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Impressions of Miami

Miami Beaches

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.

Miami Beaches

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.

Miami Fashion & Dogs

Many appear to be engaging in the struggle to achieve the perfect human body.

Spanish Nouvelles in Miami

They make frail human features like skinny pale arms and a fragile woman with down syndrome sipping coffee, stand out from the crowd.

Miami Water Sports

Neighborhoods change quickly, presenting an extreme patchwork of economic and social colors.

Liberty City Miami

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.

The Projects, Liberty City Miami

Miami Projects

Cuban flags and Haitian art work line the streets in the neighbourhoods of Little Havana and Little Haiti.

Miami Art

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.

Miami Culture

Miami Art

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.

Miami Cubans

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.

Miami Business

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.

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Maggie says:

Beautiful compilation! I like the distinctness of the two pictures around “Neighborhoods change quickly, presenting an extreme patchwork of economic and social colors.” It shows that Miami is not all rich people and bikini babes.

Tran says:

“Bouncin’ in the club where the heat is on…all night on the beach til the break of dawn…I’m going to Miami!” Miami beckons….

Jason says:

Miami always beckons!

Jason says:

You can rent kite boards.

Claire says:

I visited Miami for a work trip. I wasn’t particularly excited about going there, but when I got there I found it to be awesome. I definitely felt like it was another country, and that my Spanish was a little better. I’d go back.

Lachlan Wittick says:

Yeah, it does feel like another country. It’s great you got to give your Spanish a work out, I found it a great place to practice. I found lots of people were really receptive when I gave the language a go.

Thanks for the comment 🙂

This really is a great, realistic look at Miami from a travelers perspective. I’m a native Floridian and still feel a little like an interloper depending on where I go.

That’s why I like Tampa better 🙂

Jason says:

It’s still tough to get used to. Well, we will be in St. Pete for the first time in a few weeks, so we will let you know our impressions.

Dave McLane says:

Nice photos and clear clean text … but doesn’t make me want to go there.

Jason says:

That’s okay Dave, it wasn’t an article trying to entice one to visit Miami, it was more about what an outsider seas or thinks when they visit for the first time. Miami is like another country to many, if your not Spanish, and it can be a bit overwhelming. Thanks for visiting our site!

Andrea says:

Great photos! I lived in Miami for four years and it seems to be just as I remember it =)

Andrea, thanks for letting me know. It feels great to know I’ve painted a somewhat accurate picture!

Miami is a very cosmopolitan city with surprising sights, many languages, multiple cultural groups everywhere, and contrasts between old/new, rich/poor, young/old that never end. The nightlife is amazing. Your post portrays the many sides of this city very well. Very nice photos, thank you for sharing.

Totally. The multicultural nature of Miami even made me ask sometimes if I was still in the US!

Great pics, they really capture the excitement of the city. I’m hoping to finally visit Miami later this year.

Yeah Scott, if you decide to go good times will await!

Madhu Nair says:

Interesting post … I have never been to Miami, but this is exactly what I have perceived in my mind 🙂 Nice pictures !!!

No worries Madhu! If you get the chance to go, take it.

Yeah, I was quite surprised how Latino Miami is – very cool!

Yeah totally Roy. In fact, some say that if you cant get to Cuba, little Havana is the next stop for those interested in Cuba.

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