One of the first things you see driving into Miami from the airport is a billboard advertising Beats Booty Paint. Yes body painting is alive and kicking in Miami. Can you purchase a brand especially created for the gluts? Or is it simply the culture talking? Miami is screaming sex. Hit the bar at the Mandarin Oriental. Who’s that Asian woman in the tight purple dress raising her glass exuberantly? Cross the Bridge at Brickell Key and you’ll find apartment complexes that are ripe for the remake of Rear Window–undulating bodies weaving to a silent beat. Hit the terrace at Truck’s, the famous stoned crab place and you find yourself making long distance calls to adjoining tables. You’re the avid and silent member of intimate conversations of which you aren’t a part. The air is balmy and your Bulgarian waiter describes how he likes to chill down in the Keys. In the meanwhile the two Hispanic women in the spikey heels, who had been looking at themselves in hand mirrors as they applied blue lipstick, have finished their exotic mixed drinks and are now preparing to climb into the white BMW station wagon which has just been retrieved by a valet? Where to? You wonder about their fundaments and whether they have seen the Beats Booty paint ad. They say Miami is drowning and that parts of it are already underwater, but the condos and office buildings with their cosmopolitan clientele stand proud. It may not be Venice, but it’s got the canals–and skyscrapers to boot.

view from Brickell Key Bridge (photograph by Hallie Cohen)

{This was originally posted to The Screaming Pope, Francis Levy’s blog of rants and reactions to contemporary politics, art and culture}

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