5. Walk around Wynwood and check out the street art
Okay, so anyone who reads this blog once in a while will know that I loooove street art. Pieces that took 4 hours to paint and hastily thrown up tags and stencils and stickers and rhyming bathroom scrawls, I love it all. Any creative mark that we leave on the world to perpetuate ourselves in some small way – that’s our way of punching our inevitable mortality in the face.
So when we heard that Wynwood is a gentrifying neighbourhood in Miami that has amazing painted pieces on every wall on every block, we decided that we had to check it out.
The Wynwood Walls site gives an overview of how this place came to be:
The Wynwood Walls was conceived by the renowned community revitalizer and placemaker, the late Tony Goldman in 2009. He was looking for something big to transform the warehouse district of Wynwood, and he arrived at a simple idea: “Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place.” Starting with the 25th–26th Street complex of six separate buildings, his goal was to create a center where people could gravitate to and explore, and to develop the area’s pedestrian potential.
And Wynwood is seriously awesome. Even if you think that graffiti is a blight on society and you prefer to see plain concrete walls or whatever, this place is worth walking around. Each building, each wall, is beautifully executed in a wonderful array of colours. (Or a conspicuous lack of colour, as on the building featured in the photo below).
It also helped that it was +30 out and gorgeous, and everyone was out walking their small squishy dogs.
I unfortunately don’t know how to credit the amazing artists featured in this post. I can only say that their talent is evident in each of these photos, although you don’t get the full effect when you’re not dwarfed by the images. But I’ll try anyway:
I was just so grateful that a place like this can even exist. I know the gentrification and the hipsters and the rising rental prices that come along with it will probably ruin it in the end.
It’s already crowded around here. We tried to stop for a coffee at Panther Coffee, which is right in the heart of the neighbourhood, and there was a line out the door. We ended up going to another tiny cafe around the corner, Fireman Derek’s World Famous Pies, which was adorable and also pretty upscale. Unfortunately, we didn’t get any pie.
Regardless of what happens to Wynwood in the future, I’m still happy it is a thing. And for an aspiring amateur photographer, the place is a dream. You can’t really mess up a shot of great art – and these artists are all deserving of all the credit.
I’ll just leave these other photos here…
Abandoned parking lot.
Neon 90s dream.
Last shot of the day.
Up next: take a boat cruise by Millionaire’s Row.