Simon Alcantara


Posted in ART AND CULTURE, Dance party, fashion, fashion and photography, photography by simonalcantara on December 9, 2009


OPENING PARTY AT MOCA MIAMI copyright simon alcantara 2009

I arrived in Miami on Dec 1st for Art Basel and hit the ground running I was assured a furious art filled, fashion filled and fun, fun, fun schedule thanks to my chic and lovely hostess Arlene Shapiro.  After arriving at the beautiful One Bal Harbour just up the street from the famed High End Bal Harbour Shops I was promptly briefed of the week’s activities and started to mentally scan the contents of my suitcases to make certain I had enough outfits! My friends know that I make lists when I travel of everything I am taking with me, as well as lists of complete ensembles for dinners, parties, cocktails, pool day, beach days and alternate looks to account for a sudden change of mood. You get the picture.  As my South African friend Dominique asked me last summer in Paris “Simon do you really think this is normal behavior?  You speak about it like its normal!”  Well Dominique and all those out there snickering: Who the hell cares about being normal any way?  Not me!

December 1st
The activities began with the Vanity Fair opening party at MOCA Miami (fabulous), followed by dinner at Asia de Cuba at the Mondrian (Nice food and service but way, way, way overpriced) listen up Asia de Cuba if you are going to charge those prices you better up the ante and bring it! After dinner we headed to another MOCA party at Louis at the Gansevoort Hotel. The DJ was jamming! Some of you already know that I love to dance and you have to practically beg me to go home if I’m in my groove, so be forewarned if you want to go dancing with me. Oh and if you happen to be a lady don’t show up in flats because I will not dance with you! You need to wear your highest heels. Not kidding. I’m serious now don’t mess with me!

INSTALLATION AT THE DE LA CRUZ HOME copyright simon alcantara 2009

December 2nd

Well after all that dancing at Louis the previous night sleeping late was on my schedule.  Everyone that knows me knows I have a serious yoga practice and it doesn’t matter how much I may have worked, partied or danced the night before I need to get to yoga.  So I headed down to Bikram Yoga South Beach where the manager John is always funny, charming and great teacher. He taught a killer class that kicked my butt, but also made me feel great an hour after it was over. I was ready for the evening’s activities. I knew it would be a light evening in comparison to what was to come the next day.  We headed down to a party hosted by the Brillenbourg’s, the Ernst’s and the Levinas (Washingtonians) at the Murano Portofino in South Beach.  There I met the lovely Isabel Ernst whose family has one of the finest private Contemporary art collections.  I was so excited that I would be able to see it the next day. After the Party we headed down to Fratelli Lyon in the Design District where the handsome and charming server Jonathan had all the girls giggling  (and some of the guys) vying for his attention.  The food was so good. Amazing! I promptly started lobbying to return the next day. Standouts for me were the Boquerones and the 1972 Armagnac. The night was still young but we needed to turn in as the next day would be like an art marathon.

INSTALLATION AT THE DE LA CRUZ ART SPACE copyright simon alcantara 2009

Dec 3rd

Breakfast and viewing of the private collection at the De La Cruz home in Key Biscayne.  Amazing!
Next:  Opening and viewing at the new De La Cruz Collection in their new space in the  Design District.  Phenomenal!
Next: Lunch at Michaels also in the Design District, (tasty) where we ran into Jonathan the server from Fratelli Lyon, he came to say hello and asked us to come back to Fratelli  that evening.  I had been lobbying since the previous day.  It seemed like things were going to go my way. We also met the sculptor David Gonya and his beautiful wife.  We had such a great chat and I was inspired by David’s story of how he came to be a sculptor.
Next:  Headed down to the new Christian Louboutin Boutique, which was like an art installation.  Gorgeous!
Next: Stopped by the Thomas Meir Boutique where they were exhibiting the Tom Binns archival collection that would be heading to the Victoria And Albert Museum soon after Art Basel.  We also ran into the mild mannered Thomas Meir who was gingerly arranging a mannequin as he greeted us warmly.

Girl, I need a nap.  Please.  No really I need a nap!


Ah much better now.  Shower, change of outfit and off we go…..

Spectrum: Photo House where we met Santiago (Santiago Studio) a prominent New York fine art and fashion Photographer, along with Rick Cruz and Michael Moreno.  Beautiful photographs!
Luminaire Party for and art installation “The Third Space” an experimental project created by 52 interior design students from Germany from the akademie der bildenden künste.  The chairs made of zip ties were absolutely amazing and innovative! We were invited by Carlitos Matta the much in demand interior designer.


Headed down to dinner at Señora Martinez (damn I guess we are not going to Fratelli Lyon).  45 minute wait.  No way!  So off we go to Fratelli Lyon where we are greeted warmly by Jonathan and had another wonderful and delicious dinner.

Headed to Bardot the bohemian nightclub and checked out the band.  It was so packed we decided to leave after a short while.  I must return on my next trip.

Headed to Blue Martini Lounge downtown and finished the evening dancing Merengue and Salsa. Finally the night was over.  Great fun but exhausting!

December 4,


I got up too late and was not able to join Arlene and Carlitos to see the exhibitions at the Miami Convention Center (shame on me) . So I went to yoga and detoxed to prepare myself for the evening’s retox.  The evening started with drinks at the Setai (my favorite hotel in Miami) where we were joined by the beautiful, fabulous and always gut wrenching hilarious Arelene Rodriguez and Lissette Bixler.  Afterwards we headed downtown to the Viceroy hotel where we joined artist Jacqueline Tarry as well as Sami and Luis the event planners.

Jacqueline was able to quickly usher us in and we avoided the hour-long wait on line. We took the elevator up to the 19th floor where they had the collector’s reception. Stand outs for me personally where Peter Fox’s rough self -portrait and Jordan Eagles pieces that are made from blood.  His work really blew me away and I have not been able to stop thinking about them.



Now up to the 50th floor we go to club 50 for the party.  We had a joyful time and ended the evening at Sami & Luis chic apartment drinking champagne and eating artisanal cheeses.  Delicious!

December 5th and 6th.

I decided to cook a typical Dominican breakfast called “ Mangu” for my friends but we ate it at 8pm with champagne!  Later I met up with designer friends from NY and partied the night away. Suffice to say I did not get home until 7 am on Sunday.  That’s it!  No details or venues, some things are best kept private.

OUR VIEW copyright simon alcanatara 2009

The final day was a day of rest, and that evening we had a beautiful dinner at Casa Tua my all time Miami favorite. Ciao Miami I need to go home and get some rest!!

Comadres se acabo la fiesta!  (Inside joke)


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