Photo by Mickie Centrone Simply Puppets' David Goboff shows how puppetry can bite -- and still be worthwhile
On the short
walk over to the FAT (Flagler Arts & Technology) Village Backyard Bash at Peter Feldman Park from our office, two coworkers and I mused if New Times would be part of
this new, hip area of town called Flagler Village, the 151 acres just
north of downtown Fort Lauderdale. And there we are: as "#26" near the bottom of the map posted at the event's passport station.
can find me at the beer tent," says Chris Bellus, a trucker-capped
New Times photographer, who was off duty this evening. Maguire's
16 Hill, the local neighborhood Irish bar, had set up a station across
the way, so we take his lead and cross through the park, which sits on
NE Sixth Street and Third Avenue. There is a good-sized crowd, a mix of
lawyer/business and creative types.
We pass the stage, where
Twilight Notes DJ Adam Foster spins, but I stop a little short, because a
puppet tent catches my eye. A puppeteer, David Goboff of Simply Puppets, has
two puppets going. The seats are empty, but I sit down anyways.
Goboff comes around to the front and does a can-can dance to draw a crowd.
After a few fervent leg kicks into the air, he asks where my friends are
at. I respond, "Getting drinks."
"Bring your beer!"
yells. "Beer makes every puppet show better." And this works: A few
folks saunter over, beer in hand. "I think every beer needs a
puppet show," Bellus says, as he sits down next to me.
puppet show, Dave requests an adult volunteer. I stand up. After a few
quick glances around the stand, I notice there's no script. This puppet
show's going to be impromptu. Not good. "You've never
heard of Little Red Riding Hood?" Dave asks. Not enough. After
audience chanted "Eat her up" a few times, the hunter saves the day,
granny and Hood live, and I head straight to get a Jack and Coke.
Photo by Mickie Centrone FAT Village revelry at the Backyard Bash
next tent is for the condominium Alexan Solmar (408 NE 6th Street). The staff sport
T-shirts that read "FUN SEXY NOW," and I learn Solmar has a 24-hour
fitness center with three personal trainers. We also hit up some artists
from the FAT Village Arts District and local non-profits, such as
Soon, the Harry Belafonte/Beetlejuice gem "Day-O (The Banana Boat Song)" fills the air.
On the stage, which is set up far away from the tents, the three-piece
reggae band Steel and Ivory also cover Marley's "Jammin." A few songs
later, the steel drums which had sat untouched are kicked into full
In the middle of the park, three muscle men in red
stand next to an obstacle course. Erik, Julian, and David work at
Fit4Life. The obstacle course is made of orange cones and small, yellow
hurtles. The time to beat is 12.05 seconds. And it was set by a
Photo by Mickie Centrone Being treated like a doormat doesn't have to be so bad
over hurtles, then more cones, then more hurtles. Can't be that hard. I put
my Jack and Coke and run it. Julian is impressed by my time of 10.78
seconds. My prize? Four "Boot Camp Sessions" at Peter Feldman Park.
They're at 10:30 a.m. on Saturdays.
On the way out, we notice
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welcome mat tent and stop. Four kids are spray-painting grey and black
mats with hot pink and light blue letters, boldly declaring "Flagler Village." The
white sheet behind them reads "Welcome to the Neighborhood."