Yeah, well, fabulous, but then there's business, the niggling slap of real life. James insists that he "bought everybody out" from the old E.S.P.: "We had three different types of people and all kinds of conflicts. It just didn't work out. I bought all the stock; Mickey and I own everything here." Ex-E.S.P. partner Lee Schrager, oddly, has no comment on the matter.
Ah, business. Miami Beach business. As Mickey Wolfson (among many other things, star of a recent W profile) succinctly defined the golden land: "Thirty years ago it was glamorous, then it went to hell, and now it's back." One of the better depictions of the old gone-to-hell Miami Beach is the collaboration between photographer Richard Nagler and the late I.B. Singer, My Love Affair with Miami Beach. The book captures a way of life (old people sitting on porches, community dances, all the wonderful sad-ass mise en scenes) that is quickly getting lost in the onslaught of Euro-trash, nightclubs, models, and cunning food. Besides being an interesting historical document, it's crammed with great lines from Singer, a Beach resident for many years, and photos of intensely compelling, Inca-like faces, ravaged, beaten, but still ultimately triumphant. People who, obviously, never ventured into the club business.