We decided to test the insider credentials of author Pamela Druckerman, who grew up in Miami, now lives in Paris and recently wrote a controversial column about Miami for the New York Times. We asked: “Have you ever...”:
Taken part in Miami Book Fair International: “I have spoken at the fair, and I was a judge at the Literary Death Match one year, and it was so much fun. I got right off the plane and did it completely jet-lagged.” Probably a good idea.
Attended Art Basel or any of its satellite shows: Yes.
Fought the crowd for a sip of wine or a nosh at a South Beach Wine & Food Festival: No. February is the wrong time of year for her to visit — with three kids, she’s bound by the school calendar.
Tasted a strawberry shake at Knaus Berry Farm or Robert Is Here: No, but she has been strawberry picking in Homestead (“I was always scared of falling down a well there”).
Eaten at Versailles: “Countless times.”
Marveled at the plants at Fairchild Tropical Botanic Garden: “Yes — I went to the Chihuly exhibit.”
Strolled the crowded streets at Calle Ocho: Yes.
Checked out the Coconut Grove Arts Festival: Yes.
Raved at Ultra: No (Note: As Druckerman is not 21, this is an entirely reasonable response, although we would have had more fun with a “yes”).
Braved Santa’s Enchanted Forest at Tropical Park: No but has driven past dozens of time. (This is also an entirely reasonable response.)
Ambled around Miami International Boat Show: Yes, as a kid.
Visited the Miami-Dade County Fair & Exposition: “Yes. The only writing prize I ever won was at the youth fair. I was runner up for poetry.”
Had a latte at Panther Coffee: Not yet.
Attended any O, Miami poetry month events: “No, but I’m dying to. [Founder] Scott Cunningham is doing a great job.”