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What To Do On A Rainy Afternoon

June 22, 2009 By Doug in Miami: Things to Do  | 10 Comments

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You’re stretched on a towel on the hot sand,  feeling the intense Florida sun work its magic on your pasty northeastern flesh, when you suddenly notice an ominous-looking dark cloud invading the air space.  You glance at your watch: 3 pm.  Time for the daily summer downpour!  Your fellow beachgoers begin packing up their things and getting dressed.  A rumbling of thunder rises behind the pastel rooftops of Ocean Drive…

This, no doubt, wasn’t the kind of afternoon drama you were hoping for on your South Beach vacation! But it is nonetheless an inescapable part of the daily routine of summer in the sub-tropics.  May through September is considered the rainy season in South Florida—however, there’s a silver lining to the storm clouds: the skies, no matter how threatening, will most likely be sunny again an hour later! In fact, sometimes the sun keeps shining even while it’s raining.

If you should find yourself on the receiving end of Mother Nature’s venom, here are a few places you can go to escape until the skies are blue again.

SEX MUSEUM, ANYONE?

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Who says sex isn’t for the Weamish? The World Erotic Art Museum, or WEAM, for short, is the perfect place to show up in a damp trenchcoat.  Located at 1205 Washington, this popular South Beach attraction features 12,000 square feet of what is quite possibly the world’s largest collection of erotic curios and art.  Naomi Wilzig, noted author and Jewish grandmother, opened this pleasure palace in October 2005, after amassing 4000+ paintings, sculptures, bronze statues and other assorted procreative creations, ranging from the first century AD to the present time.  The $15 admission is worth the two hours or so you can spend perusing these pieces!

THE WOLFSONIAN: ONE STOP PROPAGANDA SHOPPING

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Nazi recruitment posters are alive and well just down the street at the Wolfsonian Museum (1001 Washington Ave, South Beach).  Housed in a former warehouse used by snowbirds of the 20’s and 30’s to store their valuables during the summer months, this collection specializes in the Modern Era (1885-1945), with a particular penchant for relics from the Industrial Age, whether they be household appliances, works of art, or propaganda-laced children’s books. 

When you’re done checking out the collection, the gift shop/coffee house is an excellent spot to reconnoiter while you wait for the raindrops to cease their pitter patter.

CATCH UP ON YOUR EMAIL—FOR FREE!

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Although Miami Beach has its share of Internet cafes, why blow your dough surfing the web, when you can do it for free at the Miami Beach Public Library (227 22nd Street, South Beach)? Even non-residents are welcome to bring their own laptops for free Internet access or to use the library computers for up to two hours.  All you’ll need is a state-issued ID to get a guest card.

Besides Internet time, the library also loans out DVDs to locals, in addition to the typical literary offerings. 

Rest assured: this not your grandma’s library: this flashy new building has taken a cue from Barnes & Noble and opened its own coffee house in the rear.  For more information, click here.

LINCOLN ROAD ART CENTER

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Art appreciation need not be relegated to dusty museums in South Beach; you can observe the next generation at work in the three-block-long Lincoln Road Art Center (800, 810, and 924 Lincoln Road,  South Beach).  Founded in 1984 by a handful of local artists on this once-blighted stretch of South Beach’s famous pedestrian shopping street, this 60,000 square foot mini-artist’s colony contains scores of private studios, as well as exhibition galleries and art education classrooms.

PUERTO SAGUA, YOUR PORT IN THE STORM

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Get a taste of old Havana while you’re riding out the rainstorm at South Beach’s Cuban institution, Puerto Sagua (700 Collins Avenue, South Beach).  This 50’s-style diner offers all the Cuban essentials: flatbread sandwiches, arroz con pollo, black beans, fried plantains and papaya milkshakes.  The best part is the prices are among the most reasonable you’ll find on the Beach.  And while you’re noshing on your ropa vieja, be sure to check out the back wall, which features a captivating relief mural of life the way it was outside the original Puerto Sagua in pre-Castro Cuba.

A DIP IN THE SEA

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You’re already wet, anyway, so you might as well go for broke.  Assuming there’s no thunder, lightning, rough tides or fierce winds, one of the choicest ways of enjoying the summer rain is in the water.  While everyone on the shore is running for the cover of the lifeguard stands, it’s often fun to enjoy a shower with your swim, feeling the pelting of the water on your back as you cocoon into the liquid blanket all around you.  It almost feels like you’re under a waterfall.

FAST AND FURIOUS

Though the afternoon monsoons can appear daunting, they are almost invariably short-lived.  Soon, the birds will be warbling again, welcoming back the tropical sunshine, the oppressive heat of the afternoon momentarily vanquished as it transforms into steam rising from the asphalt.  While it is true that into each life some rain must fall, in South Beach it can be a welcome event. 

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Related Categories: Miami: Things to Do,

Douglas Eames is a freelance writer, homespun philosopher and budget bon vivant who divides his time between Southern California and South Beach.

See more articles by Doug.

See more articles by Doug

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10 Comments on

"What To Do On A Rainy Afternoon"

Mike V. says:

Hey Doug,
      nice article, those were good ideas for entertainment during the rain.  I will have to try the dip in the sea bit (looks like fun)!  I remember right before hurricane Andrew we thought about hitting the beach (didn’t make it to the water though, a bit too extreme I guess.)

Posted on 06/22/2009 at 5:46 PM

Doug says:

Hey Mike, glad you liked the article.  As long as it’s one of those gentle downpours, the combination of warm sea and rain can be quite soothing! I remember one time my brother and I were out on jet skis, just off Key Biscayne, when it started coming down.  We pulled into an inlet and waited it out.  My first instinct was to cringe, but then I thought, “You know, this feels really good!”  Another time I was out in the water and the heavens just opened up.  The feeling of water coming at you from all directions was surreal.  It was hard to tell where the sea stopped and the air began!

Posted on 06/22/2009 at 5:52 PM

Mike V. says:

Well put Doug, a bit like having multiple shower heads in your tub…  Gotta love it!!!

Posted on 06/22/2009 at 6:08 PM

rk says:

Another nice article, thanks. The link for more information on the library (“click here”) seems to be missing.

Posted on 06/22/2009 at 7:23 PM

Doug says:

Thanks for reminding me, rk! I forgot to put it in!

Posted on 06/22/2009 at 7:27 PM

Jessy says:

I love those ideas, rain or shine I love miami!! Even on a rainy day, I’ll pick it over new jersey anytime.

Posted on 06/23/2009 at 11:10 AM

Doug says:

Thanks, Jessy! I’m glad you liked it.

Posted on 06/23/2009 at 1:24 PM

Aaron in Miramar says:

Those are all great suggestions.  I’ve also used the occasion of a short duration downpour to sneak into the pools at the Delano and the Ritz Carlton. Most poolside “security” take even the lightest sprinkle as an opportunity to get some much desired a/c time inside.

Posted on 06/23/2009 at 6:49 PM

Doug says:

Ah, the art of distraction! Good idea!

Posted on 06/23/2009 at 6:54 PM

Bryan says:

Thanks for the post! I’ll definitely take these places into consideration except the sea lol

Posted on 03/19/2013 at 3:37 PM

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