- Last Updated: 11:31 PM, December 5, 2011
- Posted: 2:26 PM, December 5, 2011
By all accounts, the 10th anniversary of Art Basel was the biggest, most over-the-top art week Miami’s ever seen. Last week was fun, tense, inspiring, maddening, wonderful and chaotic, as hotels, restaurants, nightclubs, event spaces and fire marshals all over the city contended with billionaire art collectors, other assorted VIPs (from Alex Rodriguez to Pharrell Williams to Elin Nordegren to Twitter co-founder Evan Williams) and freeloading party crashers.
Two of our favorite areas in Miami reminded us of why we visit so often: When done right, this city is full of clusters that offer nonstop fun, all day and all night.
The 56-acre Midtown Miami complex (home to art fairs including Art Miami, Scope and Red Dot Miami) was perhaps the most mind-boggling spot for art fans. Architect Marc Fornes’ huge metal installation at the Graffiti Gone Global exhibit (presented by Sushisamba, owners of Midtown’s ultra-hot Sugarcane eatery) dazzled. The new Ricochet lounge showed off its sleek design and hipster bathroom art while hosting Spotify-sponsored Nas and TV on the Radio concerts.
In South Beach, Collins Avenue from 16th Street to 21st Street was overwhelming. The Sagamore ended its massive museum-world brunch on Saturday while Daniel Koch was still setting up his pop-up Day and Night brunch for a long afternoon of champagne-fueled fun that brought in what seemed like half the New York nightlife industry. X-ray photographer Nick Veasey, whose work is on limited-edition boxes of Macallan 12-year scotch, showed remarkable stamina holding court at daytime and nighttime events at the Raleigh. Russell Simmons relaxed at Yogart at the Loews. New York interior designer/reality TV star Bob Novogratz happily posed for pictures with fans at Bing’s “Art of Night” events at the Shelborne (including a Young the Giant performance). And Friday night’s Rio-themed Visionaire bash at the Delano’s elegant pool area was a contender for party of the week.
The restaurant of the week was the Dutch (a spot that needs no explanation for New York food lovers and scene-chasers) at the W. The new Miami outpost’s food is already solid, and the restaurant handled the crazy week with grace under major pressure (typical night on this overbooked week: billionaire adds eight people to his reservation at the last minute, and the Dutch says no problem). We ended up there Friday and Saturday night because it’s where everyone we ran into wanted to go.