4 June 2012 by Chris Marais

Miami art deco comes to Durban

Take a walk through Durban’s Suncoast Casino complex and you’ll find yourself transported across the Atlantic to somewhere in South Beach, Florida, in the US. And it’s all about the art deco…

The Durban beachfront gets an added touch of art deco.

I’m on 1 of my early morning strolls in a strange city, dressed in long shorts, slip-slops and a loud tourist shirt with big Hawaiian flowers all over, camera around my neck and dumb grin plastered all over my face. CEO of the Bling Bling Club.

I find that’s the easiest way to operate as a travel journo, rather than stalking about the place with loaded flak jacket, tripod and camera bag. No sense in being professionally overdressed when all you’re doing is postcard photography. Extremely happy snaps.

Walking north on the famed Durban beachfront Golden Mile, I stroll straight into South Beach, Miami.

Unbelievable. After thousands of years of world travel (more like 35, but it feels like thousands), all my experiences have fallen into a mental blender.

The Suncoast style is that distinct ziggurat art deco that became so famous in the 1930s over in Florida, United States, when South Beach received its facelift – 1 of many.

So from now on, I’ll be sitting in a roadside cafe in Kuruman and it’ll feel like the French Quarter in New Orleans. Or a Karoo farm will suddenly morph into a Montana ranch. Or a passing goods train to Middelburg will become the Indian-Pacific Express, on its way from Perth to Sydney. Like I said: unbelievable.

This morning, however, I find myself in front of the Suncoast Casino complex with the sun rising from the Indian Ocean, painting the art deco lovelies in front of me a kind of copper gold; all wonderful follies and intriguing foibles of totally for-show architecture from the era of the Charleston and the birth of talking movies.


										The real South Beach, Miami.

The style is that distinct ziggurat art deco that became so famous in the 1930s over in Florida, United States, when South Beach received its facelift – 1 of many.

South Beach was a bit of a retirement home, for a while. Then it had a lick of paint, more neon and it became a cocktail strip for party animals from all over the world.

Durban’s Suncoast has a touch of South Beach party animal.

Just enter the complex and you’re in a neon world of bells and whistles and what was that you said? Sorry, no time to chat. I’m off to the 1-armed bandit cave to feed those noisy beasts within...


										Palm trees at Suncoast complete the South Beach vibe.

Category: Arts & Entertainment


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