My pal Rachel of SurfyBirdy and I were feeling a lull of sorts in our creativity, and felt the vibrant and colorful spell of Miami calling for us. We headed down the coast for a day of heavily caffeinated strolls through graffiti filled streets, alleyways and warehouses. then to dense, lush courtyards of old art deco motels turned hip young hostels.
We started our late morning at Panther Coffee, where an eclectic crowd of coffee phenes like ourselves gathered at high top wood counters, with square framed glasses, and plugged in gadgets. While waiting for our lattes, it was the perfect time to take in the Miami fashion; a mixture of cultures; Europeans in chic denim, and the freshest sneakers, locals in low slung tees and strappy sandals, an abundance of well put together young folk working with luxury on their own time and in a chosen location ( one where coffee is consistently available, and damn good coffee at that.) Rachel and I sit outside admiring the surrounding walls of magic.
Everywhere you look in Wynwood, Miami is covered in street art, murals, graphics, graffiti, illustrations, words of inspiration, etc. It is a visual realm of heaven. We turn in and out of streets and alley ways, each turn leading to a new vision, artist and color scheme. Amongst my favorites; The Wall of 10,000 Buddhas by Amanda Giocomini.
We then ventured in to a collection of large scale murals in the courtyard Wynwood Walls . Featured are some of the worlds greatest artists working in the graffiti and street art scene.
Ducking for cover after an unexpected thunder and lightning storm, classic to South Florida's summers, we lunched at Mr. Block Cafe .
Later in the afternoon, we were told of the old art deco hotel turned hostel called Freehand Miami. Where travelers, cocktails, poolside and jungles intertwine. An eclectic funky mix of authentic vintage decor and interesting people, young and old. While waiting for the Broken Shaker Cocktail lounge to open for an afternoon libation, Rachel and I lounged by the saltwater pool and people watched. A group of Eastern European man-boys play volleyball in the pool, and an older gentleman shares his homemade guacamole with us. A hairy fellow in black jeans speaks broken english to an uninterested female while dogs roam the grounds.
I can't say that I've ever quite seen a place as utterly cool as Freehand. Tucked away from the otherwise overbearing South Beach scene, it feels as though you were in you own tropical oasis. Quiet, serene, peaceful. The cocktails come fit with slices of fresh watermelon, or other various tropical fruits, and the lounge area outside it decorated with colorful chairs, outdoor candles, and various cactus and succulents.
Rachel and I loved our Miami Staycation and we hope you do too!