a spin around Fort Lauderdale

02/13/18 09:28

Sunday I gave our houseguests Dan and Jane my customary tour of Miami (much abbreviated as they’ve taken it before) but they didn’t leave until last night, which meant yesterday I had the more challenging task of showing them around Fort Lauderdale.

We headed first to Himmarshee Village, passing the performing arts center (where I’m going tonight to hear Bebel Gilberto) and the Museum of Discovery & Science. I pointed out the work-in-progress Western saloon and the ghost of Riverfront Mall. Saw the back of the Brutalist Main Library, curved around the front of the art museum, and continued down Las Olas past my old office and way too many empty storefronts.

At the Elbo Room we turned up toward North Beach Village where, after a walk on the beach, we bought a bottle of coconut water in the market and heard from the friendly cashier that there are free movies every Friday.  

Then I drove up A1A to show them Sea Tower, perhaps the most beautiful example of Miami Modern in South Florida. I always imagine residents sitting in their living rooms sipping martinis and listening to Sinatra.

Lunch consisted of delicious buckwheat crepes at Voo La Voo in Eucalyptus Garden in Wilton Manors – a place that seems transplanted from Napa – and a chat in French with the two charming mesdames. We took our postprandial coffee in FAT Village at Brew Urban Café.

Next up was the new Brightline station, still as spotless as it was on opening day a month ago, the staff still as smiling and helpful. “Perhaps New York could start a new train,” said Dan, who grew up in Long Island, “and call it Sullenline.”

For the grand finale, I drove them through Sailboat Bend and across the swing bridge. The sensation of having entered Old Florida was deepened when we entered Riverside Market. As we sipped our sour ales under hanging kayaks and blown-up postcards of 1960s Fort Lauderdale, the beer-bottle lighting giving a mellow glow, the world of Las Olas seemed far away.   

By Thomas Swick • Category: hometown

No feedback yet