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Travels With Couri: Artful Miami

Tuesday, December 6, 2016
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The Mission

This is the first in a series of posts on the comings and goings of the rich and powerful. We will travel to all the premier watering holes, take you, dear reader, to the best parties and rank them on a scale of 1 to 10. We will shine a spotlight on the best hotels, restaurants, nightclubs and people in the world. Please join us, from to time to time, on AVENUE’s new web-exclusive spinoff of Social Safari: Travels with Couri.

Miami Art Week

It was a tad hot and sticky in Miami during this year’s top art fairs: Art Basel, Art Miami, Art Context and Art Aqua, so one needed to chart one's week to be near the cool ocean breezes. Leonardo DiCaprio, Madonna, Steven Cohen, Venus Williams, Howard Lorber, Dasha Zhukova, Leo Villareal and Yvonne Force, A-Rod, Janna Bullock and her daughter Eugenia, Leesa Voron and her son Daniel, Paris Hilton, Michael Strahan, Nina Agdal, Fox News’s Kimberly Guilfoyle, designers to the rich and richer, Tony Ingrao and Randy Kemper and others of that ilk and stripe kept their hair picture perfect despite the horrid humidity. Barbra Streisand and her husband James Brolin were spotted at the Art Basel preview looking at Picassos while Jon Bon Jovi was checking out blue chip artists and Bernie Taupin’s Flag collages at Art Miami.

The 1 Hotel South Beach: City’s Hot New Hotel

Where you stay when you travel says a lot, about who you are. All rooms are not created equally, so it's imperative to book the right hotel and the right room;one with a view. The rule is simple; if you don’t look out your windows and see an identifiable landmark , then get a better room or a better hotel. In Miami Beach, there are a lot of hotels, and as long as you are on Collins Avenue and face the ocean, you’re okay. But why settle for okay, when you can be in paradise. This year's prime pick was 1 Hotel South Beach. This luxurious, green-focused, environmentally-friendly oasis, built by Richard Lefrak is surely the place to see and be seen this season. My spacious white and beige suite had a balcony facing the ocean, a living room, dining table and a kitchen. (The latter was a whimsical touch in a restaurant-obsessed city.)  There is also a $20 million duplex penthouse and other spectacular apartments you can buy to display the Andy Warhol and Keith Haring paintings you bought at the fairs.

The Weeks 10 Best Parties

  1. Madonna’s Tears of a Clown concert and benefit for Raising Malawi at the Faena Forum, a hot new event venue, took the top prize for fun, performance and mischief. Sean Penn gleefully handcuffed his ex-wife on stage saying, “As Americans we’re used to serving either a queen or a clown but I’m used to doing both. The Material girl shot back “I think I love you more now than when we were married.” Dear, dear Madonna. The $5,000 ticket didn’t guarantee you a seat, but who stands when Madge sings? For $150,000, you got a table of ten with chairs. In the room: Leo DiCaprio, Chris Rock, Ariana Grande, Jeremy Scott, David Blaine, Adriana Lima and Courtney Love to name but a few. By the end of the night, $7.5 million was raised. Check out my February column in print for the full story of what just might prove to be the Party of the Year.

  2. Real estate tycoon, Aby Rosen and his wife Samantha Boardman delivered a sizzling soirée at The Dutch. Guests included Elle Macpherson, Julie Macklowe, Guy Oseary, Allison Sarofim and Nick Acquavella. Among those dancing at the after party hosted by Stavros Niarchos and Vito Schnabel were Mr. Brainwash, Princess Noor Pahlavi, Rosario Dawson, Asia Chow and Claudine DeNiro.

  3. Paloma Picasso was toasted  at the1 Hotel pool for 35 years of designing jewelry for Tiffany. Guests included Google’s Eric Schmidt, Tico and Colby Mugrabi, Princess Eugenie, Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Dr. Eric Thevenet, Christopher Brant, Shelly and Vincent Fremont, Andrea Franchini, Dan Duray, Kelly Brant, Christina Monfredi and Dylan Brant.

  4. Bruce Weber and Nan Bush launched the newest addition to their book series, All-American XV1. The event was hosted by Jason Binn and boasted a seemingly endless parade of beautiful models, the men that love them, yummy sushi and a long list of co-hosts that included Alexa Greenfield, Audrina Patridge, Hollie Watman, Jonathan Greller, Karolina Kurkova and Miami Beach Mayor Philip Levine.

  5. P. Diddy’s fanny basher at Rockwell was where the crowd that likes to party late did that. Puff Daddy showed up at 3:30am to rock the house with Kenny “The Jet" Smith, Tyson Beckford and Chris Paciello.

  6. The opening of Nick Korniloff's edgy Art Aqua is an inspired concept. The Aqua Hotel is emptied of all its furniture and every room becomes a gallery. What made this intriguing was that almost all the artists were in their rooms talking about their art. One of Jay-Z's favorite artists, Hebru Brantley, sold briskly at the Vertical Gallery during the opening. Last year, the rapper and music mogul snapped up a multiple face painting entitled "Everyone's Scared" by the hot 32-year old and had him personally deliver it to his hotel. Also, making buzz was the glass artist Banjo, who showed functional bongs at Grey Space Art. Among the guests were Paper Factory Hotel owner, Gal Sela, attorney Brad Gerstman and event planner Harriette Rose Katz. A young crowd mixed and mingled into the night.

  7. Jon Bon Jovi played an intimate concert at the Faena Hotel. Among those tapping their toes were Donna Karen, Andy Cohen and Calvin Klein.

  8. Architectural Digest’s editor-in-chief, Amy Astley, hosted a glamorous dinner at the Delano Hotel in celebration of their partnership with Art Production Fund (APF) to present their Tenth Annual Artist Towel Series being sold at the Delano’s gift shop. Guests included Martha StewartTony Ingrao and Randy Kemper, Amy Sacco, Colby Mugrabi, Kyle DeWoody and Yvonne Force Villareal.

  9. The Bass Museum’s Silvia Karman Cubina, Phillips Auction House and Stefano Tonchi, editor-in-chief of W, gave a dinner at Mr. Chow’s in honor of Ugo Rondinone’s “Miami Mountain" project. Among those chowing down were Yvonne Force and her husband Leo Villareal (the cover boy and girl on the December issue of AVENUE)and Jean Pigozzi.

  10. Lisa Fayne Cohen hosted a party at Casa Fendi where she curated an exhibit and flew all of the artwork from New York on her private plane. She also had one of her James Rosenquist paintings (worth seven figures) brought in from her house in Palm Beach. Guests viewed the huge canvas from behind velvet ropes with a guard on either side. Laura Kimpton installed a 20-foot sculpture of the word love in rainbow letters at the entrancel; it was last seen at Burning Man. The rain sent 400 guests running for cover at 11, just as the police arrived to break up the party. You just can't beat the Miami Heat.

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by Debbie BancroftPhotographed by Billy Farrall