Miami Daily Photo

A day by day look at Miami, Florida.

Wednesday, May 31, 2006


The brand-spanking new Miami Performance Arts Center (PAC for short) is set to open this fall, giving Miami a world-class, state-of-the-art fine arts venue for everything from plays to concerts to opera and everything else in between. Part of the Miami Downtown renovation plan, the PAC (it is hoped) will bring high culture (back? finally?) into the city. I for one cannot wait for this to open; it is high time Miami gains some respect as an international destination for the arts in addition to the ill-repute it has as a vapid party spot. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 30, 2006

Lounge by the Bay

A very tranquil shot of Bayfront Park, in Downtown Miami, just down from Bayside Marketplace. In the middle of the very busy city, this spot just whisks you away to peace and calm of the bay. (If you click on the link above, this spot is in the grove of trees immediately to the left of the round bayside fountain). Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 29, 2006


This is a shot of the southernmost part of Downtown Miami, looking towards the Brickell financial district. The track is for the Miami Metromover, a series of three Downtown-area automated minitrains, which I'll show you in the coming days (including a short ride). As you can see there's a lot of construction going on (both Downtown and in Miami in general) as city planners try to make Downtown a thriving area beyond the 9-to-5 crowd. What I like about this particular shot is that it makes Miami look like a proper modern city, even if only for a few blocks. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 28, 2006


I've been taking you on a small tour of Downtown Miami the past two days, and today we continue with Bayside Marketplace, a very pretty, very touristy pedestrian mall situated right on the Miami bay. Here you can shop for a number of items, especially souvenir-type trinkets, at inflated prices, or take a boat out into the bay or to see the mansions of Miami celebrities, such as Gloria & Emilio Estefan, and Shaquille O'Neal. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 27, 2006

The Triple A

Completed in 1999 to replace the venerable Miami Arena, the American Airlines Arena (AAA) has taken over as Miami's main venue for pretty much any show in town, as well as the home for our local NBA team, the Miami Heat. Right now it is hosting the Heat's playoff games, thus the gigantic banner on the front. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 26, 2006

Freedom Tower

Completed in 1925 as the headquarters of the Miami News & Metropolis Newspaper, the Freedom Tower became in the 1950's the Ellis Island of the Cuban exile community as they arrived in Miami fleeing from Castro's revolution. Located in Downtown Miami, the building was sold in the 70s and left abandoned until it became a center dedicated to the preservation of the history of the Cuban American community. The tower was slated for demolition to give way to new condos, but it was eventually donated to the Miami-Dade College and will soon reopen as a full-fledged museum. The Freedom Tower is another example of a Giralda tower (I've already shown you the Biltmore tower). Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 25, 2006

Freedom of the Seas

Royal Caribbean's new Freedom of the Seas, the largest cruise ship in the world and ever made, pulled into port here in Miami early this morning. The ship was christened last week in New York and has now sailed into its home port, from where it will carry 4375 passengers every time it sails out. Let me tell you, the thing is absolutely massive.

Confession: I did not take this pic, I took it from our local NBC affiliate. I did, however, see the ship this morning as I drove to work, but it was raining so I didn't chance taking one of my trademarked pics while driving. Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Steping Onto the City

One of the things they had at Cuba Nostalgia was a large map of the city of Havana as it looked in 1953. It was actually one of the highlights of the show, as pretty much everyone went by it so they could find their street from before they left Cuba. My Mother-in-law was able to show us where it was she lived, almost down to the lot. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 23, 2006


Took this pic at the Cuba Nostalgia show, where as you can probably imagine, Ernesto "Che" Guevara is not exactly the most loved of people. The word is a play on the Spanish for assassin, replacing a syllable with the Che's name, and it speaks loud and clear to how the Cuban exile community feels about this man, who for some reason, many other people in the world revere. This is as quintessentially Miami as our beaches or the Everglades. Posted by Picasa

Monday, May 22, 2006

Cuba Nostalgia

Yesterday I went to the Cuba Nostalgia fair, a yearly event where the Cuba of yesterday is both remembered and celebrated. There was music, food, vendors, memorabilia, food, guests, food, artists and food. It was a really cool event, especially for me as a Puerto Rican married to a Cuban American girl, thus married into a Cuban family, as I got to see and experience a little bit of the Cuba that existed before Fidel screwed it up, the Cuba that my parents-in-law had to escape and can never regain. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 21, 2006

Lazy Sunday

Just a lazy Sunday afternoon (for a change) in Miami Beach. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 20, 2006

94th Aero Squadron

Located across Miami Internationa Airport, the 94th Aero Squadron restaurant is housed inside a large wooden building decorated in World War I and II memorabilia, such as authentic (and decommissioned) trucks, abulances, machine gun emplacements and this plane (don't know what kind). The coolest thing about the restaurant is the restaurant-long glass wall that allows you to see airplanes landing and taking off at the airport, right across the street. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 19, 2006

Have It Your Way

For a very mundane shot today, here is the world corporate headquarters of Burger King, located right across from Miami International Airport. Back when I used to eat fast food, BK was certainly at the top for me. Today, they're just the company with the creepy KingPosted by Picasa

Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sidewalk Graffiti

I had been looking around Miami for graffiti to photograph without much success when I arrived at my apartment and saw this drawn in chalk on the sidewalk by my 7 or 8-year-old neighbor. Hey, it counts! Posted by Picasa

Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nightime Pickup

I had to go pick up my wife at the airport earlier this evening, and I took this pic from the roof of the multilevel parking garage. It was the contrast of the various levels that called my attention (not to mention the big traffic jam I had avoided simply by paying to park). Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 16, 2006

Broken Pier

This is at the Pelican Harbor Marina, same place where The Fin Project is installed. Originally you could walk out to the pier, but the walkway was destroyed during last year's hurricanesPosted by Picasa

Monday, May 15, 2006

Lag B'Omer

Tonight starts the Jewish holiday of Lag B'Omer (literally, the 33rd day of the Omer), when Jews celebrate, among other things, the yartzeit (anniversary of death) of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai, a Second Temple-era scholar, and traditionally known as the author of the Zohar, the most sacred book of Jewish Mysticism or Kabbalah. We celebrate by lighting bonfires and by general merrymaking, precisely what we did at my synagogue earlier tonight, where I took this pic. I just love the color of those flames. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 14, 2006

Happy Mothers' Day

Happy Mothers' Day to all the mothers of the world, including this busy one, above. Pic taken at Fuch's Park in south Miami. Posted by Picasa

Saturday, May 13, 2006

The Fin Project

Just next to my house there is this lot by the public marina where about two dozen giant fins protude from the ground. I had always thought they were plane wings and that it was yet another weird public art piece from some Miami artist. The piece, however, is called The Fin Project: From Swords Into Plowshares, and it was done by artist John T. Young. The project seeks to recycle military material--diving fins from decommissioned nuclear submarines from the 60's--into pieces of art. This one was installed in 2002, with a previous one installed in Seattle, Washington in 1998 (now we need a Seattle Daily Photo to photograph that one as well). Future installations of the project are scheduled for other parts of the world, including one in Russia. Posted by Picasa

Friday, May 12, 2006

Ray of Light

One of the things I like is to look at clouds, especially when there is a storm approaching. I took this pic on Monday afternoon when I stopped to take some other pics (which you'll see tomorrow). The way the clouds rolled in, quite suddenly, so dark against a previously bright blue sky, was nothing short of amazing. I love how they seem to be encroaching on the ray of sunlight that still shines forth, seeking to subdue it, though failing to do so. Posted by Picasa

Thursday, May 11, 2006

You Lookin' At Me?

On our trip on Sunday, my wife and I stopped at this little road-side park in southern Miami called Fuch's Park. There we saw some kids feeding a large number of ducks, and checked out the small man-made lake, which was very low, since we haven't really had any significant rain down here for almost 3 months. As we were getting ready to leave I spotted this little dude here looking at me. I have no idea what kind of bird it is (see below); not one I recall ever seeing before.* But I liked its bright blue head feathers and the inquisitive look it kept giving me.

*Thanks to Anonymous who identified the bird as a green heron, a native to South Florida.

Wednesday, May 10, 2006

Plymouth Congregational Church

Plymouth Congregational Church was built in 1916-17 in the middle of Coconut Grove to serve the growing population of the small city. It is an excellent example of Spanish Mission architectural style, and its stonework, made of oolitic limestone (that could fool anyone into thinking it was coral), was laid out by a single stonemason, Spaniard Felix Rebom. The door, handcarved walnut backed with oak, is some 375 years old, originally from a monastery in the Pyrenees Mountains of Spain. The church is still very much in use, and now includes a garden, and a school. In fact, on the grounds of the church is the first public school in Miami-Dade County, originally built as a Sunday school back in 1887. The church is listed in the National Register of Historic Places. Posted by Picasa

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

And the Daylilies* Look Lovely Today

I took this pic as I stepped out of the Barnacle onto its wide porch overlooking Biscayne Bay, and was mesmerized by these beautiful daffodils daylilies*, the only two in bloom. Their color was deep, rich and bright, as if they had drunk the sunlight pure and filled their petals with it.

*I was originally told these were daffodils and I believed it since I know next to nothing about flowers. In a comment, Darrel corrected me, pointing that these are daylilies, a fact corroborated by a quick Google Image and Wikipedia search. This, however, ruined my original reference to the song by The Cranberries (Daffodil Lament), but it's a small price to pay for increased knowledge. Thanks, Darrel!

Monday, May 08, 2006

Welcome to Coconut Grove

One of the oldest areas of Miami, Coconut Grove was established as a small city in 1873, back when all there was down here was rich northerners, the Miami Hammock and lots of mosquitoes. The Grove, as it's normally called, has always been a unique place. In the beginning it attracted visionary people, like The Barnacle's Commodore Munroe (see last post), who wanted to share in this idyllic paradise, and throughout the years it has become a haven for artists and restaurants. Though it sometimes gets incredibly crowded, and it attracts an inordinate amount of posers, the Grove is a very charming place, and one of my favorites in Miami since the day I moved here. Posted by Picasa

Sunday, May 07, 2006

The Barnacle

Today my wife and I jumped in the car and went to visit one of Miami's least known treasures. The Barnacle Historic State Park in Coconut Grove is home to the Barnacle, Miami-Dade county's oldest house still in original site. Built in 1891, the house sits in the middle of 5 acres of what's left of the original Miami Hammock, right in front of Biscayne Bay, where it has witnessed the city grow and withstood 115 years of hurricanes, including the deadly 1926 storm and 1992's Andrew. This was a most marvelous discovery, a place we had known about for years but never visited before, and I invite both locals and tourists to come visit this site and enjoy a rare slice of Old Miami.

You can read more about our visit to the Barnacle, and see lots more photos, at my blog:
[Highmoon's Ponderings]: A Visit To The Barnacle.

Saturday, May 06, 2006

Glass Deco

The pseudo-Art Deco Lincoln Road Mall Regal Cinemas 18, bringing the megaplex to pedestrian Miami Beach. When it opened in 1999, I remember thinking it was a glass monstruosity that had come to destroy the charm of Miami Beach. In a way it did, but years later, the cinema has actually become part of the Beach landscape and an integral, if humongous, part of Lincoln Road and South Beach.

Friday, May 05, 2006

Miami Jai-Alai

That's the Miami Jai-Alai arena down there, located in one of the oldest (and hence, one of the poorest and most industrialized) areas of Miami. Jai-alai is a fast-paced game where grown men throw a really hard ball at each other at insanely high speeds and try to catch it with only a wicker basket-thing attached to their arm. The name means "Merry Festival" in Basque, the region in Spain from where it came from, via Cuba.

Since I really have no business going down to that area (unless I get lost, which has happened), I snapped this pic while driving as I left the airport yesterday afternoon. The pole just decided it wanted to be in the picture.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

Fly Away

I had to go drop my father-in-law at Miami International Airport this afternoon. I love going to the airport; it's the idea of all those gates being like magical doors to other places. I can't wait for June, when I will be actually going through one of those gates to emerge in Belgium.