The sun was setting over the Bahia Honda Rail Bridge

Once part of the East Coast Railway, it connected the Bahia Honda Key with the Spanish Harbor Key. A road was built on top of the railway, so it became part of the original Overseas Highway. Later, a new bridge was built replacing the old route, and the original one was abandoned. Two if its spans were removed leaving a gap to allow boats to go through and glorious sunsets be framed between them.  A perfect picture to take back to New York: an idyllic sunset looking west and a mini rainbow far away, east.

Bahia Honda Key, Florida

February 3rd, 2018

Life on Key West

Here we are, on the Southernmost Point of the Continental U.S. How an archipelago sitting between the Atlantic Ocean and Gulf of Mexico can be considered ”Continental” is beyond me, but that’s what a concrete buoy-marker claims. It also claims that Cuba is just 90 miles away and that’s just about right (although, again, not exactly). And, after a closer look at the map, I doubt the ”southernmost” part too; some parts towards Fort Zachary Taylor at the tip of the island, seem to be more southern. Not that anyone cares for such details – life on Key West is an all day-long party; and that’s all that matters.

February 2nd, 2018

The Seven Mile Bridge

A lone fisherman. A truck. A bird. A tiny island. A bridge so long one can never see its other end. Frankly, I would drive back and forth on the Seven Mile Bridge, even if it went nowhere, just to grasp its enormity. But only in calm weather. I wouldn’t even think about crossing it during a storm. Now that must be a sight to behold!

February 2nd, 2018

Cape Florida Lighthouse || Key Biscayne

Time flies in a blink of an eye when you have fun, but we won’t go back to the cold yet. Not before we discovered the Keys, starting with the one closest to Miami, Key Biscayne. With Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park in the south end, a lovely beach and calm seas thanks to an offshore reef that keeps waves low and rip currents weak, and a beautifully restored lighthouse open to the public, Key Biscayne looks and feels like vacation – the ideal unwinding spot.  If ever we go back to Miami, this is where we will stay.

February 1st, 2018

Miami Vice

There’s no escape for first timers in Miami: a millionaire’s row sightseeing cruise is a must. Boats sail around Star, Palm and Hibiscus Islands, offering great views of the city and port, glimpses of some of the most luxurious mansions imaginable and serious name-dropping: Gloria Estefan, Julio Iglesias, Elisabeth Taylor, Will Smith, Shaquille O’Neal… hard to remember them all.

In reality, not everyone resides or has ever owned property on the island, but who can blame the tour guides for wanting to give tourists a blown up version of the story? One look at these mega-mansions and I was ready to believe every word.

Take, for example, Phillip Frost: the pharmaceutical billionaire, who owns one of the largest properties on Star Island, was matter-of-factly credited by our guide with the invention of Viagra. On another note, we also learned that the palm trees lining the grounds of his property at the waterfront were imported from South Africa at a cost of $10.000 each (there were more than 30 of them). A quick post-tour search showed one of these facts was false – guess which one.

Oh well, not all is lost, however, because … yes, Don Johnson also stayed here during the Miami Vice years. Now, what about Crockett’s Theme by Jan Hammer, in my opinion, one of the best soundtracks for a TV series, ever?

January 31st, 2018

Miami Vibes || Art Deco

Because we all need a break from the harsh New York winter in January. And because, where better to escape the cold than tropical Miami with an average high of 76°F/25°C and mostly dry days? We flew there, then drove all the way down to Key West – but first things first: South Beach and the Art Deco district. A feast for the eyes of an art deco lover (and those of a fancy car/loud Latino dance music/young crowd/strong drinks aficionado). South Beach is Miami’s glamorous party district, it seems. A bit overwhelming at first, but easy to get used to, if one stayed long enough.

January 28th, 2018

Chicago || In the Loop

The elevated Loop, part of the iconic Chicago ”L” circuit, looping around a rectangle in downtown Chicago. It runs right in front of many windows of shops, gyms, offices – thankfully, no private apartments. Sometimes so close, it might as well run through them.

From the moment we arrived here, we felt that Chicago is what Manhattan would have been, had it not been an island: orderly, clean, with enough space for development; where pedestrians need not fight for the last millimetre of  pavement space; and with its ”L” trains still running.  Still in the Loop, almost time to leave but not before catching glimpses into two more lobbies: this is the City of Chicago City Hall and, further down, the One North LaSalle Building, with its lavish art deco cathedral for a lobby.

Lobby hopping in the Loop, Chicago

November 5th, 2017