Ann, having grown up on the beach in California, was energized by the childhood sensory memories created by the sights, sounds, and beach smells. Weirdly, she was also directionally challenged. To her, the ocean was west of Miami. When she said she was walking south on the Hollywood, FL Broadwalk, we knew she meant north. And when she said north, we knew she meant south. It became the running joke of the week as we unabashedly teased and prodded her for directions, “Gran Ann, which way is South Beach?”
Visiting Versace’s Manson
Since January, while in negotiations for the acquisition of Freedom Flag, I have visited Miami four times. Each time I have called and unsuccessful tried to make a dinner reservation at the famed fashion designer Gianni Versace’s former home and mansion in South Beach.
Since Versace’s tragic death, in 1997, the home has had several owners. Today, it serves as a restaurant and exclusive boutique hotel, Villa Casa Casuarina. Because the “snowbirds” don’t fly south until the winter months, the town is currently in its slow season. Thus, we got a table reservation!
Though South Beach is no longer a desirable or safe neighborhood, it is worth the trip to see Gianni Versace’s beloved mansion and learn about its rich history. The opulent surroundings and architecture make it a must see on everyone’s bucket list. It is eye candy extraordinaire. Be sure to bring your camera phone; there are photo opportunities everywhere. So much so that it is hard to eat for watching everyone taking selfies.
And a bonus, the food is actually good.