Norwegian model Eline Syrdalen has been traveling the world since her first campaign for L’Oreal Paris at age of 19. She is signed with MC2 in NYC, LA Models for runway and print in Los Angeles and CGM in Miami. Her Mother agency is MGM models in Hamburg, Germany. She can be found on Instagram @elinesyrdalen and on dailystory.no. In “Tropical Miami” Eline reveals why she finds the city a perfect blend of work and lifestyle.
If you are one of those who would like to have a city and beach vacation in one, Miami is the perfect destination. After I got my American 01 Visa through Elite Models in Miami, I’ve spent a lot of time in this city. Miami is full of life and various activities that you can enjoy. There are restaurants, cafés and bars on every street corner, and people are always ready to party, especially on South Beach during the high season.
The city has grown extremely fast the last 10 years. Many people used to associate Miami with retirees and elderly people, but this has changed very much in recent years. It can be easy to lose focus in Miami, it’s a bit like Disneyland for adults with many distractions. Not many models can stay there all year, but come in for the season and combine work with a little vacation. Between October and March, it is high season here and many customers come in to shoot their summer campaigns. This offers good work for models, and the city offers a perfect combination of work and a good lifestyle.
Rent a city bike and cruise around or play beach volleyball with the locals on one of the many sand volleyball courts around South Beach. Not everything needs to cost a lot of money, although it’s easy to spend too much of it in Miami. If you live on South Beach there are short distances to everything, and you can easily ride a bike or walk from place to place. Uber is also much cheaper in Miami than in LA and NYC.
Shopping – In Lincoln Road you will find all the major brand stores like H&M, Zara, Guess, Forever 21, Urban Outfitters, Victoria Secret and many more. Here you can combine shopping with a meal or a coffee at one of the many the cafés and restaurants located in the shopping street.
Brickell city center – For those who prefer lesser crowds and shopping inside. The center is brand new and easy to come around. Try out a snack and a drink at “Sugar”, located on the rooftop of the East Hotel, or at Tacology serving the largest drinks. My favorite is the Spicy Margarita that comes in a huge beautiful glass – the perfect cool down.
For the party animals – Many come to Miami just to party, and the nightlife here is in a league of it’s own.
Rockwell – I’m rarely going out on the town in Miami, but I love rap and hip hop. Rockwell has a live rap performance every Monday, and there is always a good mood there.
Wall – The club is located at W Hotel, they play commercial music and there is always a good crowd. Here you can often spot a couple of celebrities.
E11even – The nightlife in Miami never sleeps. Especially not at Elleven. If you are just as much of a grandmother as me, and need your 8 hours of sleep, then you can have an early morning breakfast at the venue. Get up at 5 o clock to eat your omelette with strippers dancing on the tables. Elleven is a nightclub with “free spirit” dancers.
Where to eat – Miami has far too many good restaurants, and is especially good at vegan, natural and healthy foods. On South Beach most people are fit and very body-minded, so the demand is high for healthy and nutritious foods.
Lilikoi Organic living at South Pointe is my little favorite breakfast- or brunch café. The family who owns the little place is from Haiti, and that inspires the menu. Delicious salads, homemade cakes and the world’s best lemonade should be tested. My favorite on the menu is the kale salad, or egg frittata! Wine is also served here. This is a perfect breakfast place for all kinds of foodies.
Joes Stone Crab – Just across the street for Lilikoi, Joes Stone Crab is one of the oldest and most famous restaurants in Miami. The restaurant is super low key, but still many people’s favourite in Miami. Here you can often spot celebrities who love the low key vibes.
Komodo – One of the newest restaurants in Brickell, which is a new and very up and coming area in Miami. Asian fusion food has never tasted this good, and in addition, the interior and ambience of Asia is artistically inspired. The sushi here is amazing! Should be tested.
One Hotel – The hotel is an experience in itself, and everything is plant based. The rooftop is magical, especially at sunset. It’s perfect to enjoy a sunset-drink overlooking the ocean, surrounded by plants and sweet music on the rooftop.
Casa Tua – Who does not love Italian food? Casa Tua serves the best pasta in town, and the atmosphere is especially good here on Thursdays. The Italian families love this place, and they should know. You canalso try Cipriani, which makes delicious food, but a bit overpriced. This is a place to go to see and be seen.
Dr Smood – For the discerning luxury animals. Dr Smood makes delicious salads, juices and smoothies. I love to order their cashew latte, and the homemade chocolate balls with dates should also be tested!
The Setai – Setai’s luxury hotel serves the most delicious drinks, and the best coconuts, with it’s own engraved Setai logo. The Spa at Setai is also fantastic, if you plan to enjoy some extra luxury on your vacation.
Sundays on the river – Sea Spice – On sundays the best atmosphere can be found on Sea Spice. The restaurant is located by the river, and many boats come for a snack after a long day. They serve delicious food right from the ocean, my favorites here are squid and tuna tartar with avocado cream. Right next door is the new competitor “Kiki on the River”. They servce the same kind of food, and the restaurant has already become a favourite for many people.
Vegan – Planta – The newest and hippest restaurant for vegans! If you are vegan, this city is for you. There is plenty to choose from in vegan restaurants, and most restaurants in Miami have vegan options on the menu.
Soul Travern – Most vegans you ask in Miami will say that Soul Travern is their favorite place for the vegan food.
The next day – Shake Shack – You cannot be on vacation in the United States without having a true American-style burger. Shake Shack is everyone’s favorite, they also make mushroom burgers for vegans. Perfect day thereafter, or between the shopping battles.
Whole foods – Most people have probably heard of Whole Foods. Here I often spend too much time and money. To me, it’s a dream to go to food stores in the United States, and a big downturn to come home to Norway’s grocery stores. Whole Foods have the coolest salad bar, where you can make your own favorite salad. Often, if I do not have time for a good dinner or lunch, I pick a salad from here.
Classic – Milos – My absolute favourite restaurant in Miami. Milos is a Greek restaurant, with extremely good ingredients and food right from the sea. They have a glass mount in the restaurant where you can choose which fish you want. My favorites on the menu are the calamari, squash tower, the grilled vegetables and the best hummus I have ever tasted, made with almonds. This is not a party restaurant with music etc. Here you come to enjoy good food. They have a lunch offer every day for $25.
Active on vacation
Maham Yoga – Before you think “Yoga? No, it does NOT work for me!”: Have you heard of hip hop, vinyasa yoga, or power yoga before? This is a brand new trend that has begun to take off in the United States. I got completely hooked in NYC, and now they have opened a power yoga in Miami as well. The room is especially hot for sweating out properly. This is called hot yoga. I recommend bringing a large water bottle, and eating at least one hour before testing this. In regular yoga, each exercise is performed at a very slow pace, while in power yoga exercises are performed at faster pace to hip hop music. This is a different kind of static strength training, and with the heat you get stretched very well. The studio is also brand new, and has gone all in on the hip hop concept. A big Buddha in the main hall, “Beyonce does yoga here for free” in the entrance hall, and artists like the wallpaper in the restrooms, I would say that the concept is 100%. Yoga is no longer a daft sport. In the classes at Maham you’ll see all kinds of people. Men also.
Sobe kick – Sobekick is situated in a small, worn old gym. Here both pro and amateurs can get a good experience. I have brought many friends here, saying they can not box and that it is embarrassing. I’ve pushed them to join, and they’ve loved it. There is not one by one-boxing, Sobe kick run group classes. It’s you and your bag. And you control how hard you want to hit etc, but you will be pushed by the coach and the rest of the group, and I can promise you that you feel like a champ after the session.
Take advantage of the nature – Although I recommend you to test both Maham yoga and Sobe kick, I myself use the outdoor surroundings and nature a lot. I love wearing my sneakers to run out to South Pointe and look out over the ocean. Particularly beautiful is doing this at sunrise or sunset. Here you can also have breakfast, for example at my favorite place, Lilikoi, which serves the most delicious avocado toast, entirely organic. Around 17 every day, many people gather at the South Pointe Park to do yoga in the sunset. This is free and everyone is welcome to join.