Miami, Florida; Wynwood Walls

Art Basel Miami has been on my radar for some time now. I have a standing invite from a gallery but have not made the leap of faith do to the fear of bankruptcy (I purchase a lot of art).

Thanks to an amazing round trip price of $129 roundtrip from JFK to Miami Edyta and I headed down to Miami Beach for 2 days.  The goal was to hit up Wynwood Walls and check out the new Martin Whatson on the Eneida M. Hartner elementary  school for The Raw Project and some of the older pieces by Shepard Fairey & Cleon Peterson, How & Nosm, David Choe, Maya Hayuk, Pixel Pancho, 2010, and Logan Hicks.

When we got there I was blown away by the sheer number of people visiting the area on a Tuesday in January.  This brings me to a thought I have been having for a while now. Why aren’t more cities looking to spawn a micro economy through art by creating their own version of an art festival like Wynwood Walls,  Pow Wow or the annual Montreal Mural Festival?   Municipalities need to be creative in this current and changin tourism marketplace. Putting up a skyscrapper or getting a professional sports team just isn’t enough andy more.  To truly make a economic impact with tourism a city must look outside the box to cultural events and festivals;  Bonnaroo, Coachella, VELD, Wynwood Walls, Pow Wow Hawaii, Art Basel Miami, etc to bring in festival period and year round tourism.  Miami was once known as the most dangerous place in the world to rent a car if you were a tourist. Read this article for proof:  http://articles.chicagotribune.com/1991-10-04/news/9103300773_1_tourists-rental-car-greater-miami-chamber

Now look at the art capitol/cultural capitol of the world Miami has become.

There are already such districts in cities where artwork breaths on a daily basis. Shoreditch  in London,  Hoiser Lane in Melbourne, Australia,  in the area of Skostredet and King Oscars Gate in Bergen, Norway, Bushwick in Brooklyn and Wynwood Walls in Miami.  If cities are looking to attract a specific economic crowd while beautifying the city then street art is a great way to do it.

Following the “who really knows what art is ban on all “graffiti” art” edict by former Toronto Mayor Rob Ford new mayor John Torre has been allowing commissioned artists to come in and beautify certain areas of Toronto. There are now two pieces by Shepard Fairy and a wonderful piece by Maya Hayuk.

Here are some of the great shots we took while at Wynwood Walls, make sure to head down to Miami for a great walking tour of Wynwood and make sure to enjoy the bars, cafes and galleries in the area.

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Pixel Pancho

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David Choe
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Maya Hayuk

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Logan Hicks

 

SLEEP: 

The Pelican Hotel                                                                                                                                         826 Ocean Dr, Miami Beach, FL 33139                                                                                                   Phone: (305) 673-3373

Every room is different, they offer FREE Breakfast, a Happy Hour and are located in the heart of the Ocean Drive party scene.  Hotels.com had the cheapest rates and during Art Basel Miami this place is hopping.

south-beach

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EATS:

11 Washington AvenueMiami Beach, FL 33139                                                                              Phone: (305) 673-0365
A Miami local tradition. The wait times are long, but we popped in on a Monday Night around 7 PM and were seated within 15 minutes of arriving. We had the medium order of Stone Crab, a large hashed browns (our server up-sized up for FREE), grilled tomatoes with spinach stuffing and melted cheese and a slice of Key Lime pie. Fantastic meal! You need to eat here.
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Little Havana: A great place to visit and eat.  We enjoyed Cuban Sandwiches, pastries and cigars. These are the off the beaten path our walking tour guide recommended.
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You can see the “NT” of El Pub Restaurant behind the “Chickens” welcoming you to Little Havana
Cuban Food:
3555 SW 8th Street
Little Havana
Tel 305-444-0240
We didn’t eat here, but everone says you should.
1548 SW 8th St
Tel 305-642-9942
We jumped on a couple of stoos at the counter and quicky ordered an two sandwiches: El Pub Special, a Cubano  and two beers.  Really inexpenssive good food.
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Cigars:

1336 SW 8th St.
Little Havana
Tel 305-643-4005
Buy a couple or create a private label these cigars can be shipped anywhere.  My churchill costs $7.50 and smoked for 2 hours.
Pastries:  
1356 SW 8th St
Little Havana
Tel 305- 856-8141
*The guava pastry is cheap and yummy.
Music/Bar:
1513 SW 8th Street
Little Havana
Tel 305-643-7820
The Ball and Chain is a Little Havana staple that has had a beavy of stars play on it’s legendary Pineapple Stage:  Lena Horne, Ella Fitzgerald, Nat King Cole and Louie Armstrong are few who have played at this historic venue.  Hit it up the Ball & Chain during happy hour for 2 for 1 drinks that will knock your socks off.
*Sit on the back patio to smoke the cigar you just purchased at La Tradicion Cubana Cigars while staring at the famous Pineapple Stage and let your mind imagine the days of your as you sip on your Mojito while puffing on our cigar.

 

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