FEATURED FOOD SOUL SEARCH TRAVEL

WYNWOOD INSIDER & MY FIRST AIRBNB STAY

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When I was first planning my vacation to Miami I was unsure about staying in Wynwood. I knew it was trendy and close to the airport but had heard mixed reviews about the area. Since I was traveling solo, I needed to be sure I would be safe. That’s when Justin Burrows came into the picture! I found his studio/loft ad on Airbnb, a unique way to rent someone’s space instead of staying at a hotel. His building looked nice, his reviews were stellar, and most importantly the price was right! I had never even considered Airbnb, but for this trip it seemed to be my best option. Justin answered my questions by email, and calmed my fears, as we negotiated the stay. Remember, they have to trust you as much as you trust them! Justin would not be there (he was traveling for vacation) and I would be staying in his home as if it were my own. He called me before the trip to fill me in on the specifics of his place (amenities, parking, security/concierge, etc.) and to answer any questions I had. We ended up chatting for quite awhile and he gave me invaluable advice about his neighborhood! Justin has graciously agreed to answer some questions the way only a local can. Read more from this Business Development Manager who works in the commercial construction and development industry and did I forget to mention, Elite model on the side?

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How long have you lived in Wynwood and what made you choose this area?

I have lived in Wynwood for just under 3 years as I was looking for a location that was urban and had access to a wide range of amenities (shopping, nightlife, restaurants, etc.) but was also close to the popular areas in Miami (South Beach, Brickell, Coconut Grove, Key Biscayne, MIA Airport, and Midtown). Furthermore, the location of my unit was near I-95 which was important given that my work was predominantly in Broward County. I also wanted to avoid mass construction and traffic and identify a community that had its own identity/culture and Wynwood was the perfect fit.

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Why do you do Airbnb?

I travel a bit for personal and business reasons and since I am a minimalist, I found Airbnb to be a good source of income during my time away. Whether I am away traveling or living in my unit, I have my fixed monthly rent and Airbnb has helped me offset some of these costs. I was skeptical at first but thought it was worth giving it a try. I haven’t had any bad experiences and have made friends with many of my guests. It doesn’t hurt that I live in an area that has transformed into the “new place to be” in Miami due to Art Basel, Wynwood Walls and so many other attractions nearby.

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Tell me about the night life. Where can I get the best craft beer and what’s the hot place to be right now?

I LOVE CRAFT BEER and Wynwood has a ton of options. My favorite places are Boxelder, J. Wakefield Brewery, Wynwood Brewery, Concrete Beach Brewery, Pride & Joy, Kush and The Butcher Shop which are all within walking distance of my place. As for the hot place to be, Wood Tavern continues to dominate the scene but other options have made their place in Wynwood such as Brickhouse, Beaker & Gray, Suviche, Electric Pickle, etc. I keep it simple and stick with local bars and breweries.

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Beaker & Gray

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Boxelder

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Brick House

What’s your favorite local restaurant?

Tough question – they are all very good and have their unique offerings. I would say that I frequent Freshii most due to the wide range of healthy options but I also love Jimmy’s Kitchen, Coyo Taco, Kush (great burgers), The Butcher Shop (great burgers), Suviche (great ceviche and Peruvian food), Pride & Joy (BBQ) and the food trucks during Art Walk. For a more upscale scene, I will go to Joey’s, Wynwood Kitchen & Bar and/or Beaker & Gray.

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This area is so unique. What’s a secret tip or spot?

I really think O Cinema is very cool (independent not for profit movie theatre) which features documentaries and many independent movies, certainly not your typical commercial movie theatre. I would also encourage others to go and visit all 3 local breweries – J. Wakefield, Wynwood and Concrete Beach (they are each unique in their own way) plus Box Elder which is not a brewery but a craft beer market/bar which changes its beer menu daily.

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Wynwood is all the buzz in the real estate world. What do you think it will look like in 5 years?

Unfortunately, I think Wynwood may lose its edgy touch due to massive development plans that are being submitted to the City of Miami. I am concerned that it will turn into a Brickell scene (dense/urban environment) and will push away the hipsters and diverse crowd that currently makes Wynwood so unique. I truly hope it doesn’t become too commercialized but this is out of my control. For now, I will enjoy Wynwood and adapt to any changes that occur.

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Who is your dream person to take a picture with in front of the Wynwood Walls?

Great question… As for a dream person, it would be my father who lives in the Bahamas and has had some issues getting a visa to enter the US for personal reasons.

Down the road (assuming the Wynwood Walls still exist), my wife & kids (assuming I get married and have children), so that I can show them my former stomping and training grounds.

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You are in great shape and a triathlete. Inquiring minds want to know. What are your top workout tips?

Miami is a great place for year around training which is both good and bad. The good is the weather allows you to train 12 months out of the year (sure, the summer months are very hot and humid) but the bad is that it is easy to over train leading to fatigue.

Consistency and listening to my body are my top tips. As a triathlete/runner who competes in endurance events such as Ironman, Ironman 70.3, marathon and half marathons, it’s easy to stay in shape so long as you remain consistent and also allow your body ample time to recover both physically and mentally. A well balanced diet goes hand in hand with training and in my opinion results in superior performance and recovery. That said, I do indulge in great beer, sweets, etc. from time to time because life is for living!

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Are you single?

I had been single for several years now since I was predominantly focused on me (traveling, triathlon and my career). That said, I recently met someone great that I have begun seeing.

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As for me, I’m not really sure how my future Airbnb experiences will compare to this one… I highly doubt others will give the personalized touch that Justin did, but assuming I am wrong, see ya later hotels!

Some of Justin’s other suggestions:

Coffee Shop: Panther Coffee

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New to the area: David Beckham’s soccer stadium is coming soon to Overtown

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Areas nearby: Design District, Midtown Miami, Downtown Miami and Brickell

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Design District

Thanks so much Justin! Glad I’ve made a new friend.

Living with soul,

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