Archive for the ‘Friends’ Category

South Beach Strippers

July 10, 2007

The Flamingo, oceanside

We missed Top Chef last week due to the holiday, but I wanted to share some of the views I have when I get to visit Miami Beach.

The FlamingoMy Maryland roommate grew up in North Miami Beach and currently resides at The Flamingo in South Beach, so he knows the area very well. This is one of his pools, and those empty chairs are filled daily with South Beach’s most ridiculous strippers.

Last Labor Day was my most recent excursion to South Beach, where The Flamingo did not disappoint. He had just moved in and hadn’t even paid his security deposit yet, so I joined him for a 20 minute meeting with the landlord at around 10 am. After swindling them out of a few months rent, we had breakfast, met his former roommate, and went to the pool.

The Flamingo, North Pool

Now when I say this scene was breathtaking, I don’t mean the immediate view of the ocean 10 feet from the pool, or the clear blue skies overhead. I am talking about the cheeks that all seemed to live in this one complex.


Not only that, but I didn’t look like some dirty scumbag because my brilliant friend had equipped me with a girl for the whole week. For security purposes, we will refer to her as “Next.” 

Shower Girl

It was like never-ending softcore porn. I kid you not. I was seeing spots similar to when you look directly at the sun for too long, except these spots were asscheeks. Even Next was impressed and she is from Los Angeles by way of Miami. These strippers weren’t just on the chairs either. They were playing in the foot shower, on the beach, getting drunk and enjoying the calm before the storm.

This calm before the storm is the Thursday before the Friday of Labor Day weekend. It’s the day where the strippers get to finish up their last details before the weekend’s debauchery begins. For most, that means cleaning up tan lines, relaxing, and finally spending a day dodging dick instead of not.

Elastic Girls

But Next would initiate conversations with these ladies and it always turned back to the U. I was surprised how intelligent the strippers were when their guard was down…oh, and they seemed to be  perennially forming  pony-tails, dipping themselves in and out of the pool for hours on end in what they called a “bikini.” Such solid marketing tactics.

Girls Poolside

Many of them were educated and actually went to the U. How they found time between demonstrating crotch thrust techniques on stage and then sleeping it off is beyond me. But, I couldn’t believe where my pimp friend, let’s call him “P,” was living. No wonder he gets laid so often. It’s a pimper’s paradise.

The U

It didn’t stop there though. At night, it was no different. One of his best friends, we’ll call him “Bare Bones,” was in from New York and was “drunk off his tits” in one story after another. This guy is a modern day miracle and together, these Miami pimps revealed their empire to me.

Crobar, Miami Beach, FL

We went wherever we wanted and got whatever we wanted. The bouncer would greet us personally as he declined $500 tables to the local meatheads and tourists. And this was no small group either. P always rolls with his blazing Russian-American friend, “Red,” and several other friends, with which I had specific interests in common.

Most nights lasted ’til the wee hours of the morning, and some broke dawn like the night before never happened. For the first time, I saw more people partying and dancing at 8 am than at 6 am, each equipped with his or her own designer sunglasses for the obvious reasons.

The Delano, Miami Beach, FL

When it was finally time to leave the beach, the restaurants, the clubs, the hotels, or whathaveyou, I never had any interest. Thank you as always pimps, for I will see you again this year for a repeat performance.

South Beach Nightlife

South Beach is such a spectacle and possesses an amazing aura that DC could only wish to replicate. That being said, my comparative research on the subject will begin this week.


Top Chef. Season 3. Miami. Chopping Block 3.

June 29, 2007

Miami Skyline

Guest JudgeAlfred Portale, Gotham Bar and Grill, New York City, NY
Quick Fire WinnerBrian Malarkey, The Oceanaire Seafood Room, San Diego, CA
Challenge WinnerHowie Kleinberg, The Food Gang, Surfside, FL
EliminatedMicah Edelstein, The Wandering Chef Caterers, Boca Raton, FL

Hung fishing

In our 3rd installment from South Beach, we discover that Hung truly is the doushebag we thought he was. During the Quick Fire, he digs into the shellfish tank like a 5-year old, after screaming, “Yes!” when a shellfish theme was determined. Fascinating stuff.

Passive Lia

Next week, Tom places them into teams and Hung’s attitude will finally affect others’ performances, namely Lia. She is a passive Tiffani from Season 1 without the skill or the switch-hitting. Sucks for her as she was my prediction to be chopped this week. We’ll get her next week though when Hung throws her under the bus.


In the Quick Fire Challenge, Malarkey retains his reign after proclaiming the shame he would endure from the homies if defeated. This is usually a little Bravo chicanery, but this time it doesn’t prevail.

Tom eventually yanks him on to the chopping block with the other losers, questioning whether he can handle his meat…a question we all have pondered i presume.

Micah Rock and Chisel

We also see Micah spaz out on the conch shells, the same way I would, appearing to finally penetrate one with a rock and chisel. Very innovative of you dear. Don’t let the pressure get to you or anything. Unfortunately, the pressure has apparently already changed her accent in a recent story.

Howie Elimination Winner 3

So, the Elimination Challenge featured reinvention skills of high-cholesterol dishes into low-cholesterol dishes. In reverse order of the Quick Fire, they selected from an array of classic meals. Tom wanted to see passion from the contestants in this challenge for they could really show what they were about.

Alfred Portale

The judges were not impressed at all. Other than Howie’s Fennel Crusted Pork Chops, we could see the judges questioning the actual talent of this season’s chefs.

Ultimately, Micah is eliminated by her inedible meatloaf. But this is a great moment in Top Chef history. Now, we will be able to focus on more important aspects like Camille and Casey. Alas, we have two attractive contestants that we actually would like to see naked.

Camille and Casey

Hopefully, Top Chef can get the recognition it deserves for being the outstanding show that it is. Then, we can get Casey and Camille the recognition they deserve with some scandalous pictures passed around the internet when they lose.

Camille Becerra

Casey Thompson

For now, this is all I could uncover. It will have to do until the ex-boyfriends and scavengers surface with the incriminating pictures and video.

Until then, another exciting episode permeates.


Top Chef. Season 3. Miami.

June 13, 2007

Top Chef returns for Bravo’s third installment of its hit reality TV show. The all-new season premieres tonight, June 13 10/9c and features judges Tom Colicchio, Padma Lakshmi, Gail Simmons, and Ted Allen. Bravo has done a really nice job with Top Chef and its appeal branches down from Colicchio. He is not only a pioneer, but the cast members always show him the utmost respect. He has a heart of gold and really tries to teach these chefs to get better at their craft.

Tom Colicchio

The contestants want to win the competition obviously but are more vindictive than most. From burner manipulation to snide degradation of one another’s culinary background, this show packs a punch. And now with some added Miami sizzle, Bravo might have something very special brewing. I watch very little TV but will certainly have this series set for TiVo.

Miami Beach

Here is a taste of Padma and the 4-Star All-Stars that premiered last week…early predictions are encouraged…


June 4, 2007

We all perceive daily experiences differently due to a variety of influences from the past and present. Perhaps, our tendencies are dictated more genetically, or more through repetitive processes that form who we are today. Maybe we are affected more by failure than triumph, or more by love than hate. Maybe its more by eBay than Amazon, or Judaism than Christianity, or stocks than bonds. Choices affect us all, but how does the understanding of others’ perceptions assist in building bridges to the future?

Bridge Building

In the past, those lucky enough to have a family, or anything resembling the typical nuclear model, could be perceived as being lucky. But today with so much collaboration available to us from so many inexpensive sources, how important is the role of the “mom” or “dad?”

Suppose a 15-year old boy loses his father and must become the “man” of the house prematurely. Will he quickly learn to become a “father” figure to his younger siblings, or will he remain in a “big brother” role? And how much faster would this transition occur today than compared to 20 years ago?

Now imagine that he has been abused.  Imagine he has been abused by both parents, but with only one parent remaining. Imagine he has been abused by one but not the other. Imagine if the abuse was physical, or emotional, or psychological. Imagine a combination of abusers and effects of abuse.

I am from the school of thought that claims 10% of life is what happens, and 90% is how we react to it. In this situation, if the child matures quickly to better serve a “father” figure role, it could be the result of an ingrained characteristic, or simply a positive reaction to life experience. The child could also mature more slowly though, where the same “loss of a father” would cause an entirely opposite negative reaction.

But suppose the same 15-year old accepted additional responsibilities, helped forge his family forward, while becoming a leader before his time. Suppose he applied these skills to the military for an education, instead of a University system for instance, because his leadership skills were so advanced at such a young age, that he needed to lead others. And suppose he is sent off to war to live or die. And then again a year later. And then again.

But, i’m not talking about life or death from war, which is awful to even think about. I’m talking about the aspects of life that these leaders lose because of war, and because they are so capable of being strong leaders. I’m talking about each patch on their shoulder that represents 15 friends and soldiers killed by someone, or some cause, that they couldn’t trust. How does this same decorated leader, that began supporting his family at 15 years old, experience the beauty of falling in love, the freedom of traveling with a friend, or all the other experiences that shape us even into our 20’s and 30’s.

Sometimes life is what we make it, and other times, life is what is handed to us. But, usually its a hybrid of our past and present influences, and how we manage them. For some, life may never exist again with trust or faith as core components. Then again, maybe trust and faith are the glue that hold the family together in times like these, and are the same core components that the soldier seeks to redeem from past losses or premature expectations.

But soldiers don’t get to check their blogs, or watch LOST, or speed-date every Tuesday night. They don’t get to accept love on their own terms, or at their own pace, or from the same pool that we all enjoy. And, ultimately, they don’t get to naively trust casual encounters in life:  a luxury that allows us to implement our vast perceptions into productive romantic, business, and societal relationships. It is critical that we exhibit the ability to perceive, and understand, similar experiences through the eyes of others, thereby continually building bridges for collaboration and societal evolution.

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