day 1: ART DECO

So far 2015 has been a vey busy and exciting year for me and Isa: new jobs, new house, new city, new friends, new habits… But dealing with all those changes for 9 months without a proper break was taking a toll on us. We rarely have longed for holidays so bad!
Picking Florida as our destination wasn’t a hard decision. Our dear friend Martina moved there from New York to live with her boyfriend, Richard, who was born and raised in Miami. We promised to pay her a visit in the States for a long time and we knew the time had come.

Ready to start the adventure?

The air is thick, warm and incredibly humid. Especially if you’re used to the dry and chilly London breeze. That’s the first thing you notice when you step out of the plane, and actually it took me 3 days to get used to it and to stop me from feeling like I was gasping for air every time we went outdoors.
Jet legged and a bit overwhelmed by being all together again (it was actually the first time Isa and Richard met in person), the guys picked us up at the airport and took us to their favorite Cuban restaurant where we made Richard proud of our big appetite. On our way to their place we caught our first glimpse of Miami: palms, broad streets, neon lights… It wasn’t until the morning after, when Isabel and the purring of GattoGrassone (the cat Marti and Richard were boarding) woke me up at 5 am, that we actually realized where we were. Not to mention how good it felt to get rid of socks and shoes, long trousers, shirts and jackets and wear your flip-flops, vest and shorts for the first time in more than 1 year!

Plan of the day: spoil us.

After a tasty breakfast at the Buona Vista Bistro in Martina’s relaxed neighborhood, she proved not to have changed at all by forgetting her house keys indoor and forcing us to break the door open (oh, how much we have missed you!).
South Beach, no need for introduction. It is exactly how you see it in the movies: skyscrapers towering over the shore, palms all around the promenade, white sand, colorful lifeguard cabins, people everywhere, light blue, warm shallow water… “It feels like living on a never-ending holiday” was Marti’s answer to our question about her new lifestyle, while we were chilling out on the beach. She looks clearly happier now, tanned and healthier. She had many bitter pills to swallow before moving here and she has collected enough stories to write the script for a 10 seasons TV series.
Richard reached us after his rugby training in time for a stroll around the very commercial Lincoln Road and the Art Deco district.
Didn’t really take long to appreciate the Latin and Caribbean vibes and influences of the city, you can listen to them, taste them and see them all around you.
The Secret Garden Party in Wynwood, Miami’s quirkiest neighborhood, was that night’s plan. Electronic music, jungle themed decorations, fluorescent body paint, neon lights and very good company. Me and Isa immediately noticed how things were different compared to similar alternative areas or clubs in London. No hipsters showing off on their “catwalk”, much nicer people, much more relaxed atmosphere, even people smiling at you! And funny enough, if you wanted to breathe some fresh air, you had to go indoor.

This was the best start we could have had.

Song of the day: The Weeknd – I Can’t Feel My Face

[These pictures were taken with a Petzval 85 lens, which Lomography Soho lent me, mounted on a Nikon N55 that my friend Adrian bought in Warsaw]

Nikon N55, Petzval 85, Fujifilm 200 (35), 12/9/2015, Miami (Florida)