"Um, where the fuck am I?"
It was a rhetorical question. I asked myself this as I stared slack-jawed at the driveway of a mansion I very well knew was in Weston. Out there, by myself, I was hunting down what was supposed would be a wild pool party full of Miami socialites, but all I saw were construction workers.
"Excuse me," I called through the window of my car, "I'm looking..."
Before I could finish, they waved me towards the back. So I had found the place after all.
It was just about one o'clock in the afternoon. The flyer had said 10 a.m. to 10 p.m., and it was prime-time for catching rays already. I'd been feeling bad about being late, but judging by the lack of music and near-naked bodies, I was painfully early.
This mansion may have been in Weston, but this party was on Miami time.
That was Justin's excuse. He's one half of Wynwood art duo 2Square and was the first person I found on the property. He seemed pretty easy going. Maybe it was the red and black robe and pajama-pant ensemble that gave me the impression. He explained they were still getting things set up, whoever "they" were, and after tracking down the ladies room, I hunted for free liquor.
Thankfully, it was everywhere. There was a bottle of Grey Goose by the grill, and a whole basket-load of rums and tequilas on a nearby table. The burgers and hot dogs were grilled after more people arrived, but until then, we could stuff ourselves with boxes of Rice Krispy treats.
By about 2, enough partiers had shown up to have some conversation. There was a flight attendant on vacation from New Jersey, a high school AP teacher from the area, a Wynwood interior designer who was frustrated because she felt "more like a decorator than an artist." More importantly, I met two big cups of vodka and a shot of rum. Things were getting started.
Even with all these introductions, I didn't meet anyone who seemed to really know the owner of the mansion. I briefly met the son, Ali, who was acting as a host and whose parents were the king and queen of what was essentially a modern-American castle. There were giant elephant statues in the courtyard -- statues which drunk people would later be climbing -- cute dolphin sculptures guarding the balcony, and all the shrubbery was very neatly manicured. We'd heard something about secret gardens, but I never found any.
Exploring inside the mansion was off limits, of course, which must have something like 50 rooms. It's like three or four White Houses, and it's tucked in the middle of Weston, making the rest of that classy-ass add-water community look like the worst parts of Davie.
But who gives a fuck about seeing the intricate design of gluttonous wealth inside when there's a perfectly good double water slide, secret grotto swimming pool to enjoy? I was still curious, but lotioned up and got in the pool anyway. It was almost 3, and the sound system was finally set up and running, and enough people had come around to leave jumping in unavoidable. Plus, it was hot as hell.
Don RedFox and someone else laying down the smooth disco with a bit of hip-hop flair getting the party started. Climbing over the manufactured but natural-looking rock-stairs into the swimming pool proper, I did an exploratory lap.
Something about the water slides looked dry and scrape-inducing, so I nixed the idea of going down one, hoping someone drunker might try it first. The water in the pool was nothing short of amazing, and later, I took a moment to hide in the grotto area. I thought about how funny it would be to pee and secretly lol at everyone swimming lavishly and loving life in the world's most glorious toilet. I chickened out and held it though.
Sometime around 4, the sky darkened and the party moved mostly to the pool house awning, or whatever rich people call the porch of their mini-house, where the grill was in full and delicious force. I ate two hot dogs and a hamburger before my day-drunken, sun-kissed ass got bored and tired enough for a disco nap. You can only make small talk with strangers at a mansion for so many hours before you just want to charge you phone and ignore them.
Some drunken man I think I met in the hot tub earlier, came to disturb me as I got comfortable.
"Are you still hung up on Lucas?" he slurred. I do know a Lucas, but I've never slept with anyone by that name. I'm also happily in a relationship.
"Um, what does that mean?"
"Ahh, you've still got a thing for Lucas." Apparently, he was sad I was emotionally unavailable, but still thought he'd sit inappropriately close and put his number in my phone. His more sober friend eventually pulled him away to force feed him some grilled meats. I looked at my phone and saw his number was just a mash of letters. I didn't bother saving it.
Sometime during my disco nap, a group of people tried to incorporate me into their group photo. I was feeling cheeky and conscious enough to give the camera the middle finger. I was having fun.
About an hour later, I got up and drank water, because I was covering another show downtown later, and didn't want to be completely useless. Now, I was one of the more sober people in attendance at a party full of strangers at some stranger's house. It was kind of weird.
My one homie Kairo, set to play later in the day as Chalk., finally showed up at about 6. It was nice to have someone I actually knew with me to enjoy the last few hours. The sun was going down and the music was bumpin. The place had filled to about 100 or so heads. Women walked around in bathing suits and uncomfortable designer heels while half-dressed men tried to impress them. I suppose that's what a "pinky up" pool party is all about?
Gran Moxy took up the decks and delivered what might have been the best set of the night. That dude was merkin' it, mixing a bunch of sexy, dark house with really sweet basslines and primal appeal.
Mogs Valtaa hit the decks next, playing more night-time house beats as the vibe got weird. Not weird as in "bad," but weird as in "the sun is down and everyone has been getting fucked up all day in the sun and we're in bathing suits and robes and look at us, this is a fucking multi-million dollar mansion." How and why these events were occurring didn't seem to be on anyone's mind, and I hadn't entirely figured it out.
At about 8, the party had divided into pool-side dancers and mansion-porch stand arounds. The stand-arounds must have started winning, because a woman asked the DJs to turn their music down. Jeremy Ismael and Chalk. didn't really give a shit and went back-to-back for a while anyway, and the homie did get to play a little set before it was all called quits at about 11. I actually peaced out two hours earlier to get ready for the second round of party assignments, but I'm pretty sure I got the gist.
The moral: Miami scenesters love partying, and mansions are the best excuse to party that there is. I didn't walk away with any greater understanding of the Pelvic Thrust crew than that. It's possible there isn't much more to it.
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