Our Cover Story: Meet Anwar Zayden, South Beach Wild Man and Internet Celebrity
This week in the print edition of New Times, we introduce you to one of South Florida's most colorful characters, Anwar Zayden.
For nearly four decades, Zayden has been a player on the local scene; by day a humble businessman with a frame store in Kendall, he's also a former sex icon, model, friend to celebrities and stars, sportsman, jetpack rider, boat aficionado, lover, and, most recently, internet celebrity.
"I'm just a simple guy," he tells New Times.
A few years back, pictures of Zayden living his life trickled onto thedirty.com, a website that usually puts folks on blast for their ridiculous posturing. Anwar, however, was the real deal, and soon the website's followers adopted him as a kind of hero.
"Anwar you are a true man and I can learn many things from you," reads one typical comment. "Hopefully one day we run into each other in Miami."
"I work a sh*tty low end job making 25k a year. But Anwar gives me hope for some reason," writes another user, this time under a shot of Anwar swimming with dolphins. "Anwar if you read this, thank you for making me smile everyday."
Late in 2013, a LegendofAnwar Instagram account popped up, taking the real-life snapshots of Zayden's life and narrating them in a comic voice. The account now has more than 5,200 followers, with more coming each day.
But the truth is that Zayden's online life pales in comparison to who he is in flesh and blood. Read on to learn more.