eat it

eat it: news cafe {miami day 2}

view from my hotel room {Biscayne Bay}

Today I awoke to sunny skies in Miami, which was a relief after a rainy evening last night. I had breakfast in my room and bummed around a bit before heading out to South Beach for the day. SoBe was everything I thought it'd be... prime spot for sunning, swimming, shopping, eating, and people watching. Major people watching.

beachfront biking, rollerblading, and volleyball... natch

South Beach {at 7th Street}

The water was ridiculously warm. I spent a fair amount of time floating around... sandbars galore, virtually no waves. Was nice! There were tons of U Miami kids hanging out... I think I was the only one on the beach without either a styrofoam cooler or boombox. After a few hours in the sun I was a bit crispy and in need of some lunch. I packed up my beach bag and headed up Ocean Drive to the News Cafe-- everyone I spoke to and everything I read regarding Miami said to eat here. So I did.

Ocean Drive

Part sidewalk cafe, part indoor bar, part tourist shop, this place is open 24 hours. I went at 4:30p so it wasn't very busy, but generally this place draws quite a crowd. Reviews say it's overpriced, but I live in NYC and grew up on Cape Cod-- the prices seemed pretty reasonable to me. I got an iced tea and a chicken ceasar salad (I'm boring, I know...). The people watching is absolutely the best part about alfresco dining in South Beach. If I had to describe the majority of people here in 3 words: shameless, vain, exhibitionistic. I know, I sound cynical. I do find it mildly amusing... mostly because it's just so not my comfort zone. I hate being the center of attention (ask my friends-- I get hives).

While I sat on the patio, the group of ladies behind me talked in turn about the famous "ball players" they've each dated, the penthouses they live in, the girlfriends who they've cut off, and the things they've purchased. The valet at the cafe next door had an extremely hard time getting a brand new Maserati in gear... whiles several people photographed the car and its enormous rims. Several women (and one suspected man) walked by wearing thong bathing suits with sky-high stiletto heels... and nothing else. Men hollered at women, women giggled and kept walking. Numbers were exchanged, club promoters handed out fliers, Bentleys rolled by. Everyone put their best foot forward and checked out the crowd to make sure everyone else was doing the same. And I sat there in the middle of it sipping my iced tea, marveling. What a change of pace from NYC. I really think most people in New York do their own thing, rock their own style and don't give a damn. Individuality rules in NYC. Here, it's See and Be Seen. I smirked at the stark contrast of South Beach today.