On the Town With Lolo Sudarsky
BY BILL KEARNEY
I thought I’d find Lolo Sudarsky (LEFT) by scanning the Segafredo crowd for his explosive shock of curly, strawberry-blonde hair, but instead I see some dude with a crew cut waving at me. It turns out Lolo has just snipped his locks for the first time in 10 years, right on cue for his famed birthday bash—this year it’s 35—which will be attended by 700 of his closest friends on the seventh floor of the 1111 Lincoln Road building tonight. “It will be fantaaah-steek,” he says. He has procured permits (barely), and apparently there’s still some concern over directional speakers, so we head up to see how it’s coming along.
The Herzog & de Meuron-designed space is a canopied concrete plateau with views of South Beach and the bay. It’s strewn with liquor boxes and party furniture in disarray. Nacho Vega Penichet, a high-powered Spanish attorney who happens to be Lolo’s best friend, greets us. “This guy taught me how to live,” says Lolo. “This guy taught me how to do Miami right,” retorts Nacho with a boyish smirk.
The two then engage friend Michelle Areces (whose company, Petit Pois, catered the event)in a debate over the merits of serving hot dogs at the party. “We love them,” says Lolo. “They’re fantaaah-steek.” Nacho laughs. ’Nuff said.
Lolo and I drive across the MacArthur Causeway to meet some diamond clients at his downtown office. “This is the first time in seven years I don’t break up with whatever girl I’m seeing before the party,” says Lolo. “You still have a few hours,” I say. He laughs nervously. We hit theSeybold Building and rendezvous with Ramon Garzin and his fiancée, Ana Vega Penichet (Nacho’s niece from Madrid). Lolo gingerly, almost meditatively, opens up folds of paper containing diamonds, placing a line of stones down Ana’s fingers as he quietly explains the pros and cons of each. A decision is made. Ramon will return Monday to negotiate without Ana present.
Lolo and Nacho wear matching white outfits, Lolo with an orange scarf and shoes, Nacho with yellow. There’s a gradual building of the crowd, more and more handshakes and hugs (Lolo’s parents have f lown in from Colombia), until thespace is full and all five open bars are frenetic. Guests range from his childhood friends Alberto Chehebar, Abraham Chehebar and Ernesto Khoudari to the luminous Julio Sanchez, Jorge Villamizar, David Bisbal and Beltran and Simoneta Gomez- Acebo—the nephew and niece of the King of Spain. At the peak of theshindig, Nacho grabs a guitar and suddenly 40 friends are singing “We Are the World,” Lolo belting it out with girlfriend Meredith Miers. Somehow theclockstrikes 2 AM and the police are shutting down the sound system(the speakers aren’t all that directional), but there’s still hearty conversation and plenty of booze. I search around for Lolo, who’s not to be found. He phones me later to tell me he’s drunk at Casa Tua with Meredith, and that his birthday has been fantaaah-steek!
FROM TOP, RIGHT: Lolo surveys the event space on the afternoon of the party with Gary Pallaria and Michelle Areces; Ana Vega Penichet and fi ancé Ramon Garzin examine diamonds with Lolo in his office; Lolo with Meredith Miers
photographs by bill kearney
We're behind the scenes with Marlins outfielder, who now has the largest contract in sports history.