My name is Vanessa Granda. I am a 24 year old, Visual Arts Major raised and currently living in Miami, Florida. You can say my interest in photography sort of developed organically. I guess it all started with my fondness of documentation. When I was younger, I would write about moments, people and experiences in my life. I decided one day, that I wanted photographs to coincide with my writings. So, I went out and bought my first camera and the rest is history.
Most of the images I take are just me people watching. I don't wait for the right moment; I just start snapping and find the magic in moments later.
On Miami's culture and what it's like to live in vs. vacation the city.
There's a phrase used quite often by Miami's inhabitants, "we live where you vacation", and it's not far away from the truth. Living here isn't really different from visiting. On the contrary, it's very similar. There's always something to do because the party here never really stops; every event or lounge is filled with tourists and locals alike. I think people who live here, treat their life as a never ending vacation because we have near perfect weather, beautiful beaches, and drop dead gorgeous people.
Miami is not your typical American city and is influenced primarily by Latin American culture. The majority of the people are either latin or of latin decent and I think that's what makes Miami unique. Here, you don't even need to understand or speak a word of english and I think it's kind of beautiful, It's like living in a foreign city all the time.
On the best neighborhoods to explore while in Miami:
There are ALOT of worthwhile neighborhoods to explore in Miami.
- There's the graffiti engulfed Wynwood; a recently gentrified neighborhood where all you have to do is walk around because the art is on the walls. It's also home to a few quaint bars, art galleries and a monthly 'art walk'.
- The Cuban-Inspired Little Havana, where there's a park solely dedicated to playing dominoes and shops where you can get a magnificent Cuban cigar.
- The famous South Beach. Surrounded by Art Deco buildings, South Beach is center stage for eccentric locals, college students, seniors, celebrities, incomparable night life and of course, the beach itself.
The best under the radar restaurants to try:
The first thing that popped into my mind is not even a place at all, it's a food truck: Mz. Cheezious. As a self proclaimed grilled cheese extraordinaire, these are the best I've ever had and under $7.
Then there's Kush, a tiny hole in the wall place located in the Wynwood neighborhood where they serve only organic & fresh dishes while also offering a great selection of local beer. The chicken & waffles are to die for and the brownie they have on the menu is heavenly. It's a must try.
The best beaches and hotels:
South Beach is hands down the best beach for people watching, tanning and waves. Regarding hotels, there is quite the selection of beautiful hotels lined up on Miami Beach. The W, The Fontainebleau and my favorite, The Mondrian. The Mondrian has an incredible view of the ocean, the miami skyline and the sunset. With it's crisp white interior and beautiful pool side, it's definitely the prettiest hotel in Miami.
The best museums and art galleries to visit:
It's unfortunate that Miami is home to few galleries and museums. However, our new PAMM museum is quite incredible and hosts a huge exhibit with the works by one of my favorite artist, Ai Wei. Aside from the PAMM, Wynwood offers some quality galleries with art for every taste.
On the one common misconception of Miami she would like to debunk:
The most common misconception of Miami would probably be that it's always sunny. Contrary to popular belief, Miami is bipolar when it comes to weather. We have a saying, "if you don't like the weather in Miami, wait five minutes".
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