By Terrence McCoy
By Allie Conti
By Chuck Strouse
By Scott Fishman
By Terrence McCoy
By Ryan Yousefi
By Ciara LaVelle, Kat Bein, Carolina Del Busto, and Liz Tracy
By Pepe Billete
But you don't come in expecting it?
No, I don't. I never do. I don't expect anything. I never have and I think that's one reason why people have been generous, because I'm not a mooch. I am more than happy to pay my way for anything I do and everything I do. If people want to be generous, who am I to argue? I graciously accept all gifts. It's the nature of a high priestess.
You've only been here five years. How did you become a high priestess in such a short time? And why this high profile so recently?
Fate? Who knows? When I first was on the Beach, I got a lot press probably because there were few people to really choose from. I never sought out recognition. People just kind of found me. I think every city looks for people to represent them, especially a young city in the midst of a renaissance such as Miami Beach. People are attracted to me - if in fact they are - because I very much represent the Beach. Everything about me has a lot of brevity to it. I don't take myself too seriously. I'm colorful. There are other people, the most obvious of which is Louis Canales, who has single-handedly done more for Miami Beach than I think anyone here. And Louis, who has often been called King of the Night, unofficial mayor of South Beach, stands out as a person who truly loves the Beach. There are a lot of club personalities and a lot of people that have that second side to them that only comes out at night.
How does the Tara at night differ from the Tara during the day?
Well, Tara One in the daytime is very much a professional editor. I have responsibilities, I have meetings, I have to be on time. I function on a very professional level. I even answer the phone differently, as opposed to sounding like a ten-year-old like I do now. At work I'm much more serious and I get the work done.
What about Tara Two?
Basically Tara Two is just an extension of my daytime personality, but I can get away with a lot more. At work I have to be quietly restrained. I try to dress more conservatively, kind of like a cross between Patty Duke and Coco Chanel. The wildness or perceived wildness people see is just me having a good time. It's not something I put on. People have a lot of misconceptions about me.
What are some of them?
The first misconception, of course, is that I do not have a day job and spend the majority of my waking hours scheduling custom French manicure and pedicure appointments and shopping, or going to fittings at La Troya. Another is perhaps that I'm not all that cerebral, that I'm a little bit scatterbrained. That could be because of some of the nighttime personas or the wild outfits. At least one person has made reference to the fact that I'm a self-promoter. Along with a number of other people, I am photographed a lot, but it's not like I run up to photographers and start posing. I never once have asked a photographer to take my picture. But people that are photographed a lot sometimes are mistaken for self-promoters.
What's a normal day like for you?
There is no normal day for me. But typically I wake up about eight o'clock in the morning. First I make a cup of ginseng tea and I have a piece of like twenty-grain bread, and slowly prepare for the day. As I said, I do have a day job, which most people either don't believe or conveniently forget. Invitations come up daily. Every day there's something new, either a dinner party or a restaurant opening or a club opening. I rarely stay home and watch television. I think it's exciting. It amuses me right now. It's fun. As a journalist I've been able to keep it in perspective, and to this day the only thing I drink is non-domestic champagne cocktails with Evian chasers. I've never been drunk in my life and so I'm able to be part of the scene and also be an objective observer. And I think that's one reason I've continued to go out, I would say, five times a week, and in season seven times a week, with sometimes as many as five functions a night - because I never allow myself to get burned out or go overboard.
Doesn't that take an enormous amount of time and energy?
Well, probably no more than going to Blockbuster Video and deciding what videos to rent for the weekend. The busier I am the more inspired I become. I've been blessed with boundless energy. I have a very high metabolism. You know, I take care of myself. I take massive amounts of vitamins, I rarely drink except for the aforementioned non-domestic champagne cocktails, I exercise at least once a day with my weight system at home, and I have a very strong mental outlook. Mentally I'm prepared to face anything. And you know, being a writer and an editor, going out is part of my job.