a little culture

Saturday was Smithsonian Museum Day, so my b-chan and I went to the Bass Museum of Art on Miami Beach for a mix of modern art, Rennaissance masterpieces, and a story-filled scavenger hunt. The Bass was one of the art museums that I never got around to visiting when I was in high school (my art teacher loved taking us on field trips), so it was a treat to finally go. It was also an unexpected surprise, for such a small place, they really do have some amazing pieces. Miami isn’t necessarily known for its high art collections, but the “Endless Rennaissance” exhibit provides a nice glimpse of the masters. The “Tiny Stories” collection of… well… tiny stories–short vignettes scattered throughout the gallery–was also interesting, part of the fun was finding the stories, some printed on cards no larger than a business card, tucked away around corners and posted on the outside of the building.

The building itself also presents an interesting mix of traditional and modern.


Bass Museum

I also got a chance to visit the Miami Beach Public Library, located across the street from the museum. I get a kick out of visiting libraries around town; the Main Library in Downtown is wonderful, but if I could, I think I would love to work at this particular branch. The place was full of patrons of all ages. The first floor houses the main collection, a computer lab, and a section showcasing new arrivals. The second floor features and area that is specially designed for children and teens up to age 21, a YA room, a children’s room, and a storytelling room. The reading areas are very spacious and there is a lot of natural light, making it a very welcoming space. I would love to spend some time here reading, if only it weren’t so far.

Miami Beach Library

on street vendors in the summertime

One of the more interesting (unusual?) aspects of living in the city that shall remain nameless are the fruit vendors that you encounter on street corners and parading down busy streets during the rush hour gridlock. It’s not actually a Miami-wide phenomenon; I have actually had friends from other parts of Miami drive by and wonder at the sight of a fruit/flower/churro/peanut vendor walking past their car. It’s a different form of local industry–not quite a farmer’s market, but close enough. Usually, you find lemons and oranges from $1-5 a bag, maybe some avocadoes. But come summertime, it’s watermelon season! And these are usually the best watermelons, sold off the back of some pickup on the side of the road. Unlike the dry, whitish, over-priced melons at the local grocery chain, these tend to be fresh and juicy, and probably from the local farms in the Redlands.

Yay! for local produce and delicious red melony goodness 🙂