There are a million reasons to love Miami: the weather, the melange of culture, the Miami Heat. Pero ask anyone under the age of 80 what the most redeeming quality of our city is, and chances are that they'll mention at least one of the three P's: playa, puta o perico.
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But three P's aren't the only thing that sets Miami apart from the rest of the country. One of the most unique and alluring characteristics of the 305 is situated in a small three-block section of downtown Miami known as the 24-hour district.
If you're a local and you've never even heard of the 24-hour district, it's probably because you're either on medicare or you're tremendo duck. The 24-hour district is known as the place you go when you want to party "after hours." It allows business with a liquor license to stay open well past the 5 a.m. curfew that's enforced throughout the rest of the city. La jodedera y la puteria del after hours begins on Friday night and runs continuously until Monday evening.
After hours parties are nothing new to our city. David Padilla was hosting them in a little hole in the wall club on Washington Ave known as "The Mix" nearly 20 years ago, but today they have become such a staple of our city's nightlife that it has bred its own culture of enthusiasts. If you're considering going to an after hours party, but you're not sure what to expect, here's a few tips to help ease you into the experience without looking like un sapingo, or even worse, an undercover cop.
With the exception of a couple of hipster bars and a strip club, the venues that host after hours parties in Miami cater almost exclusively to the EDM crowd. (That means "tiki-tiki music" for my chongi readers.) If you're looking to break dawn rubbing your culo on that special someone while listening to la reputa de Drake or the best of Wisin y Yandel, you and your bedazzled beau better be ready to end la fiesta by 7 a.m. or take your asses to El Farito on Key Biscayne, porque there's no club in the 24-hour district that plays that bullshit past the early a.m.
If you're not familiar with drug culture, then the name "Molly" probably just elicits an image of some Gainesville chancletera with a hairy papaya. But in the world of after hours, the word refers to something very different. Molly is the street name for pure MDMA. The effects are similar to those associated with the more well known "ectacy." Molly tends to be the drug of choice in this setting.
If you do Molly in Miami, you're un pastillero, and it's up to you to determine if that's a good thing or not. A mi la pinga, and far be it from me to judge anyone for doing lo que le salga del culo as long as they're not hurting anyone. But if you're looking to do after hours while on Molly, you should know some important facts beforehand.
1. It's illegal as fuck. Carrying even one pill is a third degree felony, so mira ver, porque si te cojen, te van a partir el culo.
2. It's a drug that fucks with your judgement. It's not uncommon to see una comepinga thinking that she's "shuffling" like she's the star of Step Up 3 when in actuality she looks like she's stomping invisible roaches in her $12 Mall of the Americas heels.
3. Your mouth is going to feel like le mamaste la pinga a un caballo when you wake up the next day. The drug makes you want to chew and move your mouth like un chivo comiendo yerba. If you dont have a Blow Pop or a piece of candy in your mouth, your cheeks and tongue will be aching for a week.
Finally, and I can't stress this enough, don't make the mistake of thinking that the club is OK with that shit just because you're on a dance floor surrounded by putas empastilladas. Ni pinga! No club in this city condones illegal drug use on their premises. The stories about plain clothes officers in clubs looking for illegal activity are very true, so don't think que te vaz a sonar four pastillas Tony Montana style and no one is going to tell you shit. If you decide to do that, make sure you realize that you're doing so at your own risk, but never trust anyone yelling "Molly" at you as they walk by, and never talk about drugs to strangers.
After hours is enjoyed by a very diverse group of people. Not all of them are on drugs and not all of them are going to be in your comfort zone. While after hours is typically populated by a 25 and older crowd, it is also composed of all of the colorful people you run into in Miami, including, but not limited to:
Magnates: Millionaires who spend thousands on bottles in the VIP just to tirar tremenda pinta.
Muertos: Comepingas that spend their entire paycheck to buy one bottle in the VIP in hopes of hooking up with a girl dumb enough to play with their pipi.
Papi Chulos: Guys in shiny shirts and designer jeans who look like they sing in a bachata band.
Pata Sucias: Girls with no absolutely no sense of hygiene or class.
Homosexuals: Guys who like dicks.
Lesbianas: Girls that love omelets.
Chicks with Dicks: Guys with tits.
Sapingos: Rookies to the scene that have no idea how to act and make a spectacle of themselves.
Shufflers: Sapingos who wish they could breakdance.
Colombians: Colombians in Miami love house music, and are born with a super power that allows them to party longer and harder than almost anyone else on Earth.
Veteranos: People who have been doing after hours longer than you've been able to wipe your own ass.
Putas: Girls who love to give away bollo for free.
Bottle Rats: Gold diggers and dick pullers who hang around VIP tables sneaking drinks away from Magnates and Muertos.
The three golden rules of after hours are:
1. Don't Be Cheap
During after hours, most people are more interested in staying awake than drinking themselves into a coma, so alcohol sales tend to plummet after about 7 a.m. Because of this --- and the fact that after hours enthusiasts love to stay hydrated -- after hours clubs charge fairly steep cover charges ($20 and up) and price bottled water as if it were an alcoholic drink.
2. Don't Be an Asshole
You're going to see a lot of shit you may not be comfortable with. If you're a homophobe or un guapito with an attitude problem and a chip on his shoulder, you're probably better off partying in downtown Fort Lauderdale during regular business hours.
3. Mind Your Own Business No one likes un mojon atravesado. Never force yourself on anyone. Sit back and enjoy your nota y no le resingues la vida a nadie.
Here's a list of active after hours bars and clubs in the 24-hour district.
Club Space: Open Sundays from 5 a.m. - 3 p.m.
Pros: The best and longest-running after hours party in Miami. World famous DJs, spectacular sound equipment, incredible atmosphere. You're likely to catch me here jamandome tres putas in the VIP on any given Sunday.
Cons: Space's after hours party is hosted on a covered terrace. The temperature is comfortable, but if you're not fond of sunlight, make sure you bring a pair of sunglasses with you.
Mekka: Open Saturdays from 5 a.m. - 6 p.m., Sundays from 11 a.m. - 6 p.m., and Mondays from 5 a.m. - 4 p.m.
Pros: Open longer than any other after hours club in the district. The party is hosted indoors and there is always at least one sucia rubbing her bollo on one of the two stripper poles.
Cons: The party is hosted indoors, so if you're not careful, you'll be partying well into the next day.
The Corner: Saturdays and Sundays from 5 a.m. - 8 a.m.
Pros: It's a neighborhood bar with an excellent beer selection and a decent menu. Perfect if you're still too sober to fuck la gorda you picked up at the end of the night at a regular club.
Cons: Closes way too early.
Will Call: Open Saturdays and Sundays from 5 a.m. to the last man standing
Pros: Another neighborhood bar. Excellent decor, free parking, and a great menu to distract the aforementioned gorda.
Cons: Located on a pedestrian busy section of Northeast Second Avenue, so the "walk of shame" out of the bar is especially miserable.
Gold Rush: Open 24 hours starting Friday night.
Pros: It's a strip club.
Cons: Peste a Bollo
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Bueno ahi lo tienes. You are now ready to experience after hours in Miami. Follow the rules and you should have a pretty good experience. Ignore them, and you might as well start Googling directions to VPLP.
Follow Pepe on Twitter @PepeBillete.