Marco Lund-Hansen: Neighborhood 2022

Downtown Miami as Text:

Historical places in Downtown Miami. Photograhs by Marco Samuely Lund-Hansen

Downtown Miami is a modern neighborhood with towering high rises yet is home to some of the oldest buildings in Miami. There is always a variety of activities to do as Downtown Miami boasts of shopping centers, movie theaters, sports venues, restaurants, hotels and art, science, and history museums. Getting to Downtown Miami is easy as there is a variety of transportation methods. The Miami Metromover and Metrorail can take you directly from the Miami International Airport to Downtown Miami. Once you find yourself in Downtown Miami you can take the free Miami trolley and Metromover to get around. There is also easy access to Citibikes, Lyft, Uber, and parking garages if you have rented a car.

Downtown Miami features various museums that are a must see if you are interested in history, culture, science, and art. Starting off with the Freedom Tower which used to be the place where Cuban immigrants were processed for entry in the United States is today the Museum of Art and Design which showcases sculptures, paintings, films, and photography. Moving on to the HistoryMiami museum which is the largest history museum in Florida. This museum focuses on the history of Miami: the founding of Miami, the communities, places, and events that have shaped Miami into the city it is today. As Miami is the home of contemporary art it would be criminal to not visit the Perez Art Museum which features 3,000 works of contemporary art from the 20th and 21st century. Finally, for science enthusiasts you can visit the Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science. This museum has a planetarium, wildlife center and aquarium with an interactive deep-sea experience.

Live entertainment can be found everywhere in Downtown Miami. If you are sports fan or even better a basketball fan, you can watch the Miami Heat play at the FTX Arena. Downtown Miami is also the home to one of the biggest arts centers in the United States: The Adrienne Arsht Center for the Performing Arts. Here you can enjoy concerts, movies, musicals, and the performing arts to another level. If you want to watch the most popular and up to date movies the Silverspot Cinema in Downtown Miami is the place to go. To get a full entertainment experience you need to visit the Olympia Theater which began as a silent movie theater in 1926 and has served as a concert venue, movie theater and performing arts center.

Downtown Miami: Sunset and Day. Photographs by Marco Samuely Lund-Hansen

If you are more of a walker there are many historical sites you can visit in Downtown Miami, which I had the privilege of visiting during our class. The Wagner Family Homestead and the William English Slave Quarters are the two surviving buildings from Miami’s pioneer era, both are located in Lummus Park. The Gesu Church is worth a visit as it houses the oldest Roman Catholic parish and has been in Downtown Miami since 1925. Moving on to the Miami Circle which is an archaeological site which contains early and late components of the Tequesta. It was discovered in 1998 and since then a lot of research has been conducted at the site.

The Miami Riverwalk Trail allows you to walk by the Miami River and enjoy the views of Miami’s unique architecture and beautiful skyline. This will lead you closer to Bayfront Park which is a waterside park area with many green spaces, art sculptures and playgrounds. The green spaces are perfect for playing any sport and the park is also ideal for runners and bikers. All the way at the end of Bayfront Park is the Bayside Marketplace which is a very popular outdoor mall which has restaurants, bars, shops and is a good place to arrange a boat tour. Downtown Miami is a beautiful part of Miami and even though it is easy to get caught up in the modern luxury skyscrapers, fancy shopping malls and restaurants, Downtown Miami offers so many places to learn about the authentic Miami.

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