The music was on point, the clothes were skimpy, and the pool was warm.
We left shortly after Christmas and returned to Michigan shortly after New Years. COVID-wise, we wore our masks everywhere indoors and double masked on the plane. The plane was packed and though everyone was wearing masks it was the most anxiety inducing part. We arrived to Miami Beach greeting breezy eighty degree days with blue skies. The food in Miami was very diverse and tasty however eating out drained us, financially and mentally. Most restaurants had gluten-free celiac friendly options which was a relief for Robert who has celiac. The first place we ate at was Taquiza, a traditional Mexican taqueria, that had delicious tacos and enchiladas. Their Totopos (Chips) were probably the most notable, fluffy and fried masa corn chips my family absolutely loved. One of the most beautiful restaurants we ate at was Casa Casuarina, also known as The Versace Mansion. It was a 1930 home with a Mediterranean Revival style of architecture. It is rumored that during construction a time capsule was hidden in one of the walls. I got the pumpkin ravioli and an octopus tentacle salad.
We had amazing peking duck, money bags, and sushi at KOMODO. The duck was their most rememberable dish, it was dark fatty meat that was best paired with cucumber. There was array of languages in the air and a hum of elitism. House music played almost everywhere. The closer you got to the beach the more boobs, booty, and hyper fit beach bodies you'd see. There were many beautiful people dripping with name brand clothes or working out in front of a crowd of people in the fitness area of the beach. When I noticed no graffiti or beggars, there was a sick feeling in my stomach. Occasionally, we would see a pile of vomit or some bushes bent over from someone taking a drunken fall. We visited The Design District which had a plethora of wealth and luxury. There were waitlists to get into high end stores like Gucci, Fendi, Louis Vuitton, and Prada. Contemporary art was all over the streets, window displays, and decor. We stopped at the JAPOW Kei Street Van and I got a Matcha Cake Kakigori, a Japanese shaved ice.
We went to Allapattah, a neighborhood mostly in the city of Miami and partly in metropolitan Miami. There we went to Superblue Miami, a gallery with light-based displays, digital installations & a mirror labyrinth. The most memorable piece for me was James Turrell's immersive work which explores light and space. One of my favorite pieces of his made light the subject of the revelation. You were told to be silent and meditate within his piece, you were not aloud to take pictures/video of it.
When we exited the museum and we walked to a nearby Mexican restaurant on the other side of the highway. As we walked, the raw graffiti, trash, and poverty within a melting pot of a neighborhood revealed itself. A rebellious art that spoke to a culture, an art that actually reminded me a lot of the art in Eastern Market within Detroit. We found graffiti that said "Get Vaccinated Or Die" with a black skull scattered all over the side walk. We found graffiti of Mickey Mouse as a shooting target. There was still tourism, but not as outwardly elite as what you might find along the beach. As we were going back to our hotel we see a line of COVID testing stretched around the outside of an auditorium. Miami Beach definitely has this wealthy, sexy, glamorous "party till we die" and "I'm better than you" type of feel but it's also very tropical, poor, and dreamy.
Photos were taken by Giuliana Cascardo, 2021-22. This post content was created by Giuliana Cascardo. All visuals are self taken or created, all writing is original aside from any statistical or historic information which is sourced by external links. Any photos that are not taken or created by Giuliana Cascardo are sourced in photo discription. Nothing in this post is affiliated with any sponsors or commercial work.