We head out about 8:00 to do a self guided Art Deco walking tour. The Art Deco movement in Miami occurred between the 1920s and 1940s. The buildings have characteristic pastel colours, porthole windows and sleek curves. Murray and I are in heaven gazing at all the beautiful structures.
As we walk, we notice that the traffic moves along slowly. No one seems to drive fast along the narrow streets.The vehicles range from mini vans to Corvettes to Rolls Royces to Jaguars to Ferraris to Hondas.
We do notice that pedestrians seem to walk across the intersections and streets whenever they want. They do not necessarily wait for the walk light to change to walk and the cars stop. The vehicles yield for pedestrians here. It reminds me of a very large warm Banff. Our penchant for following the rules has us waiting patiently for the walk light to change.
Further north we start to view a few of the fancier hotels. Although art deco on the outside The Sagamore’s lobby is stark and white and it serves as a gallery for a very impressive contemporary art collection. Well worth a visit. The National Hotel has been refurbished to match its original decor, furniture and all.
Tonight we spend on Ocean Drive. I am quite sure it is the crusin’ capital of the east coast if not all of the U.S. Every type size and color of vehicle you can imagine is moving at about 2 MPH bumper to bumper in both directions. The sidewalks are packed, both sides of the street, the west side with people threading in and out of restaurant and bar tables and on the east side moving more freely the beach side walk. The people crusin’ as much or more than the vehicles on the road adjacent to them. South Beach is really an anything goes place.
The Deco buildings are lit at night with the early 20th century medium of neon. The lighting accents the building lines very well and it adds a considerable amount of atmosphere to the entire ‘scene’ along the drive. I’m not quite sure if the people on the west side of the street notice or even care.
We started the day on a very peaceful avenue at 8am and by 8pm it has transformed to party central. There are thousands of people, tourists and locals alike, out and about enjoying a wonderful evening and if tonight is anything like last night it will go on until 4am tomorrow morning and there will be some hurting people going to work.