Miami House gangster Jesse Perez is well-versed in the art of keeping it real—as if you couldn't tell from his 2 Live Crew-influenced tracks with names like "This Girl (Be Sucking That Dick)," "Any Freaks Out There," and "The Juice Maker." Perez's smooth-yet-dirty sound has intrigued the Brits and Euros alike, leading to releases on Heidi's Jackathon Jams label, Ellen Allien's BPitch Control outpost, and Hot Creations.
"You can visit South Beach to enjoy the water and overpriced foods. Or, you can rent a car and explore what Miami truly has to offer. I'm gonna start from the bottom—for me, Miami is all of Dade County, places like Homestead, Cutler Ridge, Kendall, and Hialeah.
I picked out some cool spots that I visit pretty often. Many of these places are unique in some way, and it's why I would never move out of Miami. Let's start from the bottom and make our way up to the north of Miami."
Robert Is Here Fruit Stand
Let's start this tour at Robert Is Here. This is one of those places people will drive to from North Miami, 45 minutes away, just to get a milkshake—they are that fuckin' good. Best of all, they have goats and donkeys in the back. You can grab food off of the buckets they provide to feed the animals.
If you head about 15 mins north, you'll find Macita's Restaurant in Cutler Ridge. They have the best empanadas around and their main courses are second to none. You'll most likely end up with some change out of a $50 note too.
Miami has one of the best zoos in the nation, believe me. If you're lucky and quick with your camera, you might be able to snap a photo like this one. It's a bit different from all the "wildlife" you'll see on the strip at South Beach; These animals probably know how to behave better.
You'll find Versailles on 8th Street in the heart of Miami. Don't be fooled by the fancy Francophile name; it's a Cuban joint. This is Miami, after all. You can have a sit-down dinner or lunch here, but the best part of Cuban restaurants like this one is that they have a take-out window. I'd suggest ordering a Pan con Bistec, an Iron Beer soda and before you head out to your next destination, have some Cuban coffee—it'll keep you going the rest of the day!
Executive Palace Motel
One of the most underrated things in Miami is the motel district. Also located on 8th Street, you'll find over 50 pay-by-the-hour motels such as the Executive Palace, where you can rent a room like the one in this photo for $40 for 3 hrs, or $70 for the night. I doubt that $348-a-night room you're thinking about getting on South Beach has disco lights and mirrors on the ceilings. Come on man, live a little!
This place is starting to get a lot of hype, and for good reason. This is definitely a place worth checking out. Lots of cool artists have transformed the area of Wynwood into something really magical. There are plenty of places to eat close by as well, so you can munch as you walk the art-filled streets.
Head a little north, and you'll discover Sweat Records. It's one of the last record stores you'll find in Miami, and one of the few in the world that has a cafe in it. You can trawl through the stacks of vinyl while having an espresso or tea.