Gryphon

There's no better time for an exodus from Miami than Memorial Day weekend. On the Friday night leading off that three-day sinfest, Seminole Hard Rock Casino maintained the easygoing atmosphere that our neighbors to the north are known for. Crowds of partygoers deluged the entertainment complex, but the drama was kept to a minimum with easy parking and short lines. At Gryphon (5711 Seminole Way, Hollywood), the Penthouse Lingerie Party beckoned with the promise of flowing booze and fake boobs.

The club, which connects to neighboring venue Pangaea, features a sunken dance floor surrounded by banquettes. Steel rods hang from the ceiling, and grass hedges adorn the walls. That night upbeat house music played, but to no avail, for most people stood around stirring their drinks or bobbing their heads. The only ones dancing were three guys wearing sunglasses in the dark. But it was still early. Maybe the alcohol hadn't kicked in yet. Curiously many patrons were drinking only water.

Paul, a touchy-feely guy with a shaved head and eyebrow piercing, offered some insight: "A lot of the younger people are rolling. The older ones are probably just drinking." So it was the Ecstasy that hadn't kicked in yet.

And like magic, a nearby couple began slithering all over each other in the way that only people who are rolling balls do. Lights flashed in sync with the music. It might have been sensory overload for the pair, who knocked over a bottle of cranberry juice while they were dancing. Their friend appeared uncomfortable as he sat alone and avoided looking at the two grind a few feet in front of him.

Paul was one of the water-drinkers. "Carpe diem," he said. "That's the tattoo I have on my back. It keeps me young." But Paul wasn't at Gryphon simply to drop a pair of double-stacked Motorolas. "I wouldn't miss the chance to see all these hot women."

Soon thereafter, the lingerie show began. Models of different heights, sizes, and shapes strutted down the runway, wearing everything from bras and panties to corsets and thongs. The crowd hooted and hollered while a group of men added genius commentary to the show: "Hey, baby, come back here.... She's a butter-face.... Damn, look at that booty." -- Alexandra Quiñones

 
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