2011 NBA FINALS -- South Beach: My Top 10 Observations

10. Ate dinner last night at Prime Italian on South Beach. In the midst of ridiculous opulence in the form of $20 valet parking and $100,000 cars, it was relatively affordable. $125 for a steak and a couple drinks. Thumbs up.

9. They also offered prime Kobe steak for $30 an ounce. Our waiter said Bulls' forward Carlos Boozer recently ate a 20-ounce version. By my sportswriter math that's a $600 piece of meat. Impressive.

8. South Beach, by the way, is a 23-block area on the strip of beach that seperates the Atlantic Ocean from Miami's Biscayne Bay. The locals call it "SoBe." Oh so chic.

7. Although it's a public beach, it's also topless-friendly. Especially down by the Clevelander hotel made famous for its MTV spring break parties.

6. Collins Avenue. Ocean Avenue. And two blocks south or west ... ghetto. It's like Highland Park and Kiest Park being seperated by a sidewalk. There's a restaurant called Big Pink that was packed with people on the patio. Might as well been called the Sitting Duck. Just last week, for example, a shooting on Collins.

5. I'm not much into cars, but was told that on a given night there might be $5 million worth of 'em parked along the street. And in addition to the $20 valet, owners pay another $20 just to keep them safe and in plain sight. Or, in other words, where people can be jealous of their possessions. Last night we saw a canary yellow Ferrari, an orange Ferrari, a black Bentley and a silver Lamborghini Diablo. And I drove away in a reddish Mitsubishi Galant.

4. Just when I thought I'd seen it all on A1A, a group of teen-agers whizzed past. On skateboards. At 1 a.m.

3. The women? Different from Dallas. Dare I say better than Dallas? They're more natural here. Not as much makeup or fashion accessories as NorthPark Mall. On SoBe the look is more exotic. Tanned and toned bodies, usually wrapped in a skin-tight, short dresses that appear to be constructed of gauze.

2. While we dined on a patio with Randy Galloway, across the street at Prime One Twelve mingled the heavy hitters. Charles Barkley. Magic Johnson. Michael Wilbon. Jason Whitlock. Dan LeBatard. And this guy -- Jimmy Goldstein -- who you've seen at every big NBA game. He's a fashion designer from L.A. who just loves his hoops.

1. Just when I was about to feel like the shunned kid sitting at the kids' table at Thanksgiving, the owner stopped by for a chat and informed us that we were sitting at the same table frequented by Mikhail Gorbachev and Jimmy Johnson. Party on, SoBe.


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