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Welcome to Perfect Saturday, a Racked feature in which we outline the best places to spend the afternoon in a particular neighborhood, starting with brunch and ending—who knows!
Images via Ashley Brozic unless otherwise stated
Miami's historic MiMo neighborhood may as well be the next Wynwood, not so much because it has an underground, artsy warehouse district feel, but more so because it's slightly untapped, a neighborhood just waiting for the next wave of ambitious entrepreneurs to hit and commercialize it.
MiMo, which stands for Miami Modernism, runs down Biscayne from NW 54th St. to NW 77th and is filled with flashing neon signs above three story motels, cool sidewalks stamped with asymmetrical, mod squares and the kinds of building structures that you'd want to place a flock of plastic flamingos in front of.
The aforementioned entrepreneurs are already trickling in, and you can taste it as we did at Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli's latest venture, Taperia Raca. That, after a detoxifying pole class at Ironflower Fitness, will give you just the notch of energy you need to hit up the shops down the next two blocks, and then stop to check out the Vagabond Motel, as it's currently being renovated to retain all it's kitschy 1950s glory. MiMo is definitely a neighborhood we're going to be revisiting in the future, but here's what we recommend you do this weekend.
Ironflower Fitness is a gym that has the ladies in mind (it's strictly women only), seeing as they have an intro to pole class on Saturday mornings from 10 to 11am. Grab your best gal pals and sign up for a complimentary class if you're all first timers. At best, you'll slide down the pole more smoothly than Jenyne Butterfly, at worst, you'll make some hilarious memories for the kids. Afterwords, treat yourself to a little mani/pedi at their nail station.
Taperia Raca has been open but a little over a month and it's already highly acclaimed by Zagat and Lee Schrager, founder of the SoBe Wine and Food Festival. Chef Giorgio Rapicavoli and his business partner, Alex Casanova have a small but eclectic menu of tapas and brunch specials, and while it's almost impossible to go wrong with one, the standout brunch dish has to be the Torrejas 'Cafe Con Leche,' which is basically french toast dunked in a Panther coffee-infused maple syrup, only instead of toast they use actual Cuban bread. Yes, it will completely undermine your workout and yes, it will be completely worth it.
As you venture out of Taperia Raca, walk north along the sidewalk, passed Dogma, and you'll notice, what else, but a camel popping out of an iron gate across the street. Answer the call of curiosity and you'll enter upon the Moroccan bazaar that is Berber. 95 percent of what's lies in this lantern filled enclave is imported from Morocco: deeply adorned accent dressers, eccentric doors fit for a mosque, treasure chests worthy of a distant sultan. The store has sold merchandise to big shot venues like Casa Casuarina (the former Versace Mansion), the Ritz Carlton and the Four Seasons and if you can't exactly fit the gargantuan camel outside in your trunk, you have the option of choosing one of the many mini ones that are scattered throughout.
If you keep on walking north down Biscayne, you'll meander into Touch Boutique, where you can most likely find a $20 to $200 outfit for any occasion, whether you're going to the beach or popping bottles at Story. On the off chance you've chosen the latter, check out the boutique's house brand, Deliano. The pieces are as bodycon as bodycon gets, so don't be disheartened if it takes a few seconds to slip into one. Remember, you're still trying to keep down those manchego croquettes from Taperia.
Maybe it's the stacks of old Vogue and Bazaar issues scattered around, maybe it's the racks upon racks of garments from years past; whatever it is, you'd never be able to tell Fly Boutique only settled into MiMo a few months ago, as a fire drove it out of its original Lincoln Road location. Inside this carefully curated and moderately priced vintage closet you'll find raggedy Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin concert tees, vintage air force bomber jackets, beaded clutches from the 30s and dresses to chanel your inner Donna Summers. Old issues of Vogue and Bazaar are piled alongside vintage home accent pieces and there's a huge shelf of jeans that are moderately priced between $28 and $78.
One block up from Fly Boutique you'll find The Vagabond Motel, which is currently being renovated to reflect all the glamour of its 1950s hey day. While you can't stroll in like our sister site, Curbed Miami, did (only they can do the crazy construction antics that they do), you can check it out and admire it from every angle of Mimo's retro sidewalks. According to Curbed, the pool is done, the restaurant is done but still empty, and they've kept the furniture as retro as possible, from the lawn chairs to the bathroom sink. They've even reintroduced their original, space-age sign out front, which is epically tacky and, therefore, fabulous. While you're there, take note of MiMo's groovy sidewalks and the iconic Coppertone girl on Biscayne. It's Miami Kitsch at its finest.
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