Last weekend I finally was able to drive down to Miami and explore the Wynwood Walls!!! I got to travel with my friend Mac and my youngest little monster (not a monster really just.. my little Diva). It was AWESOME!!! incredible place to feast your eyes with art everywhere, walls, sidewalks, and so much more…
Tidbits on history
Originally known as the Design District in the 1920’s, this area was built as a working class neighborhood and it became an attraction for commercial residents.
By 1970’s the neighborhood had a diversified population of black families, Cubans, Haitians, Colombians, Dominicans and Puerto Ricans. Sadly during this period unemployment and drug trafficking where on its ultimate high and the district was considered lower middle class and a place where new immigrants arrived. At this point Manufacturers started moving their businesses leaving abandoned buildings in the area.
Looking into the late 1980’s a group of artists founded the non-profit Bakehouse Art Complex. Built in an abandoned bakery they started offering art outreach programs to the community. This was the start of the Art District.
Wynwood Walls Today
This art movement caught the eye of the late Tony Goldman. Goldman is the man behind the extraordinary idea that became the Wynwood Walls. His revolutionary vision of revitalizing the community became a mayor art statement. Were his commitment to graffiti and street art translated into non traditional art pieces.
Since 2009, artists from around the world have covered with their art over 80,000 square feet of wall. The movement continues throughout so, we can expect more artists will unite and no wall or building will be left untouched.
Now a days the walls transcend the inside of the park, to its surrounding neighborhood. With EPIC murals covering walls, buildings and sidewalks. It is definitely eye candy!
During my exploration of this district I noticed that not only art on walls is what makes this spot attractive. It has boutiques, cafes, bars, breweries and restaurants all infused with the artistry that has been set upon this community. We didn’t venture to far from the Walls and decided to grab lunch at the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar. It is covered wall to wall with urban art and their food is meant to be shared, we had some salad, guacamole and delicious spinach and cheese empanadas (fritters yum!!).
Closing up our day trip we decided to enter the Boho Hunter Boutique. We fell in love with some totes on the window display but once you enter you feel the same vibrancy that transcends the Walls,with its bohemian sophistication. The store has amazing high-end pieces made by hand (hand bags, bracelets, painted shoes), bathing suits with modern cuts and prints and every other clothing piece that look and feel elegant. I went home empty handed but I definitely regret it 🙁
Before I go I have some tips for when you visit:
The Walls open at 10:30 am, if you get there early you can:
1. Get a good parking, they are located along the streets and some lots (they are pay parking).
2. Enjoy the surrounding building’s art while waiting (I’m an early bird). Once they open you can get ahead of tourists, that come on buses. Nothing personal, I just like to get up close and personal with art without any interruptions 😉
3. If you have kids,earlier hours will make their visit more enjoyable. They will definitely get hot and cranky, especially during hot seasons(we are in Florida so basically it is 10 out of 12 months, Haha!!)
Bring a snack and water
Even though there are several restaurants and cafes, if you don’t want to stop due to time limitation bring something to keep you healthy and hydrated while you enjoy your time.
Bring a fully charge with available memory phone or camera
This one I give to you due to experience! Don’t waste your batteries. If you love taking pictures of everything please.. please remember to charge it. There are so many picture worthy places that it is sad not to be able to take them. Thank God for me I had my friend who had a charged phone… and lots of memory space.
My day ended!! My time at the walls was limited and because it was hot I was already done for the day. That means that I have to come back and see more of the Walls but especially the vibrant community that keeps growing and giving back life to its surroundings. Hope you can visit and love it the way I did!! Have you ever been? What has been your experience or what else should I do?
*If you like to know more about Wynwood History you can also look the following. They inspired me to learn more about Wynwood.
Blog: History of Wynwood Miami by the Magic city Miami History , http://miami-history.com/history-of-wynwood-miami/