Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Miami Vice I: A Look Miami's South Beach Art Deco Decadence and Neon Nights


Three years ago during the spring of my 24th year I drove five hours south to the picturesque Post Card Florida scene that is Miami's Bustling South Beach. It was an unplanned trip of twists and turns  (lost, gas ran out, scared a nanny away, rode as a motorcycle passenger with a stranger-to-me for the first and last time) with a friend and her toddler. She told me she was going for business but that was a ruse for sexy-time business in a love motel with an old fling. (They're married now.)


Other than a meet-up with an acquaintance of my scandalous travel-mate ("Oh, no, you're not going to draw here, are you?" said the middle-aged image-conscious South Beacher when I reached for my sketchbook at an ocean-front bar) I spent most of my time alone soaking in the atmosphere and taking hundreds of photos of every muse. Which was around every corner. The city is vibrant and stimulating, and I'll be back for my neon Art Deco fix. For now it's inspiring enough to look back at the old photos, rememberand plot the next adventure.


Next time my bike has to come down with me! Parking's a bitch down there. Expensive and rare enough to fight for, like ravenous hyenas sparring for scraps! On my next trip to South Florida I want to explore the Keys again (this time with group familiar with Hemingway!), The Everglades, and The Dali Museum. So much to explore in the kitschy raised sand bar I call home, even though it's all hours away from me at the start of the state!

Any Travel Recommendations for Florida and beyond? I've got the travel itch! I'll be updating with more photos of cool bars, hotels and art deco buildings from Miami and beyond in my new travel-look-back series (ideas for names anyone?) to inspire you like they inspired me!
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22 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks Lana! Many more to come, there was so much gorgeous Neon to capture there. I took 300ish photos, haha.

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    2. Whoohoo!

      By my math, we are close to the same age (27, right?). Fun fact. ;)

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    3. Yup, I'm 27 now. :) I'll be 28 October 16th.

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    4. 'Tis interesting looking back at the early twenties from the later ones, you feel the onset of maturity o_O noooooo

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  2. I visited the Dali museum a couple of years ago and it was amazing. At the time I think they were building a new building for it and the plans looked pretty amazing as well. If you aren't a Dali expert which I am far from I'd take the guided tour. You learn so much about each painting. It was super interesting. I'm so glad I went. My sister thought it was boring. She'd be happier on the beach or in a shopping mall.

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    1. Thanks for the recommendation on the guided tour, not an expert either so that would be helpful!

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    2. Oh and yep I often have travel companions that just want to party or shop! They don't let me stop at thrift shops so I haven't been thrifting in as many cities as I'd like.

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  3. Ahhh I love Miami! The Art Deco architecture is stunning! I have been twice, both ages ago though. Going to try and go down when we are in Ft. Lauderdale this summer so the mister can check it out. He's never been to Florida! :D

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    1. It really is, so much beauty to behold in Miami and much to explore. Excited to go back with more time on my hands and see more of the sights.

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  4. I moved to Jax from South Florida. We take trips down every few months or so to visit friends. Have been really thinking about visiting the Keys again! Hemingway House (yes, please!!) and the Dali Museum (always wanted to go there)! Did you see the Dali exhibit that was in an Avondale gallery a while back? It was fabulous! And oh boy, the Art Deco in Miami!! You're hitting all my happy buttons this morning, Van!!

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    1. I was in the Keys and only got to see the beguiling Hemingway House from the outside! Nor did we stay for the sunset performers, so I'll be back! Sad I missed the recent Dali exhibit in Avondale, I got an invite and didn't accept. Didn't realize how fast it was going to be out of there. Maybe they'll bring it back? I believe they did The Secret Art of Dr. Suess at the same gallery more than once. :D

      I'll be updating with more South Florida travel photos, there were some really awesome bars/hotel lobbies I had to snap shots of. Do you like Jax or South Florida better?

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    2. "Better"? Hmmm. For the purposes of raising my 9 y.o. daughter, i prefer the slower pace up here. But, nothing beats S. Florida for events and happenings, art, more Art, thrift stores! If I were single, I'd MUCH prefer S FL. But, for the life I have chosen, I enjoy Jax. I also enjoy the flora and fauna here a bit more. S. FL had quite the alien land and wildlife (coming from Pennsylvania!). I'm more "in-tune" with the earth here. i.e. more comfortable.

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    3. I need to explore south Florida more, the tropical motif, art and events appeal, but I do like the slower pace here as well. I'm grateful for it after time spent in crazy traffic jam, hours hunting for parking, etc!

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  5. If you go back to S. Florida don't miss visiting Vizcaya, and also Coconut Grove.

    Love all those cool deco spots in South Beach...remember having a fab dinner on the porch of a restaurant right across from the beach while watching July 4th fireworks, while a guy riding by on a bike tried to steal my purse....ah, Florida! I do miss it, just not all of it. :)

    Wonderful photos, looking forward to seeing more of them.

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    1. Oh both of those sound awesome, will add them to the list. Definitely many more photos to come, you definitely have to watch your stuff while traveling! My first experience with locals was having teenagers try to buy weed off me- haha, nope, don't have none, never will.

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  6. Van for lunch today I'm having a raw food blended drink inspired by your posts. Just wanted you to know. The idea of going totally raw doesn't appeal to me. I don't think I could give up a lot of things I love like real pasta, rice, cheese and meat but I do need and want to get more fresh into my life. Thanks for the encouraging posts.

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    1. Aw, thanks for letting me know. Glad they inspire you! Going totally raw definitely isn't necessary to reap the health benefits of fresh food.

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  7. Beautiful! I'm telling you, one of these days I'll make it down to Florida and get up to some serious nonsense. Although it will probably be nothing compared to your scintillating, pulp-fiction worthy escapades! Hahaha!!!

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    1. I have many an odd yarn to weave of my misadventures someday. Too bad I decided to share this blog with my parents, it could get real juicy otherwise! More Art Deco Miami photos to come!

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  8. WOW soo AMAZING :) your blog is so fun

    Check out my new post....How to decorate your home with cute fabrics :)

    I wish you a great week dear

    LOVE Maria at inredningsvis - inredning it's, Swedish for decor :)

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I love reading your comments. Thank you for adding to the discussion! I always reply to any and all questions.

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