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Best Place to People-Watch Miami 2010 - Russian and Turkish Baths

Russian and Turkish Baths

Russian and Turkish Baths

5445 Collins Ave.

Miami Beach, FL 33140


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Readers' Choice: Lincoln Road
Without warning, a woman brandishes two bushels of tree limbs and proceeds to beat our friend Lourdes from toes to shoulders. Between sweeps of the soggy branches, the woman dumps bucket after bucket of cold water on our friend. No, she's not swabbing the deck of a fishing boat. She's helping Lourdes relax with platza, one of the traditional spa treatments available at the Russian and Turkish Baths on Miami Beach. The baths attract Miami's ultimate relaxation-seekers, those who are willing to abandon modesty, vanity, and sometimes plain old comfort if it gets them closer to bliss. Women and men in barely-there bathing suits, heads wrapped in towel turbans, endure the volcanic heat of the schvitz as if sweating were a way to absolve past sins. A skeletal older man stands under a heavy waterfall that pounds on his bony shoulders. He raises his head, eyes closed, waiting to be beamed up to the mother ship. Make your way through the rest of the grotto-like rooms and hear the cries of those jumping into the icy polar tank; catch glimpses of red flesh, pores screaming from the extreme heat, and shield your eyes from the meaty woman having the mud hosed off. What are you looking at, you perv? Pass the wet branches and wait your turn. A day pass costs $30, and the baths are open from noon until midnight.
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randy eady
randy eady

The use of low and high temperatures in medical therapy is well known and perfected in Russia. It often provides pain relief for conditions such as rheumatism. Sports physicians, for example, have "rediscovered" these methods and have started applying them in specific body locations in routine treatment therapy similar to the healing treatments @ the Russian and Turkish Baths.