Stars, Bars, (and Dogs) Align for ‘09

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On January - 9 - 2009

“Bone Crusher, Grace and Michael Bay, not necessarily in that order. Photo by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore”

If you are reading this right now, congratulations! You have survived New Year’s. Now it’s time to start breaking all those silly resolutions you made in your drunken stupor. We found that while we were still in recovery from Art Basel, which was just a few weeks ago, New Year’s week dragged us out just about every night, with something fun and fabulous to do, testing our stamina, sanity and livers, and leaving us begging for more … more eye cream, more espresso and more Tylenol.

Down by the Bay

Famed Transformers director Michael Bay opened his home, the former Hulk Hogan estate, last Saturday night for the second annual Toast to United Way. The invitation-only event, chaired by real estate developer and hospitality entrepreneur Michael Capponi, whose eponymous construction company renovated Bay’s home, drew approximately 200 jetsetters, and some of Bay’s big-time celebrity friends, including R&B singer Tyrese, who celebrated his 30th birthday at Karu & Y the night before. Bay’s guests walked across the pool to enter the event, which honored the owners and managers of the Miami Beach venues that participated in last year’s Toast, including Jeffrey Chodorow, Joe Day, Linley Edwards, Dave Grutman, Dimitris Harvalis, Roman Jones, Mark Lehmkuhl, Shareef Malnik, Karim Masri, Eric Milon, Francis Milon, Louis Puig, Nicola Siervo, Mark Tamis, Joshua Wagner, Graham Wheeler, Romain Zago and Terry Zarikian.

Over at the Bay estate, the real celebrities were not Shia LaBeouf or Megan Fox, but Bone Crusher and Grace, Bay’s enormous Bull Mastiffs that made a grand entrance and stayed for the entire party. More like lions than dogs, and with a combined weight of about 500 pounds, the pooches delighted guests, roaming the expansive property and posing for photos.

Up on the rooftop, amid sweeping views of the bay, Bay mingled with guests, and laughed when asked if Optimus Prime and Megatron were in his five-car garage. “I am honored to open my home to help children and families in need,” Bay said. “This is an extraordinary time where Americans have to dig deep to help others. Miami is my new hometown and I’m committed to doing my part to help this community thrive.” Bay totally lit up when asked about Bone Crusher and Grace, with whom he travels everywhere — by private plane, of course. After an acoustic guitar performance, Bay led guests to his screening room, replete with posters of his other blockbusters — Armageddon, Bad Boys and Pearl Harbor for a private showing of Transformers. Guests later headed to SET for the after party, where a boozy Gavin DeGraw danced to hip-hop and toasted the holiday season with his friend and fellow singer/songwriter Michael Tolcher.

Later the same night, Tiesto junkies got their fix at LIV. The place was filled to capacity by midnight, packed with fans pumping their fists in the air in anticipation. Tiesto came on about 1 a.m. and had everyone going crazy until about 4. Those who were lucky enough to make it in, gladly forked over the $150 cover, and had an amazing time. Diddy rolled in late with his entourage to join in the debauchery.

Cool Kids Come Down to Play

LIV was also crazy sick fun on Monday, Dec. 29, when the cool kids from New York — Richie Akiva, Scott Sartiano, Ronnie Madra, Jeffrey Jah, Noah Tepperberg, Jason Strauss and Danny A, some of whom brought us Leo DiCaprio and his band a few years back — hosted Butter Mondays Miami. This year, they brought down Jamie Foxx, Brett Ratner and Joaquin Pheonix (strange bedfellows indeed), who danced atop the DJ booth, to the chagrin of acclaimed DJs Ross One and Devin Lucien. As usual, Foxx grabbed the mic and sang along to every song played from about 2 to 3 a.m., giving shout outs to the New Yorkers in the house, while a grungy, nearly unrecognizable Phoenix (think Tom Hanks in Castaway) danced along. Fontainebleau owner Jeffrey Soffer held court behind the DJ booth, ducking out at about 3:30 a.m., just behind the ubiquitous Michael Bay, crossing paths with Mickey Rourke, who was just arriving.

Coming Up:

Tuesday night saw the opening of PROVOCATEUR, in the old Groove Jet space. Ahhhh, Groove Jet, let’s take a moment. … Founded by nightlife veteran DJ Louis, the club staple reflects a vision of “South Beach meets Moulin Rouge.” PROVOCATEUR boasts 2,000 square feet of open-air outdoor space and another 7,000 feet of indoor dancing space and VIP rooms, so there’s plenty of room for you and your thousand closest friends to get your groove on. So stay tuned.

On New Year’s Day the legendry Genesis returns for the sixth year in a row, held at Mansion. As the tradition continues, Genesis will begin at 8 a.m. and run until 8 p.m., so hopefully you have a chance to grab a Red Bull and go dance with Tracy Young spinning, underground legend Celeda performing and Alan T hosting.

If you’ve got any steam still left, check out the Mondrian on Friday night, where happy hour allegedly starts at 5 p.m., although throngs of people are usually still trying to get in long after midnight. On Saturday, Mansion presents the Bob Sinclar concert, with guest Big Ali.


Tyrese at his birthday celebration, again at the Dolce & Gabbana show at Karu & Y and again at Michael Bay’s. 90210 siren Annalynne McCord in SET’s VIP room Sunday night, dancing in a circle with a bunch of girlfriends in a stunning white floor-length dress, and sipping on SoBe Lifewater.

McCord was spotted again on Sunday night, as filmmaker Ron Krauss celebrated his 38th birthday at Hot Tuna Miami with a group of close friends, including owner Craig Carlino. McCord stars in Krauss’ upcoming film Amexica and celebrated with the award-winning director and actor via decadent Asian cuisine and Hot Tuna servers dancing and singing on bar tops.

Also spotted: local favorites Louis Aguirre and DJ Irie at the Mondrian. Tanster George Hamilton at Bloomingdale’s Aventura furniture department last week.

2 Responses to “Stars, Bars, (and Dogs) Align for ‘09”

  1. Back in my college days I seldom read writing this good. You display a lot of knowledge without being intimidating. Your attention to detail is superb. You make clear-cut points on which I can concur.

    • Mary Jo Almeida-Shore says:

      Thank you so much for your kind words!
      Thank you
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