Wednesday, 3 October 2018

Bienvenidos a Miami

Earlier this year a friend and I travelled to Miami. It wasn't a destination I was thinking about going to any time soon, but when another friend of mine revealed that she'll be moving there, I used the opportunity for a cheeky getaway.
We stayed in the Doral area which is a bit away from a lot of the main Miami attractions, but with Uber, Lyft and a friend that can drive getting around wasn't difficult.
There are so many things to do in Miami, and unfortunately we didn't get to do all of them, but we did get to explore a lot of what the city had to offer. We were lucky enough to be there during Cinco de Mayo and had a great time. We started out at Cabo for nachos, margaritas and tequila shots, then ended the night shaking a leg at Martini Bar Doral. Being so close to South America, Miami is heavily influenced by Latin culture; almost everyone speaks Spanish, dances salsa and listens to Reggeaton. A few weeks before we left I took up salsa dancing lessons which helped a lot when we went to Ball & Chain, a historic live music venue in Little Havana. 
Little Havana is Miami's Cuban neighbourhood with Latin American art galleries, food, music and so much more. We visited Molina Art Gallery which is this amazing Afro Cuban inspired gallery by Joe Molina. He was there when we visited and we spoke with him about his art and how a lot of his pieces are influenced by African (some specifically Nigerian) and Cuban folklore. I loved how colourful and cultured his pieces were that I bought one - the first piece that comes up when you go on the website is the one I purchased. Pictures are not allowed in the gallery but if you're ever in the area, check it out.
We walked along Calle Ocho Walk of Fame and stopped at Domino Park to watch the older Cuban community playing dominoes (obviously) and chess. I've played dominoes maybe twice in my life so knew I was no where near as advanced as the locals, so didn't bother joining a game. Right next to Domino Park is the historic Tower Theatre which screens indie and revival films. And across the road from that is Azucar Ice Cream Company a family run scoop shop that sells handmade ice-creams and sorbets in a variety of flavours - I ordered Abuela Maria and flan flavoured ice-cream which was delicious! As you'll see below the scoops were huge and it was reasonably priced.
Another place you must visit when in Miami is Wynwood Walls - a unique outdoor museum showing huge, vibrant works from artists from around the world. Goldman Global Arts is a gallery that can be found in Wynwood with even more amazing pieces of art.
When in Miami, visiting Miami Beach goes without saying. What I didn't realise until I got there was that Miami Beach is actually a city. There's a lot to do in the area and we made the most of it during our time. Obviously there is the beach itself - we went to mid-beach which was quite quiet so it was easy to find a spot to sunbathe. A short walk away from the beach is The Bass which is a contemporary art museum (admission in $10).
'Welcome' in 40 languages
Still in the vicinity is the Holocaust Memorial dedicated to the six million Jewish people killed during World War II. And right next to that is the Miami Beach Botanical Gardens. When I travel I enjoy visiting gardens and seeing the nature and the different types of  flowers and shit. I didn't get to visit the Vizcaya Museum & Gardens but that's on the list for next time.
Before I knew I was going to Miami I heard a lot about the Museum of Ice Cream (MOIC), an interactive exhibition with ice cream and candy themed activities, as well as a lot of delicious treats. The time we were there happened to be the final few weeks that the MOIC was going to be in Miami. Tickets cost roughly $40 - we received delicious treats along the way (lots of ice cream) and there wasn't a time limit so could spend as much time as we wanted there (and we did).
Until next time Miami... xo
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