Hollywood founder Joseph Young planned one part of this city right: You'd be hard-pressed to find a prettier place in all of Broward County to whiz by than this stretch. We despise those treacherous circles, but once you navigate your way through them, you reap the reward: four spacious lanes lined by 30-foot palm trees and stately pastel houses. There are no stores, no neon signs, no high rises, and usually no traffic. Put the top down on a breezy night, throw on some Frank Sinatra, breathe the slightly salty air, gawk at the million-dollar houses you could never afford -- especially the historic, canary yellow Young mansion the city is trying to buy -- and let the road sweep you to the beach like a grain of sand. On this road you won't even care if the bridge goes up.
Stranahan House
If you live here, you've heard this name many times, sometimes as the subject of political squabbles and usually as a place commanding the respect of history lovers. The politics seems typical: a developer wanted to put up a 38-story high-rise on the site of the market next door, and Stranahan House lovers fought the plan, taking it to the voters. They opted to buy the market themselves and turn it into a park in a March 2000 referendum, but we'll wait and see if this plays out well for the venerable house and its supporters. The history is unique: Frank and Ivy Stranahan's 1800-square-foot home, built in 1901, is the most famous Broward County landmark, the place where contemporary South Florida life began. You can see the solid, two-story Victorian structure with upper and lower porches and perfectly preserved interior rooms year-round. Seated on the New River, where Seminoles came to trade with the famously honest Stranahans, the house is open for tours Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m., and Sunday from 1 till 3 p.m.
If you live here, you've heard this name many times, sometimes as the subject of political squabbles and usually as a place commanding the respect of history lovers. The politics seems typical: a developer wanted to put up a 38-story high-rise on the site of the market next door, and Stranahan House lovers fought the plan, taking it to the voters. They opted to buy the market themselves and turn it into a park in a March 2000 referendum, but we'll wait and see if this plays out well for the venerable house and its supporters. The history is unique: Frank and Ivy Stranahan's 1800-square-foot home, built in 1901, is the most famous Broward County landmark, the place where contemporary South Florida life began. You can see the solid, two-story Victorian structure with upper and lower porches and perfectly preserved interior rooms year-round. Seated on the New River, where Seminoles came to trade with the famously honest Stranahans, the house is open for tours Wednesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. till 3 p.m., and Sunday from 1 till 3 p.m.
Let's get serious -- driving your visitors around the crowded roads of Broward or Palm Beach county to get to the beach or the restaurant or the Everglades is OK if you like traffic jams and they don't mind not seeing it all. But there is a way around that which we figure is cheap at the price: a 30-minute chopper ride that gives your relatives and friends a bird's-eye view of the whole South Florida thing. Belted into the vibrating cabin of a Bell Jet Ranger, an Astar, or a Robinson R44, the out-of-towner will see a ribbon of white sand running 60 or 70 miles north and south from a vantage at least 1000 feet above the beach -- without the threat of a traffic jam. The Everglades lie to the west like, well, like a river of grass (Marjory Stoneman Douglas' famous phrase) and between the beach and the 'Glades, the chopper cowboy can see South Florida's famous urban sprawl. Pick a day that's windless (it's not safer, it's just more comfortable), talk your mom and dad into a little adventure, and don't worry about the bucks ($99 for a half-hour ride). It's worth it to say you showed them everything and get it over with.
Let's get serious -- driving your visitors around the crowded roads of Broward or Palm Beach county to get to the beach or the restaurant or the Everglades is OK if you like traffic jams and they don't mind not seeing it all. But there is a way around that which we figure is cheap at the price: a 30-minute chopper ride that gives your relatives and friends a bird's-eye view of the whole South Florida thing. Belted into the vibrating cabin of a Bell Jet Ranger, an Astar, or a Robinson R44, the out-of-towner will see a ribbon of white sand running 60 or 70 miles north and south from a vantage at least 1000 feet above the beach -- without the threat of a traffic jam. The Everglades lie to the west like, well, like a river of grass (Marjory Stoneman Douglas' famous phrase) and between the beach and the 'Glades, the chopper cowboy can see South Florida's famous urban sprawl. Pick a day that's windless (it's not safer, it's just more comfortable), talk your mom and dad into a little adventure, and don't worry about the bucks ($99 for a half-hour ride). It's worth it to say you showed them everything and get it over with.
It's hard to believe that this monument to bad taste has been with us for so long already, but it was back in April 1998 that Al Goldstein, publisher of the fine skin mag Screw, installed the giant stone sculpture of a disembodied palm and fingers in his back yard. Now on view to all who pass by his million-dollar mansion in Pompano Beach, the huge hand with extended middle finger was purchased by Goldstein after it appeared as a prop on the ABC-TV sitcom Spin City. The publisher, now in his mid sixties, isn't known for his refinement; in fact his overuse of the one-finger salute, especially on his New York City cable television show Midnight Blue, has been well-documented. We can only salute him in turn for bringing the sincere and gratuitous gesture to his South Florida friends and neighbors in such a big way.

It's hard to believe that this monument to bad taste has been with us for so long already, but it was back in April 1998 that Al Goldstein, publisher of the fine skin mag Screw, installed the giant stone sculpture of a disembodied palm and fingers in his back yard. Now on view to all who pass by his million-dollar mansion in Pompano Beach, the huge hand with extended middle finger was purchased by Goldstein after it appeared as a prop on the ABC-TV sitcom Spin City. The publisher, now in his mid sixties, isn't known for his refinement; in fact his overuse of the one-finger salute, especially on his New York City cable television show Midnight Blue, has been well-documented. We can only salute him in turn for bringing the sincere and gratuitous gesture to his South Florida friends and neighbors in such a big way.

Greater Trinity Baptist is literally west of the railroad tracks that separate Dania Beach's haves from the haves-not-as-much -- the traditionally white part of town from the black. In one year Rev. Louis Sanders drove off the drug dealers who used to lurk behind his church, scaring parishioners and forcing a momentous decline in attendance. Then he resurrected a solid community congregation that welcomes all comers. You don't have to be a believer or a Baptist, you don't have to be black (although most of the congregation is) -- you just have to give him a little respect. You'll get it back at you, with Sanders' patent warm welcome and a positive view of a community that has previously been in decline.
Greater Trinity Baptist is literally west of the railroad tracks that separate Dania Beach's haves from the haves-not-as-much -- the traditionally white part of town from the black. In one year Rev. Louis Sanders drove off the drug dealers who used to lurk behind his church, scaring parishioners and forcing a momentous decline in attendance. Then he resurrected a solid community congregation that welcomes all comers. You don't have to be a believer or a Baptist, you don't have to be black (although most of the congregation is) -- you just have to give him a little respect. You'll get it back at you, with Sanders' patent warm welcome and a positive view of a community that has previously been in decline.
It pays to have friends up north (i.e., Martin County). Otherwise we would never have found out about the Treasure Coast Wildlife Hospital, which provides short- and long-term care for wounded, sick, or orphaned critters 24 hours a day. More than 100 permanently impaired animals call this 25-year-old place home, including a one-winged bald eagle, a one-eyed pelican, and a six-year-old bobcat named Sophie who doesn't know how to be a bobcat because her mother got hit by a car when Sophie was only a few days old. We think Sophie has a good life right where she is. The dozen or so pelicans here like this place so much, they're raising a family. You'll also see crocodiles, alligators, and a white-tailed deer. Volunteers are available to answer your animal queries, and there's even a small gift shop with critter-related items. (It's hard to leave without a Tshirt, at least.) Visiting hours are Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., Saturday from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. Admission is $2, and guided group tours are available.

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