"I think that this next election will not only determine the future of the United States of America, but the world,"
said filmmaker Spike Lee while in Miami who is supporting the Kerry-Edwards presidential ticket.
Spike was in town for another party I attended. This party was for his wife, Tonya Lewis Lee, co-author of the new book, Gotham Diaries.
The sunny disposition of the Democratic Vice Presidential candidate, John Edwards took in $1million in the sunshine state during his recent visit. In this election Edwards says the American people are going to embrace the politics of hope. " Florida, as you well know, decides who the next president of the United States will be. Our campaign will be about real American values. Not the things that divide us, but the things that unite us." Edwards pledged that Kerry would improve frayed ties with U.S. allies around the world. "Don't the American people deserve a commander in chief who will lead the world, not bully it?" said John Edwards
Not only do we have a charismatic and handsome VP candidate running for office...now we even have P. Diddy getting in on the act to make voting fashionable! He is recruiting sexy people to entice us to vote.
And recently another local politician, Miami Mayor Manny Diaz was campaigning in the Big Apple on behalf of our sunny city of Miami. He touted Miami's success and potential for greatness. He was in NYC talking to a think tank documenting Miami's transformation into a stable metropolis attracting healthy amounts of new residents and investments. A Miami Herald writer recently commented, "All around us high-rises shoot upwards as Miami Manhattanizes. Developers are our economy's new rock stars." They have magically kept our economy healthy. "Why do we want parks? Because parks make great cities. Why do we want a great city? Because we're going to attract new people, it's part of this overall concept and vision" said Mayor Diaz.
Recently some new players in town, Africa Israel Investments, bought a $130 million dollar package of land downtown that they will develop into a $1.5 billion dollars worth of projects. This gives them the ability to shape the future of downtown Miami as it shifts from a commercial district to one filled with highrise condominium towers. According to the Downtown Development Authority approximately 16,000 new residential units are in the works in the urban corridor stretching from the Brickell neighborhood to the Performing Arts Center.
And now New Yorkers can hop on any one of 24 Jet Blue flights daily to Ft Lauderdale from either Laguardia or JFK airports. Service starts September 17 just as their Hamptons tans have faded and a weekend in Miami is in order to touch up their glow. In between beach time and club time, it is mandatory for all New Yorkers to shop around for their new place in the sun - ready made or pre-construction which means for the next 18 months you still need to reserve your suite at the Delano or the Shoreclub.
Miami just landed its biggest literally and figuratively new resident of all - Shaquille O'Neil at 7'1" and 340 pounds. Welcome to the MIAMI HEAT! He is sure to set the town a sizzle with his star power... we have already had the local welcome wagon greet this giant with all the bells and whistles and fanfare before he has even lifted a basketball. "I look forward to coming down there and helping Miami become the media mecca of the world," said O'Neil.
Basketball may be full of HEAT this upcoming season, but the football season has just been dealt a bad hand as Dolphins local superstar running back, Ricky Williams has decided to retire at the ripe age of 27. He declares he is finally free and out to discover himself as he boards a plane to Asia.
Well, you win some and you lose some. That is the game of life. Miami just won another biggy, the MTV Awards. For the first time ever in its 21 year history, these awards will not be in LA or NYC, but in the Magic City, Miami. "Sparkling waterways, world-famous nightclubs and the region's growing hipness were just part of the draw," said city officials. Miami will welcome more celebrities than ever before and many will arrive on the red carpet for the first time by boat...very Miami vice!
Talking about boating, Miami also has a proposal for a $400 million dollar megayacht marina complex to be built at Watson Island. So Miami will soon have docks for those 80 foot or larger yachts along with their million or billionaire owners coming to have fun in the sun here.
Then the following day, the Raleigh Hotel beckoned with the squirt gun they sent me in the mail requesting my presence at an afternoon pool party. Ah...the good life in Miami. Where else in the world are you invited with your very own squirt gun...only in Miami do they require that we never grow up. And all week long we were asked to attend the bikini fashion shows to preview the latest 2005 trends in swimwear - I'm sure all of my male friends just hated having to watch the scantily clad model babes tiptoe down the runway.
Art parties are the new in vogue place to be in Miami. The second Saturday walks in Wynwood or the second Thursday walks in the Design District now attract the trendoids. Recently, I attended an event at the Poltrona Frau furniture showroom for my Italian artist friend, Emanuelle Viscuso. His sculptures which he calls Solid Music were on display. And I thought I was a good networker...Viscuso takes the award for knowing better than anyone, how to promote himself. Bravo!
My new flavor of the month is Danish. Yes, I do like danishes...but this is the Viking variety - no cherry or cheese filling here. Met my first Danish in Miami at where else, a South Beach club opening. I have heard how fashionable and chic Copenhagen is. Well now I may have a tourguide.
I had the opportunity to interview Formula 1 race car champion, Eddie Irvine this past week. He now lives in an exotic Balinese home designed by my architect friend Dado. Eddie is a cool cat... totally a self-made man! This recently retired Playboy has all the babes and toys to keep him preoccupied for many years to come. Actually, he is a real estate maven and thinks Miami has a great future and is the place to invest. His eyes are always wondering not just on model material, but on property to buy and flip.
With reality shows all the rage in America, I actually auditioned for two of them. First, I was lured by the fantasy of traveling around the world with British entrepreneur and founder of Virgin Records for the new Richard Branson show. Then the Apprentice show...I got emails and calls from around the world telling me to show up so I had no choice. I don't think I will be on the firing line anytime soon, but I actually had fun and met some interesting folks at the audition.
I'm proud to mention that the Indian POW WOW party I worked on in Indian Creek Island this past Spring was named in the Sunpost Best of the Beaches issue as the best theme party to sell real estate. When you are selling property in the $20 and $30 million dollar range, you better camouflage the price tag with Indian costumes and teepees and feed the buyers lots of firewater!
Forbes new edition of the most expensive homes in the United States places a $75 million dollar Bridgehampton estate in New York at the top of the list. In South Florida we have no shortage of $30 million dollar properties or buyers in that range. The newest entry in our region is the waterfront mansion of Julio Inglesias on Indian Creek Island in Miami for $32 million. His home is next to the POW WOW property for sale - 3 lots for sale at $12 million apiece - what a steal! Or if you want a custom home on the lot then that pushes the price up to $28 million. Just let me know your preference!
If your wallet is not that thick, well then I have a bargain for you starting at $2.5 million for a 3000 square foot waterfront pre-construction condo in South Beach. This developer is saving the best for last. This is the last parcel of land to be developed at South Pointe and only available for friends and family. So if you are a friend or family member of mine, just fedex that $2.5 million dollar check to me and I will be sure to save you one of the last luxury spots in sunny South Beach. And I must receive that check within 30 days..if you snooze you lose. Only those in the know can live in Apogee.
Or if that is still to steep, then just send a check to the man you wish to be elected as the next president of the United States of America. And may the best man win in November.
Rock the Vote,