Felt

On a recent cool Saturday night, things were status quo on South Beach: People were dressed up, paying, and putting on airs for the powers that manned the doors at packed clubs. Less savvy partygoers waited in line, thereby eliminating any chances they had of getting in. The only people who wait in lines are unimportant ones — nerds and "herbs" (with a non-silent h), as a guy passing out flyers on the street called them.

Luckily for the herbs, the staff at Felt (1242 Washington Ave., Miami Beach; 305-531-2114) gladly ushers in downtrodden folks after they've been rejected from Mansion and Snatch. At this club/pool joint, admission is free, lines are nonexistent, and booze is cheap. It's the kind of place where you don't have to pretend to give a shit. To chi-chi club regulars, Felt might seem like a dump. There aren't any frilly decorations or VIP scenesters, just pool tables, a bar, and videogames. But the laid-back, lackluster environs appeals to a certain few.

A large lady sporting a mullet sat at the bar with an open sketchbook. Hovering over her was a heavily tattooed man. The drawings were ambiguous figures that resembled lumpy, melting bodies. "See that — that's a big pussy. And those are some big tits," said her inked-up companion. "It's a figurative abstraction," the woman added. John, another patron at the bar, wasn't impressed with the scene or the DJ's selection of reggae standards like Shabba Ranks's "I'm in Love with a Man Nearly Twice My Age." Before John left to wait in line at Automatic Slim's, I informed him that only herbs wait in line. "I ain't no herb, biatch.... She's looking for a herb," he said, pointing to the drawing woman. If that were the case, she was in luck. Several herby types surrounded the Big Buck Hunter and Pacman arcade games. Now if only they would let go of the joystick.

 
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