Friday, December 5, 2008

Alex Grey and the Psychedelic World of Art

by Jorge Fernandez
Pati has been working like a mule at the Basel in South Beach.
Yesterday, she was finally able to leave at 5 p.m. instead of late at night like every day since this whole caravan started.
There was a good reason to come out early, Alex Grey was speaking with a panel of other experts and artists on the history of psychedelics and art.
Yes, I did get to see him, and I know you are jealous.
The thing started at 8 pm, so to burn some time we walked up 36st from my apt. to see the galleries that have opened along the street solely for the purpose of Basel, once the circus is gone so are they.

By John Berry
We started at Sculpt Miami, where friendly giants like this one welcome you into a world of fantasy. It is free and fun, pass by there if you are in the area.
Inside the giant mushroom, in the garden of 7th Circuit Studio.
We thought of taking a cab, but then we wondered why do what all the tourists are doing when we are from here? and walked back to get the car. Drove down 3 NW Av, where we saw no cars, a big contrats to the chaos of cops, journalists and artsies of Biscayne and 2nd NE AV.
We got to 7th Circuit Studio and paid the exaggerated $20, but inside we found many many people, music, Grey's works hanged all over the studio and delicious free organic food. The $5 large wines were not bad either. Mixed partying were philosophy crews, yogis, artists and druggies, it was beautiful.
After waiting for a couple of hours for fans to get their books and posters signed by Grey, who looks more like a rock star than a painter, we finally sat down to hear the presentation.
Grey showed a slide show with works of art from various civilizations that depicted hallucigens, psychodelics or the expierence of them.
FIU Professor, Manny Torres, an expert in Art Theory and botany in the area of psychedelics, spoke about shamans and their power, about how almost unnatural it is for a human not take any kind of drug, because humanity has been doing it since its beginning with coffee, tobacco and mushrooms.
To top the night we dined together at Buena Vista Bistro, sat outside in the beautiful weather, wearing our sweaters and drinking Fin du Monde.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Where do you need to be during Art Time?

Ok, this is the schedule:

Check out the satellite fairs at Wynwood and the Design District. I will be passing by Scope, where there is a giant bouncing house in which we can all bounce together and also the Art Miami fair nearby.
I also wanted to pass by the so called Red Dot Art Fair, right there on 36st and second av.
I'll then pass by the Bas Fisher Invitational gallery, where they will be having an opening for 12 artists from 6-9 p.m. 180 NE 39th Street, suite 210
It will be hard to fit it all tonight, but I will try my best, because there is also the Naked Sushi at Doraku, where you can eat sushi off naked model's bodies, and I wanted to try some of that.

There is also a lot going on at the Riltz-Carlton, I was going to pass by yesterday, but wanted to save some energy right at the beginning of the week. was kind enough to invite me to a secret and mysterious Art Lover's Cocktail Party at the Ritz from 8 to 10 p.m.
To finish the night go see Eddie o Live at 168 SE 1 Street, this famous dj from New York is a staple of our time. She will throw down some good shit.

Well, even though my favorite part of Art Basel is the side events, it is once a year and we should go at least once. don't want to pay the $55 to get in? Get the after 5 p.m. entrance for $15, and be out of there just in time for Sobe's better time.
Go to the Lummus Park, in front of Ocean Drive, where during the whole weekend they will have live art performances for free.
Since you are already in Sobe, go to RockBar, which is having an all weekend-long Art Basel party.
If you decided to do the District instead of Sobe on Friday, the Downtown area is moving fast this week.
Fredric Snitzer Gallery is having an opening on Friday, and those are always good. 7:00-10 p.m.
The Vagabond will be having Asics, the world's Largest Lite Brite,a modern pop culture master piece, with Modernage performing Live, lots of cool djs and free entrance before 11 p.m. assuming anyone could get anywhere before 11.
The White Room has Spider Pussy hosting Adult and Yi Yip performing Live, go to the event page to see if you like the music, it sounds fun.

If by Saturday you still have not done any artsy stuff, then you probably do not live in Miami.

If you feel you want to do something more in the low key and are tired of big events, go support The Black Mangrove, who will have an art exhibit on 1415 NE 129th Street from 6 to 11 p.m.
The White Room has a party called the Factory, no cover before midnight and 2 for 1 cocktails before that same magical hour. Live performance, nefarious girl will be there to take your picture and make you famous and apparently there will be some kind of gift bags given out.

Go walk around the galleries, they will all be open: say hello to the artists, meet some Eurotrash, art dealers, etc. If you are in the Design, take a ride in one of the bicycle cabs.
Enjoy Art Basel is only once a year.
See ya'll around.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Baseling it up. What else?

Although, I was going to continue talking about my Thanksgiving adventures: Sushi Samba Buck 15, Australia, The White Room and stuff, there has been too much going on because of Art Basel, and it is only Wednesday. So, not fall behind with the news, with so much to do it is hard to find time to report, I skipped those adventures to tell you all about the world of art that came into Miami.

Monday night was the Art Basel kick off party at The Vagabond, but I decided to take it "slow" and go to Jazz night at Churchill's. Met Jeremy there and saw lovely Dani once again behind the bar since she had taken a hiatus that had made us all miss her.
Jeremy and I talked about how we were only having that one drink and going home. He sipped on his elegant sazerac which Chris made for him just the right way. "It is hard to get a sazerac done well around here," said Christ, when you are a bartender you get to talk about how other bartenders do not know how to make drinks right, nobody knows but them really.
Well, after the sazerac came Bolivarian Youth founder and director, hyper famous Michael Martinez, especially popular since he was lynched in Little Havana by angry Cubans at a rally as he protested against capitalism and praised Chavez, Fidel y El Che.
Mike was going to read his poetry in the outside stage, but later. So, he stayed with me having beers and talking politics, Jeremy was gone to South Beach. There goes getting home early.
We talked about beautiful Venezuela: Choroni and Merida and the crazy things that had happened to him there, of the time he met Chavez and the time he was robbed.

On Tuesday, although it was hard to go out after getting home so late from Churchill's, duty needed to be met. The plans were to fabulous not to. Although, it was only the first day of Art Basel, the streets of Wynwood and the Design District were filled with elegant people in coats walking up and down. It was chilly, but Jeremy and I walked up 36 Street to the Wine Bistro on second av.
If you haven't been there you should. It has a pretty varied selection and most wines it offers are rare. The owners are French and really know their stuff. We had an antipasto and hummus and a bottle of an intense Californian Shiraz.
Too many plans, too many places we wanted to pass by. First stopping at the East Side Village Gallery, which had opened that same night. Although the art or ambiance weren't as superior, there was a lot of people and plenty of free alcohol.
Plenty of free alcohol is how all this Art Basel stuff works. I have never seen so many good sponsors everywhere. At this gallery it was Grey Goose, the second one, Hacs, it was a cognac and champagne. hmmm champagne.

A friend of Jeremy was exhibiting there. Carl Pascuzzy and others everything was pretty sexual, scandalous and popsy. One of the artists made giant cakes of Britney Spears, Lindsay Lohan, Madonna and Paris Hilton and would cut out the pussy. They served cake, which matched the champagne perfectly.
We saw "scandalous" Nicholas Johnson, who wore a beret and painted mustaches and only spoke French for the rest of the night because he was in character.

Artist Naomi Fisher had sent me an invitation to a party at a gallery for that night. Although most of the galleries were closing down by this time, I was pretty sure this one was supposed to be partying until pretty late.
It was at the Galerie Emmanuel Perrotin, and it was a good party in the middle of a beautiful garden.
We danced with the guy dressed up as a lady bug and with the Euro trash that always fills up Miami during Basel. There was free alcohol, good music and weird people, just right.
Jeremy and I walked together all the way to 36 st. though the old Puerto Rican barrio.

Monday, December 1, 2008

No Solo de Pan Vive el Hombre

Also on tofu and vodka.

After passing by Sobe and buying some cheap beauties at Urban Outfitters-sorry would rather die than go buy on Black Friday, at 5 am I am just about to go to sleep-I went home and started getting ready for my guests.

We decided to start the night with a dinner party to farewell my friend Danny Lu, who was leaving to India for 6months to do social work and help with the guilt trip, but ended up just getting his money back after the unfortunate terrorist attacks. So, hopefully he gets to go later on and we get to have another farewell party.

The cooks were Danny and my lil sis Carolina, who was visiting from Gainsville, like lots of other people who were visiting Miami this Thanksgiving weekend.

Although later on, Caro and I ended up going to The Vagabond's 80s Prom Party, so late that it was already the 90s, the main part of the night was the dinner.

Total debauchery, Greek-like feast of food, love, drugs and dancing.

Danny's dish: a stir-fried tofu with red curry, noodles and veggies, abso-freaking delicious, especially at 5 or so coming back from The Vagabond. Thanks DannyLu it hit the spot.
Caro went for a delicious Ratatouille, even though our main vegetarian Vane was absent in D.C. and missed the awesome party, the whole meal was veggie-friendly.

For desert we had pure fresh pomegranate with our hands.

After much merengue-dancing, bubble-blowing, bjork-singing craziness some started departing against my will, I was still not ready.
Soon enough Caro and I were getting a ride to The Vagabond with a bottle of POM juice filled with Vodka.
Couldn't find my I.D. and dropped the bottle on the floor in front of the friendly Haitian bouncer.

"You don't have id and you have that bottle gurl, what do you think?" he said.
Boy c'mon is so late. He was in a good mood, at this hour it seems like everyone is.
As soon as I walked in I encountered Modernage Mario, dancing with two girls, who he dropped on the floor to hug me.
I was as excited. The next day I got a text from him: "Nos Vimos!"
Lol, I almost forgot, I wrote back.
Since that close encounter of the first kind, since it was in the entrance, I never again saw him.
Instead, inside the dark Vagabond dance floor, as I jumped and shook and tangled my hair to a level I would only discover the day after, I saw a guy dressed all in white, with long hair under a white hat, looked interesting, almost mysterious, until I discovered who it was.

Frenchie Sebastianne, famous in my circles from the times we both used to work at Blue Cafe, known for its Latin Saturday Nights, its bully bouncers, corruption and abundance of drugs.
Also for its cute cocktail waitresses.
We hugged and danced some more until I abandoned him for a group of Five Fabulous Gay Guys who had taken very seriously the whole 80s prom theme: excellent.
Four days later I received a mysterious text message:
"I saved this phone number earlier this week, who is this?"
"Bego, who's this?"
"Lol Sebastienne"
We both knew why it was so funny.

Early Turkey

I started my Thanksgiving fun early on Tuesday, being that the week before I had died because some gloomy dentists decided to yank out the little wisdom left in my mouth and the recuperation process was long and painful, especially for Miami, which had to endure all this time without me.
It is obviously truth that some day we will evolve and be born without those bothersome useless bones, which at some point helped us chew raw mammoth. After spending more than a week at home, without being able to have any kind of amusement, I definitely fell behind in the evolutionary ladder.

On Tuesday night I stopped at Jeremy's, he had crazily enough decided to cook a whole turkey, even though he was abandoning me to go to Orlando, what is Orlando?, and spend the family Holiday with his family, he still wanted to cook the WHOLE turkey.
Well, among Cuba Libres with Ron Abuelo he cooked the never-frozen turkey Asian style, bathed on soy sauce and honey, while I entertained him with my horror stories of wisdom teeth.
I learned very little of the art of cooking the bird of the Native American Genocide Day, except that when the needle hits 165, it is done, information I will cherish since you never know when it can become useful, definitely not next Thanksgiving; I am still not ready too cook my first bird of such a dimension.

We ate a lot of turkey, considering that there was no other side dish than the rum, that was lot of bird for us two, but we made it.
Turkey makes you sleepy, we obviously talked about that. "It is called tryptophan," said the sometimes annoying know-it-all Jeremy. Almost passed out in his beautiful red couch, freaking typtophan. I still needed energy for Wednesday, I had errands to run on my free day, parties to organize, people to call.

Friday, November 7, 2008

I got you bro.

Don't panic, I got you cover for the weekend.
This weekend there are a variety of diverse activities to entertain our ADD minds.
First of all go to the Mad Cat play Mixtape: it is on this weekend and the next one, which is the last one, at 8 p.m. on Biscayne and 30th.
As you drive by there, you may be confused because it is an office building, but inside of it, an intimate theatre holds an incredibly entertaining play. I think anyone will have fun here. Bring your date, your friends, have a different night and support local theatre. Everyone there is local, mingle with the actors, stage manager and director after the play while you zip on one of the donations-only drinks.
The show is a Mixtape of mediums and genres so: You'll get to watch a movie, an excellent photographic story (I gave that one A+) and really funny, great acting through various sketches. The night I went, they all had their heart in it, it reminded why it is worth going to the theatre.
I went last week by myself because my friend Jeremy stood me up, he said he was going real quick for Happy Hour at Twist and then meeting me at the theatre...I wonder what held him up? I decided to go by myself. I am that cool that I can go to the theatre alone.

Of course the other weekend activity is the Book Fair.
Yes, we have all been there a million times, yes it seems like is always the same. I myself always end up getting something at the $5 stand and a rare old cheap book. Get real, in these times, $10 is my Book Fair budget, and I wanted to get the poster, I think is one of the prettiest they have ever made. So, Friday, the free day, I better be there. Saturday and Sunday is $5 to get in, half of my budget.
Plus, Saturday is the Join The Impact protest against Amendment #2, which passed this past Nov 4th. Although a bit late, since it already passed, about 600 people have already confirmed attendance in facebook, be there, fight for equality.
So, what is left for Sunday, you already went to a play, the book fair and a protest. Well, Sunday you can do like me and write papers for school or work on that personal project of yours, or you can go to the Wonderful and often forgotten by us Miamians: Beach...Although Friday and Saturday will be cloudy, the weather report says Sunday will be sunny as always. One more reason to live in Miami to add to my Reasons to Live in Miami list: You can go to the beach at the end of November, while the rest of the country is freezing their butts.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

#2 Breaks My Heart

The night was fantastic. It was all I expected, I said. Whenever you have extremely high expectations about something, when it happens is never as exciting as you thought it was going to be and lets you down. But, this was not the case, learning that Barack Obama had won the presidency was really as bit as exciting as I wanted it to be. We hugged and cheered and some at the Election Party even cried. We set fireworks and talked about the future, about the present, about who we are and why we wanted this so bad; us young people. We felt involved and informed, we knew every bit about the campaign, the issues. It was great.

But it was really HEARTBREAKING to wake up to a morning in which 62% of Floridians voted for a law that invalidates any union other than marriage.

Really people, haven't we learned from years of racial, religious and gender oppression that we are all individuals and therefore entitled to the same human rights. That intolerance leads to oppression and is just plain wrong.

It really overshadows Obama's victory in my heart that we still allow to have individuals, tax-payers, citizens who do not have the same right as everyone else. That we publicly deny a minority their constitutional right to liberty and the pursuit of happiness, like if it was nothing.

It is a big deal and it offends me.

California overturned the gay marriage law after about 18,000 couples got married: Is a joke, a circus. Weirdest thing ever, childish, homophobic and offensive. And, most of all based on absolutely obsolete ideas. Like the idea that a family is not a family if it is not a man and a woman. Tell that to millions of single parents, kids living with their grandmother, aunts, foster kids, brother and sister, cousins and many other kinds of families who do get hospital visitations, emergency calls and other rights.

Or, that if we allow this to happen, then sooner or later we are going to allow people to marry goats or computers. I really thought that we had already established that if you get Human Rights, is because you are a Human and not an animal or object.

Shame on you America, because in 20 years or more, hopefully less, we are going to notice one more time that we CANNOT discriminate and deny American Citizens basic rights protected under The Constitution, The Declaration of Independence and the profound believe that as Americans we have the right to be individuals and to choose.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Costumes Review

So this year there were high expectations because Halloween fell on a Friday. The economy is down and people are more likely to celebrate because they want to forget about their problems and for one night be someone else, I heard on NPR, the average American was going to spend $67 on a costume. That's a a lot.
I went, of course, to Lincoln Road, where I wanted to see lavish and expensive drag queens' costumes. The truth is that although the street parade of crazy characters was a lot of fun, this year the drag queens let me down.

Ok, this couple is cool, they are so cool they can wear their fucking silver suit with sun glasses and strike such a great pose all at once.

You guys are sexy, we accept it. You probably had a great night of dancing and bottle service at Mansion.

Geeky, cute or gay? I can't make up my mind.

At four days before the elections we thought that political costumes were going to be overwhelming. Although we did find a few Sarahs and Obamas, there were no Mccains or Bidens, they are not such exciting characters. Even Hilary who has been out of the picture for so long was a more popular Halloween costume than the two old guys in the race.

If you are this gorgeous it should be a law to dress up as Adam and Eve. Thank you guys.

The crazy dancing dude from Lincoln Road dressed up as the crazy dancing dude from Lincoln Road.


I don't think this guy got any girls tonight, but he sure looks funny in that costume. I approve of sacrificing sexy for the good of humor.

Scream grabbing on to the balls of a giant penis next to Indiana Jones. Their attitude definitely makes them even greater.

I guess I'd have to say I don't approve. Especially of the ass with red lipstick and a piece of paper stock to it.

Again sacrificing beauty for the sake of the scary spirit of Halloween is good in my book. Brrrrr, that's one scary bitch.

The nerd costume never gets old, neither does the gay seaman.
We had a great time. Bought two flasks of Black Label, and drank on the street without spending much. We went into Laundry Room and danced and order beers at Polar Bear, the bar next to Finnegan's and sat down to yell at people on costumes and dance.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Homestead: Magic, History and Wine.

Like I said in last Saturday’s entry, why do we live in Miami if not to enjoy the weather? Especially during the fall: when the sun starts hitting from the side and changes the color of everything and the breeze reminds you that there is a life under 80 degrees and that it is also beautiful.
I have said before that we Miamians don't like to drive North.
Which is why I headed South on Saturday.
I went out with family and friends, abuelita and everything included, to Homestead and beyond. We couldn’t do everything there is to do even if we wanted to, but we tried hard.

To start the trip with a full belly we went to the famous Tea Room. Located inside the beautiful gardens of Cauley Square,

a 1902 pioneers village that will take you to the place you dreamed of when you were 6. Little wooden houses, giant sculptures made of grass, blue jays and cardinals make the song of the paths that get you lost in a world of gnomes and fairies.

We went into a few of the antique stores before having a delicious lunch in the overly-decorated, also dream-like Tea Room. This Tea Room is the only one left in Florida of what used to be a tradition for the snow bird old ladies or the wives of those who came to work for the railroad. It is still a tradition among old ladies, but it really is a delight to have a cup of spice tea in the butterfly room or the dining room, while eating a quiche or one of its famous cakes and overhearing the conversations of the Miamah ladies with their big sunglasses and funny hats.

We headed roof-down to Schnebly Redland’s Winery.
You can pay for tours of the winery or for tasting. You won’t find wines made out of grapes here but you will find some made out of: avocado, one of the top choices, passion fruit, guava, mango and more. Sparkling wines and everything. After we did the tasting and bought a bottle of the winner avocado wine, we sat outside in the pleasant gardens, by the waterfalls and shared the wine in the glasses, which you get for free after the tasting.

It was time to go to the real Homestead. Always taking the back streets, never the highway or US 1, to appreciate the nurseries, the farms, the horses and the No Hay Trabajo signs, we drove South in hopes of finding Robert is Here open, but it was closed.

We got to the Historic District of Downtown Homestead and found a Music in the Park event. As we walked down the old streets that take you back to a time of simpler things, of Saturday night movies, strolling up and down the street with a milk shake we noticed we were hungry.

And, although Mexican restaurants did not exist in Homestead in those times, they do now and they are a Must.
Where else would we go but to El Toro Taco?
If you have never been to the Mexican restaurants in Downtown Homestead then you probably don’t know that you have to bring your own alcohol, yes you have to.
That’s the tradition, since they are too cheap to pay for an alcohol license, customers take coolers filled with beers and wines and even a bottle of tequila to settle the food. And, that is what makes the trip fun as well as cheap The food is great even though the owner is a jerk and if you are lucky a group of lady mariachis will go in and play for tips.

If we would’ve had more time, and la abuelita weren’t so tired, we could’ve gone to the go-carts, also on Krome Ave., which I have done before and although I was the last one in the race it was fun; horseback riding, is also great, it is just hard to find the right place, the Coral Castle or a redneck bar.

Glamorous Songs

Why is it than whenever a night starts very glamorously it ends up in the other extreme of the spectrum?
There I was, bored at home, playing tetris when I heard about this party at the offices of Red Car post-production and media company on Biscayne and 47th St.
Modernage singer Mario Giancarlos, who by the way just got out a new awesome cd, with their same sound we all love and cannot get out of our heads and some pretty good fresh songs, he picked me up at around 7:30 p.m. good timing for a Thurs nite and we headed to the party without knowing what to expect.
In the elevator we wondered if we were under dressed on our skinny jeans, although you can barely go wrong with those, but a guy also going to the party on a cowboy hat and shorts, who talked a lot, made us feel much better about our attire.
If there is people on shorts, anything goes. In the end this is Miami, and this is a party of media savvies, production-geeks, which are usually pretty casual and tend to try to be comfortable.
Wow! Free food, free whisky, there were other drinks, but when there is free Black Label, why would you order anything else.
The Outside of The Red Car Party
The office itself was also quite breathtaking, which is probably the word they want their clients to use when they visit. Flat screens everywhere, a small recording studio for over voices and music, nice floors, nice furniture and 360° view of Miami's lights.
Lots of freelancers, copywriters, musicians and former Telemundo employees, lots of those since the channel just swept heads following the steps of just about any other media company in Miami. But, the conversations were not about the future of the media and where are we all going to go?
The cowboy-hat boy who Mario baptized Owen Wilson because of their similar looks, kept on repeating that it was not allowed to talk about work. But, when I met an Argentinean Porn Director, we had to put that rule aside.
It was all very good, cute girls, good food, good drinks, good party.

But, it was time to go.
Got a text message from beautiful Dara about a Karaoke at Out of The Blue, around 24th and second.
After my last whisky for which I had to convince the good-looking bartender that I wasn't driving, we transported ourselves to what was about to become one of the funnest things a Thursday night could offer.

Eduardo Ortiz, the fat-gay Venezuelan host, sang Alejandra Guzman and made us all even more enthusiastic than what we already were.
I went up to sing El Cantante, and Mario faithful to his rock roots gave a great performance of The Smiths' Bigmouth, which we all sang along.

Alex and Rudo made a strong Duo.
Pat Walsh sang Billy Idol's Rebel Yell and we all cried more, more, more. Eduardo Ortiz gave Pat the second place of the night for his performance with air guitar and jumps, we were all very proud of him.
After going from Paquita la Del Barrio to Mecano and Mana, these are the kind of things you regret about alcohol, the night was over for some of us.
Pat, who had danced salsa, ballenato and merengue and had performed so graciuosly hadn't had enough and was heading to ps 14; the bastard didn't have to wake up early.

Damn you work from keeping the young night from continuing and killing our spirits. We will get back at you someday!