When the events promoter came to Miami Beach, he asked a friend, Larry Shafer, where people who want to make the world a bit better meet. Shafer, a 35-year-old real estate investor and South Beach resident, didn't have a solid answer ("Miami is very boob- and beer-focused," says Shafer, also in a spa robe and slippers Thursday). So the duo and others organized the party, where they show free artsy movies and documentaries in a corner of the hotel's trendy bar. In its fifth or sixth week, the event drew about 60 people last Thursday; 30 joined the circle.
They want to bring Miami into the social awareness ranks of cities such as New York and San Francisco.
Juan del Hierro, a sacred ministry director at Unity on the Bay, offers to speak about the 2008 elections and eco-spirituality at a future meeting. "The last thing I wanted to do was join another thing I want to be passionate about," says the 28-year-old, wearing a maroon polo and shined tan shoes. "The other reason I'm here is to meet a crunchy gay man," he laughs, explaining: "I've had two martinis." Fittingly, martinis served that night were made with organic vodka. — Janine Zeitlin
"The cells are coming together to make a giant butterfly in Miami. It really needs it."
— Kanela Barton, a water therapist, comparing the "conscious networking" party at The Standard on Thursday nights to a transforming caterpillar