...Tropical "Even Nuns Wear Bikinis in Miami"
“MÁS SEXY!!!” Flashback: Coconut Grove, Bayside, South Beach at night while standing outside Gianni Versace’s former mansion – with neon green lights and techno thumps filling my eardrums thanks to the night club next door. Oh boy. Or should I say girl. Better yet DIVA! Now breathe…
I love Miami for many reasons. It has lazy palm trees. They remind me of loungy, regal Siamese kittens in ancient Egypt (not to dash off to a different locale just two paragraphs in). Miami has orange Spanish-tile rooftops. It has Ponce de Leon fountains – the ornate tiers of flowing water are beyond beautiful. To me, the fountains “never get old.” Get it?
Miami’s beaches have hypnotizing turquoise water. The white sand is pristine – a pumice stone’s dream. The hot temperature and high humidity, though oppressive, is still doable with air conditioning. But, beyond all this “setting-the-scene” type stuff, I so love Miami for its CULTURE.
I so love a culture that appreciates the human being – the curves of the human form, the movements the human form makes after a coconut-infused rum beverage has energized it into a drum and percussion filled dance a la Latin singer Celia Cruz. Miamians LOVE people – and how can you not love that? To them, life is an innocent celebration and rejoicing.
Now glamour permeates a culture that, by virtue of its hot climate, inspires light, flowy, romantic, and skimpy clothing. (Think skin!) Yet, what sometimes gets overlooked is that Miami is a CATHOLIC city. I mean, it’s overwhelmingly Catholic. I mean, it’s the Pope. It’s the nuclear family of Mama, Papa, little Alejandro and Sofia. It’s no to divorce, yes to Sunday church – a MUST.
Dashing around town with my Cuban-American good friend Norca (who recently retired to Miami with her Peruvian-American husband Arturo), and our Puerto Rican friend Paquita, I was not only reminded that multi-nationalism in Miami is as ubiquitous as its heat – but that you can “still be a good person and be sexy” in Miami. Those two things AREN’T mutually exclusive.
So, I had to buy a party dress. My latest article was published and won “Fan Favorite” – I was throwing a little party for myself in NYC. Where better to buy a scrumptious party dress than while on vacation in Miami? Well, Norca and Paquita were on my tail. “Más sexy! MÁS SEXY, JOSELÍN!” This lovely phrase followed me around all week. It followed me into dressing rooms, out onto the beach. It even followed me into the backseat of our car – as we endured horrendous Miami traffic!
Now Norca and Paquita are both of retirement age. They are conservative, good women. I am still in my thirties. So, how does that figure? Their protests at my more demure dress choices made me scratch my head and giggle. All I could think when I got home to ol’ Yankeeland Connecticut (NEW sexy dress in suitcase) was, “Wow, even nuns must wear bikinis in Miami.” That vision made me smile.
This post is dedicated to my good friend, Norca. I miss seeing you in Connecticut, but I have treasured our time together in your new Miami home. Abrazos y besos.