America's Backyard edited logo

by Guest Writer Andres

Not long ago it was my distinct privilege, on the eve of my birthday, to venture out into the infamous Ft. Lauderdale downtown scene. I was escorted by two pseudo-legendary FTL natives, who shall be named Striker and Strikeforce (a homage to the renowned Strikers Club of the late 70s). What I discovered was mostly sweet and occasionally putrid, but the focus of this article will be the latter. To be more specific, there was only one establishment contributing to my distaste. What establishment do I speak of, you ask (please ignore the large, unavoidable title)? Well let me give you some clues…

It is a cesspool of horny locals and hopeful, young tourists forcefully searching for that quintessential Spring Break experience. Aspects of this experience are as follows:

  • Dancing suggestively on a bar with “girlfriends”
  • Having shots poured into one’s mouth by an attractive bartender
  • Kissing a same-sex friend (generally female)
  • Wearing a g-string bikini to a club
  • Showering with muscled up Guido’s in the center of the club
  • Subsequently making out with those same Guido’s…etc.
  • Waiting 25 minutes for a drink, then reveling in the fact that the bartender called you “baby”
  • Finding that one homeless looking guy that wandered in, dancing with him long enough to snap a photo, then giggling with friends after

Okay, that last one was a bit of a stretch, but it happens. Now if you’re thinking, hey that doesn’t sound so bad. Hot bartenders, random hook-ups, free showers, homeless guys…I understand. But let me give you just one more clue that might sway you against this mystery locale…

Only here can you grind up on a stranger while listening to the timeless, melodic beats of novelty acts such as The Spice Girls, LFO, Chumbawumba, Blink 182, most outdated rap groups, Sugar Ray, Britney Spears, and all other lame songs easily sung by lamer people.

Firstly, the name America’s Backyard is evocative of Americana nostalgia.. I’m not totally sure if dance floor dry-humping, exploitative Latin Guido culture, heavy petting, and Kids-Bop sing alongs qualify. At one point, I raised my sights to the DJ booth and saw all three DJs bobbing heads to Miley Cyrus. To feel as if most iPod owning middle-schoolers could select this club playlist is the epitome of amateurism. I enjoy a good time out as much as the next person, but to frequent America’s Backyard means one of two things: a) you are not someone I would enjoy spending time with, or b) you have compromised your dignity and some aspects of your humanity.

I know this seems a rather harsh indictment, but ABY is systematically transforming FTL’s downtown scene into an undifferentiated glob of lameness. I do tip my hat to the owner; the business model is genius. He saw a populous, vulnerable demographic and exploited the hell out of them until he was wiping his ass with hundred dollar bills (their slogan is “Grillin’ & Chillin’” – enough said.)

My assertion of opinion on this matter will inevitably lend itself to accusations of snobbishness and conceit. I’m okay with that. And I understand this article will surely be divisive. I can only hope that you fall on the light side and see just as I have, that America’s Backyard means the annihilation of the human spirit.

Make sure to check out the rebuttal post.

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