A Small Park, A Nice Outing

The day after Xmas.  Time to waste, high-octane kids, tough to break them away from their new toys for too long.  But we were all feeling a little stir crazy.

So we decided to take a little family outing to a nearby Park – Arch Creek, and it was really  nice.  The park regularly hosts eco-adventure tours and ghost tours, butterfly garden and a museum with artifacts.  They also offer special events right now including campfires, canoe tours, guided hikes and more.  Check out the schedule of events here.  They even have a winter camp for kids – next session starts next week.

Since our outing was a last minute “get out of the house” kind of thing, we just stopped by to walk around for a while and it was quite enjoyable.  Quiet, peaceful and beautiful. This bridge was a stop and stare kind of moment.


Dinner & A Movie

With a lot of time on everyone’s hand this week and next, and in honor of the Jewish Xmas tradition, I wanted to share information about the BEST movie theater in town – Paragon Grove at CocoWalk.

Full disclosure, I’ve worked with Paragon over the past two years, but in all honesty, I’m now addicted to the theater and all of its amenities (more on that).  More importantly, they just expanded their menu and upgraded four of their auditoriums to huge, VIP seats with tables- the Prestige Imports Premier.  You can eat in-theater, before, or after the movie.  With kids, this is a GREAT option – the menu features yummy and easy finger foods like burgers, wings, tacos, and flatbreads as well as really, really, good desserts (zebra popcorn…life-changing). FULL MENU. 

The already existing theater amenities include reserved seating (as in – pic your actual seat), and HD Sony 4k picture. (A note on HD – I used to argue with the owners of Paragon (male) that women don’t care about HD/technology stuff and we shouldn’t promote it so heavily.  Then, after seeing many movies at Paragon, I went to an old theater w/out HD.  Suddenly I felt like a baby with a pacifier yanked out of his mouth. I NEEDED it.  You’ll see).

I secured a feature for them on Deco Drive that explains it all – check it out this video.

Also, If you happen to be in the Broward area, their theater at Deerfield has a $2 kids holiday movie special right now – see details here.

You can see showtimes and reserve your tickets/seats at www.paragongrove.com.

Young at Art Museum

I recently got a membership to the Young at Art Museum in Davie, and I have to say, it is the BEST play/museum/activity place we have been to thus far. In ALL of Miami.

Last weekend, we went to their Winter Festival and had a great time playing in fake snow, seeing Santa (the kids were NOT into him), listening to a special musical drum performance, and making a Gingerbread House (I’ve mentioned before my craft issues, so you can guess – ours collapsed…apparently you are NOT supposed to ice the entire roof).

This was in addition their usual amazing offerings – a great play room for kids of all ages (the 1 year old loved it!), crafts, crawl spaces, etch and sketches, kids art to look at, and more.  I’ve now been three times and each time we only get to sample all there is to offer.

I couldn’t recommend this one more highly, definitely worth the drive, and if you live close enough, they also have after-school activities that seem great…


Holiday Gifts

Our kids are lucky enough to celebrate Chanukah and Christmas, which means, a WHOLE lotta gifts come their way.  While I love giving gifts, I’ve noticed the more I give the kids – well, the 3.5-year-old specifically, the more he kind of gets “used to” it and the less enjoyable it becomes.  How is the message of, “during the holidays,  you get more and and more and more” a good one? But, does focusing on the message too much kind of ruin the magical spirit of Xmas?  I never got Xmas as a kid, so I don’t really know the feeling of waking up to a million gifts, an overwhelming excitement permeating your entire being for a whole day (or even weeks leading up to it).  I always wanted that feeling, and I want to give it to my kids, but I also don’t want the spoiled-ness that comes along with it.  With all the suffering in the world, something just feels “ick” about piling more and more and more stuff into our childrens laps.  Even worse, my son seems almost immune to the excitement now – expecting gifts all the time and barely enjoying each one as he anticipates the next.

One of my thoughts was to take some focus off the whole superhero thing (his obsession) and give him something we could DO together.  I put together a big new art box with paper, paint, markers, etc. – all new supplies bundled into a great big box and presented it on the last night of Chanukah.  I’m ashamed to admit that tears sprung to my son’s eyes.  “But this isn’t what I thought you were going to give me, Mommy.” I resisted the urge to take away every single one of his previous gifts, I was so disgusted, and realized how much we had fed into this problem -constantly talking about Santa and elves and lists (I refuse to go to the “if you’re good you’ll get x,y,z and if you’re bad you won’t place…that’s too much), but we had fed into it nonetheless.

I told him that art was a special gift all its own because he could make ANYTHING with it.  And we sat down and painted together.  He painted Darth Vader (“well, it’s not exactly Darth Vader but it FEELS like him”), and I felt like I’d won a tiny victory.

We still have Xmas coming and I’m happy he is going to be peppered with fun, he deserves it, but next year I’d like to be a lot more cognizant of the message we send.  We also did some gift donating, of course, but I don’t think he quite gets it and to be honest, for a literal kid who has some anxiety, the talk of, “some kids aren’t lucky enough to get gifts, sometimes people don’t have enough food” did more harm than good.

So…I have no answers, and I’m not going to offer the cliched “make it more about experiences than gifts” routine, because I also know the magic of Xmas is something that means a lot to my husband, its something he works towards all year.  But we definitely need to strike a balance. I don’t want the holiday season to turn into an icky feeling of guilt for me OR a greedy/non-appreciative attitude for the kids.


Basel Best List

Four late nights in a row jumping between parties + Three days walking the streets of Sobe/Design District/Wynwood + endless hours looking for parking +  One baby still waking all night long + one 3.5 year old looking to start his day at 6 am, both thinking for some reason that I am their mother, here to provide them with love, care, attention, and food=ART BASEL 2012. Keep in mind this would not be my typical Art Basel life (I’m on couch in PJ’s by 8 pm most weekends) but I was on assignment for People Magazine.

Below, is my summary – with pix – of the best of Art Basel.  This was not taken from a motherly POV (i.e. wasn’t much to do for kids), but a fun wrap up nonetheless.  On that note, drum roll please…

Best Party Overall: SLS/Roberto Cavalli/Saks Bal Harbor/Rico Love Bday

I was lucky enough to cover Rico Love’s 30th Birthday Dinner at Katsuya, at the SLS Hotel, combined with a Saks Fifth Ave/Roberto Cavalli fashion show.  After a few days & nights of running between events, eating just little nibbles of food and splashes of alcohol, I was hungry.

The evening started with a cocktail party/red carpet and there was actually a generous amount of food being passed.

The fashion show (shockingly on time) – was suspended over the infinity pool – really cool looking, with some fun music to boot.  The dinner offered a plethora of family style food – from rock shrimp tempura to spicy tuna crispy rice to chicken, steak, sushi, and vegetables.

Nothing was left out. And while I wouldn’t quite consider Rico Love, Fat Joe, and Pharell and Diddy “my peeps”, it was really fun feeling their energy.  I also got to interview Kelly Rowland who is ADORABLE.  Jay Z and Beyonce were upstairs having a private dinner.  Click for my people article about the event.

Best Dessert: 

Valentino Cake pops – The Valentino Rooftop party on the Webster was short but sweet…literally.

The food was sparse BUT they handed out these cake pops which were seriously the best I have EVER had (not to mention adorable – they matched the Valentino polka dot resort wear).  I thought I was just starving, but when I saw the woman who works for Valentino the next day, she told me they tested hundred of pops to find the best one, and sent these down from NYC.  So I guess they were special!

Least Snooty place to see art: NADA Art Fair

NADA was at the The Deauville Beach Resort – an old, classic Miami Beach hotel.  My mom said she used to stay there with her family when she was a kid.  There is something comforting about a hotel that has stayed the same for 40 some-odd years (Granted, they could use a small facelift) but I hope they never go “glam”.

NADA was the perfect fit, this art fair is a “not-for-profit collective of professionals working with contemporary art. Our mission is to create an open flow of information, support, and collaboration within our field and to develop a stronger sense of community among our constituency. It is the only major American art fair to be run by a non-profit organization.”

The event was Free with free shuttle service from Miami Beach.  They Even had a public pool party.  AND, they have something for kids! For the first time, they brought their “Little Collectors” exhibit to the fair.  It’s for kids years 5 and up and looks like a great introduction to art for the little ones.  See their blog and info here:


So, next year if you feel at all intimated where to go/what to do and wonder if kids can be involved, be SURE to check this out!


I’ve seen a lot of events erected on the sand (The Food & Wine Festival is pretty amazing), but none quite like this.  It was a huge art gallery in the middle of the beach.  Walls, paintings, sculptures, the works.  For the first time around, they really had their stuff together.

Something to keep an eye on for next year! http://www.art-untitled.com/index.php/what/

Best Chill Out Spot: AD OASIS

Art Basel has a major interior design element, Design Miami, and Architectural Digest went with this theme when they set up the AD Oasis at the Raleigh- a luxurious retreat created for artists, designers, collectors, and VIPs…created by celebrated AD100 designer Mark Cunningham.  Guests of the exclusive destination included Kate Mara, Zosia Mamet, Jane Seymour, Scout Willis, Fabrizio Moretti, Mia Moretti, Rick Yune, Kai & Sunny.

 The space consisted of a lounge by day with a café, gallery and spa treatments until it was transformed nightly into a glittering hot spot.  I attended the opening night party with The Strokes DJ’ing, and it was definitely a fun, not at all pretentious, event (and they gave us flip-flops, which were an absolute savior after four hours in heels for my used-to-flip-flops-and-Toms only feet.

The Raleigh has always been one of my favorite Sobe Hotels – cool, classy, and beachy, with a true Deco feel.  So, it served as the perfect backdrop for this event. And of course, AD does nothing half-assed – so the design was pretty amazing.

Pix: Kate Mara & John Mara, Zosia Mamet of GIRLS


Best Celeb Run-In/Interview:  Christian Slater. My generation was an overlap of the John Hughes teen angst movies mixed with the Heathers/My So Called Life era. Christian Slater was the star of one my favorites, “Pump up the Volume” which I would watch over and over, wishing I led a way more badass life than my gifted program/ballet three times a week reality.  His character was such the perfect mix of mysterious bad boy with sensitive, Eddie-Vedder esque poet. I interviewed him because he was on a panel with Adrien Grenier for the Young Arts Foundation.

He was ADORABLE and told me a funny story about his whole Miami Voting controversy.  He was surprised by all the attention the issue got, and because he was new to Twitter, he had no idea how many people would respond.  In fact, he told me a few days later he was out walking his dogs and three huge SUVs approached him, swarmed by Paparazzi and he thought – “wow, this thing has gotten really big!”.  Turns out, Kim Kardashian was getting out of the van….

Best Outdoor Installation: Wynwood Walls

Wyndood Walls is Miami’s cutting-edge free outdoor street art museum featuring internationally renowned graffiti artists such as Kenny Scharf, Shepard Fairey, among others.  The installation was already in effect, but Basel brought it a lot of attention and they did a cool pop up shop during the weekend.


Best Food: Toro Toro, Intercontinental Hotel

The Intercontinental Miami showed off its $60 million renovation and 19-story digital canvas during a a large celebration.  ‘Entourage’ Star Jeremy Piven, Domestic Doyenne Martha Stewart and Photographer Patrick McMullan joined in the festivities.

The Celebration also Served as Grand Opening Soiree for Chef Richard Sandoval’s Critically-Acclaimed Restaurant and Lounge Concept, Toro Toro – which would explain why the food was delicious and plentiful!  The crowd feasted on a Pan Latin tasting menu prepared for the event, featuring: grill, anticuchos, ceviche and dessert stations throughout the lobby, as well as a tasting of the Latin spirits served at the Toro Toro bar.

Guests also experienced the newly installed Art Walls in the lobby, positioned around the hotel’s $20 million Henry Moore sculpture, The Spindle. The hotel presented its Art Basel showing with a New Media art show debuting three curated exhibits, as well as sculpture and 3D paintings.  The exhibits will run through January 31, 2013 and are free to the public and guests of the hotel. 

Art Basel

So, instead of posting a snarky “here are all the Art Basel parties you’re not invited to, sound much better on paper than they’ll be in person, and I/most normal people probably won’t end up going to” list, I figured I’ll post pics and post-event coverage for what I end up attending for your enjoyment (or not).  Maybe we’ll get a fun celeb sighting or two!

The event list seems to grow every year around Basel week.  Apparently, if you own an ice cream shop in the greater Miami area, you need to get a sponsor, throw a party, and claim it to be Art Basel related.  Not that I’m above it, I wish I could say I was only going to art installations and galleries but alas, I’m not.  Still, I feel like people should at least PRETEND there is an art element. I guess that’s what Arizona drinks/Lemon Fizz water is doing with their “event” by bringing in Richard Prince:

Renowned American painter and photographer Richard Prince of Nurse painting fame, will launch Lemon Fizz, a sparkling lemon soda designed with Iced tea company AriZona, during the 11th edition of Art Basel Miami Beach, taking place Dec. 6-9, 2012.  Lemon Fizz product and special edition tee-shirts will be available at over 50+ locations, including art fairs, galleries, hotels, bars, lounges and private parties. Those who wish to get in on the Art Basel sizzle are encouraged to follow @DrinkAriZona for more information on guest list access to private parties, complimentary pouring locations and product giveaways.

This partnership has shocked many and of course, been the recipient of a few snobby responses from the artiest arties, but I for one think it’s hysterical.  If you’re going to sell out, do it 100%, throw ten parties around it, and put an exclamation point on it. I think that’s what Richard Prince does best – he’s happy to be a part of pop culture entirely and makes no apologies for it…he even put a picture of himself on the can. No shame, no apologies, all promo.  He’s suddenly the Charlie Sheen of the art world. And I bet that’s EXACTLY what Arizona (and Prince) wanted.