dancing with architecture: miami and its wonderful wynwood walls
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In 2009, Miami's Wynwood was a blank canvas. Block after block of dull warehouses with large, bare, windowless surfaces. As an experiment in urban revitalization, a fellow by the name of Tony Goldman brought in a few graffiii artists to ply their skills on six buildings on a block of Wynwood, now known as Wynwood Walls. Over the next six years, the entire neighborhood exploded into a fantastic strolling gallery of the best graffiti artists on the planet.
If you have any interest in street art, this is a must see. Let me say that again: THIS. IS. A. MUST SEE. It is unbelievable, and I had no idea. The quality, the quantity, and the respect the local taggers have for the work is inspiring (maybe we need to graf up our back fence). We marched through the heart of Wynwood for about five hours gawking at wall after wall. And there was was much more to see on the fringes of the neighborhood if had time and transportation.
The walls have brought crowds of people to the area, although the area is so large, it's not crowded. There's a brewery (with spray cans as beer pulls), several excellent restaurants, and a general arty buzz. We saw a couple of condos under construction, the concrete skeletons of the grim reaper. Go soon while the Wynwood soul is still glimmering.
If you go: We went on a Sunday, which meant many of the indoor galleries were closed. However, if you go early (pre-noon), there aren't many people around. The place starts to get busy during the day. Wynwood Brewing Company on the northern side of the hood is a worthy stop as is Wynwood Kitchen and Bar, great drinks and food and delightfully decorated by Shepard Fairey's work. Seriously allow a minimum of four hours for gawking, and bring your walking shoes. If all you have is time for a hit-and-run, go to Wynwood Walls proper, which you can easily access through Wynwood Kitchen.