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!

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. 

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