Room with a View

"Thomas Kramer. I have told you zis zree times!"

Room with a View
Filed under: Scene

"Kramer. Thomas Kramer. I have told you zis zree times already!" bellowed a voice that instantly drowned out any conversation previously enjoyed by the ten people waiting politely inside the elevator car.

"You are just too slow viz ze list!"

And with that, the young African-American employee stationed in the Setai hotel lobby this past Wednesday evening, still frantically scanning a guest list, was maneuvered aside by a middle-age man in a cream suit, blue shirt, and dark salmon tie. Still barking about the sheer inconvenience, the lanky blond strode into the center of the packed car and, with an impatient flick of a wrist, silently ordered the hired help to close the doors before he allowed his gaze to roam over the finer details of each female passenger.

So began the Dom Pérignon Rosé 1996 vintage-release party. When the elevator purred to a halt a few seconds later inside a private 37th-floor suite, Kramer, Miami's infamously obnoxious German-born entrepreneur, stepped into a crowd of his peers, otherwise known as Miami's social elite.

That is, if old and wealthy is your idea of elite.

Despite the obvious gag-worthy pretensions of the evening, Dom's "celebration of luxury" was tamely pleasant enough.

With breathtaking views of the city and ocean as a backdrop, the event assembled a crowd of movers and shakers, model types and freeloaders, and celebs such as former boxer Lennox Lewis and designer Donald J Pliner. Perhaps they discussed something fabulous, like the bouquet of the new vintage, or the decadent display of objets d'art in the peripheral rooms.

Honestly it's irrelevant. With a bottomless glass of pink bubbles as company, I'll talk to anyone about anything. Even Thomas Kramer. Joanne Green


Mr. Daddy in da House
Filed under: Culture

The desolate warehouses and restaurant supply shops along NW Fourteenth Avenue came alive this past Friday with pomp and bling as Trick Daddy and Co. established base camp in a parking lot to shoot a video for his new single, "Tuck Ya Ice In," which has been rattling through strip clubs and night spots throughout the city.

Mr. Daddy's purpose in the song is to "expose niggas with fake jewelry." And expose them he does. The video opens on Daddy rolling down the cracked asphalt of NW Thirteenth Avenue on a beach cruiser. A blousy, black Scarface T-shirt, embossed with rhinestones, hangs over the bicycle seat. Three clowns in chintzy faux-bling cower in terror as he approaches. "Here comes Trick," shudders one, tucking his plastic necklace under a large green shirt. But Daddy knows better. He descends on the trio, tearing chains from their necks and hurling them heavenward. A diamond crucifix glimmers against his chest.

Another victory for the Magic City's thug enforcer.

Trick wanders back to the production tent and sits down in a canvas director's chair to hold court. A pair of women arrive clutching large patent leather bags. "You sexy," Mr. Daddy announces, appraising one of them through a pair of thin, pink eyes. "Thank you," she replies, producing several fourteen-karat bejeweled pendants for Trick's consideration. He looks them over, unimpressed, and smiles, subtly, in gold. Glancing at one of the women as she walks away, he says, "Icould have made that piece," inciting peels of laughter.

Slip-N-Slide Records will drop the video January 1. The album, Back by Thug Demand, will no doubt be a roaring success — much like Thug Matrimonybefore it and Thug Holidaybefore that.

And what brought the thug prince to this depressed corner of his hometown? "Permits," he says. "City of Miami always gives you a permit. City of Miami is the best." Calvin Godfrey


Some Vacation
Filed under: News

Last month the county quietly reinstated a major transit official, giving her three months of back pay and $10,000 for legal fees, after abruptly firing her two months earlier for "nonperformance."

Bonnie Todd had been Miami-Dade Transit's chief of safety and security for nine years, earning $141,203 annually and accumulating a personnel file containing nothing but glowing commendations.

In June 2006, the county transit director, Roosevelt Bradley, took back her county-issued car. In August 2006, he terminated her without explanation.

Bradley later claimed Todd had been late to meetings, slacked on paperwork, and demonstrated "overall ineffective administration." She soon filed a whistleblower claim.

Back in the fall of 2005, Bradley had gotten himself into hot water after Beatrice Fullington, a felon with a ninth-grade education, was mysteriously appointed to a security management position. The Office of Inspector General investigated and found Bradley largely responsible for the hiring after employees like Todd testified they'd had nothing to do with it. Sources say Bradley began harassing Todd and others almost immediately after the investigation began, threatening firings for "lack of loyalty."

Todd "contended that she was terminated for participating with the investigation," said Lee Kraftchick, chief of employment discrimination and labor at the County Attorney's Office. The settlement that resulted in her reinstatement stipulates that neither party will admit to any wrongdoing.

Todd and Bradley declined to comment for this story.

In her new position as chief of quality assurance, Todd will see a minuscule cut in pay nine months from now, Kraftchick said. But the move isn't considered a demotion. So what is it? A paid vacation? — Calvin Godfrey

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