Sunday, December 12, 2010

Symphony in Lights - The Village at Gulfstream Park

The old Gulfstream Park race track has recently been transformed into The Village at Gulfstream Park. If all the new shops and casino aren't enough to get you to visit, you might want to check out Symphony in Lights. 250,000 lights and music by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra make for quite a spectacle. The show runs about 15 minutes every hour from 6:00 pm to 11:00 pm. Shows will run through Dec 31st. I was expecting a bigger display but I certainly was not disappointed. The best views are from the ground as the palm trees block the lights from the surrounding balconies. The Village is a vast improvement from the old horse track I remember as a kid. There are plenty of shops and great restaurants to make the trip worthwhile. I've enjoyed several of the eateries but none better than the III Forks. So far that is. I decided this trip to use my casino money for a nice dinner. I definitely ended the evening feeling like a winner.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Winterfest Boat Parade - Fort Lauderdale

If you have lived in South Florida for any length of time, you have very likely been to the
According to their web site, they have taken to the water for the last 39 years. I have not gone that many times but I have gone fairly regularly. The trick to seeing the boat parade is to find a place to actually see it. There are only so many places along the intercoastal that are not privately owned. Some of the best views I've had were from a boat anchored in the intercoastal or a friends condo along the route. Some of the worst were getting hassled by condo owners or the police or in crowds so thick you couldn't possibly see the water.  This weekend the weather will be perfect and I have the perfect place to see the show. Birch State Park at Sunrise and A1A. Get there early if you want to get in. I actually walked down from the Galleria mall last time but it's quite a hike. All depends if you want to pay $10.00 just to park your car. Bring a picnic basket and some chairs and you are set. The best spot is right on the sea wall between the park entrance and the grandstands. Taking pictures of moving boats in the dark is a little tough but these are a few from years past.  The boat parade has always been impressive but in the last couple of years they have been sponsored by the Hardrock Casino making it a must see holiday event. 

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Art Basel - Miami

My favorite South Florida event even at the $36.00 admission. This will be year nine for Art Basel Miami. I have been fortunate to attend almost every year. Art Basel is no ordinary art show. It's more like a total assault on the senses disguised as a world class event. No one minds that I can't afford much more than the entrance fee while they plunk down $3.2 million bucks to buy a statue. Yes, that actually happened one year right in front of me. What can you expect? The show is huge. It fills the Miami Beach Convention Center without an inch to spare. Some pieces and installations will shock, amaze, bring tears, stir emotions, and challenge your reality. It's a guarantee most pieces will invoke an emotional response. Some are such utter garbage they redefine insanity. No matter what, every single item can invoke endless conversation. This is art in it's purest form so if you are not ready to have your understanding of the universe challenged, best to stay home. Every year I find something that completely blows me away. So much so that I can't wait to go back.

Art Basel will take a full day to enjoy so plan on a nice lunch or dinner on Lincoln Rd. Make a day at the art show a complete event. Art lovers travel from all over the world for this show. I just have to hop in the car to be part of it.