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. This established space has encouraged others to come to the
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.
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.
While in Belfast earlier this year, I noticed that only a small minority of tourists in the region were British. It’s easy to understand why – growing up in the 1990s I have vague childhood memories of ‘The Troubles’ on the news, of the bombings by the IRA and its fractions in England, and Gerry Adams’ pre-hipster beard – none of which screamed travel hotspot. But it’s actually this rich, if complicated, political history that makes Northern Ireland such a surprisingly fascinating destination. This is most apparent when exploring West Belfast, an area divided by Protestant and Catholic quite literally by the ‘Peace lines’ walls. Up to 25 feet in places and collectively miles long, since The Good Friday Agreement these have been used as a place for artists to express local and international political discourse and human rights.