Miami Beach 11.14.08

It was 10 years ago this weekend, when the powers that be relaunched the Fontainebleau Miami Beach with a star-studded weekend of celebration that included a Victoria’s Secret fashion, which itself featured Usher.

I was there to cover the fun for Us Weekly as a stringer on the ground. I remember: I was there Friday night for the cutting of the ceremonial ribbon, interviewing guests and keeping my eyes peeled for celebs, then transcribing tape until almost sunrise. Busy Saturday morning at the Mandarin Oriental, at a round table with Taylor Lautner and Edi Gathegi for the first Twilight movie. Then back at the ’bleau on Saturday night to see the Angels strut their stuff, as well as who had shown up to see them do it (followed by another late/early? transcribing session). On Sunday I rested, then attended the most VIP ticket on that weekend’s schedule: my niece’s birthday party.

Paris Hilton was there. Back at the resort, not at my sister’s.

Ditto Kate Hudson. Kim and Kourt (I remember having enough heart and balls to tell one of their people that one of them had lipstick on her teeth, which would ruin all their photos) . So was Debbie Harry. And A-Rod. Josh Lucas. John Stamos. Tyrese. BFF Sanaa Lathan and Gabrielle Union. DJ Irie. Michelle Trachtenberg, up until then only the second Buffy the Vampire Slayer cast member with whom I’d gotten to chat. Robin Thicke. Terrence Howard. Diddy, Chloë Sevigny, Sofia Vergara, and Martha Stewart, too. I mean, Mariah Carey performed. In a small ballroom. At the Morris Lapidus Fontainebleau. It was like that.

Gwyneth Paltrow also was there, as a guest of the Soffers, the aforementioned powers that be, and after I interviewed her out on the white carpet (this after I wiped the surprise off my face – she wasn’t on the tip sheet), I stole a couple of moments from her out by the valet. The first Iron Man recently had begun to change the blockbuster game; GOOP was but a small, intimate newsletter; and she was still married to Chris Martin, a marriage of which they both were fiercely protective.

I’ll never forget it: She was kind and warm and welcoming. Friendly. And gracious, even when I surreptitiously asked about her then-husband without asking about him. Earlier in the year, she had enthusiastically shared her thoughts on Coldplay’s Viva La Vida record. And since the band had played in Miami the week before, well…I figured what the heck. I went and got me a story to tell.

The rest is Movie Martin history, a tale of some old Miami magic.

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