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Trend Magazine Online
Travel Review Spring 2019
South Beach Walking Tour Part IV

By Jay Whipple

Trend Magazine Online™

Well Done!cont′d

South Beach Walking Tour Review Pic

Next up our guide covered the 11th Street Diner which is believe-it-or-not located at the corner 11th Street and Washington Avenue. Gina stated that this facility was built in 1948 in Haledon, NJ and arrived here and opened on September 11, 1992. She also mentioned that it was a favorite of locals who loved their breakfast and lunch. She was so convincing that I just had to check it out for myself for breakfast after our tour concluded. Check out my review here. Gina also covered the Old City Hall building in which she said was the second one built and referenced Mr. Carl Fisher again. She then pointed out some old buildings that were either motels or homes that were made of local coral like the ones at 1030 and 1036 (old Bel Air Motel) Washington Avenue. In addition she schooled us on the origin of the term Motel which is derived from the terms Motor Hotel that were popular amongst folks traveling via automobile. A lot of those motels were built using the MIMO (Miami Modern) style design, she said, mentioned earlier in this piece.

South Beach Walking Tour Review Pic!
Our last stop on this very informative walking tour was the Wolfsonian building located at 1001 Washington Avenue. It is so named in honor of its first owner Mr. Mickey Wolfson whose father (Mitchell) co-founded and owned the old Wometco Theaters that we frequented growing up in Northwest Miami -- near Liberty City off 27th Avenue and about 81st Street -- across from the Northside Shopping Center. At the time we were not aware that we were enjoying flicks that are known today as Blaxploitation in terms of their often derogatory and racist content like some of the rap hits our young folks listen to today. I posed a question regarding that phenomenon to one of the players from that genre' award-winning actor Mr. Glynn Turman; read his response here.


The building, Gina said, was completed in 1927, one year after the aforementioned 1926 hurricane. Perhaps that is why it has no windows she pointed out. Today it is the home to FIU (Florida International University) a staple in the area since its founding in 1965. It has been used as a storage facility in the past (Washington Storage Company) and the big doors were used to drive stuff in and out for loading and unloading, she said; two stories were added in the mid-1930's and the back area was recently added. In addition, it served as a hideout back when gambling casinos were illegal here and South Beach was controlled by the underground folks like Al Capone whose old home still sits on Fisher Island. Lastly Gina pointed out the very cool sculptured head of Mr. Wolfson on the upper south side of the building accompanied by those of the architects and a surprising half face that represents the folks in the Miami Beach permitting department. I can attest to having to deal with some of those kinds of folks that sometimes motivate one to remember them in such an unfavorable light. Smile!


South Beach Walking Tour Review Pic!
Our wonderful 90-minute walking tour ended precisely at its scheduled time of 12 noon despite the two rain delays which is a testament to the professional skills of our guide Gina. Unfortunately I was not able to tip her because she was busy chatting with other guests and I did not want to be rude and interrupt. I typically look around for folks waiting to tip me after my tours even though I may be busy chatting with tour guests.


The South Beach Guided Walking Tour is scheduled weekdays and weekends at 10:30 A.M. except for Thursdays (6:30 P.M.) and begins at 10th Street and Ocean Drive, Miami (South) Beach, FL. Reservations may be made via their website at mdpl.org and their phone number is (305) 763-8026. Tell 'em that you read about them in Trend Magazine Onlinetm. If you are interested in a walking tour of Downtown Miami or a small-group personalized driving tour of Downtown Miami, Little Havana, Overtown, Miami Beach and South Beach visit Queen City Tours of South Florida.

Enjoy one of our FREE GPS-guided tours @ QCT Miami Daily City Tour™, and QCT Miami Daily Black Heritage Tour™!

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