Out on the town: Billy Bean’s Miami Beach

Billy 1Name: Billy Bean

Occupation: Realtor, philanthropist, author of Going The Other Way

Sexuality: Gay

Home: Miami Beach, Florida

Hails from: Santa Ana, California

Relationship status: Single

Favorite cities: Miami Beach, NYC, San Diego

Spotted on a typical Miami Friday night: Eating dinner outside with friends on Lincoln Road

Event: White Party, Miami Beach, Nov. 25-30

So Billy, what’s the key to a great White Party experience?


PICT0107_face0Taking a break from party scene during the weekend, where do you go?

Definitely to 12th Street Beach, just off of Ocean Drive in South Beach. The most beautiful collection of people in the world all year round.

So some of us are more than a little intimidated by South Beach. How does an ordinary guy survive in a scene dominated by, well, guys like you?

It’s all about attitude, along with the desire to let go, and have fun. Be friendly, and everyone will be friendly back to you!

What are three of your favorite local restaurants, including at least one that serves a boy on a budget?

Spris on Lincoln Road if you are on a budget. Great pizza, salads and sandwiches. I love a new place called 8 oz. It’s a new burger place with a great bar (Bloody Mary bar on Sundays!!), and a really cool, friendly staff that reminds me of Lincoln Road over a decade ago. My other favorite place is Joe Allen’s. It’s always great.

Ditto, hotels… (especially the budget part)

The pools at the Fontainebleau Hotel and the brand new W Hotel are both ridiculous….but very expensive. They are oceanfront hotels. The Greenview Hotel is located right in the middle of South Beach and is very chic, and reasonably priced. You can walk anywhere from the hotel. Great choice. The Standard Hotel is on Biscayne Bay, and the pool area has one of the best views anywhere I have ever seen. The pool is great, the spa treatments are top notch, and the restaurant/bar is always buzzing.

Let’s say we lost our luggage (or, more accurately, the airline lost our luggage) on the way to the party. Where can we pick up some fabulous new outfits?

Lincoln Road, a credit card, and you’re set!! It’s got everything imaginable. Check out Barneys Co-Op and Atrium.

tennis shotWhat’s considered appropriately sexy beach attire?

I’m a board shorts guy….but anything goes in South Beach. Especially if you’ve got the goods to pull it off. Just wear something that makes you feel good.

Your not just an ex-pro jock. You play tennis really well. You work out. What’s the best way other than the dance floor for a visitor to stay active during the White Party weekend?

You can start with a swim in the warm, clear ocean, a long walk or jog down the beach or on the boardwalk, beach volleyball on 12th street (the players are good). Rent some bikes and take a lap or two around town. Just stay outside, enjoy our perfect weather and keep moving…

So we all know the White Party is awesome. But of course we all worry about, well, boys indulging, perhaps, in a little too much pleasure, in terms of substances their dangerous sidekick, unprotected sex. What’s your advice about having good, safe, fun?

It’s easy to get lost in the haze of music and fun, but I would say that the best way to be safe and have fun is to hang with a group of friends who all are on the same page, and protect each other. It’s easy to experiment when you’ve been drinking, so stay connected to your friends. The White Party is a celebration, but just remember that moderation is a good thing.

Between an anti-gay governor and the famously down real estate economy of Miami, how is the local queer community holding up there these days?

A lot of us are having “get togethers” at each others condos, apartments and homes. We used to go out all the time, big dinners in restaurants, traveling in groups. Everyone thinks differently now. However, I think it makes us appreciate the “real” things that matter in this life. Our friends, special times, and how much we used to take things for granted. We have a couple of really fun lounges that are very popular. Halo Lounge and a brand new one called 721 just behind Lincoln Road off Meridian Avenue.

Have you slept with the governor, who was outed in the new documentary Outrage?

NOPE. That ain’t happening…

Oh, come on Billy. Take one for the team! 🙂 Anything else we should know about your great city?

It’s a great place to live. Come visit us, and let me find a perfect place for you and your friends.

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