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Monday, January 31, 2011

CAR SHARING TREND GROWS AS URBAN DWELLERS SEEK INEXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE HIGH PRICE OF VEHICLE OWNERSHIP -- part 2


CAR SHARING TREND GROWS AS URBAN DWELLERS SEEK INEXPENSIVE
ALTERNATIVE TO THE HIGH PRICE OF VEHICLE OWNERSHIP


By Steve Wright

With rates starting at $4.45 per hour plus 25 cents per mile and a fleet of 250 vehicles ranging from super fuel-efficient hybrids to trucks for hauling large items, PhillyCarShare is one of the most successful nonprofit car sharing organizations in the U.S.

In addition to individual consumers, PhillyCarShare has developed a substantial business clientele, with more than 1,200 businesses using the pay-by-the-hour service.

“Several large Realtors in the Philadelphia area use PhillyCarShare” PhillyCarShare Executive Director Gerald A. Furgione said. “They use them for picking up clients, for doing business. They also show people newly moving to the city that they can have access to a car without making car payments, insurance, paying for garaging, maintenance, gas and parking.”

Like most car sharing firms, PhillyCarShare has worked with the city of Philadelphia to get reserved on-street and garage spaces for their vehicles at a nominal price.

The various vehicles are near transit stations and areas of high urban density.
“People can park our cars closer to their house (in reserved car sharing spaces) than they could find a spot for their own car,” Furgione said. “They save money and find they can buy more house. They also cut down an emissions and go green – which is very important to many city residents and all of us.”

PhillyCarShare also has worked with more than 100 local merchants to provide its members with discounts at everything from comedy clubs and restaurants to hair salons, lawyers and accountants. Furgione said well-marked spaces and logos on cars are just a part of the marketing for the growing trend.

“We partnered with city of Philadelphia with a major program that helped them reduce their fleet cars by giving city employees access to PhillyCarShare cars,’’ Furgione said. “The city reduced its municipal fleet by 330 cars and saved more than $6 million over a four-year period. Now several cities are following that lead.”

TOMORROW: Ken Rub, Washington D.C.
Wright frequently writes about Smart Growth and sustainable communities. He recently participated in the prestigious Forum on Land and the Built Environment: The Reinvented City sponsored by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Contact him at: stevewright64@yahoo.com

Sunday, January 30, 2011

CAR SHARING TREND GROWS AS URBAN DWELLERS SEEK INEXPENSIVE ALTERNATIVE TO THE HIGH PRICE OF VEHICLE OWNERSHIP


CAR SHARING TREND GROWS AS URBAN DWELLERS SEEK INEXPENSIVE
ALTERNATIVE TO THE HIGH PRICE OF VEHICLE OWNERSHIP


By Steve Wright

Car sharing is rapidly growing in the United States as way of reducing the high cost of buying, insuring, garaging and maintaining a car.

Car-sharing is a service that provides members with access to a fleet of vehicles on an hourly basis. Members reserve a car online or by phone, walk to the nearest parking space, open the doors with an electronic key card, and drive off.

They are billed by the hour or by a combination of hourly rate plus mileage. Car sharing can substitute for car ownership, especially for those who can commute to work and shopping by taking transit, walking or bicycling. At the workplace, it provides access to a vehicle for business use and personal errands during the day, allowing employees to avoid driving to work – which in turn reduces traffic congestion.

Zipcar is by far the nation’s largest for-profit car sharing service. Since 2004, Zipcar has experienced 100%+ growth annually in its membership base. In a difficult economy, car sharing is on the rise; more than 10,000 new members join Zipcar's service each month.

Unlike rental cars that also come with lots of extra charges, car sharing is all-inclusive. Zipcar’s rates start at $6 per hour and include gas, parking, insurance and maintenance. Zipcar offers more than 30 makes and models of self‐service vehicles by the hour or day to its 350,000 members. It has 6,000 cars located in urban areas and college campuses throughout 28 North American states and provinces.

Car sharing has become so popular that auto giants Hertz, Enterprise, U-Haul and Daimler have jumped into the business alongside other successful nonprofit car sharing organizations in several major cities.

TOMORROW: PhillyCarShare

Wright frequently writes about Smart Growth and sustainable communities. He recently participated in the prestigious Forum on Land and the Built Environment: The Reinvented City sponsored by the Nieman Foundation for Journalism at Harvard University, Lincoln Institute of Land Policy and Harvard University Graduate School of Design. Contact him at: stevewright64@yahoo.com

Saturday, January 29, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 24



MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts a panoramic view capturing all that is historic, beautiful and alluring in Miami Beach. This neon-lit night shot covers the 700 block of Ocean Drive -- beloved by photographers the world over.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

This concludes our month of Miami Beach Art Deco photos and words by Steve Wright, a Pulitzer Prize-nominated journalist and gallery-exhibited artist. Contact him at stevewright64@yahoo.com

Friday, January 28, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 23


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts the world renown neon blue sign makes the Colony Hotel, in the 700 block of Ocean Drive, one of the most photographed sites on all of South Beach.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Thursday, January 27, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 22


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Starlite Hotel in the 700 block of Ocean Drive, which has a beautiful pylon-style neon sign.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 21


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Hotel Victor in the 1600 block of Ocean Drive, is a best of both worlds merger of preserved 1937 art deco with modern 2003 addition that provides outstanding wheelchair access to its many levels of restaurant, spa and shopping uses.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 20


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts the Miami Beach time/temp/date monument in Lummus Park right next door the magnificently-restored Ocean Auditorium at 10th Street & Ocean Drive. Tourists love to get their picture taken at this landmark.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Monday, January 24, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 19


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts the fabled Moon over Miami (Beach) looming over the Ritz Plaza at Collins & 17th. Hopefully, the Moon will work its magic for the 12-story gem once known as the Grossinger Beach Hotel, for the 1939 classic is not so ritzy these days.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Sunday, January 23, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 18


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts For those overwhelmed by neon-bright elevators and Alice in Wonderland decor at the Delano, a respite of classic art deco exists next door at the National, where everything from the bar to decorative barber chairs capture the early 1940s, when the National was built.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Saturday, January 22, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 17


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Marseilles, in the 1700 block of Collins Avenue near Lincoln Road, is one of many Miami Beach hotels named for another magical destination on the globe.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Friday, January 21, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 16



MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The interior of the Delano is pure Phillipe Starck -- white curtains, oversized furniture and fantasy -- and the beginning of the boutique hotel revival of the mid-1990s.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Thursday, January 20, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 15


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts the Delano and National Hotels create iconic images in the 1600 block of Collins Avenue.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 14


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The U.S. Post Office on Washington Avenue at 13th Street is an excellent example of streamline moderne deco.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 13


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Sherbrooke Hotel, Collins Avenue at 9th Street, won the 2004 Barbara Baer Capitman Award For Excellence In Historic Preservation.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Monday, January 17, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 12


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Whitelaw Hotel at Collins Avenue and 8th Street is departure from the pastel colors of South Beach, with its clean and elegant deco details highlighted by simple bands of gray against white.

For more Art Deco details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Sunday, January 16, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 11



MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Clevelander -- the party hotel in a sea of party spots along Ocean Drive. The entire pool area is a bar and the property at 10th and Ocean has more bars than one can count.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Saturday, January 15, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 10


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts a textbook example of an art deco hotel sign comes with a story that doesn't make much sense. For ages, the hotel was known as the Tiffany -- thus the sign. But when a certain upscale jeweler got the lawyers involved, the sign remained but the name changed to simply "The Hotel." Try to feed that into a search engine and see how long it takes to find this property at 801 Collins Avenue.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Friday, January 14, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 9


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Shore Club's large pool and gardens can be glimpsed at from the beach walk that runs along the dunes between the Collins Avenue mid-rise hotels and the surf & sand of Miami Beach.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Thursday, January 13, 2011

ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH: Prepare to be Seduced -- PART 5


ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH
Prepare to be Seduced


Gorgeous art deco hotels include:

Indian Creek (a bit north of the fray on the Intracoastal Waterway at 2727 Indian Creek Drive, phone 305-531-2727, web: www.indiancreekhotel.com

Hotel Ocean (right on Ocean Drive) at 1230 Ocean Drive, phone 305 672-2579, www.hotelocean.com

The National (a splurge-worthy oceanfront property very close to the famed Lincoln Road pedestrian mall) at 1677 Collins Avenue, phone 305 532-2311. http://www.nationalhotel.com

Restaurants to check out on Miami Beach include:

The cafe at the Pelican Hotel (breakfast on the perfectly-located Ocean Drive terrace is skillfully prepared and amazingly generous and affordable) at 826 Ocean Drive, phone 305 673-3373.

Jerry’s Famous Deli (sadly, the delicatessen on every corner days of Old Miami Beach have gone the way of the $125-a-month efficiency apartment, but this well-located palace of pastrami still serves a mean --albeit pricey – corned beef alongside hundreds of other traditional and not so traditional menu items) at 1450 Collins Avenue, phone 305-532-8030.

Osteria del Teatro (the teatro part coming from the fact that this restaurant is located in the retail corner of the landmark art deco Cameo Theatre, this dinner only operation boasts a menu full of classic Italian dishes – but the locals know to keep the menu shut and choose from the long list of fresh creations listed on the blackboard) at 1443 Washington Avenue, phone 305 538-7850.


Wright first visited Art Deco Weekend as an Ohioan in the late 1990s and vowed to stay. Within three years, he was living in an historic Spanish Mission style home in Little Havana and making weekly sojourns across Biscayne Bay to photograph Miami Beach’s art deco.

TOMORROW: WE RETURN TO PICTURE 9 OF OUR PHOTO ESSAY CAPTURING 24 HOURS OF THE LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR ON MIAMI BEACH

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH: Prepare to be Seduced -- PART 4


ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH
Prepare to be Seduced


By Steve Wright

The Miami Design Preservation League, the little upstart group founded by the Capitmans and their friends in 1976, still produces Art Deco Weekend, has a spectacularly-restored welcome center on Ocean Drive.

The MDPL’s Art Deco Welcome Center, which doubles as an outstanding gift shop, is in the historic nautical deco Miami Beach Auditorium at 1001 Ocean Drive.

The welcome center phone is 305-531-3484 and the league’s administrative offices can be reached at 305-672-2014.

The MDPL, which works year round as the world’s oldest art deco society, has a redesigned website (click on the Art Deco Weekend button) at: http://www.mdpl.org

To accommodate pedestrians, Ocean Drive is closed between 5th and 15th streets. Parking is at a premium, but there are several city lots including garages on 7th, 12th, 13th and 17th streets just a block or two west of Ocean Drive.

Guided walking tours, including a tour in Spanish each of the three festival days, last 90 minutes and are held at several intervals each day.

At last count, there were almost as many books about Miami Beach art deco as club goers with physician-enhanced physiques. The cream of the ever-growing deco literature crop includes: Deco Delights: Preserving Miami Beach Architecture, penned by the late Barbara Capitman herself; South Beach Deco: Step by Step, written by artist and MDPL stalwart Iris Garnett Chase; and Discovering South Beach Deco: walking Tours in the Miami Beach Art Deco District, created by decophiles Richard Beaubien and Valerie Beaubien.

Wright first visited Art Deco Weekend as an Ohioan in the late 1990s and vowed to stay. Within three years, he was living in an historic Spanish Mission style home in Little Havana and making weekly sojourns across Biscayne Bay to photograph Miami Beach’s art deco.

TOMORROW: HOTEL AND RESTAURANT INFORMATION

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH: Prepare to be Seduced -- PART 3


ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH
Prepare to be Seduced


By Steve Wright

While dozens of dedicated preservationists toiled to revive South Beach, nothing put it back on the sun, sand and sexiness map quite like a television show that took child star Don Johnson and a cast of relatively unknowns and placed them in the epicenter of gritty, grim and glittery Miami.

Miami Vice made decadence and deco desirable. By the early 1990s, there were more supermodels than seabirds on South Beach. The buffed, bold and beautiful flocked to Miami Beach, injecting a cash infusion that transformed countless little hotels into rehabbed and reborn real estate.

Born during the Depression, fabulous in the forties and fifties, deteriorating and dubbed “God’s waiting room” in the sixties and seventies, made suave and sultry in the eighties and 90s, the Art Deco District in the early 21st century is like so many of inhabitants that defy age through a nip and tuck here, a facelift and cosmetic enhancement there.

From January 14 to January 16 2011, fabled Ocean Drive will be closed for several blocks to allow the masses to frolic among the art deco masterpieces. Each Art Deco Weekend has a theme. This year’s is "Art Deco & Advertising: Selling Glamour & Style."

A free street fair takes place on Ocean Drive with vendors hawking everything from vintage clothing to Bakelite household wares to junk with a questionable kinship with deco to rare collectibles.

Tours led by architects and experts will explore the finest examples of deco detailing. Parades, movies, music and lectures – all with a deco-era theme, will take place during the three-day festival.

Hotels – in the peak of high season during a holiday weekend with a marquee event – will be pricey, but what better way to immerse one’s self in art deco history than to sleep in a room with porthole windows, eyebrow overhangs and terrazzo floors?

Wright first visited Art Deco Weekend as an Ohioan in the late 1990s and vowed to stay. Within three years, he was living in an historic Spanish Mission style home in Little Havana and making weekly sojourns across Biscayne Bay to photograph Miami Beach’s art deco.

TOMORROW: MIAMI DESIGN PRESERVATION LEAGUE DETAILS

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Monday, January 10, 2011

ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH: Prepare to be Seduced -- PART 2


ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH: Prepare to be Seduced

By Steve Wright

Visitors to the 34th annual Art Deco Weekend will find a playground for the rich and beautiful, a fantasy land of pricey boutique hotels with extravagant restaurants and clubs -- a strip of luxury where Bentleys are almost as common as Buicks and regulars are as flashy as the neon-drenched art deco edifices.

Three decades ago, the Art Deco District was not so fashionable. The charming low-rise buildings -- most built between 1925 and 1945 -- still enjoyed their prime position on the sun-kissed billion dollar sandbar, but nary an heiress or famed designer was interested in them.

Developers, coveting the oceanfront location, said the tarted up little modernist buildings were best suited as rubble cast aside to make way for cookie cutter high rises.

Planners, as well meaning as they were misguided, floated the idea of razing the art deco confections and replacing them with a system of waterways in a man-made, subtropical new Venice.

Thankfully, while most of the U.S. was celebrating the star spangled bicentennial, a Miami Beach woman and her son were working for a way of preserving the careworn art deco treasures that were as tired and down at the heels as the pensioners that inhabited their low rent rooms.

Barbara Baer Capitman and her son, John, created the Miami Design Preservation League and worked with designers Leonard Horowitz and Lillian Barber to identify a concentration of art deco buildings that could become a protected historic district.

By 1979, the South Beach Art Deco District was listed on the National Register of Historic Places – the nation’s first historic district composed of 20th century architecture.

Through the 1980s, the district had its ups and downs while struggling with crime and the unfortunate demolition of several classic deco properties. One by one, the art deco hotels were shored up and spruced up – with many sporting a new pastel palate of tropical colors.

Wright first visited Art Deco Weekend as an Ohioan in the late 1990s and vowed to stay. Within three years, he was living in an historic Spanish Mission style home in Little Havana and making weekly sojourns across Biscayne Bay to photograph Miami Beach’s art deco.


TOMORROW: MIAMI VICE

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Sunday, January 9, 2011

ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH: Prepare to be Seduced


ART DECO WEEKEND MIAMI BEACH
Prepare to be Seduced


By Steve Wright

They are sirens that call out to you with beauty, exuberance and spectacular figures.

They are at once both chic and classic.

They are bold, colorful temptresses strutting their stuff along the edge of Miami Beach’s sultry sands.

At night, they light up with a come hither look that brings Ocean Drive traffic to a halt.

They are painted enchantresses dolled up with fashionable friezes, nautical themes, tropical flourishes, jazz age ziggurats and streamline moderne features.

Tens of thousands will come to Miami Beach in January to celebrate these sexy hotels and neighboring buildings that bless South Beach with the most densely-packed collection of art deco gems in the world.

Art Deco Weekend is a three-day celebration of the 20th century architectural style that started in France, exploded in depression era America and became a truly international style.

According to the hosting Miami Design Preservation League (MDPL), art deco is characterized by “symmetry, ziggurat (stepped) rooflines, glass block, decorative sculptural panels, eyebrows, round porthole windows, terrazzo floors, curved edges and corners, elements in groups of three, neon lighting (used in both exteriors as well as interior spaces).”

Art deco’s name comes from the Exposition Internationale des Arts D√©coratifs et Industriels Modernes held in Paris in 1925, featuring, in the words of the MDPL, “expensive materials, angular yet voluptuous with elaborate motifs of fountains, nudes and flora.”

Miami’s Beach’s style of art deco, with its ocean liner motifs and tropical-themed reliefs, was inspired by machinery and emerging American industrial design. The depression-era architecture -- like the futuristic design of pavilions at several of America’s world fairs of the 1930s -- expressed a belief that, through machinery and streamlining, things would get better.

Wright first visited Art Deco Weekend as an Ohioan in the late 1990s and vowed to stay. Within three years, he was living in an historic Spanish Mission style home in Little Havana and making weekly sojourns across Biscayne Bay to photograph Miami Beach’s art deco.

TOMORROW: ART DECO WEEKEND 2011

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Saturday, January 8, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 8


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts Jerry's Famous Deli is the latest tenant of the wondrous art deco building at Collins Avenue and Espanola Way. In a previous life, it was Hoffman's Cafeteria.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org


TOMORROW: THE BEAUTIFUL PHOTOS CONTINUE WITH THE FIRST OF A FIVE-PART STORY ON ART DECO WEEKEND

Friday, January 7, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 7


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST
DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Avalon Hotel, on Ocean Drive at 7th Street, captures a bygone era with a classic car perpetually parked out front.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Thursday, January 6, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 6


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY
OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Edison Hotel at 10th Street and Ocean Drive has a book written about it: The Life and Times of a Deco Dowager. 10th Street is named for Barbara Capitman -- the guardian angel and savior of the Art Deco District.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 5


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS

Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts Hotel Shelley, on the 800 block of Collins Avenue, was built in 1936.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 4


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS

Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts The Park Central Hotel. Legendary preservationist entrepreneur Tony Goldman restored the Park Central.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Monday, January 3, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 3



MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS

Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts Ocean Drive looking south from about 14th Street. The yellow building is the Netherland, a spectacular condo apartment building and one of the few deco confections on Ocean that is not a boutique hotel.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Sunday, January 2, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS 2


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS

Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts the 600 & 700 blocks of Ocean Drive, featuring the Beacon and Park Central hotels.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.
For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org

Saturday, January 1, 2011

MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS


MIAMI BEACH LONGEST DAY OF THE YEAR PHOTOS

Through real estate boom and bust, through incarnations as both God's waiting room and glitzy supermodel playground, Miami Beach endures.

The intrinsic value of art deco architecture, walkable sidewalks and human-scaled buildings serves South Beach inhabitants well whether they be World War II GIs, late 20th century Cuban exiles or 21st century European vacationers in search of sun, sand and sexiness amidst the neon confections of Ocean Drive and beyond.

To celebrate our love for Miami Beach, we roamed the historic Art Deco District from sunup to sundown on June 21, 2010.

This entire month, we will share the fine art images of Miami Beach taken by prize-winning writer-photographer Steve Wright.

Today's photo depicts early morning on Ocean Drive -- when you can actually get a parking space along beautiful Lummus Park.

Art Deco Weekend will take place January 14-16 2011 in Miami Beach.

For details, visit the Miami Design Preservation League website at http://www.mdpl.org