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It’s been four years since I moved to this city and every day I find something beautiful about it. However, what I find most extraordinary is its natural light, it really spellbinds me. I’ve always loved to discover stories, places and food, and Miami is one of those places that, aside from its well-known spots, has some of the best hidden gems. It’s curious to me how sometimes, not even the locals know their city’s secrets.
In this section I’m going to share all the places that I love in Miami: stores, restaurants, galleries, buildings, museums and neighborhoods. For now, here are a few places that I believe are worth visiting in downtown Miami. If you haven’t been to some or to any of them, I hope you go soon and tell me about your experience.
The Alfred I. DuPont Building- www.thedupontbuilding.com
This landmark’s construction started in 1937 and was finished in 1939, marking the end of the Great Depression in the architecture of the city. It’s a modern building with Art Deco embellishments and interior decoration featuring the history of South Florida, Seminole Indian motifs and local flora and fauna. Boasting extraordinary beauty, its mezzanine currently serves as a venue for events and in 1989 it was listed in the National Register of Historic Places.
Seybold Jewelry- www.seaboldjewelry.com
Known among Hispanics as “El Sibol”, it’s Florida’s premiere jewelry center and the second largest jewelry building in the United States. It has over 280 in-house jewelers who specialize in diamonds, gold, silver and every aspect of the trade. If you’re looking for high quality jewels and watches, at better prices, you should definitely check this place out.
La Casa de las Viejas- 39 NE 1st Street
One of the best and oldest notions stores in Miami, with a Cuban staff that’s been there for years and that really knows how to take care of its clients. They have a wonderful variety of lace, ribbons, feathers, sequins, braids, passemenerie and fabrics.
If you’re in the area, I recommend making a reservation at this new Catalan inspired restaurant: Niu Kitchen – www.niukitchen.com
Niu means NEST in Catalan, maybe that’s why the place is so small. The owners are excellent hosts, charming and really involved in the quality of the food. It’s always pretty full and sometimes you see lines of people waiting at the door, reason enough to make a previous reservation.
If you don’t like this option, there are many other restaurants with varied cuisines in the area: fast food, Italian, French, Colombian, Peruvian, Cuban and more. A few other first-rate suggestions: CVI.CHE105, Fratelli Milano or La Provence.
CIFO (Cisneros Fontanals Art Foundation) www.cifo.org
It has one of the most important international collections of contemporary art in the city and its building, designed by the architect René González, is quite splendid. The non-profit organization is dedicated to the support of emerging and mid career contemporary artists from Latin America.