French Friday: The Magic City

Most big cities have a nickname.

Paris is the City of Lights but also the City of Love (said one of the students I met in Florida a couple of weeks ago).

But no one really knows why Miami is nicknamed the Magic City. Which was pretty much how I saw Paris when I lived there. From the day I moved to the French capital as a grad student to the day I left for California ten years later, the city never stopped being magical.

As for Miami, unlike my first quick visit a few years ago, my recent one gave me more time to explore.

Miami truly is unique.

Maybe it is the breeze that blows through the trademark palm trees. Maybe it is the Atlantic, turquoise and warm. Maybe it is the skyline. Maybe it is the blend of Spanish and English that can be heard along the streets. Maybe…

Maybe this is what being magic means.


6:20 a.m. sunrise as I walked across the Collins Bridge

I passed a  few runners and cyclists but mostly saw birds

Although I only post on Fridays and that the gorgeous wooden doors behind the glass panels were closed, I thought of Thursday Doors

Street Art in Little Havana

Vintage Little Havana

It would not be Florida without a gator. I found this made-man one at Miami Ironside

This iguana, though, was for real

And his sibling was too. Both sunbathed at the Vizcaya Villa in the heart of Miami

Vizcaya was created from scratch by John Deering, from the Deering Company

From the Orchidea Garden at Vizcaya

One of the many water features in the gardens

Vizcaya is built along the Biscayne Bay

Wish I could mimic this perfect sphinx pose in my yoga practice

I also wished I could get my own library card there

I would have to move in then

Stone crab is to Miami what lobster is to Maine. Best lunch ever in Miami Beach at Joe’s Stone Crab 

On the wall at the Pérez Art Museum

No other place in the country is as lush as Miami in February

Nature finds its way everywhere in Miami

Even between the thick roots of a tree in the heart of Little Havana

Or to mask and shade a parking garage

Or still on hotel terraces

I really thought that this tree trunk was painted…

and believed that “this” was man-made…

and that the flowers were made out of paper

But only these signs were

Maybe Miami is a Magic City.

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