Our New, New York!

What I miss most about central New England is the diversity and excitement of a big city lifestyle: our old neighborhood was less than an hour’s commute to Boston via car or public transit and if we wanted something bigger, NYC was an inexpensive 3.5 hour busride away :arrow: faster on days we didn’t value our lives and took the Fung Wah, but I digress! ;)

Yesterday I told you we spent the weekend on Miami’s South Beach, and by the end of this post I’m sure you’ll agree:

South Beach, Miami,

We’ve found our “new” New York! :)

Collins Ave, South Beach. daytime

Hustle and bustle by day….

Collins Ave, South Beach nighttime

…..and by night!

We stayed at the Catalina on Collins Ave, a hip and happening street of Art Deco style buildings for which Miami Beach is famous. What a fantastic hotel! Two restaurants open 24hrs:

Maxine's, 24hr Restaurant

Maxine’s, 24hr Restaurant

On Sunday, Maxine’s serves Jazz with coffee:

Jazz at Maxine's

The other 24hr place is The Red Cafe, with seating in the lobby

Red Cafe 24hr Restaurant

Red Cafe Lobby Seating

And outside on informal comfortable couches:

Red Cafe Outdoor Seating at Catalina Hotel

My favorite spot for people watching..especially at 2am!

Off the lobby we spied the cutest place to relax after our Saturday shopping marathon:

Bamboo Lounge, Catalina Hotel

Maggie’s favorite spot at the Catalina!

See the white curtained area in the back?  That’s actually a queen size bed :roll: The hotel had them everywhere in the common areas, especially poolside:

poolside beds at Catalina hotel

Maggie examines the poolside beds!

There was a second pool (with full bar) on the rooftop, also ringed with beds but you’ll have to take my word for it :arrow: only a wierdo perv takes pictures of people lounging in/on beds ;)  Instead, I took photos of the rooftop view:

View of Marseilles Hotel from Catalina Rooftop

View of Marseilles Hotel from Catalina Rooftop

View from Catalina Rooftop Pool

Weather wasn’t the greatest, but the view sure was!

Lest you think we never left the hotel…nay…nay!!!  South Beach shopping is akin to Olympic level sport, and Maggie and I are nothing if not well-trained!! ;)  Within an hour of our arrival we set out for Lincoln Road, South Beach’s answer to 5th Ave or Rodeo Drive.  From Allsaints-Spitalfields to Zara,  every high-end shop you can imagine is represented along this gorgeous open-air mall with sidewalk cafes and manicured parks:Lincoln Rd. South Beach Shopping

Lincoln Rd. South Beach

A nice spot to sit a spell!

We found a Farmer’s Market where Maggie bought some unusual ethnic spices and teas!

Farmers' Market on Lincoln Rd. South Beach

But even here among the upper crust are signs of the Great Recession:

Empty Retail along Lincoln Rd.

Who will lease this empty retail space?

We did our part for the economy, shopping at Lucky, Express, Rainbow, and a beach outfitters shop called Wings

Karen at Wings

Look! Better than a Zip lock bag !!!

Armed with my new waterproof beach wallet, we set off for the sand.  Along the way, Maggie took a rest in a floating “egg”

Maggie in the Floating Egg

Isn’t this a funny “yolk?” ;)

As we approached the beach, the weather was cloudy with a chance of doom:

18th St. Beach Access, South Beach

18th St Beach Access, South Beach (view from behind)

The view behind us as we entered the beach club

We knew we couldn’t stay long….just long enough to snap these pics:

Catalina Beach Club South Beach

Catalina Beach Club South Beach 2

Run for your life!!!!

Time to go!!!

Miami Skyline

Goodbye, “new” New York!!!! We’ll be back!!