Monday, January 24, 2011

Getting married in a parking garage

For many, the parking garage at 1111 Lincoln Road epitomizes what South Beach has become: an elitist, overpriced destination.

Parking is 4 bucks an hour, $3 more than what they charge at the municipal parking garage just a few blocks away.

But for your $4, you also get to tell your friends you parked your 13-year-old brown Toyota in a world-renowned work of art.

But when Nina Johnson parked her car at 1111 Lincoln one day, she knew it was much more than a parking garage.

She saw it as the perfect place to get married.

Johnson, owner of Gallery Diet in Wynwood, knows art when she sees it.

The New York Times reports today - on page one - that over the weekend, Johnson married her fiance Daniel Milewski on the top floor of the garage.
For her wedding over the weekend, Nina Johnson had worked through a predictable checklist of locations in town: hotel ballrooms, restaurant halls and catering outfits.

In the end, though, she opted for the most glamorous, upscale and stylish setting she could find — a parking garage.

“When we saw it, we were in total awe,” said Ms. Johnson, 26, an art gallery director. “It’s breathtaking.”

Parking garages, the grim afterthought of American design, call to mind many words. (Rats. Beer cans. Unidentifiable smells.) Breathtaking is not usually among them.

Yet here in Miami Beach, whose aesthetic is equal parts bulging biceps and fluorescent pink, bridal couples, bar mitzvah boys and charity-event hosts are flocking to what seems like the unimaginable marriage of high-end architecture and car storage: a $65 million parking garage in the center of the city.

They are clamoring to use it for wine tastings, dinner parties and even yoga classes. Or taking self-guided tours, snapping photographs and, at times, just gawking.
But in case you're thinking - "Hey, what a great idea, I wanna get married there too!" - you should know that it costs $12,000 to $15,000 to rent the top floor of the garage for an evening.

And why not? Isn't that what South Beach is all about?

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