Miami Beach Style

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The recession has cast a shadow on Miami Beach. But it is not a long enough shadow to have darkened the spirits of many heat-seeking visitors, who still descend on South Beach in search of escape. The gossip social history of Miami Beach spans the decades-long transformation of what the author calls “the little sand bar across the bay” into a fast-and-louche Eden, where corruption, street crime and profligate spending were as integral to the landscape as sand and swaying palms.

Lulled by the languid air and the pastel-tinted backdrop of Art Deco hotels, many are still intent on indulging a hedonistic streak.

Many visitors are embracing Miami Beach during high season this winter as the ultimate escape hatch, a place to shrug off the inhibitions – fiscal or otherwise – that restrain them at home. At left, the nightclub Set.

The force behind flashy clubs like Set, Mansion, Privé and the trendy Louis Bar, at left, which is inside the eight-month-old Gansevoort South hotel.

The picture shows club goers at Louis Bar, located inside the Gansevoort hotel.

The usual streams of visitors from New York, Latin America and Europe have been joined by some deep-pocketed Russians, who tend to contribute unstintingly to the city’s economy. At left, restaurants on the Lincoln Road Mall in Miami Beach.

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