Fort Lauderdale can be a bit of an enigma these days.
It's got a lot of canals, was once the spring-break capital of the world, and is often lost in the ubiquitous sexy glow of Miami Beach.
So, is it a party town? A family town? Do people even go there anymore? What's up with the nightlife?
All valid questions. And, like most towns, Fort Lauderdale has developed some stereotypes in recent years. For better or worse, some of these stereotypes have been tough to shake. But it's always unfair to peg an entire city on stuff people are saying.
So we break it down for you. Here are Fort Lauderdale's ten most pervasive stereotypes and whether they're true or not.
10. Everyone has a yacht Yes, it's true. Fort Lauderdale is the Venice of America. And yes, it's the yacht capital of the world. It's probably the only thing Fort Lauderdale is the world capital of. And yes, it would be amazeballs if everyone in town owned a yacht. But, sadly, this isn't the case. Now, if you said, everyone wishes they had a yacht... or everyone likes to pretend that they own a yacht then, yeah, OK. Otherwise, not really.
Verdict: False. Though it would be really cool if true.
9. People are tolerant of everyone else The commissioners in this town have been fairly gay-friendly as of late (though the mayor needs help getting to that point). And Fort Lauderdale has dethroned San Francisco as the city with the highest concentration of gay couples in the United States. There are plenty of gay bars, there's Wilton Manors, and there's a palpable feeling of progressive thinking around these parts when it comes to being tolerant and accepting of everyone.
Weirdly, not so much for the homeless. The homeless are screwed in Fort Lauderdale. But that has more to do with the commissioners than the residents. Still.
Verdict: True. Though there is plenty of room for improvement.
8. The majority of the people here are snowbirds Oh, snowbirds. So. Many. Snowbirds. With their Yankee bumper stickers and their bad tans and their penchant for telling everyone within earshot how much better the Northeast is than South Florida even though they spend roughly 88 percent of their lives in South Florida, taking up our roads and cluttering our streets. Yeah, Fort Lauderdale has a crapload of snowbirds. But it's tough to give an empirical answer on if they make up the majority of people living here. We're gonna go with no. Only because they annoy the hell out of us. So, no.
Verdict: No. Now quit yer bitching and go back to your home to shovel snow and freeze your balls off.
7. Everyone goes to the beach all of the time Ah, the dream. But in case you haven't noticed, Fort Lauderdale is a growing sprawl that attracts young professionals. And those young professionals need jobs so they can rent a yacht on the weekends and pretend they own it. Unless you live within walking distance of the beach, then you're probably not spending most of your time there. Besides, parking at Fort Lauderdale Beach has become one of the biggest pains in the ass in the history of ass pain. Not to mention that there's always a riptide warning or beach erosion. And sharks. Don't forget all the sharks. So many sharks.
Verdict: Not true.
6. Is a sleepy town Weirdly, Fort Lauderdale has inexplicably earned a reputation for being a kind of a sleepy town. This might be because it's no longer the spring-break capital of the world (which NOT A SINGLE PERSON is complaining about). It also might be because it's become more family-friendly lately. It also has to do with the fact that Miami Beach is right next door. But Fort Lauderdale is still very much a sexy-ass town.
And we have the numbers to prove it, natch.
Just this year, Motovo ranked Fort Lauderdale the seventh-most-exciting midsized city in America. This is thanks to an active nightlife. According to Motovo, there's one bar or club for every 460 people. The site also ranked Fort Lauderdale the second-most-exciting city in Florida, behind Miami Beach.
Verdict: Ah, hell naww. This town is sexy, exciting, and very much awake!
5. There are no die-hard sports fans here This myth is due in large part to two things: Every sports team in South Florida is named the Miami Whatevers, and because of the Florida Panthers. Also, the Strikers. What the hell is that about?
The Panthers have traditionally sucked. And it's tough to sell South Floridians on hockey when the hockey team is terrible. So, yeah, attendance has suffered.
That being said, Fort Lauderdale has very much been big supporters of the local pro teams down here. And that's even with most teams playing way down in Miami. Sun Life Stadium is practically in Broward County, and one can argue that the majority of die-hard lifelong Dolphins fans all live north of Miami.
Then there's the Marlins, who for the first couple of decades of their existence had strong support from Fort Lauderdale. That is, until Jeffrey Loria decided to dupe Miami-Dade into building him a stadium in Little Havana and he changed the name from Florida Marlins to Miami Marlins.
And, of course, the Miami Heat. Fort Lauderdale loves the Miami Heat. It's not our fault "Fort Lauderdale" isn't as sexy sounding as "Miami." It's also not our fault we're not stupid enough to let billionaires build stadiums with taxpayer money.
Verdict: Not true. Fort Lauderdale loves them some pro balls.
4. Think they're better than everyone else We're one of the sexiest cities in America!
Verdict: Pffft. Of course!
3. It's white-chick heaven This is a tough one.
We're gonna go with yes.
Nothing wrong with white chicks, mind you. Nothing at all.
But, yeah, man. They're everywhere down here.
And they're usually yelling "Woo-hoo!"
Verdict: Pretty much.
2. Don't like the word "Broward" Nope.
We hate it.
It's why people often confuse Fort Lauderdale with a sleepy town. Because the name "Broward" is just so very zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.......
Verdict: DO NOT REFER TO FORT LAUDERDALE AS BROWARD COUNTY.
1. Have inferior complex toward Miami This is always tricky, because Miami and Fort Lauderdale have always had a bit of a friendly rivalry, with Miami usually winning out. And that's cool. Miami is the sexier name, and it has South Beach and the Miami Heat, and all the TV shows about Miami are actually shot in Fort Lauderdale but still called Miami. And that's fine.
Fact is, we actually prefer it that way.
It leaves us more space to do our thing. Smaller crowds is a good thing.
We'll just be over here with our awesome parking spaces if ya need us. (Seriously, have you tried parking in Miami Beach? It's a nightmare.)
Verdict: Never. We're confident enough in our town not to give a shit about Miami.