Brickell as Text:
A picture of Brickell’s skyline is what most people think about when they think about Miami. Glamorous apartment buildings as well as office buildings, most of them built after 2008, form a distinct skyline that is known around the world. While these pictures of Brickell highlight the density of the city and its busy nature, many things are concealed from the surface. These unique places are mostly unknown to tourists, and I have selected some places that will add a new layer of depth either through either history, innovation or plainly just cohesion between urban life and nature.
Restaurants in Brickell tend to accommodate the wants of wealthy tourists or citizens for fine dining. However next to the Financial District Metro Station, lays a Colombian place named La Estacion. They have operated since I got to Miami, 11 years ago and serve authentic Colombian comfort food like Sancocho Soup, Pan de Bono, Arroz de coco, and a variety of fresh made juice options such as Maracuya, Lulo or Mango. The food isn’t necessarily cheap but a plate for lunch will get you filled up and many people make the line during lunchtime to eat. The availability of a seating option, outside under the canopy of trees, means sitting in the shade, and being able to sit outside even during the summer.
James Jackson’s Office. Photo taken by Nikolas Lund-Hansen
The Historic House of Miami’s Physician Dr. James M Jackson and his surgery room can also be found about a 10-minute walk from the Financial District Station. It seems completely out of place, surrounded by some of Miami’s tallest buildings. This one-story building stands out and serves as a museum with information about both Miami’s early history and its medicinal policies. Dr. Jackson stood out at the time for treating the rich and the poor equally, black, and white. The Jackson Hospital is named after him and while the house isn’t massive, it is definitely a sight worth stopping by if you are in Brickell.
The Underline. Photo taken by Nikolas Lund-Hansen
The reality of green space is that there isn’t much in Brickell which is the most densely populated part of Miami. A new approach to solving this issue is The Underline. The plan is to have a bike pathway with space to also run, stages, benches and also courts for basketball and soccer right under the Metrorail in Miami. Right now, the only completed part is the part in Brickell. Besides this, The Underline provides many free classes such as yoga classes every Saturday, walking tours, and cultural music nights. The only task? RSVP online through their website. Otherwise biking, playing soccer, and running on the underline is all permitted at your own leisure. It is approximately a 10-minute walk in a straight line from the Brickell Metromover Station and the Brickell Metrorail Station.
The St Jude Melkite Greek Catholic Church is also a structure worth visiting when coming to Miami. It provides a contrast to the new modern Echo building on the opposite corner, which has some of the most expensive apartments in Miami. The Church was opened in 1946 and has unique Romanesque architecture as well as a courtyard. This place is popular for people doing daily prayer and also is filled up for its masses in Spanish, English and Arabic on Sundays. It is about 10 minutes away from the Financial District Station and has a trolley stop on the same corner.
Continuing to walk for 3 minutes or so, is the start of Brickell Bay Drive, formerly known as Millionaires Avenue. 10-15 story Condos lie by this curved road and have direct view to the Biscayne Bay. While many people like to walk or run by the Bay in the evenings, others sit in the cars and play music while watching the sunset on the weekend. With benches to sit down, you can sit and look at the Rickenbacker Causeway, Virginia Key, the Port of Miami, Brickell Key to mention a few. Dolphin, manatee, and nurse shark sightings are not uncommon in these waters.
Brickell Bay. Photo taken by Nikolas Lund-Hansen