BEST PLACE TO BUMP INTO A DRUNKEN SAILOR - 2004
There's something surreal about the light reflected off Biscayne Bay and into the thatch-roof shade of Scotty's. Maybe it's a combination of the sea air and the proximity to another vortex of surreality, Miami's city hall. It can be accessed only from the water, or by threading one's way through the edge of a boat yard. Hiding behind the marina, this place has managed to largely escape the gentrification of Coconut Grove, and thus remains a haven of fringe characters (and that's not only the commissioners who come over from next door). Each afternoon and evening, denizens of the floating world at Miami's eastern edge trickle in to slump on barstools and share increasingly unlikely stories about their adventures. Shrimpers and boat mechanics, ship captains and hired hands, refugees from the anchorage, weekend sailors, and the occasional Coastie tired of the South Beach scene convene for the casual atmosphere, primo food, and booze galore. As long as the breeze blows, the drinks flow, and the light shimmers in the heat, this is the place salts go to let the wind out of their sails.