Avra Jain Preserves Miami's History at Vagabond Hotel (Video)

The long line of Biscayne Boulevard is home to a string of historic hotels in various states of decay and charm. Looking to recapture the seaside glamor of these spots is the Vagabond Hotel on Northeast 73rd Street, the iconic inn whose soft opening last month gave us a glimpse of the carefully reconstructed details and upscale adjustments to come.

See also: Inside the Vagabond Hotel, Biscayne Boulevard's Restored MiMo Gem (Photos)

More »

PHOTOSTREAM: Share Your Miami Instagrams in Dwntwn Arts Days Project

ddaf2014_10.jpg
#DDAFF2014 participants.
Blowfly has seemingly saved his home with IndieGoGo and some numb-nutz named Zack Brown conned 50 grand for "potato salad." Crowd-sourcing can be a powerful tool. From filmmakers to musicians, the possibilities are endless -- even more so when a pair of local artists utilize the basic concept of it for an installation this month during DWNTWN Art Days, which celebrates the way our town has changed and continues to evolve.

Artists and frequent collaborators (read: artistic instigators) Barron Sherer and Kevin Arrow have taken the concept and translated it into a locally-sourced photo project using Instagram and hashtags as the unifying front for the creation of the installation that will stream at the Miami Center for Architecture & Design from the September 19 through September 28.

The end result should be a compilation video on YouTube that won't make you cringe and/or wince in pain. The best part of the project is that its relative success hinges on the community's participation. Here's where you, the smart phone-wielding public, comes into play.

See also: DWNTWN Art Days: Fringe Projects' Public Installations and Frost's New Maker Space

More »

Cubamerican Airs on WPBT2 Thursday: "It's the Story of Our Exile"

cubamerican_andy_garcia.jpg
Courtesy of Danny Bellas
Andy Garcia in Cubamerican.
To live in Miami is to be immersed in Cuban culture, but how many of us really know the tale of our neighbors, our ancestors, and ourselves?

José Enrique Pardo had enough of romantic Hollywood depictions and took matters into his own hands. With only two short films under his belt, he set out to document what drove millions of Cubans to leave their home, to send their children more than 90 miles away -- perhaps never to be seen again -- and to answer the equally important question of what these first-generation immigrants have done with their freedom.

What gives him the right? It's his story too.

See also: Cubamerican: Moving Documentary on the Cuban Experience in America, Debuts in Miami

More »

Miami Icons: Vizcaya Voted Your Favorite Local Landmark

Vizcaya-2.jpg
Photos by Karli Evans
All month long, Cultist has highlighted Miami's most deserving landmarks, from Ocean Drive's Art Deco beacon the Colony Hotel to downtown's early Cuban-American sanctuary the Freedom Tower. We asked readers to choose their favorite of 15 local haunts last Friday. The competition was steep but the votes are in: Vizcaya Museum and Gardens is your most beloved Miami Icon.

See also: Miami Icons: Vizcaya, Birthplace of Magic City Luxury

More »

Miami Icons: Last Chance to Vote for Your Favorite Local Landmark!

MiamiIconsnightskyline_flickrccMichaelShane.jpg
Flickr cc | Michael Shane
All month long, Cultist's Miami Icons series has spotlighted Miami's most deserving landmarks. There are the obvious choices, like Ocean Drive's Colony Hotel. There are the historical gems, like Vizcaya. There were modern additions, like the Arsht Center. We even threw in a couple weirdo picks -- El Faraon, for example -- just to keep things interesting.

Readers have been vocal, from blasting the historical integrity of monuments to praising powerhouse structures that scream "Miami." Well, it's time to put your money where your mouth is and choose: Which Miami Icon deserves to represent the Magic City to the rest of the world?

Today is your last chance to take our poll and make your voice heard. Should it be the opulence of the Versace mansion? The picturesque MacArthur Causeway? The fantastical Opa-locka City Hall?

More »

Freewheeling Encounters With Miami's Past: Take a Bike Tour With Julia Tuttle

BWbikelovers.jpg
Miami may be known for many things, but history isn't always foremost among them.

Oh sure, there's the ancient Tequesta ruins squeezed beneath a rare stretch of untilled land adjacent to downtown, and the Freedom Tower, which serves as our complement to Ellis Island. We can boast an array of iconic buildings, from Vizcaya and the Biltmore to Overtown's Lyric Theater and the art deco curiosities of South Beach. Then there's the pioneers that inspire retro reflection, people like Henry Flagler, Julia Tuttle, George Merrick, and James Deering, larger than life individuals who helped lay the foundation for what would eventually become our world class destination.

That ought to be proof enough of our own worthy back story of sorts, even if that tale is barely a hundred years old. Even so, Miami's cutting-edge reputation and continuing urban sprawl make unsurprising that people tend to overlook our legacy.

See also: Miami Icons: Vote Now For Your Favorite Miami Landmark!

More »

Kendallsuyo Book Seeks to Spotlight Miami's Overlooked Andean Roots

lady-of-coracora-Americo-Mendoza-Mori.jpg
Courtesy Américo Mendoza-Mori
The "Lady of Coracora" Celebration, a traditional festivity that originated in Ayacucho (Southern Andes).
In the wake of the Pamela Druckerman fiasco, it's pretty clear that lots of folks (even former residents) still harbor stereotypes about Miami.

University of Miami Ph.D. candidate Americo Mendoza-Mori thinks that even the city's Latin culture tends to overlook crucial aspects of its own identity. One aspect includes the unique segment of immigrants who originated from Peru and the Andes, eventually forming the Kendallsuyo settlement in Southwest Miami.

To get the word out, he's launched a Kickstarter to support his book project -- a tome focused on the fascinating stories of this singular group and how they've helped shape Miami as a whole.

See also: Miami Book Fair: Daniel Alarcón Recounts His Drive Into the Dark Heart of Peru's Drugland

More »

Miami Icons: The Versace Mansion, a High-End Hotel Inspiring Macabre Fascination

versace_mansion_credit_zachary_fagenson.jpg
Photos by Zachary Fagenson
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis has the Arch. Las Vegas has its retro welcome sign. It seems like every city has an iconic structure to represent itself to the rest of the world. Every city but Miami, that is. The Magic City is full of architectural gems, and maybe that's why no one building has come to define it. But that's left this town without a symbol of its own. In our Miami Icons series, we're aiming to fix that. Today, writer Lee Zimmerman argues for the Versace Mansion, AKA Casa Casuarina.

It was an indelible image seen around the world. The bloodstained steps of the Versace Mansion in the immediate aftermath of the inexplicable murder of fashion icon Gianni Versace. who, in spite of his wealth and influence, seemed a most unlikely target of an assassin's gun. For all the opulence that this palatial home represents, it's those stairs, where the homeowner was inexplicably ambushed by the crazed killer Andrew Cunanan, that still finds tourists gawking and gazing in amazement.

How strange that that small parcel of cement turf should overshadow the grandeur and spectacle borne by one of Miami Beach's most lavish domains. With ten bedrooms, 11 baths, a magnificent center courtyard, and 23,000 square feet of living space, it's imposing indeed. Versace was a man of impeccable taste, and up until his death in 1997, the furnishings and décor that he surrounded himself with reflected that fact.

More »

Miami Icons: The Biltmore, a Glitzy, Golden-Age Throwback

Biltmore-1.jpg
Photos by Karli Evans
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis has the Arch. Las Vegas has its retro welcome sign. It seems like every city has an iconic structure to represent itself to the rest of the world. Every city but Miami, that is. The Magic City is full of architectural gems, and maybe that's why no one building has come to define it. But that's left this town without a symbol of its own. In our Miami Icons series, we're aiming to fix that. Today, writer Lee Zimmerman swoons over the retro sophistication of The Biltmore.

It's hosted heads of state, athletes, movie stars, and even gangsters. In the '20s and '30s, the world's biggest celebrities went through its doors. When it first opened those doors on January 15, 1926, its stature as a South Florida landmark was all but assured.

Back then, the Biltmore was the centerpiece of the young but thriving city of Coral Gables, a remarkable melding of Mediterranean, Moorish, and Old World architecture, one that stands alone in its dignity and distinction. Over the years, it's also become a symbol of a golden era, of glitz, glamour, and upper crust society. Its location was obviously appropriate, a draw to a destination soon to be dubbed America's Riviera.

More »

Miami Icons: Vizcaya, Birthplace of Magic City Luxury

Vizcaya-2.jpg
Photos by Karli Evans
San Francisco has the Golden Gate Bridge. St. Louis has the Arch. Las Vegas has its retro welcome sign. It seems like every city has an iconic structure to represent itself to the rest of the world. Every city but Miami, that is. The Magic City is full of architectural gems, and maybe that's why no one building has come to define it. But that's left this town without a symbol of its own. In our Miami Icons series, we're aiming to fix that. Today, writer Lee Zimmerman argues that Vizcaya offers a lesson in Miami luxury.

Any place that provides the setting for a meeting between the Pope and the President has to be pretty special, right? So it was no small surprise that the luxurious Villa Vizcaya was chosen as the location for President Ronald Reagan to welcome Pope John Paul II for the Pontiff's first visit to Miami in 1987.

Vizcaya has a certain regal presence that befits the world's royalty. When Bill Clinton needed a place to host a Summit of the Americas in 1994, Vizcaya again seemed the natural choice.

More »

Now Trending

From the Vault

 

Clubs

Loading...