My ass was in Miami for Halloween night this year, which is a major first for yours truly. My partner and I decided to hit up the closest thing to the West Hollywood Halloween Carnival we could find, which was a costume parade that takes place on Lincoln Road in South Beach, only blocks away from the gay beach on 12th street. Of course, Miami doesn’t do it anywhere near how they do it in WeHo in terms of size, style, glamour and sophistication, but S. Beach did alright.
This year, I decided I was going to phone my costume in, cuz my ass was not in the mood. I decided to dress up as a ninja (a shirtless one, of course, while I still can). I purchased a ninja costume in a bag on Ebay with the intention of bedazzling the shit out of it, so I didn’t run into an exact replica on someone else (younger and hotter) on the street.
The costume arrived and the shit didn’t fit. The bitch on Ebay sold me a kids costume that she tried to pass off as something that “fits most” adults. I’m all for wearing two sizes too small, don’t get me wrong, but the ninja pants fit like Capri pants; they stopped at my mid-calf. So annoying. That’s what I get for half-measures. I returned it — demanding a full refund and I hit up every pop-up Halloween store all over Los Angeles looking for the right ninja ensemble. I really just needed the pants. I planned to replace the leg and arm straps and add the shoes, sword, hood and whatnot. Anyway, no luck finding something that would represent for the W.E.H.O. in Miami. Long story short, I drove past a raggedy assed Salvation Army on Beverly. The instant I walked in, I found THE perfect pants. They were tapered and made of vinyl material that would look expensive in a jpg format. I paid $5.95, bitches! The rest was easy. I hit up the International Silk and Woolen on Beverly for all the gold details. I would have to purchase the sword in Florida because there was no way the TSA was going to let a toy sword on a plane. The finishing touch would be to convince my friend — hair stylist to the stars — Judd Minter to make me a long Kung Fu braid, which came out perfect. I also asked my friend — makeup artist to the stars — John T Stapleton to give me some special tape so I could make my eyes a little tight, but I didn’t want to push that shit too far.
There was the question of what time to get to Lincoln Road on Halloween night. My guy wanted to get there six hours early to avoid traffic and the cluster fuck of finding parking. I have changed a lot over the years, but I’m not the kind of guy who shows up early to a party and sits around to wait for people to arrive. I will NEVER be that guy. I would rather sit in traffic for four hours and drive around the block a few times, just to make an entrance. I stalled him for as long as I could, trying to get the braid to stick to my head with a shit load of bobby pins. I compromised and agreed to get dressed in the car to save time, which is another first for me.
The trip to South Beach turned out to be a fairly smooth ride, with no traffic jams and we found a parking structure by the Lincoln Road Mall that charged a whole $3.00 to park on Hallows Eve. Thank God we didn’t get there six hours early; I would’ve been so mad.
Anyway, they warned me, but I didn’t believe ’em when they said that it gets hot in Miami around October 31st. We stepped out of the car and it was like stepping inside a steam room. I’m talkin’ about suffocating wet heat. The vinyl immediately clung to my legs and I was drooling all over the mesh that covered my mouth—I can handle the heat. I’m the kind of guy who’s always cold, but that shit was ridic. My poor baby breaks a sweat in a a warm shower, so he was ten times more miserable. It looked like somebody poured a bucket of water on his face. He dressed up as Sub Zero to compliment my ninja getup and he ditched that shit in some bushes after wearing the costume for a record 20-minutes. He was done. I could not be mad at him.
The Lincoln Road Halloween Costume parade took me back to WeHo a good 20 years ago, in terms of size. It didn’t stretch nearly as long and the crowds weren’t nearly as suffocating, which was actually nice; however, you also didn’t get the stages with the live acts and a lot of the costumes I encountered were straight out of a bag, but there were some over-the-top creations that I thought were really cool. I was also surprised that the costumes were fairly tame. It was more of a family affair with lots of wide-eyed children walking around, regardless of the gay beach down the street. Of course, we encountered some obvious gays, but none of them in a thong or walking around with a giant prosthetic penis like you would find in WeHo — and there was not one nasty Miami version of Dragorilla to be seen anywhere (I missed that nasty bitch). There was a pair of sexy Cuban cops in spandex shorts who I hit up for a photo. They were clearly a couple who didn’t take too kindly to my half naked ninja. They smacked their gum, looking unimpressed and tried to ignore my request for a picture. I was like, give me a fucking break PERRAS and take a damned photo with me.
For the most part, Halloween in South Beach didn’t suck. The heat was too much, but they get my vote for the cheap parking alone (it was $20.00 to park within the West Hollywood city limits).
Major kudos go to Kevin Chase who went beyond the call of duty and took some really cool pics (click to enlarge).