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What Not To Do At Art Basel Miami Beach: The Top Five Newbie Mistakes

December 2, 2011 at 10:44 AM | by | ()

Art Basel is now underway in Miami; technically the center of it all is South Beach, but there are fairs and exhibitions and installations and events all over the city. We'd like to tell you not to drive because traffic is a bee-yotch but then, taking a cab is not the best idea if you want to save some money to buy art.

With no good public transport options to get around, other than slow and unreliable buses, Miami's best bet for transport during this time may be a scooter or our old friend, DecoBike.

As for what not to do, we've got some tips in that department, too. Right this way...

5. DON'T forget the satellite fairs: It's not all about the official show—Art Basel Miami Beach, at the Miami Beach Convention Center—although the art fair is worth browsing even if you don't have deep pockets. (Keep your eyes peeled for celebs. Names as varied as Will Ferrell and Sylvester Stallone have been spotted.) But definitely make time for some of the more manageable, potentially more interesting, side fairs that have cropped up in the shadows of ABMB. The best include NADA, Scope and Design Miami/.

4. DON'T expect to waltz into the beach's hottest restaurants without a rezzie: So you wanna try The Dutch, Tudor House, Yardbird or Michael's Genuine? Are you kidding? There's plenty of time to do that the rest of the year, when you don't have to wait outside hungry and strung out. Alas, you don't have to subsist on free hors d'oeuvres either. Washington Avenue is the home of all the down and dirty takeout you can think of. And Miami has tons of burger joints, including a Five Guys, Five Napkin, Burger & Beer Joint and Shake Shack—although don't think that won't be packed either.

3. DON'T wear your heels during the day: Forget it. You'll be traipsing around town, gallery hopping and fair (window) shopping. Save the stiletto booties for post-10 pm and stick to artsy loafers, flats, Oxfords, Chucks or wedges during the day. Espadrille wedges skirt the line. It's okay, fashionistas. Even the hip art peeps do this.

2. DON'T forget to look for art everywhere: It's not just in the galleries and convention centers. Both the official show and the spin-offs feature installations all over town—Collins Park in Miami Beach, on the side of buildings along Biscayne Boulevard and, tonight and tomorrow night, projected onto the exterior of the Tides Hotel along Ocean Drive in 3-D. Oh yeah, there's even a new art installation at MIA.

1. DON'T despair if you can't get into Le Baron: The Parisian pop-up that comes to town for Basel has a notoriously tough door. Lots of other invite-only events have seen hordes left hanging on the wrong side of the velvet rope. But it's not the end of the world if you don't get to rub an elbow with a fashionista DJ at the Delano, Standard or Raleigh: do your research on events open to the public. Check listings for the live music venues. And cross your fingers: new joint Ricochet Bar & Lounge in Midtown Miami is giving away tickets to its nightly concerts on its Facebook page.

Now go have fun pretending to be more knowledgeable about modern art than you actually are; that's half the fun of it, besides all the daytime, beachside hobnobbing.

Got any of your own Art Basel Miami Beach DOs and DON'Ts to add? Have you done any of the above and loved or regretted it? Let us know in the comments!

[Photos: Herbalizer, ChrisGoldNY]

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