Posted November 13, 2013
By ANABELL BERNOT
MIAMI — Groups of 20 something with their black berets and thick framed glasses hold their grilled brie and smoked pear sandwiches from Ms. Cheezious, known as “the sexiest food truck in Miami,” while trying to analyze “Dolphin and Marlin,” a multi-hued mural that cascades the back of a building in the Wynwood Art District.
Wynwood is a section of Miami, north of downtown, that hosts the Wynwood Art Walk the second Saturday of every month. With more than 60 galleries and art complexes, more than 25 food trucks and a copious amount of spray-painted concrete allies as alluring as MichelAngelo’s Sistine Chapel, hundreds of tourists and locals flood the streets to look at contemporary art and taste organic, unique food.
“I saw a statue of a dripping pink ice cream cone in one of the galleries,” said Matt Henriquez, a Miami local. “This is why I come to Art Walk, because you get to see fun and whacky things.”
As a Miami native, I have been to Wynwood’s Art Walk three times, but each time I go, I get to explore different galleries and savor fresh food, so the colorful Miami district never becomes washed-out.
The Wynwood Art Walk is well known for getting crowded around 8 p.m. so it is important to get there early for a good parking spot. Knowing that parking will be limited since the main area of the walk is from NW 20th Street and NW 36th Street and from NW 2nd Avenue to NE 2nd Avenue, I get there before 7 p.m.
Since the artists in the galleries are still adding their final touches to their exhibits, whether it be neon lights to attract attention or making sure the house wine is poured in every glass, this is the perfect time to get lost in the maze of colors that Wynwood’s murals make up.
As I walk along the sidewalks, I notice that no space is left barren. There lay drawings of Einstein with a pipe and sketches of emerald green snakes coiled around a half-bitten candy coated apple. When I look up, I see one of my favorite murals in Wynwood, called “Ballerinas” by Anthony Lister on the back parking lot wall of 2300 NW 2nd Ave.
“It’s like ballerina meets stripper,” said Holly Lowe, who was visiting from Denver.
Lowe’s description was right on point. According to Lister, he describes the mural as “strip-club ballerinas on drugs” when he spoke to Miami New Times during Art Basel.
The ballerinas on the mural are waiving their arms freely as if they are casting a spell on those that stare at the painting for too long. The light pink of their costumes with the graffiti sprayed on to the walls splattered on their hips contrasts innocence with sultriness.
From drugged out ballerinas to a cartoon Bruce Lee Character, Wynwood’s artists are not afraid to think outside of the box.
By 8 p.m., my stomach is growling and I’m craving homey flavors that will shock and please my taste buds.
While walking throughout Art Walk, you can spot five-star restaurants like B&M Market that sell traditional Caribbean food like brown stew and fish and cabbage or Balans Biscayne that is famous for its brunch.
“My girlfriends and I come here for the mimosas and omelet’s,” said Miami native Andrea Gonzalez. “It’s breezy, comfortable, and nice- great for Sunday brunch.”
However, I did not feel like having a white mantel sit-down dinner. I wanted to get my hands greasy with peanut oil and smothered in cheese, so naturally I went to the food trucks.
The food trucks are located in a field on the corner of Northwest 23rd Street and Northwest 2nd Avenue and are there from 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
With more than 30 trucks, you can choose to eat burgers at Burger Beast and have dessert at JOJI Yogurt, that serves soft serve ice cream and glow in the dark frozen yogurt.
I raced to Ms. Cheezious to get my hands on a Grilled Harvest Sandwich, complete with spiced apples, havarti cheese, and grilled on multi-grain bread.
“This is like my grandma’s cooking on steroids,” said Cheezious food fan and native New Yorker Rob Galvez. “They pair up ingredients that you would never think about putting in a grilled cheese.”
In my first bite, I tasted the cinnamon and nutmeg from the sweet and tart apples, and the creamy touch of the cheese meld with the crunchy, hearty bread. With a full stomach and a grin on my face, I was ready to head out to the exhibits.
My first stop was at the Unix Fine Art exhibit. This exhibition features international and local painters and has a mix of contemporary and abstract art and statues.
As a lover of chocolate, I was enticed by the statue of two Hershey chocolate syrup bottles spilling. It was unique because the chocolate was like paint dripping across the gallery floor.
“I thought it was paint,” said Miami resident Henry Gil. “And then I saw the Hershey sign; It’s creative.”
Next, I went to The Lunch Box Gallery. I felt like I was on the set of a fashion show because tall, slender women stood by the artwork. I’m not sure if they were part of the art.
This gallery is small, but it packs a punch. The walls were symmetrically lined with photographs of people doing every day things but it had quirkiness to it. For instance, there is a photograph of a woman wearing a white- laced dress and laying on a vintage couch. Yet, she is wearing a fox mask with a medieval painting hanging above her.
In every gallery, I took about 20 minutes trying to analyze the art and what the artist tried to portray by the colors and symbols he used. However, if you are not an art fan, these galleries will not disappoint you because they have various styles of art, from street art to contemporary.
Wynwood Art Walk is one of the best attractions in Miami because it offers a variety of places to eat in, whether it is fancy French food or in-your-face burgers, and all types of artwork for all tastes.
If You Go
- Location: Field on the corner of Northwest 23rd Street and Northwest 2nd Avenue.
- Time: 7 p.m. to 11 p.m.
- From 20th Street and 36th Street and from NW 2nd Avenue to NE 2nd Avenue.
- B&M Market at 219 NE 79th St., Miami, FL 33138.
- Balans Biscayne at 6789 Biscayne Blvd, Miami, FL 33138.
- Unix Fine Art- Address: 2219 NW 2nd Ave., Miami, FL 33127, contact: 305-496-0621, www.unixgallery.com. Hours: Tuesdays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays 12 p.m.-6 p.m.
- The Lunch Box Gallery- Address: 310 N.W. 24th St. , Miami, FL 33127, contact: 305-407-8131, www.thelunchboxgallery.com. Hours: Mondays-Fridays, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturdays: By appointment only.