It’s been awhile but I’m back with the rest of my photos from an afternoon exploring the Wynwood Walls and design district of Miami City. As a reminder, Wynwood Walls is an official project inviting famous international street artists to create inspiring murals which have inspired the whole neighbourhood to become a maze of painted surfaces. In my last post, I shared photos from around the walls, here I’ll share images from the wider area including well-known and up-and-coming artists. Overall I just love the use of the wide white buildings, the inspiration of the setting seen through the frequent use of blues and art deco motifs, and the ambiance of the area as a whole.
Miami may have some of the best beaches, bars and boulevards of any destination in the USA, but once you have burnt you skin along the shore it’s time to head inland to see what the city proper has to offer. Wynwood is at the heart of the Art District, where former warehouses have been converted into boutiques and trendy eateries and the walls are lined with paint. I often write about different street art hotspots along my travels, but Wynwood really takes the cake. The epicenter is the Wynwood Walls, an official and permanent project showcasing internationally renowned graffiti artists including some of my personal favourites Miss Van, Swoon and Maya Hayuk.
If you’ve seen my posts before, you might realise that I always try to check out the local street art when I travel. Most cities now have certain neighbourhoods that act as hubs for creatives, artists, and to some extent gentrification; creating welcoming space for international artists to cover their walls, floors and anything with surface area streets at a time. I live in Shoreditch so I’m lucky enough to see some of the most stunning pieces of street art daily, but there’s something so exhilarating about turning a corner in a new city and seeing walls full of colour.
I’ve been to Paris multiple times but it’s never quite clicked for me – the Louvre pyramid is stunning, the streetside bistro’s appealing, but I’ve always found the overall vibe of the city slightly cold and aloof. I think with many big cities it can feel that way for outsiders; I often feel the need to defend Londoners to outsiders who may see it as unfriendly or expensive. Taking the time to explore Belleville, a neighbourhood straddling 4 different arrondissement, enabled me to see a bit more of the ‘local’ side of Paris.
The term Malecón is used throughout the spanish speaking world, but it’s in Cuba’s capital of Havana where the word is truly part of the local heartbeat. The 8km coastal esplanade is quintessentially Cubano – one moment the sun will be high with the pavement scorching under foot and wheel, the next waves will be crashing over the barriers blasting the neo-classical facades with the full strength of the Caribbean. Havana is temperamental, unpredictable, thrilling and exhausting all at once.
I was adamant that when our map described the Moscow District as “one of Riga’s shadiest neighbourhoods” that this meant plenty of foliage in Latvia’s 35°c summers. Unfortunately, barely a tree can be found in this area of the city. Instead, wide barren streets, a looming soviet skyscraper and derelict buildings mean that your first instinct might be to clutch your valuables tightly. It’ s very different from the tourist utopia of the Old Town, but dig a little deeper and there are some interesting attractions in this neck of the woods. You may even develop a strange fondness for these battered Baltic streets like I did – and the best part is it’s highlights are all FREE to enjoy at no cost at all.