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Norma Moreno knows how to throw a good party. Peachfuzz at Grand Central (now resurrected monthly at The Thompson), Best Day Ever, the epic pool party she throws with local Snapchat celeb YesJulz, her weekly Sundaze party at Sidebar– she's the brains (and beauty) behind all of them, planning them from the ground up, giving local talents (Travis Scott and Virgil Abloh, to name a few) a fresh stage, and giving us a party focused less on popping bottles, and more on having a genuinely good time.
At 26, this born and bred Miamian and University of Miami grad owns her own event producing company, Norma Now, and has partnered with big brands like Adidas, Boost Mobile, and Viber to host unforgettable nights that are intertwined in Miami's culture. She's reshaping the way we think about nightlife here, making it less about bottles and hundreds, and more about you. "I'm just trying to do cool shit with my friends," is her motto.
Having grown up in multiple neighborhoods around town, it's safe to say Moreno knows Miami, which is why we followed her around her own favorite neighborhood, Wynwood, to scope out her favorite shops and hangouts.
We start our day off just out of Wynwood at Downtown's Shoe Gallery, Miami's landmark streetwear and sneaker store known best for its exclusive drops, hefty inventory of cool brands, and Miami-focused collabs with brands like Nike and Reebok. Like Moreno, Sneaker Gallery reps Miami hard, so it's no wonder she's tight with the staff here.
"I've been coming here since I was in high school!," she exclaims. "The guys are always welcoming and make your feel right at home. Plus, the owner, Danny, is the best. Come on the right weekend and don't be surprised to catch a line outside for the newest sneaker release or even a DJ and breakdancers hanging out in the store. Plus they always have dopest kicks and clothing for my tomboy chic."
Junior & Hatter
Next up, we drop by Junior & Hatter, Wynwood's token salon, for a quick touchup.
"This place rocks and you know this right when you walk in and see the Nintendo 64 ready to play," she says. "I love this spot for a quick blow-dry or a touch up on color. You know the salon is popping when you walk in and their playing R&B all day. And when I spend hours in the chair (since my hairs so thick), the music is key!"
Possibly the best thing about Coyo (besides its tacos and margaritas– which we had too many of) is its secret backroom bar, which this boss lady knows all about.
"The margaritas and quesadillas here are life," she says. "I call Coyo the center of Wynwood, no matter where you go, you always end right back here. Plus, one of the owners, Sven, does some of the most amazing shows in the backroom, bringing out gem DJs every single week. Oh, and their food is perfect for that late night snack!"
"I've been a fan of Illstevas glasses for forever!," she says. "I was so excited to see them open up shop right on NW 2nd Ave. because it's a perfect representation of companies finally taking Miami seriously and bringing us some cool brands to play with! I always love to go in and try on a few frames just for fun. The staff is so cool and laid back they don't mind I play dress up with their shades."
We take it back to Gramps, where Norma first hosted her Best Day Ever party which helped put her on the map, ending our day with some good music and vibes as the sun sets over Miami.
"Wynwood's off-the-beat bar, cheap drinks and friendly faces are always at Gramps," she says. "From movie screenings in Shirley's, their back room, to game nights and their monthly Jamaican party, Miami Vice Episode, I always a good time (and good drink!) at Gramps."