Best Pedestrian Experience Miami 2006 - Normandy Isle
Unfortunately too many drivers use the JFK Causeway to simply speed from the mainland to the Beach, never bothering to slow down and sample the treats of this curiously ungentrified island neighborhood. If they bothered to pull over (plenty of free street parking west of Vichy) they would find a modest grouping of midcentury architecture gathered around the Normandy Fountain (1926). Most of the stores are devoted to residential needs -- doctor's offices, laundromats, pet shops, gym, hardware, auto parts, et cetera -- but there is also a diverse assortment of ethnic restaurants, including French, Thai, Greek, Japanese, and Argentine. On Saturdays the Normandy Village Marketplace takes place on Rue Vendome under the fountain; vendors offer vegetables, plants, clothing, and other sundries in an atmosphere of music and arts. Before your visit is over, grab a gelato and wander down Normandy Drive to the bridge that crosses Indian Creek.