This past weekend I attended the after-party for the Miami screening of Andy Garcia’s new movie, “City Island.”
Andy is an old friend of Wendy’s. I must confess, the only movies of his I have seen are When A Man Loves A Woman, and the Ocean’s 11 movies. I do not think that I am the target audience for many of his movies. (Case in point: upon texting my dad that I met Andy Garcia, he wrote back, “He lost his head in Black Rain. Literally.” The movie was an adventure-thriller involving American police in the Japanese underworld, in which Andy Garcia’s character gets decapitated. I, of course, had never heard of it.)
Garcia, originally born in Cuba, is a Miami native and attended FIU. (Florida International University, for those of you who don’t know all the Florida school acronyms. I’m still learning them.) The Garcia family has a home here on Biscayne, and has a multitude of family members in the surrounding area, many of whom were at the afterparty. (One person told me, “You have to expect up to 200 guest if the family is coming.”) His wife, Marivi, who is a friend of Wendy’s (who isn’t? seriously.), was there as well. She is very beautiful. Everyone I met at the party was charming.
City Island is a wonderful, quirky comedy about an Italian-American family in the Bronx (hence, City Island). The film explores the concepts of secrets and lies, past and present, but presented in a hilarious and touching way! Andy Garcia stars as the father of the family, and Julianna Margulies co-stars (I wish she had been there! I adooooore “The Good Wife”!! Anyone who doesn’t watch it…needs to start). Andy and Marivi’s daughter stars in the movie, as well. It officially opens in Miami on the 26th, I believe. The after party was held at the Conrad Hotel.
I once again had to suck up my fear of heights, but it was worth it. The Conrad is a beautiful hotel. It really is. The lobby is also on the 25th floor, along with the Atrio Restaurant and Wine Room and “The Spa.” The whole shebang is called Level 25.
They had these lovely little booths to socialize in. I really like the decor, but I have to laugh at the absurdity of having palm trees 25 stories in the air.
Within Level 25, there are apartments and hotel rooms that have windows and balconies that open out into the atrium in the sky. It was architecturally fascinating. It was almost as though they carved out the inside of the building and just patched it up with some glass.
You can see this below. To the right side of the photograph, are residences. To the left, is a (reinforced) scaffolding-like series of bars and wooden frames supporting the stories of glass. The rooftop is, obviously, the rooftop – although I hear there is a pool and some tennis courts up there? Hmm…
More of the residences and balconies. I heard from a woman in the bathroom that during the last hurricane, the entire glass siding blew out into the inside of the hotel. She told us the entire building was swaying, and when you looked down below you saw the streets flooded and there wasn’t anywhere else to go. Scary stuff. I hope there aren’t any major hurricanes this summer…although I heard that Florida is overdue for a major hurricane. Fant-tastic.
Here is my lovely benefactor, the Glamazon Wendolyn Grant. This was after we finally decided we had to find a seat to rest our weary feet.
This is Wendy’s dear friend Kathy. Kathy is Andy Garcia’s executive assistant, and she and Wendy worked together when they arranged a screening of The Lost City, another one of Andy’s movies, while Wendy was working in the Governor’s office. Kathy is hilarious, and she has a fabulous Southern accent. Within five minutes, she was rubbing off on me!
Level 25 also has a balcony. It was full of smokers, so I mostly avoided it, except to take these pictures of the bay. Isn’t it beautiful? This (below) is looking north-east….
…this is looking east…
(I bet those builders who build the Conrad are thinking, “Darn you!” about that building right between them and the water.)
…and looking south. See those glass railings? I stayed faaaar away from those. Shudder.
Except to take this photograph of the rooftop pool next door. My stomach flips over and I get a little dizzy just looking at this picture. But it does a great job of showing the standard architecture style of modern buildings in Miami. The first floors of the building are parking garage floors on a wide base, for stability. (No underground parking garages in Florida…you can see why here.) On top of this, usually between the 8th and 12th floors, based on my own experiences, the building splits in half. Half of it rises all the way to the sky as a high-rise, and the other half functions as the “rooftop” pool. So the pool isn’t usually on the 60th floor. Geez, imagine the water pressure up that high! (Just kidding.)
And I thought this photograph summed up the ending of the night nicely. The upside down child (below) is, as Wendy puts it, “the heir to the Garcia throne.” This was after midnight. The poor kid was probably pooped. It made me laugh, though. I love how little kids just do exactly what everyone else feels like doing, but doesn’t because of things like, oh, I don’t know, decorum.