Sunday, May 22, 2011

Exxxotica 2011

Ever since I covered Exxxotica twice back in '07 and '08, I got over it and never bothered to request a press pass again. However, I happened to be in South Beach Friday night with a group of friends when the porn convention offered free admission for ladies. Two of my male friends finagled press passes on the spot and they insisted we join them. The giant hall was too loud with music bouncing from the walls and ceiling (I have no idea how people who were attending seminars could hear anything) but the crowd was energized and everyone seemed to be having a great time.

Here's what I captured after a quick walk-through this popular porn and sex convention.

Exxxotica 2011

I think every woman should celebrate her sexuality and be confident no matter what her size and shape, but yowza this big mama was da bomb!

Exxxotica 2011

In contrast, I hope this young lady went to buy some food with the buck I gave her.

Exxxotica 2011

Now this was interesting: Jesus Loves Porn was right smack in the middle of the exhibition hall. I had an interesting conversation with the lady on the left, who claimed she was a former stripper saved by Jesus. "We're not here to preach to porn lovers and workers," she told me. "But we're if they need us." I thought this was rather open-minded -- two polar opposites under the same roof. Their presence was certainly different than the bible thumpers who typically protest hell and brimstone out on the sidewalk.

Exxxotica 2011

The cocksickles, about 10 inches of sugary glory, were $10 a pop. Dude selling them wouldn't let me haggle the price down to $5 ... $10 just seems too high a price to suck on sweet cock.

Exxxotica 2011

This model was cute but man her gold grill, covering every tooth, was amazing. No flash needed for that smile.

Exxxotica 2011

Well, when the Titanic is sinking, you might as well hold on for dear life!

Exxxotica 2011

Wholesome family entertainment in the VIP room.

As always, just another surreal evening in South Beach. Walking back to the hotel where I was staying, it was hard to tell the club chics from hookers. It's always about "sex sells" around here, even when Exxxotica gets outta dodge.

Side note: some establishments between Washington Avenue and Meridian on Lincoln Road have become so ridiculously, touristy cheap -- I was going to gag if I saw another tourist drinking out of a gargantuan fish bowl. I used to go to Lincoln because it was classier than Ocean Drive. It's a different story now! Now I would only recommend everything west of Spris restaurant and the Apple Store.

Monday, May 16, 2011

Silicone Bitch: Miami Trends Global While Women Shake Up the City

News and notes about the South Florida social media and blogging scene, with a little tech thrown in for good measure. And maybe some other random events, too.

#top10lies A simple conversation among Twitter friends in Miami turned into a worldwide Twitter party at flash mob speed.


Yesterday, the Magic City's twitterati made history when a conversation about lies you're bound to hear in Miami ended up trending worldwide in a span of about 4 hours under the hashtag #top10lies. It started innocently enough between @miamitude and @shellynorthern, spurred on by yours truly (@vicequeenmaria), @jamimiami, @soulofmiami, @alistairpowell, @officialblopez, @sarahelles, and many others -- too many to name here.

Before the Heat vs. Bulls game was even in the first quarter, #top10lies overflowed the stream like a twitter tsunami. Apparently, the subject of lying really hit a chord among citizens of the planet! According to @alistairpowell, over 2% of all tweets on May 15 were tagged #top10lies.

At the time of this posting, the hashtag was still going strong though no longer trending.

Here were some classics. Remember, it started out specifically as top 10 lies you'll hear in Miami; the hashtag didn't go global until later.

"I'll only be 20 minutes late."

"I'm a social media expert."

"Fidel Castro is dead."

"Romero Britto is so talented."

"It's my house, but my parents live with me."

"That new stadium will generate massive economic benefit for the community."


South Florida is home to two important events this week focusing on women, inspiration and new media.

The third annual Empowered Women's Success Summit begins on Thursday, May 19 for two full days of keynote speakers and panels delivering practical advice. It's a no-nonsense conference seeking to inspire women to "elevate" themselves professionally and personally. As Michelle Villalobos, describes it:
This is not your typical "women's" conference... no rah-rah useless mumbo jumbo. This is about getting practical tools and strategies for building your brand, raising your profile and generating profitable opportunities for the long haul! Oh, and we also have an onsite 'beauty lounge' with free express treatments - I mean, we are women after all.
Yours truly will be speaking on a panel with other South Florida movers and shakers @janiec, @tarynp, @astojanovic and @brendaleguisamo. @lisadsparks will lead beforehand, discussing how social media comes naturally to women.

Tickets to the conference at the Miami Museum of Science are still available for $25 a day or a $75 VIP pass for both days . The Expo portion of the conference is free. Keep up with Empowered Woman on Twitter by following the #ewssmiami hashtag.

It's too bad this conference overlaps with Empowered Woman on Friday as both promise to be very worthwhile. The SheCon New Media Expo at the Miami Beach Convention Center begins Thursday evening and ends on Sunday, May 22. SheCon is organized by SheBlogs, a service that connects women bloggers to PR and marketing professionals, so many of the speakers and panels here will be focused on blogging for women. It is the first blogging conference in Miami put together by a South Florida based organization.

Keynote speaker Guy Kawasaki will open two days worth of sessions on Friday morning, which will feature locals Craig Agranoff, Rebecca Carter, Alex de Carvalho, Murray Izenwasser, Jeannette Kaplun, Mark Laymon, Blanca Stella Mejia, Stephanie Camargo Ruiz, Ryan Texeira and yours truly.

SheCon was designed to be a free conference, giving away 200 tickets that were quickly scooped up, so now there's only a waiting list. Audit passes are still available for $249. Register here. Get updates on SheCon by following the #shecon hashtag on Twitter.

Friday, May 13, 2011

South Beach Meanderings

Ladies Panties
Damn it. I was in the market for used panties.

Last weekend, I attended a daytime event in South Beach and when it was over I had a few hours to kill. I was in no rush to get home, so I walked about a mile from Waxy's to The Raleigh and took my sweet old time to do it.

It was all rather surreal ...

Is it just me or has Washington Avenue become even dirtier, smellier and skankier than before? I had to cover my nose on some corners. And the sight of homeless people! One woman must have been 100 years old, a wizened, leathery sack of flesh, wearing a bikini top under her dowager's hump. She broke my heart.

I stopped at Lush to see if I could find my friend Ipanemic. He wasn't there, but his photo was. Lush is a beer and wine only type of dive, an oasis of normal in the middle of fantasy land. Nevertheless, the bartender and a guest went on forever about fake boobs and fitness.

Ipanemic's Photo Display at Lush
Ipanemic's photo is above the pool table.

Next stop, Club Deuce, which was fun as always, cheap and lively. You can never go wrong at South Beach's oldest remaining dive bar.

Eventually, I found Ipanemic eventually at his workplace and caught up with him. Thankfully, he wasn't making deliveries that evening.

Near Sum Yum Gai, the Chinese restaurant on Washington Avenue, some dude was walking around with a Madagascar lemur on his shoulder and no, it wasn't an animal act. He was, however, sporting a toy alligator puppet on his arm, which he used to scare unsuspecting girls on the sidewalk.

Pet Lemur on Washington Avenue
Is it even legal to own a pet lemur in Florida?

Further still, in some shit hole shop, I was terribly disappointed to find I couldn't buy used panties. (See photo above.)

As I passed by the nightclub Cameo some guidos on the corner made a flattering comment about my cleavage and then as I walked by the strip joint Club Madonna I wondered about the value of that comment.

On the corner of Lincoln and Washington I saw a bevvy of beauties going to a club ... or was it a pack of hos? They were all dressed the same: five inch heels and micro mini black dresses so short I could see their ovaries.

Turning the corner, I patronized the bar a new club called Vice, which promises to be ... yet another South Beach club. The same cocktail here was twice as much as the one at Club Deuce and the atmosphere not nearly as good -- very pretty interior design, though.

On Lincoln Road, some guy in a wife beater was peddling hard as he used a locked up Miami Beach Deco Bike as a stationary exercise machine. This trumped the lemur. Classic!

Miami Beach Deco Bike
Why pay for a spinning class at gym when you can use DECOBIKE for free?

On Collins Avenue, a storefront somehow reminded me of some messed up holy representation of motherhood.

Your Typical South Beach Family Portrayed
Hope she be carryin' some milk in dem jugs!

Things got better. As if the evening hadn't been weird enough! When I finally arrived at The Raleigh, I decided to have a nightcap. Are you sitting down? My bartender was a wholesome, handsome tall and tan blonde model from the Midwest who wasn't gay and played rock and roll music at the bar.

Pinch me.

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Rum Renaissance Festival Grand Tasting Weekend

The Rum Renaissance Festival Grand Tasting really hit it out of the ballpark this weekend with a much larger exhibit space compared to last year. The Deauville Hotel ballroom turned into rum heaven where dozens of brands showed off their spirits, ranging from clear whites for mixing to dark aged rums for sipping and everything in between. A second ballroom served as a competition stage and booth space for rum lifestyle products.

Leading up to the weekend: a Zombie Jamboree, numerous VIP parties and judging sessions by the RumXP squad of international experts.

Saturday boasted a lively crowd that seemed greatly inclined to dancing and ended with more butt shaking at an Appleton Rum VIP party at The Delano's Florida Room, which was great until the typical guidos and barely legal bitches of South Beach clubdom arrived.

Sunday was definitely calmer.

On both days, rum experts delivered informative and entertaining seminars in two separate conference rooms, which gave some relief to the frenzied rum tasting going on downstairs.

Among the sessions: Philip Duff spoke on rum terroir and asked if it really exists -- ingredients can come from several islands while aging happens in Europe, for example. Journalist and author Ian Williams, aka Rum Pundit, discussed rum history, which is important to America's past. And Global Rum Ambassador Ian Burrel lectured on the proper daiquiri, which has a fascinating history tracing back to Indonesia and traversing the entire path of new world colonization.

(Click on the subject links for exclusive interviews.)

The weekend ended late Sunday afternoon with a wild tiki drink competition where zombie cocktail fanatics from across the pond won first prize.

Indeed, you'd have to be a zombie in a coma to not have a blast at this event while learning a thing or two about cane spirits. And though it was buzzing with energy, rum groupies young and old are a fun, laid-back crowd. All snobbery checked in at the door. Now that's refreshing.

Rum Renaissance Festival
Oops! Someone's boob got tikied. It's a badge of honor!


My favorite cocktail of all this year used savory elements to balance out the sweetness of the rum. Move over mojito!

Passion Fontaine

1 1/2 oz. Dos Maderas 5 + 3
2 muddled basil leaves
1 pounded jalapeño slice
3/4 oz. Boiron passion fruit purée
3/4 oz simple syrup
1/2 oz. Boiron lime juice

Shake with ice and strain over fresh ice. Garnish with a basil leaf and jalapeño slice.

Monday, May 02, 2011

I Went to the Latin Billboards After Party ...

... and all I got was within spitting distance of el guapísimo Enrique Iglesias. Couldn't you just pinch those cheeks?

enrique iglesiasPhoto by Blanca of Blanca Stella and Mi Caminar.

Miami-centric blogs were quite under-represented at the awards and other ancillary activities like Telemundo's Social Media Day, even though some Latina bloggers were flown in from elsewhere in the country. But I'm glad I got a last minute invite to the after-party -- last minute as in less than 24 hours to accept the rsvp. This celebrity fest at Kyma Lounge inside the Epic Hotel downtown was sponsored by Universal Music and Ketel One so you know the music was great and delicious cocktails were flowing.

I enjoyed Blanca's company and playing paparazzi of the red carpet kind. I also had the pleasure of bumping into Susset Cabrera of Miami Beats and Sazón. Midtown Chica was there, but not on blogger detail. The party was a smash and gave the three of us a taste of the event's week-long buzzing excitement. Thanks to Universal Music and Ketel One for including us! Lo pasamos de maravilla.

Sorry to get all Silicone Bitch on this post, but here's an observation: yo Billboards and Telemundo, you might want to pay closer attention to Latina bloggers and tweeters in Miami who actually do hyper-local coverage. You could easily convert us into fans if we already aren't and even if we write in English. What better way to do social media outreach than to engage bloggers who can open doors for your brand in communities other than your already established fans?

After all, I was glued to my TV set for months when El Clón aired and I'll admit there have been a host of other telenovelas that have sucked me in. Also, it's great to learn more about musical artists and genres outside my immediate focus. This is Miami, after all! Aqui representamos!