How to Pretend You’re at Art Basel

As I write this it’s 12:44 on a Thursday and half of my Instagram account has been flooded with boring pictures of weather. (We’re having a strange fog thing happening in Manhattan.) It is also filled to the brim with plane tickets, packed bags, airport rosé and various other indicators that all the friends I follow are peacing out of the workweek early and heading over to art’s new promised land: Miami.

Unless you live inside a very thick knit sock, you probably already know that this means Art Basel. The exhibitions are gorgeous, the people are glamorous, being day drunk is okay and everyone would rather get their leg eaten by an alligator than not document every single thing they do which is inevitably — since they are a. in Miami and b. day drinking — a billion times more fun that whatever it is we back home are all doing.

But guess what muchachos?

You should not feel left out. Why? Because I’ve come up with a few handy tips to make it feel like you’re also at Art Basel. Here’s how:

1) Fill up a kiddie pool with sand. Sand can be hard to find unless you live near a Home Depot, so I find that kitty litter actually works just as well. The bonus point here is that your sand smells better than Miami’s sand. You are already winning!

2) Despite the weather of your current locale, walk around in bathrobes, swimsuits, wacky sunglasses and denim shorts. Don’t forget to comment on how “chilly it gets by the water at night” and then declare, “good thing I brought my lightweight knit with me!”

3) Always have a drink in hand. It does not have to be alcoholic but the glass should be in the form of a tumbler with big fat cubes inside or a champagne flute.

4) If you have a friend who owes you a favor (and if you don’t, see if you can save someone’s life today or do a buddy’s homework), get her/him to dress up like a waiter and have them come up to you in public places so they can offer you “Tuna tartar on sliced cucumber,” or “Miniature duck confit with spun maple sugar.” Be sure to wave them away once in a while.

5) Take any and every opportunity to stop at various walls or structures or ferns — anything, really — and loudly note the juxtaposition of light versus dark, or how it’s clearly a social commentary on our sexual nature as human beings. Point out the areas where one can view the artist’s anguish in the lines, and if you’re truly at a loss for words, squint your eyes and slowly nod.

Whatever you do during Pretend It’s Art Basel Weekend, don’t forget to Instagram the crap out of it and, if you feel so inclined, share some of your adventures in the comments below. I may go snorkling in my bathtub between fetes so I’ll be sure to get a neighbor to snap that and post it for you guys regardless.

Now it’s your turn, Picasso Babies. How else can we celebrate Basel-at-home?

  • Alexis

    I live in Miami and I don’t enjoy it. It’s sad that I’ll never be able to go to Miami and enjoy Art Basal like a tourist 🙁

  • npz

    Oh Amelia! you made me crack up, every year I’m usually in Art Basel crashing parties and day drinking…,this year I’m living in Italy so I’ll be basel-less hahah I’m going to try to do this basel-at-home technique, thanks for the tips! xo

  • Patricia

    I live in Miami too and I can guarantee you guys that 99% of the people in those day and night parties are free riders. Most of the pretty people there have no clue about art or artists and they won’t buy a postcard to support art, they are there just for the free drinks and snacks. Gladly, the other 1% that are there for the right reasons can afford these little soirès for them.

  • Guesst

    best part of moving out of Miami is not having to be there for this shit-hole

  • annette


  • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

    Guess I’m living inside a very thick knit sock

    • Amelia Diamond

      Right but isn’t that so cozy??

      • Hereshoping Themayanswereright

        Here’s how cozy…she may look like a dog but she’s actually a fuzzy little baby seal…

  • KH

    I’m lol-ing at work. We need a hashtag for this!

    • Amelia Diamond

      Let’s make one!

      • KH

        All I can think is something along the lines of #MyFriendsWentToArtBaselAndAllIGotWasThisAmazingFern haha. It’s a sure fire hashtag to take off – so short and concise.

  • White Girl Tara

    Just for this, I will be at Basel, pretending that I am in Manhattan in a kiddie pool filled with sand.

  • Jujubored

    Oh Leandra, you make my life much better.