WLRN’s search for South Florida’s best block continues.
WLRN, the Miami Herald, the Townhouse Center and the Knight Foundation have joined forces to identify and celebrate the most vibrant city streets in South Florida.
So what does it take to be a best block?
“We’re trying to focus on areas where there’s mixed-use type buildings, where you might have a restaurant at the bottom floor, maybe some living spaces above it,” said Debra Acosta, a multimedia producer for the Miami Herald.
Yesterday was a big day for bars and restaurants in Oakland Park. After a unanimous commission vote last week, the city lifted its law prohibiting the sale of alcohol between 7 a.m. and noon on Sunday mornings.
Oakland Park is the latest in a string of cities (including Fort Lauderdale, Margate and Deerfield Beach) to repeal their so called "blue laws.”
You can make an argument that Oakland Park’s blue law repeal started with a group of English hooligans who wanted to watch their European soccer matches.
Just two blocks west of Federal Highway in Fort Lauderdale, progressive metal band Neolythyc is rehearsing in a cramped, dark, converted garage. The rehearsal space is just a stone's-throw from Holiday Park, the last known address of jazz legend Jaco Pastorius.
The four members of Neolythyc are all 17 years old, born nearly a decade after Pastorius's death in 1987. But bass player Jerry Caceres refers to Jaco as "one of the old homies from down the block."
Forty-five-year-old Tammy Goss is sitting on a park bench in a small patch of green wedged between Dixie Highway and the FEC railroad tracks. Staring down from the southeast wall of the corner community center is a huge blue-toned mural of a man's face, his fingers curled around an electric bass guitar. She knows his name.
“Jaco Pastorius, I think,” says Goss.
But that's all she really knows about John Francis Pastorius III.
An interview with Jonathan Rodrigues from the Brazilian Community Center in Deerfield Beach.
During election season, we tend to hear a lot about the Cuban vote or the Jewish vote. Both are powerful voting blocs that attract the attention—and promises—of politicians.
A young Brazilian community organizer has his eye on what he hopes will become another voting bloc.
Jonathan Rodrigues lives in Pompano Beach and volunteers at the Brazilian Community Center in Deerfield Beach. He got his undergraduate degree at the University of Chicago and spent much of his time there thinking about home—studying South Florida's Brazilian population and considering his own role in that communtity .
Rodrigues is a first-generation Brazilian American. “Historically that first generation is the generation that propels the community forward into civic engagement,” he said.
According to the American Community Survey by the U.S. Census, there are an estimated 21,000 Brazilians living in Broward County and another 12,000 in Miami-Dade. Rodrigues suspects that number is actually a lot higher.
“All you have to do is drive down Sample Road or North Federal Highway in Deerfield Beach and Pompano and you’ll see the proliferation of Brazilian small businesses.”
Even though Hurricane Sandy has moved past South Florida, the region's airports continue to feel the storm's effects.
Director of Operations at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Mike Monnemacher, said 152 flights have been canceled at his airport.
"One of our larger markets for this airport is to the Northeast," Monnemacher said. " So, when we're not having any operations into the Washington all the up through Boston area, that's a significant number of aircraft. So, right now we have 35 aircraft that really don't have any place to go."