happy 2013, everyone! It’s been a while since I’ve been able to sit down and compose a formal post aside from my etsy treasury tuesday features. after running the successful Hurricane Sandy relief fundraiser, traveling for holiday shows and oh yeah, the actual holidays, i’m getting a chance to reflect on the flurry of the last few months of 2012. it was packed with three wedding photography jobs, travel for fun & family (florida + west virginia) and travel for business (north carolina + pittsburgh), shows in philadelphia, friends, family, and a new kitty.
first up- at the end of October, Nick and I flew to Florida for a long weekend to visit with his family and do some sightseeing. it was also my first time ever being in the sunshine state!
we got to spend time with his siblings and see their home in Miramar. our time with them was split between catching up, lounging in the pool, chasing geckos, sightseeing for alligators in the Everglades, and more activities in the sun. i’m not going to lie- getting a suntan in October was pretty awesome!
after our time in Miramar, we got to be tourists in South Beach. what beautiful town! the Art Deco buildings and decor everywhere was just amazing- just like the weather. we stayed just off the main drag so that we were able to walk the entire length of Ocean Drive from start to finish.
we packed so much fun, food, and sun into a couple of days, so here’s a list (in no particular order) of the highlights and places I’d definitely recommend if you get to visit South Beach:
1. Ocean Drive Art Deco architecture– After checking out the visitor’s center, I learned that at one time, these gorgeous pieces of history were facing demolition during an economic downturn. Thankfully, there is an organization called the Miami Design Preservation League dedicated to the preservation and promotion of the area. The photo in the top left is of a hotel called The Carlyle– it was featured in the movie The Birdcage! In addition to being cool to look at, each of these places has an outdoor cafe- all the better to relax with a drink and people watch.
2. The Delano Hotel– We went here on a whim after seeing a brief travel spot on this place and HOLY COW- it was incredible. Why yes, they do have a private orchard with enormous hammocks, poolside cabanas, and the most luxurious ambience. I didn’t take any photos because it was a) dark and b) we were trying not to act blown away and be touristy, so here’s one of the pool that I ganked from google images- the manicured trees are part of the orchard:
3. Big Pink restaurant– Om nom nom nom. This place has a funky diner feel with a large and varied menu. We went here after a late night on Ocean Drive and it was perfect- breakfast for Nick, lunch for me, and everything was delicious and not terribly expensive like most of the area.
4. The Wolfsonian Museum– Since we spent much of our time on the beach, imbibing on Ocean Drive, and sampling local grub, I really wanted to balance it out with a least a little bit of culture. With our limited amount of time, we visited the nearby Wolfsonian, a museum that’s part of Florida International University. It is a unique space that recognizes and celebrates art and design mostly from the time period between the height of the Industrial Revolution and the end of World War II. Their website puts it best by saying, “. . . its unrivaled collection of modern material culture and its multidisciplinary approach to looking at objects as both agents and expressions of change.” One exhibit they had on display called Politics on Paper: Election Posters and Ephemera was particularly interesting as we saw it right before the election. They were showing old television commercials from past presidential elections on loops; it was a depressing reminder at how far America hasn’t come in regards to many social and economic issues.
5. Art Center/South Florida– We were strolling the Lincoln Road shops (an outdoor mall) and happened upon this incredible facility. I could barely control my excitement while walking through- a gallery and art space smack dab in the middle of a tourist shopping mecca? What an awesome way to make fine art accessible to everyone! I took a whole bunch of photos with my phone- here’s some photos to get an idea of what the artist studio spaces look like:
the artist studio spaces are offered via long-term and short-term residencies. Many of the studio spaces also doubled as small galleries- here are closer photos of some of the studios I took a peek at:
I really wish I had better quality photos to include – so much of the work I saw there was just fantastic! Miami is really lucky to have this facility for not only their artists, but the public as well 🙂
6. Puerto Sagua Restaurant– Looking to try local Cuban food? This hole-in-the-wall is your chance. Authentic food at a great price right in the heart of town.