Miami After Dark (or, How I Like to Spend My Noches)

South Beach at night

South Beach at night

A wise man once crooned, ok, growled, “There ain’t nothin’ like Miami’s heat!” And you know what? He’s right. When Miami wants to turn up the temps, you best learn the routine: grab a beach towel, don a swimsuit and hit the nearest sandy shores. Or, you could find an air-conditioned enclave, I suppose, but come on, now! I didn’t move to Miami for 2 months to sit inside all day.

As February turned to March turned to April, the days’ humidity and high temps have steadily climbed, which has had a number of impacts on my life.

  • Hair product consumption has skyrocketed. There is no gel strong enough to combat the situation. At least none I’ve been privy to. And it ain’t pretty.
  • Beach time is on the rise. Good for the tan, bad for the skin cancer anxiety. Thus, sunscreen consumption: also skyrocketed, as have incidents of “ghost face.”
  • Nighttime is indeed the right time.

When I arrived, Miami was enduring some sort of freakish cold spell. Read: High temperatures in the low 70s. But seriously, there were a lot of 40 degree nights, when even the toasty Fire Fish couldn’t warm my bones. But now warmer evenings mean more nighttime exploration around town. And Miami after dark is pretty much the best thing ever.

Start, if you will, with the sunset cocktail. Preferably sipped after an afternoon at Key Biscayne’s beaches, and ideally drank while overlooking Miami’s sexy skyline. That’s right. I called it sexy. The city’s shiny white buildings tower toward the sky and serve as a sparkly backdrop to Biscayne Bay’s turquoise waters, perfectly viewed from Whiskey Joe’s marina bar.

Sunset at Whiskey Joe's

Sunset at Whiskey Joe’s

Come nightfall, if you can get tickets to see the Miami Heat play basketball, by all means, get thee to a game. I’m a fan of seeing sports live, but admittedly, not a huge hoops fan. If you’re like me, a Heat game will change all that. Trust. Particularly if you attend during a “Noche Latino,” when “El Heat” t-shirts are on sale, mojitos flow like water, and the crowd cheers “Ellllll HEEAAAATTT!!” at every basket (and since the Heat are like, the best team ever, there’s a lot baskets and subsequent cheering).

If a game is absolutely not your jam, get your arts and culture on at a Wynwood Arts Walk. One of the things I couldn’t wrap my head around my first few weeks in Miami, was where to find the hipsters, the artists, the grungy musician-types. Apparently, it’s Wynwood. The neighborhood has morphed from a down-and-out warehouse district to the hippest arts scene in town. There’s galleries, boutiques, gardens filled with graffiti art. The Design District? That’s so 2009.

Graffiti in Wynwood

Graffiti in Wynwood

I’m no maven of graffiti, but damn, there were some breathtaking displays of wall art. It’s corny, yes, but it’s me, so…I admit to getting teary-eyed at some of the talent, creativity and wild genius that went into many of these displays. As for seeing grungy anything, it should be noted that even Miami’s hipsters are as shiny and clean-cut as the city skyline.

Graffiti in Wynwood

Graffiti in Wynwood

Graffiti in Wynwood

Graffiti in Wynwood

Then, there are evenings when you want to spice up the night with a visit to South Beach. I’m generally not the biggest SoBe fan — it trends toward Jersey-Shore-tacky a little too much for my tastes, but there’s so, so much to be said for strolling Ocean Drive admiring neon and Art Deco design, or stopping by the Delano pool for an after-dark drink — or simply a peek at how the other half lives and travels. From what I can tell, it’s rather fab.

Delano after dark

Delano after dark

Yes, 2 months into my stay here and Miami and I are still very much in love. I’m grateful the affair will continue a few weeks longer.

(Photo of South Beach by raffik via Flickr)

2 Comments

  1. I love reliving my weekend with V&A! thanks so much for taking me to all the cool-hot Miami places!

    • Valerie Conners says:

      We miss you! I made the salmon last night for A’s friends, but it wasn’t the same without you!!