Spring is a season for cleaning, cleansing, resurrecting…

The Miami nondenominational house of worship, UNITY says it best:
“To be resurrected is to rise again. It is to be lifted up in thought, feeling and deed. It is to overcome doubt and fear. It is to consciously know that we can begin again in any and all areas of our lives. Know matter what you are experiencing in the world, your soul is totally free to solve any problem, surmount any challenge, express any quality of nature inherent in you – be it love, joy, wholeness, abundance or beauty.”

On that note, I hope you all find time for some positive Spring soul cleaning!

Aussie actor, Mel Gibson brings us PASSION this season making himself a few hundred mil in the process. Not bad for a story in the public domain. Good going mate! You never know what your efforts will bear.

The charity season has also been abundant this year. I gravitate to those that benefit children. From Best Buddies Midnight in the Garden hosted by Anthony Shriver to Jackson Metropolitans’ Fashion Fete to benefit Holtz Children’s hospital … it is nice to see South Beach scenesters who are all children at heart, act adult and open their wallets for some good causes. Volunteering your time is equally admirable. Since so many of us are single, why not become at least a Big Brother or Big Sister and nurture a child in your spare time. I was pleasantly surprised when I told one of my bachelor friends about BBBS (Big Brothers, Big Sisters organization) and he actually became one. So all of the South Beach singles are not soulless after all!

As for a South Beach moment, I was walking home alongside the Miami Beach golf course this week and was picked up by a golf cart driver. How’s that for a free ride! And the scenery and company was great. I met the course pro and am now motivated to take up golf again.

Another interesting Miami phenomena, whenever I meet one expat from a country, I then meet hordes of them. This month was Greek month for me. Met my first South Beach Greek and now I am meeting them all, eating Greek salads and drinking Greek wine – OPA! Try that Greek taverna on Ocean Drive for a garlic plate throwing fest. You too can have your own Greek experience on our sunny shores without having to attend the Athens Olympics.

I missed Jimbo’s 80th or so birthday and was told it was a mega splash – 3000 of his closest friends, sailors and harley bikers stopped by to wish him well and drink from the complimentary kegs at this fisherman’s outpost off Key Biscayne. So the following Sunday, I stopped by to check it out – better late than never. Quite a colorful scene in Nowhereville, not to be confused with Stiltsville.

South Beach is hip again! And I am not the only one proclaiming that. Seems the highly respectable New York Times has declared that in its Sophisticated Traveler magazine this Spring. Also, a Miami Herald March headline boldly stated "Cool South Beach suddenly hot again…South Beach’s hip scene sputtered when the superstars and the models started moving away. But today the famous and the impossibly long-legged are decorating the VIP rooms again". And hip hotelier Andre Balazs, owner of the Raleigh remarks, "Miami is a big league city now…There are three serious cities in America. New York, LA and Miami. Every day, Miami becomes a city with a more complex social and cultural life. What makes a great cultural metropolis is the mix. Miami has that". Uma Thurman hangs poolside at The Raleigh Hotel to be near her beau, Balazs. The town is swarming again with hipsters and the jetsetters and 7 figure condos fly off the market in days. The money and sophistication has relanded here. Events like Art Basel and the Wine & Food Festival have attracted the wealthy international travelers while the Winter Music Conference brings the best dj’s on the planet to us.

Modelmania is also back on our American Riviera and shoots galore thanks to the strong euro and hip factor here. Michele Pommier is back in force. And even, I couldn’t resist reentering the biz. With a few megamodels under my belt, I am ready to launch another superstar. Enter adorable Anton, the sweet Swede that will follow in countryman, Marcus Schenkenberg’s footsteps if I have anything to say about it. With a full athletic and academic scholarship in the USA, he brings us brains and brawn...babes beware!

Even the Donald as in TRUMP is on the firing line again. Who would think he could self-promote to an even greater degree. The APPRENTICE has brought his mystique to the masses on a weekly basis on the boobtube. And now everyone wants to be his apprentice. I guess being an intern is out of vogue and apprentice is in. Even Miami Beach babe, Katrina Campins has received her fifteen minutes of fame from this reality show. And the new Trump condos in Sunny Isles may even become a brand of desire through the power of television.

Or if pink slips were what you were looking for, you could have found them during Spring break. A Victoria Secret launch of PINK, a new lingerie line geared to teens was featured on the beach to drooling college kids under the blazing sun.

Besides the Nasdaq tennis and the Davis Cup, the competition I found most unique this season was the IKE (International Kissing Event) that takes place under water and the winners must be really good at holding their breath and kissing at the same time.

The other major competition of the season was the war of the ropes. As in velvet. Level became Mansion and Spi became State while Pooch left Nikki’s for Raleigh and Cappponi appeared and disappeared at the Ritz while staying at Prive and holding court at Mansion. Confused…when the music stops, those holding guard change posts and the names change, and so do where the scenesters can be scene on any given Sunday or Saturday or Tuesday...

Get ready for Alaska coming to Miami Beach! Only a city as hot as Miami Beach, can bring the glacier state to its beaches to cool it off. And none other than, developer extraordinaire, Jorge Perez can move Indians off our shores to make room for his Alaska (aka the latest, greatest condo highrise to rise on the Southern tip of South Beach). And NYC price tags will be placed on this Alaska parcel to hit the selling block next Fall.

Likewise, luxury home developer, John Turchin with my buddy designer, Dado are raising the bar along with the price tag. They will be offering the most unique waterfront spec homes on the most private island of them all, Indian Creek for a mere $30-40mil. Buddy up with Mel to borrow some major dough so you may become the proud owner of one of these one-of-a-kind mansions. With ticket sales still skyrocketing for PASSION, and the history of Hanukah coming next holiday season, Mr. Gibson has plenty of spare change. Or if you and Mel don’t strike a deal, then try your luck at the velvet rope and maybe a door god will let you into the Mansion for a few hours. Heck, a t-bill at the door may buy a night at the mansion if your budget does not have all the zeroes required for an Indian Creek estate.

May your Spring cleaning dust your soul from the busy season. And perhaps, reveal some long lost coins that you can contribute to your next condo or home purchase in South Florida. As always, contact me when you are ready to buy or sell a slice of the Miami pie.

Happy Spring,


** check out my lead feature article in the April issue of LINCOLN ROAD MAGAZINE. "Miami By Design" – it provides an overview of the history of the Design District and Wynwood and the emerging art scene and real estate movement.**