I am out of the country for the summer, but I just got the call; The 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach was robbed. Cleaned out. Heisted.
Devastating news, as I am a member of The Gym and love that place more than anything. The stole all the equipment, photos, belts, hell, they even took the ring. It looks like the only thing left is the pull up bar and arm straps for hanging crunches. And the recently moved jump rope rack.
I can’t even imagine who would want all that stuff (except the photos) with all the blood, sweat and Dino’s dogs hair all over the place. Hell, there is some of my blood in that place. And for sure a bunch of my snot and saliva.
I am also amazed how they pulled this off. I mean hell, it is on the corner of 5th and Washington in South Beach. Not exactly a minor intersection in a 24 hour a day town.
Unreal. I wish Matt and Dino luck and I hope they get the gym up and running as soon as possible. Hell, I will be back in Miami Beach soon.
Real sh*tty news. And I thought I was having a great summer.
It looks like there is a lot of misinformation about the location about the current The 5th Street Gym in regards to the old one. To set the record straight, the original 5th Street Gym was on the second floor of a building that was torn down. The current 5th Street Gym is in the new building, in the same location as the original on the first floor that it shares with a Wells Fargo location of all things.
MIAMI BEACH, Fla. (WSVN) — A historic South Florida gym where some of boxing’s all-time greats have trained became the scene of a “crime ring” of sorts, Monday.
The 5th St. Gym, a Miami Beach landmark, was hit by burglars over the weekend. The inside was left gutted, stripped off its boxing ring. That’s right, the entire ring was somehow picked up and hauled away, along with lots of equipment and personal files. “Well, we were vandalized, as you can see, and the ring was stolen,” said Nina Spencer, whose son owns the gym, “the whole ring. That whole area there was a boxing gym.”
And this was not just any ring in any gym. This is a gym steeped in the history of boxing. Autographed photos of Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Sugar Ray Leonard once hanged on the gym’s walls. Now, they too are gone. “This is so sad,” said Spencer. “It’s devastating. We’re devastated.”
The 5th St. Gym opened on Miami Beach in the 1950s. Famed boxing trainer Angelo Dundee who trained, among others, Muhammad Ali, was part owner of the gym. In a YouTube video, Dundee speaks of the greatness and history associated with the gym: “It’s a great place to train because fighters like to sweat, and man, you could sweat in Miami Beach.”
“Fortune pays you sometimes for the intensity of her favors by the shortness of their duration. She soon tires of carrying any one long on her shoulders.” – Baltasar Gracián (Spanish Jesuit and baroque prose writer), 1601-1658
I feel lethal, manic, on the verge of frenzy. I am foaming at the mouth. My nose is starting to bleed. I think my mask of sanity is about to slip.
I throw down my luggage in my apartment, hang my Custom Suits and I get the call:
This Super Fly Argentinian girl, who I met at Mint and haven’t swooped yet, wants me to meet her at her clothing store. She is getting off work soon. And she and her Brazilian girlfriend want to roll out with me. There are innuendos of a Ménage à trois. The evening has promise.
I step out and roll into the CVS on Lincoln Road to grab some chicle. I roll in the line to pay, and a Fly Blonde Russian girl on her cell phone looks at me and mouths “Hi” to me. How often does that happen when a girl is talking on the phone?
I pay for my gum and step outside and light up a grit. I am feeling invincible. I have been sparring a lot. It tends to do that to me.
The Fly Blonde Russian walks out and continues up Lincoln. I quicken the pace, and open: “Do you know which way Sushi Samba is?”, I ask her. (Of course, I know where it is, but it was the first thing that came into my mind.)
“Hi. I do. It is just up there.”, the Russian girl says pointing up Lincoln.
“Wait, my name is Michael Mason.” I say and give her a “two-kisses” greeting. I spit some Street Game and Number Crunch, as I am supposed to meet the Argentinian and Brazilian girls.
Game is on though.
I keep heading up Lincoln and get a text from the Argentinian:
Most people ignore me, but some tourists look at me strange. I have a fleeting thought and quickly dismiss them as from Red States.
I need to settle down though and light another smoke. I am checking my phone and smoking, when a Fly Cubana Girl rolls up on a bicicletta. (She is 21 years old.)
She asks me for a cigarette.
Looking down at my phone, I ignore her for a few beats (real artistic), and say, “Sure.” Hand her one. Then say, “You need a light?”
“Yeah”, she says. I bust out a sick reverse Zippo trick for style points.
We start talking. She is fly. Mad fly. No make up on. But then again, I have a thing for Fly Cubanas.
I start walking with her as she rides her bike. She is kind of hipstered out. But still, stunningly fly. You know the type. Since it is kind of awkward talking to her while she is riding her bike, I say, “Let’s have a seat over here”.
I start rapping out in Spanish and English mixed with her and she tells me she is breaking up with her boyfriend.
I am still supposed to meet the Argentinian and the Brazilian (and I get another text), but I want to hedge my bets like only a true International Playboy does. I tell her to go home and change clothes and meet me at Sushi Samba as I have to go to a “business meeting” right now. She is down. When we part (two kisses salutation) I tell her, “Remember, high-heels and a skirt.” She replies, “I know, you don’t have to tell me.” with a pretty girl’s smile. And I haven’t seen a smile that pretty in a while. My nervous system goes haywire for a split second. A drag of nicotine sparks my synapses and mellows me.
My mind is the enigma filled with broken pictures. The spiritual International Playboy can see clearer now.
I move up Lincoln and get another text from the Argentinian. I respond back, “Almost there”.
I finally get to the Argentinian and Brazilian. They are looking dope. But everything is off. I can’t get the young Cubana out of my mind.
I split as they are both being too difficult.
I roll into Sushi Samba and lock the place down as per usual. I met a cool Argentinian kid from Cordoba at the bar and we both start spitting mad Game at all the fly girls rolling by.
I shoot a text to the Cubana:
“Buisness meeting went perfect. Come meet me at Sushi Samba to celebrate”. (Smooth text).
She responds back right away, “Yaa! Getting out of the shower. See you there soon.”
It’s on. Got to like a girl that loves your success. And Glad I hedged my bets like Kyle Bass.
When she arrives, she is a vision of youthful beauty. She looks like a Cubana Pin-Up Model (which actually happens to be her job). We enter through the side door, as I have the doorman on lock. Her her vibe goes from romantic expectation to dreamy absorption to erotic playfulness quicker than a Salsa dance in Havana.
She has shed the hipster clothes and looks stunning in high heels like all Miami girls do.
We hit it off in dope style. She digs the young-dashing-handsome-mysterious-false grinning-soft spoken-with a wild side-well dressed-millionaire-smuggler type vibe that I give off. Like all Miami girls do.
She knows the DJ and tells him to play this track, which just came out at the time:
She dances by herself for me as every guy in Sushi Samba is checking her out. I stand at the bar, smoking a grit, Custom Suited Down; the envy of every guy in Sushi Samba.
She can really dance.
We get a few more drinks and split. She gives a little resistance, but I come with the “Above is the black poison clouds, You only got one life so enjoy it now” type illmatic Futuristic Game that even top players will finally catch on to in 5-10 years. So I’m not really sweating it.
On my exit, I shake a bunch of hands; guys giving me props, and people I know.
Am I Apostle or Beast? Either way, I am Colossal on Streets.
We get to my apartment. The key goes in the door and
2. On that note, always tell girls when they come to meet you to wear high heels and a skirt. If a girl meets me with Ugg Boots and skinny jeans, I don’t care how fly she is, I am ditching her. I have an image to uphold after all. And I have to draw the line somewhere.
3. Find a good spot. The beach. A park. An alley. A Mediterranean courtyard or Veranda. Use “views” to your advantage. Read A View To A Swoop, for a full breakdown.
4. Swoop. Just bust it out. Keep an eye out for Cops though. Especially in The California Police State.
Here is a little article on The re-opened 5th Street Gym:
Through a slumping economy and a rapidly changing boxing landscape, the owners have established 5th Street Gym as a landmark in its own right.
The secret, Baiamonte said, is in the spirit.
“A lot of gyms are so money-hungry, that all they care about is, ‘OK, this is what you have to pay, and that’s it,’ ’’ Baiamonte said. “Here, we won’t do that. Here, it’s just being friendly. That’s the one thing Angelo always did: He was friendly with everybody.”
Baiamonte is one of several “Dundee disciples,” a group of trainers who honed their craft under the late Angelo Dundee. A self-described gym rat, Baiamonte began working with Dundee in 2000, and in 2009 he decided he wanted to reopen the 5th Street Gym. As he looked into different options, he joined forces with the Chicago duo of Spencer — also a trainer — and Tsatas —a businessman and boxing enthusiast.
All that’s left of the original location is a plaque, and so Baiamonte, Spencer and Tsatas bought a space one block north, at 555 Washington Ave.
Now, the 5th Street Gym’s legacy is displayed on the walls of the new location with fight posters dating to Muhammad Ali’s storied 1964 upset victory over Sonny Liston. Baiamonte even brought in a window from the original gym and the sign that welcomed visitors from 5th Street.
Still, the owners know they’ve got to pave a legacy of their own.
“Don’t try to copy,” Dundee told the trio. “You’ve got to create.”
Roberts returned from Vietnam to New York with screws and a metal plate in his head — the aftermath of an explosion. By the time he was 20, he was one of New York’s biggest nightclub impresarios, rubbing shoulders with everyone from Jimi Hendrix to John Lennon.
But after a business partner turned up dead and an informant told the police Roberts was involved, he hightailed it to sunny Miami. The year was 1975.
“When I first came to Miami, I wasn’t smuggling: I was like all the other dealers on the street just trying to make a living, and it got to a point where I had so much business that these people just couldn’t supply me,” he says.
That’s when Roberts shifted from being a drug dealer to a drug importer for the Colombian Medellin cartel.
Importing paid well: By the end of 1976, Roberts says he was moving 50 kilos of cocaine worth $500,000 or more a month. Roberts was living it up: He had half a dozen servants, a Porsche, multiple houses, dozens of race horses and friends in high places, including the Colombian drug lord Pablo Escobar.
The U.S. government labeled Roberts the “American Representative” of the Medellin cartel; he became known as “the bearded gringo” on Miami’s streets.
Roberts and a few American partners created a highly advanced drug-smuggling system that included secret airfields, listening posts to eavesdrop on Coast Guard communications, and homing beacons for tracking cocaine shipped by sea.
“We ended up getting, up by Tampa, a 450-acre farm and it was all surrounded by trees and we put two runways in there and we put hangars in for the planes to go in,” Roberts says.
Their drug-smuggling schemes stymied the U.S. government for nearly a decade.
Death came for Jon Roberts, the infamous cocaine cowboy, on Dec. 28 at age 63, after a long battle with cancer. But his public career as a charming monster is just beginning
A true-crime memoir, “American Desperado” (Crown; $28), written with journalist Evan Wright, has just been published. In Hollywood, director Peter Berg and star Mark Wahlberg are developing a movie based on his exploits.
Dying at his ease in Fort Lauderdale in the company of a devoted younger spouse and his 11-year-old son Julian, product of an earlier marriage, was an improbable end for a man who never repudiated his lifelong philosophy that “evil is stronger than good.”
“How many times have I encountered a crooked politician who wants to establish he’s a nice guy, or a killer who wants you to think he’s a good guy at heart,” says Wright. “I was fascinated because here is a guy who has done monstrous things and he’s not trying to portray himself as a nice guy or a victim.”
As Roberts tells Wright in “American Desperado,” “I might be a sociopath. Most of the time I’ve been on this earth I’ve had no regard for human life. That’s been the key to my success.”
If “American Desperado” is to be believed, Jon Roberts beat people to death in New York, skinned enemy POWs alive in Vietnam, and helped a future CIA agent murder famed mobster Meyer Lansky’s stepson in Miami – with Lansky’s approval.
Roberts first came to national attention as one of the stars of “Cocaine Cowboys,” a Miami-produced documentary that was a surprise hit in 2006. The film details the early 1980s, when Miami became a nearly lawless place awash in cocaine, violence and corruption.
As an American representative of the Medellin Cartel, Roberts helped import some $2 billion worth of cocaine into South Florida, working with infamous figures like Albert San Pedro, Pablo Escobar, Bobby Seal, Max Mermelstein and Bobby Erra.
“He’s a killer,” says Wright, author of the acclaimed Iraq War book, “Generation Kill.” “The notion that Jon is a monster because he kills people doesn’t disqualify a person in my code of life. He’s a killer — let’s move on from there. Let’s find out more.”
Last night, I spoke to Roberts’ smuggling partner and costar in Cocaine Cowboys, the laid-back and quirky Mickey Munday, with whom he had epic disagreements. The last time Munday saw Roberts, he recalls, was at a Miami restaurant with Peter Berg — where the cancer-stricken old criminal vowed to kill Munday before he kicked the bucket: “Before I go, I’m going to get you.”
“I told him: ‘If I had a bucket list, I might put that blonde over there on it,'” Munday says. “‘But not whacking somebody who’s known me for 25 years.'”
“I always thought that he would beat this, I really did,” Munday told me. “If anybody could, it was him, because he’s the meanest son of a bitch I knew. If cancer could get to him it could get to anybody.”
Munday later texted me, referring to Roberts’ nemesis Mermelstein, who also died of cancer: “I hope Jon is kicking Max from one end of Hell to the other.”
California Game VS Florida Game for International Playboys
One thing I have noticed during my life, in “The Life” is that many Playboys from California rarely go to Florida and most Florida Playboys I know rarely if ever go to California.
I am not sure why this is; however I have noticed that usually when California Playboys go to Florida they usually don’t do too well and vice versa. California players get blindsided by the late nights and lack the multi-lingual Game that is necessary in South Florida. And most Florida players are stylistically “off” when on the Wessyde and they have logistical troubles when they try to close in Southern California.
I estimate there are maybe 10 guys in the world can run heavy Game in both California and Florida. And I am 3 of them. And I probably know the other 7 personally.
So, being that I am the most qualified guy out there to write this comparison Data Sheet, here it goes:
(Side Note: for purposes of this Data Sheet, when I refer to “California”, I am really referring to the Southern California Mega-Plex ie Los Angeles, Orange County and San Diego. And when I am referring to “Florida” I really mean South Florida ie Palm Beach, Fort Lauderdale, Boca Raton and Miami. San Francisco is its own animal and I don’t do North Florida.)
There is no doubt that Southern California and South Florida both have mad fly girls. Actually, both places serve up some of the best quality in our rapidly deteriorating country. Generally speaking, the comparison is pretty much a wash because superiority is more determined by the individual International Playboy’s taste. Personally, the Latinas of South Florida get the nod from me. Also, I give a big edge to South Florida in terms of approachability. South Florida girls always leave the door open. They are also comparatively more open to fun. (California girls are not slouches in this department either). I attribute this to the warmer weather, humidity and Latin influence.
Granted, I swoop the top girls in both spots, but it seems like I have to work a little harder to get the same results in California.
Girls Edge: South Florida
It’s kind of funny to compare Southern California and South Florida in terms of competition from other players. It seems like you see the exact type of guy in both places, only in Florida, it is usually a lower budget version of the same guy you will see in California and there are less of them.
For instance, you might see that idiot with a goatee and sleeve tattoos in Newport Beach and see that same idiot in Fort Lauderdale only he will be a cut rate version of the Newport Beach guy. Or you might see three moronic West Coast Hipster fools in LA at the spot and see one of them in Miami. Except that the one in Miami will have less going for him. Those two “tough guys” mad dogging at the bar in San Diego? You will see the same two in Hollywood, FL but they will have less bite.
Sure, the comp can be pretty heavy from some of the Latin Playboys in Miami, but the sheer volume of girls seems to offset it.
Competition Edge: South Florida (because it’s weesher)
Florida gets the edge with way more of a surplus of hot girls to smooth cats. California is pretty comp heavy. The only places in California where you get good ratio’s are events like Grammy parties, Oscar gigs, special parties and the like. In Florida, you get more girls than guys even if you walk in cold to a boutique hotel bar.
Ratio Edge: South Florida
Surprisingly, to most people, South Florida has a way more laid back nightlife vibe. More freedom and less rules. Southern California has all but become a police state with its open container laws, anti-smoking laws and last call laws. Plenty of drugs in both, although it seems easier to cop drugs cold in South Florida than Southern California.
Just because Dr. Dre once said, “California, knows how to party”, doesn’t really hold water in real life. (Keep in mind, Dr. Dre also said, “I still express, yo, I don’t smoke weed or cess” and then came out with an album called “The Chronic”. So his credibility is highly questioned.)
Nightlife Vibe Edge: South Florida
Girls have good style in both. Again, however, the Latinas in Miami tilt the favor to South Florida as they are in non-stop high heels and skirts and dresses. And the Russian girls and Models push it over the top. California comes off a little weesh with girls wearing too many flip-flops, Ugg Boots and sweatpants. Too much West Coast Hipster crap as well (which has really been gaining tons of speed in the last 16 months).
South Florida also gets a huge edge at the beach. Girls just flow bikinis in South Florida. Girls in California bust too much of that “girl board short” crap. And they cover up real quick. South Florida girls just roll in their bikinis. They go topless as well. Which is huge in my book.
Then again, I really like topless girls.
Guys have terrible style in both. But who cares about guys?
Stylistic Edge: South Florida
Travel times can be devastating in Southern California. South Beach with its ease of usage gets the nod here. A top playboy in South Beach is swooping more fly girls than a top playboy in Hollywood on a day to day basis.
User Friendlyness Edge: South Florida
International Girl factor
South Florida wins this one again. In a month, in South Florida you can swoop mass amounts of Venezulanas, Colombians, Brazileras, Peruanas, Cubanas, Bulgarians, Latvians, Moldovans etc etc etc. It would take you 2 years to achieve that in Southern California.
International Girl factor Edge: South Florida
It’s all about the Wildcard Gym in Hollywood and the 5th Street Gym in Miami Beach. I am inclined to give the edge to Wildcard, however the history of the recently re-opened 5th can’t be denied.
Boxing Gym Edge: Draw
It’s no secret that I love Gulf Stream in South Florida and I love Del Mar in San Diego. Anyone that has been reading The G Manifesto knows that I got to go with Del Mar. Plus, in Southern California you have Santa Anita and Hollywood Park.
Racetrack Edge: Southern California
I have said it before, and I will say it again, California is the greatest marketing scheme ever created. Saying you are from California holds more weight than a coke scale when traveling Internationally. Florida, not so much.
International Reputation Edge: California
Geographic Location for Travel
South Florida with two International Airports (FLL and MIA) and multiple countries within a three hour direct flight gets a huge edge over Southern California’s terribly set up airports. Orange County and San Diego are black holes as far as international travel.
Geographic Location for Travel Edge: South Florida
Sometimes I wonder why I base myself out of Southern California, especially considering that it is way more expensive than South Florida.
It might be time to switch up speeds like Bruce Lee riding the Fuji in the movie.