You may notice a growing buzz of activity--especially in Midtown, the Design District and Miami Beach--that signals that a week (or more) of art appreciation, parties and sensory overload is almost here. The height of activity is next Wednesday, Dec. 5 through Sunday, Dec. 9, but gallery openings and other events are already starting.
Below are are seven signs that Art Basel is upon us.
A small group of fans recently gathered at the Marlins' new half-billion dollar stadium in Miami's Little Havana to protest in both in Spanish and in English. They want new owners after the team's latest purge: the trade of All-Stars Jose Reyes, Mark Buehrle and Josh Johnson to the Blue Jays in return for seven mostly unknown players.
"This is a work of fiction," cautions the introduction to poet C.M. Clark's latest book, "Charles Deering Forecasts the Weather & Other Poems."
Whatever would Charles Deering say? If there's one person who can at least guess, it's Clark. She was the very first Literary Artist-in-Residence for the Deering Estate, which stands alongside the Biltmore Hotel and Vizcaya as one of Miami-Dade's historical gems. The estate was built in 1916 by Deering, a wealthy industrialist, and once housed one of the most extensive art collections in our region.
The Florida Marlins have dumped much of their starting line-up, engineering a huge trade with the Toronto Blue Jays. The players include high-priced free agents the team pursued for its inaugural season in its new stadium.
Marvin Francis crouched over and dug into a yellow and forest green La Salle High School miniature duffel bag. "'NObama'; 'You Lie,'" he read from a pile of oversized red, white and blue buttons. A small crowd peaked over his shoulders, holding five and ten dollar bills at their sides.
"I think that's all the selection I have left. And 'Obama Sucks,'" he added. "That's the only other one that I have that I didn't want to put out 'cause there's too many young kids."
Tom Wolfe wrote his new novel, Back to Blood, entirely by hand. But the author of The Electric Kool-Aid Acid Test and The Bonfire of the Vanities also says that wasn't entirely by choice — he'd rather have used a typewriter.
"Unfortunately, you can't keep typewriters going today — you have to take the ribbons back to be re-inked," Wolfe tells Fresh Air's Dave Davies. "There's a horrible search to try to find missing parts."