Phases & Stages: South Beach clubbing

Clubgoers pose with wristbands from a South Beach club. Many UM students find themselves at the nightlife hot-spot frequently during their time at school. PHOTOILLUSTRATION BY TIFFANY MILAKOVICH

There comes a time in the life of a UM student when South Beach becomes number one on the list for nightlife festivities and sunny retreats.

“I go to South Beach about once a week,” junior Carolina Armas said. “I like to go to lounges like Prive, Set or Louise. It’s a very chill atmosphere to hang out with your friends.”

Erica Steinmiller, a freshman, likes to get out of class and head straight to the beach.

“Yes, I love clubbing at the beach. It’s always a lot of fun and the people are crazy. I go probably a few times a month and my favorites are Cameo, Mansion and LoveHate. I try to get out to the beach at least once or twice every two weeks,” Steinmiller said. “It feels so refreshing to take a mini vacation and get away from school and work, even if it’s only for a couple of hours.”

However, many students explain that South Beach clubbing is just a phase that usually results in an empty wallet and gas tank.

While UM students are enjoying a ritzy night out on South Beach, some students at colleges across the nation believe that clubbing is far too expensive. For Jesse Vazquez, a sophomore at Arizona State University, the number one party school in America, clubbing is an expensive luxury rather than a weekly ritual.

“I think it all depends on where you live and economic standing,” Vasquez said. “Generally, people living in big cities with relatively good economic situations will go clubbing every other weekend. So it’s no surprise to me that UM students go clubbing a lot. ASU, on the other hand, is a different situation. Tempe is a college town with a relatively middle-class to low-income population. Since clubbing is more expensive it makes more sense for people to have house parties with riveting beer pong challenges.”

The glory of South Beach can be encompassed in one word: variety. If clubbing is not your thing, Lincoln Road offers an array of bars, restaurants, theatres, art galleries and boutiques to suit your interests. UM graduate student Isabel Kilzi enjoys the more relaxing side to South Beach.

“I grew out of the clubbing scene over the years. There is so much more to do on South Beach. One of my favorite places is Espanola Way. There is a great Spanish restaurant called Tapas y Tintos where you can catch free flamenco shows,” she said. “There are also really good restaurants there along with a wine bar. On Lincoln Road, you can see free jazz shows on the second floor of the Van Dyke Cafe and also enjoy really good food. Pricey, but worth it.”

Many out-of-state students began clubbing upon their arrival in Miami. In Pat O’Brian’s case, moving to Miami was a nightclub awakening.

“Boston is a bar city,” he said. “I came to my first nightclub down here and now I go at least once a week. I’m actually going tonight, as a matter of fact. I have a lot of connections in these clubs and the vast majority of the people I see there are UM students. Set is my favorite club.”

Every weekend, crowds of UM students assemble outside of B.E.D., one of South Beach’s most popular clubs, where rather than being huddled in a booth, guests can stretch their legs on massive beds.

“Our weekend nights, especially Saturdays, have a very high volume of UM students,” said Olivia Ormos, the director of marketing for B.E.D.

“I would say that anyone who has attended UM for at least a year or two has been to B.E.D. at least one time!” said college promoter Joe Struyf. “I have been working at B.E.D. for five-plus years and the majority of people that attend B.E.D. are from UM and FIU.”

Whether it is bar hopping on Lincoln Road, lounging in the VIP section of Set, or frolicking on the cozy mattresses of B.E.D., South Beach certainly is the place to be for a Miami Hurricane.