To Tony Goldman by Amy Rosenberg

Tony & Janet Goldman
Tony Goldman was a rocket. An original, utterly fearless, thinker, dreamer and doer.

Tony took grim and bedraggled areas and made them into destinations. He saw beyond tumble-down buildings and seedy neighborhoods. He felt the faint heartbeat of a place, the stirrings of its history. Tony took South Beach and Wynwood off life support.

You see, Tony Goldman was an artist. His metier was in the creation of community.

Almost four years ago, I made a cold call to Tony Goldman. I wanted his insight on the non-profit I founded to bring the music back to Overtown. My voice was a little shaky when I asked his assistant if I could “briefly get his insight.”

The voice on the other line said “This is Tony.” He told me he had ten minutes.

We ended up on the phone for over an hour. That’s the kind of person he was. Tony would talk to moguls, machers, artists and activists.

In the last few months of his life, my board and I were lucky enough to spend a few hours with Tony in discussion of how we would partner in Overtown. These were precious moments for all of us. We delighted in Tony’s ideas and in his impressive collection of colorful, quirky pants.

His pants were a statement. They let us know that out-of-the-box ideas were exalted in his space. Dreams were doable.

Tony’s insights helped our organization dream bigger. He was our inspiration. We thought he would be our creative rudder as we moved closer to realizing our dream of our own space in Overtown.

At heart, I believe Tony was a revolutionary. Wynwood Walls teems with the tattooed hieroglyphics of graffiti artists Tony nurtured and loved. The Wynwood Walls are the artistic anchor of a community that Tony hoped would house creatives, artists and innovators. That dream is being realized now.

If I could have created an elixir of longevity, I would have given it to you, Tony. We lost you too soon. I am grateful for the moments I had with you and will never forget your genius. With a heavy heart, I say goodnight to a legend.

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