Miami’s Wynwood Arts and Design District

Editor’s note: Joseph Pubillones takes leave. This column was originally published in 2017.

Miami has become one of America’s most foreign cities. Getting off a plane or stepping out of the comfort of your air-conditioned car lets you know immediately that you really are in the South. The hot steam, the smell of Cuban coffee floating in the air, the cackle of Spanish, Creole, Portuguese, French, Italian, German and occasional English accents combine for prove you are in a continental stew.

Of course, Miami has always been a welcoming city. It’s a big city in constant expansion that is made up of many small neighborhoods, each with its own identity: the gentried Coral Gables, the bohemian Coconut Grove, the eclectic Little Haiti, the Latin Calle Ocho and the chic Brickell, for n to name a few. Each is a key part of what many now consider a world-class city.

The vibrant new neighborhood of Wynwood is making headlines around the world. For many decades, Wynwood was home to numerous manufacturing companies that occupied miles and miles of warehouses.

Design boutiques and artist studios were among the pioneers of this once abandoned and neglected part of the city. The western part of the district has been put on the map by the vast murals painted by professional and amateur graffiti artists. One can almost easily spend a few days in what has become a sort of open-air museum, known as the Wynwood Walls.

Artistic foundations have taken note and occupy some of the largest spaces in the region, such as the Margulies Collection, the Rubell Family Collection and the De la Cruz Family Collection.

In what was once empty land sandwiched by neighboring low-rise offices and warehouses, a unique approach to eating and drinking was developed. Not to be missed is The Yard: an incredibly unique cross between a trailer park and a food court. The center of this gravel-paved venue is a bar that draws customers from all walks of life: from families with baby strollers to bearded hipsters and lanky tattooed models. Food trucks and other makeshift kitchens prepare delicious dishes that will appeal to everyone.

Further east is what is now known as the Miami Design District. You’ll think you’re on Worth Avenue… but a much more intense version. In what was once a dangerous corner of Miami, you’ll now find an incredible congregation of world-class architecture housing the world’s most exclusive boutiques, from Via Montenapoleone to Madison Avenue; Miu Miu and Hermes, Bulgari and Louis Vuitton, Longchamp and Zegna, Givenchy and Dior and – last but not least – Prada and Piaget too. Do you get the picture?

Design enthusiasts will not be disappointed. Head to building 4141, where elegant Italian furniture shops can be found around every corner. I would be remiss if I did not mention the Susane R. Lifestyle Boutique, which is full of high quality vintage furnishings, art and accessories. An added bonus is the charming boutique owner Susane, whose panache and quick wit shouldn’t be disturbed, even if you don’t agree with her. I have learned to trust his taste for the world and his wise advice, which is very beneficial to me.

• Joseph Pubillones is the owner of Joseph Pubillones Interiors, an award-winning interior design company based in Palm Beach, Florida.

© 2021, Syndicate of creators


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