On the east coast of South Florida, stretches of interstate-95 are six-lanes wide in each direction, and it’s barely enough.
What a strange place. Packed into a strip of land and water between the Atlantic Ocean and what remains of the Everglades, South Florida is, according to native son, Carl Hiaasen, a great place to see “everything that’s wrong with America.”
Driving along A1A, between the Intracoastal Waterway and the ocean, should have prepared us for what we were to see later on a boat ride in Fort Lauderdale’s New River. Lining AIA for most of the length of South Florida are thousands and thousands of condo units, low-rise and high-rise with prices that start well above the half-million dollar mark. The single-family palaces along the ocean are priced in multiples of that. You find yourself wondering, “where does all the money come from?” Top-end cars, Mercedes, Jags, even Bentleys, are as common as dogshit. But A1A was nothing compared to what we would see on our tour boat ride. Continue reading ‘The Tour Boat Diaries (with apologies to Che)’
Published February 9, 2008
Tags: seniors, south florida
We’re home after four nights in Deerfield Beach, just north of Fort Lauderdale. There were sunny days with afternoon highs in the eighties, complimentary full-breakfasts and happy-hours, and wall-to-wall senior seniors, some of them near, and at, the doddering stage. Lots of walkers and a few wheelchairs poolside, even a sprinkling of personal traveling health assistants. But there were also hordes of serious morning walkers and joggers along the sea-side, many in outfits that would leave the fashion conscious gasping. The coded rap on vacationing along South Florida’s east coast is that it’s “too New Yorky,” read that as “too Jewish.” We found the vibe just right. Our particular favorites were the two wonderful old souls, ladies of a certain age, certainly eighty-five or more, who did a daily early afternoon promenade around the premises. It probably took them all morning just to suit up. Both would appear, slowly, almost gliding, in their progress past the poolside loungers, decked out each day in a new and dazzling selection of upscale resort-wear including large, dramatic straw hats. Their shining, dentured smiles were surrounded by facial parts that had had the kind of work more commonly associated with the restoration of classic cars. They probably had a combined age over one-hundred and sixty, but their fixed smiles were almost beatific. I know we will never come close to matching them in their glorious and inspiring chutzpah, a bravery conceding nothing at all to the awful reality of the process.