A List of Things at Art Basel Miami Beach That I Don’t Like, In the Order In Which They Occur to Me

Fun in the sun

Fun in the sun

I arrived to the party for Glenn O’Brien, celebrating his TV Party show, at Casa Claridge on the early side. The hotel lobby was bathed in hot light from production lamps because a crew was filming the proceedings. A guy who I think I recognized from Wendy’s commercials from the late 90s was working the door for some reason and said, “Are you on the list?” but then didn’t really follow up on the question. Inside, the bartender had a big light directly over his head, and asked a crew member if he could have it removed, and turn on a different, less hot light.

“But we’re filming this,” the crew member said. “And this light is really working.”

The bartender frowned, resigning himself to several hours of discomfort.

As I started writing this exchange down in my notebook, a host of the part seated at the bar and dressed exactly like Beetlejuice wanted to show me the guest-list so I could see the names of all the people that had said they would attend the event. I told her I didn’t want to look and continued writing. She told me, “There’s nothing to take notes about.”

I sighed and said, “I’m documenting my nervous breakdown.”

“I won’t tell you how to do your job,” she said.


Standing outside the Dom Pérignon party at the W was a special kind of hell, with the crowd pushing and yelling and frantically trying to get the attention of a publicist. The friend I was with lit a cigarette, which did not go over well with the three Italian women standing next to us.

“Have you ever for a second thought about anything other than yourself?” one of them said. This seemed, to me, a little exaggerated as far as reactions go, but as we walked away from them in a huff I realized it wasn’t necessarily an irrelevant question to ask people down here.


Bruce Willis’s daughter bummed a cigarette off of me by the pool at the Edition hotel because her friend “only smokes menthols.”


I was talking to an art advisor I know from New York outside Le Baron. I think this was to get into the after-party for a Miley Cyrus concert, but honestly by this point–I’d been in town for about 12 hours–everything was already bleeding together. I’m not entirely convinced that this city isn’t just one giant hotel lobby. Instead of inoffensive muzak playing through speakers, there’s a soft breeze endlessly pumping through the air to keep everyone from panicking.

The advisor stopped speaking to me literally in the middle of a word when Todd Eberle walked up to her and said he could get her into the party.


Chanel, Dior, Perrier, Dom Pérignon, Instagram, Beats by Dr. Dre, Mercedes Benz, Soho House, NeueHouse, Audi, BMW, IWC Schaffhausen, Paris Hilton, Baz Luhrmann, Kim Kardashian, Leonardo di Caprio, Joe Jonas, Usher, Spike TV…


I spent $22 on a Jameson on the rocks while waiting for a friend at the Fountainbleu. I was standing in between a guy wearing cargo shorts and a red shirt that said “SUITS SUCK” and another guy wearing a suit who was telling two other guys in suits, “I could sell it tomorrow if I wanted to, but I don’t want to.” I sat on a couch and a middle-aged couple from Cape May, New Jersey started talking to me. They hadn’t heard of Art Basel. The woman said, “Art all just looks like a bunch of junk to me.”


…Uber, Maison de Mode, VanDutch yachts, Emily Blunt, Jena Malone, André 3000, etc. I could go on. Just saw a headline in the New York Times that says “Art Fair Energizes Economy of Region.”


Outside a party hosted by The WILD Magazine—which I’ve never heard of before, by the way—I started talking about the general sick feeling this place had induced in me from the moment I landed, and that waiting in a line to get into a party (“They’ve been saying they’re not letting anyone in for an hour!” the guy standing next to me said hopelessly) was a reminder that life is long, and there are many hours to fill, but not an infinite number of hours. The director of an Upper East Side gallery who I hadn’t met before but split a cab to the party with called me “emo”—haven’t heard that one in a while—and said she was sick of my “depressing act.” I stared coldly at her for a moment then told her, “I don’t think I like you very much.” As far as zingers go, I really could have done better, but she was still gravely offended by this. It was probably the first honest thing I’d said all week.

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5 December 2014 | 6:15 pm – Source: artnews.com


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