Living Large in the Sunshine State

We've heard rumors that in far-flung lands such as Massachusetts, the locals discriminate between "old money" and "new money." In South Florida nightlife, there's no such snobbery. (Except for Manalapan and Palm Beach, but there, Bernie Madoff pretty much turned "old money" into "no money.") In fact, in the SoFla jet-set scene, they don't even do "money" at all. They do credit cards. And as long as your AmEx can handle a few more bottles of Cristal, you'll be treated like a Kennedy partying in Cape Cod. Just make sure you transfer your balance to a new card the next morning. Here's how you can live like a shah for a weekend, even if you're actually a kindergarten teacher.


C. Stiles

First, you'll need a car that costs more than your parents' house. Preferably, this vehicle should be of Italian make, as loud as a Hell's Angels motorcade, and the color of a Skittle. There are countless places to rent a Lamborghini or Ferrari in South Florida — but you don't want to do business with 98 percent of those hucksters. More often than not, the hirsute and gold-chained fellow trying to rent you an exotic vehicle doesn't have such a car in his possession — he's planning on renting it himself from some down-on-his-luck music producer. Which means there's no proper insurance. Which means if anything happens to the car on your watch, you're going to end up owing Scott Storch $400,000, which could get messy.

The ride

There are a few places on the up-and-up. In Miami, try American Luxury Auto Rental (305-526-1016), where you might be berated by the gruff, exotic-car Nazi manning the front desk, but you can have your pick of hundreds of luxury rides, and the insurance situation is legitimate. And if you're in Broward or Palm Beach counties, it's Gotham Dream Cars in Dania Beach (561-992-8700) — perhaps the only rental spot in the region where the staff seems to appreciate that you're shelling out $700 a day for the experience. They even wear uniforms. (And, yep, that's how much a "budget" Ferrari will run you. On the high end, a Mercedes-Benz SLR McLaren will cost more than $4,000 for a weekend.)

The pad

If you park your rented Lamborghini outside of a Biscayne Boulevard flop hotel, not only will it look tacky but somebody's going to have sex in it. No, you'll need matching lodging. You're going to have to rent a mansion. Pay a visit to what might be South Florida's quintessential industry: the "lifestyle broker" — where they will not only procure you a few days in a villa that belongs to an indicted Fort Lauderdale financier; they will also get your Elephant Man-esque mug past the velvet ropes at exclusive nightclubs. One of many providers that will sell you the full package is Carefree Lifestyle on South Beach (866-589-8796) — but considering that plebeians are attempting to rent their one-bedrooms for thousands a day during Super Bowl weekend, you better come armed with a mighty high credit limit. And don't worry: Your borrowed glitz need not be land-locked. Lifestyle brokers rent yachts too.


In South Florida, there are some well-known rules concerning personal appearance if you ever want to make it into the VIP section. First, every square inch of your body must be the hue of Kraft macaroni and cheese. Every inch. Yep. We'll get to that in a moment.

Second, the only places where hair follicles are acceptable are: (a) on the top of your head, (b) in threaded form, above your eyes, and (c) above your upper lip in bushy form — but only if you're a male who's smuggled more than a kilo of cocaine into this country and can prove it with old police reports. That third rule is strictly enforced.

How can you acquire such a look? Read on, our naive Kansan friend.

For that "every square inch" thing we mentioned above, there is a product called "anal bleaching cream" that really requires no explanation. It sells for $50 a tube, and you can find it at most waxing centers in South Florida, including the South Beach Body Waxing Co. (305-531-3130). That's where a counterperson reminded us that, for maximum effect, you should probably get your nether region's 5 o'clock shadow removed by one of their technicians before applying the cream. Their bikini wax costs $14 for women and $35 for men.

Then head to a tanning salon — and leave your Speedo on the floor before stepping into the capsule for the full-body effect. Sure, there's the beach, but that just doesn't supply the same radioactive glow. Little-known fact: On some corners of SoBe and Las Olas in Fort Lauderdale, municipal officials shut off streetlights so tourists can watch the glowing people stream from club to club. It's like a subtropical version of the northern lights.

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