Redeye - Seeing Red November 10 2004

Could it be any more apropos that the weekend before the election we ran around in disguise, a tangle of misleading intentions? Nov. 2 was a little like Halloween, in that everyone wanted a treat but were expecting a trick. One man wandered through the thicket of bristling conversations with a Bush mask with horns on it. Others ordered the "Bush Side-Step" cocktail — basically, a Fuzzy Navel (or in this case, I'll call it a "Hairy Asshole"). Others clutched Kerry Berry Martinis — basically, Cosmopolitans (or as I called them that night, the "Fuck the Red States Martini").

People were certainly seeing red and feeling blue in the crimson lounge as they watched the returns on the centerpiece screen backing the bar. The friendly bartenders moved briskly to keep spirits up, or at least glasses full. Red Chair is a solid cog in the circuit no doubt, and on weekdays it's unassuming. I'd feel no trepidation going back to chill on the patio, since with the election over, there's exponentially more reasons to need a drink daily.

Raising the (sand)bar

After the election, I not only drowned my sorrows in a glass but in the Atlantic Ocean, heading down to Miami's South Beach, or as I'm now calling it, "the next Atlanta." They're finally catching up with us on trends, but it was still an extended weekend of perpetual deja vu.

Along with a cast of characters including CL's own Layla Bellows, former CL columnist Becky Kleinman and the Miami New Times' music editor, Mosi Reeves, I sipped through a blur of gauzy white contemporary hotel lobbies and plush, palatial poolside perches — from the Hotel Chelsea, Marlin Bar and The Hotel's Spire Bar up to the Shore Club, Delano and Raleigh.

How the pink champagne and $14 mojitos did flow. But we ATLiens who have hung at the Four Seasons and W lounges already know that shit — we're already past hotel bars and on the next hot shit: restaurant bars! I find the bars and bartenders at Atlanta's Wisteria and Twist as puckish and pleasing as at any other watering hole.

Not everything was "high brow," however. For hipsters, Lounge 18 was dingy but electrocute. And for that vintage "Miami Vice" vibe, hit Club Deuce.

Like Atlanta, Miami's also big on using hip-hop and R&B as the sound to getting down. Out of many car windows and boutique doors streamed bumpin' bass, and on Friday night, we hit humid mega-club Mansion for the Jay-Z after-party/P. Diddy birthday bash. Can you say so Vision two years ago? Miami, try harder!-- Tony Ware

Keep one RedEye open. And send all comments, questions, observations and invitations to redeye@creativeloafing.com.