CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: Every Friday night, Yardbird Southern Table & Bar hosts a Midnight Chef’s Table dinner, where you can mingle with fellow foodies at a table overlooking the open kitchen. Executive chef and partner Jeff McInnis and I are posing in front of a delicious 45-pound wild hog that was trapped in the sugarcane fields of the Everglades and roasted for 12 hours; the Kentucky Derby is one of the most fabulous events in the South. Criselda Breene, Ashton Kutcher, and I partied at the Turf Club during the Kentucky Oaks. There should be more hat-required parties in Miami!; at Nobu with Jane’s Addiction’s Perry Farrell, before the band’s show at The Fillmore Miami Beach at the Jackie Gleason Theater; next time you’re at Miami International Airport, check out The Shoppes at Ocean Drive, near Gate D-17. Here I am with NewsLink’s Corinne Kayal at the store’s grand opening soirée
As any Miami resident will attest, it’s actually hard to forget for too long that we’re living in paradise. Every day brings with it an unexpected reminder or two. Of course, frequently, there are the telephone customer-service representatives who will pause, sigh, and enviously ask about the weather after I rattle off my address as “Miami Beach, Florida 33139.” In the summer, I’ll insist that it’s hurricane season, so they shouldn’t be too jealous (just to ease the blow). And during an occasional early morning run on the beach, when I’m ticking off a mental to-do list involving impending meetings and deadlines, it’s easy to take for granted the fresh air, crashing waves, and the fact that South Beach features the gold standard of jogging sand (not too fine and soft, just hard and coarse enough; fellow runners know what I mean). I’m jerked back into an appreciative reality when I spot a group of tourists—dressed for their crack-of-dawn flights in long pants and cardigans, bogged down with huge DSLR cameras slung around their necks—who go so far as to lug their suitcases all the way across Ocean Drive, rolling them onto the sand for one last glimpse of the Atlantic Ocean before heading off to the airport. To think we’re lucky enough to have this sought-after view on demand every day!
Obviously, this town has non-weather pleasures aplenty, from world-class events (Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim runs July 19 to 23) to internationally renowned culinary talent (José Andrés just debuted The Bazaar at the new SLS Hotel South Beach). When Niche Media’s editorial director, Mandi Norwood, and executive editor Catherine Sabino flew in from New York recently, we went everywhere from Bal Harbour Shops to King’s Ice Cream. They learned to appreciate a fine café con leche (although they seemed a bit thrown by the Miami tradition of putting one’s hazard lights on and parking in a tow-away zone to do so, especially when the tow truck drivers were ordering their own cafecitos alongside us at the counter); marveled at the current prices and inventory of downtown’s luxury condos; and even watched a hailstorm turn our skies black before the clouds passed to reveal a clear, bright, and sunny summer sky—yet another sign that, in this city, paradise is always ready to bubble up.
PHOTOGRAPH BY BILL KEARNEY (MCINNIS)
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.