Miami Beach the home of Art Deco and the Holocaust Memorial
Miami Beach Travel Blog› entry 611 of 1090 › view all entries
Today was my return back from hot and sunny Curaçao to cold and snowy New York City. I had booked myself an impossible flight. Meaning: flying out of Curaçao at 08:35 am, arriving at 10:40 am in Miami, where I had a layover time of more than eight (!) hours. Inconvenient? Not at all! It gave me a perfect chance to see something of this great city.
American Airlines took me for a pleasant flight over the Caribbean Sea with views on Jamaica, Cuba and the Bahamas to Sunny Florida. We arrived so much ahead of schedule that we were parked in a remote corner of the airport. I had to clear immigration of course. The first inbound flight with my new visa. US Immigration at Miami International Airport is by far the best organized I have ever experienced. Upon arriving at the counters I could proceed to the officer immediately.
After rechecking my suitcase I proceeded to the bus terminal of the airport. Miami International Airport and Miami Dade Transit run a very nice express bus, the Airport Flyer. This bus rides in 30 minutes from the airport, with just one stop in between, directly to Miami Beach. Taxies charge about USD 40 to get there. The bus only costs USD 2.35 one way.
Miami Beach is strictly seen NOT Miami! It is an independent city with its own mayor.
Art Deco is an artistic design style that originates in Paris. It can be found almost anywhere in the world. Famous examples are of course the Empire State Building, The Rockefeller Center, and Chrysler Building in New York City. Radio Kootwijk in the Netherlands is a less known example.
The district dates back to the 1920ies. By that time Miami Beach was a popular spot for the rich to vacation on its beautiful beaches. Many fancy hotels were built in the Art Deco style. In the 1950ies the area declined with mafia, gangs, and refugees. By the mid 70ies the city had plans to raze the whole area and sell the lots to eager project developers who wanted to construct huge hotel complexes. Fortunately there were people like Barabara Bear Capitman and Leonard Horowitz who managed to prevent this from happening and who succeeded in placing the area on the list of the National Register in 1979.
The decaying Art Deco buildings were saved and beautifully restored. The TV series Miami Vice presented the beauty of the city to the world.
After the beautiful and happy elements of the Art Deco district I decided to also visit the Holocaust Memorial. This is a very impressive, tasteful and huge memorial that was opened in 1990. Designed by artist Kenneth Treister it shows a huge arm, tattooed with a concentration camp registration number, reaching out into the sky. This is impressive but it gets really dramatic when one gets closer to the arm. It appears to be populated with many statues of camp detainees who desperately try to flee from their hell.
I was brought back to the airport by the bus and flown back to New York. Filled with all kind of impressions and memories. It was only one week of vacation, but it felt like three!
Many more pictures below!