Culture Vulture: Miami

'Maybe a jellyfish just stung my penis,' is what flashes through my mind as I am bobbing up and down, bodysurfing in the ocean during a super-wavy fun Saturday. No matter, we are hanging together with blankets pulled to make one giant blanket mansion. There is beer, wine and snacks, some cigarettes, windblown umbrellas and everyone is so happy. Maybe this kind of moment makes us all happiest. Welcome to Miami -- did you think you were somewhere else? Well, no, and this might be a surprise to you, but no one who lives in Miami and is cute and smiley actually hangs out at South Beach hot spots while muscle-bound gay dudes and their matching counterparts, the puffy-lipped models, look you up and down like you are a snack or a jerk.

We like to ride bikes. Most of us live downtown and there is such a nice group of lovely friends here. Cooking meals together -- we eat seaweed salad and brown rice and fishes of the sea. But enough about us, what should you do while you’re here?

FOOD:
If you want lunch, spot number one is the Honey Tree (5138 Biscayne Blvd.) -- you can only find lunch here from 12 p.m. to 2 p.m. during the week, but it is the best veggie place in town, hands down. Michelle is the owner and her mom cooks food every day for their loyal peeps. Sirhan, Michelle and Sunny hold it down like a tofu-covered clown. But they are more sweet than funny.

As far as food goes, I love Sheba (4029 N. Miami Ave.), the Ethiopian restaurant right in front of my house. They rock the beg wat and gomen wat so hard that it tastes like a stewed goat with lots of collard greens served with the most tasty injera bread. Dim Sum anyone? I love it and so should you. Bring a big group to Tropical Chinese (7991 SW 40th St.) before 3 p.m., it is to die for and only rivaled by the dopest NYC spots. And I do have to say that Michael's Genuine Food and Wine (130 NE 40th St.) in the design district is so tasty -- but be warned, the large blond hostess is a huge jerk and even if the place is empty she might ask you for a reservation. You know the type. Then you want Cuban delight? Have you had lechon asado? If not, I would pop into any Latin café, or if you wanna get fancy, check out Versailles (3555 SW 8th St.) or the more homey La Carreta (3632 SW 8th St.) en Calle Ocho. But the most amazing spot in maybe the world is Hiro's Yakko San. And good luck finding it, cuz I'm not telling -- it's too good, and if you really care for the best Japanese tapas place that all the sushi chefs go to then you will make the effort.

NIGHTLIFE:
Wanna go out? Well, I don't really. But you are just visiting, so Mike's at Venetia Restaurant and Irish Pub (555 NE 15th St.) is right up on the Venetian causeway for a drinky hideaway and pool playing. PS14 (28 NE 14th St.) is a local joint that I never go to but lots of locals do, and the White Room (1306 N. Miami Ave.) is the spot for nighttime sweaty dance adventures. If you want to feel gross or be a hooker, go to the Mac's Club Deuce (222 14th St.) -- it's just shitty and no one asks any questions, but its prolly the place you can get into on South Beach without being scoffed at by some jive turkey. I like the swimming pool at The Standard (40 Island Ave.) and the Spa there is pretty delightful.

SHOPPING:
The best shop is a little kids' design headquarters called Genius Jones (49 NE 39th St.). And of course, I must plug our magical playground at Aventura Mall (19501 Biscayne Blvd.) called Rainbow Valley as one of the most magical spots in town. If you make the drive north and you are a nerdy kinda comic lover like me, then go to Tate's Comics (4566 N. University Dr., Lauderhill). I don't care if you think that it's stupid.

ART:
Best gallery in town is Emmanuel Perrotin (194 NW 30th St.). They show Murakami, Mr., Gelitin and some of our local favorites. I think they really rock it out so nicely. But more than any place you can visit, the thing that makes Miami so great is us! That's right -- we will hug and kiss you and if you are lucky, you can have an orgy with a white fox (*someone three times the age of a MILF), a refugee and P-Diddy all before breakfast. Really though, the best times are with friends and being outside. These winter months are the only ones you can escape sweating if you are lucky, but we don't care -- we call that Swass Juice. Come to Miami and make all your dreams come true. We'll be right here waiting for you.

And if you are here in December or January, come find out what (we) FriendsWithYou are doing: www.friendswithyou.com

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