This Thursday marks the first day of the rest of my life. And it’s not because I’ve gotten a gender-altering operation, or even because I kicked that pesky coke habit (when in Miami… right?). On this particular day, I will bypass the Thursday outing of choice for most of the UM population and search for new horizons beyond Coconut Grove.
Ever since I got to the U last year, it’s been genuinely challenging to live through a Thursday without hearing some variation of “Grove tonight?” from one of my peers. And though your Grove crew or even your whole ensemble of friends may change, a night at the Grove manages to transcend social groups and stick to the same exact formula.
The night begins with intense drinking that would make Russian factory-workers of Soviet times feel threatened. That’s quickly followed by a seemingly endless ride on the HurryCane, which is, without fail, marked by either a shoving match or some flirtation with a person you’ll never ever see again. As soon as you arrive at the Grove, aimless stammering and barhopping is the master plan. From that point on, memories drown in countless pitchers of beer that are usually nothing more than bad decisions in a 64 ounce container. And before you viciously wrestle your way back onto the 3 a.m. shuttle, there’s always the option of stopping by Boardwalk or New York Pizza (if you haven’t yet lost your wallet in a drunken stupor).
In short, a night at the Grove is nothing more than incessant drinking, a lot of stumbling, tons of looking around, a potential slice of pizza and a healthy, evening-ending vomit session.
Sure, from the above description it’s hard to imagine what else a college night out could or should entail. And according to the old idiom, “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it.” But what if it ain’t broke, but it’s so (metaphorically) worn down and annoying and typical that you feel like you owe it to yourself to fix it?
Yeah the Grove is cool and all, but throw a curveball at your nightlife plans. Whether it’s checking out the local music scene, going to a new club or bar in the Design district or Brickell, or even educating yourself on modern art at a local gallery, you owe it to yourself to discover.
Personally, I’m convinced the city of Miami has more to offer beyond the blocks of CocoWalk. Even if it doesn’t, I’m more than willing to sacrifice a Thursday night out at the Grove so I can find out on my own. And if I do end up finding something more worthwhile, what I’ll definitely miss most is conversations with the homeless man outside The Knife, during which we endlessly try to figure out “where the hoes at?”