Thursday, May 12, 2016

Miami Beach: Art Deco

From the start of this series of trips we have avoided big cities, not because we don’t like them, we are both thoroughgoing urbanites, but because they take too much time. So Miami was not at all under consideration. But as we entered Florida’s gold coast the question of art deco architecture and Miami Beach came up, and a quick calculation told us that we had three or four hours to spare and neither of us had ever seen the city. Why not?

Now most of you probably know this already but, Wow! We did not get much of a sense of Miami itself just from driving through it, but Miami Beach is one hopping hot place. The architecture and the Latin flavor of the place just caught us. We probably would have stayed longer, but the afternoon temperature was approaching 90º and after walking a couple of miles Sharon began to fade.

So we hopped back into our car, braving rush hour Miami traffic. (Who knew?) It took us four hours to cover the 80 miles from Miami Beach to Islamorada which will be our base for exploring the Florida Keys, but it was totally worth it.

Here, without much comment, are some images of Miami’s Art Deco and related architecture. Most of the commercial buildings, according to the brochure we picked up at the Art Deco Visitor’s Center, seem to have been put up in the mid-to-late 1930s, when the area seems to taken off. 

The moment we arrived from the north east of the city and saw these exuberant modern high rises, we got the sense that this place would be architecturally interesting

Then as we approached the city center, building got older, smaller and more interesting yet

Including residential building set among the commercial ones. I assume they are holdovers, earlier than the commercial structures that came later

A touch of Havana? Or just a Dreamsicle on wheels? Regardless we were charmed enough to eat there. Hideously overpriced.

For you car guys, this is only the second BMW i8 I have seen on the road

An amusing fountain

Not sure what model Lambo this is.

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