What to see in Miami so peculiar?
Maybe something unusual and original that – straying for a bit from the classic tourist circuits – tells about its lively, hyperactive and multiethnic soul.
Something that allows to know the reality of its less striking and most “difficult” districts – until short time ago –, their stories and their desire of redemption.
Something talking about arts, life, multiculturalism and colors, like the Wynwood District.
Wynwood is a district of Miami.
It extends (from north to south) from the 36th as far as the 20th street, that is from the border with Little Haiti as far as the beginning of Overtown, the area to the north of downtown; and (from east to west) starting from the E Coast Ave, just before Edgewater on the Biscayne Bay, as far as NW 6th Ave.
Until 10 years ago it was known as Little San Juan or El Barrio.
An industrial area, crossed by the old railroad line of the Florida East Coast Railway, committed to the textile manufacture and to the shoes production and inhabited mostly by Puerto Rican immigrants. A poor district, made even less safe over time by the progressive closure of the factories, by the depopulation, by the decay and the consequent arrival of drug peddlers and criminal gangs.
Starting from 2005 the intervention of the Primary Flight, a local organization with an artistic and cultural background dealing with “revitalize” hard areas, gave a rebirth process of the whole area the go-ahead, attracting in 3 years even 200 street artists from all over the world.
It aimed to cover by murals the walls of the abandoned factories, so favoring the population of the area with the arrival of young artists and university students looking for low-cost apartments and with the creation of art studios, cafés, fashion stores, pubs and locations.
A definitely successful project, bearing in mind that today the Wynwood Art District – included by right in the top ten of what to see in Miami, by now – represents the greatest street art outdoor museum in the world.
A lively district, really crowded in the weekend, rich in cultural and artistic events that despite the radical change keeps going to preserve its fascinating multicultural soul with unmistakable “Latin” shades.
A great “artistic” revolution which involved fashion, too, involving the area around the NW 5th Ave with the birth of the Wynwood Fashion District.
Wynwood’s large stock warehouses buildings – all with no windows –
would be my giant ideal canvases to bring greatest street art ever seen in one place.
(Tony Goldman, the creator of Wynwood Walls)
Always in 2005 Tony Goldman, an entrepreneur fond of street art decides to create inside the Art District a new independent space dedicated to the murals, making as series of old warehouses with high and non-stop walls with no windows available, involving a striking number of world famous street artists.
So the Wynwood Walls – Urban Graffiti Art Miami was born, followed some time after by the adjoining Wynwood Doors.
A non-stop expo, made of colors, perspectives and social messages ranging from the civil rights to the purest American tradition, from the memory of the Native Americans to the daily life, the work, the education, the modern art, etc.
A well defined path allowing to enter literally the arts, to enjoy it 360°.
Wynwood Walls is in the heart of the Art District at 2520, NW 2nd Ave in front of the Wynwood Kitchen & Bar, one of the most crowded restaurants/pubs (stop for a snack or a simple beer), wanted by Tony Goldman himself.
Opening hours: Monday-Thursday 11am-7pm; Friday-Sunday 11am-9pm.
Every day from 2pm to 3pm tours with specialized guides to “tell” the murals and the features of the several authors are planned. Considering the crowd it’s better to book well in advanced on the website.
The Wynwood District grows up, together with its fame, by an exponential way.
Today it includes about 80 expos among galleries, museums and art collections, without mention the art studios and restaurants, pubs and alehouses that rise every month.
It’s better, where it is possible, to visit Wynwood Walls & Doors in working days, from Monday to Thursday, maybe arriving an hour before sunset when day lights leave space progressively to the artificial ones, giving murals different shades.
The center of the weekend movida develops among the locations and some cross streets of the 2nd Ave, the street cutting literally in two parts the district.
Every second Saturday of the month the ArtWork takes place: it’s the evening where Art studios, museums and galleries open to the public until the dead of night to coincidence with a series of theme events in the several districts: the North West, the North East, the South East and the South West.
It’s better arriving to Wynwood by car or by Taxi or Uber, above all if you come from South Beach, since the transit in the evening is not the best.