Monday, February 9, 2015

Shock and Awe in South Beach

In my previous post I mentioned that Lincoln Road Mall in South Beach, Miami was designed in the Miami Modern style back in 1960 by architect Morris Lapidus -- creating one of the first pedestrian malls ever--and has been on the cutting edge of art, fashion, design and cuisine ever since.

On this visit, now stretching into my fourth week since yest another snow storm cancelled our flight back to Boston today, I've noticed that, while Lincoln Road is still as energetic, lively, surprising and seductive as ever, some changes over the past four years were not for the better. The colorful art deco facade of the previous Lincoln Theater has been painted white and turned into an H&M store and some restaurants.

But every day, when I venture out onto Lincoln Road to get my morning coffee and newspapers, or  walk the five or so blocks down to the beach,  I see astonishing people and places unlike those on any other street in the world, and every day I  return to the apartment in a state of shock and awe.

 This blonde with the improbably long legs and hair and impossibly high heels has got the South Beach fashion vibe down perfectly--accessorized by a small fluffy dog (sometimes dyed to match the owner's hair) and maximum exposure of skin.

This blonde displays her love of Florida with the tattoo on her back.  The young man with her has his own tattoo art.
Every day I admire the energy of the street performers, like the break dancers.
 Risking a broken neck on the cement.
Every day I see the armless artist who paints with his feet.  

He works in the shadow of the church that doesn't reject anyone.

This young man is organizing rallies to free Lolita, the Orca at  the Miami Seaquarium for 40 years who, since the death of her mate, is called the "loneliest Orca in the world.

People on Lincoln Road often have unusual pets.

And unusual fashions, like this gentleman who wears this outfit every day.
The grassy knoll is filled with frolicking children day and night.  The balloon man is there, and at night another man sells  whirly toys with colored lights that are projected into the sky by elastic band sling shots and often get stuck in the palm trees overhead.
Kids also love feeding the fish in the several fountains-fish so big they'd make a hearty meal.
This heron clearly had the same thought.

Lincoln Road has lots of art galleries, including one devoted to Florida's famous pop artist Romero Britto (he even decorated the parking meters in Miami.)
And on Sundays Lincoln Road turns into an outdoor antiques market.

And a farmer's market of organic, locally grown produce.

No wonder everyone turns up on Lincoln Road sooner or later when they get tired of snow and winter.  One day I even spied Santa Claus sitting in the sun on the grassy knoll.
But then in the next block I saw this guy (below).
Will the real Santa please stand up?


CJ Kennedy said...

Refreshing to see all the colors especially green trees and grass with no snow. You might be in FL a bit longer. Two more storms are predicted for Thurs./Fri and Sun/Mon. Both have potential though even an inch or two would send me over the edge. Enjoy the sun and warm for me.

Andy Fish said...

Santa 1.
Love this post-- I have to get down there someday.