The Sunrise Musical Theatre is more spacious, the Carefree in West Palm Beach more intimate, and, for that matter, West Palm's Kravis Center has comparable facilities. So what makes the Broward Center so special? Location, location, location. No other South Florida venue has a site as well integrated into its surroundings as this two-theater complex perched on the north bank of the New River near Sailboat Bend, with views magnificent enough to make Fort Lauderdale seem impressively urban. The building and grounds are snazzily designed, and the facilities -- the 2700-seat Au-Rene Theater and the cozy, 590-seat Amaturo Theater -- are versatile enough to handle all sorts of concerts and theatrical productions -- from Steve and Eydie to David Copperfield to Rent. Within minutes a leisurely stroll along the Riverwalk will take you to the bustling new Las Olas Riverfront center, with its restaurants, bars, shops, and movie megaplex, or you could opt for the row of smaller, funkier restaurants that are contributing to the rejuvenation of SW Second Street. And if you're fortunate or flashy enough to be arriving by water, you can dock your boat on the river and head up the hill to the Broward Center.
Beauty, brains, cash, and a career. That's what we're looking for, right? All rolled into one package, without hang-ups or "issues"? Surely that kind of catch was lurking somewhere on the dance floor at the recent "Howl at the Moon" bash, one of a series of themed fundraising parties sponsored by the Young Professionals For Covenant House (YPFCH), a nonprofit organization that raises money for the home for runaway teens. The "Howl" bash had the feel of a house party thrown by somebody with interesting friends. The age range was twenties to midthirties, the dress business-casual, the music made for boogying, the dance floor full. Conversation was mainly of the light-bantering, flirtatious variety, but you could find a serious debate or discussion if you wanted. Judging by the business cards being handed out, the organization could as well be named "Young and Hungry Professionals For Covenant House." YPFCH also sponsors some cool vacation packages throughout the year, such as the upcoming Young Professionals Ski Trip (March 25 to April 2) and the Lost at Sea Weekend Bahamas Cruise (September 24 to 27). An extra benefit: One tends to feel less guilty about partying up a storm when it's all for charity.

The main function of weathercasters in South Florida is reassurance. We want them to remind us again and again -- every single night, in fact -- just how lucky we are to be living in this slice of sunbaked paradise. On top of that, we want them to spell out in explicit detail exactly how horrible the weather is in every other godforsaken part of the world: tornadoes in Oklahoma, mudslides in India, earthquakes in California. We want somebody who is enthusiastic about the weather, a cheerleader for our good fortune. (Never mind the occasional hurricane.) Chris Dunn, Channel 7's weekend weatherman, fits the bill. He's goofy in a likable way. With big, bushy eyebrows, a fleshy face, and reddish hair, Dunn moves about the weather map with barely controlled glee. He's just the kind of weather geek we need.
Hemingway had the right idea. Key West is paradise in the state of Florida. As long as you avoid the tourist madness of lower Duval Street, the place is pure Caribbean-style bliss. A four-hour drive in the middle of the ocean is a small price to pay for the regenerative powers of a weekend with no worries, mon. Find a little gingerbread inn on a lushly shrouded side street. Rent a bike (they're available on every corner) and bump down the cobblestones to the beach, or the bar (we like the Blue Parrot or Hog's Breath Saloon), or the drag show at Diva's. Even the testosterone-fueled frat party at Sloppy Joe's doesn't annoy us. Still, we'd probably avoid the Hemingway Hammer, the hot-pink frozen goo that is Joe's special. Key West is best experienced faceup in the sunshine, not facedown in the porcelain.

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