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When he’s not lavishly decorating the homes of famous friends such as Sylvester Stallone, Lil’ Wayne, and Jose Canesco, Anwar Zayden applies his meticulous designer’s eye to the projects of his clientele at Art Express Miami. At his on-site, full-service factory, Anwar and his team preserve prints, diplomas, and photos within 30 minutes with customized framing, or craft shadow boxes to showcase 3D items from plaques to swords. His in-home consultations help homeowners design and install new decorations within 48 hours, and his custom-made mirrors spruce up abodes with reflective surfaces that remind you you’re the fairest of them all even when you don’t ask. Inside Art Express Miami’s gallery, Anwar also stocks pre-framed pieces of decorative art that run the gamut from classical portraits to contemporary abstract canvases.
O Cinema is one of Miami’s most celebrated independent movie houses. Its goal is to provide an offering of films that otherwise might not be seen in Miami – foreign features, independent movies, artsy shorts and stunning documentaries.
The Wynwood location of this small Miami chain is more diminutive than your usual cinema multiplex, but the art house feel makes you feel closer to the film itself. There are actually three different screening areas throughout the facility, and on those ever-present warm nights the O Cinema team might even put together a free outdoor screening. And, since the theater is located in Wynwood, there’s an adjoining space for art installations right on site.
White sand beaches, cerulean waters, and towering palms make Jungle Island feel like a tropical paradise—complete with a leopard lurking in the undergrowth. Luckily, this jungle cat is safely within the confines of the Jungle Island, which has inhabited the isle for more than a decade. And yet the story of this popular Miami attraction, which houses everything from exotic birds and primates to rare plants and trees, began more than 75 years ago.
In 1936, Franz Scherr established an aviary where the exotic birds could soar uncaged, giving his South Miami park the apt name of Parrot Jungle. In the following decades, the aviary hosted some noteworthy occupants, such as Pinky—a high-wire bicycle-riding cockatoo—and several pink flamingos that appeared in the opening credits of Miami Vice. When the zoo's current owners purchased the company in 1988, they introduced new mammals and reptiles—but when Hurricane Andrew struck in 1992, they were forced to relocate. They settled on Watson Island, and in 2003, finished construction of the animal habitats and 18 acres of tropical gardens, renaming the park Jungle Island.
Hundreds of animals and plants from around the world call Jungle Island home. Naturalistic habitats contain mammals such as orangutans and a liger; reptiles such as American alligators and pythons; and birds such as African penguins and emus. The gardens house rare plants including cycads and African sausage trees. More than 1.35 miles of covered walking trails wind among the exhibits.
Many of these animals feature in daily demonstrations. In Winged Wonders, handlers showcase the antics of colorful parrots, the flight of vultures, and the resident 6-foot cassowary's ability to eat an apple whole. Explore the behavior of rare big cats, including four species of tigers. Alternatively, in-depth tours and encounters may bring guests face-to-face with popular primates, or deep into the Serpentarium to feed an alligator in its enclosure and ponder whether snakes could possibly wear neckties.
Miami Auto Museum at Dezer Collection has amassed more than 1,000 vehicles, including iconic autos such as the 1981 DeLorean Time Machine from Back to the Future and a 1948 Ford from Grease. His jaw-dropping assemblage can be seen in nine exhibits that sprawl over 250,000 square feet. At Hollywood Cars of the Stars, visitors wander among more than 80 autos that zoomed through blockbusters such as Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and The Beverly Hillbillies. A slew of original cars from the Batman movies park in the Batman Lounge, and Dezer has acquired so many vehicles from the James Bond films that they get their own exhibit. The 46 contraptions that nabbed scenes in the spy films range from a T-55 Soviet tank that racked up film time during Goldeneye to six Aston Martins, submarines, helicopters, and the matchbox cars who served as uncredited extras.
In the adjacent Building A, the feats of modern transportation sort into American classics, European classics, and a fleet of more than 200 bikes, motorcycles, and scooters. The restored classics, which include a rare 1927 Duesenberg Model X, often find their way onto period movie sets. After wandering among the vintage beauties and saluting at military vehicles from the 1930s, guests can fast forward into the future at the exhibit of pintsize electric microcars.
Burgeoning artists grasp colorful bouquets of used packaging and crumpled paper as they gather in the 1,200-square-foot studio. Karla Caprali stands in the center, explaining composition and balance as students mold their castoff items into freestanding sculptures. Similar displays of inventive creation characterize the Art Academy at Caprali Studio, where owner and artist Karla limits the size of each of her classes, allowing her to shower students with the proper amount of encouragement and constructive critiques. Karla maintains her class sizes even when instruction spills out into her studio backyard, where pupils breathe in open air as they hone woodworking skills, orchestrate large-scale installations, or quickly sketch a cloud shaped like a fruit bowl.
Karla brings knowledge accrued at a university in São Paulo to each course and draws from influences including the impressionists, Salvador Dali, Dorothea Tanning, and the whimsical film sets of Georges Méliès. Her emphasis on developing new approaches to art has helped students in portfolio-preparation courses earn admission to Pratt, SVA, and other prestigious schools without having to defeat Monet's ghost in Pictionary. The instructor also worked to help found the Falls Arts District, which launches bimonthly art walks to 15 privately owned galleries. On such nights, Karla clears her studio space to put students' work on display alongside her own paintings and installations, and transforms the ample backyard into an outdoor gallery bathed in the glow of decorative lights and vocal reviews from local owls.