Local author Brian Antoni‘s new book, South Beach: The Novel, centers around a trust fund kid gone broke who ends up in a South Beach apartment complex surrounded by a cast of eclectic characters. There’s no doubt Antoni borrowed from his own experiences for this juicy story – someone who’s partied with George Plimpton and Madonna must have some fierce fodder.
Favorite Miami icon: Mitch Kaplan and Books and Books, because he brought books to South Beach and the book fair to Miami. I no longer have to convince publishers that people read in South Florida: they used to think all we did was tan.
Where you’d like to have your last meal: The Forge, because it is where old school Miami Beach meets new school Miami Beach. Since I was going to die, I would have the gigantic shrimp cocktail, the Forge steak, chopped salad and chocolate souffle. Just thinking about it is killing me.
Best quintessential “Miami” story: I remember being at Chris Blackwell’s apartment at the Marlin when Madonna walked in and then Sly Stalone. Madonna introduced herself to Sly with a “nice to meet you neighbor.” I knew at that point that South Beach had gone from a place for people who had no place to go to a place for people who could go anywhere.
Favorite Spanish phrase: Rico! Suave!
Miami wouldn’t be Miami without: The incredible weather and mixture of people that make it hot, hot, hot.
Miami really needs: a good spanking.
Event you look forward to every year: Art Basel: it’s a Costco for billionaires. The whole art world comes to my neighborhood to Art Frenzy and conspicuously consume.
Favorite hidden gem: The Miami River, taking my boat and floating through the main artery of Miami. I love watching all the stolen stuff pass by on its way to countries that need it more.
Best night in Miami you’ve ever had: A book party I gave at my family home for George Plimpton, where Candace Bushnell and the band Spacehog took off their clothes and dove in our pool.
Where you can typically be found on a Saturday night: Making the rounds in South Beach, hanging at Rok Bar or ditching the beach and hitting the White Room on the mainland.
Brian Antoni reads at the Miami Book Fair International Saturday, Nov. 15, at 11 a.m. For more about Antoni, visit brianantoni.com.