If you could consider for one second the idea that inspiration is a drug and that without it you could go completely mental and develop the shakes, then you’d be the type to consider places and things that will provide that fix- and quick! If you haven’t heard about the word on the street just yet, then I’ll be happy to introduce it to you; this place is officially known as Wynwood. A small community in downtown Miami that has art plastered in every crease and corner. Commonly recognized for the street art, graffiti, and array of public installations by local and internationally respected artists, you should also know, there’s far more to taste here. Amongst the 20 something blocks that it consists of, you will find art galleries, vintage clothing stores, hi-end boutiques, hair salons, restaurants, coffee shops and bars that are uniquely suited to reflect the culture and energy that you can only feel while in Wynwood. It is pure originality at its best. Amongst this un-commercialized thriving town also lie art enthusiasts and collectors, emerging artists (starving and established alike), bums and business people, educated rebels and misfits of all ages, walking amongst one another, side by side. Unknowingly, they protect the one aspect that keeps this place so special by maintaining a communal understanding that soul is of utmost importance.
Sadly, not many have had the pleasure of experiencing this urban oasis, but for those who have and continue to truly know what it takes to be what I have recently made up as a …
Here’s a list for you. If you find yourself checking off more than 5 of these examples, then face it my friend, you deserve a new pin for your denim jacket that reads “WYNWOODER”. Otherwise, come on down, what are you really waiting for?!
20 Things that make you a true “Wynwood-er”
1. You own a bike and do Critical Mass once a month like it’s your job
2. You can never see yourself ever
enjoying a Starbucks coffee again after lounging at Lester’s or drinking a Panther. You ask yourself: “am I a Panther or a Lester’s person?” You pick a side and stick to it! Show em’ your loyalty!
3. You know they’re not literally baking at the Bakehouse Art Complex.
4. You typically start your nightly outings at Wood Tavern or The Corner and somehow always end up at The Vagabond for that guaranteed good time and late night boogie (it’s just a $10 cover at the door but you’ve heard Garvey’s “Goodbye Horses” being played inside so that’s besides the point).
5. Although, the food at Wynwood Kitchen & Bar is delicious, you know deep down the ambiance is the real reason you’re there. Where else can you visually dissect a Shepard Fairey mural while munching on tapas and sipping on fancy cocktails?
6. You’ve flirted with the hotness of the doorman at Bardot at least ONCE.
7. Gigi’s is a place you go highly intoxicated because it’s so much more fun to order 80% of what’s on the menu without thinking to yourself “wtf did I just order?!”
8. You think anything too fancy is “bougie”, that anything too commercial should be tagged, and that you’d much rather be seen on a bike than in your car for the sake of being a true environmentalist.
9. Meeting an artist is like meeting a celebrity.
10. Your name’s been mentioned in conversation amongst other people because even if they don’t know you, they’ve seen you, or they really could all just know you. You realize then, everyone is connected somehow, someway.
11. You are genuinely annoyed and insulted when someone confuses Midtown for Wynwood & visa-versa.
12. If you’ve got cash in your pocket, you’re excited! You’ve just qualified yourself to have lunch from a food truck.
13. You’ve met at least 3 people today that have business cards with no official titles or profession on them… but you’ll call them anyway.
14. Boredom is something you’ll never feel while walking through these streets! There’s always a mural you haven’t seen or noticed before. At this point you should know to always have your camera on stand by.
15. You’ve grown immune to the smell of spray paint.
16. You had a conversation with a homeless man about art.
17. You’ve stumbled across a StaticPost sticker on multiple occasions and have scanned that S#%T with your handy dandy iPhone.
18. Someone hands you spray paint and you don’t worry that you’ll be arrested for tagging the sidewalk- instead someone will walk by and thank you graciously for beautifying the front of their business.
19. You actually remember what art walk was like before the invasion of drunken street- walkers, food trucks and go-go dancers.
20. You don’t actually like it when someone calls you a hipster. Do you even know what that is!? Pass the PBR please.
Dear sweet Wynwood, it ain’t Soho, but it’s still home.
All photography brought to you by: Jennifer Art & featuring Alex Kaprah