Miami gave me a loving welcome from the moment I got off the redeye from Seattle Tuesday morning. First, my flight took an extra hour, so I was able to sleep a bit longer, plus none of my bags were lost (there was a bent spoke on one of my wheels, but I can credit that to a rushed packing job). Then I had the pleasant surprise of being picked up by Jesus Gonzalez, who is among my closest friends from college. Unfortunately luck was still on my side, so there was no traffic, and I was only able to chat with Jesus for a short time on the way to the hotel.
The hotel is awesome. I’m staying at the Sagamore – "The Art Hotel" – in South Beach. It’s right on the water, has only 95 rooms, and each of them are suite style one bedrooms. I thought I would be sharing with Matt Lieto again, but he didn’t show, so it’s a Ben Party and nobody else is invited! (Or maybe they were invited and nobody showed…). The first thing you will notice about the hotel is that there is art everywhere. Sculpture and paintings to some extent, but mainly photography. And the biggest photographic displays are a series of nudes taken at this hotel in 2007 by Spencer Tunick (I didn’t link to his homepage for fear somebody would open it at work – it goes to a wikipedia citing). Basically, he had about 500 people pose nude all over the balconies of the hotel. None of it is particularly graphic, and aside from the shock of that many naked people, it’s not particularly great photography – but the shock does add something substantial.
Outside the hotel there are plenty more half naked people, high priced food, sandy beaches, and the ocean. I seriously missed the ocean. Lake Washington, or even the Puget Sound just don’t cut for me.
With that, I’m going to enjoy the beach a bit more.