Best Act to Leave Broward-Palm Beach in the Past 12 Months

James Judd

On and off the podium, the former music director of the Florida Philharmonic was interesting. He often began concerts by regaling the audience with pithy comments about the music or the composer, then turned around and incited impassioned performances from the orchestra's players, many of whom loathed him. Judd deserves much of the credit for raising the philharmonic to its current level of prestige. His abrupt resignation this past November 19 came on the same day as the restructuring plan to save the philharmonic was released. Sour grapes? Megalomania? Maybe. But it's clear that for 14 years, Judd, with his sparkly blue eyes, wavy mane, and Continental manners, charmed South Florida into giving chunks of its many fortunes to keep the philharmonic afloat. To rescue the orchestra from the musician's strike of 2000, Judd donated part of his salary to help meet payroll. Judd works on the other side of the world now -- in New Zealand, to be precise -- and continues to guest-conduct many of the world's orchestras. And though he was a real character, the Florida Philharmonic has weaned itself from him and is now standing on its own wobbly feet.

Best Act to Leave Broward-Palm Beach in the Past 12 Months

James Judd

On and off the podium, the former music director of the Florida Philharmonic was interesting. He often began concerts by regaling the audience with pithy comments about the music or the composer, then turned around and incited impassioned performances from the orchestra's players, many of whom loathed him. Judd deserves much of the credit for raising the philharmonic to its current level of prestige. His abrupt resignation this past November 19 came on the same day as the restructuring plan to save the philharmonic was released. Sour grapes? Megalomania? Maybe. But it's clear that for 14 years, Judd, with his sparkly blue eyes, wavy mane, and Continental manners, charmed South Florida into giving chunks of its many fortunes to keep the philharmonic afloat. To rescue the orchestra from the musician's strike of 2000, Judd donated part of his salary to help meet payroll. Judd works on the other side of the world now -- in New Zealand, to be precise -- and continues to guest-conduct many of the world's orchestras. And though he was a real character, the Florida Philharmonic has weaned itself from him and is now standing on its own wobbly feet.
There is no bastion of cool like the Poor House. Located in an ostensibly historic district (whose anchor is a new $65 million, pastel-shaded mall) in the center of a town bent on cannibalizing its own past, the rough wooden interior of the Poor House is as impervious to change as it is to termites. With no wet-T-shirt contests, frozen and microwaved artificial cheese sticks, displaced Abercrombie & Fitch models, or any of the other insufferable indignities other watering holes foist upon us, the Poor House specializes in a late-night ambience that isn't manufactured by a frat-boy focus group. It features actual live music, not Sublime cover songs. Its taps dispense real beer and microbrewed ales. It is bereft of pretense, and for that reason alone, it will remain Broward's best place to grab a beer or five.
Poorhouse
There is no bastion of cool like the Poor House. Located in an ostensibly historic district (whose anchor is a new $65 million, pastel-shaded mall) in the center of a town bent on cannibalizing its own past, the rough wooden interior of the Poor House is as impervious to change as it is to termites. With no wet-T-shirt contests, frozen and microwaved artificial cheese sticks, displaced Abercrombie & Fitch models, or any of the other insufferable indignities other watering holes foist upon us, the Poor House specializes in a late-night ambience that isn't manufactured by a frat-boy focus group. It features actual live music, not Sublime cover songs. Its taps dispense real beer and microbrewed ales. It is bereft of pretense, and for that reason alone, it will remain Broward's best place to grab a beer or five.
The chi-chi atmosphere at this CityPlace nightspot simply oozes hip. The toasty faux fire in the fireplace, recessed ceilings set off with red and blue indirect lighting, marble-lit bar tops, and live jazz in the background provide a perfect stage for the martini to cut loose and show off. Mr. Jenkins, the suit-wearing Tanqueray poster boy, would definitely give his nod to the sleek watering hole. Among the more popular of the 20 varieties of imbibable treats at the prime people-watching locale: The Masterpiece Martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives, the Chocolate Martini, a Sex and the City martini, and, of course, the bar's namesake drink.
Blue Martini Fort Lauderdale
The chi-chi atmosphere at this CityPlace nightspot simply oozes hip. The toasty faux fire in the fireplace, recessed ceilings set off with red and blue indirect lighting, marble-lit bar tops, and live jazz in the background provide a perfect stage for the martini to cut loose and show off. Mr. Jenkins, the suit-wearing Tanqueray poster boy, would definitely give his nod to the sleek watering hole. Among the more popular of the 20 varieties of imbibable treats at the prime people-watching locale: The Masterpiece Martini with blue cheese-stuffed olives, the Chocolate Martini, a Sex and the City martini, and, of course, the bar's namesake drink.
The sky is heavy and gray. A soft rain falls. You're sitting on a dock built by hand in the 1970s from bits and pieces of other people's Hollywood Beach docks, at a table fashioned from a big hunk of flotsam that washed up here too. Russell Kohuth's littoral creation would never get past a 21st-century building inspector. The catch of the day is mahi-mahi; take it deep-fat fried and crunchy. Tom Waits growls from the jukebox. Bob Dylan is queued up next. A cabin cruiser slides by with Fax-It written on the stern in cursive script. It would be nice to own a yacht. But right now, watching the raindrops make interlocking ripple-circles over the surface of the bay is engrossing. You are untethered. Computer, Worldwide Web, e-mail, fax, Palm Pilot, cell phone have no hold. You have entered the Le Tub zone. A phalanx of toilets and bathtubs transformed into planters separates that world from this slice of Floridian weirdness. It's comforting somehow. With toilets as a decorating motif, Le Tub's not a fitting setting for sleek fancy techno-cats. Breathe. Note the menu: In the evening, shoes required.
The sky is heavy and gray. A soft rain falls. You're sitting on a dock built by hand in the 1970s from bits and pieces of other people's Hollywood Beach docks, at a table fashioned from a big hunk of flotsam that washed up here too. Russell Kohuth's littoral creation would never get past a 21st-century building inspector. The catch of the day is mahi-mahi; take it deep-fat fried and crunchy. Tom Waits growls from the jukebox. Bob Dylan is queued up next. A cabin cruiser slides by with Fax-It written on the stern in cursive script. It would be nice to own a yacht. But right now, watching the raindrops make interlocking ripple-circles over the surface of the bay is engrossing. You are untethered. Computer, Worldwide Web, e-mail, fax, Palm Pilot, cell phone have no hold. You have entered the Le Tub zone. A phalanx of toilets and bathtubs transformed into planters separates that world from this slice of Floridian weirdness. It's comforting somehow. With toilets as a decorating motif, Le Tub's not a fitting setting for sleek fancy techno-cats. Breathe. Note the menu: In the evening, shoes required.
As anachronisms go, Fort Lauderdale's headbanging club the Metal Factory was blissfully unaware of its dinosaur status. The chrome- and mirror-filled establishment and its throwback wait staff eventually got tired of the guffaws and smirks and outright insults that regularly met the metallic moniker, opting to drop the Metal and simply answer to the Factory. You'll never confuse the venue (full of photos of Fred Durst, Poison, and Gene Simmons) with Andy Warhol's artsy New York namesake, but collective IQs seemed to rise in response to the change. Moral: You can take the mettle out of the Factory, but you can't take the Factory out of the metal. Know why? It's dipped in it, dude!
As anachronisms go, Fort Lauderdale's headbanging club the Metal Factory was blissfully unaware of its dinosaur status. The chrome- and mirror-filled establishment and its throwback wait staff eventually got tired of the guffaws and smirks and outright insults that regularly met the metallic moniker, opting to drop the Metal and simply answer to the Factory. You'll never confuse the venue (full of photos of Fred Durst, Poison, and Gene Simmons) with Andy Warhol's artsy New York namesake, but collective IQs seemed to rise in response to the change. Moral: You can take the mettle out of the Factory, but you can't take the Factory out of the metal. Know why? It's dipped in it, dude!

Best Of Broward-Palm Beach®