Shut your eyes and think Brazil. Now down two Caipirinha’s, grimace away the sour lime juice on your tongue and read on.
Saturday night the Design District’s hotspot Grass turned Brazil’s yearly Samba-induced four day-long flesh-fest, Carnival, into a few hours of the same thing- minus the bare breasts.
DJ/Producer Stan Kolev spun a good mix of techno spiced up with Brazilian tribal drum beats and old-school sounding Brazilian hits.
The signature random clumps of grass on the sleek black tables just happened to add a hint of the Amazon as did the open air setting and huge Tahitian tiki hut that covered most of the club. But the authenticity of the whole thing was lost in the obnoxious hypocritical mingling of local know-whos. The skeazy old men with their gorgeous 12-year-old girlfriends took away from the experience, but they quickly made their way toward the typical South Beach-style bar with their dates for a few pre-shagging cocktails- out of sight, out of mind.
Carnival is all about celebrating Brazil’s all-accepting soul, but you had to pretend the place wasn’t pretentious to have a good time at this exaggeratedly sophisticated Amazon wannabe. However Grass still had the gall to try to imitate the greatest party on Earth and that says a lot.
At around midnight, two peacock-looking Brazilian goddesses Sambaed their way through the 200-plus crowd grabbing anyone lack luster and forcing them to gyrate awkwardly in a makeshift circle of sweat-slicked Samba-blooded drunk partiers. The music was accented with live Portuguese one-liners and the sloppy slurping sounds of mingling tongues.
Later, a poor-buck Brazilian Conga line snaked its way around the hyped-up crowd, dying off as the drunk Conga-liners stumbled off toward the exit, confused and disappointed, probably from the fact that they didn’t know how to move like a Brazilian.
Props to Grass for trying to put some sort of a Carnival experience together even though two sparkly dancers, a largely Brazilian crowd and a few Brazilian jams can’t possibly compare to Brazil’s biggest party. Two hours after the party started, I said ciao to the still-packed club and headed home.
Truth is, pretentiousness aside, Grass put on a good show. Brazilians live most of their life according to some sort of secret Carnival Creed and Grass’ bash was just a typical Brazilian party with a theme and a good soundtrack. Maybe next year the ladies will flash more than just their pearly whites.
Jorge Arauz can be contacted at j.arauz@