When it comes to cities, what separates your desirable A-list locales and the lesser-than B team? Your Denvers from your Grand Rapids? World-class public transportation? Sports teams? Museums? Sure, sure, sure. But what about a big, glossy, superfluous, high-society magazine? If that be the case, then Fort Lauderdale has taken another step into the big leagues. Ladies and gentlemen, we've got Venice.
The new imprint with a Fort Lauderdale focus just dropped its premiere issue. And this sucker is a big one. One hundred and forty-four glossy pages filled with high-end ads, gorgeous spreads, and a handful of articles. Also, it smells great. Seriously. Stick your nose in those pages. Smells like a new car.
Of course, this isn't the first city mag that's tried to speak out for the 954. All previous comers haven't stuck around for very long or have failed to carve out a distinct voice for themselves. Then again, they didn't quite have the same high-end appeal that Venice seems to be going for.
Editorially speaking, the publication is a mix of food porn and quick profiles of young professionals and other creative types. The first issue had a pretty cool feature on local surfing, as well as an engaging spread on landscape photographer Clyde Butcher. Controversy, however, doesn't seem to be its game. The issue also features a softball piece on the Marina Lofts project that doesn't dig deeply into how terrible the whole project is.
The main question: Is all this gloss and glitz really Fort Lauderdale? Where's the gap-toothed, coke-booger, beer-bongin', sex-partying little beach burb we all know and love?
Sometimes when you're flipping through Venice, you can't help but be reminded of Miami Beach's Ocean Drive, preferred bathroom reading of trophy wives, retired billionaires, and boat douches everywhere. And, if anything, A1A ain't no Ocean Drive. Years of therapy and positive thinking have been spent trying to cure Fort Lauderdale's 305 inferiority complex. Will a magazine that has blinders on to the town's grittier yet still lovable alleyways keep Fort Lauderdale folk from embracing their true selves?
All in all, it's good to have another print outlet filling up a corner of Fort Lauderdale's growing media landscape. Of course, you'll still have to pick up New Times for all your hard news, biting satire, and transsexual massage needs. But welcome to the party, Venice. Our bathroom's magazine selection is now 100 times classier thanks to you.
Send your story tips to the author, Kyle Swenson.