Illuminating Times

This week marks a year since our last plane trip home to Miami when life as we knew it changed. None of us could have foreseen we would still be in a worldwide pandemic a year later. I no longer predict or plan. Writing a travel blog without traveling is a challenge. I feel like most people don’t want to hear about places they can’t go right now (I know I don’t), so I’ve tried to keep these posts about things close to home or inspirational.   

Obviously, I miss travel, spending time with family and friends, or seeing a Broadway show. But as the months have passed, I find I long for many of the simpler pastimes I used to take for granted. Browsing in a book store, tasting free food samples, wandering through antique shops, sharing a Philly Cheesesteak sitting at a bar counter, live music, chatting with a stranger, and crowds. Yep, I even miss crowds, especially at the holidays.

Back in the Florida sunshine and receiving the first vaccine have made me more optimistic. This post illustrates that feeling, sharing some colorful pics from Illuminate Coral Gables. A wonderful, outdoor, carefully curated light exhibition throughout Gables’ downtown business district. There are eight distinctive displays and a fleet of wildly festive pedicab “fireflies”. If you happen to be in South Florida you can only catch the final few weeks, until closing on March 13. Lights are on Wednesday through Sunday from sunset until 9 PM, with an hour added on Friday and Saturday until 10 PM. Find a map and lots of info about the artists on the Illuminate Coral Gables website. If you miss this inaugural year, next year promises to be bigger and better, as originally planned before Covid-19.

Hang in there – and wear your mask!

Scanning a QR code at the entrance of this pedestrian street, allowed visitors to use their cell phones to experience an augmented reality feature among the 42 animal constellations hanging from the trees, in “Blue Light” by German-born postmodern artist Kiki Smith.
“Echoes of My Skin”, one of two installations by Caribbean-born artist David Gumbs, featured patterns that changed with pedestrian and traffic activity.
FIU Professor Jonathan Perez and seven FIU students put together this complex exhibit on the side of the Coral Gables Museum. “You Are Here” used video mapping and sound to look at the history of Coral Gables connecting that history with geography, climate, and ecology. I show a close-up here, so you can see some of the detail.
Ghostly images appeared through windows of empty storefronts along Miracle Mile, in “The Passage” by Chicago artist Joseph Clayton Mills.
A close-up of the wonderful “fireflies” by Chinese artist Cai Guo-Qiang.

6 Comments on “Illuminating Times

  1. Oh Karen, this is just beautiful. I’ve never seen nor heard of this light show before. I really want to go with Jeff!
    Thank you so much for great photos and great marketing!
    Sue xoxo

    • We loved reading your piece about @illuminatecoralgables and seeing the photos you took! Many thanks.


      • Thank you for the moment of peace and tranquility. Very much needed now.
        Love and admire the photography.

  2. Looks really fun Karen – surprised to see so many people out and about! Like you we’ve had our vaccinations so we’re feeling a bit better about being around people – with precautions of course. Loved your images!

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