Bella Vida by Letty

South Florida

Sampling the Miami Spice Menu at Toro Toro Miami

Toro Toro Miami Spice

This week I was invited to experience the Toro Toro Miami Spice menu and it was one of the most amazing food experiences of my life. Miami Spice is a mouth-watering restaurant promotion highlighting the very best of Miami cuisine. Running from August 1st to September 30th restaurants offer three course meals featuring signature dishes by world-renowned chefs at reduced prices. It’s an affordable way to try something new.

Toro Toro is located in the elegant Intercontinental Hotel near the American Airlines arena where the Miami Heat plays. The restaurant was brought to heart of downtown Miami by acclaimed Chef Richard Sandoval. Chef Sandoval is known for combining authentic Latin ingredients with international flavor and inventive techniques to create new and unexpected cuisines such as modern and coastal Mexican, Latin Asian, Peruvian and Pan Latin. The food is an array of hot and cold plates tapas style, steaks served a la carte and savory side dishes meant for sharing plates.

Enthusiasm is contagious. When you get a sneak peak behind the scenes of a restaurant you get to experience this first hand. The passion and zeal of the staff and chefs for what they do comes across in the service and the quality and flavors of the food. My impression was that everyone there was happy to be there and really enjoyed their job. Seeing the care that was taken with the preparation of the food highlighted my eating experience.

Toro Toro Miami Spice

Upon our arrival we were taken to a private area near the kitchen for special guests and greeted with cocktails and h’ordevors. I enjoyed a very sweet Downtowner, which is a citrus, and vodka based drink garnished with orange peel. After a delicious appetizer, stuffed shallot with a buttery white sauce we were escorted to a private dining area with views of the kitchen to sample the Miami Spice menu.

We were brought course after course a large variety of plates with distinctive flavors. This is a great place to go with a group of friends to have drinks and share plates to explore and discover new favorites. Toro Toro’s Miami Spice menu is impressive for its variety.

If you enjoy meats I highly recommend ordering the generous Churrasco Platter. A selection of the best meats and cuts of picanha steak, prime ribeye, lamb chop, chorizo sausage and achiote chicken.

If you enjoy spicy food with bold flavors I recommend the Smoked Swordfish Dip. It’s a smoky spicy dish with pickled chilies, aioli and tomatoes served with plantain chips.

Toro Toro Miami Spice

If you appreciate seafood like I do Toro Toro has lots to offer. I sampled and enjoyed the freshness of the Ceviche Nikkei with tuna, avocado, ponzu, leche de tigre, cucumber and quinoa. The Chicharron de Camarones is another dish you must try especially if you love shrimp. And my favorite dish of the evening, which just melts in your mouth, was the Chipotle Miso Seabass. The fish was perfectly seasoned with sesame seeds and eel sauce. This is a great example of how Chef Sandoval combines Latin flavors with seasonings of other cultures.

For dessert I highly recommend La Bomba which is dulce de leche mousse, strawberry ice cream, almond cookie crumbles, berries served in a chocolate shell.  You will get a kick out of the way it’s served right on the table.

 

You can check out what else is on the Toro Toro Miami Spice menu by clicking here.

Have you been to Toro Toro Miami? What was your favorite dish?

 

 

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Things to do in Florida at Hollywood Beach Broadwalk

hollywood broadwalk

Here’s an insider tip for things to do in Florida.  One of my very favorite hometown hangouts is the Hollywood Broadwalk.  No, that’s not a typo. The city named the boardwalk The Hollywood Broadwalk.

Did you know there is a city in Florida named Hollywood?

Not very many people do.  It’s the complete opposite of the one out in California.  Located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale this small beach town is very diverse receiving visitors from all over the world. It’s relaxed, laid back and family friendly.

Hollywood Boulevard ends at A1A where you can access Surf Road and the Hollywood Broadwalk. The Broadwalk stretches for about two and half miles.  On one side of the Broadwalk are seven miles of sand with the view of the gorgeous Atlantic Ocean, which changes from jade to turquoise depending on the light.  The other side of the Hollywood Broadwalk is lined with shops, cafes, ice cream shops, restaurants, hotels, inns and other businesses.

Experience South Florida the way the locals do.

Hollywood Broadwalk Collage

See

If you park at the north end at Sheridan Street there is a viewing deck where you can climb up a few stories to take in the beautiful beach view from above.

Eats

The Hollywood Broadwalk gives you the opportunity to have a seaside meal. At the north end of the Hollywood Broadwalk, just off of Sheridan Street you will find plenty of parking, shade and picnic tables.  You can use the grills or bring your own.

On the weekends there is a fresh market at the south end of the Broadwalk where you can find organic produce and drink a refreshing smoothie made from locally grown fruits and vegetables.

And in between you will find a great variety of restaurants, cafes, ice cream parlors, pizza joint and just about any type of food you’re in the mood for.

Sleep / Stay

You will find various types of accommodations along the Broadwalk from large chain hotels, small mom and pop hotels. If renting is your thing you can find anything from luxury to casual beach house.

Play

Just off of Garfield Street you can find a playground, ball courts and even an interactive dolphin fountain for the kids to splash and play.  Charnow Park features shaded seating areas and picnic pavilions.

Sand

While on the sand you’ll see all types of boats out on the water.  On weekends you might see a group of twenty small sailboats bobbing along during sail school.  At night you’ll see large cruise ships and their twinkling lights as they head deep into the ocean.  The port of Ft. Lauderdale is only about eight miles away.

Sports

The Broadwalk is always bustling with skaters, joggers and bike riders.  There are at least two places I know of where you can rent wheels.  You can pick up a racket and play ball at the ball courts off Garfield Street.

Water

In the water you can swim, float, fish. If you want to play in the water you can also rent jet skis.

Entertainment

You will find various entertainments at the different bars and restaurants. For free entertainment you can find live music performances at the band shell located off Johnson Street. The Hollywood Beach Theater hosts live music five nights a week and a variety of cultural performances just 25 steps from sand to center stage.

You can see what’s happening at the beach now via this live webcam or view a map to plan your next trip here.

Have you been to the Hollywood Broadwalk?

What was your favorite thing to do there?

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The Courtyard Marriott South Beach #FloridaWish #Spons   

Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach

During my many travels I’ve stayed at various Marriott Hotels all throughout Florida and even Georgia.  I continue to patronize this brand of hotels because I can always rely on the cleanliness and great customer service.  As part of the Florida Wish campaign I stayed at the modern and sleek Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach.  South Beach is a trendy vacation spot where the stylish and cultured come to relax on the sand or indulge in fun and entertainment.  This hotel fits right into the South Beach ambiance.  Its decor is modern and artsy using en vogue fabrics and textures.

There is indoor and outdoor seating all along the lobby.  Being into photography I really loved seeing the framed vintage black and white photographs of South Beach history all throughout the hotel.  I thought it was a great way to balance the new while giving a nod to the history and art deco style South Beach is known for.  The lounge offers free wifi and beautiful workspaces next to a cafe style bistro.  There’s a big multi use space for casual or business to work on laptops, plug in various devices or watch television.

You know I am very active while traveling and enjoy lots of walking.  This is the main reason I would recommend this hotel is because it is smack in the middle of everything good.  A short walk east takes you to the beach, one block south takes you to Espanola Way and just north is the world famous Lincoln Street Mall.  You have fine dining, shopping and entertainment literally at its doorstep.

Another great amenity is the hotel valet service for your car.  Parking in South Beach can be tricky and expensive.  In addition there is new construction going on the roadways right now and you have to take all sorts of out of the way detours to arrive at your destination.  You can just leave your car with the hotels valet service and not have to worry.  Anything you want to do is within walking distance.

After settling in the first thing I did was head upstairs to the rooftop pool.  Wow, what a gorgeous view.  The space is designed to be a luxurious retreat for hotel guests.  There’s the pool and balconies with plush comfortable seating.  I spent a rainy afternoon up there catching up with some reading and writing.  It was so relaxing.  It was some much needed me time.

Lincoln Road Mall South Beach

After charging my batteries I was ready to hit the town for some fun.  Here are some suggestions for fun things to do.

South Beach Itinerary

August happens to be when Miami Spice takes place.  Fine restaurants around town offer three course meals featuring signature dishes created by world renowned chefs.  I was in the mood for Mexican food so I headed to Lincoln Road Mall.

Stroll along Lincoln mall which built in 1912 as a sophisticated retail spot is also one of the county’s first outdoor malls.  Today you will find casual restaurants, fine dining, high end designers, book stores, bars, theater and a Star Bucks on every corner.  There are art galleries and artist studios which open up for tours, movie theaters, street vendors and all types of street performers.  You can spend hours here.  I suggest having a seat, it’s a great spot for people watching.  You never know what rich and famous person you might bump into.

Head to the beach.  It usually rains in the afternoon during Florida summers.  I recommend heading out early.  I was able to beat the rain on Sunday and enjoy some beach time.  This beach has vendors for just about everything including snacks.  Be sure to get a peek of the famous lifeguard stands.  No two are alike.

Walk down Ocean Drive and see many familiar historic art deco hotels.  This street appears in numerous films and television shows.  There are lots of places to pick up souvenirs.

espanola way

Visit Espanola Way an often overlooked bohemian spot for shopping, dining and art galleries.  The area was modeled after the Mediterranean villages of Spain and France and was originally built as a meeting place by Miami Beach’s wealthiest citizens.  It’s very pretty at night it’s lit up by strings of light bulbs.

If you like music check out the New World Symphony schedule.  Some performances are projected on the buildings huge wall facing the park.  On certain nights they present free outdoor movie screenings.

Visit the Fillmore Miami Beach at Jackie Gleason Theater for live entertainment, concerts, comedy tours and private events.

If you love to dance some of Miami’s most famous nightclubs are on Washington Avenue, Collins and Ocean Drive.

All of these activities are within walking distance of the Courtyard Marriott Miami Beach South Beach.  You can find more things to do, news and deals by reading my specially curated Florida twitter list.

If you are traveling to Florida check out Marriott hotel deal click here.

Enter the promotional code SUM into the Corporate/Promotional code box when making your online reservation, or call 1-800-228-9290 in the US and ask for promotional code SUM.  The code is valid until October 5, 2014.

Don’t wait head on over and make your reservations today.

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What to Wear to South Beach #DestinationSummer #Sponsored

South Beach

 

South Beach is a neighborhood in the city of Miami Beach, Florida.  Located due east of Miami city between Biscayne Bay and the Atlantic Ocean it is known for being trendy and attracting rich, famous and beautiful people.   This place is always bustling with locals, visitors and things to do.  Sobe is high energy and attracts large crowds especially on holidays.  I would describe it as stylish, extravagant and luxurious.  At night it is the hottest club scene I’ve ever been to.  Fashion and music merge on the beach with influences from Latin and European cultures.  I wouldn’t be surprised if you bumped into a celebrity or two during your visit.  

South Beach is also known as the historic Art Deco District.  A trip to Miami is not complete until you visit and experience this area for yourself. You will be transported to another time surrounded by the interesting architecture which dates back to the 1920’s.  Everywhere you look you will find fancy details from that long ago era.  Today there are over 800 Art Deco Structures lighting up South Beach in a rainbow of neon and pastel.

What is art deco you might ask?  The Miami Design Preservation League defines art deco as:

“Art Deco was a product of new ideas and movements and found its inspirations in many distinct early 20th Century European design styles such as Cubism, French Art Deco, German Bauhaus and Expressionism, Dutch de Stijl and Amsterdam School, Vienna Secession and others.”

They offer a free historic district sites map on their site.  You can take a guided tour or do it yourself.

Ocean Drive

When visiting South Beach I highly recommend both driving and walking Ocean Drive.  This street has served as the backdrop of countless movies.  You will see grand hotels, interesting art deco architecture, the gorgeous beach and when the sun sets the famous neon lights come on.  There are plenty of shops, restaurants and places to stay.  Most restaurants offer outdoor seating.  A great way to do some people watching or just enjoy the ambience and beautiful weather.

Be warned shopping here is more expensive than other spots.  A mixed cocktail can easily cost over $20.00.

A few famous places on the strip are Casa Casaurina, also known as the Gianni Versace Mansion, the Clevelander, Park Central, the Tides Hotel, the Cordozo Hotel and the Waldorf Towers.

Be sure to park your car and hit the beach.  Lummus Park Beach is on the list of world’s most beautiful beaches.  On the boardwalk you can skate, bike, run or take a stroll.  There are places for the kids to play as well as places to exercise and work out.  Out on the sand you will see Miami’s iconic colorful lifeguard stands, soft white sand and gorgeous blue and jade waters.

I’ve styled some fabulous clothing, shoes, makeup and accessories to give you some ideas on what to wear on your visit to South Beach.

 

SouthBeachStyleBluesGreens

What to wear to iconic South Beach.  Greens and blues.

Soaked Striped Caftan Cover-Up, Croft & Barrow® Fit For You Tummy Slimmer One-Piece Swimsuit – Women’s, SONOMA life + style® Banded Platform Wedge Sandals – Women, Candie’s® Tie-Dyed Backpack, Fantas-Eyes Rimless Aviator Sunglasses, Croft & Barrow® Simulated Crystal & Square Bead Multistrand Necklace & Drop Earring Set

SouthBeachStylePinksYellows

What to wear to iconic South Beach.  Pinks and yellows.

Soaked Tie-Dye Chiffon Sarong Cover-Up – Women’s, California Waves Crochet Monokini Swimsuit – Women’s, Mudd® Crochet Wedge Sandals – Women, La Diva Laced Scoop Shoulder Bag, Croft & Barrow® Silver Tone Bead Stretch Bracelet Set1928® Gold Tone Beaded Multistrand Necklace, Converse Pedal Round Sunglasses, David & Young Straw Striped Edge Floppy Hat

South Beach Style Rocking Studs

What to wear to South Beach rocking the studs.

Journee Collection Taffy Platform High Heels – Women, Jennifer Lopez Embellished Tee, Jennifer Lopez Skinny Ankle Jeans, Everlasting Gold 14k Gold Bead Chandelier Earrings, GS by gemma simone Gold Tone Openwork Dome Stretch Ring, LORAC Breakthrough Performance Lipstick SPF 15 Leading Lady, ELLE Cosmetics Nail Lacquer Crimson Sunset, JLove by Jennifer Lopez Eau de Parfum Spray – 1.7 oz.

 

South Beach Evening Outfit

What to wear to South Beach evening.

Speechless Sequin Chiffon Dress, Exchange by Charles David Octavia Peep-Toe Platform High Heel, Sterling Silver Black & White Diamond Pendant, Ring & Drop Earring Set, Bulova Stainless Steel Crystal Watch, Gunne Sax by Jessica McClintock Origami Flap Clutch, CARGO Eye Shadow Color: Babylon, essie Encrusted Treasures Nail Polish

I’ve styled these four fabulous looks as part of Kohl’s #DestinationSummer campaign.  Which did you like best?

Have you been to South Beach?  What’s your favorite South Beach spot?

 

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Picnic at the Hollywood Broadwalk #DestinationSummer #Sponsored

Hollywood Broadwalk Florida

Hello readers, I have some exciting news to share with you.  Bella Vida by Letty is participating in Kohl’s road trip across America.  Every few days a new blogger from a different state shares their personal picks highlighting their favorite things at their locations and you can follow along on Pinterest.   I’ve been selected to represent the beautiful state of Florida for Kohls #DestinationSummer.  Woo to the hoo!!

There is so much to see and do in my grand state. Today I want to start by sharing one of my very favorite hometown hangouts, the Hollywood Broadwalk.  No that’s not a typo they city named the boardwalk The Hollywood Broadwalk.   Did you know there is a city in Florida named Hollywood?  Not very many people do.  It’s the complete opposite of the one out in California.  Located between Miami and Ft. Lauderdale this small beach town is very diverse receiving visitors from all over the world and is relaxed, laid back and family friendly.

Hollywood Broadwalk Collage

The Broadwalk stretches for about two and half miles.  On one side of the Broadwalk are seven miles of sand with the view of the gorgeous Atlantic ocean which changes from jade to turquoise depending on the light.  On the other are shops, cafes, ice cream shops, restaurants, hotels, inns, playgrounds, ball courts and even an interactive dolphin fountain for the kids to play.  Every weekend there is a fresh market at the south end of the Broadwalk where you can find organic produce and drink a refreshing smoothie made from locally grown fruits and vegetables.

See South Florida the way the locals do.  The Broadwalk is always bustling with skaters, joggers and bike riders.  There are at least two places I know of where you can rent wheels.  You can also rent jet skis.  In the evenings you can catch live music at the bandshell.

enjoy the sun

Shown in the photo: The Big One® Stripe Beach Towel, The Big One® Geo Dot Beach Towel, Croft & Barrow® Radial Tweed Floppy Hat, Apt. 9® Groovy Textured Round SunglassesPatriotic ”America” Decor

While on the sand you’ll see all types of boats out on the water.  On weekends you might see a group of twenty small sailboats bobbing along during sail school.  At night you’ll see large cruise ships and their twinkling lights as they head deep into the ocean.  The port of Ft. Lauderdale is only about eight miles away.  You can see what’s happening at the beach now via this live webcam or view a map to plan your next trip here

take your picnic to the sand

Shown in the photo: SONOMA outdoors™ 3-pc. Melamine Salad Bowl & Server Set, SONOMA outdoors™ Coastal Melamine Salad Plate, Bobby Flay™ Acrylic Wine Glass, SONOMA outdoors™ Trellis TableclothFood Network™ Stain-Resistant Microfiber Check Napkin, SONOMA life + style® 12 1/2-oz. Mason Jar Candle

You can tell by my posts and photos one of my favorite things to do is head to the beach.  I find it so relaxing and peaceful.  Sometimes I go by myself and run the Broadwalk but I also like to gather with friends and family there.  Sometimes it’s to celebrate an occasion and sometimes simply to spend quality time together and get in some fun.  One of our treasured gathering places is Hollywood beach.  We have grand cookouts with tons of food.  At the north end of the Hollywood Broadwalk, just off of Sheridan Street you will find plenty of parking, shade and picnic tables.  You can use the grills or bring your own.

I created a wishlist with my beach picnic essentials to help you with ideas to create your own beach picnic.

Beach Picnic Essentials

Shown in the photo: Picnic Time® Windsor Picnic Basket, Rachael Ray Expandable Potlucker, Picnic Time® Striped Patio Umbrella, Picnic Time Striped Blanket Tote, Zojirushi Ms. Bento Lunch Jar & Tote Set, SONOMA outdoors™ 8-pc. Wine & Plate Party Set, Picnic Time® Pranzo Insulated Lunch Cooler, Picnic Time® Beachcomber Beach Mat, Picnic Time Miami Dolphins Cart Cooler

Did you know there is a city named Hollywood in Florida?  Have you been?

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Florida Travel News Round Up Mid May

Florida Travel News Roundup

Travel related news roundup for my state of Florida.  Find out what’s new to see and do.

Perdido Key, Florida

Visitors will find the ultimate treasure in the new, pirate-themed aquarium built for Perdido Key by Wayde King and Brett Raymer of Animal Planet’s hit show, “Tanked.”  The bickering brothers-in-law are designing a 403-gallon aquarium to be installed in the new Perdido Key Visitors Information Center. The aquarium will feature fish and an ecosystem native to the Gulf of Mexico, and of course it will be filled with all the elements of a buccaneer party, including a pirate’s ship, treasure chest, gold coins, and a few other surprises to pay homage to Perdido Key’s annual Pirate Festival.

Read more: 

Roads / Turnpike

New renovated Turnpike Service Plazas are now open.  Construction began in 2010 to provide larger, more modern facilities with enhanced amenities. Florida’s Turnpike is pleased to announce completion of six of the eight plazas. Construction is now complete at these service plazas:

  • Turkey Lake, Mile Post 263
  • Canoe Creek, Mile Post 229
  • Fort Drum, Mile Post 184
  • West Palm Beach, Mile Post 94
  • Pompano Beach, Mile Post 65
  • Snapper Creek, Mile Post 19

Read more: 

Ft. Lauderdale

The Museum of Discovery and Science invites the whole family to participate in an evening of sea turtle discovery this summer. Once again, the annual evening Turtle Walks will occur in June and July.

Read more:

All around the state of Florida

This is certainly not surprising to me.  Ten of the top 25 beaches in America are in Florida

Read more:

All around the state of Florida

Visit Florida unveils online tools allowing travelers to virtually walk hundreds of miles of Sunshine State beaches – from legendary locations such as Miami Beach to lesser-known sanctuaries such as Cayo Costa.  Select your preferences in four ranges of beach personalities: Action-packed, Secluded, or maybe somewhere in between.   The Beach Finder immediately delivers visual choices that best match your desires. With every tweak of the tuner, the options change before your eyes.

Try it for yourself. 

Miami

The light at the end of the tunnel. After 55 months of construction the Miami Tunnel is due to open to traffic before the end of May. The tunnel is designed to move cargo trucks and cruise passenger traffic out of downtown Miami and under Government Cut between Watson Island and Port Miami.

Read more

The recreational red snapper season in state waters in the Gulf of Mexico has opened.

The season started Saturday and closes July 15. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission says opening the season before Memorial Day will help attract more visitors and bring economic benefits to the state’s coastal communities.

The federal season starts June 1 and closes June 10.

Read more 

 

Twitter

For up to the minute updates you can read and follow my curated Florida twitter list.

 

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Photo Essay Wynwood Walls Graffiti Murals

wynwood walls

I had family visit me recently and it since it was there first time in South Florida I had to take them to see Wynwood’s famous walls.  You know it’s one of my absolute favorite places to be.  And guess what?  They were blown away.  It is a very special feeling when you step out of your car and are completely surrounded by huge colorful beautiful images. The atmosphere is fun and casual.

wynwood walls

wynwood walls

Most of the time you can catch the artists at work.

wynwood walls wynwood walls

This one is my favorite.  It’s beautiful, colorful, creepy and mysterious.

wynwood walls wynwood walls wynwood walls

Wynwood Walls is famous for it’s graffiti murals.

Have you been to Wynwood, Florida?  Which is your favorite mural?

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What to See and Do in Key Largo Florida

Key Largo

Did you know Key Largo is located approximately one hour and twenty minutes from the Miami International Airport?  If you are visiting the Miami area it would make a great place to spend the day.  Key Largo is an extraordinary place.  The weather is divine all year round averaging in the mid 70’s from December to March and upper 80’s the rest of the year.

There is something here for every taste.  You have the Everglades flora and fauna on one side and a completely different one on the other side hosting incredible fish covered coral formations of the only living coral barrier reef to the east.

The Everglades zone is perfect for kayakers, birders, hikers, eco tourist and fishing.  There are hundreds of protected acres in Key Largo including the Crocodile Lake Wildlife Refuge.

Key Largo Florida

Locals call Key Largo the scuba capital of the world.  Just a few miles off shore lie some of the world’s most beautiful scuba diving experiences.  The Florida Keys Reef Tract is the only living coral barrier reef in North America and is the 3rd largest in the world.  Lucky for us the majority is located in a protected sanctuary preservation area.  The protection has helped stabilize the overall health of the reef tract.

Some famous dive and snorkel sites off Key Largo are:  The famous bronze statue of Christ of the Abyss, Spiegel Grove Navy ship, Benwood Wreck World War II shipwreck and Bibb and Duanee US Coast Guard cutters.

You can find every type of boating and water sports rental here.  Take a charter boat and go deep sea fishing.  The Gulf Stream and the fish are right off shore.  If it’s too rough you can cross to the Florida Bay and fish in calm water.  If you love playing on the water have fun splashing around on a jet ski.  If it’s relaxation you’re looking for take relaxing sail to watch the sunset.

Things to do in the Florida Keys 2

Here are some more in depth reviews I’ve written about what to see and do when you visit:

John Pennekamp Coral Reef State Park in Key Largo

Dagny Johnson Key Largo Hammock Botanical State Park 

Florida Keys Wild Bird Rehabilitation Center 

And for some extra inspiration.
Key Largo Road Trip: Things I Found at the End of the Road

 

Have you been to Key Largo?  What was your favorite thing to do there?

 

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Photos of Wynwood Graffiti Murals

Imagine a place where art is all around you. Yes art.  Art is expression.

Wherever you look, someone left traces of their creativity.

Leaving no place overlooked, it’s on the walls, on the street, windows, light poles even trash cans.

Where the wind carries the acrid chemical smell of spray paint but you don’t really mind it.  It’s a welcome relief from the humidity.

Where you have to be careful where you walk, lean and sit or come away with wet paint.

Where the streets are slanted, side walks broken, but you can still appreciate the beauty of decay on crumbling industrial buildings lovingly wrapped in barbed wire.

Wynwood Walls Murals Graffiti Miami Florida Wynwood2 Wynwood3 wynwood4 wynwood2011

 

Where mystery and the mysterious are not uncommon.

The Miami neighborhood of Wynwood is an ever changing canvas where you are sure to be uncertain what you will see or experience next.

Sometimes people are the art.  You will find them costumed or painted into the most interesting characters you never thought of.

Performance art is everywhere; a group of kids dancing on the corner, a DJ spinning creating an impromptu party on the sidewalk or  an acoustic duo playing outside a fancy new gallery.

You can get food from a truck or the ghostbusters station wagon inside a bar sometimes flea market.

This place inspires me.  I come away feeling the passion expressed in artists works.  It reminds me of the passion I have for expressing myself.

Gentrification has me worried about how much longer this place will exist.  Wherever these artists flee I will follow.

 

Have you been to see Wynwood walls?

Is there a place you always go to for inspiration?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

“You must find the place inside yourself where nothing is impossible.”   Deepak Chopra

“One line placed on the canvas committed her to innumerable risks, to frequent and irrevocable decisions.” Virginia Woolf 

“I like that about art, that what you see is sometimes more about who you are than what’s on the wall.” Cath Crowley

“People say graffiti is ugly, irresponsible and childish… but that’s only if it’s done properly.”  Banksy

“Graffiti is not about clean lines, pretty colors and beautiful blends. Graffiti is my life’s turbulence exploded on a wall.” Mint Serf

“This world is but a canvas for our imagination.” Henry David Thoreau

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What is Art? Graffiti Photography

ART: The expression or application of human creative skill and imagination

“A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself.”Abraham Maslow

Wynwood Walls 2010

Knowing The Elements of Art will enable you to describe and analyze a piece

Line: A moving point. The path a viewer’s eye takes as it follows shapes, colors and form along a path, not necessarily continuous or physically connected. Lines lead around the composition communicating information through character and direction.

Shape: Shapes are defined by other elements of art: Space, Line, Texture, Value, Color and Form. Shapes have two dimensions–height and width–and are usually defined by lines. Forms exist in three dimensions, with height, width, and depth.

Form: Three-dimensional showing height, width and depth. Three-dimensional form is the basis of sculpture, furniture, and decorative arts and can be seen from more than one side.

Texture: The quality of a surface which can be real or created.

Color: Color has three main characteristics: hue (red, green, blue, etc.), value (how light or dark it is), and intensity (how bright or dull it is). Colors can be described as warm (red, yellow) or cool (blue, gray), depending on which end of the color spectrum they fall.  

Value describes the brightness of color. Artists use color value to create different moods.  
Intensity describes the purity or strength of a color. Bright colors are undiluted and are often associated with positive energy and heightened emotions. Dull colors have been diluted by mixing with other colors and create a sedate or serious mood.

“The world today doesn’t make sense, so why should I paint pictures that do?” Pablo Picasso

“I don’t paint things. I only paint the difference between things.” Henri Matisse


“A man paints with his brains and not with his hands.” Michelangelo


“The only time I feel alive is when I’m painting.” Vincent van Gogh

Synonyms: abstraction, carving, description, design, illustration, imitation, modeling, molding, painting, pictorialization, portrayal, representation, sculpting, shaping, simulation, sketching, symbolization, artwork, oil, picture, piece, portrait, still life, watercolor

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Cosmopolitanism & Photography of Downtown Miami

Cosmopolitanism: 1.the theory that cultural and artistic activities should have neither national nor parochial boundaries. 2.the ideology that all human ethnic groups belong to a single community based on a shared morality.

A cosmopolitan is someone not subservient to a particular religious or political authority, someone who was not biased by particular loyalties or cultural prejudice.

Miami Skyline

Cosmopolitanisms have insisted human beings have a duty to aid fellow humans in need, regardless of their citizenship status.

Downtown Miami

Cosmopolitan duty is not restricted to duties of beneficence but also requires justice and respect. Cosmopolitan morality opposes slavery and apartheid, defends the emancipation of women and demands better treatment of animals.

Freedom Tower
Freedom Tower
Downtown Miami

“Homo sum: humani nil a me alienum puto. 
I am human: nothing human is alien to me.”

Downtown Miami from inside a parking garage

I recently caught a piece of a documentary called “Examined Life” by Astra Taylor which reignited my passion for philosophy.  I must make time to watch the entire movie.

While listening to several different philosophers, specifically Kwame Anthony Appiahspeak, speak of his philosophical ideas and ethics I pondered cosmopolitanism.

While I can fully embrace the idea of moral Cosmopolitanism I cannot commit to political or economical cosmopolitanism.  I do feel that the mere fact that we are human makes us related regardless of any other categories you would like to attach to it.  I have great compassion and caring for all children.  If I could have just one cosmopolitan wish granted it would be that each child on the planet receive an equal education because regardless of location or economics it would empower them to create changes.

Synonyms: all-inclusive, broad-minded, charitable, comprehensive, cosmic, cosmopolitan , diffuse, eclectic, ecumenical, extensive, generic, global, inclusive, indeterminate, large-scale, liberal, open-minded, planetary, receptive, tolerant, unbigoted, universal, unprejudiced, unsectarian, whole, wide, world-wide
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Be sure to check out my Movie Ticket Giveaway. 
All the Details HERE .

September Fall Crawl 
Theme: All things Fall Inspired


From September 19th to the 30th this crawl will highlight talented bloggers for you to discover. Each post will feature Fall Inspirations ranging from fall crafts, DIY projects, Food, Recipes, Decor and much more.


Today’s inspiration comes from
Kimberly of Kimbas 2 Cents.  
Kimbas2cents is a lifestyle blog where she focuses on recipes, fashion, career, and beauty. Her Fall Inspiration has me salivating it looks sooo good! She’s featuring the recipe for delicious spice cupcakes with yummmmmmmy cream cheese frosting! I want one. : )

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Florida Photography ~ Within

Within: 1. in or into the interior or inner part; inside.2.in or into a house, building 3.on, or as regards, the inside; internally.

“The only journey is the journey within.” Rainer Maria Rilke

Las Olas, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

“Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.” Aristotle 

Las Olas, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida

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“If you have an hour, will you not improve that hour, instead of idling it away?” Lord Chesterfield

“Insist on yourself. Never imitate.” Ralph Waldo Emerson 
“Change and growth take place when a person has risked himself and dares to become involved with experimenting with his own life.” Herbert Otto 

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Synonyms: in, in a period, in reach, indoors, inner, interior, inward, not beyond, not outside, not over, belly, bosom, contents, heart, heartland, innards, inner parts, inside, internals, intrinsicality, lining, marrow, midst, pith, pulp, soul, substance, viscera

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Cloudy Ft. Lauderdale Florida

“A cloudy day is no match for a sunny disposition.” William Arthur Ward

“There is a sort of jealousy which needs very little fire; it is hardly a passion, but a blight bred in the cloudy, damp despondency of uneasy egoism.” George Eliot


“We have not wings we cannot soar; but, we have feet to scale and climb, by slow degrees, by more and more, the cloudy summits of our time.” Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

“She missed him the days when some pretext served to take him away from her, just as one misses the sun on a cloudy day without having thought much about the sun when it was shining.” Kate Chopin

“The infamous weather that covers the campus sky. No matter what the weather is like in the rest of the state or country, you can be sure it’s cloudy in Binghamton. It kind of makes you laugh after it pisses you off.” Marisa Marks

“The flower that follows the sun does so even in cloudy days.” Robert Leighton
Cloudy: 1. Full of or covered with clouds; overcast. 2. Of or like a cloud or clouds.
3. Marked with indistinct masses or streaks: cloudy marble. 4. Not transparent, as certain liquids. 5.a. Open to more than one interpretation. b. Not clearly perceived or perceptible. 6. Troubled; gloomy:
Synonyms: blurred, confused, dark, dense, dim, dismal, dull, dusky, emulsified, foggy, gloomy, heavy, indefinite, indistinct, leaden, lowering, misty, mucky, muddy, murky, mushy, nebulous, nontranslucent, nontransparent, not clear, nubilous, obscure, opaque, overcast, somber, sullen, sunless, vaporous, obscure, opaque, overcast, pitch-black, pitch-dark, pitchy, rayless, shaded, shadowy, shady, somber, sooty, stygian, sunless, tenebrous, unlighted, unlit, vague

Sunday Snapshot

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South Florida Sunsets

“Love is the dawn of marriage, and marriage is the sunset of love.” French Proverb

“A moment, and its glory was no more. The sun went down beneath the long dark lines of hill and cloud which piled up in the west an airy city, wall heaped on wall, and battlement on battlement; the light was all withdrawn; the shining church turned cold and dark; the stream forgot to smile; the birds were silent; and the gloom of winter dwelt on everything.” Charles Dickens
“Softly the evening came. The sun from the western horizon
Like a magician extended his golden wand o’er the landscape;
Twinkling vapors arose; and sky and water and forest
Seemed all on fire at the touch, and melted and mingled together.” 
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The Things We Find Inside

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