More bubble trouble

You know there’s a bubble when… people throw hugely expensive parties for no discernable reason other than “to build buzz.” A NYT dispatch by Abby Goodnough from Miami:

“The food’s got to be better, the lighting’s got to be better, the D.J.’s got to be really good. The new norm is the quarter-million-dollar party.” No expense is spared because the stakes are high: about 70,000 condo units are planned, under construction or newly finished in Miami proper, home to fewer than 400,000 people.

On the bright side, it’s nice to know that Aqua does exist in real life. I’ve never seen so much as a construction photo, only the same old renderings. (The article mentions that the townhouses are moving slowly; I suppose one could have figured that vacation-home buyers, who make up probably 70% of the market there, would prefer condos to townhouses.) As for the gates, the architect reports that it was the multifamily-fearing neighbors, not the style-conscious developer, who asked for them.

A closer look at the plan reveals a nice touch I hadn’t seen before: rotating the center block by about 15 degrees creates two wedges of space, to be planted with fruit trees (mango and citrus). Of course: fruit trees, like everything else, grow unassisted in Miami, and encourage interaction like no other planting, from fragrant flower to juicy harvest. They encourage almost too much interaction in public spaces — people climb up into the trees to grab fruit, breaking branches — but in a semi-private, well policed area they’re more likely to survive.