Couldn't make it to today's Miami tourism event in Union Square, because you had to work or simply didn't want to stand in the hot sun gawking at unattainable models cavorting at an exclusive VIP pool party? That's not very Miami of you, is it? But don't worry, we ventured over to the historic park to see what all the hype was about, and while there's no possible way we can recreate all the Miami-sponsored magic for you, we'll certainly try our best!
Located on the north end of Union Square (far from any undesirable political protesters who might still be lurking on the south side) the pool "deck" was packed with oil-slicked models clad in bikinis and board shorts stamped with the "It's So Miami" motto. Mostly, the models lounged poolside, shimmied to hits like "Like A G6" (Is that about Miami?), tossed around blow-up beach balls and sipped coconut water out of de-shelled coconuts. Nice work if you can get it! They also tossed out coconut drinks, plastic sunglasses and other giveaways to the crowd that gathered by the pool, many of whom were blown away by the, erm, display. "Will they take their tops off?" one man asked us as he watched the models break into a particularly heartfelt dance interpretation of "Moves Like Jagger."
Adding to the fun, a few lucky bystanders got the chance to win free trips to Florida. In what we can only assume was an ode to a wedding bouquet toss and/or Hunger Games Cornucopia run, models threw six beach balls into the crowd and announced that one beach ball grabber would be a winner. A few teens in front of us, desperate to live out the Barbie Dream Pool scene in front of them, threw each other to the ground in a bitter fight over one of the balls.
If passersby seemed a bit baffled by the presence of a blow-up beach party in the middle of Union Square ("We've never seen anything like this before," a pair of Belgian tourists told us), they might have to start getting used to similar in-your-face promos. Though the area has historically served as a rallying spot for political protest and activism, Union Square has played host to a number of big publicity events this summer, including a zip line promoting the city's Summer Streets program. Despite repeated requests, the Parks Department has declined to say how much the city was paid for today's promotional event.
Update: The Parks Department has now issued this statement: "This permitted special event, one of thousands programmed throughout the parks system throughout the year, will return $30,000 to the City’s general fund, which provides essential services to the public. The fee was based of the standardized concession fee schedule for events."
And if any spectators were drawn to the event by the promise of a pool, they were in for some disappointment, as the crystal-blue water and chaise lounges were not open to the public. Local plebes were permitted to stand on a corner of the stage for an "It's So Miami" photo opp, but were sectioned off so as not to taint the models with decidedly non-Miami BMIs. As privileged members of the press, we were invited on the main deck, but, alas, we were also denied entry into the water, though one of the wet male models graced us with a hug to make up for it.
Of course, not everybody was blown away by the Miami-esque models chilling out on a pool deck. "What happened to all the big mamas?" spectator Rosy Rodriguez asked us. "They're all skinny Minnies up there." And another man in the crowd, who told us his name was A. Berlin, thought the display was just too much. Pointing out one particularly active model, he said, "I've seen her vagina more times than I can count. There's something very wrong about this." That is so Miami.