Impression provided by Lachlan Wittick.
Interstate toll collectors wear loose fitting tropical shirts on approach into Miami. Baseball caps are pressed over their bulbous glasses, covering faces etched into permanent frowns.
Businessmen in polo shirts yak on the phone, driving top down convertibles.
Apartment buildings lining the beach out reach the skyscrapers in the central business district. They’re an instant reminder that Miami is just as famous for retirees looking for a sea change as it is for economic output.
A relaxed, cosmopolitan atmosphere fills the Friday afternoon air. American tourists lap it up, having traveled south for a break from the cold snap.
Locals enjoy extra time in the sun, finishing early due to shortened working hours – a product of the
Global Financial Crisis.
Locals shopping on Lincoln road near the famous south beach, strut like celebrities wanting to be noticed. Fashonistas wear premium European brands sporting deep fake tans and tiny dogs, only willing to join the crowds when stopping in at McDonald’s for a burger and fries.
Many appear to be engaging in the struggle to achieve the perfect human body.
They make frail human features like skinny pale arms and a fragile woman with down syndrome sipping coffee, stand out from the crowd.
Neighborhoods change quickly, presenting an extreme patchwork of economic and social colors.
Waterfront palaces on the famous Star Island merge into dollar stores, run down high schools and the projects of Liberty city; a district made famous for it’s portrayal in the video game Grand Theft Auto.
Cuban flags and Haitian art work line the streets in the neighbourhoods of Little Havana and Little Haiti.
Advertisements in Spanish and Creole posted on power poles act as a reminder of how English is only one of several dominant languages that make up this city.
Cubans dance in line while waiting for their order. An armed guard lazily puffs on a cigar, waiting for his partner to finish up inside the bank.
Even the banks are overflowing with Latin American money, stored by Hispanic investors afraid of a natural disaster or government fall out in their home country. It’s often said that Miami is the biggest financial hub in central America.
However, beyond Miami’s initial image of wealth and glamor incredible diversity is to be found, if you’re willing to look for it.
See more of Lachlan Wittick’s photos on flickr.