Monday, February 23, 2009

Please Pardon the Interruption

When I started this blog, my intentions were to show the other side of Miami that few of us are aware exist. Although I only have a few entries, I'm finding this task to be much more of a challenge than I expected. I have discovered that there is plenty going on, but the challenge lies in actually doing these things.
There are a few reasons for this. Being a full time student and having a job means I’m usually not available to attend these events because they interfere with my schedule. My free time is Thursday to Saturday after 9 p.m. How convenient. I feel that there is an underlying issue here and it’s more than just not having time, it's about money. Allow me to explain.
First of all, the options are endless when getting ready to go out with your friends. My best friend lives in Atlanta and she can count the number of lounges and clubs with her two hands. In Miami, this is not the case. On any given night, you can find numerous clubs that are good. You have South Beach, Brickell, or Downtown (if you dare) as options. Once you choose the area, the fun begins: someone knows someone that knows someone that can get us the "hook-up." Meaning, get enough people (girls) and you get free entry and more than likely a few drinks (if you weren't lucky enough to get a bottle). The result? A long night of partying that costs less than a night at the movies. Yes, everyone, it is cheaper to go out a couple nights a week then it is to watch the latest blockbuster. The ticket alone is $10 and what’s a movie without popcorn and candy?
I am by no means making excuses for myself. I simply love going out. I'm also aware of the fact that $20 in my wallet will more than likely stay put if I go out to a club than if I choose to stay home with friends. This past weekend was a perfect example. Our quiet wine night cost us over $30. It is for this reason that makes going out so easy. Even if I can barely afford to buy groceries, I know I can have a great night out with my girlfriends without spending any money. Trust me, it's been done.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Bowling for the Grownups

One of my closest friends left today to move back to Ecuador (I’m devastated). For her last night we wanted to get everyone together for one last hoorah. The original plan was to meet for dinner and then head over to Boogies. Plans, of course, changed. At the last minute, a friend suggested we check out Splitsville at Sunset Place. Wednesday nights ladies enjoy free champagne from 8-9 and I admit that this was the deciding factor in our change of plans. What a great idea it was to go. I loved this place. It definitely isn’t the bowling alley I grew up going to.
Their concept: “luxury lanes and dinner lounge.” They offer a dinner menu that offers everything from sushi to filet mignon, as well as a full bar conveniently located in the center of all the action. We didn’t have dinner, but we did enjoy the free champagne. Once there, I couldn’t resist the urge to bowl. My friend and I laced up our rental shoes and gave it our all; it wasn’t pretty, but it was fun. I found the prices to be fair. It was $6 for the each of us for one game and $3 each for shoe rentals. We played for about 30 minutes, and I couldn’t have lasted any longer
After 8 p.m. you must be 21 to get in. This is great because you don’t have to worry about having a bunch of teenagers running around that usually storm Sunset Place on the weekends. It offers everything for a fun night with a group of friends. I’m already looking forward to going again very soon.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Wine and Food Festival.. at home

The Food Network is hosting its 8th annual South Beach Wine and Food Festival. The event is February 19th until the 22nd. The event boasts the top chefs and winemakers. They offer wine seminars, dinner events hosted by famous chefs, daytime events, even family events.

The catch? Ticket prices. With prices starting at $100, I wonder if the festival is going to attract large crowds like years before. With the economy being the way that it is, I can find no justification in spending this kind of money. Yes, I would love to go and rub elbows with wine connoisseurs and culinary aficionados and see the likes of Rachael Ray (she makes cooking seem so easy!). But alas, as a college student I just don't see it happening.

What I have decided instead is to have my own mini-festival at home. My girlfriends are coming over to my apartment this weekend and we're going to have a night of fine wine and delectable cuisine, and of course great conversation. The extent of my cooking involves boiling water and throwing in pasta, so we're going to keep things simple: Manchego cheese, crackers, hummus, and anything else that we can whip up quickly.

This will be completely different from our usual Fridays. After a stressful week of school, hanging out with my girlfriends is something I look forward to. We’ll actually be able to talk, instead of yelling at each other because the music is blaring inside the club. It is definitely a welcomed change from the club scene that I'm slowly losing interest in. Wait, did I just type that?

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Just Your Average Weekend

The splendid weekend is here at last. The weather has finally returned to normal and there is some sort of “holiday” going on. There is plenty going on this weekend, both day and night. First, the annual Coconut Grove Art Festival starts on Saturday. The festival will continue to Monday from 9:00 a.m. to 6 p.m. It is the perfect way to enjoy the warm weather. The festival offers live entertainment, artwork, and of course food. Walking through The Grove, one will see everything from photography to sculptures. And for $7 a day, this event is a great way to start celebrating that holiday.

Another event going on is Romance in a Can Festival. No, you will not catch me dead at an event like this, especially this weekend, but I felt obligated to mention it as an unbiased blogger. Most of the movies are European and from Latin America with viewings offered in different areas of Miami. What better way to spend Valentine’s Day than watching romance films with your sweetheart.

Now, for those of you that are fortunate enough to have your freedom, there is plenty for you to do this weekend. Fridays at Heathrow Lounge is always a great place to go. Minimal hassle at the door, no cover for ladies, and a wide range of music guarantees an exciting night. Santos (where I’ll be celebrating a friend’s birthday) is also a great spot. Although the dance floor isn’t what I would call spacious, there is a lot more room by the bar. There are tables set up where you can actually hangout with your friends without everyone knocking you around. As for Saturday, the day where all your friends in a relationship will simply vanish, there are a few options. You could have a regular night out with the girls (or guys), but my personal recommendation is to stay home. Remember when you were little and Valentine’s Day was something you shared with your parents? Well, when you’re an adult and single, you spend it with your friends. Stay home, rent movies, pop open some bottles of wine and just have a relaxing night with your closest friends.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Weekend is Upon Us..

OK, technically this isn't true, but this is Miami. Many people start the winding down process earlier than some. My suggestion for some Wednesday night fun? Bougianvilleas, aka Bougies, at Sunset Place. Ladies drink free all night and there is a DJ playing everything from 80's Classics to Reggaeton (you can't escape this music here!). Bougies offers something for everyone. With an outside terrace, you can easily enjoy a conversation with friends. It does get crowded inside as the night goes on, so stay outside if you can't stand squeezing your way through the crowd. It's a bar people, so leave your South Beach attitude at the door and get ready for some fun in South Miami.