Floatopia 2014: A Bizarre and Chill Day on the Waves
Photo by Neil Vazquez
If, like the rest of us commoners, you couldn't afford a weekend getaway to East Hampton or Palm Springs, Floatopia was the bargain basement Labor Day extravaganza for you. I know what you're thinking. A bunch of sweaty, inebriated Miamians in neon swimsuits, strapped to child-sized inflatables purchased last minute at Toys-R-Us. What could go wrong?
Surprisingly not much. Despite what this town's critics have to say, this year's Floatopia went off without a hitch on Saturday, and bereft of any shivving.
Photo by Karli Evans
"It's really not as bad as I thought it was going to be," said Erin Hosler, a local businesswoman dragged to the event by a cabal of her closest gay friends.
Don't get me wrong, there was plenty of South Florida hijinks going on: butts were twerked and thongs were hiked up. But in honor of the nation's workers, Floatopians kept themselves in check.
Once you parked your car on one of the many overpriced lots in South Beach's exclusive South Pointe neighborhood, you immediately noticed that something was awry. SoBe's normal erratic energy was turned up to rarely seen heights.
Left: This queen caused quite a commotion crossing Washington Ave; Right: Rocking bandages, tattered ballet flats, and crutches, she was easily my best dressed of the night.
Photo by Neil Vasquez
After you make it past the toothless hobo with way too much body confidence, and on to the beach, it's time to get your float-on...sort of. Unfortunately, the choppy waves and mild rip current did not provide for the most relaxed float imaginable. But undeterred, Floatopians partied on.
Photo by Karli Evans
The revelry was equaled only by the seemingly endless parade of regretful tattoos. Though common decency and self-respect forbade me from snapping shots of the gaudy creations, I did spot a chameleon covering a girl's whole foot, and Snow White's face covering a man's left pec, within a span of ten seconds.
In between bouts of ocean play, circles of friends were passing around their own communal peace pipes of pot. The crowd's general dopeness contributed to its senility; in other words, everyone was mad chill. Note to future event organizers: Marijuana smoking greatly reduces the risk of having a riot break out at any public gathering.
These small horrors aside, Floatopia was actually a great low budget way to soak in those last bits of summer rays with your buddies, while pretending it's freshman rush all over again.
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