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LUXE City Guides - Miami - - Front Page -

Bien­venidos a Mi­ami! Why, you’re not in Amer­ica any­more, Dorothy. This pas­tel deco and condo won­der­land of celebs n’ poseurs, hus­tle n’ mus­cle, golden tans, white sands and the mag­nif­i­cent big blue above and be­yond is the gate­way to Latin Amer­ica and the door­bitch to he­do­nism. But it’s not all toasted hoot­ers and Cuban pol­i­tics, the City of Thong and Dance boasts an en­vi­able in­ter­na­tional art scene, fab vin­tage shop­ping and jet­set fash­ion. Carla, get your kaftan...

Overview

Mi­ami is more than the isle of Mi­ami Beach, or specif­i­cally South Beach (SoBe, the south­ern half of Mi­ami Beach up to 23rd St). Down­town and Brick­ell biz district sit along Biscayne Bay, Lit­tle Ha­vana lies west, Co­conut Grove and Co­ral Gables ex­tend south­west, edgy-cool Wyn­wood, the De­sign District and Up­per East Side ex­tend north. Va­mos!

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Balmy Dec-Apr is a whirl­wind of peo­ple and par­ties. Hot, moist and blowy hur­ri­cane sea­son hits Jun-Nov, crowds de­part, busi­nesses close or cut hours – san­ity pre­vails Ho­tel prices sky­rocket on week­ends, es­pe­cially Dec-Apr Mi­ami Int’l Air­port to SoBe: 20 mins / $32 fixed fare + tips + fuel sur­charge by taxi ($25 to Down­town) Taxis are best for SoBe, but there’s much more to Mi­ami, so get out and ex­plore – you’ll need a car (see V. Use­ful) GPS is not es­sen­tial. Mi­ami’s easy to nav­i­gate grid sys­tem be­gins Down­town at 0/0 at the junc­tion of Mi­ami Ave and Fla­gler St. e.g. 4000 NE 2nd Ave is NE of 0/0 on 2nd Ave at 40th St. Lop the last two dig­its off to get the cross street Streets gen­er­ally run east/west, Av­enues north/south Mi­ami Beach fol­lows the same prin­ci­ple, on a dif­fer­ent grid Park­ing and valet is an in­dus­try and a law unto it­self, es­pe­cially on SoBe – you’ll be fleeced at ho­tels, restos and pri­vately ‘pa­trolled’ carparks. There’s of­ten street park­ing and mu­nic­i­pal-run lots and garages nearby Take ad­van­tage of handy De­coBike hourly bike-shar­ing scheme with sta­tions all over Mi­ami Beach / de­cobike.com Try to be bi – Span­ish and English are equally widely used Sales tax is 7%, among the low­est in the US. Spend up! Mi­ami is not known for ser­vice, yet many restau­rants au­to­mat­i­cally tack on a 15-18% tip. Check the check. No smok­ing in restos, but OK in bars, clubs and out­side Ladies, skimp on quan­tity, not qual­ity when it comes to dress­ing, and gents, look sharp, but ditch the tie The city books out with con­ven­tions all year – plan ahead Mi­ami proper is still rough, esp. at night, so don’t walk Pace your­self papi, bars close 5am in SoBe, 3am in Mi­ami Drink­ing age is 21, carry photo ID for venue en­try In an emer­gency (not bad hair or chipped nails) dial 911 Int’l code is +1. 305 and 786 are the two main area codes, which you must dial even when call­ing lo­cal

A cou­ple of phrases you will def­i­nitely hear:

Oye Ma­macita! - [Cuban wolf whis­tle] Hello, gor­geous! Sorry, the sunbeds are all re­served – Honey, you’ve got more bush than Aus­tralia, ever heard of wax...?

fi­esta, fi­esta, fi­esta...

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