Recent Updates:

5 Gems to Liven Up Your Summer

Celebrity Chef Paul Niedermann has made Hudson a must visit restaurant.

Celebrity Chef Paul Niedermann has made Hudson a must visit restaurant.

At YourDelrayBoca.com we love exploring and finding new treasures to share with our readers.

Here are five recent finds that we love:

M.E.A.T.—Located at 980 N. Federal Highway (Cendyn Spaces Building) in Boca, M.E.A.T. Eatery and Taproom is a delight.

Don’t let the office building in which the restaurant is located dissuade you, M.E.A.T. has amazing food and a great selection of craft beers.

The restaurant won the 4th annual Boca Burger Battle, no easy feat and there’s always something new on the menu to delight repeat visitors.

The brainchild of Chef George Patti and Sommelier Thomas Smith, M.E.A.T. isn’t your typical burger joint; they smoke all of their own meats onsite, make their sausage in-house and even create their own condiments from scratch. (Shameless plug: we wish they had Tabanero hot sauce).

And don’t let the name fool you either. The restaurant has great salads a nice variety of veggie dips as well as healthy microbrewed soda’s and wines.

A real treasure that we expect to grow into legendary status.

http://www.meateateryboca.com/

 

Hudson at Waterway East—900 E. Atlantic Avenue, Delray.

We went to Hudson in downtown Delray when it opened a few months ago for lunch and frankly we weren’t impressed.

But we went back a few weeks ago and were blown away. The restaurant has re-tooled with a new chef, excellent menu, great atmosphere and great service.

Hudson is a winner and perfectly positioned to capture those who want a lively and tasty meal without the crowds of E. Atlantic Avenue. (We still love you, East Atlantic).

If you’re lucky, you’ll be able to meet celebrity chef Paul Niedermann, who captured first place in 2011 on Gordon Ramsey’s “Hell’s Kitchen” competition on the Food Network. Niedermann is a culinary talent and it’s a testament to Delray’s culinary scene that he was lured here.

Hudson has great flatbreads and it watermelon and tomato gazpacho is a hall of fame item.

http://hudsondelray.com/

 

Beer Trade Company– 145 NE 4th Ave, Delray Beach

If you love beer, there is no better little cool place than the Beer Trade Company to pass a summer evening.

Stocked with refrigerators full of delicious brews and ciders, Beer Trade is a self-serve establishment which actually encourages experimentation. Highly recommended.

Casa Tequila–located at 8228 Glades Road, Boca Raton.

Already a hot spot in Wellington, Casa Tequila is a relative newcomer to West Boca and we predict big success.

Great for dinner, but also a wonderful lunch option that offers fresh, affordable food with prices ranging from $5.95 to $8.50.

The tostada’s and veggie burritos are out of this world.

http://greatmexicancuisine.com/#/

Dosia– located at 5837 N. Federal Highway, Boca Raton.

No list from Dave and Jeff is complete without at least one Italian restaurant.

Dosia is a two year old hidden gem that you will be thrilled to discover.

Restaurateur Cris Lanza has managed to pull off the trifecta, great food, really interesting atmosphere (modern) and a terrific dessert menu featuring homemade delights.

Dosia has small and large plates to match every appetite and for the diet conscious offers wheat and gluten free pasta.

Enjoy!

 

 

Context, Community & Optimism

Optimism-HarryTrumanSmall-1024x717

Last week, we talked about symptoms–controversies that emerge because of fear.
Fear of overdevelopment, fear of traffic, fear of parking problems, fear of change and fear of bad design.
All of these fears are legitimate and there is near universal agreement that all of the problems outlined above should be avoided at all costs. But unfortunately life and community building are never as black-and-white as we might like them to be.
Issues are nuanced and filled with variables that sometimes we can’t see.

Most worthwhile endeavors in life come with trade-offs. If you want something you usually have to give something up to get it: when it comes to cities that decision is typically made by mayors and city commissioners.
When development occurs, there is an impact. It might be traffic, it might be construction noise and it may be the closing of an alley.

It’s up to policy makers to determine whether the upside is worth the impact.
But we rarely take about benefits anymore.

And that’s a shame because focusing almost solely on impacts skews the debate and denies the public a chance to see and understand issues.

For example, there was a short story last week about the CRA in which the focus seemed to be on the budgetary impact the CRA has on the city’s coffers due to the way these agencies are set up using tax increment financing.
But in order to fully understand the issue readers need context and to see the whole picture before they can render an informed opinion.
For example, the CRA already gives substantial financial support to the city and has for years –paying for items that range from police officers and infrastructure  to supporting key non profit partners that would need a larger subsidy from the city if not for the CRA. CRA money does not go down some dark hole, it’s reinvested in the community, largely in neighborhoods that need help.

I think the CRA has been invaluable to Delray Beach and that its success and track record of getting things done has benefitted our city far beyond its district.
Property values citywide are up and rising faster than neighboring cities in large part–in my opinion–because of the work of the CRA.
Congress Avenue and other parts of our city have become viable business and investment opportunities thanks to the work of the CRA, Delray Marketing Cooperative, DDA, police, fire , the city and others.

How do I know this? Because I’m talking to people making investments on Congress and many have said they wouldn’t have looked at the corridor 15 years ago but now feel it represents an extension of the Delray brand, which has value. Businesses want to be here. People want to live here.
In addition, quality of life– often hard to measure– has been improved as well as a result of a more vibrant city.

These are just some nuances that are important to consider when judging the value of an agency,  project, development or initiative. I happen to think the most value can found in the intangibles; not just the tax revenue, building permit fees or raw numbers we often see bandied about. Those are important too, but the most important aspects of any initiative are often the subtle benefits that make all the difference.
Examples: energy, civic pride, attracting difference makers to your community and creating opportunities.
As a result, I’m a firm believer that leaders need to be optimists. They need to be cognizant and worried about impacts but also aware and excited by benefits.
Ideally, they have a growth mindset, and see themselves as problem solvers.

They work hard to mitigate impacts, but never lose sight of benefits.
We need more optimism in our politics and in our communities.
Problem solving enables us to progress. Change can and should be managed, but cannot and should not be stopped.

The Vision Thing

Citizen driven

Citizen driven

iPic is a symptom.

Just the latest. There will be more.

The skirmishes over specific development proposals mask an underlying dynamic 30 years in the making: what do we want to be when we grow up?

That question was first posed in the 80s when the Atlantic Avenue Task Force and later Visions 2000 convened to talk about a future vision for Delray Beach.

At the time, we were not exactly a charming “village by the sea”. Sure, there were charming elements; a grid system, a nice beach and historic homes but vacancies were widespread downtown, there was a dearth of activity and our crime rate was horrible. People were clamoring for change.

The Task Force and Visions 2000 efforts were launched as a response to those conditions; nobody was arguing that vacancies were good or bragging that we had no place to eat. There was not a whole lot of crowing about property values that were stagnant and a real estate market that was hot in Boca and West Boynton but anemic in Delray.

Visions 2000 laid out a blueprint for renewal and listed projects to be completed in order to fix and— yes save Delray. Voters overwhelmingly approved the $21.5 million Decade of Excellence bond and city officials went about the task of renovating the city.

They did a remarkable job.

Delray won an All America City Award in 1993 and another in 2001. The city earned a ton of good press (which was very rare for Delray at the time) and Florida Trend named Delray the “best run town in Florida.”

Private investment began to flow into town, a coffee shop opened and oh did we celebrate. A few restaurants came…Damiano’s, Splendid Blendeds, 32 East, Dakotah..and we were off to the races.

But community building and downtown revitalization is not an overnight effort. It takes years and then some more years. Truth is, you are never done.

The first coffee shop went out of business. Some of the first restaurants didn’t make it. Retail had a hard time gaining traction. There was and is a lack of office space. Back then, nobody was living downtown. That would come later when some pioneering developers took a risk and put some townhouses on Federal Highway. Their efforts were mocked and there was strong resistance to projects that are now part of the fabric and filled with residents who are great contributors to our community.

I was in town for the Visions 2000 and Visions 20005 efforts—covering the process as a reporter for the old Delray Times, part of the defunct Monday-Thursday Papers.

There was talk about a village by the sea during those exercises, but nobody was calling for a sleepy or seasonal village by the sea. The consensus in the 80s and 90s and then again in the early 2000s during the Downtown Master Plan process was to create a dynamic village. Words such as vibrant, bustling, compact and dense, walkable and sustainable were used.

There was a desire to be a complete downtown; not trendy or seasonal, but year round and built to last. There were calls for mixed-use projects, the master plan emphasized design and yes—(horrors!)– density. We learned that design trumped density and that density was needed to support local businesses and was desirable because it was better for the environment than sprawl, which generates more traffic and is more expensive to service. We didn’t make this up, we brought the best minds in downtown planning to town over and over again and all of them cited the virtues of new urbanism, density, design and mixed used development. We just brought them back for another round and the message is the same.

And guess what? Unlike a lot of other places, this city delivered. We ought to be proud.

Delray Beach executed and implemented its citizen driven visions. Not developer driven, not staff driven, not even commission driven, but citizen driven visions. It takes a village…it really does.

So what you’re seeing today is a manifestation of 30 plus years of planning, execution and investment.

It’s not developers flouting rules or building things contrary to the vision.

Have waivers been granted? Yes. But never for height and density.

Have variances been given? Yes, but never for height and density. When you’re working in an infill environment, sometimes you need a little flexibility to make good projects happen.

Wait… there’s more.

Was conditional use employed; you betcha. Conditional use built Delray, because it enabled a generation of policy makers to support good projects and– just as important–reject bad ones.

So what we are seeing is not some aberration or abuse, it’s the result of a vision. Now, you may not embrace the vision or you might think the vision is misguided, outdated or moronic. I don’t. I suspect many others like what has happened. But I get that some don’t.

Maybe you think it’s time to put a lasso on the vision and shut it down. But please understand that what you’re seeing after nearly a decade of no development did not come out of nowhere.

Has it been good? I believe so.

So do many others who love and enjoy Delray Beach.

Have property values increased? Oh yeah, especially if you live anywhere near the urban core.

Is that a good thing? For most, it is. I’d rather have my home appreciate than depreciate, but affordability is an issue not only for homeowners but for mom and pop merchants as well.

Are there strategies to maintain affordability that we should be considering? Yes. Almost exactly a decade ago we were one of the first cities to create a Community Land Trust to keep properties in the trust affordable in perpetuity. We also enacted a workforce housing ordinance, a flawed but  sincere attempt to address a pressing issue at the time and one that is back in a big way.

Density was one of the strategies to create affordability as well. It may not be the silver bullet, but it’s hard to have affordability without it.

As for iPic, I would love to see it happen. I like that a corporate headquarters wants to be downtown and that 42,000 square feet of office space would be built. We need the jobs and we need to make Delray more than a food and beverage success story—that wasn’t the vision, only part of it.

The vision was to create a city that was more than a resort town. It was to create a sustainable, walkable village with opportunities for people of all ages, including young people and families that need jobs.

I understand why people are concerned and worry about losing the soul of the city. These are viable concerns that leadership needs to address. In my opinion these concerns can be addressed. Others would disagree that’s OK.

These conversations are important to have because all the “sides” in town love Delray Beach.

But before a meaningful conversation can take place it’s important to put the issues in context and understand where the latest project came from. Discussions about the redevelopment of the old library site date back more than a decade. The discussion began when the land-locked library decided to move from an antiquated facility to West Atlantic and when the chamber decided to move as well, rather than invest in an old building that was functionally obsolete.

The direction given to the CRA at the time was to redevelop the site and get it back on the tax rolls. There was a policy decision not to seek residential development which was well underway downtown but to seek retail and office space, which we felt was needed. It was later amended to consider a hotel and entertainment options. The hotel proposal fell victim to tough economic times and a new RFP that mirrored the old one was issued. IPIC responded and was selected.

There was never any serious talk of a park on the site in large part because we were creating a large downtown park adjacent to Old School Square and we already had Veterans Park, Worthing Park, The Skate Park and Teen Center and some small public plazas planned for West Atlantic, which is also part of our downtown. We felt there was a need for office space and year-round employment to support our merchants during the long hot summer months.

Right or wrong, that’s the back story. The rationale was in service to a larger vision created by citizens.

 

 

 

 

There’s Something Happening Here

Ready for lift off.

Ready for lift off.

It feels good to be in on the ground floor of an opportunity.

I’m one of those types who prefer building to maintaining or worse yet protecting a lead.

I was fortunate to move to Delray in the 80s, when the city felt like a start-up and to serve on the City Commission from 2000-07, when the Decade of Excellence had been completed and we had a blank canvas to pursue a continuation of the vision—one that built on and complemented the excellent work that had been done before our group got elected.

So I was intrigued when I was asked to serve on the advisory board for Tech Runway, a new initiative at Florida Atlantic University that is seeking to build something special.

Tech Runway is nestled next to the runway at Boca Airport on FAU’s campus. The space—vast and teeming with possibility—houses start-up companies and events. It seeks to be a leading part of a growing ecosystem for entrepreneurship and technology taking root in South Florida.

When it comes to the entrepreneurial space you can feel the ground shifting in our region. Miami is on fire, with maker space, co-working, tech companies, VC’s and innovation in everything from augmented reality and finance to food and the arts.

Fort Lauderdale is also experiencing somewhat of a renaissance downtown, with condo projects, office space and a wonderful entrepreneurial hub named Thesis (http://www.thes.is/).

In Palm Beach County, downtown Boca Raton seems on the verge and the Arvida Park of Commerce has new energy and new policies to drive investment. FAU and Lynn are gaining momentum and the county’s chief economic development office, The Business Development Board of Palm Beach County is focusing efforts and energy on entrepreneurship and retention. FAU’s Research Park, under the very capable leadership of Andrew Duffel, is also a player to be watched as it celebrates its 30th anniversary.

The county’ public school system also has bright spots including Boca High’s STEM program, Atlantic’s vaunted IB program and Spanish River High School’s entrepreneurship academy.

Hopefully, we can find a way to keep our young talent home, even if many might go away for college.

As Scooter Willis of FAU’s Tech Garage (also an amazing asset) puts it “find a way to get as many smart people here as possible and good things will happen.”

Amen.

Headwinds? We have a few.

A lack of VC’s. A lack of angels. A lack of seed funders. The Gold Coast Venture Capital Association is making amazing strides and should be applauded, but we need more capital willing to get in the game. Talented engineers and entrepreneurs will follow the money which historically has been in places like Austin, Boulder, Boston, the Valley and NY. We are going to need to get in the game soon and in a big way…a way that makes a splash, hits all the blogs and is covered in Inc., and Fast Company.

The dollars are here, what’s missing is the monomaniac on a mission who either can write the check or find the check and build the funding mechanism around it.

Manny Medina and others are doing it in Miami. A visionary developer is doing it in Wynwood and another in Miami’s design district.

While it definitely takes a village to build an ecosystem it doesn’t hurt to have a leader.

Think about companies: Amazon is Bezos. Virgin is Branson. Tesla is Musk. Facebook is Zuckerberg.

Same with local areas that make the leap: Fred Wilson in NYC, Brad Feld in Boulder are but two examples.

In South Florida, the Knight Foundation is playing a catalytic role but there is room in Palm Beach County—room in Boca Raton and Delray Beach for leadership, vision and drive.

The talent is here, if we can keep it home. The lifestyle is here. The moment is here, if we seize it.

Tech Runway will be a major driver, but the beauty of building an ecosystem is it’s not a zero sum game. The rising tide does lift all boats. There’s room for many to take the ride.

 

 

IPIC: Because Delray Needs Jobs

IPIC

The sky has been falling for 20 years.
Paver bricks on Atlantic Avenue–women will never come downtown because they will trip in their heels on the grooves.
Worthing Place–it will turn into a low income rowdy tenement.
Pineapple Grove–a pipe dream.
Atlantic Avenue–won’t happen without an “anchor” department store.
Townhouses on Federal Highway–nobody wants to live on a highway and besides where will they barbecue?
I can go on.
But needless to say plenty of women and men enjoy strolling on the avenue, Worthing Place is fully leased (and pricey) and you hardly know it’s there, Pineapple Grove is a cool street, we didn’t need a department store to revitalize Atlantic Avenue and townhouses on Federal Highway remain hot commodities.
So I tend to grin when I hear the latest hand wringing concern–whether it’s festivals “destroying” our quality of life or development choking our city to death.
But before you get all wound up at my cavalier attitude let me say two things.
First, I respect contrary opinions so please respect those who don’t agree with your assessment of the latest project.
Second, I’m not an anything goes guy either.
We have had good developers and we have had awful ones.
In my opinion most of our developers have been good corporate citizens. There I said it. And I can prove it too.

We have been fortunate that most of our projects have been built by local developers who live here, work here, pay taxes, volunteer and raise their families here too.
Not all are greedy and callous. In fact, we have been fortunate to have many who are the opposite.
Sure they are motivated by profit and they seek a healthy return. Last I checked, we live in a capitalistic society where profits are a goal.
But profit motive aside, many of the developers  I have known want to build projects that work for the city as well as their wallets. Most also give to charity, have served on community boards and are in a field where the risks are enormous.
In other words developers are people too. You wouldn’t have known that from our last municipal election.
We are better than the current state of our development debate.
Still, the concerns are legitimate. We should seek smart growth which I would define as human scale, well-designed, with green elements, pedestrian friendly, mixed use where possible and oriented toward the street.
Projects that aren’t should be sent back to the drawing board.
But that’s where the opportunities are…
When a good use comes to town— say a downtown theater– that includes corporate jobs, office space and other desirable facets we should communicate with the developer/investors collaborate with them and where possible shape the best outcome.
Collaboration: what a concept.
Now if they don’t listen– and a few won’t— send em packing.

But most developers I have known will listen because they want to their projects approved and don’t necessarily enjoy being pariahs.
It’s easy to pontificate from a dais or wall off your planners and other city resources. But really what does that accomplish?
I had two experiences where we sent developers packing because they simply would not listen to community and city input. But I had many more where our CRA or Planning Department were able to make projects better because they looked at site plans and found things to improve whether it was design, traffic flow or street level orientation. You got to give your staff some room to make things work and as a policymaker you have a unique opportunity to make improvements as well.
Collaboration works, unless of course, you think Delray stinks. A few of you do, but most of you don’t.
So why not work to make projects better?
And if you think that we should merely shut the town down and say no more I have some disappointing news. It’s not going to happen.
Delray is a wildly desirable market. Not because it’s been ruined but because it was carefully planned and is a great town. People want to be here. People want to live here. People want to work here and people want to invest here.
They don’t want to ruin it, they want to contribute. If their ideas make sense we ought to help them. And we need to engage early, as Andres Duany advised us at one of the first town hall lecture series meetings.
If developers have bad ideas we ought to intervene–early.  If they are tone deaf, again send them packing. Smart developers, the kind we want to work in our town, welcome input and collaboration. It saves them time, money and aggravation. It also saves the public time, money and aggravation.
“Just say no” may have been a great anti-drug slogan but it’s no way to run a railroad. People are going to want to build here. We ought to worry if they don’t.
As for IPIC… when the RFP came out I liked the European theater concept..still think that would work elsewhere in our city.
But I’ve warmed up to IPIC. I like the idea of entertainment downtown. I like that it will bring people during the slow summer months and I love that this is a corporate headquarters deal with hundreds of jobs.
We need the jobs. We need the daytime workers. Jobs sustain towns.
We can also plan for the traffic. We know when shows begin and end. This developer/business owner has stepped up and listened.
Downtown residents will walk to the movies and others will drive–most with other people. After all, when is the last time you went to the movies alone?

We are not putting in a multiplex, but a luxury theater, with a few hundred seats.
This is a good project and we ought to be proud that Delray is desirable for such a cool and growing company.
The sky will not fall.

The Eagles Soar in South Florida

Fans will get this picture

Fans will get this picture

I’ve been thinking about music lately.
What is it about music that touches us so deeply that the magic lasts a lifetime?
In many cases, we still love the music we listened to when we were teenagers.

Must of us don’t have the same hobbies, fashion sense or tastes in books (classics aside) but yet I’ll still listen to Darkness on the Edge of Town which came out when I was 14 years old. Close to forty years later, the songs still delight, although they resonate for different reasons as you grow older.
That’s not to say that every song or band you listened to as a kid remains a favorite today. But it’s amazing how many do.
So it was with great anticipation that we went to see the legendary Eagles last weekend in Miami.

I had never seen them live before even though I have loved their music since the 70s.
The concert was nothing short of magnificent. The band members–all of whom are in their late 60s–sing, play and perform incredibly well. They clearly love the old songs, are proud of their history and are having a great time connecting with their fans.
The “History of The Eagles” tour has been rolling along for two years now and may just be the last hurrah.
In order to forge a stronger connection with the fans and the music, The Eagles insist on a no cellphone policy. They want you to enjoy the songs in the moment and not through the screen of your smartphone. What a concept. The policy is enforced and enforced and enforced by venue security because it seems that people–and the crowd was predominantly baby boomer–just couldn’t or wouldn’t comply despite numerous warnings.
Sigh.
The crowd was something. I don’t go to a lot of concerts these days but I was surprised. Lots of drinking. Lots of walking around.
We happened to sit next to the three stereotypes of obnoxious fans.
Type 1: Wikipedia man. He insists on giving a running commentary on every song during every song. “Timothy B. Schmit was brought in to replace Randy Meisner in ’78. No wait, maybe it was 79. He played with Poco. He was born in Sacramento. Or was it Santa Fe”. On and on he went drowning out the music with his drivel until the woman sitting in front of him finally told him to quiet down. He called her a Nazi. Nice.
Type 2: Crazy Stripper Lady. You know the one who dances to every song–in a style that..well check out her name. She acts out every song, sings loudly along with the band and screams at those around her to get up and boogie. Yikes.
Type 3: Drunk Man. In addition to talking “this is our song, sweetie. I can’t tell you why its about us. This is our song. Listen. Listen to this. We do this.” Before the night is out he will spill two beers on his neighbors, the second incident spurring a name calling back and forth in which he loudly proclaims that he won’t be leaving. Until mercifully, he does…right before an amazing encore performance of “Desperados”.
Quite a collection of characters, but try as they might, they could not overcome the joy that is listening to The Eagles

But, The Eagles deserve better. The music deserves better.
The humans who attend these shows deserve better.
Is a peaceful easy feeling to much to expect?  Maybe one of these nights…

Medical Innovation Agency Removes `Drama’ From Medical Innovation Process

SoundHealth's Michael Miller

SoundHealth’s Michael Miller

Imagine a medical technology company committed to commercializing medical discoveries, but choosing not to own any of them.

Sounds counter-intuitive until you take a closer look at what’s going on in the global economy.

Consider the following:  UBER is the world’s largest TAXI company, yet it doesn’t own any vehicles. FACEBOOK is the world’s most valuable media company, yet it doesn’t create any content. ALIBABA is the world’s largest retailer, yet it doesn’t own any inventory.

“It’s all about leveraging resources, and combining expertise, while providing the public with valuable services and products,” said Michael Miller, founder of Boca Raton, Florida-based SoundHealth, a medical innovation agency. “Basically, we combine the expertise of inventors, with the funding of charitable organizations, and the facilities and resources of research institutions, to provide commercially ready products and services to industry distribution/marketing companies and bring life-saving innovation to the public in a hyper-efficient way.

“Our program also eliminates the drama most entrepreneurs are forced to endure while growing a company, raising capital, and finally being able to successfully exit from it,” said Miller. “Our goal is to take early stage products through the commercialization process quickly so all parties can profit. Too many important products end up in the inventor’s garage, gathering dust, rather than saving lives. “Inventors are creative… but as a rule, aren’t prepared to deliver their products to the public. We’ve brought all of these disciplines to the table and have created a team focused on one thing – commercializing a product, without the risk,” added Miller. “That’s the drama we remove. We also approach things differently, by starting with identifying the exit… the potential buyer,” said Miller.

“Our singular goal is to build a sellable product with input gained from the potential buyer. Then, we leverage the capacities of our partners (i.e. funding foundations and research institutions) each of which have a stake in the process, of getting it done. “We make it very clear to everyone that we’re not interested in building a company,” stressed Miller. “We’re not a venture capital company. We simply want to develop a product and sell it to Johnson & Johnson, for example, and walk away with the proceeds… and, do it over and over again.”

To be considered for the program, innovations must:

• Solve a specific medical problem

• Have a working prototype

  • Have protectable intellectual property
  •  Be able to be completed within 2 years.
  • About SoundHealth SoundHealth: www.sound-health.org) founded in 2010, based in Boca Raton, FL, is a “medical innovation agency” whose unique structure and system are designed to expedite the delivery of medical innovation to the marketplace.  By combining the business know-how of its executive team with the expertise of: inventors, funding organizations and research institutions, SoundHealth is able to provide market-ready products to the medical industry’s manufacturing and distribution companies. 

YourDelrayBoca Goes To The Movies

Caddyshack a 1980 classic that endures

Caddyshack a 1980 classic that endures

We are film buffs at YourDelrayBoca.com and we see the bulk of our movies during the hot summer months, when we long for a cool, dark place to nap..we mean enjoy cinematic fare.

With that in mind, we saw a recent list by Florida Travel +Life of their top ten Florida based movies. We share theirs and our own. Please send us your list!

Ten Florida Movies—Florida Travel + Life

  1. Key Largo-1948—Bogie. Checkmate.
  2. Easy to Love– 1953 Esther Williams and Florida perfect together.
  3. Where the Boys are– 1960. Until Fort Lauderdale said ‘enough is enough’ and now the boys and girls are in Panama City.
  4. Stranger Than Paradise– Strange choice but culminates in Melbourne, Florida.
  5. Cocoon—1985—Wilford Brimley was 51 when he made this film. That’s not a typo.
  6. The Birdcage-1996—We miss Robin Williams.
  7. Scarface-1983—The movie that really super charged our friend Steven Bauer’s career.
  8. The Right Stuff-1983—Great book, great movie.
  9. Truman Show-1998—Seaside, Florida featured in this Jim Carrey vehicle.
  10. Magic Mike-2012—Hey it’s their list, not ours.

Our List:

  1. Porky’s (1981) A raunchy high school comedy filmed partly near the Everglades.
  2. Caddyshack (1980)—One of the classic comedies. We miss Ted Knight. Filmed in Davie.
  3. Apollo 13 (1995)—Space Coast classic, featuring Tom Hanks, Kevin Bacon, Ed Harris and Gary Sinise.
  4. Boynton Beach Club (2005)-filmed in our neighboring city and featuring the ageless Dyan Cannon and Brenda Vaccaro.
  5. Cool Hand Luke (1967)—The former proprietor of Boston’s on the Beach was inspired by this classic Paul Newman movie to add an egg eating contest at the restaurant on Labor Day. Enough said. The prison was inspired by the Tavares Road Prison in Tavares, Florida.
  6. Bad Boys II (2003)—The producers blew up a house on A1A in Delray and stars Will Smith and Martin Lawrence were spotted all over town. The finale uses special effects to simulate Delray with mountains. We look good with mountains.
  7. Jaws 3-D (1983) Based in Sea World and featuring Dennis Quaid. Not a classic, but campy in all the right spots.
  8. In Her Shoes (2005)—This movie starring Cameron Diaz and Shirley MacLaine was filmed partly in Delray Beach and nearby locales and the cast and crew wandered around the city. Ms. MacLaine loved taking her dog to the Sundy House and Ms. Diaz spent lots of time on the beach, including some time with her then beau Justin Timberlake.
  9. Revenge of the Nerds 2: Nerds in Paradise (1987)—This sequel to the ’84 classic has the nerds from Lamba Lamba Lambda traveling to Fort Lauderdale for a fraternity convention. Hilarity ensues.
  10. Ulee’s Gold (1997)—This small gem of a film tells the story of a bee keeper played by Peter Fonda. To gain authenticity, the filmmakers used the Lanier family, a third-generation beekeeping family in Wewahitchka, Florida as consultants.

Did we miss any? Send us your favorites.

Dogs on The Beach? Yes.

dogbeach

I love dogs.

Big dogs. Small dogs. Pure breeds. Mutts. All dogs, especially rescue dogs.

If you’ve monitored social media these past few weeks you have seen a grassroots effort to mobilize dog lovers around the concept of creating a dog beach in Delray.

I think it’s a winning idea. And I’m sorry that I didn’t champion it myself when I had a vote back in the day.

Delray Beach prides itself on being a dog friendly town.

We have dog parades, dog washes, fundraisers for rescue organizations and a pretty nice dog park.

But Fido isn’t welcome on the sand and if his paws are found on the beach, you can expect a fairly hefty fine.

During my term in office, we worked to create a no smoking area on the beach. The ordinance passed, but enforcement has been spotty. We received tons of complaints that our gorgeous beach was used as an ash tray by irresponsible smokers. It seemed reasonable at the time to create a smoke free section so people who didn’t want to inhale noxious fumes could enjoy our number one natural asset.

It also seems reasonable to create a defined section of the beach where pets would be welcome.

I understand that not everybody loves dogs and that there are issues with allowing pets on the beach—the biggest being irresponsible owners who won’t clean up after their pets.

But it seems that those concerns and sensitivities can be addressed rather easily.

About two years ago, I ran into former Boca Councilwoman Constance Scott at a League of Cities function in the Glades. Knowing my love of rescues, we quickly started talking about the Tri County Humane Society and Boca’s dog beach and how well received it was by residents and visitors. We should do that too, I thought to myself.

If I remember correctly, Ms. Scott said that the pet community was very good at self-policing; knowing that failing to clean up after pets could ruin the experience and shut down the program for everyone.

It seems to me that we can have a similar sort of set up.  Carve out an area where pets can visit, make sure they stay in the designated area and have volunteers agree to monitor for hygiene, safety etc.

The Lake Ida Dog Park seems to work well and is busy year round. We can do this at the beach too.

If the privilege is abused, the city can easily shut it down. But my hunch is that this will work.

It is certainly worth a try.

 

Boca-Delray Nostalgia

Burdines...sigh..Town Center Mall.

Burdines…sigh..Town Center Mall.

10 reasons to know you’ve lived in Delray for longer than 10 minutes or years…

  1. You remember when the traffic signals were blinking yellow on West Atlantic Avenue and when the corner of A1A and Atlantic felt a little seedy. (You also remember the Georgia Town Tavern, Paradise Club and The Phoenix.)
  2. You remember when you looked forward to seeing all of your neighbors at “Art and Jazz on the Avenue”.
  3. You remember workers applying the final touches of paint on the new tennis stadium when it debuted for the Virginia Slims tournament back in the 90s.
  4. You shot pool at the aforementioned Phoenix and went to reggae night at Boston’s.
  5. You were excited when Damiano’s opened—finally a restaurant!
  6. You remember looking at the pictures on the wall at Cheeburger, Cheeburger.
  7. You can name the restaurant that used to be where’s Bru’s Room is now. Atlantic Station?
  8. You used to have lunch at Coasters.
  9. You bought your baseball glove at Sal’s Sporting Goods store and had a sandwich at Food Fiesta.
  10. You remember when Lou Jensen re-opened the Sundy House, as a tea room.

10 memories of old Boca..

  1. You remember the old Boca Mall on US 1.
  2. You loved Dirty Moe’s.
  3. You actually saw Wilt Chamberlain at Wilt’s on Glades.
  4. You went to Pete Rose’s Ballpark Café to see Pete do his radio show.
  5. You loved a sub from Grace’s.
  6. You went to The Dive Bar in the Boca Mall to hear bands.
  7. You remember when Jimmy Connors played at Boca West.
  8. You went to see a 14 year-old Jennifer Capriati play tennis at the Polo Club.
  9. Tom’s for ribs.
  10. The Monday-Thursday Papers on East Rogers Circle