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Wynwood Art District, by Neil de la Flor.
From his travel blog Frivoletravel.com

What makes this district worth the 10-minute drive from South Beach is the fact it is home to over 70 art galleries, funky thrift stores, antique shops, eclectic bars, and amazing outdoor graffiti. Nestled between 36th Street (north) Biscayne Boulevard (east), I-95 (west), and NW 20th Street (south) the Wynwood Art District is a cultural and artistic pot-luck and mélange of Miami at its grittiest best.

In 2006 the New York Times referred to the Wynwood Art District as the “anti-South Beach,” but this isn’t totally accurate. In fact, Wynwood is what South Beach was before South Beach became South Beach—a gritty dirty yet promising wasteland. This was pre-Starbucks and pre-Versace, back when Madonna hung out at Warsaw and New Concept Video, Gertrude’s coffee house and Granny Feelgoods anchored Lincoln Road. Yes, this was the South Beach when Apple Computer was on the brink of bankruptcy and irrelevance and the famous News Café was the only place you’d stop on Ocean Drive.

Drive around Wynwood (yes, it’s not pedestrian friendly) and you’ll notice a mix of overgrown lots and crumbling buildings abutting newly constructed and virtually empty ultra modern high rise apartment buildings. There’s even a ‘fashion district,’ which is anything but fashionable, where one can find a mish mash of no brand name apparel stores and even a few wig shops. Notice the wigs hanging in the windows! But what lies beneath or behind this odd façade is a fabulous district, thriving and ebbing, young and hip. Proof exists on the streets, on the graffitied walls of the neighborhood and inside the worldclass art galleries, such as the fabulous Rubell Family and Margulies art collections.

You won’t find Starbucks here but Target and the Five Guys burger joint have moved in. You’ll see sprouts of gentrification but commercialization hasn’t overwhelmed the district, yet, but that’s what makes Wynwood unique to Miami. It’s one of the few places where commercialization plays second fiddle in this working class neighborhood where mom and pop shops, Cuban coffee cafes, the ultra hip and multi-million dollar art collections coexist.

Imagine the possible future and fate of this district. Enjoy the art. Take a camera and a sketchpad. Look around every corner and get out of the car.

Must see:
* Graffiti – NW 27th street and surrounding area.
* Rubell Family Collection – 5 NW 29th Street, 305-573-6090
* Margulies Collection – 591 NW 27th Street, 305-576-8570
* MOCA at Goldman Warehouse – 404 NW 26th Street, 305-573-5441 (Currently closed for renovations)

* CIFO Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation - 1018 North Miami Avenue, 305-455-3380

Bus services
Nothing that covers the whole area. This is not a pedestrian friendly area.

Driving instructions
From Miami Beach:
Take the MacArthur Causeway going west towards Miami. Take Exit 2 (NE 13th Street) towards US-1. Stay straight and go onto NE 13th Street. This street crosses North Miami Avenue. Turn left to CIFO, right for MOCA, Margulies and Rubell collections.

Address and Contacts
Art Circuits Map of Wynwood
Wynwood Art Magazine

Photos by Neil de la Flor

Wynwood Graffiti

Wynwood Graffiti
Wynwood Graffiti
Wynwood Graffiti

Wynwood Graffiti

Wynwood Graffiti
Wywood Graffiti
Wynwood Graffiti

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