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!

 

 

 

 

Things that Work Edition

It’s time for some positivity.
Social media and conventional media are full of bad news these days.
It’s time to take a look at what’s working.
Fortunately, this is by no means a complete list. And please send me some suggestions for future posts, we’d love to spotlight the good in our community.

Delray Beach Initiative –think of this group of committed citizens as a SWAT team for good. Essentially they go where they are needed helping local schools and non profits by raising funds and awareness. Over the weekend, they hosted “Delray’s Got Talent” at the Elks Club which in addition to being a lot of fun raised funds for the Miracle League, a non-profit that works too. To get involved or learn more visit http://delraybeachinitiative.com/

The Delray Beach Historical Society–under the leadership of Winnie Edwards, the Historical Society has new energy and life with lots of activities, exhibits and projects. They have a robust social media presence and have activated their home at the historic Cason Cottage. I like how the Historical Society is conducting interviews with residents who have insights into local history. I’ve longed felt we have neglected to capture the stories of our pioneers and key contributors so future generations may learn about their hometown. To learn more and get involved visit http://www.delraybeachhistory.org/

Boca Economic Development–Jessica Del Vecchio is a force of nature promoting job growth and corporate achievement in Boca Raton. Is there are a lot to talk about? Oh yes. But there’s also a whole lot to admire about how the City of Boca is messaging its successes. The Economic Development office fosters pride by spotlighting the contributions and achievements of local companies and touting the city as a great place to invest and run a business. Here’s a link to the office https://www.myboca.us/470/Economic-Development  

FAU Research Park–Park leader Andrew Duffel is an economic development rock star who was recently recognized for his stellar work. The Park has become a job engine for the region and the home of a lot of innovation. Bravo! The Research Park’s website is a cornucopia of great information that will get you informed and excited about the future of tech innovation in our backyard.

https://www.research-park.org/

The Arts Garage–since taking the helm, Marjorie Waldo has steadied the ship, engaged the community and continued the great programming. Yes! If you haven’t been to the Arts Garage, make sure to catch a show, you won’t regret it. The venue is intimate and easily accessible.  There’s a lot of ways to get involved visit http://artsgarage.org/ to learn how.

Old School Square–President Rob Steele and Board Chair Bill Branning have gotten the tour of political dysfunction in Delray but through it all have managed to stay positive and focused on the big picture which is and has always been serving as a cultural catalyst and community gathering spot. Rob’s ability to reach out to key community partners is refreshing. Bill’s strength as a leader is inspiring. http://oldschoolsquare.org/

Anthony’s Cold Fire Pizza–you can always count on Pedro Andrade, Anthony’s manager in Delray to step up to help the community. Aside from serving amazing wings and ridiculously good pizza, Anthony’s is a great corporate citizen.
There’s more. A whole lot more.
So much to be thankful for in your Delray Boca.

Catch the Surf Exhibit in Delray

The Surfing History Project tells the story of a beached freighter which ran aground in Riviera Beach in the 60s and created perfect breaks.

The Surfing History Project tells the story of a beached freighter which ran aground in Riviera Beach in the 60s and created perfect breaks.

Whether you love surfing or just enjoy local history, we highly recommend that you visit the Cason Cottage Museum this holiday season and take in the pleasures of “The Surfing History Project.”

The exhibit runs through Dec. 27 (closed Christmas Day) on Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.  Admission is $5 and is well worth it.

The exhibit spans two buildings at the Delray Beach Historical Society, 111 N. Swinton Ave., and chances are you can get a personal tour from a local surfing legend. Many local surfers are hanging out at the exhibit to add color commentary.

We were fortunate to meet Tom Warnke, just crowned East Coast Champion in his age group, as our tour guide.

Tom has had a lifelong passion for surfing and is an eloquent spokesman for the sport’s rich history in Florida.

As we admired beautiful boards from the 50s, 60s and 70s, we got a primer in local surfing history.

At one time, the freedom to surf was a hot issue in Delray Beach and Palm Beach County, with lawsuits, landmark legal rulings and ardent debates at City Hall.

The exhibit includes old newspaper clippings focusing on the debate in Delray Beach, where the city’s fathers tried in vain to keep a lid on the sport with surfers and some of their mom’s weighing in with the need to let the kids ride.

Ultimately, the surfers prevailed, but the debate provides a quaint view into a bygone era.

Surfing has a rich history in Florida with the state producing champions who went on to worldwide acclaim.

In addition, it was big business.

Before it became a restaurant haven, Atlantic Avenue was the biggest seller of surf boards in the state and the industry created jobs. Several boards produced in Delray, including the legendary “Richie”,  are on exhibit. They are beautiful works of art.

One surfing pioneer, Ron Heavyside, made his first board in shop class at the old Seacrest High School. He went on to found Nomad Surf Shops which is still in business.

The Surfing History Project hopes to find a permanent home and is modeling itself on a California museum which draws huge crowds. Possibilities include downtown West Palm Beach.

For more information, visit www.surfhistoryproject.com

 

 

Florida Most Stressed Out State? Really?!!!

Photo courtesy of Delray Historical Society.

Photo courtesy of Delray Historical Society.

It’ s official, Florida is the most stressed out state in America, according to a new study by the website Movoto.

Who is Movoto? We’re not really sure, but they do studies.

Florida came in at No. 1 on its top 10 list of the most stressed out states. The study was based on a set of six criteria that stress people out. Here are the factors:

• Percentage of population with a long commute (over 20 minutes)–they should talk to people in Chicagoland, LA, Northern Virginia, NY, etc. etc. 20 minutes would be a fantasy for them.

• Unemployment

• Hours worked

• Population density

• Percentage of income spent on housing

• Percentage of population without health insurance

The higher any of these was, the more stressful the people of the state are.

Movoto’s data is from the U.S. Census’ American Community Survey for 2008-2012.

The site, known for doing offbeat studies about places where people live, noted that Florida ranked as the third worst state when it came to both the percentage of the population without health insurance (25.8 percent) and unemployment rate (11.3 percent).

Here are the Top 10 most stressed out states:

1. Florida

2. Georgia

3. New Jersey

4. California

5. Nevada

6. Illinois

7. New York

8. Maryland

9. North Carolina

10. Arizona

And the least stressed? That would be North Dakota.

While we adore North Dakota, where would you rather live, the Sunshine State or North Dakota?

Sure, we don’t dispute that Florida has its share of stressors, but we cope by focusing on the positive. Such as:

  • Magnificent weather, especially the winter months.
  • Lots of things to do, year-round.
  • Palm trees
  • An ocean warm enough to swim in
  • No state income tax
  • A1A
  • Great college football teams
  • The Heat, yes The Heat, despite last night’s disappointment.

We can go on and on, but you get the drift. Movoto we urge you to take another look. Try coming back in February when the temps are below zero in North Dakota and see how stressed we are.