Three staffers from Washington City Paper will set up a pop-up Miami bureau at the Art Basel festival from Wednesday through Sunday. This is an interesting addition to the mission of the D.C. alt-weekly (where I was once managing editor), because staffers there tend to view subway-accessible suburbs as exotic locales.
Arts editor Christina Cauterucci and reporters Perry Stein and Aaron Wiener will represent the paper in Miami. They paid for their own tickets, Stein tells Poynter in an email, and they’ll stay at Stein’s grandmother’s house on Miami Beach.
But what on earth will they cover? “I can see no earthly reason for the staff of a D.C. alt-weekly to go to Miami together,” City Paper assistant managing editor Jenny Rogers wrote in an email, adding, “I wish I were going so badly.”
Cauterucci got some press passes to Art Basel shows, Stein said, and “she and I will be finding D.C. artists, galleries, and museums that are showing at Art Basel and writing about them.” Stein is also “on the search for a D.C. collector who will let me follow them around as they go shopping for pricey art.” Wiener, she wrote, “has made it very clear that he is there for the beaches.” (Follow their reporting with the #washingtonmiamipaper hashtag.)
City Paper Editor Mike Madden said as far as he’s concerned, “the trip is mostly a vacation” for his staffers and one reason he’s not going is: “Who wants to go on vacation with your boss?” (Also, his wife is eight-and-a-half-months pregnant.) “Since we have such a small staff, about a third of which is part of this trip, though, I had asked them if they could find a way to work remotely at least part of the time,” he wrote, saying the three had set up some “plausibly work-related things to do” while down South.
Stein said her grandmother “loves Art Basel and she couldn’t be happier about having nearly half of the staff of D.C.’s premiere alt-weekly lodging with her.” Grandma’s house “is also equipped with a neon-lit bar, which is always stocked.”
Madden said he found out about his staffers’ plan after he left an eye exam and “noticed a new #Miami channel in our Slack account had been set up, and half of my writers were using it to compare fares. The moral as far as I’m concerned: Don’t go to the eye doctor.”