Club + Bars

Velvet underground: July 17-23

A model walks down the runway wearing Diesel swimwear during the 2008 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim show in Miami Beach, Fla. Thursday, July 17, 2008. Photo: Lynne Sladky.
A model walks down the runway wearing Diesel swimwear during the 2008 Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim show in Miami Beach, Fla. Thursday, July 17, 2008. Photo: Lynne Sladky.

This weekend promises to be a splashy affair thanks to the Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week Swim shows, a bathing suit trade show of sorts where clothing is almost optional. Although the shows taking place at the Raleigh Hotel are by-invitation-only, the requisite parties will coincide. While some may be harder to slip into than an overweight dude trying on a Speedo, others not so much. Good news for those who live on credit, though: All you need to get into the Raleigh is an American Express card. According to AmEx flaks, “From a private poolside cabana at the Raleigh to a meet-and-greet with a swimwear designer, cardmembers have unparalleled access to Mercedes Benz Fashion Week.”

Among the hot ticket events over the weekend: the kick-off party from 8-11 p.m. Friday at the Raleigh; the Red Carter show at 10 a.m. Saturday; the Webster Temporary’s Eres trunk show 6 p.m. Saturday; and the Ed Hardy Swimwear show at 8 p.m. Saturday. There’s also a Sheiki Jeans (nothing like a pair of tight jeans on top of a wet bathing suit, right?) fashion showcase at 10:15 p.m. Friday at Casa Casuarina with an after-party until 1 a.m. Although celebrity appearances are said to be few and far between this summer, we will keep our eyes wide open for any signs of bold-face life.

And for those who find themselves left off the lists for parties this weekend, who cares? Miami is now a proud outpost of a very cool website– MyOpenBar.com, which The New York Times so eloquently called “A kind of Zagat guide for freeloaders.” The site is exactly as its name implies, a blog of sorts with listings of all boozy freeloading to be found in the city, plus other important information on events and parties.

And it couldn’t have come at a better time, when many hipsters are finding themselves on austere budgets — or no budgets at all. According to the site’s Miami gatekeeper Vivek Jayaram, “It’s probably smarter to spend $15 on three gallons of gas to get to work than on a vodka tonic right now. But seriously, in a town with unjustifiably draconian drink prices, our site simply aims to provide denizens of the 305 with affordable options to get their drink on.” Amen!

More frugal fabulousness can be found at Tuscan Steak, which has introduced Tuscan Summer Nights, a four-course meal and glass of wine for $39 per person (plus tax and tip). Not bad. Not necessarily discounted but cool nonetheless is the Delano’s Sushi By the Sea nights. Thursdays through Saturdays you can chill by the pool — or “water salon” as they call it — with a special maki roll menu from 8 p.m.-1 a.m. They say the rolls are jumbo, and at $13-$19 a pop they should be.

Another hot restaurant, a fave of Anna and Enrique’s, AltaMar, 1223 Lincoln Rd., is offering a three-course, prix fixe menu through Labor Day. For just $25 per person you get appetizer, entree and dessert. When it comes to fab fare, you can’t really beat that, plus, after the swim shows pack their trunks and go, it’s OK to exhale. Live a little.

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