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.
One of the most unusual experiences when visiting Cuba’s the lack of advertising – it’s something you don’t consciously think about at home, but once you hit the sun soaked streets it’s noticeably absent. There are no flyers on lampposts, or even jingles over the radio in taxis. Instead, the only disruption you may see to the authentic Cuban vistas are messages from the government, often in the form of propaganda murals. It’s safe to say Cuba has more Che Guevara stencils than all the bedrooms of teenage boys combined. In this post I’ve included some examples of these public propaganda symbols from my travels through the country.
Given the transient nature of street art I always mean to shoot more photos of the pieces I see around Shoreditch, and with the start of 2016 and a new iPhone on hand, I’m making a conscious effort to do just that.
These photos were taken when walking back from Old Street to Brick Lane, along Great Eastern Street and Hollywell Lane. There’s two big construction sites that have provided ample canvas for artists to decorate. The site on Great Eastern Street and Leonard Street creates almost a curated art walk with a few tunnel like walkways. These areas are always worth checking out if you’re in the area, as the art is likely to change every month or so.
I’ve been ‘up north’ this week in Manchester as part of my new job (our head offices are there), and in between a shed load of intros and meetings I managed to find time to wander around the Northern Quarter, the city’s bohemian hub.