Travel Guide: Miami, FL

The Magic City - With its melting pot of diversity, Miami is like no other party city in America. It’s the perfect blend of a beach town and dynamic metropolitan city, with the best of the day and nightlife. The Miami culture is in the music, food, fashion and art.  If you're visiting and want to see a bit of everything, here is a curated list of my top picks to give a glimpse of Miami.

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Simply Gharib Travel Guide To:

Miami, FL

Living in Miami for a few years, I’ve learned a thing or two about where to go and what to do here. I call it the 6th borough, since to me it feels like an extension of New York.

There a so many things to do in Miami – from beaches to parties to art – I personally love Miami’s art culture and food scene.

 
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Miami, FL

WHERE TO GO OUT: 

  • Wynwood Walls: unique outdoor street murals by artists

  • Perez Art Museum: contemporary (20th and 21st century) art.

  • Basement: club lounge with a bowling alley and ice-skating rink.

  • Lagniappe: chill bar, with beer and wine, live music, and patio furniture.

  • LIV: the as-seen-in-music-videos atmosphere of your club dreams.

Where to shop:

  • Miami Design District – upscale designers

  • Lincoln Road

  • Brickell City Centre – central outdoor mall

BEST CAFE:

  • Small Tea

  • Panther Coffee

  • OTL

  • Dr. Smood

WHERE TO EAT:

  • Drunken Dragon: hidden restaurant with Korean BBQ (family-style).

  • Komodo: southeast Asian cuisine with a South Florida vibes

  • Seaspice: perfect spot for brunch on Miami River.

  • Beaker & Grey: trendy Wynwood place with amazing cocktails/ food.

  • Coyo: delicious tacos (home base in Wynwood).

Over the years (since Miami is such an awesome vacation spot) I’ve suggested all my favorite restaurants, places to visit, and nightlife I love, to friends who visit Miami. So now I’ve decided to include a Miami post (of all my personal suggestions) to share will all!

Currently Obsessed — Spring
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I started this post last Friday and I’m just getting around to posting it now… It’s been a crazy week to say the least. On top of catching up with work (as usual) I just finished teaching (my part-time job) on Thursday! I honestly didn’t think I would love teaching as much as I did, which is crazy! My poor students had to put up with my architecture ramblings (lol) but I’m hoping they all benefited. I definitely enjoyed meeting them all.

Spring is here, sort of, which means my lighter pieces move to the front of my rack. I love a good straw hat and white blouse, which can seem very “picnic” at times. But the real star of this post  are the bold, colorful, floral prints, which I know for Spring is nothing new, but how amazing these patterns on pants! — a little out of my comfort zone which only makes me want to wear them more.

Do I Adore Cafe Dior?
Simply Gharib Cafe Dior Miami
Simply Gharib - Cafe Dior Miami

Just when you thought the Miami Design District couldn’t get any ‘bougier’, it’s now upped itself with the addition of Café Dior. Which, as you can guess, is just as expensive as the name it bears. Dior has its signature cafe in Seoul and St. Tropez, so to open one up in Miami has made it the place to be - why? The cafe is Instagram-worthy as the perfect aesthetic for ‘haute’ coffee photos and photo backdrops.

I went to the cafe for my birthday with my husband and two friends. Of course, taking photos and posting them on my instagram story was easy, since the place itself is already cute. But listen up, because this is the part no one really talks about, the coffee and desserts are obscenely expensive. First of all, the coffee is $12 (+tax +tip +non-dairy milk) (there’s a reason they don’t advertise the menu online) and no, it is not worth it. I enjoy my cup of Nespresso and Starbucks more than the coffee they provided. A single macaron (pictured below) cost as much as the coffee. I thought Laduree was pricey, their macarons seem like a very reasonable $2.80/each.

So what’s the point? I had a very interesting conversation with a few friends on the power of social media for cafes and restaurants. It has the power to drive masses of people to these locations for the perfect photos. Even I’m guilty of this. I appreciate a beautifully designed space, I am an architect after all. My issue is there needs to be a balance between quality/price and Instagrammable design, otherwise these locations will gain fast momentum and die out just as fast. If it’s not already obvious - I would not recommend this cafe nor do I see myself going back. Yes, I can see the couture vibes beating a local corner Starbucks, but with places like OTL Miami right downstairs, Dr. Smood, Blue Bottle Coffee around the corner, etc… there is no need to choose Cafe Dior when there is an abundance of reasonably-priced, Instagrammable places right next door.

I did have a lot of fun, but this is true with any situation when you’re with the best people. This is all just my experience and opinion, maybe its a one-time-only kind of place or maybe there are those of you who think the ‘Dior’ powdered outline is worth every penny. All I’m saying is I’m not going to lie and say this is an amazing cafe just because the photos look amazing. There needs to be a little more transparency on social media when it comes to these things.

Dior, 162 NE 39th Street, Miami Design District

Dior, 162 NE 39th Street, Miami Design District

#OOTD Cairo Week of 03.01.19
Wearing: F21  dress  | Khan el Khalili Bazaar scarf ( similar )

Wearing: F21 dress | Khan el Khalili Bazaar scarf (similar)

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Wearing: Something Navy  top  | Something Navy  coat  | TopShop  pants

Wearing: Something Navy top | Something Navy coat | TopShop pants

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Wearing: Charlotte Russe blazer (similar) | Kotn  top  | Frame pants

Wearing: Charlotte Russe blazer (similar) | Kotn top | Frame pants

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Wearing: Alexander Wang top ( similar ) | H&M  pants

Wearing: Alexander Wang top (similar) | H&M pants

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Our most recent trip to Egypt was a bit spontaneous (we booked the flights 2 weeks in advanced), because I missed home. Which is strange to say since I was technically born and raised in the US, but my high school years in Cairo deeply impacted who I am today. It’s where I met my husband, my friends, where I bonded with my siblings and family - NY is always home, but Cairo is as well. I didn’t realize how much I needed that trip, as did my sister and Abd-Allah, we were happy. I found myself nostalgic for the good old days, the days where my biggest struggles in life were IB-related and getting back home before curfew (lol).

It’s safe to say I’ll definitely be planning a trip back soon. Traveling to new places is good for the soul, but returning home is an even better feeling.