Mountain Mayhem: Miami Beach Birthday

May Selby
Mountain Mayhem

For his big 4-0, David Meyer, formerly of Aspen, now back in NYC, decided he’d like to spend a socially distant celebration somewhere sunny, pinpointing the adults-only Standard Hotel & Spa in Miami as the place to be. “I had always thought the Standard Miami with its lush gardens would make for a nice birthday spot, having worked for the Standard Hotel group for over a decade,” he explained. “Its outdoor layout seemed ideal for some responsible celebrating with all the cabana-style rooms opening to the outside as opposed to those towers over on the strip. I figured I would keep it loose. Let people do their thing and we’d all get some quality pool time.”

A skilled writer and graphic designer, David culled his talents to create a letterpress-style invitation with pandemic-sensitive messaging. He sent it to a select number of friends and family to join for the weekend of October 16 – 18 if they’d like. I was among them and replied with a resounding yes, which can be attributed in large part to seeing this creative invitation that arrived in my inbox on a rainy fall day in Aspen.

“Illustration, to me, invokes the imagined ideal better than anything,” David said of his invitation. “I wanted the design to lend a sense of spatial comfort and a sense of fun. Sometimes the imagined is the best we ever get.”

Respecting everyone’s schedules and comfort level with travel, he suspected maybe half-a-dozen or so guests would join and had no hard feelings for those who couldn’t. “My RSVP percentage probably didn’t make 1% for a variety of reasons. My sister and brother in law, for example, (Snowmass residents Ian and Etta McLendon) couldn’t get away from the once-in-a-century harvest that is happening in local real estate. I blame them not.”

Several other Aspen friends made during his time living here from June 2016 – Oct 2019, when he was freelancing as a graphic designer and writer for The Aspen Times, and Aspen Peak, also made the cut, but could not come.

“These are fraught times,” David explained. “Emotionally, physically, financially, existentially and morally—and I’m just muddling through like anyone else I suppose. For the single man, milestones are few and far between so when this one started to loom large, I felt compelled to plan something.”

Having experienced the weekend firsthand, I can say I felt safe in our setting, rejuvenated by the many interesting conversations, recharged from the warm weather, grateful for our time together and appreciative of his parents’ generosity for the dinner they hosted from afar as a surprise on David’s birthday proper. For David, additional highlights of the weekend were the midnight swims.

For those Aspen friends he wasn’t able to be with on his birthday, he looks forward to reconnecting this winter when he’s in town over the holidays. “I’m planning to come for Christmas, be there Bonnie’s pancakes or not!”