Miami’s high-season private soirées heated up an otherwise unseasonably cold spring. Cosima and Axel Preuss-Kühne hosted their highly anticipated annual gathering, a literal open house filled with the city’s biggest boldfacers and a lavish dinner spread by acclaimed Le Basque caterers. Everyone from Brian and Ricky Elias, Rex Hamilton, Sam Blum, Mario Cader-Frech and Robert Wennett to Zaha Hadid, Barbara Becker, Iran Issa-Khan and Karen Quinones wandered in and out of the luxurious North Bay Road manse, many of whom were glad to have a (bona fide) reason to whip out their fab furs and sip glass after glass of deliciously unconventional hot sangria. Besides the frigid weather, talk turned to the again smoldering real estate market (“A friend just picked up a foreclosure around the corner from here on La Gorce for $520K. It sold for $1.7 million in June of 2007!”) and glamorous New Year’s getaways: “The swell was too high for anyone to dock at Gustavia this year,” lamented a buxom South Beach celeb. “So we had to anchor offshore and take a tender to the big Octopus [Microsoft cofounder Paul Allen’s 414-foot yacht] party. It was off the hook! I was sandwiched between Lorne Michaels, Amy Poehler, George Lucas and Bon Jovi the whole night!” Consensus: While everyone seemed universally glad to bid adieu to 2009, the effects of the recession are relative, depending on who you are, whom you know and your penchant for exaggeration.

Ocean Drive’s anniversary parties aren’t always annual, which perhaps adds to their mystique; when guests of years past don’t receive their yearly invite, they start second-guessing their A-list status. Those who did make the cut this year to join hostess (and Ocean Drive cover girl) Kim Kardashian at the Delano in honor of the magazine’s recent 17th birthday included A-Rod (who, incidentally, skipped the red carpet and declined to pose alongside Kim), Michael and Shakira Caine, Mike and Alicia Piazza, Scottie Pippen, Julio Iglesias Jr. and Tracy Mourning. Rodriguez arrived sans Elaine Spottswood, the 25-year-old Key West native he met at the Coral Gables Equinox outpost, but this affair might last longer than an airbrush tan: After all, he met his first wife, Cynthia Rodriguez, at a Miami gym, as well, and they stayed married a full six years. MAC provided the body-painting station poolside (which Michael Caine called “very Avatar”), while guests including Daniela Swaebe, Michael Comras, Susanne Birbragher, Cindy Dana, Marisa Toccin, Claudio and Maria Piantini, Jessica Londono, Michael Gongora, Dan Renzi, Michael and Amy Gross, Joyce and Abie Chehebar, Martin Melhem, Jannicke Langseth, Salo Lekach, Red Carter, Andrea Greenberg and Pietro Belmonte sipped Stoli and Xanté and pointed out how fast time flies. “Wow, so the Delano is actually younger than this magazine,” mused a partygoer reminiscing about the hotel’s debut in 1995. “And ugh, I’m older than both of them combined!”

IMAGE: Susanne Birbragher

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