Carioca Outpost: Miami
Home of our outposts at Kith, The Standard, and Soho House, Miami is infused with the soul of a population that is 70% Latino. Their influence means that Miami often feels like a transitional space between South America and the United States, a singular blend of Latin culture and the American dream. We visit regularly for the tastefully curated Cabana tradeshow – a gathering of the crème de la crème of swimwear – and have grown affectionate of the unabashed glamour of this tourist magnet.
The Miami experience sounds as though it shouldn’t be too different from our beloved Rio: it’s an Atlantic beach city, with sweeping coastlines, an impressive natural backdrop (the Everglades), a population that juxtaposes rich and poor, and an unbroken wildness. Yet Miami feels worlds away. Our cities may share a taste for modernist architecture, but here it is pure Art Deco, painted in sunshine-friendly pastel shades to create unmistakeable facades. The city was a pioneer in the addition of neon signs to entice passersby and celebrate the new possibilities of contemporary advances. It gives the urban landscape the unashamedly lurid air of excitement, sex, a hint of danger, a city crying out for a modern-day Bogart to mooch film noir-esque along the boardwalk, stalking a hurricane or a suspect broad. If this episode in Miami’s history appeals to you, there is an Art Deco museum in South Beach, curated by the society responsible for the preservation of these historic buildings.
MIAMI HOT SPOTS
Our number one must-see is Lummus Park. Located on South Beach, our hearts were stolen by its waved mosaic boardwalk, inspired by Roberto Burle Marx’s creation at the Copacabana. The rest of the beach is just as eye-catching. With more plastic surgeons than anywhere else in the U.S., this stretch of coast is home to some of the most perfected beach-bodies in the country. More is more in Miami, and their ostentatious rainbow bright lifeguard stands are a case in point.
As much as we love the city, a local always knows the best spots, so we spoke to Loren at Kith Miami. We figure the recommendations will be pretty good from someone who describes their hometown as “paradise”. First, you’ll need to blend in with the locals. Loren recommends our Letras sports shorts in sky blue, “they’ve got a colourful, funky vibe that embodies Miami.”
We’re big fans of cocktail bar Broken Shaker in the Freehand hotel – a youthful poolside bar with a sophisticated world-class cocktail menu – but Loren introduces us to the amazing atmosphere of the neighbouring 27 Restaurant. With a menu that encompasses yoghurt-tahini massaged kale and a double bacon cheeseburger, you’ll find yourself returning here whether you’re searching for an all-American binge, or an Instagram reputation as a virtuous clean-eater.
Loren’s ideal evening continues with a night-out at LIV nightclub; the parties are 21st century Gatsby to a soundtrack of hip-hop and rock. Celebrities and locals alike bask in the joint’s extravagance, and the beauty of its clientele. Currently undergoing a renovation that promises spectacular results, LIV will re-open in the autumn. In the meantime, Foxhole is a speakeasy with a film noir atmosphere that feels effortlessly modern.
The next morning, get on Loren’s “must do” for Miami and head to Kith (above) to sample the ice cream. Choose a bowl blended with sugary kids’ cereal and milk, and you can just about call it breakfast.
Our final, wildcard choice for any time of day is Boteco. Most locations in Miami offer a blend of indistinct Latin American cultures, but this place is all Rio. Boteco is welcoming and homely; they describe themselves as low-key and stress-free and they deliver. With the best caipirinha this side of the Morro Dois Irmaos, authentic feijoada, and a weekly samba lesson, this neighbourhood bar will soothe the most homesick Carioca, or maybe even give native Floridians the itch to travel further south.