It was so brisk out this morning (audience: how brisk was it?), I had to wear my long wool coat plus hat plus woolen muffler plus wool beret, and still was a little chilly! It was so brisk out this morning, I had to scrape the frost from my windshield! It was so brisk out this morning that these scenes of 1947 Miami are making me want to fly south for the winter!
How about you? Warm, technicolor hotel swimming pools...palm trees...cuba libres...folks, let's pack out bags for coordinates 25.7216° N, 80.2793° W, and approximately sixty five years ago! Flux capacitor, do not fail us now.
Check out the girl on the right's nautical style! She looks like Katharine Hepburn ready to hop aboard the True Love from Philadelphia Story. My, she was yar. It's always fascinated me the idea of being in a swimming pool less than fifty feet from the actual ocean...closer to the deck chairs and towels! No little crablets to try and pinch at your bikini bottoms!
The first interesting set of photos in the article were this trading-card like assembly of year-round residents of Miami. What a place! What people! We have a press agent, a policeman, an astrologer, a bachelor,a model, and a shopkeeper (rich man, poor man, beggar man, thief, etc). Do you see the clothes on the rack in the shopkeeper section? If I could have those dresses, and that astrologer/snake oil man's zodiac tarpaulin, we'd be getting somewhere.
Breakfasting by the pool, ah, what a lovely past time. In the far background of the above picture, there's a cabana (or "playhouse with bar and dressing rooms", as the caption terms it, which is actually even better)...everywhere you look, there's ocean views and pools! Side by side! My tiny mind is blown. Look at this lovely thing:
When Matthew and I went on vacation down to Gulf Shores about a year ago, I remember getting in the tropical mood by reading the whole of Madness Under the Royal Palms: Love and Death Behind the Gates of Palm Beach by Laurence Learner. Juicy, yet well-written stuff! Being the philistine that I sometimes am, I'm not sure I knew there was a difference between Palm Beach and Palm Springs, and sometimes used the terms interchangeably...however! One in is in sunny Florida, and one in sunny California, and never the twain shall meet. I know that now. What was interesting in that book, besides all the Dominick Dunne style social register reporting of backstabbers and fortunes lost, was the history of the first wave of Floridians who came in the early twentieth century to turn parts of southern Florida into the resort communities and tourist attractions that they remain today. Learner was particularly disturbed, in the case of Palm Beach, at how many architecturally significant homes of the twenties' and thirties', lavish pleasure palaces built by coffee magnates and movie stars alike, were bulldozed to build bland, hopelessly ungapatchka McMansions from the early nineties' right up to the present. Speaking relatively, I wonder if this pretty little hacienda and its glorious pool are still standing?
May I point out, as the caption does before me, that the guy in the pool below, left, has actually beckoned the white coated servant over to hand him a canape IN THE POOL. "Nah, I can't be bothered to get out of the pool to enjoy my sardines on cream cheese on Ritz...please, Gerald, can you put a tidbit actually in my mouth as I continue my butterfly stroke?" SHAMELESS! Mrs. Fisher is Jane Fisher, former wife of Carl Fisher, one of the founding fathers of Miami in the early 1900's (like I said about Palm Beach, but in Miami). From Wikipedia:
In 1947, Jane Fisher, his ex-wife (who married him in 1909 and was divorced in 1926), wrote a book about his life. Fabulous Hoosier was published by R.M. McBride and Co. She wrote:
"He was all speed. I don't believe he ever thought in terms of money. He made millions, but they were incidental. He often said, 'I just like to see the dirt fly.'"
I! Too! Just like to see the dirt fly! If only I had the capital to make it so! PS Doyouseethebarontheright? The matching stools? The lamp? The mural wallpaper? Ugh. Perfect.
Maxim's is a famous restaurant, the original of which was in Paris. I'm pretty sure F Scott Fitz embarrassed himself/ran out on a tab/got sucker punched by Hemingway...SOMETHING happened to him there. And here's a franchise of the self same in Miami, though I couldn't find any memorabilia save that related to the Gallic iteration online. Enjoy the sheer majesty of that pink couch on the right, however. I need that glass coffee table and the matching horse lamps!
Yes, I'm also jealous of Kay Daumit's Louis XV style headboard, in the same as I am jealous that the Lackeys at right dine in full evening wear even at home. Get over it, Lisa. Get over it, I repeat to myself.
Hotel high rises! Aren't these sharp?
And last but not least on our trip to Miami, this looks like a nondescript photo of a Gloria Vanderbilt lookalike exiting a biplane...but soft! LOOK. AT. HER. CONTINENTAL. SKIRT. Is it not the bee's actual knees? Look upon it!
Have you ever been to Miami? Are there any historical/old time/ at least vintage to the forties' attractions left? Are there really as many swimming pools as houses? What 1947 Miami-based luxury amenity would you most like to enjoy? Do tell.
That's about it for today, folks. See you tomorrow for Photo Friday!