Hope at ISLAND in Athens
As the winds picked up this time of year, not only a hurricane or 4 blew through our lands, but many rowdy regattas offshore. But remember:


This is the title of a new mini documentary produced by Emilio Estefan, Jr. with common folk like Gloria Estefan and Shaquille O'Neal testifying to that!

It has been 118 years since 4 hurricanes hit one state in a season. The last time was 1886 when Florida's population was mostly birds and alligators. Now Miami has P Diddy's and J Lo's living along its coastlines and MTV awards a plenty, but luckily no hurricane touchdowns in the Magic City!

Have no fear! Miami's here!

Even Dorothy and Toto would be pleased to return to our Magic City from Oz. Recently a Cuban woman desperately wishing to be here, shipped herself to Miami in a tiny crate along with a jug of water and made it. Better her, than the Super Size Me guy who ate nothing but McDonalds for 30 days and did a documentary about it...gaining 18 pounds, sustaining liver damage and ruining his sex life! replica watches

WE'RE ALIVE read the headline of a recent edition of the Sunpost.

  Hope and Cindy with waiters at ISLAND in Athens
"Most people work at dying. I work at living. It's a pain in the ass".
Jack LaLanne, fitness pioneer stated as he turned 90 last month.

"You have to eat right and exercise. Most people when they reach a certain age, let down and talk about what they used to do. Well, who gives a damn about what you used to do? It's what you're doing now."

And Richard Avedon, a celebrated fashion photographer who passed away at 81 this month after a career spanning over 50 years, wrote in his autobiography
"People --- running from unhappiness, hiding in power --- are locked within their reputations, ambitions, beliefs."

The 69 year old Dalai Lama who recently visited Miami, had this Buddhist philosophy to share:
"All suffering arises from misunderstanding the nature of self. By viewing the self as permanent and disconnected from the rest of reality, people become attached to their bodies and as a result suffer as they undergo sickness, old age and death. By understanding the self as impermanent and transitory, spiritual seekers can gradually overcome their attachment and attain nirvana or relief from suffering."

  Hope with drag queen Barbarella at Deco Drive party
The Noble Peace Laureate shared his views on achieving world peace through inner peace.
"Until our mind becomes gentler, the human intelligence can always find some means of violence."

Remarking on the true meaning of happiness, the Dalai Lama says:
"I believe happiness is not necessarily the feeling of pleasure, but deep satisfaction within oneself."

Sure it is nice to have inner peace to reach nirvana, but having a few extra bucks never hurt either. As the Guinness World Records turns 50 in 2005, it shows how the world has changed in 50 years in their anniversary edition book...for example the most expensive bottle of wine in 1955 was $22 and in 2005 is $64,000. Well, the extra buckaroos are needed to dine with fine wine in 05!

And it seems to be getting crowded at the top as the rich keep getting richer. We now have 313 billionaires in the U.S., the largest number ever and an increase from 262 last year. The Fortune 400 combined net worth is $1 trillion, a rise of $45 billion. Florida's leader is Palm Beach boy, John Kluge of Metro Media fame at $11billion, then Bal Harbour guy, Mickey Arison of Carnival Cruises at $5.3 billion and our biggest dollar loser is Miami native, Jeffrey Bezos of Amazon at $4.3 billion (dropping $800 million this year). Topping the chart again this year is Bill Gates of Microsoft with $48 billion.

  Hope with artists Eszter Gyory & Osiris
And on Fortune's 40 richest under 40 list, Miami has P.Diddy, Jennifer Lopez and Shaquille O'Neal. Number 1 on the list is Michael Dell. And more young and attractive female entertainers like the Olsen twins are on the list plus Britney Spears and Julia Roberts. Tiger Woods may be on the list and lucky enough to marry a Swedish model this month and honeymoon aboard Privacy. But the U.S. Coast Guard showed no preferential treatment and may even fine him $32,000 for not following the rules at sea...he learned the hard way that he was not on his course.

Soon all these big bucks boys and girls can buy a SMART little car in America. I noticed these cute cars last summer in St Tropez. They are made in "smartville" in Hambach, France by Daimler Chrysler. Smart for Two as they are called, will be imported by Zap. Daimler Chrysler doesn't think there will be enough Smart buyers in America.

I saw these smart cars again in SARDINIA this summer winding all those sharp S curves along the hilly coastline. I would welcome being a Smart car owner in Miami. I was in Porto Cervo for the Maxi Yacht Rolex Regatta. I considered myself not only smart, but lucky for placing myself at the right place at the right time. Porto Rotondo was celebrating it's 40th anniversary when European kings and queens first arrived to bask in the sun, sand and sea here. I came in Sept 2004, when 31 maxi sailing yachts arrived in the harbor with testosterone-filled vessels of 18 crew members each. That's about 600 tanned, successful sailors from around the world with very few women in site. A ratio of 600 to 1 is not bad for a single South Beach babe in Sardinia. In Miami, the reverse ratio of 600 perfect bodied blonde babes to 1 available Playboy is usually the norm. The captains of the boats were also captains of industry...Roy Disney, Harry Macklowe, L'Oreal CEO, Lindsey Jones, Wally CEO, Luca Bassani... lots of big boys competing with their big toys. Luca who I discovered was an icon in the yachting world, invited me onto his $25 million Wally power yacht - looked like something out of Star Wars. While staying on this beautiful island, I received the royal treatment at the Starwood luxury hotel properties, Pitrizzia and Cala di Volpe.

And prior to the Rolex round at sea, I was the spoiled guest of the youngest Ferretti yacht owner sailing around the GREEK ISLANDS. This 28 years young Onassis-like humble mogul looked more like an Argentine polo player to me. No complaints on my part. Athens has been transformed into a super cool, hip cultural and sophisticated city. The Island restaurant/lounge on the waterfront put South Beach spots to shame. The setting, the decor, the food, the service and the gorgeous Greek men won me over. Athens gets an A+ on my report card. The Greek Gods have blessed the place for their Olympic year. It only took them about 3000 years.

  Hope with Eszter's sculpture
Now back on the American Riviera, the real estate boom has NOT bust. The day after the last hurricane, I received multiple full price cash offers for condos I had for sale on Ocean Drive. I thought it was going to be a slow day. Oranges are no longer the Sunshine state's bumper crop. Real estate is! According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 900 new citizens come to Florida each day. And if the Free Trade (FTAA) gets headquartered in Miami, that local number will skyrocket. By 2024, Florida is set to surpass New York in population. Domestic baby boomers are flocking here and internationals from Latin America and even more to come in the future from Europe. Playboys who once wanted to own model agencies, now find it sexy to be real estate
 developers. In addition to new construction everywhere, old buildings are going through a condo conversion. And now even commercial buildings are being converted to condos. So now you can live in a condo you own, work in a condo you own or buy a combo live/work space be it a loft or transformed building of some sort. Whatever...the economical thing to do now is BUY NOT RENT your live and/or work space.

My picks of the month for pre-construction condos are Apogee, Onyx 2, 900 Biscayne Bay, 50 Biscayne and Tivoli. If a true loft is your cup of tea, I have the most spectacular one just for you...super cool, totally redone 8000sf space in the Arts District for just over $1mil. The artist couple, Eszter Gyory & Osiris have just sold their amazing live/work space and are headed to Sri Lanka. We bid them farewell at a wonderful art party at their place

Well, the first new club to open for the season gets an A for effort in my book. In downtown Miami, PAWN SHOP opened its doors without changing a bit of its original exterior. We buy gold, silver...still adorns the outside walls. The inside however, has been transformed into a kitschy klub complete with its very own bright yellow school bus that now serves as the VIP room. And an airstream trailer with VIP tables. Plus, airplane seats are available if the bus or trailer are too retro for you. A buffed blonde mechanic named Scooter served me my wine and made me smile.

Columbus may have discovered America, but Miami discovered the COLUMBUS DAY REGATTA. This is actually not a regatta, but a rendezvous of hundreds upon hundreds of boats of all shapes and sizes. They all head South to congregate in one spot offshore and party like only Miamians can for 48 hours straight. Well, not exactly straight, but with cocktail filled stomachs soaking in the sunshine while throwing Mardi Gras beads onto babes or squirting the male competition with oversized toy squirt guns. At night, it becomes a floating city/nightclub. I was a virgin regatta girl til this year.

  Columbus Regatta regalia
I had heard the stories of excessive nudity and drunken partiers...but the 2004 version was toned down to good clean, wholesome fun. Day 1, I ventured out on an offshore power cat named Rodeo and that was a wild ride. Day 2 was a bit more sophisticated on a 50 foot Phantom named Spooz with all sorts of attractive passengers.

Get ready for the 45th Annual Ft Lauderdale Boat Show, the world’s largest. There you will find more than $1.6 billion worth of boats from dinghies to 200 foot superyachts. South Florida is the winter yachting capital of the world. So if you don’t have your boat…shop til you drop this weekend and stay afloat!

Now I am pleased to announce that I am truly a ONE STOP SHOP for all of your LUXURY it a luxury yacht, private jet, mansion, loft, penthouse, estate, country home or private the U.S. or abroad. My areas of specialization are Miami, Aspen, Greece, Sardinia, St Tropez, Cannes, Monaco and Marbella. I have you covered with Ferrettis, Wallys and Blue Star Jets (any jet, any time, any place) plus the most exquisite residences here or abroad. Not to mention, V.I.P. access to all the hottest places and parties.

So if you gotta regatta, give me ring!

May the tradewinds blow gently in your direction and may all of the galeforce winds be blown away by Glenda the good witch.


Safe Sailing Ahead,


* Look for my articles on Sardinia and sailing the Greek Islands in the October Boat Show issue of INTERNATIONAL YACHTSMAN magazine.

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