www.taraink.com An ageless former journalist gleefully packed it in and went over to the dark side with considerable verve and a very adorable fiancé who got his humble start as a clerk at Sephora. This year Tara Solomon opened an office in Los Angeles (new clients include Goldie Hawn and Kate Hudson), notched the Evian and Cadillac Escalade accounts, and earned a closetful of designer clothes, gifts from friends (and clients) Marc Jacobs and Oscar de la Renta. Locally notable clients include durable hot spots (restaurants the Forge, OLA Miami, and Sushi Samba Dromo) and soon-to-open mega-destination Karu & Y, a nightclub venture by the Ciccone family (i.e., Madonna and peeps). Through it all, Solomon, who possesses a sharp wit, remains serene and approachable, handling harangues from Dolce & Gabbana hangers-on and hanging with Alicia Keys with equal dignity and aplomb.
"I am moving to Washington, D.C., to do sports at the NBC affiliate up there," Czarniak admits. We can only hope the Redskins appreciate who they're getting.
Best sports or concert venue in Miami: Homestead Miami Speedway has my vote for coolest sports event we'll see this year, with the NASCAR season finale Ford 400 "under the lights." That is going to be amazing, but right now there is nothing like the energy inside the American Airlines Arena for a Heat game. Where else can you see Shaq, Dan Marino, Jamie Foxx, and Jay-Z at the same time?
Best reason to live in Miami: Because it's so hard to find a reason not to live in Miami. The sun and the salsa, the music and the dancing (although I'm still learning the latter). There is so much character and style to this city. I love that within a 30-mile distance you can be someplace where the dress code is Miami chic or boots and a cowboy hat.
Best cheap thrill: Walking to the beach from my home. And the ability, at any hour, to grab Cuban sandwiches or empanadas after a night on South Beach.
Best not-so-cheap thrill: Highlights in South Beach. Not sports highlights; I'm talking hair. The best haircut and color in the world is in the hands of Rodrigo and Alysne at Stella Salon in South Beach. And even though it's not so cheap, it is one of the gazillion things I want to take with me and will miss dreadfully about this city when I start my new adventure in Washington, D.C. I would stick them in my suitcase if I could; basically I would pack the entire city.
Best name of a professional sports figure: Skier Picabo Street, New England Patriot Tedy Bruschi, and Minnesota Timberwolf Wally Szczerbiak (because it sounds like my last name) are definitely top favorites, but the best I've come across here in South Florida is Obafemi Ayanbadejo, former Dolphins fullback; he and his brother Brendan definitely have the most mispronounced last name in the NFL. It's eye-en-buhd-aye-zho.
Best sports bar: Not your typical sports bar -- more of a great restaurant/hangout and great place to watch a game: My choice is Tuna's in Aventura. Ask for Pete the bartender; he's the best.
What sports or physical fitness trends do you predict for the year 2035? Thirty years from now, hmmm, I predict Rollerblading. I just hope Rollerblading because I love it and hopefully by then I'll know how to stop without throwing myself into the vegetation on the side of my favorite trail. By the way, that's another definite South Florida bonus: flat terrain. There's no way I will be as graceful on my skates up in D.C. -- too many hills!
Readers´ Choice: Mike Lowell
1275 NE 79th Street Causeway
305-754-9330 Although it sometimes seems the kids have become irrevocably attached to their computers and game consoles, there's still the lure of nature to snap them back to our world now and then. Pelican Island, part of the Miami-Dade County park system, is ten acres of nature preserve and bird sanctuary sitting 400 yards offshore in Biscayne Bay. It's accessible only by water, but the marina provides water-taxi service to transport boatless merrymakers. The island's facilities can be reserved, which renders it an almost private playground for a few hours (and a few bucks). What kid wouldn't put down the Nintendo to play Tom Sawyer in real life? Chickee huts, picnic tables, barbecue grills, a sand volleyball court, and trails keep the island from being totally wild, but so does the bathroom on the water taxi, if you catch our drift net.
Readers´ Choice: Miami Children´s Theater
The successful personal and professional merger of Nick and Tara makes complete, logical sense, between their complementary differences and all-important commonalities: The porcelain-skinned beauty born under the sign of Cancer is practical and reserved; the extroverted and tanned Leo is expansive and prone to dramatic gestures. Both are incredibly sweet, love animals, and are insanely devoted to their families. (Nick recently moved his mom from Las Vegas to Miami; Tara drives to Fort Myers to visit her relatives as often as she can.)
"We have been so blessed with our growth in Miami," says D'Annunzio. "We opened an office in Los Angeles and are doing major programs in New York City, Las Vegas, and other hot spots."
TARA, Ink. has five divisions: fashion, hospitality, beauty, real estate and design, and corporate.
Best place to take out-of-towners: The Forge -- it's a Miami landmark. It has the best wine and steak and, if it's a Wednesday night, the best party in town.
Best place for a first date: OLA. It's lively yet romantic, and the ceviche is an excellent aphrodisiac.
Best new fashion trend: Less about the glitz, more about the individual pieces and attitude. One great accessory can make an outfit.
Best place for cocktails: SkyBar.
Best reason to stay in Miami for the summer: Nick: The heat. It's so sexy.
Tara: More time to check out Miami museums and thrift shops.
What are the new party trends of the future? Things are getting more exclusive, but also events are moving into huge mansions. South Beach nightlife is invading all areas. Look at condominium marketing and their events. The big clubs are not as huge as they used to be. It's more about the restaurants and lounges. Lots of indoor/outdoor spaces like Pangaea, SkyBar, Sanctuary, and Sushi Samba.
Will karaoke still be around? Forever, promise or threat!
Where do you see the public relations business in the year 2025? In 2025 TARA, Ink. will have world domination. With as many offices as the Gap has stores ... just kidding. I think we will still be securing Paris Hilton to attend events, and maybe her unborn children Newark Hilton, Airport Hilton, and Baghdad Hilton. I think the world of celebrity will continue to affect PR. We see that across the board. All clients want some type of partnership with celebrities, whether it's to wear their products or attend their events.
Miami Most folks who stumble through the metal detectors at the Miami-Dade County Courthouse probably have a lot more on their minds than reveling in the gorgeous architecture. But ignoring such beauty is practically criminal. (Not to worry; this is the civil courthouse.) Architects August Geiger and Albert Anthony Ten Eyck Brown (true name) designed the Neoclassical edifice in 1925 after a Miami population explosion rendered the two earlier courthouses too small. Over the years, wear and tear and the addition of an enclosed air-conditioning system detracted from the spacious atrium that once welcomed the courthouse's clientele. When necessary renovations progressed slowly owing to lack of funds, the legal community, led by the Dade County Bar Association, came together and raised enough money to finish work on the lobby. Thankfully they kept the air conditioner, but the false ceiling was removed to reveal the breathtaking two-story atrium. If you stand in the center circle of the tiled floor, you not only get a great feel for it, but you also avoid the ghastly Sixties attached rooms. Delicately carved sea serpents, cupids, and nudes grace the brass elevators. Look just above them to see delightful dolphins swimming in the mosaics. Larger mosaics that depict ships circling the state seal are attached to the ceiling at the entrances. Renovations to other sections of the building should continue for about two more years. Oh! Don't forget to leave your sidearms at home.