Dave Barry's Pregame Tourist Guide To Miami

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The Colts and the Saints will face off in the Super Bowl in Miami on Sunday. The game is likely to draw many tourists to the city. Dave Barry, author and columnist for The Miami Herald, has some advice for visitors: He says everyone in Miami obeys the traffic laws of their home country. His other tip: Don't use the airport; fly into Montreal instead.

ROBERT SIEGEL, host:

Sunday evening it will be time to think in Roman numerals again, Super Bowl XLIV. It's in Miami. In fact, this year, pro football's All-Star game, the Pro Bowl, was also in Miami last weekend. So for the XLIV edition, more than ever, Miami is a big tourist destination for pro football fans. And whether you go there to sample the football, the food or the mass transit system, your most trusted guide to South Florida is, as always, columnist Dave Barry of the Miami Herald. Welcome to the program once again.

Mr. DAVE BARRY (Columnist, Miami Herald): Thank you, Robert.

SIEGEL: The football fan who heads to Miami for the Super Bowl, what's the most important advice you can give him?

Mr. BARRY: Be prepared. It's a little different from the United States of America, where many of them will be coming from. We have sort of a different system of driving here. Everybody does driving - according to the law, but it's of his or her individual country of origin.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: I see.

Mr. BARRY: You know, you don't necessarily know what a person means by a left turn signal. It could be a trick. Some people just put them on the night before just to make sure they're working.

SIEGEL: But you do have mass transit apart from private.

Mr. BARRY: We do. It doesn't actually go anywhere anybody needs to go is the big problem with it. And, also, we had a problem with sharks on it. Well, one shark.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BARRY: Last now, this is true.

SIEGEL: I remember you've told us this before.

Mr. BARRY: Oh, I told you this, yeah.

SIEGEL: That's right. It's a good story. A good story is worth...

Mr. BARRY: (unintelligible) live shark. I want to stress nobody's ever been hurt by a shark on our mass transit system.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BARRY: Of course, nobody I know has never ridden on it either. So, you know, it could be going on all the time and I just don't know.

SIEGEL: What stadium is the Super Bowl in this year?

Mr. BARRY: Well, it's currently called Sun Life Stadium. About two weeks ago, I think it was changed to that. It used to be the Land Shark Stadium, but before that it was...

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BARRY: ...Dolphin Stadium. Before that it was Pro Player Stadium. Before that it was Joe Robbie. At one point I think it's been named after a Bar Mitzvah boy.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BARRY: Another thing, it's not a faithful stadium. Probably our biggest industry down here is reselling the naming rights to our stadium.

SIEGEL: Now, if people arrive early, a couple of days before the Super Bowl, what should they do in Miami to kill time?

Mr. BARRY: Oh, in Miami the big the heart of the action is what we call South Beach, where the main activity is trying to find a place to park. You go over there and they have these clubs, a lot of clubs on South Beach. Usually there are celebrities in there. Pretty much one out of every three people on South Beach is some kind of celebrity - a Real Housewife of New Jersey, a reality show.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BARRY: Mickey Rourke, you can't open a car door without hitting Mickey Rourke. There's a lot of celebrities. And they're in these clubs and you can't get into the clubs because probably you're not attractive enough. I don't mean you personally, Robert.

SIEGEL: No, that's all right.

Mr. BARRY: Just in general. But if you do get in, it's great because they play incredibly loud music and charge you a lot of money for drinks. And I don't know what could be more fun than that.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BARRY: Anyway, that's what goes on. People go to hang out on South Beach and that's a big activity if they can find a place to park.

SIEGEL: And I suppose the last thing I'll ask you about is that when people arrive and and then when they finally leave Miami after the Super Bowl, they can use the airport.

Mr. BARRY: Miami International Airport, a permanent construction zone. Yeah, I advise people not to get too close to the airport. It's usually more convenient to fly in and out of someplace else like Montreal.

(Soundbite of laughter)

Mr. BARRY: You know, I'm going to get in big trouble now. I'm already in trouble with the Chamber of Commerce down here. You're just making it worse.

(Soundbite of laughter)

SIEGEL: Well, I'm glad I could help.

Mr. BARRY: I just want to stress, I love Miami, really. If anybody from Miami is listening, please don't shoot me.

SIEGEL: Well, Dave Barry, thanks a lot for talking with us.

Mr. BARRY: It's my pleasure, thanks for having me on.

SIEGEL: Columnist Dave Barry of the Miami Herald with advice to tourists to Miami for this weekend's Super Bowl.

(Soundbite of song, "Welcome to Miami")

Unidentified Man: Till the break of dawn.

Unidentified Woman #1: Welcome to Miami.

Unidentified Woman #2: Bienvenido a Miami.

Unidentified Man: Bouncing in the club when the heat is on all night on the beach till the break of dawn.

Mr. WILL SMITH (Musician, Actor): (Singing) I'm going to Miami.

SIGEL: This is ALL THINGS CONSIDERED from NPR News.

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