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In the Beginning: Art Basel Day 1

Art Basel Miami Beach kicks off this Thursday, December 4th but in a fitting fashion, there is, of course the pre-pre-openings, pre-parties, and pre-events. Last night was Tuesday, December 2nd and the unofficial beginning of Art Basel this year. It was also the coldest night in Miami yet, it wasn’t pleasant. Aside from the weather, all in all it was a fantastic kick-off.

We first were driven downtown to the Galerie Bertin-Toublanc, 2534 North Miami Avenue. The Parisian gallery has come to light in Miami triumphantly. The Galeri Bertin-Toublanc was a perfect first glimpse into Art Basel, classy, hip and sophisticated. Moneyed suits and fashionable woman wandered throughout the gallery rooms sipping on Champagne. There were photographers and film crew to capture the contemporary scene. Artists from around the world were in attendance to show off their avant-garde works. Plus, newcomer, Miami scene-local Alexis Mincolla debuted a few intriguing pieces. Our presence was felt and we slipped out quietly to move on.

Our driver took us a few minutes away to the next gallery, Our House West of Wynwood. O.H.W.O.W had an expansive collections of artists, musicians and weirdos brought by gallery owners Aaron Bondaroff and Al Moran. What the gallery calls "It Aint’s Fair," will feature Deitch Projects, peres Projects, Nueva Galeria De La Barra, A.S.S Gallery, AMP, Picturebox and TV Books curators Tim Barber, Kathy Grayson, Terence Koh, Andreas Melas and others this week. "It Ain’t Fair" had a very downtown New York vibe with a special musical performance by A.R.E Weapons. Open bar was stocked by Campari and Grolsch and although it was a wood table in the middle of a parking lot outside of the gallery, it was entertaining. In fact, it was a totally different seen than the first gallery, O.H.W.O.W was ultra-layed back, featuring art for arts sake. Waiting on the bathroom line for 30 minutes, wet paint and graffitied walls brought us back to our keg stand, college frat partying days. With that we left downtown to head back to Miami Beach.

We went straight for the Florida Room which is the best Tuesday night pre-party, the Big Bounce was performing and sensational. The DJ started spinning at midnight and it was Miami Beach with Art Basel energy, pretty fantastic. Around 1 a.m we headed to Mokai as is our usual Tuesday night tradition. The music was blase but the real problem was that the door guy let the whole world in. Mokai was sweaty, way overcrowded to the point of nausea and smelled funny in a bad way. We stuck around for a few horrible minutes and then peaced to Bella Rose. The little rock bar that could was taken over by bohemian New Yorkers and the lower East side came back to us. Around 3 a.m little Mary-Kate Olsen walked in with boyfriend and bodyguard in tote. She was wearing what looked like crocs or flat clogs so she was three heads shorter than anyone in the bar. She had on an oversized, black monstrosity and a huge black hat with a white feather pulled down over her face. We know she is all about being fashion forward but that was tragic, you wouldn’t have been able to pick her out on a street of bums. She was very sweet ,though, and we spoke about her new fashion book "Influence" with twin sister Ashley. The book would look great on a coffee table and for the fashion darlings out there, it is a must buy. Bella Rose began to die down around 5 a.m, we could believe how another night had just flown by. Most of us went home to bed to get prepared for Art Basel day 2.