Yesterday’s Part 1 detailed traveling, eating and reconnecting, but Part 2 is all about music and the beach!
Our homebase, the New World Center, hasn’t changed much since I left in 2011.
I still love that dreamy façade that projects Miami Beach’s sky du jour. This late afternoon display was particularly gorgeous.
The SoundScape park was also its same lovely self, though definitely sporting much fuller foliage.
The end of the work-week brought a weekend of concerts that featured THREE world premieres. To prepare for the craziness, Michael, Siggi and I made one last Starbucks run on Friday. Even though I don’t drink coffee, these runs were an essential part of our bonding when I lived here. We’d walk over to vent or to collaborate on projects. We went a couple of times together while I was back, but spent most of it catching up.
These salted caramel caramel pops cure any afternoon sluggishness. ….I speak from experience.
I needed it too, since Friday turns into a pretty long day when you work 8 hours and then stay for a concert!
Walking into the concert was the first time I’d been back in the Performance Hall since September 2011 with my Dad. I had managed to avoid the rehearsals all week so I could be surprised at the actual event.
I sat with other staff in the back, but any seat in that house is pretty incredible.
MTT, who injured his shoulder, came out first to announce his being “benched” by doctors.
The first half featured a commission by New World, the San Francisco Symphony and music publisher Boosey & Hawkes, and then welcomed Grammy-award-winner Bruce Hornsby to the stage for the world premiere of newly-orchestrated songs from his musical, SCKBSTD (which stands for Sick Bastard).
He was so entertaining. I couldn’t get one of his songs out of my head for days after this.
The second half featured the highly-anticipated El Sol Caliente (The Hot Sun), which was a music/video collaboration honoring Miami Beach in its centennial year.
The piece started with swelling music in the orchestra in sync with the ocean tide on the screens.
Perhaps the most moving part of the piece was when it showcased footage after the 1926 hurricane that almost ruined Miami Beach. The images and video of people rebuilding together brought more than one teary eye to the place.
As someone who enjoys creating photo slideshows set to music, I loved this fascinating piece.
The next day was my last full day in Miami and I found myself with a few free hours to myself that morning, so SPF’d up and hit the road.
I walked past the building again and enjoyed the calm before that night’s impending Wallcast storm.
This area would be a zoo in a matter of hours!
I couldn’t believe how much the bougainvillea had grown in the park’s pergolas! They were mere babes when I left!
Now they almost meet in the middle, creating a shady canopy.
The beach was, well, the beach. I’m not the beachiest of people, but I figured I needed to soak up the vitamin D while I had the chance, even if it was a little windy.
Not very many people out, which was nice.
First things, first…
There are few things better than toe squishing in wet sand.
Speaking of toes, I had to take an obligatory toes-in-the-sand pic for friend Ica. It’s kinda her signature when she’s on vacation.
I spent most of the morning reading about this year’s best movies, so I had some quality time with Michael Keaton. We had the same idea here.
On my way back to get cleaned up for the concert, I decided to swing my sand-covered self through our old haunt on Lincoln Road…The Lincoln Theatre. …which is now a thriving H&M!
My old office window is now over a Swatch store.
And they have a placard at the front of the store explaining the site’s history and what it looked like “back in the day.”
I was seriously covered in sand and sunscreen, so I didn’t stay long, but I did walk through to see what they did with the main stage and seating area.
That big ad screen in the back is the original stage. The overhang above me is the old balcony. Kinda cool to see it repurposed so well.
I worked that night’s concert outside for the Wallcast. For any not familiar with this, it’s when the live concert inside is broadcast live outside on the exterior of the New World Center for anyone to enjoy in the park with a picnic or with friends. It’s hugely popular and fun. The City of Miami Beach also uses it every week for free movies in their SoundScape series.
Michelle and I rocked the sign-up table.
Check out the crowd! (Shot from the building’s rooftop garden.)
Here’s what the actual experience looks like from the park.
We had the A-team working the Wallcast Concert Club table.
It was windy, so there was some hair-holding involved in these pics!
Afterward, a bunch of us went out for my last night. These friends are seriously the best.
(Not pictured, but definitely there in laughs and smiles: Julisa, Michelle and Rayna.)
Julisa, amazing friend and best chauffeur ever, picked me up at 7:30 the next morning for one last Big Pink stop and walk to the beach.
It was stunning out there.
She took me down to the new South Pointe Park pier. South Pointe Park was where Joe and I got engaged, so it made me feel all the feelings.
This girl. She’s my hilarious bestie.
One more round on the Hollywood Breakfast of my dreams and it was off to the second worst airport in America! (That title goes to Atlanta, but I’m sure you all already knew that.)
My first glimpse of home:
My, the difference 10 hours makes.
Even though these pics provide a pretty clear picture of how my week went, I can’t really describe how full my heart felt. Miami will always be a special place for me and Joe, and I always wanted to stay in touch with all of my old friends and colleagues, but nothing can beat being back in the fold with them and getting to reconnect after so many years. They are truly my peoples and I absolutely love them.
Hopefully I’ll be back in another few months and we can do it all again.