On The Town With Brian Antoni
by bill kearney
8 PM “Fucking coconuts are falling from my trees and smashing people’s windshields,” Brian says as he settles into my passenger seat. “Some guy’s asking for 800 bucks.” Being a South Beach landlord gave Brian grist for his latest novel, and fi ttingly, out fi rst stop is Wynwood’s Rubell Family Collection: Mera Rubell is a former tenant (and inspiration for the moral compass of the book), and it’s son Jason’s birthday. “You haven’t really lived on South Beach until you’ve been a tenant of Brian Antoni’s,” she says. “It was like having a soundtrack made of sexual stimulation from your neighbors… all those orgies.” Meanwhile, Brian is deep in conversation with father Don Rubell about a photo series of porn stars both naked and clothed. Don thinks they look uncomfortable dressed. “It’s not showing off their best asset,” Brian says.
11 PM We pick up DJ Ruben Pagan and Debbie Ohanian (former owner of the legendary Starfi sh) at Debbie’s new party venture, Private Residence. “Last Saturday Adora walked in,” she says. “You know, the wig was bigger than her.” “If it’s not theater I don’t want to go out,” answers Brian. We hit Bardot as an ex-porn star rattles off poems about the importance of licking balls—not a news fl ash to this crowd. After a quick photo during which the artiste implies Brian is hung, it’s back to the Beach.
2 AM Twelve’s soft opening is littered with Poplife’s next generation of nocturnal theater-makers. A sultry Polish cocktail waitress/reporter who had interviewed Brian in Key West gives him a lingering hug. When the party wanes, we end up at Mac’s Club Deuce for a fi nal drink. Under the neon light of the naked girl we speak of the old and new South Beach Brian has witnessed over the years. One subject remains paramount, however: “I can’t believe that guy wants 800 bucks.”—B.K.
photograph by BILL KEARNEY