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Sundries
...a sweatshop of moxie

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bayside Salsa

Speaking of buxom gals, here's an odd little moment captured for Sundries, on video a few days back.

We have this gorgeous outdoor mall called Bayside, in downtown Miami, which opened in the late 1980s. Before that, my parents tell me, it used to be a kind of fish market, on the old Port of Miami, where you could see freshly caught fish hanging on hooks, some of them sharks!





Bayside is situated next to a lush patch of greenness which used to be called Bicentennial Park, so named because it honoured this nation's 200th birthday. Today, it's called Bayfront Park, but old Miamians still sometimes refer to it by its older name.

Then, it was charming, with the regal White House-looking Main Public library situated on it, before the library moved further into downtown in the mid-80s, in an equally stunning Philip Johnson confection of a building.

Later, the park became a dump, after the homeless and violent elements moved in.





But it's been massively re-energised, having a musical ampitheatre on its grounds, and there is even a winter "Sunset Cinemas Movies By the Bay" open-air moviehouse there -- though still rather dangerous to go there, especially if you're a woman, in my opinion.

But there I was, part of the crowds gathered for a little ampitheatre action, listening to some live music, when I decided to stroll over to Bayside for a quickie.

I rarely go there, though it's nominally quite close to where I live. It's just a TOUCH too touristy for my taste, and anyway, I get my outdoor mall action at The Falls, and Merrick Park as you know.

But to my utter joy, I heard the usual thump-thump sounds of the outdoor music show, just inside the mall, next to the marina.





It was a salsa band this time, and oh boy, was the joint jumpin'!

That's when I saw this couple, and instantly knew I had to blog about it one day, for your bemusement.





He was seventy, if he was a day, and she was the closest apparition to Anna Nicole Smith I've yet seen, since the latter's untimely kicking of the sad bucket.

The first thought that runs through one's mind, in seeing one of these May-December couplings is: Was he famous, and how much did he pay her?

Trust me, this was no granddaughter taking her gramps out for a thoughtful spin on the dancefloor, as you will see in a moment. Those were some wild lambada thrusts the old guy was doing (sorry).

This would-be Fred and Ginger held EVERYONE'S attention in the small little audience gathered around the band, and some tourists were drunk-happy to take photos to show their cohorts back home, on the crazy goings-ons in Miami.

Just look at the crowd's amused expression, and you'll see the stories cooking up inside some Minnesotan's head already.





"And then some old codger got up to dance the conga (I think that's what the Latinos dance, right?) with this platinum blonde floozy and oh boy did the place rock out after that!"

Or how ever they sound in Minnesota, since we're flinging stereotypes around (conga, indeed).

But first, so you can better appreciate the quick clip, I want you to look at two more groups of people. Ready?

There's Couple #2, whom I think are on their first date, or the guy finally took out wifey for the day, having gotten into deep doodoo for something.

(My dad always told me the only reason men dance, is when they're on their best behaviour, or wanting to get lucky. By the way, did I tell you that my folks met at the Hammersmith Palais?)

The multiple big papi chains around his neck, plus the crazy colour combo of the deep red, and baby blue practically screams "Newly-Divorced Guy".





If you can imagine this lady with more class, less fat on her rump, and some straighter curls on that wig she's wearing, that would be my mother, except even then, she would never wear those hot pink florettes down her pants, with matching handbag. Classic.

And just look at the guy's expression! Wow. I've seen more animation during a Methodist funeral.

But for all his mortician looks, the guy could dance, which brings us to Couple(s) #3.





These are my peeps, right here.

Maybe it's just me, and my cultural background, but IN A MILLION YEARS could I imagine an impromptu dance of ANY KIND being done with such panache, and coordination in Britain, as these four, front-and-centre.

You have to understand, I'm fairly certain these are not fast friends, and thus have practised dancing these steps together, before. They're also not the springiest of chickens, to say the least.

They literally got up individually, when the song started, and let loose a torrent of jiggling merengue moves, that instantly brought a smile to your face.

The first woman in the white blouse was good, but it's the lady in the green, and ESPECIALLY the guy in the white baseball cap, who kept such fantastic rhythm, that they improved the dancing of those around them.

Check it out for yourselves, at long last. It lasts just a few seconds, but you'll love it.

Remember, keep your eye on the Salsa Gang, as I instantly dubbed them.





Un pasito pa'lante. Un pasito pa'tras...shimmy, shoulder shake, hand clap, shoulder shake, pasito pa'lado, kick out.

Love it!

I don't know how they do it, but I swear to you again, no British crowd could be so synchronised in such an impromptu manner, if our lives depended on it.

As for me, even though the old guy shot saucy looks over my way, I scooted out of there faster than you can say, "Miami Sound Machine".

Cubans are the only white people who have rhythm, as well as the Brazilians, and I know full well when I'm out of my league.

N.B.: I just read a Miami history book called "Miami Poppycock" that says the site that is present-day Bayside Mall, is the precise location where Juan Ponce De Leon, that intrepid explorer, I mean!, horrible colonising white man who famously searched for the fountain of youth, landed in Miami, in his second trip to Florida!!

See the utter, utter kismet of that event with this moment above?

Ponce de Leon searched for the fountain of youth, AKA Viagra, and 500 years later, a white-haired rumbero got lucky in the exact same spot.

I love history.

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11 Comments:

  • No arm twisting was needed to get me to go all Astaire on my then spouse! I enjoyed it, and I liked the slightly agonal element of it, like a friendly dare. Can you do... this?

    Looking at that Wikipedia Hammersmith reference, it seems it's last show is April 1! With The Fall as the band. Then they knock it down...I remember the 'palais du dance' line in an Emerson, Lake and Palmer song!

    The old dude and the fluff -- yes, some sort of capital was exchanged, I'm certain of it! I'd have to be the planet Jupiter (no comments!) to pull that bird into my orbit!

    By Blogger Ron, at Sun Mar 25, 07:52:00 am GMT-4  

  • "Quickie" in these parts means something other than I think you mean.

    By Blogger Ruth Anne Adams, at Sun Mar 25, 11:58:00 am GMT-4  

  • No arm twisting was needed to get me to go all Astaire on my then spouse! I enjoyed it, and I liked the slightly agonal element of it, like a friendly dare. Can you do... this?

    Ooh, the debonair dancer type, eh? As long as you don't trod on my toes, consider that a friendly dare to practise terpsichory one day. ;)

    Looking at that Wikipedia Hammersmith reference, it seems it's last show is April 1!

    What a fitting date...alas.

    With The Fall as the band.

    The Fall, heh. (No idea who they are, any good? Everyone on Sundries is better at music stuff than I am)

    Then they knock it down...I remember the 'palais du dance' line in an Emerson, Lake and Palmer song!

    Pronounced 'Pally', don't forget, not pah-lay. ;)

    (BTW, my parents didn't really mean there, but I am allowed artistic liberties sometimes)

    The old dude and the fluff -- yes, some sort of capital was exchanged, I'm certain of it! I'd have to be the planet Jupiter (no comments!) to pull that bird into my orbit!

    LOL, she did look like she charged by the hour, Ron. :)

    And dem's thats got its...

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Mar 25, 02:52:00 pm GMT-4  

  • "Quickie" in these parts means something other than I think you mean.

    I love quickies, Ruth Anne. And how about your Catholic fine self?

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Sun Mar 25, 02:53:00 pm GMT-4  

  • I'm unfamiliar with "papi chains", but I'll just assume these are the same chains that people wore in the 1970s and 1980s for some strange reason.

    Perhaps wearing one chain may be acceptable, but why on earth would someone wear six?

    By Blogger Alcibiades, at Sun Mar 25, 06:33:00 pm GMT-4  

  • Well, I know the classiest guy in our town just got back from a vacation there, maybe he was there (he took his wife though, they've been happily married for 55 years.) Even missed our municipal holiday (which may have been a first for him.)

    Then again, you probably had more people in that park than we have in our town, including in a ten mile radius around it.

    By Blogger Eli Blake, at Sun Mar 25, 11:33:00 pm GMT-4  

  • The first thought that runs through one's mind, in seeing one of these May-December couplings is: Was he famous, and how much did he pay her?

    I'm reminded of a print ad I saw in a magazine a few years back. Picture on the left had page a full size photo of a young 20-something bimbette in a wedding dress feeding a gazillion-year-old guy in a tuxedo some cake, classic pose.
    On the facing page is the text; "They tell me she's only marrying me for my money...Like I care"

    Makes one see some of these hookups in a different light.

    By Anonymous BrotherDarryl, at Mon Mar 26, 12:01:00 am GMT-4  

  • I'm unfamiliar with "papi chains",

    Granted, that's Victoriaspeak, but you get my drift.

    but I'll just assume these are the same chains that people wore in the 1970s and 1980s for some strange reason.

    Yes! I once saw my utterly proper, Saville Row dad actually sporting a thick gold chain around his manly chest -- wearing the traditional blue blazer, open-neck dress shirt, and Dior beige trousers, that was the "Studio 54" uniform.

    I almost fainted. Even he!

    Perhaps wearing one chain may be acceptable, but why on earth would someone wear six?

    Ooh, good eye there.

    Why?

    Because he can? Or...because he wants people to know (think) he can afford 6 gold chains.

    The same reason people wear Rolex watches, or drive Maibachs. ;)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 26, 12:58:00 am GMT-4  

  • Well, I know the classiest guy in our town just got back from a vacation there, maybe he was there

    Heh. I wonder. Six degrees of separation, it's a small world, and all that, Eli. :)

    (Did you cast a quick eye over the mini-ampitheatre around the bandstand?)

    (he took his wife though, they've been happily married for 55 years.)

    I doubt the band put on any foxtrot songs, else I'm sure they would've had a go. :)

    Even missed our municipal holiday (which may have been a first for him.)

    As I said in my reply to you in your blog, I think you're SO lucky to have a founder's day, or municipal holiday.

    We in Miami don't...nor in Miami Beach...I've been to one up north, and it was AWESOME. Like a mini Fourth of July, only more downhome.

    Then again, you probably had more people in that park than we have in our town, including in a ten mile radius around it.

    Well, see, I'm a city-girl, and I happen to love crowds.

    Give me people elbow-to-elbow, and I'm in bliss!

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 26, 01:04:00 am GMT-4  

  • Having said that, I hated the Tokyo subway...

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 26, 01:04:00 am GMT-4  

  • "They tell me she's only marrying me for my money...Like I care"

    LOL, Darryl. I happen to agree.

    I never held anything against that Marshall guy, when he married the real Anna Nicole Smith. Good for him!

    But he should've really forseen the Will wrangles, after his passing.

    As the Donald says, the looser the cootch, the tighter the prenup.

    (Gasp!)

    Cheers,
    Victoria

    By Blogger vbspurs, at Mon Mar 26, 01:07:00 am GMT-4  

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