What to Do This Week in LA, Miami, and NYC

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It’s a new year and things are only going to get, well, dorkier. So lighten up, laugh it off, and make a fool of yourself this week by venturing out to play some frivolous bar games. Miami way, get your Tony Lamas on and two-step into the land of the mechanical bull. In Los Angeles, go check out the turtle races at a bar famous for this ridiculous bout. And in Brooklyn, get toasty by a fire pit while readying to play the game with the silliest of names: cornhole.


Is there anything more degrading and just plain fun than giving it a go on a mechanical bull in a West World-like saloon? This Thursday, take the 30-minute drive south to Kendall, and mosey on into the Cadillac Ranch Great All American Bar and Grill, home of jumbo margaritas, cowboy steaks, fired-up wings, and one menacing-looking bucking bull. Happy hour runs from 3 to 7 p.m. so leave work early.


Thursday spells Turtle-Racing night at Brennan’s Pub (since 1972), beginning at 10 p.m. The outdoor patio at this Marina del Rey bar is the scene of the raucous competition. Bring your own turtle, and do know that there’s occasional drug-testing, people. The “races” are classified into seven divisions, from “midget” to “monster.” Rounds can go slow, so grab a pitcher and relax. There’s one major rule here: Do not point at the turtles. Seriously. If it’s a bit sleepy for you, hit the dartboard inside.


Friday night, gather around the wood-burning fire pits outside Brooklyn Tap House and jump into a game of cornhole. Competition is stiff here, and there’s too many rules to explain about this horseshoe hybrid, which utilizes satchels of dried corn kernels you attempt to throw into a hole in a wooden board. It’s called a “woodie” if you throw your bag directly into the board’s cut-out hole. First team to get 21 points wins. The “sport” hails out of Ohio, but hipster Brooklyn has embraced outdoor cornhole courts at beer halls with a vengeance.

Photo by Haywood Magee via Vintage Everyday

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino

Steve Garbarino is a contributing editor at Vanity Fair and a culture reporter for The Wall Street Journal. He is also the author of "A Fitzgerald Companion."