[ vice. ]  w/  Miami

1. an immoral or evil habit or practice


— Time Magazine

1981 — Time Magazine’s November 23 cover story brought national attention to the violent drug war, between Columbian and Cuban gangs. One result was Miami had become the murder capital of America, another was the explosive, South Florida real estate development, fueled by organized crime’s need to launder its abundant, ill-gotten profits and gains.


— Time Magazine

[ vice. ]

1984 — The fashion trend-setting television show premiered and quickly rose to a number one, prime-time rating. The over-the-top, almost cartoony, crime drama relied on an well designed mix of MTV and fashion show-style, with hour-long episodes directed and produced as if they were long-play music videos.

The show’s (music-video) style rose out of the  in 1984 is often credited with helping Miami pull itself out of a 1970s malaise, fueling its well-financed race through the 1980s, and, as if on a cocaine high, pushed into the 1990s, and what became a full-blown revival.



“The Birdcage”

[1996] — The already-legendary Carlyle Hotel served as the setting for the memorable American comedy directed by MIKE NICHOLS.
An entertaining and popular remake of the 1978 Franco-Italian film, La Cage aux Folles, by Jean Poiret and Francis Veber.
Dan Futterman, Calista Flockhart, Hank Azaria, and Christine Baranski appear in supporting roles.
we are fam-il-ee


Making Miami “Cool” Again
(Miami Herald)
Miami Herald columnist Dave Barry’s humorous view of cocaine and murder making Miami “popular” again.   GO TO STORY >>>


“Some Like It Hot”
Two Struggling musicians (Tony Curtis and Jack Lemmon) witness the St. Valentine’s Day Massacre and are now on the run from the Mob. Jerry and Joe cross-dress into an all female band in which Sugar (Marilyn Monroe) is the lead singer.In addition to running (to Florida) for their lives, Tony and Jack have more hilarious problems in their love lives. Marilyn confides in lustful Tony, but he can’t reveal he’s a man, and Jack has a wealthy gentleman suitor who won’t take “No,” for an answer.
florida situation comedies

[1959] — Billy Wilder’s classic, starring Jack Lemmon and Tony Curtis (in drag) and Marilyn Monroe (at her hottest), has stood the test of Hollywood time, and easily ranks as one of the finest comedies ever made.


Making Miami “Hot” Again.

Sept. 28, 1984 — After the introductory credits, the first scene in the Miami Vice pilot was set at the Carlyle Hotel, with its hot-pink, neon sign boldly marking its spot on Miami Beach’s legendary Ocean Drive. In the shot, the camera pans down panning down to Sonny Crockett (Don Johnson), Miami’s most fashionable cocaine cop, smoking a cigarette, and annoyed by a group of break-dancing, South Florida B-Boys, with the obligatory, obnoxiously loud, ’80s-ready boom box.



Snow Blind
(November 23, 1981) — Time Magazine describing Miami as a city awash in cocaine, and noting its ranking as “The Murder Capital of the World,” was the biggest blow to South Florida’s most important tourism industry.

“Cocaine Cowboys” (2006) The story of a city addicted to the 1980s’ social drug of choice. A city caught in the crossfire between the Colombian and Cuban murderous gangs, who reigned a terrifying, machine gun hurricane of flying lead, down upon an increasingly paralyzed neighborhood. Fighting, with no care for human dignity and life, for dominant control of Miami’s billion-dollar drug business. 

The Godfather
(opening credits by Jan Hammer)

(Phil Collins’ closed the 1984 pilot)

Miami Vice
(Dire Straits “Edgar Allan Poe”)


b/ Russ Ballard

Don Johnson pilots his Chris Craft Stinger 390X, from Miami to the Bahamas, on a violent, cocaine-busting mission as Sonny Crockett, a Miami Vice detective, with an eye on fashion, attitude, and style.
“Miami Vice Theme”
(opening credits by Jan Hammer)

“In the Air Tonight”
(Phil Collins’ closed the 1984 pilot)

“Brothers In Arms”
(Dire Straits “Edgar Allan Poe”)

“Smuggler’s Blues”
(Glenn Frey “Smuggler’s Blues”)

“You Belong to The City”
(Glenn Frey “Prodigal Son”)
Making Miami”Cool”Again
(Miami Herald)
I came to Miami in the early ’80s, when the Cocaine Cowboy era was still going strong and Miami’s image — not without reason — was horrible. Time magazine had published its now-famous cover story Paradise Lost, encapsulated by this cheerful sentence: “An epidemic of violent crime, a plague of illicit drugs and a tidal wave of refugees have slammed into South Florida with the destructive power of a hurricane.”
Which was, more or less, true. The bad publicity took its toll: Tourism suffered because people were afraid to visit Miami. I wrote an essay about this for the Herald’s Sunday magazine, Tropic. To promote it, we gave out bumper stickers that said “Come Back To Miami
Readers loved those bumper stickers. But not everybody down here thought it was funny. Miami’s civic leaders — the politicians, the tourism people, the Chamber of Commerce — hated the jokes and the bad publicity. They were openly jealous of Orlando, with its Mouse-tastic attractions and safe, antiseptic, family-friendly image. Our leaders wanted Miami to be more like that. But Miami wasn’t Orlando, not even close. Bad things kept happening down here.
Then, in 1984, Miami Vice happened. Theoretically, this should have been our civic leaders’ worst nightmare: People were avoiding Miami because they thought it was infested with violent drug criminals, and then along came a hugely popular TV show that presented Miami as a place that was … infested with violent drug criminals!
But here’s the thing: Miami Vice made Miami look cool. Yes, many drug busts went down on the show, and many fatal shots were fired. But they were fired by Don Johnson and Philip Michael Thomas! Who were hot! And who wore designer jackets! Over pastel designer T-shirts! And designer linen pants! And designer Italian loafers WITHOUT SOCKS!
The premise was ridiculous, of course — “undercover” Miami police officers Sonny Crockett and Rico Tubbs, looking nothing like any undercover police officers anywhere ever, driving around in flashy, insanely expensive cars and boats, emitting melodramatic dialogue and inevitably ending each episode taking down a drug kingpin — in Miami Vice, three out of every four Miami residents were drug kingpins — in a hail of bullets, accompanied by a hip (for the ’80s) music soundtrack.
And guess what? Everybody loved it. Including Miami. Especially Miami. For one thing, the city looked pretty good, in a seedy, tropical, lush, degenerate, Eurotrash supermodel way. It looked cool.
It also looked exciting. Miamians began to see the fact that we weren’t Orlando as a good thing. Orlando was a place where you went to stand in line in the heat with your whining kids for 73 minutes to ride around in spinning teacups for 73 seconds. Miami was a place you went without your kids (maybe even without your spouse) to drink mojitos and smoke cigars (or maybe something else) and stay up all night and have an adventure. If it felt foreign, disorganized, a little out of control, even a little dangerous … hey, that was cool. That was Miami.
At least that was the image. It’s still the essence of our image, 30 years later. Which is why I think Miami owes a debt of gratitude to Miami Vice. There should be a street named after it. And the street signs should be pastel. And somewhere on the street there should be a statue of Rico and Sonny, aiming guns at a kingpin only they can see.
And the Sonny statue should have stubble.