South Beach Drinks Up and Goes Home

The party may be over but life -- real life -- goes on

Casares herself seems to have taken to heart Amy Spindler's assertion that "the party in Miami is certainly over," moving to the Gables and adopting a more aseptic, baby-toting persona. Yet as the crowd at the Colony Theater revealed, what has emerged on South Beach in the wake of lesbian chic is nothing less than a bona fide lesbian community, one that seems less concerned about appearances in glossy magazines and gossip-column spin control than with simply building contented and fulfilling lives.

Even straight people seem to be growing up. At the April 18 Miami Beach City Commission meeting, the debate turned to stricter enforcement of codes dealing with unruly residential film shoots and late-night parties in private homes. But the concerned citizens complaining about raucous bashes at a Di Lido Island manse, or naked women and gunshots going off in club magnate Shawn Lewis's North Bay Road back yard, weren't stern-faced biddies. They were leading figures from the Beach's film-production community, people like producer Greg Scheinman and Lauren Green, co-owner of the Green Agency, a modeling firm. And they appear to be part of a growing population: people who may have moved to South Beach years earlier for the unceasing debauchery but who now find themselves with spouses, children, and a burning desire to go to bed before 5:00 a.m.

"I've had clients who have threatened me," Green told the commissioners. "They're saying, “We're not going to use the Green Agency because you object to the shoot.' I say to them: “You're right!'" Several homes on the Venetian islands have become dedicated sets for an endless stream of visiting film crews, she explained, bringing with them ominous characters and some of the neighborhood's first burglaries. "I object first as a mother when I leave my home to go to work and leave my little ones, and there are strangers on my street.... I don't care how much money I'm losing."

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