After traveling anywhere else in the US, I love landing at MIA, walking off the plane and getting hit with all the scents, sights and sounds of Miami: the pastelito and cafecito aromas from La Carreta, the enveloping tropical air and the Spanish-language billboards and PA system announcements. Yes, sometimes it does feel like Miami is a foreign country… and isn’t it great? Ever since I moved here in ’93, I’ve felt that its Latin influence trumped even the fabulous weather as Miami’s best attribute. The first 15 days of October (and the latter half of September) comprise Hispanic Heritage Month, a theme you’ll find throughout this issue.
I couldn’t be happier about landing our Colombian cover star, Shakira—one of my favorite performers, who continues to cross cultural and musical boundaries and courageously speaks up against Arizona’s immigration law. Also for this issue, we’ve expanded our “Fascinante” column, which touts our favorite glamorous Latin finds, and deputy editor Eric Newill highlights the best of Miami’s unexpectedly burgeoning Mexican food scene in “Taste.”
Finally, we wanted to spotlight the new downtown Miami, which has truly come into its own. Bill Kearney’s “Welcome to NoBri” (North of Brickell) coins a name for the neighborhood that’s sprung up between the Viceroy Miami and Bayside Marketplace. Besides the obvious greats such as new high-end hotels (Epic and the JW Marriott Marquis) and decadent restaurants (Il Gabbiano, Zuma), he walks us through the many gems that dot the area’s sometimes dusty and gritty but ever-evolving and colorful blocks. Remember when everything was all about Miami Beach, Brickell and the Gables? It’s incredible that we now have the Upper Eastside, the Design District, Wynwood, the Performing Arts District, Midtown and NoBri: so many incentives for visitors to return and for locals to never leave.
EDITOR IN CHIEF
Cover shoot: Behind the scenes with Pitbull for the October 2014 issue of Ocean Drive magazine.