Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Take Me Out To The Ball Game

On Monday I had the exciting opportunity to finally visit the brand new Marlins Park. It was everything a top-notch sporting arena should be-- complete with a retractable roof (that was in use that evening due to heavy thunderstorms), parking garages, countless food and concession stands, a huge float that lights up, sprays water, and has moving marlins every time we score a home run, and a club. Wait, what? Yes, the new Marlins Park has an outpost of a famous hotel/pool party bar on South Beach, The Clevelander. Only in Miami do we have clubs at our sporting venues: there's a LIV at Sunlife Stadium and now The Clevelander at Marlins Park (I even think there was a Bombay Sapphire lounge or something at American Airlines Arena during The Heat season).

Naturally, we had experienced all the other new bells and whistles... Even a home run was hit by our home team so the float was in full display with water and lights galore getting the fans excited, another very "Miami" touch. Upon arriving at the entrance to The Clevelander, we found that our just purchased beer from upstairs could not be brought in: "No Outside Food or Drink" the sign read. Confusing to us, since we are still in the same venue are we not? Whatever, we chugged the beer as the "bouncer" asked my friend and I for our IDs and ten dollar cover a piece. Already I feel like I'm waiting outside a club on Washington Avenue in South Beach and can't help but chuckle in amusement. The mildly entertaining stint soon turned to a shocked outrage when, as we were getting our wristbands put on our left wrists by the door girls, we see a father bring his near seven-year-old son in with him. No ID required. Excuse me??! Did we not just get ID'd and wristbands as a security measure and then a little kid just comes through? If this is a "club" type setting, why are kids allowed? We got over it and made our way into the main area, setting our eyes on the crowd of people at tables by the bar, the small pool with floaties, and the topless girls dancing on a platform above it to the dance club music being played over speakers. All the men are oogling and gawking at the dancers while taking photos and videos on their phones, with their backs to the game (which is difficult to watch anyway because we're at the outfield with a net in front and no jumbo TV screen to see the score or who's at bat... but who's here to watch the game?).

In awe of such a spectacle, we soak it in and head over to the bar to order a new drink, where we are again asked for our IDs by our blonde bartender Barbie in a crop top Marlins halter and tiny booty shorts. After being served our drinks, we make our way over to try and watch some of the game, which admittedly seemed pointless at this juncture. Our attention span was just as bad as anyone else's in "the club/lounge" area so we grabbed a table and took some photos of the topless dancers getting airbrushed artwork on their breasts and stomachs along with the creepy old men. Obviously doing it for the sarcastic purpose of documentation, I'm standing alongside an older man who is doing the same (but for what reason I can't rationalize) who turns to me and says: "One day we'll look back on this and go... 'WOW'." Right. Ha. I walk away and we go to leave back to our seats but again, cannot bring our drinks with us back into the regular part of the stadium. And so ensues another speedy finishing of drinks as the fist-pumping music plays in the background and a Lil Wayne look-alike is standing on a chair cheering the home team on.

 The journey back to our seats was intercepted by a sweet tooth craving for ice cream. After which we got lost and gave up trying to navigate the stadium and find our seats. So, with only one inning left, we made an executive decision to head back to our own home bases and call it a night. A night we experienced to the fullest and can look back with a laugh and say, WOW.

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