With tireless devotion to official duty, Mayor Nancy Graham flew off to Italy for nine grueling days of fact-finding -- from Rome to Venice, from Siena to Bologna -- endlessly seeking inspiration for the policy decisions to be made: how best to accessorize CityPlace, the $375 million retail development proposed for downtown West Palm Beach.
With awed respect and deep appreciation, The Palm Beach Post reported on the long workdays and intense pressure shared by the mayor, a developer and an architect:
They'd wake up early and walk the piazzas of Venice or the gardens of Rome. They counted off their paces, measuring the width of arcades, sidewalks and steps. They looked in every window, studied every fountain.
At night they dined in fine restaurants. And they sketched on their menus: "How about a grand fountain with multiple tiers of flowing water?...How about balconies with flowering vines? How about the warm colors of Venice: salmon and ochre, mustard and terra cotta?"
Every night on those menus, the three took the inspiration of Italy and envisioned how those design touches might come alive at CityPlace....
To ponder such momentous issues, Mayor Graham spent an estimated $6500, paid by the City of West Palm Beach from a $20 million loan it received to buy CityPlace land.
It appears to be money well spent. The mayor has decided she likes hanging and potted flowers and vines for covering balconies and arches, wants small fountains and sun dials, and already made one bold decision:
She likes salmon, terra cotta and chocolate brown but her CityPlace, the mayor decreed, will not look like Boca Raton: THERE WILL BE NO PINK!
In downtown Fort Lauderdale revenge wore red.
When City Link, the publication formerly known as XS, sponsored its annual music festival last Friday night, the Poor House blues club in Old Town refused to participate -- the latest manifestation of a year-long feud between co-owner Bob Pignone and Michael Koretzky, then XS arts and entertainment editor.
At last year's festival, according to Pignone and Poor House co-owner Jay Hemple, XS insisted the Poor House open its doors to underage drinkers. (At other establishments patrons under 21 were given special wristbands to wear.) "We're a 21-and-over club 364 days out of the year," Hemple said. "We're not going to change our policy for this one event." Pignone also said that Koretzky tried to dictate the band lineup at the Poor House. "He tried to push me around," Pignone snarled, "and I don't take the pushin'."
Last Friday Pignone and Hemple got even. Not only did the Poor House have nothing do with the City Link event, but all night long the doorman and most of the bartenders wore bright red New Times T-shirts.
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