Archive of ‘TRAVEL’ category

TravelLove : Iniva

One of my favorite things about traveling is throwing away my time schedule and just wandering around new neighborhoods. It’s as if new adventures and treasures await around each corner.  While I was walking around Wynwood Arts District during my last trip to Miami, I discovered one such place.

INIVA 

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As it says on their website, “INIVA Miami is a concept store where traditional Africa meets modern Africa.”

The name “INIVA” which means “treasures” in Gabonese dialect, perfectly corresponds to what they want to showcase: treasures of African design and fashion, allying tradition to modernity. Make the ethnic chic their credo! For it they made a selection of about ten artists, associations and craftsmen from Gabon, Burkina Faso, Kenya, Tanzania, Senegal, Cameroon.

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Just as the name suggests, the store is chock full of vibrant colors and unique pieces that not only capture the incredible artistry of the cultures they represent but also embody a style all their own.

Everywhere I turned there was another piece that captivated my attention and drew me further into the store.  The Iniva team was also so welcoming and accommodating as they helped me find the perfect items to bring home with me.

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Fair trade is also a core value for the team, as the store aims to provide incredible African artisans with access to new markets, all while blending their amazing style with the uber-cool Miami vibe. The result is an inventory of pieces that each feel hand crafted just for you.

I would definitely recommend that you wander by Iniva when next you find yourself in Miami.

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TravelLove : Wynwood Arts District

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One of my most favorite places that I have yet to visit in life is the Wynwood Arts District in downtown Miami. That’s not a small statement by any means. I have had the privilege of traveling to quite a few incredible places but nothing quite captures my heart in the same way that this few block radius does.

The Wynwood Arts District is home to over 70 Art Galleries, Retail Stores, Antique Shops, Eclectic Bars, and one of the largest open-air street-art installations in the world.

Artists from all over the world have traveled here to leave a bit of their genius on the walls of these otherwise nondescript buildings.  As you wander the back streets and alleyways each turn reveals a whole new world of creativity.

This world is but a canvas to our imagination. – Henry David Thoreau

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At the center of the neighborhood is, Wynwood Walls, the brain child of Tony Goldman, who in 2009 was looking for a way to revive the warehouse district of Miami.

Wynwood’s large stock of warehouse buildings, all with no windows, would be my giant canvases to bring to them the greatest street art ever seen in one place…By presenting it in a way that has not been done before, I was able to expose the public to something they had only seen peripherally.- Tony Goldman

The blocks that make up this district are as diverse as the artists who have created them.  Every color imaginable can be found and while each piece of art speaks to a whole new world they simultaneously give a visual to the ever vibrant soul of the city they call home.

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I Remember Paradise – Artist : Lakwena

This is the piece of art that originally drew me to this area early last year.  The artist, Lakwena, is phenomenal and just so happens to be the sister of one of my dear friends, Kilara. My friend offhandedly suggested I check out the area if I “grew tired of the beach” during my trip their earlier this year.  While I thought the likelihood of EVER tiring of the blue water of Miami Beach was remote, I tucked her suggestion away in my mind for, quite literally, a rainy day. I’ve never been so happy to have taken that suggestion.

While I wasn’t able to capture all of the artists’ names whose work is pictured above,  you can see a list of the artists who have worked in the area here.

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I was lucky to catch the artist, Diana Contreras (aka Didirok) working on this new piece in Wynwood during my last visit.

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I find it hard to really put into words why I love this place as much as I do, but I just do. I think this quote captures my sentiments perfectly.

I found I could say things with color and shapes that I couldn’t say any other way – things I had no words for. – Georgia O’Keeffe

I hope that if your adventures ever find you in the vicinity of Wynwood you will visit and in turn take the invitation to color outside the lines.

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p.s. Want more Wynwood?  Here’s a few other fun posts I found around the interwebs about this awesome area : Love Shayda, Everyday Wynwood, & Wynwood Art Walk.

Miami in Color

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All photos taken on my iPhone 6

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