Snowbirds
The Atlantic|December 2021
Photographs by Naomi Harris
Jaquira Diaz

In December 1999, Naomi Harris turned down a job offer, left her apartment in New York, and checked into the Haddon Hall Hotel, in Miami Beach. She was 26. She wanted to be a photographer.

The hotel was a year-round home for some and a seasonal residence for others—snowbirds, mostly in their 80s and 90s, who came down from New England or Canada and stayed all winter. They didn’t have a lot of money, and they didn’t go there for luxury. Their days were spent together: eating, dancing, flirting, playing bingo. They welcomed Harris, allowing her to photograph intimate moments of joy and vulnerability.

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