Tonight, my cousin dropped me off in the Wynwood Arts District to explore and take photos for a few hours. Wynwood is an industrial area full of concrete warehouses, chain link fences, and neon signs. Some parts on the outer edges reminded me of scenes from Grand Theft Auto.
The buildings are covered street to roof with colorful murals. There are coffee shops, boutiques, and trendy stores including Warby Parker.
Sunday night is busy with locals attending a street art festival and tourists photographing the walls.
I’m wearing a black tank top and a fitted black skirt. After about 30 minutes, I’m covered in sweat and feeling dizzy. I go to the Panther Coffee Shop to cool off.
The line is out the door and every seat indoors and outdoors is taken. I’m in between a 20-something year old woman who works at the shop and a talkative artist looking for a quick coffee after being awake for over 24 hours.
The artist asks either of us if the coffee here is good while pulling out a five dollar bill from wad of cash he had made from the art festival. “Do you think this is enough for a coffee?” He asks me.
“Do you think they would hire me here?” He asks Nicole (the 20-something woman in front of me). He says he will list her as a reference on his application.
We both smile and agree with him politely as he asks unnecessary, but contextually appropriate questions.
I order a plain ice coffee and find a chair outside next to a Spanish speaking family.
The rest of my time in Wynwood is spent in a boutique selling handmade Mexican clothing. The girl who works there recommends a thrift store and asks about the Midwest, originally confusing the geography for the Arizona desert.
The sun starts to set and I call my cousin to pick me up. I wait at a corner next to two men selling fresh coconut water out of the bed of a pickup truck. People are constantly stopping to buy water and take pictures of the men and a child with them. At one point, one of the men does a headstand on top of the pickup resulting in half a dozen people pulling out their phones and cameras to capture the stunt.
A few minutes later my cousin arrives and I run across the road, climb into her SUV, and we drive back to the apartment.