Hope with friends at Capponi's birthday party.

The final sun set on our 40th President, Ronald Reagan last week.  George Will of the Washington Post wrote this about the man whose smile was his philosophy:
“He understood that when Americans have a happy stance toward life, confidence flows and good things happen. They raise families, crops, and cultural values; they settle land, make deserts bloom, destroy tyranny.  Reagan in his role made vivid the values, particularly hopefulness and friendliness, that give cohesion and dynamism to this continental nation.”
       Reagan got to office and said, "This is fun.  Let's saddle up and go for a ride."

As summer shines, take time for a joyride like our 40th President did.
The heat turns up a few notches in the summer in Miami, but the activities do not seem to slow down a bit. We have become a year-round destination and home to many 365 days.Some locals start commuting from Miami to the Hamptons, while the international jet set hop over to St. Tropez, Marbella and Sardinia and numerous other hotspots on their yachts.But Miami still remains their home of choice.

I hope to be having some strawberries and cream with the Wimbledon set in London later this month. I will showcase our endless sunshine and myriads of real estate options for Londoners to purchase in Miami at bargain prices with the pound so strong and London prices going through the roof.

And how about an Indian POW WOW to sell real estate? Don't come as you are, but come as your favorite Indian chief or princess. That was the theme at a party on Indian Creek Island that I helped orchestrate for developer, John Turchin to show off the original Woolworth estate next to Julio Iglesias home. Many Big Bulls and Pocahontas' showed up to our afternoon feast where guests grazed on alligator nuggets, turkey legs and corn on the cob outside their teepees.

The expat flavor of the month is Vietnamese. I met my first transplant from Vietnam; an elegant lady who met her husband during the war and has never looked back. She now lives in high style in the Murano in South Beach. It was Memorial Day weekend and those of us that stayed in town, tried to stay away from the masses that invaded our turf. Thus, I ended up at my friend's new Penthouse in the Murano Grande where a slew of neighbors were treated to his new bartending skills. His concoctions seemed to have far more kick than what you swallow at the local lounge. That lead our jolly group into an impromptu game of "Truth or Dare". As the liquor cabinet got depleted, the dares became more daring... Honestly, it was one of the best nights "out on the town" I have had in a long time with good friends and clean fun!

Being on the Board of my Neighborhood Association, I attend meetings on the nuances of our neighborhood. At the last meeting, I was pleasantly surprised when we were addressed by our local Miami Beach Police officers. They were an amazingly handsome, fit and articulate group of gentlemen. Of course, those nice crisp tightly fitted uniforms add to the appeal. Several years ago, I had been one of the judges for thefirst Firefighters Calendar of South Florida. They had heard that I had created the FABIO calendars. Well, I am personally ready to volunteer to help produce the first Miami Beach police calendar. May I have something strong to hang on my walls in 2005!

Another group of locals that I am quite proud of are the architects that are Cornell Architecture School alums. Cornell is my alma mater so I am entitled to bragging rights. I was a Design Major and never really knew the architecture students. Their school was hidden away just below the I.M.Pei Museum of Art on campus. They arrived never to be seen again for 5 years.But now they are emerging as shining stars in Miami.There are 3 quite diverse Cornell architects that I have had the pleasure of meeting this year. First is the young turk, Chad Oppenheim who is taking the town by storm. His award-winning loft projects are soon to appear everywhere. He will certainly leave a lasting impression on the Miami skyline. Next, there is the cute and bubbly Alison Spear who made a lot of noise for the Design District when she designed the Holly Hunt showroom. Today, she has numerous high-profile real estate projects in the works.And then there is Alan Shulman who should be lauded for all of his outstanding work in historic preservation. He is the man about town that knows how to balance the old with the new and transform landmark buildings into millennium outposts.

Along with architecture, the art world in Miami is bringing us a new breed of celebrities. This past weekend I hosted the opening of an exhibition titled Divas created by Argentine pop artist, Febe Defelipe. Only in Miami does a show on Fox TV like Deco Drive send out drag queens to cover the diva scene. And the respectable New York Times recently said "Miami has gone bonkers about arts". My newest discovery is artist Joseph Golinski who just graduated from University of Miami and debuted his thesis show in May. He may be young chronologically, but he has an old and deep soul and a body that is well-traveled that he shares in his artwork. He is a rising star that will skyrocket rapidly. And his model good looks along with his funky style sensibility will certainly not hold him back. I showcased two life-size steel horses he created at an Art Basel Miami event at Dot Fiftyone gallery where Febe's Divas are now on display.

Speaking of combining fashion and art, last month I was on the committee for the Sixth Annual Fashion Art Ball held in the historic Alfred I. Dupont building in downtown Miami benefiting Cystic Fibrosis.Young fashion talents like Julian Chang and Lei Marco had models strut their stuff while a variety of artists from Anastasia to Romero Britto auctioned their art all for a good cause.

BEWARE: Miami is becoming the Cultural Capital of the Americas!

Miami is HOT HOT HOT literally and figuratively on the beach and on the bay and downtown and uptown and soon midtown where a city within a city will be built. MAD, the newly coined Miami Arts District where the $370 million Performing Arts Center is the centerpiece has endless choices for real estate investments - new lofts, old lofts, vintage lofts, glass high-rise towers, converted condo complexes with sexy new names, art deco homes...

A May Miami Herald article with headline RED-HOT HOUSING MARKET SURGES excerpt:

"Sales of existing South Florida homes last month posted their biggest gains since September, despite soaring prices and rising mortgage rates", the Florida Association of Realtors announced. Resales of single-family homes were up 19% in Miami-Dade County."Part of what we are seeing now is fence jumping from people wanting to buy a home before interest rates move higher, "National Association of Realtors economist declared.Developers, real estate agents, lenders and others bank on South Florida to extend its streak as one of the hottest real estate markets in the country.Rising mortgage rates are predicted, butthey are still the lowest rates in 30 years."

So remember to contact me if you are tempted to buy or sellin this sizzling hot summer season!It is time to get off the fence and go for a ride in this wild marketplace.Ronnie would have it no other way!May he rest in peace.

Summer Smiles,


** check out my article on Latin Developers in the July issue of WHERE MIAMI  magazine.  It will show you just how bullish all the developers I talked to are.  They all see no end in sight for Miami.  WHERE MIAMI is distributed in major hotels or online at: www.where-miami.com **