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Selling Miami

The Jan/Feb issue of Men's Journal includes a piece of salesmanship on behalf of the tourist industry in the city of Miami, Florida. Why am I slumming for blog topics? My love of paradox.

Anyway, the gist of this piece is its effort to bathe the already tourist-friendly, and tourist-befriended, city in the waters of sophistication.

The writer, Mark Healy, is not to be held responsible for the headline or subhead. The writer never is.

In this case, though, I submit that the headline fairly expresses the gist of Healy's lead paragraph. So I'll start with it. "Miami Gets Real: America's greatest urban beach has evolved beyond its cheesy South Beach years with an international art scene, serious cocktails, and food that's worth the flight."

The angle of the story, then, is that you - a traveler sufficiently sophisticated to be looking to Men's Journal for guidance -- are too high-brow to have been taken in by the cheesy look of, say, The Birdcage. But you can enjoy the new incarnation. And that is, as I say, fair to Healy's opening grafs.

But a little later in the piece Healy heads in a direction that puzzles me a bit. It seems that cheesy is all right after all if it is ironic. Or nostalgic. Or something, Healy praises one nightclub, Gramps, in these terms, "With its swordfish murals, tables made from speedboat pin striping, and Dolphins posters, Gramps honors 80s Miami."

Just in case you don't want a Miami that has grown beyond swordfish murals, etc....or you want to be able to enjoy that Miami from a brownish altitude. Or something.


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