Tell your ex you've planned a surprise, and let the wooing begin. Setting the scene is everything, and this is one of the few stretches of Fort Lauderdale beach covered with bare sand instead of condos. Just north of the hustle and bustle of Las Olas, you've got instant romance that won't cost you a dime, as long as you read the parking restrictions. Go at night for the whole moonlit-walk-on-the-beach theme. If you want to make it really special, prepare a dinner picnic featuring all of your intended-to-be-once-again's favorite foods, plus treats like strawberries and chocolate. That doesn't take any imagination but always gets you major points. You can hold hands as you stroll on the sand, dip your toes in the breaking surf, and promise to do better this time. If all goes well, you'll be happily coupled again. If it doesn't, you didn't drop a fortune on dinner, drinks, appetizers, and dessert at some pricey restaurant. Your only problem will be lugging the cooler back to the car by yourself.

The great thing about this hotly contested March 12 election was that the whole town got involved, whether for or against the $19 million bond issue to renovate the aging 1920s casino and surrounding amenities of the town's public beach. It was topic A in local conversation for months, and every square inch of lawn in town seemed to be plastered with "Yes" or "No" placards. While the beach and its structures clearly are in need of repair, citizen resistance to the proposal was galvanized by the fact that the PAC urging passage of the bond was funded in part by businesses that stood to profit from it. That -- and the little town's innate resistance to wholesale change -- proved too much for even the likes of slick bond champion Mayor Rodney Romano to overcome. Voters just said "No" by a 3-2 margin, a showing that said as much about the citizens' feelings of being bulldozed as about their feelings regarding beach repair.

The great thing about this hotly contested March 12 election was that the whole town got involved, whether for or against the $19 million bond issue to renovate the aging 1920s casino and surrounding amenities of the town's public beach. It was topic A in local conversation for months, and every square inch of lawn in town seemed to be plastered with "Yes" or "No" placards. While the beach and its structures clearly are in need of repair, citizen resistance to the proposal was galvanized by the fact that the PAC urging passage of the bond was funded in part by businesses that stood to profit from it. That -- and the little town's innate resistance to wholesale change -- proved too much for even the likes of slick bond champion Mayor Rodney Romano to overcome. Voters just said "No" by a 3-2 margin, a showing that said as much about the citizens' feelings of being bulldozed as about their feelings regarding beach repair.

Celebrities have money. Too much, really. They're so loaded that they're compelled to buy mansions they don't live in, sports cars they rarely drive, art they don't appreciate, and apparel they look absurd in. And we love 'em for it. We've carved out bastions for these dear ones to procure such nonessentials, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills being a prime example. The Gold Coast's answer to that ritzy strip is Worth Avenue, a roughly 200-yard stretch of art galleries, upscale restaurants, jewelers, clothiers, and real-estate agents. Cartier watches, Kaufmann de Suisse jewels, handbags by Bottega Veneta, Fleur-de-Lis Antiques -- in toto, celebrity flypaper. Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Celine Dion, and Jimmy Buffett are regulars; look for the influx of new faces after any given celebrity golf tournament -- and whenever Jack Frost invades the north.
Celebrities have money. Too much, really. They're so loaded that they're compelled to buy mansions they don't live in, sports cars they rarely drive, art they don't appreciate, and apparel they look absurd in. And we love 'em for it. We've carved out bastions for these dear ones to procure such nonessentials, Rodeo Drive in Beverly Hills being a prime example. The Gold Coast's answer to that ritzy strip is Worth Avenue, a roughly 200-yard stretch of art galleries, upscale restaurants, jewelers, clothiers, and real-estate agents. Cartier watches, Kaufmann de Suisse jewels, handbags by Bottega Veneta, Fleur-de-Lis Antiques -- in toto, celebrity flypaper. Rod Stewart, Bruce Springsteen, Celine Dion, and Jimmy Buffett are regulars; look for the influx of new faces after any given celebrity golf tournament -- and whenever Jack Frost invades the north.
All the world's a stage, some dead guy said. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the human pageant of South Florida. And nowhere in South Florida features a better midnight matinee than Swifty Laundromat. The chain of 24-hour wash-'n'-drys seems designed for drama with its wide-open, cleanly tiled venues. They're all brightly lighted, the better to show off patrons. While Swiftys are spotted all over the area, our favorite is on the main drag in Hollywood, where some amazing people show up to suds their shorts at 2 a.m. There's the guy with the big sore on his lip who declares that women should be disposable conveniences as his girlfriend fondles his leg. There's the old man who strips down to his skivvies to make sure everything goes through the wash. There's the granola-munching cross-country hikers, stopping for a rare wash. There's the disheveled, incoherent woman angrily demanding of the change machine that it stop putting lawn chemicals on her children. And there's the hip-hop teens who crank up the bass in their low-rider pickup and hold an impromptu parking-lot party while their underwear spins. All these and more have been on display during recent late-night visits. Coming soon to a Swifty near you.
All the world's a stage, some dead guy said. Nowhere is that more apparent than in the human pageant of South Florida. And nowhere in South Florida features a better midnight matinee than Swifty Laundromat. The chain of 24-hour wash-'n'-drys seems designed for drama with its wide-open, cleanly tiled venues. They're all brightly lighted, the better to show off patrons. While Swiftys are spotted all over the area, our favorite is on the main drag in Hollywood, where some amazing people show up to suds their shorts at 2 a.m. There's the guy with the big sore on his lip who declares that women should be disposable conveniences as his girlfriend fondles his leg. There's the old man who strips down to his skivvies to make sure everything goes through the wash. There's the granola-munching cross-country hikers, stopping for a rare wash. There's the disheveled, incoherent woman angrily demanding of the change machine that it stop putting lawn chemicals on her children. And there's the hip-hop teens who crank up the bass in their low-rider pickup and hold an impromptu parking-lot party while their underwear spins. All these and more have been on display during recent late-night visits. Coming soon to a Swifty near you.
Sweet jumping Jesus in a shit stream! Will this construction never end?!
Sweet jumping Jesus in a shit stream! Will this construction never end?!
Shuckums Raw Bar and Grill
Hard to believe that this innocuous restaurant and bar, situated across the street from the serenity of Young Circle Park, played host to some of the most hated extremist zealots since World War II gave us the SS. A group of the September 11 hijackers and murderers came to this watering hole to drink, harass the employees, and generally act like pricks. They traded stories of what they were going to do with their several dozen virgins while dining on Shuckums's grade-A bar food and sucking down ice-cold brews. While hindsight is 20/20, foresight is nearly blind, so we forgive the staff of this place for not giving the jerks food poisoning when they had the chance. In fact, we give them major props for even putting up with what were reportedly some colossally rude customers whose tipping practices would make even Scrooge wince in dismay. And, oh, the stories the Shuckums staff will have to tell for years down the road. As for the terrorists, we hope those "virgins" gave them an eternal case of the clap.

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