Pisco Bus goes wild in Miami
It's a pristine pale-blue Saturday afternoon on the swank, manicured rooftop of the Conrad Miami (1395 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-503-6500). And although it's a chilly 55 degrees, Vivienne, a petite, freckle-faced 23-year-old, feels the need to strip.
"My craziest drunken adventure?" she says as she pulls down a short purple skirt and flings it onto a white-cushioned patio lounger.
"Well, I was at Flanigan's at around 4 in the morning, having drinks with a friend, when this old dude squirmed his way into our conversation. He said he was a porn producer from Napa Valley, pulled out a wad of $100 bills from his pocket, and bought us both drinks.
"As the bar was closing, he gave us $120 to buy him some blow," she continues, now standing in nothing but a stringy black monokini and buggy Yoko Ono-esque shades. "He told us to buy six 20 bags, give him three, and keep the rest for ourselves. So off we go with some stranger's money to Little Havana to score some coke. We did a few lines at my friend's dealer's place, called the old man, drove to the Ritz-Carlton in the Grove, where he was staying, and instead of just taking the bags when we got there, the guy jumped into our car. We ended up doing key bumps with him in the parking lot of city hall until the sun came up."
Vivienne, now standing at the edge of a cobalt-blue-tiled hot tub, pinches her nose (hey, water plus a deviated septum equals hard-core nasal douching) and cannonballs into the warm, bubbling H2O.
Right on cue, a buxom gal pal walks over and hands her a cherry snow cone spiked with South America's favorite alcoholic beverage, pisco. Vivienne takes a slurp, which leaves a faint red mustache, and then shouts, "God bless the pisco bus!"
You read that right. Viv, Busty McSnowcones, and about a hundred other lucky lushes have embarked on an inebriated escapade in honor of Peru's Pisco Sour Day. They either won a raffle on Thrillist.com or belong to a group of online reviewers called Yelp Elite. Their adventure involves a yellow school bus that stops at various locations in Miami and free cocktails including Gran Sierpe Pisco, one of the largest brands of this liquor, which is made from grapes and began four centuries ago with the conquistadors.
Another pisco passenger, Sarah, doesn't know much about Peru. "Don't they wear the same kinds of hats Beck wore in his 'Loser' video?" asks the cinnamon-skinned 29-year-old in a denim jacket. But as a sunglassed man in a white button-down sidles up with a water gun and squirts pisco into her mouth, she admits to knowledge of other cultures' mind-altering substances.
"The first time I left the U.S., I headed straight for Amsterdam," she says, revealing a left dimple. "I was going through complete culture shock when my friend asks me if I wanted to do shrooms. A half-hour later, we're buying some from a man who looked like a Dutch Andy Warhol. Next thing I know, we're tripping balls in the middle of a gay pride festival. All I remember after that are a bunch of shirtless men in sailor hats, two in full leather, fondling my butt. I twisted my ankle, was terrified of a swan in a canal, and then smoked pot in a hostel with a guy from Istanbul who was obsessed with Friends."
Camaraderie rules in the pisco bus — if your definition of closeness is a bunch of drunks in Mardi Gras beads pounding on the ceiling while chanting, "Pisco! Pisco!" mooning passing cars, and trying to open the rear emergency exit, which someone does for a nanosecond, creating a brief buzzing sound and causing a sassy half-African-American, half-Puerto Rican named Janay to turn around and shout:
"I know that sound was the back door, because I know all back-door noises, if you know what I mean," says the 20-something, who, as evidenced by her self-groping, is obsessed with her own chest.
And, shocker, Janay's favorite drunken voyage took place at SoBe's notorious gay club Twist.
"After drinking all night, we ended up in that little cabaret area, you know, where all the men walk around in tiny underwear. Well, all I remember is getting up onstage and dancing all night, and the next morning, I woke up in my guy friend's house with crumpled-up dollar bills in my purse, in my bra, and in my underwear. I think I made, like, 50 bucks! And one of those Twist cabaret dancers was passed out next to my friend. He was still in his tiny underwear!"
Hot! But not nearly as scorching as the temper sizzling under the composed facial expression of the concierge at the Viceroy Miami (485 Brickell Ave., Miami; 305-503-4400). He guides a pack of stumbling booze hounds across the lobby's marble floor to an elevator that leads to Club 50, a stunning patio/lounge located on the 50th floor. Not an easy task being that they are screaming, taking pictures of themselves, and spilling their drinks.
Things mellow out when the horde hits the exquisite adult wonderland high above Brickell. The place is straight-up cornea caviar, decked out with a Mad Hatter-approved checkered floor, Playboy Mansion-style lime-green furnishings, amazing panoramic views, and tons of tall chairs shaped like urinals, which is appropriate because the best place to gaze at the landscape is through the window in the handicapped latrine. There I meet Amanda, a curvy 24-year-old with long, straight dark hair and blunt Cleopatra bangs.
"Ever notice how one of the toilet seats in the ladies' room at Irish Times is broken?" she says as we walk out of the bathroom. "Well, I was there on a date with a guy I had met on Match.com who was turning me on all night. I wanted to jump his bones, but it was our first date and I didn't want to look like a slut. So after I dropped him off at his place, I came right back to the bar. When I got there, I grabbed a bartender I knew, pushed him into the girls' room, and, well, that's how the seat broke."
Lovely, I think as Amanda begins to flirtatiously eye a good-looking man in a striped shirt heading toward the club's posh pool area.
Next stop is Crandon Park (4000 Crandon Blvd., Key Biscayne; 305- 361-5421) for a soul food picnic, pisco Jell-O shots, and a game of Twister. And I hope all the commodes in public restrooms are well made.
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