Art Basel Miami, Go-Go Dancers, & Almost Getting Mugged
Mike and I flew to Florida on Saturday for our yearly family trip. Every December at around this time, my parents, and now Mike and I, meet up in Palm Beach and rent a bungalow on the beach. I’m very fortunate to have a super close relationship with my parents (and my brother Simon, who lives in Toronto), so it’s always a treat to hang with them for a week. Luckily, Mike gets along with them as if he was their own son.
On Sunday, we headed down to Art Basel in Miami to check out a couple of art exhibitions we love: Pulse and Scope. Just the two of them take at least six hours to go through, and are enough to exhaust me. There are so many shows going on during Art Basel that it’s a bit overwhelming. Some are exciting and some are underwhelming, and unless you have recommendations, it’s hard to know which ones to go to. If you have any recommendations for next year, please let me know!
South Beach is a rowdy place. It’s become a very commercial destination that lacks the warmth and character of many other vacation spots in this country. There’s an all-day aggressive party atmosphere that I wasn’t anticipating. It struck me as the kind of place people go when they’ve given up on finding their match on Grinder or Tinder. The streets are filled with people sucking on bowl-size margaritas, getting sloppy drunk and unabashedly gawking at naked go-go dancers who are shaking their backside to thumping club beats, seeking attention from anyone who cares to look.
Mike had a meeting with a client on Ocean Drive (ie. The Strip), so he left for an hour while we checked out the Scope art show, which is right on the beach in South Beach. As he was walking to the meeting, he walked by a guy in a hoodie (in 80 degree weather), sitting on a Pinkberry patio. He glanced at the guy and his native-New-Yorker-in-the-80’s crime-avoiding instincts kicked in when he saw that the guy was looking at him in a calculating way, like he was sizing Mike up. Mike kept walking, and when he got to Hotel Victor, where his meeting was, he asked where the washroom was and then walked down a hallway in the back. As he approached the bathroom door, he glanced behind him and saw the same guy in the hoodie, right behind him. He smiled and held the door open for the man in the hoodie, then watched to see if he went to a urinal or stall. He didn’t. He went directly to the sink and stood there, so instead of following him into the washroom, Mike turned around and left.
Meanwhile, over at Scope, the art was inspiring, and we were having a great time. But by about 7:30pm, after walking through art shows all day, we were getting tired so we left and went to Canyon Ranch Hotel & Spa. They have a great organic restaurant, with lots of healthy and gluten-free options. It was a great end to a really fun day.
When we arrived back at the bungalow, Dad surprised us with a stack of motivational books he’d bought for us, since I just started this blog, and Mike’s working on a book about Socially Responsible Investing (making money while investing in responsible companies.) The books he got us are: Handling the Truth, Writer’s Manual, Write it Right, Building Great Sentences, and You Can’t Make This Stuff Up. So sweet! I’m, admittedly, still getting used to blog writing, and especially video (as a newbie, I still feel fairly uncomfortable on video, but hopefully that’ll change as I gain more experience), so maybe these books will help the words flow with more natural ease.
What are your Art Basel or Miami travel tips?