Monday, December 22, 2008

Historical Coricals

Miami is blessed with beautiful coral structures. Mostly these are private residences in Coral Gables, but pictured here are two beautiful public places where you can go and loiter about. My friend was visiting from Minnesota for Art Basel, and, like me, she likes places with a good story and a significant atmosphere. 

I took her on a whirlwind tour of Basel parties and Miami spots. This included Miami Beach and Shark Valley as our outdoorsy adventures. But to satisfy her lust for history and the bizarre, we 
stopped by my third favorite house in Coral Gables (after my own and my parents'), the Merrick House.

Visiting the Merrick House was one of my favorite field trips when I was younger. The house on Coral Way is listed in the National Register of Historical Places, and was once lived in by George Merrick, the city's founder. It's open for tours only a few hours a day, but it's worthwhile. The lawn is lush with secret coral grottos. If you walk around the side of the house, there's a pond with koi fish and fern.  It has the feel of the city that I always reveled in as a child, and for which I'm still nostalgic. It can be defined by the damp air and grass under a canopy of vegetation, just 
waiting to be found. And once you find it, it's thick ghosts and feeling. Ohhh, I love it.  
After traipsing around the Gables, we drove down to Coral Castle in Homestead, a place I enjoyed as a kid, as well. One of the tour guides brought us around and showed us all the little fun things we wouldn't have noticed otherwise. For 
instance, the Florida Table, which has a little hole filled with water to symbolize Lake Okeechobee. This outdoor palace was built by Ed, one sad, Latvian bastard. He was heartbroken after being left by his fiance, and the mini-man (he was 5 feet tall) mined his own building materials and put together this conceptual home-house-art piece. 

Not far from there is downtown Homestead, a great place for Mexican and a taste of historical Americana. There's also Robert 
is Here, where you can eye tortoises and ostriches, while sipping a tropical fruit milkshake. 

The point is, there is so much more to do in Miami than checking out bad boob jobs and getting shitty. So, get out there and enjoy this city, because I know you're broke and aren't taking a vacation again until the economy improves. Have fun. 

1 comment:

Emily Sue said...

Thank you for showing me the atypical side of Miami! Though I did enjoy looking at the mannequin with disastrously large fake breasts...