Virtuoso Life March 2018 City Secrets: Miami

City Secrets: Miami

The Bass.
The Bass.
Photo by Vanessa Rogers. 
Culture makers in some of the world’s most sophisticated cities share their hometown picks. 

Silvia Karman Cubiñá moved to Miami 16 years ago, when her husband got a job offer he couldn’t pass up. Today, the city is very much her home – one that she’s extremely excited about. That’s partly because The Bass – where she’s executive director and chief curator – reopened in October 2017 after a two-plus-year renovation led by architects Arata Isozaki and David Gauld. Cubiñá is passionate about Miami’s current culture scene. “In the last five or ten years, almost every art institution here has gotten a new building, including the Pérez Art Museum Miami and the Institute of Contemporary Art,” she says. “The city is in the midst of some really exciting projects, and, living here, you really feel like a participant.”

Outside Art: Walk around Miami Beach and you’ll be rewarded with incredible architecture and public artworks – which is why Cubiñá thinks it’s the best area to explore on foot. In Collins Park, there’s Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain, a 42-foot tower of large rainbow-colored rocks (owned by The Bass). In South Pointe, look for Tobias Rehberger’s obstinate lighthouse, topped with a light installation. As for the architecture, “There’s a mix of old and new happening,” she says. One way to experience the city’s classic art deco buildings is on a tour with the Miami Design Preservation League. As for the contemporary, Cubiñá recommends the New World Center concert hall, designed by Frank Gehry, the Faena District, and even a parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road by Herzog & de Meuron.

Gallery-Hopping: Cubiñá often visits local art spaces, and her favorites champion both established and emerging artists. “Fredric Snitzer Gallery has been around for generations,” she says. “This morning I was there and became acquainted with an artist I didn’t know.” North of the Design District, she likes Nina Johnson (in Little Haiti) and Spinello Projects (in Little River), both longtime heavyweights of the creative scene. And if you’re at the beach, make sure to pop over to David Castillo Gallery on Lincoln Road.

Leisurely Lunch: On Fridays, you may catch Cubiñá enjoying a long midday meal at Michael’s Genuine Food & Drink, from James Beard Award winner Michael Schwartz. “I love the short-rib pizza or, if they’re on the menu, I’ll get the fig-and-pulled-pork pizza and a butter lettuce salad,” she says. The restaurant is located in the Design District, so it’s no surprise that it attracts people who work in fashion, art, and design.

Date Night: For Cubiñá, a romantic evening out calls for dinner at the beautifully designed Forte dei Marmi in Miami Beach, where the atmosphere is “elegant and sophisticated” and the food is “pure Italian, made with fresh, organic ingredients.” Her go-to order is the tagliolini with Alaskan crab, cherry tomatoes, and chili oil.

Pop Some Bubbly: If you’re going to sip something sparkling, you may as well do it at what Cubiñá calls “the most beautiful bar in Miami, hands down.” She’s talking about Le Sirenuse Champagne Bar. No matter what you order – a classic cocktail or a single-malt scotch flight – it’ll come served in a handmade Venetian glass by Carlo Moretti.

Treasure Hunt: For vintage Chanel, YSL, Diane von Furstenberg, and the like, add C. Madeleine’s to your must-shop list. Located in North Miami Beach, this 10,000-square-foot store is filled with beautiful pieces for men and women, waiting to be discovered. “Everything is divided by decades and goes all the way back to the 1920s,” says Cubiñá, who loves it for handbags and dresses.

Stay: The Miami Beach Edition has more to offer guests than three and a half oceanfront acres of prime mid-Miami Beach real estate, dining at Jean-Georges Vongerichten’s Matador Room, and 294 Ian Schrager-designed rooms: The hot-ticket hotel also houses an underground nightclub, bowling alley, and ice-skating rink.

Cruise: Get a firsthand look at the roots of Miami’s Cuban culture during Azamara Club Cruises’ circumnavigation of Cuba. The 694-passenger Azamara Journey sails round-trip from Miami, with calls in Havana, but also in the less-frequented ports of Santiago de Cuba and Cienfuegos. Stops in Cozumel and the Cayman Islands are also on the itinerary. Departure: November 10.

Silvia Karman Cubiñá, museum director and curator. 
Silvia Karman Cubiñá, museum director and curator. 
Photo by Vanessa Rogers. 

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