MIAMI BY MARTIN January 2009
A monthly column from Martin Crossland
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Current Miami Temperature: 80°F 27°C balmy degrees
Current Miami Beach Surf Temperature: 74°F 23°C degrees
Kournikova Loves Miami
By Fred Gonzalez
Miami resident, tennis bombshell and K-Swiss fashionista Anna Kournikova changed
up her regular routine a bit this past weekend. She ran the four-mile leg of the
Nautica South Beach Triathlon as part of a celebrity relay team that included
Olympian Dana Torres (swimming) and model/triathlete Katya Myers (biking). With
a large bottle of water in hand post-run, and the admission that she ate too much
seafood the night before, Kournikova, 26, took a time out to talk about running,
boyfriend Enrique Iglesias and her home.
Why did you decide to compete in the triathlon?
"The most important reason I did this was for St. Jude Children’s Hospital.
With it here in Miami, it was a no-brainer. I had never done one of these, so
it was also a new experience and challenge for me."
Did you do any kind of special training, or did you just get up and go?
"It was more like I’ll just get up in the morning and do it, and whatever
happens afterwards, who cares. I workout regularly, so I did not change one thing.
I do my usual 30 to 45 minute weights and then I walk for like an hour or so.
I don’t run. Four times a week."
Did you watch Enrique [Iglesias] perform on the Latin Billboards?
"I did. I watched it on TV. I didn’t go. We never mix work. We keep
Why did Miami become home for you?
"It’s really strange, but ever since I came her for the first time
in 1992, I fell in love with it. I thought if I can make enough money, I would
buy a place here. But in 1997, I moved here permanently and Miami is the only
place where I actually own property."
What is it about Miami that’s special for you?
"I just love the area and the water and the weather and the people. I travel
so much for work that when I come home, it’s like I am on vacation. I like
the relaxed lifestyle and being able to wear flip-flops and shorts. In a city
like New York you can’t go outside and relax, and I don’t have time
to worry about how I look. And I like that it’s a small community. I just
like everything about it."
Do you have any favorite restaurants?
"I don’t go to big, new trendy ones. I go to classic ones, like China
Grill and Nobu and Bond Street. Big Pink. Alta Mar. I don’t normally go
to Ocean Drive or Lincoln Road."
Would you change anything about Miami?
"I think Miami is perfect. I wouldn’t want the roads to be any bigger
because there would be more cars. Parking is a little difficult, but I wouldn’t
Florida (CNN) -- A newspaper advertisement for a Miami car dealership reads
more like a coupon for bags of potato chips: "Buy one, get two!"
It's estimated that 900
automotive dealerships will have shut their doors by year's end. The ad speaks
to the desperation of car dealers as Big Three auto manufacturers beg Washington
for billions in bailout dollars to combat sales that keep dipping to all-time
"The first thing people
think when they come in is, 'It's a fake ad. It's a normal car dealer ad. It's
a gimmick.' But it's not," said Ali Ahmed, sales manager at Rob Lambdin's
University Dodge in Miami.
To be fair, there is a catch
to the buy-one-get-one-free offer: You must first buy a new Dodge truck at full
retail price before you're eligible to receive a second truck for about $3,000
in tax, tags and dealer fees.
"We've been fielding
phone calls and e-mail inquiries from every state in the country looking to
get this buy-one-get-one deal," Ahmed said.
Miami mansion opens to the public
By Matt Sedensky, AP | Dec
For years, the iconic South Beach mansion best known as the
place Gianni Versace lived and died was open only to the privileged few.
Before the designer's death
more than a decade ago, his celebrity friends stayed so often, rooms were outfitted
with them in mind. After Versace's murder and the house's sale, it become home
to another mogul with A-list friends.
But, slowly, 1116 Ocean
Drive has opened its doors, first as an invitation-only private club, then allowing
non-members to stay in its ornate rooms, and now to the masses — or at
least anyone willing to plunk down $65 for a tour.
Outside, tourists flock
to the cast-iron gates, taking pictures all hours of the day. It is not until
you enter, though, that you truly sense its magnificence.
Pass through the limestone
arch, into the courtyard of Casa Casuarina, and the fuss all makes sense. The
trickle of water from a fountain, the shift of clouds above, the tickle of Atlantic
breezes — the simple beauty of each is enhanced by the home's lavishness.
It was built in 1930 by
Standard Oil heir Alden Freeman, later became a hotel, spiraled into disrepair,
and was at one point a hostel where rooms went for as little as $1 a night.
Versace bought it in 1992, along with a hotel next door, and did massive renovations
to make the estate what it is today.
Versace's touches are everywhere,
often in the form of his Medusa head logo, which is seen in gold, on gates and
railings, in stone mosaics even on shower drains. And, of course, visitors will
want to know where he spent his final moment that Tuesday in July 1997, which
staff prefer not to speak about. He was shot by a serial killer who later committed
Three of the 10 rooms go
for $1,200 during the peak winter season, plus 13% tax and 22% service charge.
The others climb in price, up to the owner's suite, which goes for $10,000 nightly.
Prices are less expensive in summer, when the heat chases many tourists away,
and for members.
No one expects the Versace
mansion to be cheap; they do expect it to be special. And it delivers. In here,
everything seems different, and a Tuesday afternoon is transformed from mundane
Secret brings sexy back to Fontainebleau
By Arienne Thompson, USA TODAY
Old Hollywood's glitz and
glamour returned to the Fontainebleau Hotel Saturday night as the recently renovated
resort played host to the annual Victoria's Secret Fashion Show.
In the '50s and '60s, the
Fontainebleau was a bee's nest of celebrity activity: Frank Sinatra played the
nightclub. Jerry Lewis filmed The Bellboy. Sean Connery's James Bond swam in
the pool in Goldfinger.
On this night, Paris Hilton
struck a pose on the pink carpet. Heidi Klum primped and prepped backstage for
the catwalk. Robert Duvall and James Caan arrived as a team to work the crowd.
From the humid air to the
no-holds-barred attitude, the scene was steamy as A-listers convened to watch
the annual fashion show and celebrate the reinvigoration of the resort.
Iron Man star Terrence Howard
was pointedly honest from the front row: "I'd rather see beautiful lingerie
lying on the floor."
Secret 2009 line-up
Is Miami Developer So Determined To Build?
by Greg Allen
A Miami home builder is seeking approval for a 7,000-house development in the
midst of the biggest housing downturn since the Depression. And the new community
would be built in an area that now is off-limits to big development, just three
miles from the Everglades.
Building by the Everglades
Port of Miami Cruise Passengers
The latest figures released by the Port of Miami indicate that cruise passenger
traffic for eleven months (January - November 2008) was a RECORD 3.8 million
passengers, an increase of 10.5% over last year.
The month of November alone
revealed a 16.4% increase over last year’s figure – also a RECORD.
Sustained growth is due in part to the arrival of new, larger vessels and the
variety of cruise options offered by the Port of Miami.
Bayfront Park Named Among Top 10 Places to Ring in the New Year
EVENTS IN GREATER MIAMI & THE BEACHES
USA TODAY - Miami’s Bayfront Park was one of 10 great places to spend
New Year’s Eve, according to Mahdad Taheri, founder of NewYears.noo.com,
who shared his list of favorites with USA TODAY last week. "Who wouldn't
love a party complete with a Big Orange climbing up the side of a building?"
Taheri asks. "The Big Orange," a New Year's Eve icon in Miami's Bayfront
Park, reaches the top of the Hotel Intercontinental at midnight, heralding the
beginning of a huge fireworks display. The park hosted a free concert until
the midnight extravaganza. "The best thing about this event: It's warm!"
Taheri says. For the full article, click
FedEx BCS National Championship Game…..Go Gators!
18th. Jan. 09
Ringling Bros. Barnum and Bailey Circus
Miami City Ballet - Program II
10th. Jan. 09
Dmitri Hvorostovsky. Music selections include arias from Rossini’s
Il barbiere di Siviglia, Tchaikovsky’s Mazeppa, and Gounod’s Faust.
11th. Jan. 09
19th Annual Taste of the Grove
11th. Jan. 09
Beaux Arts Festival
11th. Jan. 09
South Florida History Challenge
Miami Symphony Orchestra - An Evening in Vienna
JAZZ ROOTS - A Tribute to Machito and Tito Puente
18th. Jan. 09
Art Deco Weekend
18th. Jan. 09
Firebird Chamber Orchestra - Mozart and Salieri - Setting the Record
20th. Jan. 09
Presidential Inauguration - Live simulcast of the inauguration and swearing-in
ceremony of the 44th President of the United States, Barack Obama.
25th. Jan. 09
South Beach Comedy Festival 2009
22nd. Jan. 09
Wynton Marsalis. The most outstanding jazz musician and trumpeter
of his generation.
The Four Tops & Temptations. Nine great vocalists…two
legendary groups…one memorable evening!
23rd. Jan. 09
Celine Dion Presents Taking Chances World Tour
24th. Jan. 09
New World Symphony. Saint-Saëns: Violin Concerto No. 3
- Mahler: Symphony No. 1, "Titan"
25th. Jan. 09
Homestead Championship Rodeo
25th. Jan. 09
25th. Jan. 09
International Chocolate Festival
24th. to 31st. Jan. 09
Florida Grand Opera - La Cenerentola
ING Miami Marathon and Half Marathon
28th. Jan. 09
Budapest Festival Orchestra
29th. Jan. 09
Miami City Ballet and The Cleveland Orchestra Present: See The Music
Hear The Dancing
30th. and 31st. Jan. 09
The Cleveland Orchestra
to 1st. Feb. 09
2009 Miami International Orchid Festival
MORE GREATER MIAMI & THE BEACHES EVENTS, visit: www.MiamiandBeaches.com/Visitors/Calendar_of_Events.asp
issue of Visit Florida http://getaways.visitflorida.com/ezine/index.php