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The waves of cash rolling in from South America and China continue to break with undiminished bullishness upon the shores of Miami, that dazzling, improbable city of contradictions. The Magic City's robust luxury condo market, driven largely by foreign investment, has in recent years turned parts of the city into one roiling construction zone, with each new development rising up as a bejeweled middle finger to the looming elephant in the room.

The cognitive dissonance between the future impact of climate change and the current building boom is nowhere more apparent than at the famous little sliver of land called Miami Beach, where the once-sleepy Mid-Beach neighborhood is booming. Cranes and construction equipment dominate entire blocks along the main drag of Collins Avenue, particularly at the site of the enormous mixed-use development spawned by Argentinian developer Alan Faena, who is conjuring up a so-called "Faena District" with star architects Rem Koolhaas and Norman Foster. Filling six city blocks, the billion dollar project will feature an arts center, a fancy facelift for the famous Saxony Hotel (with help from Baz Luhrmann and Catherine Martin), a glitzy restoration of the art deco Versailles Hotel, and, of course, condos for foreign investors to flip and flip again.

Once complete, it's going to look spectacular, and then eventually it will be an Atlantis for our grandchildren's snorkeling enjoyment. Nowhere in America is climate change denial more prominently manifest than in the colorful carnival of Miami Beach 2015. Or maybe indifference is more accurate? Heavy rains already flood the streets, but construction continues apace, in large part because investors and developers can still safely count on a short-term profit in the near future. They're not ignorant, just self-serving. And as an article in Bloomberg Business argued last year, this bullish development may in fact be Miami's best hope of somehow adapting to rising sea levels, because south Florida's public infrastructure is heavily funded by real estate taxes.

"It's really freaky," one well-connected Miami resident conceded when I asked her how all the new development reconciles with rising sea levels. "I think a lot of people don't want to deal with reality." Why bother? Florida's economy is still heavily reliant on tourism, and the good news is that tourists don't care about reality—they want to escape it, and Miami can still offer a relatively affordable escape, for those on the east coast anyway. One thing we can do is enjoy it while it lasts. You don't need to be rich to snore on the beach or pig out at the food trucks or a drink at the lobby bar at one of the many spectacular hotels in Miami beach. (Speaking of which, I highly recommend checking out the pool bar at the Raleigh Hotel before rising sea levelsTommy Hilfiger turns it into a private club.)

Miami is unlike any other city in America, and like Anthony Bourdain put it, I seem to find a reason to "embrace my inner douche" and visit a couple of times a year. It helps that direct flights from NYC can usually be found for about $150 round trip. On my most recent trip I gawked at Mid-Beach, which is bumping even with the Faena District (seriously?) incomplete. Here you'll find the famous Fontainebleau Hotel and the elegant plantation-style Palms Hotel, the hipster Freehand hostel-hotel-bar-restaurant, and a smattering of more affordable boutique hotels. What follows are a few suggestions for eating and boozing if you're soaking up Mid-Beach, which sure has changed considerably in the past year.

The Edition: Hotelier Ian Schrager and acclaimed chef/restaurateur Jean-Georges Vongerichten brought their considerable talents to bear on the old beachfront Seville Hotel, turning it into a lush destination resort. Schrager's revival of the Delano hotel played a part in making South Beach a global destination, and his Miami iteration of The Edition seems poised to do the same for Mid-Beach. You don't need to spend a dime here, just wander in a daze, as I did, through the glittering lobby and around the grounds, soaking up the stylized serenity. Or spend a couple hundred dimes on a cocktail at one of the al fresco bars, or an extravagant dinner at Vongerichten's luxuriant Matador Room. Or fuck it, go ice skating in the Basement. Miami Beach is unabashedly extravagant, and The Edition does not hold back.

2901 Collins Avenue // 786-257-4500 // Website

27 Restaurant: The cool kids who run the Ace Hotel-esque Freehand hotel and hostel have recently opened what is widely considered the best new restaurant in Mid-Beach. Located on the ground floor of an old house dating back to the '30s, dinner at 27 Restaurant feels like eating in some hip Miami oldster's private home. The renovation, meant to evoke your bohemian grandma's beach house, was done by Roman & Willams, who also designed the Freehand's courtyard pool bar The Broken Shaker, not to mention the Standard High Line. Order the kick-ass Kimchi Fried Rice with sunny side up duck eggs and scallion, then saunter upstairs for post-dinner drinks in the spacious, homey lounge, tastefully appointed with vintage furniture and nostalgic board games. Let your girlfriend beat you at Candyland.

2727 Indian Creek Drive // 305-531-2727 // Website

The Thompson: Another sparkling addition to the neighborhood is this inviting hotel from The Thompson team. It opened in November 2014 after a heavy renovation of the old Hotel Victor, built in the '40s and expanded in the '50s, blending art deco and mid-century modern style. London designer Martin Brudnizki's aesthetic is not as grandiose as Schrager over at The Edition (which also opened last November) but a soothing, colorful elegance permeates the property, which boasts two tranquil pools and an outdoor cafe. Come here for al fresco breakfast at acclaimed local chef Michelle Bernstein's Seagrape or drinks at The 1930s House, an old bungalow serving fresh, elaborate cocktails and tapas. They also have outdoor seating, and the interior courtyard is oneiric at night.

4041 Collins Avenue // 786-605-4041 // Website

Essensia: It doesn't get more fresh and local in Miami Beach than Essensia, the tranquil restaurant at The Palms hotel, which sources over half of its produce from an organic garden on the property and the rest from south Florida farms. Chef Julie Frans, a native Californian, was a trendsetter in Miami with her zealous commitment to locally sourced ingredients, and her colorful menu changes in keeping with the seasons. There is plenty of seafood and meat to choose from, but the vegetarian offerings are formidable; don't miss the vividly flavorful Eggplant Parmesan with grilled eggplant, fresh mozzarella, pomodoro sauce, and herb pesto. Dining out on Essensia's peaceful back porch, which overlooks the grounds that lead to the beach, feels restorative—and worlds away from the bacchanal on South Beach.

3025 Collins Avenue // 305-534-0505 // Website

Circa 39: Built back in, you guessed it, 1939-40, this boutique 97-room hotel is an affordable (by Miami Beach standards) haven that doesn't feel cheap, in part due to the recent multi-million dollar renovation. Full disclosure: I stayed at Circa 39 for two nights in February as a guest of the owners, who were eager to publicize their revamped courtyard pool, the new lobby rum bar, and the lush living wall of exotic tropical plants. But I'd go back again as a paying customer; it's a block from the beach, and the hotel maintains a spot with beach chairs and umbrellas. Check out more photos on Curbed; current room rates during the off-season are under $200. Yes, it's sweltering during the off-season, but so is New York, right?

3900 Collins Avenue // 305-538-4900 // Website

Cecconi's: The Tres Leches at this Italian restaurant in the sexy Soho Beach House is hard to shake, so who cares if it's a South American delicacy, not Italian. The other thing is that it's not officially on the menu, but they still make it for club members, and if you ask nicely they'll hook you up. (UPDATE: It's back on the menu.) This is a transcendent dessert floating in a sea of cream and disappearing into your mouth on angel's wings. (Not hyperbole; I saw angels.) The word "orgasmic" gets bandied about a lot in the food blog world, but it's merited here, where the balanced sweetness of the multiple creams and the texture of the sponge cake and the burnt caramel icing will turn you all Meg Ryan at Katz's Deli. Come to Cecconi's for the enchanting garden, the wood-fired pizza, the Picante de la casa tequila cocktail with the chili pepper floating in it, but save room for the fucking Tres Leches.

Soho Beach House 4385 Collins Avenue // 786-507-7902 // Website

It goes without saying that there's a hell of a lot more to do and see in Miami than the decadence of Miami Beach. Here are many more recommendations. Go get phenomenal Haitian food at Tap Tap. Check out the stunning Wynwood Walls. Hit up the dark and dirty dance parties at Sunset Harbor's Purdy Lounge (motto: "No cover, no attitude, no BS"). Snorkeling? And when you are done with the luxuriant phantasmagoria, I suggest withdrawing to the serene bliss of Miami's best hotel, The Standard, tucked away on a quiet little island on Biscayne Bay. Go for dinner at the waterfront Lido grill and linger on the dock; the sunsets here are sublime.