Miami Vice

There’s no escape for first timers in Miami: a millionaire’s row sightseeing cruise is a must. Boats sail around Star, Palm and Hibiscus Islands, offering great views of the city and port, glimpses of some of the most luxurious mansions imaginable and serious name-dropping: Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Elisabeth Taylor, Will Smith, Shaquille O’Neal… hard to remember them all.

In reality, not everyone resides or has ever owned property on the island, but who can blame the tour guides for wanting to give tourists a blown up version of the story? One look at these mega-mansions and I was ready to believe every word.

Take, for example, Phillip Frost: the pharmaceutical billionaire, who owns one of the largest properties on Star Island, was matter-of-factly credited by our guide with the invention of Viagra. On another note, we also learned that the palm trees lining the grounds of his property at the waterfront were imported from South Africa at a cost of $10.000 each (there were more than 30 of them). A quick post-tour search showed one of these facts was false – guess which one.

Oh well, not all is lost, however, because … yes, Don Johnson also stayed here during the Miami Vice years. Now, what about Crockett’s Theme by Jan Hammer, in my opinion, one of the best soundtracks for a TV series, ever?

January 31st, 2018