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October 9, 2012

Save the Date!

art basel

Photo Credit: Mitchell Zachs/Associated Press

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December 5 — 8, 2013, MIAMI BEACH, FL

WHAT IT IS:The biggest contemporary art fair in the nation. Last year, more than 55,000 people turned up for the citywide orgy of art, performances, and parties. While there are Basel-timed happenings everywhere in Miami, the official Art Basel refers to only the fair in the Miami Beach Convention Center, featuring some 260 galleries from near and far.

WHY GO: You're a mid-level sales rep by day and avant-garde collagist by night looking for a deep-pocketed patron to save you from Etsy obscurity.

COST: Art Basel sponsors free public art, screenings, and lectures around Miami, but there is a roughly $40 general admission cost to enter the convention.

WHO YOU'LL MEET: Alt-celebs like Tilda Swinton, Sofia Coppola, and Adrien Brody, plus the occasional mega-A-listers like Diddy and Brad Pitt. Also on hand: big-shot collectors, celeb artists, gallery owners, socialites, Kim Kardashian look-alikes. (Last year there was even a contest.)

ACTION PLAN: Furrow brow. Overuse words like contrived, gesture, and manifesto. Wonder why a disemboweled Barbie is selling for $2.7 million. Drink abundantly (top-shelf, natch).

LODGE HERE: There's no hotel-room shortage in Miami Beach — except during these four days. Book early. Scenesters decamp at South Beach's Delano, SLS Hotel South Beach, The James, or the W. Art students: Find hotels for less than $300 a night at turontravel.com, the official agency for the event and bearer of special rates.

HUNGRY GIRL: Joe's for stone crab; Puerto Sagua because when in Miami, you have to eat Latin; and Pubbelly because where else can you find an Asian-themed gastropub?

DRESS CODE: Art-house fun-wear like Ann Demeulemeester, Haider Ackermann, or Kimberly Ovitz. A severe haircut helps, too.

MUST-HAVE GEAR: Flash drives uploaded with your portfolio — in case you run into Mary Boone.

HOOKUP PROSPECTS: High, but be warned that artists make famously bad boyfriends (see messieurs Picasso, Klimt, Rivera). Consider a hedge funder instead.

PRO TIP: You might not think of a parking garage as a chic hangout, but 1111 Lincoln Road is a carport unlike any other. Designed in 2008 by architects Herzog & de Meuron, this glass-and-steel parking "boutique" integrates driving, eating, and shopping into one ridiculously stylish structure. Blow your credit limit at Alchemist and Coltorti, then mojitofy at the rooftop Juvia restaurant as you wonder, How is this place not in Dubai?

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