Images (not from) New York, Miami Beach edition.

Congress Hotel
Congress Hotel

I mentioned in my most recent post that we were in Miami Beach on account of Michael’s work earlier in the month, and I was able to tag along and explore the city over the course of most of that week. We stayed right at the edge of Mid-Beach and South Beach in a funky hotel that was previously a historic 50s-era motel, and I had an absolute blast. I would have been sadder about leaving (or maybe lobbied to stay a little longer) if we didn’t have plans to go there again very soon. This weekend we’re headed down there once more to celebrate our brothers’-in-law at their joint bachelor party, so our first trip also served as a way for me to do some research on where we all might want to go over our long weekend.

View from The Gates Hotel
View from The Gates Hotel

I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with Miami–to be truthful, I wasn’t all that excited about going initially save for the excuse to wear bikinis and caftans in April–but fall in love with it I did. Between the fantastic food, even better drinks, and the opportunity to practice my Spanish, it was almost like visiting another country but without the hassles of traveling abroad. To say that we ate very well was by no means an understatement; doing my research ahead of time, I had a solid map of fun* loaded with places to go, and I’m pleased to say that all of the places we went to on my watch were successes.

Hotel Leslie
Hotel Leslie on Ocean Drive

The art and architecture here are, naturally, completely gorgeous. I spent a warm afternoon walking up and down Ocean Drive checking out the historic homes and hotels, which naturally included a peek at the Villa Casuarina, formerly the home of Gianni Versace. You don’t appreciate how not removed it is from everything until you see it in person; even in the opening sequence of The Assassination of Gianni Versace it appears to be somewhat set back from the other buildings around it, perhaps due to the lack of people in the scene; in reality, it very much buzzes with all kinds of activity.

The Gattes Hotel
The Gates Hotel, complete with vintage Motel Ankara sign.

Our hotel was decidedly funky–part of the property is a historic 50s-era motel that was largely preserved (along with its sign) alongside a tower that was put up next to it in order to add more rooms. My favorite part was the pool deck, as it had a vintage pool bar where it was possible to take a dip and then dry off while sipping on a glass of wine and eating some nachos. The food was probably the most mediocre we had all week, but it didn’t really matter much because the setting was that picturesque.

View from The Gates pool bar
View from The Gates pool bar

More to come on this, including where I had one of the best sandwiches in my life.

*More to come on this too.

 

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