You, too, can get taken -- in this case for a three-hour ride on a river no wider than a couple of back yards, past some houses owned by rich people (and known as Millionaires Row) and a couple of thatched-roof buildings known as "Indian Village." It's all very nice and safe, and the big double-decker boat waddles along the New River from the Intracoastal Waterway west past the Broward Center For the Performing Arts like a fat town crier, shrieking all the way. But a cruise on the river beats just sitting on the sidelines and watching it flow by. Maximum load: 527 passengers, a population greater than many towns in the state of Wyoming. The kids love the whistle, you can buy food and drink on board, and the price ($11.50 for adults and $7.75 for children) is worth it if your out-of-town tourists get seasick and hate boats but want to say they "cruised" in Florida. At Christmas the owners put reindeer atop the boat and blare carols at the shore as the boat passes.

You, too, can get taken -- in this case for a three-hour ride on a river no wider than a couple of back yards, past some houses owned by rich people (and known as Millionaires Row) and a couple of thatched-roof buildings known as "Indian Village." It's all very nice and safe, and the big double-decker boat waddles along the New River from the Intracoastal Waterway west past the Broward Center For the Performing Arts like a fat town crier, shrieking all the way. But a cruise on the river beats just sitting on the sidelines and watching it flow by. Maximum load: 527 passengers, a population greater than many towns in the state of Wyoming. The kids love the whistle, you can buy food and drink on board, and the price ($11.50 for adults and $7.75 for children) is worth it if your out-of-town tourists get seasick and hate boats but want to say they "cruised" in Florida. At Christmas the owners put reindeer atop the boat and blare carols at the shore as the boat passes.

Before the sign went up, most people drove past this vacant lot and didn't give it a second thought. Shame on them. Actually, shame on all of us. Shame on the South Florida history we never learned and still don't teach. This is no empty lot. This is a mass grave -- unmarked -- where almost 1000 African-Americans, all victims of the hurricane of 1928, most from Belle Glade, are buried. This was the closest dumping ground, literally. These poor people were brought to this site (white folk were buried at a real cemetery -- Woodlawn), dumped, and, well, forgotten for almost 70 years. Until recently, when a group of concerned citizens decided to form a coalition to create a proper memorial park with a hurricane education center. Of course you can visit the site even before it's a park. And think about it.
Before the sign went up, most people drove past this vacant lot and didn't give it a second thought. Shame on them. Actually, shame on all of us. Shame on the South Florida history we never learned and still don't teach. This is no empty lot. This is a mass grave -- unmarked -- where almost 1000 African-Americans, all victims of the hurricane of 1928, most from Belle Glade, are buried. This was the closest dumping ground, literally. These poor people were brought to this site (white folk were buried at a real cemetery -- Woodlawn), dumped, and, well, forgotten for almost 70 years. Until recently, when a group of concerned citizens decided to form a coalition to create a proper memorial park with a hurricane education center. Of course you can visit the site even before it's a park. And think about it.
Are you convinced that illegal drugs are a Chinese plot to destabilize American society? That public schools are nothing but indoctrination camps for liberal ideology about gays, premarital sex, and revisionist American history? Do you think the United Nations is Satan's presence on Earth? Then you need to pay a visit to Fred Gielow's Web page, You Don't Say. Based in Boca Raton, Gielow is a conservative's conservative -- and he's assembled an impressive array of screeds that all come to the same conclusion: The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and if we don't get back to good ol' family values damn quick there ain't gonna be much left to squabble over. Agree with Gielow or not -- frankly we think he's a bit loony -- you have to admire the man's conviction. The perfect antidote to mealy-mouthed Internet pages that are all flash and little substance.
Are you convinced that illegal drugs are a Chinese plot to destabilize American society? That public schools are nothing but indoctrination camps for liberal ideology about gays, premarital sex, and revisionist American history? Do you think the United Nations is Satan's presence on Earth? Then you need to pay a visit to Fred Gielow's Web page, You Don't Say. Based in Boca Raton, Gielow is a conservative's conservative -- and he's assembled an impressive array of screeds that all come to the same conclusion: The world is going to hell in a hand basket, and if we don't get back to good ol' family values damn quick there ain't gonna be much left to squabble over. Agree with Gielow or not -- frankly we think he's a bit loony -- you have to admire the man's conviction. The perfect antidote to mealy-mouthed Internet pages that are all flash and little substance.
Nothing like being direct, we always say. This Broward County business has a moniker that, emblazoned on the side of its van, certainly inspires curiosity from other motorists. Walter Philbrick, a former Hialeah police officer who worked in homicide, decided to cash in on an untapped market when he retired. It seems the last thing relatives want to do after a family member has been shot or killed, he found, is grab a bottle of Fantastik and clean blood and scrape bits of brain off the wall. So two years ago he started Crime Scene Clean-Up, also known as PSI (Professional Sanitation International). Philbrick has contracts with nearly all South Florida police departments and charges roughly $400 a job. Two of his famous cases: cleaning the Cunanan houseboat ("the mattress was so full of blood it had to be thrown away") and the house of an Aventura doctor who was shot by a patient. The worst case: a man who jumped in front of a train in Miami, spewing body parts for 50 yards. Philbrick hopes to franchise his operation around the country. We're just glad he didn't choose an even more direct name like Body Parts Clean-Up or Dried-Blood Removal.
Nothing like being direct, we always say. This Broward County business has a moniker that, emblazoned on the side of its van, certainly inspires curiosity from other motorists. Walter Philbrick, a former Hialeah police officer who worked in homicide, decided to cash in on an untapped market when he retired. It seems the last thing relatives want to do after a family member has been shot or killed, he found, is grab a bottle of Fantastik and clean blood and scrape bits of brain off the wall. So two years ago he started Crime Scene Clean-Up, also known as PSI (Professional Sanitation International). Philbrick has contracts with nearly all South Florida police departments and charges roughly $400 a job. Two of his famous cases: cleaning the Cunanan houseboat ("the mattress was so full of blood it had to be thrown away") and the house of an Aventura doctor who was shot by a patient. The worst case: a man who jumped in front of a train in Miami, spewing body parts for 50 yards. Philbrick hopes to franchise his operation around the country. We're just glad he didn't choose an even more direct name like Body Parts Clean-Up or Dried-Blood Removal.
Your first glimpse of the Breakers' history of indulgence comes as you approach the imposing Italian Renaissance structure from the driveway. Walk past the limos and into the lobby, where Venetian chandeliers and gold leaf ceilings accentuate the feeling of opulence. The tapestries and fresh flowers further confirm it. This is old money. The original hotel was built more than a century ago with some of the robber baron dollars Henry Flagler made with John D. Rockefeller. While the building has aged gracefully, it was recently revitalized by an expensive refurbishment that has continued to earn it a place among the best hotels in the world. It has all the stars and diamonds bestowed by travel guides, and 1500 employees, who speak 25 languages, make sure it stays world-class. The spa, the boutiques (you can get Steuben glass at one), and the golf course add to the upper-class experience that can be had on a weekend getaway. But for that real old-money feel, we like dining in the Florentine Room, with its Continental cuisine, impressive wine list, and older gentlemen who wear jackets to dinner simply because one must.
The Breakers Palm Beach
Courtesy of the Breakers Palm Beach
Your first glimpse of the Breakers' history of indulgence comes as you approach the imposing Italian Renaissance structure from the driveway. Walk past the limos and into the lobby, where Venetian chandeliers and gold leaf ceilings accentuate the feeling of opulence. The tapestries and fresh flowers further confirm it. This is old money. The original hotel was built more than a century ago with some of the robber baron dollars Henry Flagler made with John D. Rockefeller. While the building has aged gracefully, it was recently revitalized by an expensive refurbishment that has continued to earn it a place among the best hotels in the world. It has all the stars and diamonds bestowed by travel guides, and 1500 employees, who speak 25 languages, make sure it stays world-class. The spa, the boutiques (you can get Steuben glass at one), and the golf course add to the upper-class experience that can be had on a weekend getaway. But for that real old-money feel, we like dining in the Florentine Room, with its Continental cuisine, impressive wine list, and older gentlemen who wear jackets to dinner simply because one must.

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