You think you know Wynwood: the graffiti murals, the galleries, food truck village every second Saturday. But have you met the high-end side of Wynwood?
Lincoln Motor Company has set out to introduce select Miamians to Wynwood's luxury side, shuttling participants from Panther Coffee to art installations to the Wynwood Cigar Factory for interactive experiences.
And they're doing it all free of charge.
It's all part of Lincoln's Hello Again initiative, which aims to "provide you with a reintroduction to your city through an unforgettable series of experiences curated to your tastes."
"You'll visit undiscovered cultural gems, places and people who are redefining their crafts and industries," Lincoln's Hello Again website promises, "and when it's all over, you'll never look at your city the same way again."
That might be a bit of a stretch -- Panther Coffee is hardly undiscovered, and the only reason nobody's discovered SHIKANY, the newest restaurant by famed Chef Michael Shikany, is that it's not open yet. But hey, all this stuff is still free, so don't look your gift horse in its press release-reciting, hilariously exaggerating mouth.
The Hello Again, Miami tours last between 30 minutes and a full hour, and begin with a pickup at Soho Studios. From there, participants will be driven (in a brand-new 2013 Lincoln MKZ, of course) to Panther for a "turbo cupping experience"; Wynwood Cigar Factory for a tour; a behind-the-scenes look at SHIKANY, complete with small bites, before the restaurant opens; an art drive curated by RAW; and a commissioned art installation by Evoca1.
If you're thinking this is the auto industry equivalent of those condo rental scams that force potential buyers to sit through a heavy sales pitch before they get their free goodies, well, we had the same concern. But when we asked, a spokesperson for Lincoln responded, "Lincoln will be present but only as a 'brought to you by' aspect. We do not have any sales people onsite, but do have marketing people to answer questions about the vehicles when needed. The tour really highlights the partner businesses and the unique way they are reimagining their industry."
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Sounds like free really means free. So if you'd like to spend an hour cruising around Wynwood and dabbling in fine cuisine, coffee, and cigars at no cost to you, you can sign up for your own tour at lincolnhelloagain.com.
Follow Ciara LaVelle on Twitter @ciaralavelle.