MIAMI – “Pan America”

Hola! It has been a while since I have posted a blog…And what better time then after my first trip to Miami back in April.  What an exciting city! If you personally know me, I have a major passion for the history of Cuban culture.  When my grandparents were alive, I was embraced by their Cuban culture, coffee, learning about the history and love for their country.  I never thought to go to Miami until after I visited Cuba. I wanted to see what the hype was all about.  Is Little Havana just like the real Havana? Is the Art Deco style buildings give me the feel of the 1920’s? Very few Americans have traveled to Cuba and I was fortunate enough to go to Havana before Miami.  Let’s be clear- Miami is NOTHING like the real Havana. Non-comparable. The only similarities is the love and community of Cuban’s rooted in both cities.

One of the most diverse cities I have experienced, Miami offered so much to us! From the nightlife, the food, beach, palm trees, and the Miami heat.  Our Airbnb was located in the heart of Miami beach – perfect location. We were close to a little market for breakfast and few blocks from the beach.  There were 3 places I definitely had to visit – Calle Ocho, Wynwood Arts District and of course the beach. They say that it’s the people of the city you visit that makes a place so memorable and a great experience. I absolutely agree with that.

Little Havana: We took the bus to Calle Ocho where it was overran by mom and pop gift shops, however there was so much history and storytelling throughout this part of the city. Domino Park is a place I wanted to check out – a place known for Cubans to play Domino’s, all. day. I mean, all day. I met a gentleman named Pablo and he told me his story, fleeing from Cuba many years ago. I had told him the story of my grandparents and how this was my first time in Miami. He said Miami is not just a place he lives, but a sense of gathering of immigrants – a community. This neighborhood offers so many local shops with the most authentic Cuban food you can experience here in the states.

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Wynwood Arts District – this place made my heart happy.  If I could take everyone to visit this place, I would. A night out in Wynwood is unpredictable.  I love that there is a dedicated spot for many local and national artists to share their work with so much color, patterns, and important messages on every street. The story behind Wynwood Arts District is really interesting and needed.  As a previous arts administrator,  reviving a neglected neighborhood through art is refreshing. What better way through an overwhelming amount of mural art- everywhere, and on everything. I promise you – I have never seen an “arts district” quite like this one.  Here is a little history of Wynwood if you are interested on reading more.

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Lastly, Miami Beach. OH, what can I say about this overly populated area filled with tourists and art deco styled buildings peeping in between the over-the-top hotels and club spots. It was so eclectic, the water was so blue, so hot, so amazing! I fell in love with bright pastel colors of the buildings themed from the 1920’s as tourists walked up and down the streets. I love scorching hot summers and Miami was just that in April.  It was bliss! Add Miami to your travel bucket list! You will not regret it. Be prepared to eat amazing Cuban cuisine, dance the night away, the heat, walking, practice Spanish, street art and soak up the sun on Miami Beach.

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Ugo Rondinone’s Miami Mountain…The only mountains in Miami

 

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