Art Basel has a funny way of making us feel like we're outsiders in our own town. Traffic is horrible. Parking even moreso. The line at your favorite Cuban restaurant (even if that happens to be Pollo Tropical) gets filled with hoity-toity Europeans trying to work in a little "authentic Miami experience." That chick who knows that guy who can always get you into that place all of a sudden can't. Things can get so exhausting even for those of us who like art, that halfway through Basel week last year, we found ourselves contemplating an escape to Fort Lauderdale. And we never want to go to Fort Lauderdale!
So listen, if you live in the South Beach or the Wynwood/Design District/Midtown areas and are sick of pretending you know the difference between a Rauschenberg and a Rosenquist for one week a year, then get out! Get out! Get out while you still can!
Seriously. Put your place up for rent for the week on Craigslist. Some desperate soul will pay enough to finance your getaway, then get yourself, and more importantly your car out of here.
Luckily our esteemed Riptide travel department has come up with five suggestion of where you should go. Keep in mind these suggestions also work perfectly for New Year's Eve, Urban Beach Week and Winter Music Conference:
1. Tour de 'Burbs
Chances are if you live in an area affected by Basel-itis you haven't been to any of South Florida's fine suburbs in years. There are wonderful, beautiful places like Cutler Bay, Palmetto Estates, Goulds, Kendall, Kendall West and Kendale Lakes! Truth be told Riptide isn't sure what's out there. Probably some Wal-Marts ...we went to a Steak'n'Shake somewhere out there once. That was pretty good. We've even heard rumors that there's such a thing as "free parking."
This suggestion goes out to our South Beach pals especially. Yes you. We saw you recently. You probably don't remember. You were so wasted they wouldn't even let you into Club Deuce. You were heading home with someone we're pretty sure isn't your preferred sex. And he looked like the age of soomeone with a medicine chest full of Medicare-supplied goodies in pill form. Maybe that was the reason. Maybe check into a detox for a few days. Work out a few of your personal problems (we're sure your dad actually loved you, he probably just didn't know how to show it). And be back in time to have a very sober New Year.
3. Naples: The Other South Florida
Ask anyone in South Florida about southwest Florida and they'll usually say something like, "Oh, I visited my grandma there once. It's pretty, but there's nothing to do." Which is exactly what you want this week! Head over to the Ritz Carlton Golf Resort and play a round. Drive the five minutes to the other Ritz Carlton by the beach and watch an honest to God sunset. That's pretty much it. Golf and the Gulf. Be warned, there's nothing to do after 10 so bring a some video games or some good porn or other culture-less time wasters.
4. Everglades Camping Trip: Like Under the Julia Tuttle, Only Better!
Now that Sen. Bill Nelson has personally killed every single python in the Everglades, put away your fears and enjoy the wonder of the river of grass. Plus we're just out of the wet season, so the temperature and humidity is down. Perfect time to camp! But before you go head down under the Julia Tuttle Causeway and be sure to pick up some tips from expert tent-dwellers.
5. Basel, Switzerland
Plan an intimate trip with you and 10,000 of your closest friends. Clog the streets. Take over the night clubs, and don't let them in. Hold an art show but don't let any of their artists participate. Then tell them they should be grateful that you even came, and if they complain make vague threats about going to Southern California next year instead.