A Delray Valentine

We are less than a month out from the Delray Beach Municipal Election and the mud is flying. (Mostly, in one direction but I digress).

If you didn’t know better and you lived exclusively on Facebook, you’d think we were living in war torn Somalia. But you read this blog so you do know better.

That said, we think Delray deserves a little love this Valentine’s Day.

So here’s a list of things to appreciate about Delray Beach.

The Arts Garage—where else in South Florida can you count on seeing world class live music on a regular basis in an intimate venue in a convenient location? This gem of a place regularly features amazing musicians and you can even bring your own wine. We saw Grammy nominated Negroni’s Trio last week and left there smiling from ear to ear. This weekend, we will check out Max Weinberg’s Jukebox and revel in the company of a rock and roll hall of famer, E Street Band mainstay and a guy who might have the best backbeat in the business. Only in Delray.

 

The Arts Warehouse—is opening and she’s a beauty, with affordable studios, community space and local artists milling about. A great vision—courtesy of our beleaguered but invaluable CRA. P.S. You can’t spell Delray Beach without the C, the R and the A.

 

Seagate Hotel—on a Thursday night. Check it out. It’s a scene. Music, drinks, dancing and some really interesting outfits. And to think, this was controversial when it was first proposed.

 

Beer Trade Company—if you like craft beers and ciders, you have to check out Beer Trade on Fourth Avenue. A great locals scene, friendly staff, a serve yourself system which is simple and risotto balls that probably ought to be illegal because they are that good.

 

Harvest Restaurant—we’ve lived here so long we can remember when there was no place to dine, even on Atlantic Avenue. Now we are seeing the foodie scene migrate to other parts of the city and that is good news. Harvest serves healthy food, is beautifully designed, has a great indoor /outdoor bar and even has a fireplace for when the temperatures dip into the 70s. While you are off the beaten path make sure to check out Sushi Thai Fusion, the new Sardinia in the same South Federal Plaza and in a shameless plug 5th Avenue Grill and La Cigale. Also don’t forget wine dinners at Caffe Luna Rosa—a Delray staple. (See if you can find my picture on the wall and if you do, try not to laugh).

But the point is you don’t have to be on the avenue anymore to enjoy good food.

 

The Delray Open—we love going to the Delray Open, where you can see some of the best tennis players on the planet under the stars and around the block from where you live. What small city can make that claim? The event starts this week with a senior event featuring Hall of Famer John McEnroe who seems to love Delray too.

 

Lake Ida Park—winter afternoons in Lake Ida Park provides a perfect setting for a long walk with your dog or just a lawn chair and a good book.

 

The Downtowner—they are just fun to watch and to see the creativity of the local advertisers.

DDA Videos—simply amazing. Check them out and see how good the town looks.

 

Delray Historical Society—we plan to check out the new exhibit this week. It’s nice to see the Cason Cottage come to life.

Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!

 

 

 

 

An Early Valentine

Delray Beach City Clerk has been a bright spot for years at City Hall.

Tomorrow is Valentine’s Day.
As a hopeless (OK some might say helpless) romantic I thought I would send an early Valentine to Delray and Boca.
Bear with me, it might get mushy.
Five things we love about Boca.
1. As a friend recently told me, “Boca has depth.” By depth he meant strength. Great neighborhoods, high achieving schools, a couple of universities, office parks filled with jobs, tons of shopping options, glorious parks–you get the picture. And we could go on.
2. An airport with a Tilted Kilt restaurant. There really is no more to add.
3. Barrel of Monks Brewing. The beer is delicious and different from other craft breweries. It’s the way they brew. Check it out. And if you can take a tour. The brewery is a homage to Belgian brewing and it’s wonderful.
4. The Wold…Lynn University’s world class theater. Plush, beautiful, elegant and comfortable.
5. The Waterstone. What a great spot…water, views, a nice restaurant. Treat your loved one to a romantic evening on the Intracoastal–you don’t have to check in to indulge.
Now for Delray…
1. For another 11 days, City Clerk Chevelle Nubin  Chevelle is the epitome of a public servant. Kind, competent, conscientious and calm–I was so fortunate to work with her. We all were. She’s leaving us for Wellington at the end of the month, but she will be long remembered for her kindness, skill and grace under pressure. I was fortunate to see her grow under the capable guidance of Clerk Barbara Garito and when Barbara retired we had a smooth transition. She became a leader among clerks in Palm Beach County and Florida-while balancing a busy life with beautiful children. We wish her well.
2. Lake Ida Park–there’s so many birds, dogs are welcome, it’s active, large and beautiful.
3. Saltwater Brewery–we can’t give a shout out to Barrel of Monks without mentioning Saltwater. Have you had their watermelon beer? The only drink that compares is the Blueberry vodka and lemonade at Olio.
4. The Achievement Center, Space of Mind, Milagro Center, Old School Square, Delray Students First, The Arts Garage and all the other schools, non-profits, day cares and organizations devoted to children. Which means they care about and are seeding our future. What’s not to love about that?
5. Good citizens. We are a city of people who rally to help others when they need it. A city that reaches out to each other. A city that is not afraid to innovate. The kind of place that when police officers  reach out to a trusted citizen to help a single mom whose child was a victim of a sad and heinous crime, money and gifts were gathered in lightning fashion.
Now that’s community.
Happy Valentines Day.

Thankfulness Disrupts Complaining

Says it all.

Says it all.

Wow, the news  has been grim lately.

Terrorism, fear, violence, threats.  We’re seeing it all, aren’t we?

So it’s understandable if we might be approaching the holidays with some trepidation this year.
In the spirit of Thanksgiving we offer our annual list of things and people who make us thankful.

This list is by no means complete, which is something else to be thankful for. But it’s offered in the spirit of trying to lift your spirit. We hope you enjoy and begin to think about all the things in our community that make us happy.
1. Friday Night Concert Series at The Old School Square Pavilion:

Where else can you sit under the stars for a suggested three dollar donation and hear great music week after week in the midst of the best downtown around? Last week, we caught the B Street Band, a Springsteen tribute band of great renown (they’ve been at it since 1980) and marveled at the age mix and happy faces of people dancing. If you are downtown next Friday at 7:30 make sure to catch a tribute to Tina Turner. Fabulous series, fabulous venue.
2. Delivery Dudes and The Downtowner:

Between these companies and services like Uber,  we now have amazing options for transit and food. We remember when the only option was Domino’s but Delivery Dudes brings the best restaurants in Boca and Delray straight to our doors. The Downtowner is also a cool way to avoid driving. Great concept.
3. Mizner Park:

Sometimes derided as contrived, we like the place and we love the music and restaurants. And based on the crowds, so do many others.
4. The Living Room Theater and Ipic:

There’s still nothing like seeing a movie with others. As great as VOD can be, a movie experience is still better in a theater. Ipic has taken luxury movie going to a new level and Living Room’s programming is spectacular.

5. Lake Ida Park:

A jewel of a park that doesn’t get a whole lot of publicity. But Lake Ida Park has trails, loads of wildlife, great fishing, boating, picnic facilities and a wonderful dog park. Bravo!
6. Evelyn Dobson:

The long time director of Delray’s pioneering and innovative Community Land Trust has done a terrific job building high quality housing in Delray’s northwest and southwest neighborhoods. As the CLT celebrates its 10th anniversary we are grateful for its tremendous work and anxious to see it continue. And we are thankful for Evelyn’s rock solid leadership.
7. Local Rescue Organizations:

We love animals. We really love dogs. And we are so thankful for local rescue organizations. Dezzies Second Chance, Tri County and ARF are just a few of the great organizations serving our community. Personally, we are forever grateful to Kelli Freeman for connecting us with Linda’s Goldens so we were able to adopt Teddy. He has enriched our lives immeasurably.
8. Leaders Who Care:

Cathy Balestriere and Bill Branning are two community leaders who have given a huge amount to Delray. Both serve on Delray’s extraordinary CRA with distinction but that’s only the beginning. Bill chairs Old School Square, supports Delray charities and runs BSA Corporation, one of the area’s leading contractors. He’s a great guy too. Cathy is a brave and outspoken leader who has done a tremendous amount to build Delray’s brand in the world of tourism and hospitality a key industry through her long time involvement with Crane’s Beach House, a unique property. She and her team have found a way to thrive among giants, competing ably with large hotel brands. She has also done a huge amount for local charities through her events at Crane’s. For that and more we are thankful.
9. The staff at Old School Square is lean and awfully effective. They work hard and are dedicated beyond words. We are grateful. It does not go unnoticed.
10. Congress Avenue Task Force:

Personally I am thankful for the 35 plus members who have devoted the better part of the year to envisioning a brighter future for the key corridor.
You couldn’t wish for a better team.
Finally, thanks to you for reading YourDelrayBoca. The blog is a labor of love and we appreciate your support and comments. Have a great Thanksgiving.