Into Miami

I’m in the epicenter of American Club Culture with my MTV News colleagues and we spent our evening partying … at The Radisson.

I spent the balance of my Monday in transit. Better living through chemistry made takeoff, flight, and landing painless. My knuckles were far from white. In fact, I slept through everything, including the hour spent circling the Bahamas in inclement weather. But once we touched down, and endeavored towards Budget for our rent-a-Chevy, everything slowed down. We arrived at 4 p.m., but didn’t make the American Airlines Arena, home of the 2004 Video Music Awards (and, as of tomorrow, Shaq), until 6 p.m.

We walked around the arena for an hour, ducking into every lounge, dressing room, skybox, nook and cranny. Pretty posh. We’ll be covering these awards — the biggest night in MTV’s year — from every angle. And then we met the rest our colleagues on Parcel B.

Currently, Parcel B is a few acres of dirt and gravel between the Intercoastal Waterway and the American Airlines Arena (which, by the way, is a pretty cool sports complex, as sports complexes go). A dozen or so of us spent a few hours pacing around, looking at blueprints, and imagining what the space would look like in five short weeks. Between now and then, the City of Miami will transform this pile of dirt into a brand-new city park, complete with a new dock, fresh sod and palms, and a red carpet stretching from the water to the arena. It’s gonna’ be wicked cool.

There is an element of the miraculous in this whole process. Right now, what is a bunch of raw space, is remarkably unremarkable. But the sheer power of Entertainment Programming will make the space over into six stages, a paparazzi pit, boats full of screaming fans, and all kinds of MTV coolness. Pretty amazing.

In nine short hours, I’ll be boarding a Dade Country police helicopter for an airborne tour of the city. I’ve finagled my way into this, and I’m stoked for it. Then we’re taking a boat tour. Then we’re going back to the airport.

In all, I expect to spend 24 hours on the ground here in Miami. I’m certain that Vladimir Zworking has no idea what he’s wrought. But I’m glad he wrought it — should make for a pretty interesting Tuesday.

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