Best New Neighbors - 2007
When pro wrestler Hulk Hogan (born Terry Bollea) left his $25 million dream house in his native Tampa, he informed the Miami Herald his clan was descending upon the Magic City like "the Beverly Hillbillies." But even by nouveau riche redneck standards, the Hogans's $12 million waterfront estate on North Bay Road is a symbol of understated elegance. In fact Hulk, wife Linda, daughter Brooke, and son Nick are Miami's new power family. And with camera crews documenting their daily routine for the VH1 reality series Hogan Knows Best, we can witness the Hulkster struggling to communicate with Spanish-speaking-only employees in a Little Havana GNC in one episode. In another, we see the balding grappler and sixteen-year-old Nick traveling obsessively to South Beach convenience stores in order to buy up all the copies of an issue of FHM magazine featuring eighteen-year-old Brooke. The reality stars have also taken full advantage of South Beach, dining regularly at fine establishments such as Smith & Wollensky, taking their canines for yoga classes at Lincoln Road's Dog Bar, and partying late-night at the Forge, Mansion, the Delano, and other hot celebrity hangouts. Nick even gave Bay Harbor Islands residents something to remember this past September 9 when he was behind the wheel of a yellow Lamborghini that caught fire. Helaine Kurlansky and her husband, Paul, live across the street from the Hogans' 17,000-square-foot, two-story villa. During the family's housewarming party, the Kurlanskys got an up-close look at the mansion's courtyard, with the reflecting pool and the floating keystone pathway that has become a fixture on their television show. "They are really delightful," Helaine says. "It has been a pleasure having them in the neighborhood."