The New Yorkization of South Florida
Well, you can’t doubt the Census Bureau, can you? Florida is now ranked third most populous state in the country, beating New York for the first time in history. And the Bureau attributes this growth to the obvious shift of Easterners – many from New York – to Florida – particularly south Florida – you guessed it – for the sun. The fact we’ve also become a top gay tourist and resident mecca, particularly with retiring or soon-to retire Baby Boomers, certainly also contributed to this. Not bad for a region that just fifty years ago, according to my redneck pool guy who grew up here, was still segregated and had blacks hanging from trees.
Ah, but as a former New Yorker I can say it. New Yorkers are among the snobbiest and most obnoxious fags in the book. And what better time to experience the dubious pleasure of their company than during the biggest holiday weekend in South Florida, Presidents’ Weekend. It’s when our little town is besieged by tourists from all over the world, particularly cold dreary NYC.
So how do we townies know you guys have arrived to party in our playpen?
When our steel toed boots are stepped on at least three times in one night at the Ramrod, our leather hang-out.
I know, I know, we shouldn’t bitch. Tourists, especially gay tourists, are worth a billion dollars to the South Florida economy. After sunburns, oranges, tomatoes, space junk, and Mickey Mouse, what the fuck has this basically redneck state got to offer? A few years ago, Lauderdale had an anti-gay mayor who wasn’t shy about letting his thoughts about homos be known publicly. That is until the Broward Tourism Bureau (Broward’s the county where Ft. Lauderdale serves as county seat) told him to shut the fuck up. He was expendable; all those discretionary dollars from the gay boys up North and the Midwest and as far as California and Germany weren’t.
I wonder what he thinks now that we can get married here too?
All the same, tourists are one big pain in the ass (no pun intended) to us townies (unless, of course, they’re cute):
In the bars, they don’t look where they’re going, don’t move when you try to pass, and haughtily act like visiting royalty, as if all the men milling about were there for their choosing.
On the beach, they’re the ones who take over a square mile of space and are the ones with the blaring radio. Guys, this is the twenty-first century. Ever hear of ipods and earphones?
They e-mail you on one of the hook-up sites weeks or even months in advance that they’re coming to town and want to connect (“You’re so hot!”). Then you never hear from them because everything they want is right there butt-ass naked at the clothing optional pool at the guesthouse they’re staying.
They’re walking fashion statements on not how to dress in a gay bar. It’s Florida, guys, its 75 degrees ten o’clock at night. No, you don’t need that long sleeve pullover. And please, leather vests, Bermudas shorts and floppies the same night just don’t mix if you’re visiting a leather hang-out.
Worse, last season, for every hottie – and yes, there were some guys I’d whip my Visa card out for – there were ten notties. And the age range has been skewed to the more haggard, overweight 45 plus crowd who still has some bucks. The younger ones, on the other hand, are so twinked and femmed with their 20 inch waists, a lot of them look like they’re halfway through trans-sexual surgery. (I do get my share of “Hot Daddy!” gawks, though.)
So I think next time I’m at Sebastian, our gay beach, I’m going to start up a collection from us locals to hire a bus to ship the most obnoxious members of our visiting royalty back to where they came from. If these are the guys we starve ourselves and slave in the gym all summer and fall to look good for, fuck Lean Cuisine. I want my Breyer’s pistachio ice cream right now and don’t be stingy with the scoops.
But, enough of my politicizing, pontificating and philosophizing. It’s time for some true confessions. It’s time to talk sex. S-E-X.
Not just any kind of sex. Kinky sex.
All next week to mark the opening this weekend of “Fifth Shades of Grey.” So, get ready for “Fifty Shades of Ray … and Counting.” It’ll make “Grey” sound like a nursery rhyme.