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.

IMG_20190516_140432_532.jpg

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.

 
IMG_5829.JPG

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!

Heaven lies Beneath Her Feet
IMG_6667.JPG

"All that I am or ever hope to be, I owe to my angel mother."

"A mother is the truest friend we have."

"The life of a mother is the life of her child: the two are blossoms on a single branch"

"A mother is the most beautiful gift life offers us." 

 

They say heaven lies beneath a mother's feet, so imagine the feeling of her embrace. A mother is she who can take the place of all others, but whose place no one else can take. Mother's Day has come and gone, and I witnessed a numerous posts filled with love and dedication on social media. It got me thinking, the only true emotions are the ones between a mother and her child.

I’ve witnessed sons and daughters yell at their mothers out of frustration. In the moment, I’d wonder if they only knew the pain of losing a mother, would they reconsider their actions? Think about missed opportunities; a kind word unsaid, not hugging good-bye, wishing you had a chance to redo certain moments… We tend to lose grasp of the value of everyday interactions until we lose someone we know. After all, we are human. It's only natural for us to make mistakes. The older I get, the more I learn the value of time spent with my mother. This goes beyond Mother's Day. There’s no need for a specific day or a reason to hug our mothers. To bring her flowers. To dedicate time and words to express how much she means. Everyday should be Mother’s Day.

There (is) nothing more beautiful or heartwarming than my mother's smile. The simple sight of her smile would bring me to tears. A few years ago, when my siblings and I were all attending college, my mom actually thought we were too grown and didn’t need her anymore. Imagine. She cried as she told me. My heart sank, but I couldn't help laughing as I hugged her because what she thought couldn't be further from the truth. She (is) my everything. Every time I ran to her when I was sad or called her to tell her about my day, I'd remind her of the time she thought I didn't need her anymore and she'd laugh. But it wasn't her fault that she felt that way, it was my job to make her feel like the angel she (is). 

I knew her before I knew life. I only knew life with her in it. When she was ill, it was my job to care for her. The one day I got sick and couldn't get out of bed, I begged her not to. I begged her to rest, but she told me nothing could keep her from taking care of her child. The pain of seeing me suffer was more than the pain she felt while suffering from her illness. That day, she willed herself to get up and take care of me. 

This post isn't a Mother's Day gift guide or an #ad on Instagram… No. It is a reminder. 

A reminder to have patience with your mother. A reminder that although Mother’s Day has passed, embrace and appreciate your mother anyways. Remember that she may not always be perfect, but she truly is the most precious gift in your life. I realize not everyone has the best relationship with their mother, but a mother is a caretaker. Whether she is your grandmother, aunt, friend, sister. The force our mothers' exert on our hearts is stronger than gravity, and never leaves us. My mom thanked me for choosing her as a mother, when truthfully, I could thank God every day for the rest of my life and it still would not be enough to account for the blessing and honor of having her as a mother. 

Happy Mother's Day

 

Currently Obsessed — Spring
Simply Gharib_Fall Wishlist-1.jpg

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