Jetting to Miami for ABSOLUT Miami ‘Art of the Party’ Panel

I’m out of here! An opportunity, the ABSOLUT Miami "Art of the Party" Panel, has reared its lovely head and now I’m heading to Miami. This morning, I will jet to a place where the grass is still green and the winds not as mean. I’m trading the 18 degrees of balmy Brooklyn for the 81 of South Beach.

Last night, a dozen people and I dressed like Arctic explorers while trying to get warm at Kellogg’s Diner. Our friendly banter was all about the weather. It dominated our every thought as we clutched coffee cups to warm our hands. Everyone was showing off their new gloves and socks and scarves and such as my mind wandered south toward warmth and salvation.
I like Miami Beach. I have been going there since before its dramatic makeover. Back then, it was Tony Montana types and mahjong-playing octogenarians. I stayed at the Clevelander for pennies and ate every meal at the new News Cafe. Nowadays, the charms are different. Tony has been banished with his little friends and the octo-crowd has, well, either moved along or moved elsewhere. It’s been models and bottles in a club-friendly atmosphere. Some people say it has lost some of its luster lately as some travelers opt for the oppulence of Vegas. Vegas may have this and that and many other things, but one thing it will never have: the Atlantic Ocean beachfront. I’ll tell you all about it tomorrow.
At the Panel, ABSOLUT Miami will launch, eliciting an intriguing list of Miami-centric participants. Stories and photos of "some of the best parties over the last 30 years" will excite the crowds. "We’ll learn about the ‘Art of the Party’ – where it’s been and where it might be headed in the future, and we’ll enjoy some signature cocktails along the way." Here are some of the players:
Alfred Spellman and Billy Corben (directors and co-owners of Miami production company Rakontur): Spellman and Corbin were the men behind critically-acclaimed, Miami-centric documentaries Cocaine Cowboys and The U. Rakontur’s development slate this year includes a Cocaine Cowboys dramatic series for HBO, with executive producers Jerry Bruckheimer and Michael Bay, and the animated comedy series Miami Cowboys with executive producer Pharrell Williams.
Ingrid Casares: the “Queen of Miami nightlife” has been seen in gossip pages since 1991 with gal pals like Madonna, k.d. lang and Sandra Bernhard, just to name a few. Her entrepreneurial exploits and celeb connections helped solidify South Beach as an international playground for the rich and famous.
Biz Martinez: Music Director for LIV/Arkadia/MMG; created Miami’s longest running Saturday Electric Dance Music night and after-hours
Conrad Gomez: Has manned the gates of Miami hottest clubs including, but not limited to, LIV Nightclub/Blade Lounge, and Pool and La Cote at the Fontainebleau. He’s also co-owner of mega-club Klutch.
Freddy Diaz: From head bartender at Club 50 Viceroy to the 5-star Setai Hotel Miami Beach, Freddy Diaz has been behind the bar for more than 18 years. He employs classic, modern day, and molecular gastronomy to develop his outstanding libations.
Seth Browarnik: A photographer to the celebrities, hee can be seen at every star-studded South Beach event, taking shots of all the best moments.
Cocktails will be created and served by three of Miami’s leading bartenders."
After all this, we’ll all hit the town. I have many friends in Miami and am looking forward to catching up. I’ll let you know what I see and hear. Now I have to get dressed to go … a process that has been taking me 30 minutes these days.
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