We’re of the opinion that if you really want to know what’s happening in a given city, the best people to ask are artists…specifically, young artists. They’re the ones who know what’s-what in the ever-shifting cultural landscape. Young Artist Initiative is a Miami organization that goes all-out to present the works of these emerging talents—from music and fashion, painting to music—in imaginative settings all across the city. They do great, vital work. We asked four of YAI’s artists for their favorite Miami spots now, and of course, they gave us the fresh perspective we were expecting. Go see these artists in their natural habitats, and enjoy their insider guide to Magic City.
ELISA SAIN, MULTI-DISCIPLINARY ARTIST
The Anderson"My favorite bar in Miami. Every time I go there, I feel like I'm having the best Friday night of my life. It has great drinks and food, and the music never fails to make me dance. Tip: try the Jamaican patties if I haven't eaten them already."
Sweat Records"Sweat Records is the best place to go if you want to get the pulse of the local music scene. Stop by the bar next door, Churchill's, for a beer."
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science"After years of anticipation, the Museum of Science finally opened, and it was totally worth the wait. The planetarium and laser show are to die for. My favorite thing to do there is to contemplate the architecture. It's a great place to relax and get inspired."
Tower Theater"I've been coming here at least twice a month for the past four years. I love independent films, and even more so when I can watch them with ice cream from Azucar (located across the street)."
RICHIE HELL, MUSICIAN/PRODUCER/DJ
Sweat Records"Best record store in Miami for their hospitality, coffee, and thorough selection of vinyl. They are also great supporters of local talent and organize the coolest events. My favorite is "Classic Album Sundays," where people gather to listen to a classic record with a specific hi-fi sound system. It's just like going to the movies."
North Beach Bandshell"Great outdoor venue by the beach with an awesome and eclectic programming by Rhythm Foundation. There are usually food trucks, local craft beers, and fresh juices."'
Churchill's Pub"Punks, metalheads, loud volume, demolished bathrooms that smell like piss, sticky walls, and getting to know very random and great people. My type of bar."
O Cinema Wynwood"Quiet cinema with a vast selection of B movies, horror classics, and movie geeks. I remember having a blast when they projected Friday the 13th and I was surrounded by Jason fans. Another great night was when 200 fellow Prince fans and I danced while they projected Purple Rain."
Bill Baggs Cape Florida State Park"I go there almost every day, as it is very close to my home. Great trails for biking, walking, or getting lost in nature, as well as nice beaches. I recommend you go during the week as it's quieter. Best sunset spot in Miami."
CHRISTINA ARZA, PHOTOGRAPHER
Vice City Bean"My go-to coffee shop and favorite cold brew in town."
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science"The Frost is one of the newest additions to Miami and it's absolutely magical. I have not yet explored every corner or floor, but am definitely becoming a member. The aquariums, exhibitions, and sunset view over Miami are so inspiring. I expect to be there a lot."
Bal Harbor Beach"Because it's north enough to be private. There is rarely a crowd, and the sand is a different texture—something that won't stick to your hands and feet. The pier is great for watching fishermen and wildlife, and the breaks draw in the surfers. It's where I beach."
Zoom Bloomz"I try to buy fresh flowers as much as I can and I really love the atmosphere at this outdoor shop. It's set up like sort of a drive-through, rustic flower shack conjoined with various pop-ups. The people that run it are very friendly and they have unique flowers."
The Anderson"I live in MiMo and this is my neighborhood bar. I love the overall aesthetic, both inside and out. There was a lot of attention given to detail, which I really appreciate, and there's a free juke box that plays records."
DEREK HUNTER, PAINTER/MURALIST/SCULPTOR
Phillip and Patricia Frost Museum of Science"This long-awaited, brand new addition to Downtown Miami's skyline has awe-inspiring architecture and set a precedence for Miami. Since opening on May 8, 2017, I've personally made several trips back and can't seem to get enough. It's just one of those places where you leave and you feel like you've missed something. Most likely you actually have, because this place is huge, and unless you make an entire day of it, chances are that a second visit will be obligatory. I recommend getting there early to avoid long lines and sold-out planetarium shows."
PAMM"Located in Museum Park just footsteps away from the Museum of Science is Pérez Art Museum Miami, which is equally impressive in its own right. PAMM and the Museum of Science share a symbiotic relationship, and neither overshadows the other. A must-visit."
STK Miami"Whether it's lunch or dinner, you cannot go wrong here! It's conveniently located in the heart of Downtown directly across the street from Museum Park with direct access to Biscayne Boulevard. Craft cocktails, great food, and a resident DJ spinning classic tunes. Make sure to try the lobster mac and cheese!"
Faena Forum"The Museum of Science aside, Faena Forum is at the top of my list of new architecture landmarks. This place is sick! Groundbreaking! Next level! Just what the doctor ordered for Miami. A cultural mecca to say the least, and you can be assured that any art-, entertainment-, or business-related event being held here is something you would not want to miss."
Taquiza"My go-to when 'hangry' and on the run in SoBe. This is definitely where you want to spend Taco Tuesday! Great late-night spot with a super chill, Miami Beach "locals only" kind of vibe. Nothing like grubbin' out on fresh, authentic Mexican tacos, elote, and cold brew under string-lit palm trees surrounded by art deco architecture to a soundtrack of hip-hop and R&B classics. For the adventurous foodie, make sure to try the lengua (beef tongue) taco, a favorite of mine."
1111 Lincoln Road"If you happen to find yourself cruising down Lincoln Road during any time of day or night, be sure to make your way up to the 7th floor of this brutally hard to miss parking garage, located at the western end of Lincoln Road Mall. In my opinion, this might be the best public view of Miami Beach, which spans nearly 360 degrees. The atmospheric lighting and its unique architecture make it an ideal place to snuggle up with your hunny while listening to the city breathe below. Many ideas have come to me there, some of which have already materialized, and others I'm still working on. This place is pure magic!"