New art, shopping, and green spaces in cities
During the pandemic, the Design District neighborhood was both a cultural center and a place to go shopping. Public art by Zaha Hadid, John Baldessari, Marc Newson, and Buckminster Fuller drew both locals and tourists to an 18-block area with shops. In addition to new shops, there are also new works of art, such as a window installation by Argentine photographer Luca Fainzilber and two murals, “Interdimensional Portal” by Afro-Brazilian muralist Criola and “Baltimore’s finest: Mr. GirlYouCrazy and Dev, 2021-2022” by Amani Lewis.
As part of a public project in Downtown Miami called “The Underline,” 10 miles of empty land under the Metrorail system are being turned into gardens with native plants. From the Miami River to S.W. 13th Avenue, you can walk and look at the cityscape and functional art, like Cara Despain’s Ping-Pong tables with terrazzo tops that talk about rising sea levels.
Art Deco and Spanish-Mediterranean revival styles are seen in some hotels.
The Goodtime Hotel, which opened in April 2021 and has rates starting at $243, is a nightlife promoter David Grutman and an artist Pharrell Williams’ fever dream. Those who want to stay there won’t be disappointed. The 266-room hotel in South Beach was inspired by its Art Deco surroundings. It has vintage scalloped bar seating, hand-painted hothouse murals, and a 30,000-square-foot pool club with a DJ booth, which is full of scantily-clad millennials taking selfies.
Also in South Beach, the Esme Hotel is in a place that used to be an artist’s colony. Rooms start at $250 per night. With 145 rooms and five restaurants in eight Spanish-Mediterranean revival buildings, the hotel takes up an entire city block. Fun fact: Al Capone used to run a secret gambling business out of the main building of the property.
The busy area of South Beach is 25 minutes north of the $1,050/night St. Regis Bal Harbor, which is on a stretch of beachfront with sand dunes. Non-hotel guests can book one of the property’s private oceanfront day villas for an afternoon of peace and quiet.