To Everything, There is a Season

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

opera-singer-elizabeth-caballero-serenades-rene-ruiz-5And the Social Season is no exception. With Labor Day behind us, it’s time to put away those white shoes and prepare for the onset of the “Season,” which is rapidly approaching. If this summer, which is usually a quiet time to relax, travel and rest our overly-taxed livers is any indication of what’s to come, we are in for more fun parties, openings and events than we can fathom, as several of the hotels, restaurants and clubs which opened quietly this summer prepare for huge official opening bashes this fall. In the meantime, consider getting involved and having some fun while you’re at it.


United We Serve Volunteer Miami Day

On Friday, September 11, the Adrienne Arsht Center is hosting its inaugural United We Serve Volunteer Miami Day from 12:00-6:00 p.m. to cap off President Barack Obama’s United We Serve summer volunteer initiative. Keynote speaker Mayor Carlos Alvarez, leading non-profit organizations and leaders, and the Adrienne Arsht Center will join forces to inspire volunteers to continue their efforts and others to become volunteers with free activities, performances, business and volunteering seminars, Adrienne Arsht Center tours, prizes, and much more.

Taste of South Florida


The Taste of South Florida at the Ritz Carlton Ft. Lauderdale Beach will be held on September 12, and features top local “celebrity” chefs, Christian Clair, Angelo Elia, Dean Max, Gordon Maybury, Farid Qualidi, John Schupbach and Susie Stallings preparing an upscale, delectable five course meal. Expect fabulous food, a live band to entertain guests and a terrific auction. Tickets for the culinary extravaganza cost $250 per person and benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. To purchase tickets and for more information, contact: or call (954) 739-5006.

Fun for the Whole Family

The Miami Children’s Museum is hosting a carnival on Sunday, September 13, from 1:00-6:00 p.m., where kids can enjoy pony rides, magicians, stilt walkers, bounce houses, slides, face painting, interactive game booths, balloon artists, and participate in art and music projects. For the adults, Bloomingdale’s soothing spa area is offering treatments and services and Kiehl’s, beauty product samples, delicious gourmet Starbucks coffee and snacks and a silent auction. As an added bonus, adults may drop kids (ages 4-9) at the MCM staff-supervised play area and explore the Carnival on their own! The ticket price, $35for children 1-12, $50 for adults and children 13 and up, includes: unlimited BBQ, Vitamin Water, ice cream by Farm Stores, and soft frozen lemonades by Del’s Lemonade and an I AM THE MAVEN stylish, reusable shopping bag and Gift Cards for the best “Maven-Approved” local businesses. A $500 package includes:  4 tickets to the event, 1 family membership to the Museum and an exclusive Romero Britto tin. All proceeds benefit the Miami Children’s Museum. For tickets and information, please contact 305-373-5437, extension 146.


ArtCenter South Florida’s Children’s Story Time Fundraiser

On Thursday, September 17, 2009 from 6:00 to 8:00 p.m., Club 50 at the Viceroy will host a party in support of the ArtCenter South Florida’s Children’s Story Time program. Complimentary Chopin Vodka cocktails will flow from 6:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m. and $10 Moet Hennessy drink specials all evening to promote youth literacy. For more information, call: 305. 674.8278 or go to,


Dress to Thrill

Giving bargain shopping a whole new dimension is this year’s highly anticipated annual Fashionably Conscious which returns for its third year this month. This year’s host committee, including Darlene Perez, Raysa Fanjul, Sarah Arison, Lourdes Jofré-Collett, Natasha and Lena Lowell, Suzy Buckley, have already donated more signature pieces than ever before – ranging from Catherine Malandrino, Carlos Miele, Dolce & Gabanna, David Meister and Prada dresses to Chanel shoes; Tod’s and Christian Dior bags; an Angel Sanchez ball gown; Roberto Cavalli and Gucci pants; and St. John, Fendi, Badgley Mischka, Carolina Hererra, Richard Tyler and YSL suits. And being that these ladies seldom, if ever repeat an outfit, you can bet the stuff is almost as new as the day they bought it. All clothing and jewelry will be on sale to guests at discounted prices, ranging from $1 to $500- talk about recessionista-friendly. The weekend event will kick off with a VIP cocktail/preview sale on Friday, September 18, 4:00 p.m. – 9:00 p.m. featuring a happy hour sponsored by Peroni, at a $25 entrance fee. Saturday’s all-day sale goes from 10:00 a.m.- 6:00 p.m. and has a reduced $10 entrance fee. All proceeds will go directly to fund Coconut Grove Cares’ The Barnyard Community Center, which offers free after-school and summer Programs for over 250 children, and provides a much-needed safe haven for the West Grove community. The shopping spree takes place at Mary Brickell Village-901 S. Miami Ave. Suite 147.

For more information visit, call (305) 446-6216, or contact, 305.372.2502.





The Week in Review

Last week was relatively quiet, due in part to the fact that the Hamptons is THE place to be on Labor Day Weekend, with the exception of the MOCA Shakers cocktail and Rene Ruiz’s ultra-exclusive birthday party. On Thursday night, over 300 arts-minded guests enjoyed one of the most beautiful sunsets of the summer at Club 50 at the Viceroy for the MOCA Shakers,’ kick-off of the Museum of Contemporary Art ‘s upcoming fundraiser Mystery Dates. The fundraiser will be held on Saturday November 7 and the mystery is which glamorous dinner party in the home of some of Miami’s most intriguing collectors and designers,  guests will attend as locations will only be revealed during a cocktail reception that evening. For more information, contact: MOCA at 305 893 6211 or visit


rene-ruizs-birthday-at-da-vittorio-8-09-008Rene Ruiz’s birthday celebration last Saturday, hosted by Brad Rosenblatt and Fabian and Martina Basabe at the Basabes’ cozy yet posh restaurant, Da Vittorio drew an eclectic, A-list crowd including Roy and Lea Black, Iran Issa Khan, Oscar and Ellen Feldenkreis, Lisa Petrillo and Willliam McCue, Judge Larry King, Mayor Donald Slesnick and Wife Jeanette Slesnick, Deborah Scarpa and Rolando Castro, David and Michelle Adler, Attorney Michael Rose, Barbara Havenick, Attorney Patrick Cordero and wife, Ana, Dr. Steven Kerr and wife, DJ, Richard and Jennifer Postrel, Gino and Denise Dimare, Emily Marquez, Nick D’Ánnunzio, Daniela Marese, and Daniel Simon, to name a few. Guests who turned out to toast the charming designer seemed to be having a great time from the moment they walked through the door. There was a continuous din throughout the evening, composed of laughter and glasses clinking as everyone mingled, danced and enjoyed some of the designer’s favorite dishes at Da Vittorio, such as Bocconcini di Mozzarella, Agnello Scottadito, Cotoletta alla Milanese and Spiedini di Gamberi e Calamari. We could translate some of these, but that would spoil the fun, since they are now our favorites as well, and we highly recommend you make a reservation right away (305 445-8783)! After Ruiz blew out his birthday candles, he was serenaded by none other than Elizabeth Caballero, renowned Cuban-American soprano, who surprised the crowd with her powerful voice.


Coming Up:


New to the Tables

Singer/songwriter Jamie Jo Harris will headline as guest DJ at Wall Lounge at W South Beach on Friday, September 11. Harris, who recently became the newest lifetime member of the Songwriters’ Hall of Fame, just held a hit performance the after party for the movie premier of “Homecoming” at Pink Elephant. Part of her repertoire includes a selection of hand-picked beats including her charttopping debut single, “U Turn Me On,” a pop confection duet with former Bee Gee, Barry Gibb.

Celebrity Sightings:

On Friday at Mansion, hit maker Keri Hilson, looking hot in a one piece jumpsuit, performed her track “Knock You Down” for the packed house with a special encore, when Ne-Yo surprised her and took to the stage to join her in a duet, sending the crow into frenzy.  The chart-topping duo sang and danced while Hilson snapped pictures of the audience with her camera phone. Guests who showed up to celebrate the weekend-long launch of V. Georgio vodka which started at Blade pool on Friday night and ended on Sunday at the Harvey estate included:  Poe Boy, Brisco, recording artist, Jason Allen, of the Miami Dolphins, Mike Rumph, Pro Football player, Cess Silvera, Grand Master D, from Whodini (celebrity D.J.), CBS anchor, Jawan Strader, Orande Gadston, Miami Dolphin great, and Bradford Cohen, former Apprentice contestant.

Sunday night was like the “Who’s Who” of the Hip Hop community at LIV with  Drake, Lil Wayne, Jermaine Dupri and Trey Songz in the house. The party  coincided with the filming of the video for Drake’s new song featuring Lil Wayne and Kanye West. On Sunday at Opium Hard Rock, Belvedere presented Young Jeezy to the Broward set, where the chart topper sang his hit “Who Dat” to a packed crowd. Later in the evening, Jeezy relaxed with a group of friends 50 people thick, sipping on Belvedere and hanging on to the microphone to shout out the crowd. On Monday, Jeezy took his show to Mansion, where he performed his hit “President” and kept the party going until 5:00 a.m.

Beach Balls

Posted by Mary Jo Almeida-Shore On May - 7 - 2009

Louis Aguirre and Erin Newberg.jpgFor those of us who, um, misplaced, our invitation to the Metropolitan Museum of Art Costume Institute Gala, Saturday’s Fashion Art Ball (F.A.B.) hosted by Michelle and Tommy Pooch and Alan Roth was the party of the week. We like to consider this the un-gala- since it’s a ball that’s, well, a ball! Think of it as fancy fundraiser meets frat party.

Upon entering the ballroom at the Fontainebleau, guests were greeted by ten-foot mannequins, perched atop pedestals, composed of hundreds of tropical flowers, decorating the extensive silent auction tables and food stations including delicious bites from Pacific Time, Red, the Steakhouse Table 8, Gaia, Taverna Opa and Ra Sushi. Then there was the seemingly endless array of desserts, tempting even the staunchest dieters, from the Fontainebleau’s pastry shop. Down on the main floor is where things started to get a bit wild, with Deco Drive’s Louis Aguirre and Buster on the microphones as Gen Art winning Krel To Go designer/ Make Me a Supermodel’s, Karelle Levy, proceeded to create a dress onstage for Plum T.V. hostess, Erin Newberg, who was already wearing a stunning, gold Krel creation. The frat party antics began thanks to a Girls Gone Wild!wardrobe malfunction,” courtesy of the buxom Newberg- (step aside, Bettie Paige), and continued with the Legends on The Runway show, featuring a bevy of South Beach nightlife impresarios and personalities, following the elegant women’s runway show, which showcased trends from Atrium, Roberto Cavalli, Ondade Mar Swimwear, and Luca Luca. Whereas the women’s show was stylish and sophisticated, culminating with Michelle Pooch alongside her adorable daughter, aspiring supermodel, Isabella Pooch, the Legends on the Runway show was a whole other story. Sure, the fashions were stylish, and the show started off fairly professional, with seasoned runway pros, such as Eric Milon and Laurent Bourgade, on the catwalk, but things quickly turned wild, with crazy dance moves, wedgies being given, DJ Irie being pushed off the runway and Beau Beasley being carried away, literally, as the crowd cheered and applauded. After the guys finished on the runway and a special performance by R&B legend, Joe, there was a good old-fashioned fraternity hazing ritual, courtesy of DJ Irie, who offered to donate $3,000.00 to the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation in exchange for Alan Roth’s hair, yes, hair. The generous Roth agreed, and Irie actually shaved Roth’s head right onstage. Then Irie offered an extra five hundred bucks for Roth’s eyebrows. That’s when Roth’s girlfriend, Anne Owen, stepped in- thank goodness. All in all, it was a great night, which raised $70, 000 for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.


Polo Tropical

A completely different type of ball hit the beach over the weekend as models with mallets took to our sands for the Miami Beach Polo World Cup, the world’s largest and most prestigious polo tournament. It seems the “sport of kings” is also the “sport of queens,” since for the first year women’s polo graced South Beach, with Matti Bower, Miami Beach’s first female mayor, throwing the honorary first ball, to kick of the matches featuring world-renowned, top-ranking female polo star, Sunny Hale, and Brazilian cover models, Paula Chermont and Tiffany Busch (along with 22 of the world’s top-ranking female polo players) stunned on-lookers with their precision and prowess- not to mention incredible balance and fierce competitive spirit. Hell hath no fury like a gorgeous woman on a horse- remember Lady Godiva? Now imagine her in a cute outfit with a mallet in hand! Eye candy and star power were also provided by the men’s teams, as top ranking polo player/Ralph Lauren model, Nacho Figueras, joined returning champ Kris Kampsen and Isabella Wolf (an 18 year-old polo star who filled in for an injured player) on the Nespresso team, which fought fiercely for the trophy against the Bombay Sapphire team, which ultimately won the title 6-5 in the last seconds of the final chukker. A slew of Miami’s elite, young and old gathered on the sand behind the Setai for four days of sun, sand, snacks, cocktails and polo including local celebrity chef Jeff McInnis from Top Chef, Apprentice champ, Sean Yazbeck, Nicole Henry, Cleveland Jones, Commissioner De la Pena, Iran Issa Khan, and Sam Robin, to name a few. The soon to open, W Hotel, Nespresso, Grey Goose, and Bombay Sapphire were among the top sponsors, who kept the good times rolling.

Coming Up:

The 3rd Annual YMCA Casino Night will host a Bond-themed bash on Saturday, at 8:00, at . Several local celebrity players including, Kelly Craig (NBC 6), Diana Gonzalez (NBC 6), Cynthia Demos (CBS 4), Will Manso (WPLG 10), Willard Shepard (NBC 6), Marybel Rodriguez (CBS 4), Mercedes Soler, author and Mega Estrella winner, Sophia Del Carmen will join guests in a night full of fun and big stakes at the Poker, Roulette, Craps and Black Jack tables. RA sushi will provide dinner by the bite, and Grey Goose vodka will sponsor the sips. For more information or to purchase tickets, please contact Julie Wagner at 305-254-0310 ext. 1204 or email at

Celebrity sightings:

George Clooney, has set up camp at the Delano and has been spotted all over the place, including cameos at Florida Room, Quattro and Mokai. Lance Bass celebrated his birthday on Friday at the Mondrian. Regis Philbin and Kelly Ripa in town all week shooting Regis and Kelly at the Fontainebleau, have also been making their rounds. Regis attended a Marlin’s game, and Kelly took her husband and children to the Miami Seaquarium and Jungle Island, where Jimmy Buffet stopped by last week. Nicole Richie was at the Fontainebleau Wednesday night for the launch of her jewelry line, House of Harlow 1960. Former NBA star/recently appointed basketball coach of the FIU Golden Panthers, Isaiah Thomas had dinner at RA Sushi in South Miami. Katy Perry and Wyclef Jean are in town for the Grammy Celebration Concert Tour at the Fillmore scheduled for Thursday.