Miami, a floating surrealistic circus, breaking loose from the constraints of reason and propriety. A satellite republic of weirdness, a banana republic without cash-flow problems, the brave new American city of the future. Terminally democratic, a duty-free zone on the brink of anarchy, embracing a twisted interpretation of the Jeffersonian ideal. The climb from anonymity to Prince of the City status A given enough flash and attitude A taking about a week or two. A hustler's paradise, a nasty little board game full of tricks and scams, the players falling from grace as quickly as they ascend.
The winner of the moment, developer Thomas Kramer, making social history all over again with a highly diverting birthday party at BANG. The entire restaurant staff refusing to comment on the proceedings, a carnival of truly epic proportions, guests spilling out sporadically in an ecstatic sweat, surrounded by an assortment of entertainers: snake charmers, psychics, mimes, and a limousine full of strippers. The evening, according to the New York Post, ending with an exchange of champagne volleys between the Kramers, the perfect resolution to any gathering and, in our experience, a deeply satisfying gesture. An engrossing spectacle, even given our position as a beggar at the banquet, feeding on scraps outside. God bless millionaires who aren't afraid to spend serious money on frivolous entertainments.
More lifestyles of the fun-addicted at Cassis with Tommy Pooch and Robin Leach, serving as a living emblem for a Cassis Tuesday-night party, "Champagne Wishes and Caviar Dreams," beyond the usual madness of table-dancing and dinner as sexual theater. Leach accompanied by a wealthy divorcee from Fort Lauderdale, plainspoken to a fault: "Hey, rich or poor, we all eat, drink, and shit the same." Mr. Rich and Famous proving to be the perfect reality-mirrors-television personality, dismissing the proffered caviar as "lumpfish roe" and hinting at a serious side: "That whole thing, the screaming voice, the stumbling out of nightclubs with bottles of champagne, isn't the reality. It's just a persona created by the public. I produce, and write, a lot of television."
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Leach's more whimsical streak emerging with the arrival of producer Russell Simmons and "Gretchen & Gretel," two vacationing all-American gals from Chicago in unusual Alpine goddess costumes, unearthed by Leach earlier that day. The women bouncing back from the unacceptable face of heterosexuality ("He never told me he was married") and romping around the room like cocker spaniels: "No, we're not entertainers A we're just girls who like to go wild down here. She's like a cartoon, isn't she? All the men on South Beach hit on us." The champagne flowing, Leach proposing Gretchen & Gretel as promising white rap stars, Simmons confronting Gretchen with the perennial question in the district: "Are you really a girl, or a guy in drag?" Happy in the maelstrom, the girls all agog: "We're the bimbos from hell. Imagine, Robin Leach A nobody would believe this back in Cowtown." Past sex and debauchery lately, concentrating on dinner with the single-mindedness of the Countess dining alone on a devastated battleground in the opera Daughter of the Regiment, innocently inspiring a contretemps of sorts. A thoroughly tempting model mistaking us for another guest named Tom, our unseemly and very horny Doppelganger. Pooch rising to the defense of family values: "No, not Tommy. He's a married man. I really respect that in a guy." It's a dirty job, but somebody has to serve as the moral beacon of Sodomville.
On to other uplifting pursuits, of varying moral caliber. Stormy Monday and its "Fat Black Pussy Cat," the remarkably intelligent one-nighter at 12.03 hosted by Luigi Scorcia, Michele Savoia, and John Hood, the Hans brothers A two German carpenters in traditional folk garb A serving as a goof element. The debut of "Get Funked Up" at BASH, co-host Erinn Cosby working on a preparty "pimp strut" down Washington Avenue this week. The weekend kicking off with openings at Atmospheres and PM Studio, the ever-tolerant Linda Bedell celebrating her graphic arts degree at Warsaw, and a tasty meal at the very pretty Mediterraneo. A touch of the surreal creeping in with an eerie Greek version of "Billy Jean" over the sound system, owner Nicola Prassinos talking about the Mykonos crowd A Mohammed Aziz of the Saudi royal family, various shipping tycoons A descending on the Beach, cavorting with people like Rony Seikaly. There must be some sort of cabalistic rich-and-famous club, an invisible web of connections allowing for the most unlikely alliances. Hollywood Squares brought to life, a mutual admiration society where Barbara Eden, Elie Wiesel, and Donald Trump are all equally valid and happy to play together.
Saturday night, the lotus eaters out in droves, seeking happiness and oblivion. A guy offering multiple courtesies: custom suits, a family portrait, and better yet, a "beautiful young girl who likes to be tied up A but she's clean." Sly Stallone dining at the News Cafe during a 24-hour business trip, immediately inspiring real estate rumors. Jody McDonald and Sister Leventhal's "50/50" opening at 12.03., an intimate yet popping affair, the partners moving their Aqua tea dance to Espanola Way this Sunday. "Bohemia" for a world unity theme party, patron Maryel Epps, the emcee of Van Dome's "Cabaret Night," sublimely amiable and staying the course A vital talents for the nightlife marathon. Christo turning up Sunday for a Biscayne Bay Trust Fund benefit A celebrating the ten-year anniversary of Surrounded Islands, a benchmark of Miami-style surrealism A but missing the truly surreal tea dance at Aqua.
Another twisted street fair with hundreds of drag queens, tourists, and muscle boys, all intent on being fabulous at once. A catamite in an All About Eve moment slyly offering an apple to his benefactor, conversation encompassing the local Six Degrees of Separation concept ("Indirectly, everybody has fucked everybody else here A or been fucked over") and various aesthetic ruminations: "Unless you're totally young and beautiful, you have no business driving a red car." A bum muttering away in the mad crush ("Hey, I'm homeless A I got to earn a living"), and for some reason, a thousand odd moments come flooding back. The city suddenly seeming overpowering, a modern-day bastardization of Isherwood's The Lost, the last gasp before Armageddon. Suitable only for "actors and addictive personalities," and as someone noted, ultimately debilitating: "Miami is such a seductive absurd fantasy, beyond the imagination, really. But sometimes it's just too weird, and I wonder if everyday life here isn't taking a toll, stealing the power of dreams.