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How to spend 96 hours in Miami during Art Basel

Roadmap of a weekend between NFT art, party at the Circoloco and tequila by the pool

How to spend 96 hours in Miami during Art Basel Roadmap of a weekend between NFT art, party at the Circoloco and tequila by the pool

Let me start by saying that 96 hours is way too long to spend in Miami. I was originally supposed to be there for 72 hours, but I allowed myself to be talked into spending another day blissfully drinking tequila seltzers at Soho Beach House, where nobody was screaming “I’m on the list!”, “Is there an onsite PR?”, “I’m ACTUALLY supposed to be at this event.” or “I’m press!”. 3/4 of these phrases, I, unfortunately, said about 18 times. 

Thursday, December 2nd

10:45AM - The airplane wheels touched Miami’s ground exactly when they were supposed to, and after peacefully sleeping through what my seat partner said was “the worst turbulence of her entire life”, I was really excited to get off of the plane from Los Angeles, and into my hotel so that I could shower, and start my day of acting even the slightest bit knowledgeable about art. 

7:00 PM - Fondazione Marcelo Burlon hosted a fun “Hands on Sand” party on Faena’s beachfront. The incredible party, DJ’d by Pascal Moscheni and friends, was nearly eclipsed by the intensely hued, grandiose beauty of the installation “Hall of Visions” by Pilar Zeta. Faena Art housed this amazing installation the entirety of Art Basel, and as the Miami sun set against the vibrantly colored sunset and thrashing waves, the fusion of music, art, and a very Miami crowd (lets see how many times I use it in this article), Art Basel was off to a pretty incredible start.

10:10PM - We are on our way to Rüfüs Du Sol! I love a superstar DJ set, and I must say this set was the most momentous part of the night. I have yet to hear them perform their own melodic symphony of  music, so to hear them spin a mix of their music, along with other deep house bangers, made for one of the most memorable experiences of Art Basel. Their set was a much deeper and, I might say, darker sound than what I would have ever anticipated, and what’s even more important, is that the crowd was happy to dance until the very end. 

Simultaneously happening in a warehouse-esque setting adjacent to the performance, was an NFT gallery. Even more special, was the 3-D NFT presentation that, mixed with my slight state of inebriation, totally freaked me out while simultaneously captivating me for what felt like 20 minutes (I think it lasted about 3.)

The thing about Miami, is that everyone kind of wants to show off how rich they are. I think here, more than any other American state, is where the ostentatious and tacky meet to combine into the ultimate live show. The new age “Crypto Bros” were keen to ironically preach to anyone who would lend an ear to “free themselves from the old world ties of modern banking” while, coincidentally, flexing their Amex Black cards. Yet, while their duality is quite funny, there is no denying the increasing value and awareness being created in relation to crypto currency, and the crypto art space.

Friday, December 3rd

11:45 AM – I went shopping in Miami’s design district for a replacement pair of sunglasses, due to losing mine the night before, and I must say that I’m glad it was just my sunglasses and not my cell phone or entire identity. Miami has a kleptomaniac reputation that, at around 12:45AM tonight, sees me as the main character of an unfortunate, and totally misjudged case of a missing cell phone. 

12:31 AM – I saw the Louis Vuitton statues that were flooding my Instagram. At the foot of one of the statues was a Design District Magazine with Virgil’s face on the cover and long stemmed flowers along its outside perimeter. Virgil’s highly revered collaborations, in just the past 5 years, will long supersede those of some of today’s industry giants for years to come. I took this time, while gazing up at the towering statues, to remember that Virgil was so much more than “King of Streetstyle”. He was an engineer, master collaborator, and lifestyle innovator amongst many other titles.I remember being highly impressed at any news of his taking on high profile projects. News of him designing furniture with Ikea, or speaking at Harvard, his early collaboration with Levi’s and even designing Drake’s jet. One can’t help but think how Virgil was in touch with all the tastemakers of society, and would have continued his journey as the icon that he was.

17:27 PM – I’m in an Uber to a mini island in Miami littered with mansions to pre-game before Circoloco. I limited myself to one tequila seltzer, and was off to the most highly anticipated event of Art Basel. 

18:13 PM – Pulling up to Circoloco (in a Karaoke Uber no less), I could feel the bass shaking the car as we approached the venue. Honey Dijon was completely tearing her set up, and something very special was propped up above the stage. “Virgil Forever '' adorned the sign atop all the artists who were to perform that night. As Chicago native Honey Dijon, a dear friend of Virgil’s, and a runway regular for his Off-White and Louis Vuitton shows, passionately played her house music for all to hear, you could feel ushering in a night of heavy, passionate beats.

Circoloco, produced in the US by their partner Teksupport, always manages to bring out the most fabulous crowd, and when mega-DJ’s Rampa or Tale of Us are on the flyer, you’re definitely bound to be partying with a breathtaking crew. Superstar co-designer of The Attico, Gilda Ambrosio gave the models a run for their money with a very fab two step/hairflip combo that made me go home and check my moves out in the mirror. 

00:12 AM – Seth Troxler and the Martinez Brothers immediately ramped up the Circoloco crowd with an INSANE start. These are the kind of sets I wish were readily uploaded to SoundCloud immediately after an event. It was Seth Troxler vs. The Martinez Brothers and they clearly had plans to close this Circoloco out a bang. 

00:40 AM – A very unhappy couple accused my friend and I of stealing their phone, to which we laughed off and said,  “That’s your fault for coming to Miami and not having AppleCare+ insurance”. We later found out they were probably gypsies and that we should check our pockets because often enough, people like them accuse people of stealing, while sneakily sliding objects out of the accused's pockets. Miami Energy! Luckily my friend and I had all of our items and Seth and The Martinez Brothers were still on, and we were determined to dance all my anxious nerves away. 

1:30 AM – We’re off to the Playboy party which was a complete WRECK! But, in Miami, everything is not going to go your way because you are what? IN MIAMI! And all of its chaos and confusion kind of, eventually, grows on you (it did not grow on my best friend who has vowed to never go back). There was one door girl, being screamed at by 80 young adults, who were all apparently on “the list”. I was attending as my friend’s +1, and was, after 5 minutes, ready to be a +1 on the list that is called My Bed.

Saturday, December 4th

19:41 PM –  HBOMax held a Human By Orientation (very good play on words) event which was very calming and starkly contrasting to the rest of Art Basel’s high energy events. Art, delicious cocktails, finger foods, and the crowd’s mellow energy, mixed together for quite an enjoyable hour. 

21:47 PM – Cardi B launched her vodka infused whipped cream “Whipshots” at Pharell and Dave Grutman’s The Goodtime Hotel. This innovative treat, (packing a strong 10% alcohol) definitely provided the good time everyone expects from anything Cardi B puts her hands in. An attendee yelled “Cardi creamed on me!”, after Cardi sprayed a Whipshot into her mouth. In true superstar form, Cardi stayed no more than 20 minutes (I mean, how long can you stand 30 people pressing their phones into your face?) before disappearing into Miami’s night, no doubt on her way to a very fabulous celebration for launching, what I imagine to be, a rather successful alcohol infused treat.

1:10 AM – Playboy Party Pt.2 commenced and I must say, I don’t remember the door process at all, so it was clearly the simplest of the weekend. Kitty Ca$h was spinning a Vogue/New Jersey club beat that totally made my crew and I stir up the dance floor. I think I lasted about 45 minutes before deciding that I needed to sleep. 

Sunday, December 5th

10:00 AM –  I am supposed to leave today, but I allow my friend to convince me to stay until Monday. I finally ate breakfast after completely dismissing it from my Art Basel diet.

15:00 PM – We arrive at a bustling and busy Soho House (Miami’s Soho Beach House to be specific). Everyone is smiling, and the staff is taking this boost in traffic surprisingly well (I may have had 4 mental breakdowns by now, but I guess that’s the difference in mental strength between Soho House staff and myself). Leon Bridges and Dash, in my opinion, threw the most enjoyable, energy packed party of all of Art Basel. Four shots of tequila later, I’m on the beach, dancing to Dash’s energetic set, being overly flirty with a guy who’s visiting from New York for the “Crypto Yacht Party”. Very Miami.

18:20 PM - I’m dining at a packed Cecconi’s (conveniently located inside of Soho House), inhaling rigatoni, pizza, spinach, and fries at an alarmingly fast rate. I actually finished my food before the Uber, which was 17 minutes away, arrived. 

Monday, December 6th

11:20 AM – I board my flight, back to my precious Los Angeles, feeling irritable, happy, bloated (from Cecconi’s) and overall, confident that Miami, and it’s chaotic energy, will be seeing my face next year.