CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT: With Maria Elena Piantini (LEFT) and Joyce Chehebar at Mandolin Aegean Bistro; with Ocean Drive contributor Iran Issa-Khan and Deputy Editor Bill Kearney at La Mansión at the Four Seasons Hotel Buenos Aires; The Dutch at the W South Beach was a delicious standout during this year’s Miami Spice (the caramel chocolate tart with Bing cherry sauce is to die for). My friends (FROM LEFT) Kendall Cogan, Paul Bacardi, Shannon Hori, and Michael Hantman couldn’t agree more; Fashion’s Night Out marks the beginning of Miami’s social season. This year, I celebrated at the Village of Merrick Park with (FROM LEFT) Anastasia Koutsioukis, Lorie Baker, Lesley Griffith, Daniela Swaebe, and Heidi Heinau at Neiman Marcus Coral Gables
We all have that early-adopter friend who seems to know about everything (and everybody) cool in town first. He or she is the u?ber-observant one who brings you to the great new bakery within a high-end multilabel clothing boutique, introduces you to a fabulous couple that just moved here from Liechtenstein, or tells you about an antiques company that will rent you vintage lamps and reclaimed barn-wood farmhouse tables for that party you’re looking to throw. Luckily, I have a couple dozen of these savvy people in my life—as both Ocean Drive contributors and honorary contributors—and they’re constantly feeding me fantastic information on stores and restaurants that are about to open (and what’s going to close and transform into something more fabulous), and connecting me to all the interesting snowbirds and expats I should meet. They truly have their fingers on the pulse of what’s happening in Miami, and I see their ability to find this knowledge—culled from social media and lots of 3-D exploring with their eyes open and camera phones at the ready—as a talent, a real nose for the new. It’s as if they were born with discerning eyes that effortlessly separate the meh from the marvelous.
At Ocean Drive, we’re getting ready to celebrate 20 years of doing just that. I can tell you that the longer we’ve been in business, the higher quality dining, shopping, real estate hunting, and gallery and museum hopping we see. Our yearlong toast will commence in January (and yes, of course we’ll throw one of our legendary bashes), so we’ve been busy preparing the festivities and lining up some truly outstanding covers and content. As we pull it all together, we’d love to hear from you. Visit oceandrive.com to take our inaugural Miami survey, in which we ask readers to share their thoughts on living the “best of” life in the Magic City. And please get creative: In the past 20 years, this little part of the world has inspired hit songs, watched architectural marvels pop up on blocks like Whack-A-Mole, served as a backdrop to blockbuster films and hit TV shows, and become a hotbed of contemporary art, so any mention of the weather is burying the lede.
SUZY BUCKLEY WOODWARD
PHOTOGRAPHY BY TERRY ZUCKER (ISSA-KHAN); CRISELDA BREENE (KOUTSIOUKIS); JOSH WOODWARD (COGAN)
See our behind-the-scenes footage from the 'Hobbit' and former 'Lost' actress' shoot.