Broward News

From San Francisco, a Nostalgic (and Airbrushed) View of Fort Lauderdale

For those who live in Fort Lauderdale, the best tour guide is a person who doesn't live in Fort Lauderdale. Like the San Francisco Chronicle's travel editor, who must not have ventured far from his extravagant perch at the new W Hotel.

No mention of how the city's housing market was a canary in the coal mine of an international economic crisis. The writer strolls along Las Olas Boulevard without noticing how many of the stores are vacant and how foot traffic is a fraction of what it was three years ago. Our most famous citizen, Scott Rothstein, is ignored, as are the federal prosecutors whom the rest of us can clearly see circling Broward County offices.

Rather, for the newcomers, Fort Lauderdale remains the city that reinvented itself in the decades since Where the Boys Are. But it's been 50 years since that movie. And it's been 25 since spring breakers were shooed off the beach. So how long can Lauderdale milk this reinvention thing?

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Thomas Francis