Those looking to escape the hustle and bustle of Miami need look no further than Upper Buena Vista. This charmingly quirky new collection of shops and eateries bills itself as a retail sanctuary, a place where makers who are passionate about their crafts can find inspiration and a sense of community—and shoppers can reap the benefits.
Visitors can browse boutiques and microboutiques that sell wares ranging from sunglasses to jewelry to sandals handmade in Haiti. Or they can cool off with a cholado, a Colombian beverage made of shaved ice, chopped fruit, condensed milk, flavored syrups, and flourishes like coconut flakes or crunchy wafers. Need to recharge your batteries? Try a wellness class. (Yoga, meditation, and cryotherapy are among the options.)
Upper Buena Vista is the brainchild of husband-and-wife developers Michal Aviv and David Lahmy, who enlisted a variety of architects to give the place a deliberately eclectic-exotic look—a mix of thatched-roof huts, miniature temples, colorful tiles, and lush vegetation that evokes far-flung locales. Inspiration came from what Lahmy has dubbed the four T ’s—Tel Aviv, Tulum, Thong Sala (Thailand), and Tokyo.
Aviv and Lahmy designed Upper Buena Vista as a laid-back, welcoming place—the kind that not only entices people to visit but that also invites them to linger for a quiet, shady respite recalling a bygone era in Miami.
—by Kathy Passero