New Times Broward-Palm Beach Calendar Editor Mickie Centrone attends and details some of the finest -- and occasionally subpar -- events from a given week. For this installment, she rode the Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop down down A1A in Fort Lauderdale.
"I bet 8.5 people who come out," said the bartender at the Parrot Lounge, "come out to drink and not for the holiday."
This was County Grind's second stop of the evening for the special Fort Lauderdale Bus Loop that ran on a Tuesday instead of the normal Friday. Not to focus on the lush side of Fort Lauderdale, but topnotch, fully
functioning, interesting, in-their-early-30s drunks were found aplenty
on a Tuesday night along Fort Lauderdale Beach -- as well as two of our local
Hopping on and off a trolley and getting nine drinks for 25 bucks is the glamour of the Bus Loop -- as is getting away with spilling your drink on the bus loop driver. But tonight on the trolley, Fort Lauderdaleans were celebrating their city's opening centennial -- the whole party was seeing a 100-year sign get lit up beside the beach. The sign is near our last stop, so, should we get off at the next stop at Shula's on the Beach? County Grind was already inside a Blue Martini before this.
"This bar sucks!" bellowed a dude in a Versace shirt who just jumped on the trolley. "Did you see us running?" he asked. County Grind will stay on.
The boys and girls were at Lulu's Bait Shack, a Beach Place dive bar. That's where we met Haywood Jublome. He was found sitting at the bar, and he even knew why tonight was special.
"The lights!" he yelled. He was not part of the Bus Loop. "No," said Haywood. "I drink and drive alone."
No trolley to be found, we walked with Versace and his femme friend to the 100-year sign. Along the maiden voyage, there was an appearance by Mickey Clean, a once famous musician who now draws cartoon caricatures,
at Cafe Del Mar, another Bus Loop spot. "You guys want a family
portrait?" he slurred at a table of three, then moseyed off when they
On the way to the 100-year sign, Versace said, "Hold on,
my pants are off." He stopped to pull them up. "[Or] you' re going to
see more crack than they have in Miami."
Versace wants to make a
documentary showcasing his drinking abilities. "I moved down here knowing it
was Fort Liquordale," he said. "I moved down here for the music and my insatiable
drinking habits. And thank God I didn't get caught up in the blue
movement." He's referring to Roxicets.
We finally made it...
As you cruise along the strip, right as you pass Las Olas Boulevard on your left, this giant, brightly lit 100-year sign will be on the right -- it's a photo-op. Waves will glide unto the shore
in the background somewhere behind the sign, and music will be provided by the Elbo Room.
"I am so happy to be celebrating Fort Lauderdale's 100 years on the Bus Loop," said a lovely lady named Kim. Her friend Fern added: "100 years of fun!"
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"I think Fort Lauderdale being 100 years old is really totally 100 percent awesome. But it being a city... it's whatever. Fort Lauderdale whatever... I'm from Boca." -- A dude.
"Fort Lauderdale's fantastic," a blond said, "Where the Boys Are At? It was the spring break capital of the world." She also celebrated Where the Boys Are At?'s 50th anniversary.
Across of the 100-year sign at the outside corner of the legendary Elbo Room stood another local legend -- the chubby man who wears a thong bikini. With that thong tonight, he had on a hot-pink fishnet top. He was found macking on some ladies. He knew the importance of tonight.