM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: vodka at Walgreens. Yes! Genius. It was like that Up North, when I was took young to drink. Here in Paradise, we have the ABC stores, and you can't ever find them, and they're closed for renovations, and you're eyeing the mint flavored rubbing alcohol. The only thing that would be better than vodka at Walgreens would be vodka at WalMart. The low price leader, you know, where you go when you need new tires, new glasses, a haircut, some joint compound, new dishtowels, and a gallon of Smirnoff or a bottle of Grey Goose. ;-)

May 20, 2008 at 1:39:00 PM EDT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

is that brooke?? she's GORGEOUS!


May 21, 2008 at 9:35:00 PM EDT  
Blogger kristy said...

Miami sounds delightful. But may I ask? Have you ever spent some quality time in San Francisco?

Because I could show you guys some things.

The (disputable) downside: I've lived here long enough that my first instinct when looking at that lady at the pump is that she's a tranny hooker.

May 27, 2008 at 10:41:00 PM EDT  
Blogger White Dade said...

Shit Dan. I'm sorry I haven't been following your Miami adventures more. You just NOW discovered the awesomeness that is the 17th and US-1 Citgo? they were rated by the New Times, on more than one occasion, as having the BEST beer selection in Miami. At a gas station. They also rape you on gas because they're the first station when you get off 95, but that's another story.

Glad to hear you're enjoying yourself. See what you think after August.

June 11, 2008 at 12:55:00 AM EDT  
Blogger jinius said...

i also grew up in miami my whole life (now living in nyc) and never knew about this back door operation. nyc bodegas could use a backyard tapas bar.

July 7, 2008 at 11:10:00 AM EDT  
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