Tuesday, April 15, 2008

A View of Miami: The Magic City: April 9, 2008 Part I

Miami's South Beach Part I
Art Deco District
Wednesday, April 9. 2008
Approximately 6:30 P.M.

I had planned to fly in non-stop on American Airlines (they were the only ones I found with a non-stop from LAX at 6 a.m.) so I could be in early enough to take in the city and visit Miami's South Beach. Miami is also know as the Magic City. I would have to say that I discovered many magical moments in this city and on this trip, that I will take along with me throughout the rest of my life. Thank you Miami!

Part of the fun of traveling so much, even though it is work-related, is to soak in each of the cities I visit, through it's environment, people, food, elements and then capturing that through my camera. One of my many loves, and I have MANY, is photography of nature, people and architecture. I'd like to think that I am immersing myself into the VIBE of the city through my camera lens. When the subject is already beautiful, my camera is only an extension of the means to get the story across. A picture is worth a thousand words, but if you know me well, I CAN write a thousand words to each picture! hahah.

So, I couldn't resist myself yet again and drove down to South Beach right after I dropped off my snacks from Publix. I now wondered why I didn't go exploring on my first trip to Miami last year, but as they say "better late than never".

I snapped so many photos on this trip that I will be breaking them down into several related categories to share with you all. In the first part, I will focus on the Art Deco architecture in South Beach. (At one point in my life, I had wanted to be an architect since I loved to draw as a child. I also wanted to be a fashion designer too, because of my family's textile business. I wanted to capture the moment and also wanted to become a photographer! As you can see, I wanted to be many personas throughout my life and in a magical way, I now get to be all these personas. Life is GRAND!) The pictures will tell their stories but I will add comments here and there, as I feel necessary. Enjoy.

(click on any image for an enlarged view)

The Miami Design Preservation League
Art Deco Welcome Center

You can take a guided tour of the Art Deco District or buy Art Deco gifts, books, collectibles and antiques in this shop, sponsored and operated by the Miami Design Preservation League.

Art Deco Architecture

(under construction and opening Fall 2008)

14th Street Public Restroom
Even the public restrooms continues the Art Deco theme (shown above). Have you ever seen a more beautiful public restroom? Goodness gracious!

The Congress Hotel
Look at the beautiful fonts (shown above)! No detail was left off. The beautiful carved scrolled accents on the face of the Congress hotel entry (shown below) is oh so inspiring!

The Carlye Hotel
As I always say "ALWAYS look up" or else you'll miss seeing these beautiful tile accents on the roof of the Carlye Hotel. (shown below)

I would say that Casa Casauarina's architecture is more reminiscent of the Renaissance and Gothic periods with a Mediterranean flair. From the street, that is what I gathered. There were many architectural elements that spoke to me, from the beautiful wrought iron gates, balconies and garden walls to the wonderful Gothic archways.
Aha! I captured a RED car passing by as I shot this photo. Everyone buzzes by Casa Casauarina but PLEASE people, stop and see the beauty before you! Look and absorb the history around your vibrant city.

Check out the quatrefoil elements on the balcony wrought iron work. The quatrefoil element is showcased in two projects of my book, Bead Romantique, and is a symbol of good luck (resembling a four leaf clover) from the Gothic Revival period! Do you see all these connections I'm making here in Miami?

Enter into the gates of Casa Casauarina.

The structured and linear lines in the gates are Art Deco influenced with some Japonisme influences. But the side panels feature a scroll design that is more Renaissance or even Roccoco. There are so many different historical eras featured in the architectural design but as Gianni was a master fashion designer, the various elements are not too busy, that they become overdone. I see also influences from the Medieval and Gothic periods with a Mediterranean flair as well. Mr. Versace, your life was too short, but your beauty and style continues to live on today through your gift to Miami in Casa Casauarina. May the city cherish your gift.

Thank you from me too!

What a beautiful garden wall (shown above). I love wrought iron art and have several books from Dover Publications featuring similar scintillating metal art from the French, Spanish and English period influences! Love 'em all and yes, these can be translated to beadwork

(just close your eyes and imagine with me!)

A perfect ending to Part I. The serenity of this medallion on the garden walls of Casa Casauarina ends the tour of the Art Deco District.

Be at Peace


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